It had been 8 months since the attack; Audrey was still too shook up and jittery. The Red Cross had offered trauma counseling only for the first few months but she had nowhere to go. She had been waking up drenched in her own sweat and had been grinding her teeth so much, she would need dentures soon. She had also taken to nail biting and couldn’t stand the sight or smell of smoke.

Any time she heard a crash or break she would duck violently behind a person and begin to shudder. Audrey took a leave of absence from work and wasn’t able to go back months later. Audrey had cut people out and not even her family was unable to get through to her. Audrey felt as if she would go mad, she was paranoid and anyone who she spoke to, when she went to the shops to buy something, she had this idea that they would harm her.

Audrey was now used the caretaker of her apartment block as the messenger designate. He did her weekly shopping and bought her dinner. Audrey was a prisoner in her home. It was November, Audrey last set foot out of her house at the end of September, she slept most days and in the evenings she took to watching movies. She felt safer in the silence of the night, there was nothing stirring. Everything was calm, no unnecessary motion and she was less likely to see any harm come her way.

But that changed in mid November when her family woke her up on a Sunday evening to shake her back to her senses. They banged the door. After close to 15 minutes of knocking and ringing the doorbell, Audrey was startled by the sound and arose from her slumber and wet the bed in the process.

“Audrey its Mama! Open the door. You need help; we are here to get you.”

“To take care of you, Audrey come on, open up” her sister Betty called out.

Audrey walked to the door wrapped in her robe and yelled “Go away! It is not safe. I need to stay in here.”

“Audrey” a stern deep voice called out. Audrey froze and began to pee on herself, she had heard it before, but she couldn’t figure out how. Audrey’s mum had her apartment’s spare key, she had hesitated to let herself in out of sheer respect of Audrey’s privacy, but it had now gone too far.

Audrey heard the key turn and as the handle pushed down to open the door, she fell to the ground and blacked out.


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