The desperation of the situation was at the breaking point. What had gone wrong? I could not recall anything from the last few days. How did this happen to me? There were brief flashes of myself and this woman. We were happy. We were laughing. We were showing affection for each other; now this. How could it have all gone away? I licked the corner of my mouth. I tasted salt from my sweat. I tasted iron from blood. Was it mine or was it hers? I did not know.
Happy memories flooded my brain. How could something so good end so badly? Something terrible had to have happened. Was it my fault? Did she do something? Goddamn! Why can't I remember? She is just sitting there; staring at me. The tears are running down her cheeks and onto her chest. She says nothing. I am scared to say anything because I don't know what's wrong. I don't know where the tailspin began or if it's even ended. Were we still in flight? Or had we crashed and burned? She was covered in bruises but they shifted all over her body. Her hands were behind her back as if tied. However, they were not. I had checked. She just sits and stares. What is she waiting for? Why doesn't she speak? Words of remorse dangle on the end of my tongue, but nothing comes out. Her mouth moves as if she is talking; no sound is emitted. Have I gone deaf? The silence does seem louder than ever before. My God what is happening?
Finally, she stands and walks towards a chest. She opens it and pulls out some photos. She spreads them on the table. I cautiously walk over. The pictures are of us. We were happy. She cries a little and I hear her sobs. I want to reach out and grab her shoulders and pull her into me. I dare not. She sits back down and puts her face in her hands. She cries harder. I want to cry. I don't remember how. I can feel fear and anxiety pushing my heart to beat faster. A cold sweat breaks out on my face and chest. I become nervous with anticipation of what might happen. My teeth grind against each other. I want to say so much but have no idea how to begin. The emotional scars bubble to her skin, turn black like a deep bruise, and vanish. The torture is unbearable. A voice in my head screams for her to speak. She only cries.
I want to go back to not remembering. I can't deal with the pain. Should I give in to the pain and beg for forgiveness? Is there any forgiveness left? She has come here to hear something...to see something. I had no vision of what that was. I felt like a wounded animal. I couldn't move or speak. I barely stood; sweating, bleeding, and waiting for another rush of adrenaline to surge through my veins. Christ, if this is a dream I want to wake up. I did not. Her crying face burned into my corneas, her sobs resonated like surround sound in my ears, and the scars I had caused cut and dug into my own skin like a dull, rusty blade. How much more could we take? Was some evil deity administering some cutting edge psychological battery? The voice in my head begged and pleaded with the unknown, for this to be over. I had reached the breaking point when I heard a creaking door. The woman also heard the creak. We both scanned the room intently. A small door in the corner opened. Rays of bright sunshine burst through the door. We ran to the door. The room seemed to stretch the faster we went. The door grew larger the closer we got. I could feel the warm sunshine on my body. The woman arrived first and stepped through. I could taste the freedom in my mouth as I waited for her to cross the threshold. She looked back at me and extended her hand. I finally cried and touched her fingertips. I slowly let her hand fall and I shut the door. I returned to the room and continued the test.