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from When We Were Innocent by Shirley Holder Platt

Copyright © 2021 Shirley Holder Platt

Chapter 1
Night Terrors

Some days I wished my therapist insisted that I lie on a couch like they do in the movies. This was one of those days. My body ached, my head throbbed, and I longed to close my eyes and block out the world. Sarah (she insisted we communicate on a first name basis) sat across a round, coffee table from me, in an overstuffed armchair identical to mine. She scribbled in a notebook, causing my curiosity to rise. How I longed to reach across that table to grab that notebook. What was she writing? Was she making her grocery list, attempting to write the great American novel for this century? Or was she making notes about my appearance or lack of childhood memories? Maybe it was about my nightmare. That last one could be it. You see, the last time I sat in her comfy chair, she'd asked if I thought my insomnia was caused by something in my past, something I'd blocked out of my conscious mind.

I didn’t know. All I knew was that I couldn’t sleep. I wouldn’t allow myself to fall asleep for fear of the dreams. I was afraid that James, my sweet, forbearing, loving boyfriend, was losing patience. He’s the one who talked me into seeing Sarah. For weeks, I woke up screaming, covered in sweat, tearing at the covers, inconsolable. He rocked me, petted me, spoke loving words to me, and I would fall back to sleep in his arms only to awake screaming again before the night was through. I stopped trying to sleep. Refused to go to bed at night. I watch old movies until the wee hours of the morning. I&rsquo...

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