posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 12:37 PM
Chapter: One: The Dream
Flash of light, the heat on my chest, loud bang, pain, terror, helplessness, agony…. POP-POP-POP-BANG
I awoke from a nightmare, grabbed my rib cage in agonizing pain certain that my guts had been ripped out. The sweat soaked sheets cling to my
trembling body. My heart is pounding and my chest is heaving, I try to gather, and reassure myself that this was only a nightmare. It’s always the
I glance at the clock, damn 6:40 am; I may as well get up and prepare the coffee.
I have been plagued by nightmares most of my adult life. I remember being a freshman in high school; I began having trouble falling asleep. I would
feel incredible anxiety most nights, tossing and turning for hours. When indeed I would start to drift, the first images of my 'between dream' would
be of horrific figures inflicting pain on me. Primarily my brain, however sometimes my abdomen would be mutilated through my navel. I dreamt of being
impaled with sharp instruments; I thought for sure my right bottom rib was removed forcibly.
Unbelievable horrors that today I see much clearer than I did back then. I struggled for approximately 2 ½ years with this, too paranoid to speak to
anyone because I thought I was going insane. This had a major impact in my life. I stopped going to school, I stopped socializing with friends, I
withdrew from family, and I lost about 60 lbs in the span on a year. Those close thought I was using drugs, but I wasn't. I was suffering and I
could tell no one. What would I say? Who would believe me even if I did work up the courage to tell them what happened to me that night, what
happened to all of us that night.
I tighten my tie and grab my keys for yet another day on the sales floor. Time to put on a plastic smile and garner enough fake enthusiasm to make it
through yet another 12 hour day of convincing people to do things that perhaps they may not want to do. I give a quick wink to the man in the mirror
and I exit my apartment locking the door behind me.
I’m usually lost in thought when I drive; it’s one of the only peaceful segments of my day. Today is no different. I’m thinking about being a
kid in Las Vegas, not having a worry in the world (at least nothing compared to today’s worries), looking forward to going out every night and
finding the perfect party, and the perfect people to party with. That reminded me of the night we pulled into a 7-11, wrapped the license plate up
with a plastic bag, and calmly walked into the convenience store and took 4 cases of Budweiser and ran out. We did his all the time, but for some odd
reason only one occasion came to me clearly.
It was the perfect plan: Jeff was driving (it was his car), Jason had shotgun, Keith, me, and Jason’s girl Theresa in the back. We were on the way
to pick up Rick and his girl Stephanie and we were headed to the lakebed for a night of drinking. We all loved heavy music back then, Metallica’s
‘Master of Puppets’ was spinning tonight. I really liked that CD, it’s was a lot better than ‘…And Justice for All’ which had come out
the year before. Justice was good, but it didn’t have enough balls, it sounded to slick for my taste.
The plan was, we we’re going to drop Theresa off about a half a mile from the 7-11, if we were to get caught, we wanted someone who knew what was
going on to be in a position to help. Thinking back, I’m not really sure just what kind of help she could have been to us; she was standing on a
street corner a half a mile away from us and about 4 miles away from the area in Vegas that we lived. Theresa was absolutely lovely, a Latin girl and
the only girl I had ever met up to that point who actually understood my weird sense of humor. That made it seem like he and I were always on the
same page, I don’t recall ever being totally on the same page with anyone before Theresa. She has a smile that big and bright, I remember how her
eyes would get sort of squinty when she smiled. She was Jason’s girl though.
We pulled along side of the 7-11 and waited until the parking lot was empty before we made our move. As the last car pulled out, Jason and I got out
and walked in, Keith stood next to the car holding the back seat in the forward position for easy access. Jason and I casually strolled to the cooler
he opened the door and grabbed 2 cases, I grabbed another 2 cases and turned and nonchalantly approached the counter. The trick is once we both get
to the counter; we pause, then dash, making sure we are close to each other.
Jason was a little guy; I could tell that he struggled with that because he was always the first to throw a punch. He took absolute pleasure in
beating someone down; the kid was constantly in a fight with someone. He always had something to prove. He had an older brother that was pretty
successful, I don’t recall exactly what he did for a living but he was the pride of the family and I think that bothered the kid. Personally I
think that’s why he had a chip on his shoulder. The only person that could calm him down when he got pissed was Theresa, she did it with ease.
We paused, I think I may have even put one of the cases on the counter before I paused, but then we hit the door. As we ran out, 2 guys were getting
out of their car, noticed what was going on, and began to chase us around the side of the building. I reached the car first, threw my cases in the
back seat and dove in, Jason was right behind me. Keith jumped in, pulled the seat back as Jason reached the car. One of the guys had apparently
caught up to Jason because he had a hold of his shirt. Jason realizing this dropped the one case he couldn’t throw in and just began beating the
living snot out of this guy. As the other approached, Jeff threw the car in park and began beating the other one. I froze, I was absolutely frozen.
Keith and I looked at each other as if to say “now what?”, but before we could even decide what to do next, they both jump in the car and we sped
away laughing our asses off. Jason’s shirt was almost torn clean off; he finished the job and used it to soak up the blood from his eye. We pulled
up to the corner where we dropped Theresa off, she had both hands pushed deep into her pockets and when she noticed that it was us she did this little
bounce, I remember thinking how cute that was.