Lying in bed, thinking I must be tossing and turning but knowing I am probably paralyzed from fear, behind my closed lids I know what is about to happen next. Sometimes the faces are different but the heartache is not and something in my mind screams at me to wake up. I repeat his name over and over hoping that one of these times I will somehow let the word slip through my lips in my sleep, that I will say it loudly enough to wake him so that he might wake me but it never happens. Once again, there’s his face, smirking and uncaring, his eyes as cold as a fresh snow and my heart starts to clench, I know it’s about to shatter into a thousand pieces because I’ve had this nightmare before, too many times before. I want to wake up. Heart pounding, broken out in a cold sweat, it feels like something is squeezing the breath out of me, I know what happens next and I cannot relive it. It’s been so long since the last time, I thought my mind had forgotten, had let this nightmare go. Yet here he is, his eyes so accusing and hateful yet uncaring at the same time and he says the words I fear to hear from him and I cannot wake myself, just like every other time I’ve had this dream. I cannot wake myself and I must let the nightmare run it’s course. And after it’s over and my pillow is soaked with tears, this puppy climbs on my chest and licks the tears from my face and I remember that I am loved. She stays there on my chest throughout the rest of the night, watchful, and I tell myself this nightmarish pattern has been broken because I didn’t have her before, she wasn’t there before to remind me of the the truth.