Not Meant To Be Broken

By: Cora Reilly



After saying goodbye to Brian's dad, I disappeared into the kitchen, not wanting to invade their time of goodbye. I grabbed a coke from the fridge and sank down on a chair at the table. I brought the bottle to my lips and took a long gulp. My mind drifted back to the last half hour, the fear and worry on Amber's face as she stood in the elevator with us. She’d looked like a trapped animal. I'd tried to set her at ease with some conversation and I could have sworn that it had worked. Brian wasn't kidding when he’d described her condition. Maybe some normalcy would do her good. Brian and his dad probably hadn’t treated her like a normal person since that incident. Maybe it would help her to be treated like a woman and not a helpless, fragile porcelain doll.

The door creaked and I looked up to see Brian sitting down on the chair across from me, his expression strained. He hung his head and rubbed his temples, his mouth set in a thin line. I nudged his forehead with the cold bottle and grinned at him encouragingly. He just frowned at me. “Don't look so worried, Brian. Everything went well so far.”

Brian shook his head. “Haven't you seen what happened in the elevator? She didn’t want to step inside because of us.”

I put down the bottle and let out a sigh. “She'll get used to it, Brian. This is all new for her.”

Brian sighed. “I hope you're right, Zach.”

I punched him lightly against the shoulder, grinning. “I'm always right, dude.”

Brian snorted, his expression brightening. “You wish.”

I smiled to myself, lifting the bottle to my lips for another gulp. And I truly hoped that I was right. For Brian's and Amber's sake.



There is their laughter.

And sobs. My sobs.

And moans. Their moans. And grunts. Their grunts.

They ring in my head.

And the smells.

Sweat. The stench of their sweat. Disgusting.

And blood. So much blood. Acid, sweet in my nose and sticky on my skin. Sickening.

Stale cigarette smoke and beer. Their clothes smell of it. And their bodies. Revolting.

And then another smell. Everywhere. Something I've never smelt before. Indescribable. Disgusting. Revolting. Burnt into my mind. This smell. How it sticks to my skin just like the blood but so much worse.

And their faces. Taunting. Leering. Lusting.

Frightening. Menacing. Pitiless.

The last faces I'll ever see. Die. I will die. They tell me so.

And I want to. Plead them even. Plead them to kill me, to end this.

Death is better. Liberating.

So much pain. Unbearable.

Agony. Hot, burning, tearing, ripping. Pure agony.

And the feel of them. On my skin. Their hands. Rough and cruel.

Their bodies. On top of me. Crushing. Unrelenting.

And the pain. So much pain. Too much.

A scream tears itself from the depth of my body and then I can't stop.

I scream and scream. But all I hear is their laughter, their taunts, their grunts...

Blinding light penetrated my eyelids and tore me from the confines of my nightmare. Only it wasn’t just a simple nightmare, a simple phantasm of my mind. No, those were my memories. Burnt into my mind.


Would it ever stop? Would they ever leave me alone? Would this day ever stop haunting my dreams? Would there ever be a night without nightmares; a night that didn’t let me relive the horrors of that day?


The answer was immediate, and as true as it was frightening. Not in all those years had they gone away, and they never would.


I opened my eyes and blinked a few times to clear my vision until my eyes found the reason for the end of my nightmare. Brian stood in the doorway, his hand on the light switch and his horrified eyes on me. Behind him towered Zach, his horror matching that of my brother. I must have woken them with my screaming.

My throat felt sore and my body was slick with sweat. Not their sweat, I reminded myself and shuddered as the memorized stench filled my nose. Pumpkin was curled up at the end of my bed. He had gotten used to my nightmares and didn’t hide under the bed anymore.

“Amber?” Brian whispered and took a hesitant step toward me. He wanted to console me, maybe even hug me. It was written all over his face.

I stared down at the blankets covering my body. Shame rushed through me. “I'm sorry I woke you.”

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