Not a very exciting day, really…but a weird one.

It started when I woke up this morning. I screamed, apparently…my mother, in the next room, came running to see what happened. “What’s wrong?” she asked.

I looked at her blankly. “I…why are you up?”

She explained to me that I had screamed…I looked at her, shrugged. “Bad dream, I guess?” But on my arm, my left arm, where the skin is pale and soft, something had scratched me, once, the single red line jarring somehow. What had I scratched myself on? Maybe I did it, in my sleep?

The day has been surreal every since. I dropped files…I don’t know why, I was standing in the office one moment, the next I was looking at scattered papers on the floor. Outlook told me that I had a meeting in ten minutes, I nodded, hit snooze by accident, then turned to prepare…and when I looked back, Outlook told me that I was ten minutes overdue. Ten. How did I lose ten minutes turning around to get my purse?
But it’s the hash marks…or tally marks? That throw me. The blossom on my arms like a garden of madness. Lines in groups of five, made with sharpies, highlighters, blue pens, red pens, black. It’s as if I grabbed whatever was at hand and marked my skin.

It’s weird, and every time I see another one, I get a little more frightned. I feel like someone is standing right behind my shoulder, staring at everything I do. Even now, as I type this, about my day, I feel like I’m being watched. My shoulders go back, as if invisible fingers are on my spine.

But I know it’s not. There is no monster in the shadow behind my shoulder.

No one is staring at me, quiet, patient, and hateful.

A red pen is in my hand, and I don’t know why. But there are three marks across my knuckles now.

It must be something important, it must mean something?

But it is the end of the semester, and you know, trying to get everything tied up before graduation can be very stressful. It’s probably just that, some manifestation of some inner need.

Just through my door, I can see a student, raising her hands to her face, marks all across her hands. She’s crying, and she’s frightened, and I know I should get up and see what she’s staring at, but something weighs me down into my chair, the weight of my own fear is too strong.
And then ohgodi cansee.mmust truy hitsendnwithoutloo kin the silence is here

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