Jack Attack

She seems emotionless as she talks to the cops. Her eyes, set dead, straight ahead in the dark. She wants to get this over with, for both of them to leave. The cops are confused, even worried, maybe even concerned by her. She shows no emotion under the mask, making them think, “shouldn’t she be screaming, crying, or at least frowning?” But she isn’t; she even looks happy somehow. She has a young, sweet-looking face from what they can see under the mask, her brown, honey eyes peeking through. She says, thank you, Mr. officer as he says, “rest assured, he is gone, get some sleep, the best of luck to you.”

Somehow, she can sleep by closing her eyes in the dark, alone with no one next to her. She knows if she does not receive sleep, she will become weak, maybe even sick. She wakes in the morning to banging on the door. Her startled roommate cannot enter the house due to the lock that has been latched, not on accident. She apologizes profusely to the roommate as she rides on her Peloton exercise bike. The roommate then sighs as she wipes the greasy coffee table and says, “It’s fine, enough with the tinder. You should look up some jobs instead.” The roommate leaves, and she is alone again, half past 11:00 am.

She sees a man outside her window peek in at her. Ha, not again, she thinks, peeping jack, is here, again. Jack throws sticks and rocks at her window while calling her name. She thinks to herself, “Is this even real life, or this paranoia again?” He starts to play music like the movies with the boombox, and she starts to shake. He then yells, “Amanda; I have a juice for you!” This situation has happened before; she goes through the mental checklist, trying her best to remain calm. She ensures every window is closed, each door shut tight and no door unlocked. She calls the cops again, for the second time in less than 12 hours.

They reassure her he is gone, for the last time. The promise feels empty, and she despises those who lie about her safety. Because Jack is still not gone, despite the midnight and midmorning breaks in and boujee bottled juice, he is still texting her, leaving her gifts. The property owners now threaten her with a noise complaint from him banging the doors and the boombox. She says to them I am doing my best; I walked to the courthouse to get that restraining order this morning.

Hopefully, this is the last occurrence; she thinks as it hopefully comes to an end. She wants to sleep, sing, write, and be her own person. What does that feel even feel like? Not alone, for long, not long enough, not ever.


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