This story is by Olivia Moreno and was part of our 2021 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Suddenly, Jessica wakes up screaming for help but no one can hear her. She feels paralyzed. She can’t move her arms or lift her head. The cry for help sounds like a muffled moan and no one comes to her rescue. She breaks free from what felt like an eternity and sits up after waking her husband.
“Hunny, what is going on?” He said.
Jessica gripped her husband tightly. “I couldn’t move, I was calling for help but couldn’t speak”, she then placed her left hand to her chest to help calm her fast-beating heart. She looked at the clock which was blaring red at 4:00 am.
The sound of the alarm wakes Jessica and her husband at 7:00 am and they both get up to start their day.
“You know Joey I don’t want to go to the family Christmas party”, said Jessica.
“Hun, we talked about this, family is family”, said her husband.
“Yeah”, said Jessica under her breath.
“THE DEATH OF ME!!!! No, please no, help!!! I can’t breathe!!!” She screamed, but no one could hear this cry for help. She was caught in another sleep panic attack.
Jessica wakes up in a sweat. Oh gosh!! She looks to her side and sighs a breath of relief that she didn’t wake her husband again. She didn’t want him to worry.
Latin music blearing and the Christmas party that she had dreaded for so long had started.
The voice of Jessica echoes, “yes, if I continue with pursuing the boards and the radiology specialty, I can make $350,000 a year”, she said to her mom, in a way hopeful of her mother’s approval.
“Jessica, did you see how Brian was able to fix his house? Your brothers are so successful and not only successful, financially, as well. I am so proud of them!!!” Her mother said out loud proudly, winning over the competing music in the background.
“Agh, I can’t believe I let myself stoop so low again. I will never be worthy in her eyes!” She said to herself, as she tried to zone out her mother’s voice from infiltrating her 100 millionths broken heart.
“Okay, it will just be a couple of hours. You can do this Jessica”, she said to herself as she glared in the bathroom mirror admiring her lips and eyes with makeup.
The Christmas party felt just like the others. A bunch of people together who say they love each other; in reality, they aren’t really for each other.
You can hear the sound of male voices laughing and one standing out, making it known that he was highly successful. That was Brian. He already had the fame of being called King Brian because of his ways. He just kept talking and talking about himself as the others listened.
The party continued and Jessica always felt as though there was an elephant in the room. Her heart was feeling heavy but she continued to tolerate it.
She dreaded being around her own family. She always felt rejected and never could please any of them.
She sat on the patio alone and noticed her brother Brian walk in to smoke a cigarette.
She thought to herself, “How dreadful, he is here”. Suddenly she could feel the hair on her arms stand up. But she still pulled out the courage to speak to him.
“You know I think mom needs help”, She said to him.
“I’ve known this since I was twelve”, she thought to herself.
“I tried everything but nothing is helping. I think it would be good if she stays for some time at your house Brian until you know, I give birth, so I can have a break from the stress.” She said.
“What? I don’t think so. My home is not a vacation home”. He said.
“I know it is not. I just thought I could count on you helping me out with mom. You know her situation. It has gotten stressful to juggle since being pregnant. I just need a break.” She said.
“Did you kick your mom out of your house?” “She kicked mom out of her house!” These we’re the rumors Jessica would hear after speaking to her brother.
Seven years pass and the habitual get togethers’ and the strain from the constant rumors, have taken a toll on Jessica.
She finds herself making poor choices, seeing it infiltrating all areas of her life, even leading her to support subpar behavior as though normal.
She can’t treat herself well. She constantly feels she has to prove her worth. She can’t even look at herself in the mirror.
There is no boundary for respect with her extended family. She is constantly questioning what is it worth?
She feels so horrible around them and doesn’t understand why she keeps accepting being around them.
Jessica could feel the uncontrollable tears dripping down her face creating a blur towards seeing her new psychiatrist.
“You know Jessica, you have trauma”. Said her psychiatrist.
“What?” Jessica asked.
“Trauma”, said the psychiatrist.