Screams echoed from inside the slanted shack. She felt frozen in place. It was like the shrieks were bouncing off the inside of her skull. Rosa finally made herself take a deep breath and felt her body start to thaw. She took a tentative step toward the broken window. She was sure she didn’t want to see what was inside, but found that now that she was moving she couldn’t stop. It was dark inside and the piteous cries became faint as she drew closer. The window looked as if someone had punched a hole through it. She touched the broken glass and an image of her father, angry at she knew not what, flashed. A memory from when she was a very small child – of him punching a window.
Suddenly someone inside ran past the window. It was a small figure. She heard the person running toward the back. Rosa ran around to the back door and saw that it was a little girl with dark hair. She was running away from the shack.
“Wait!” Where are you going?”
The little girl stopped and turned around. She was quite far away now and Rosa couldn’t make out what she was saying. She seemed to be motioning for Rosa to follow. Rosa moved toward the girl, but could not seem to get any closer. The girl laughed and then fell backwards and simply vanished. Rosa ran faster and nearly ran over the edge of a hole in the ground. Where the hell did that come from? She looked down into the blackness, and then looked up into the blue sky. A loud crash jolted her. The sky shook and then she woke up. She sat bolt upright trying to make out if the crash was in her dream or coming from upstairs.
The woman upstairs was screaming for her boyfriend to get out. Then a door slammed.
Rosa quickly got out of bed. She didn’t know what to do. A part of her wanted to help June, but another part of her felt like a helpless child. How could she help anyone when she was having a hard time helping herself heal from her own abusive past?
The meeting with her father had not gone well. She told herself she would keep her cool, but she didn’t. She let him push all her buttons and she left slamming the door before much could be said. Her mother came running after her, but Rosa just ignored her. They would never believe her side of the story and they would never forgive her. After Rosa spoke up, her family was never truly welcome at that church again. The endless abyss in her dream felt like her past and how she skirted around its edges, never wanting to delve into the pain.
Today she had planned to go to a women’s support group at the local shelter. Last night she talked herself out of it, but after hearing the craziness upstairs and then that strange dream, she thought maybe she would go after all. She would be sure to bring back some literature for June.