Gasping for air and for something to hang on to. All around her darkness and the evil was so thick she could almost taste it. "Where am I," she thought to herself. "I don't remember how I got here." She was panicking and she just knew something bad was going to happen. Someone was after her, maybe to kill her or worse. Maybe she would be stuck here forever in this dark abyss of evil stench. She tried to calm her breathing to focus on something solid. She searched with her hands but could feel nothing. "Help!" she yelled. "Would someone hear here, would they even find her if they did?" With a gasp she opened her eyes and found herself thrashing around in her bed. She froze. "Am I home?" "Was that a dream or was it real?"
Luna looked over at her husband and he was sleeping peacefully. She didn't want to wake him so instead she got up hoping he wouldn't hear here and went into the kitchen. With a glass of water in her trembling hands she sat on the chair hoping this would pass quickly. This wasn't the first time she had these dreams and these panicky feelings upon waking up. She just didn't know what to do about it. She prayed and waited for answers. But maybe she couldn't hear God anymore or maybe she was beyond His help. She knew in her mind He would always be there but maybe this was a battle she had to fight on her own. She had read and heard so many testimonies of people who had gone through terrible things and illnesses and were healed. They were set free from whatever was terrorizing them. Why was she pulled back into this darkness over and over again. Was she just a bad person? Was she fighting God and not realizing it.
Luna always felt guilt and shame for as long as she could remember. As a child she was afraid of just about everything. She didn't want to play the games the other children were paying for fear of embarrassing herself. She wanted to be strong so nothing would hurt her. She wasn't sure how to do that but she sure was going to try. "Did I hear it somewhere or did I make it all up in my head?" Luna asked herself. "Being strong meant no emotion. Absolutely NO crying! Absolutely NO angry outbursts! Just be nice." Luna began to associate being nice with pleasing everyone. Keeping others from getting mad. Just saying, "yes," to what ever was asked of her. At first it seemed okay. Then when she wanted and sometimes needed to speak up for herself she couldn't. This need for people pleasing had her by the throat. It began chocking the life out of before she even stepped foot into junior high school.
It was 3:30 am and she didn't want to go back to sleep. She didn't want to have that dream again. "I better make some coffee and get comfy on the couch to read another book." Luna hoped she wouldn't wake Jon up. She tried concentrating on the book in front of her but she couldn't stop thinking about that disturbing dream. She wondered, "Am I drowning myself in worry, stress and the need to be "nice?" Something told her this was definitely part of her problem. She pulled out her journal and wrote out a prayer, this always made her feel better. Before she even drank her first cup of coffee or even finish writing she fell asleep on the couch.
Something was tickling her face. She tried swatting it away but it just kept coming back. She opened her eyes and laughed. He cat's face was right in hers. He was purring and tickling Luna with his long whiskers. Jon was standing at the other end of the couch with a guilty smile on his face. "What is that all about?" Luna asked him. "Oh, nothing. You just looked so comfy there on the couch and Salem was content tickling your face. I couldn't deprive him of that." Jon said with a laugh. Luna laughed along with him It was so good to laugh.
"Are you ready?" Jon asked her. "For what?" Luna asked as if she didn't already know. "Our amazing bike ride!" Jon said as he smiled. "Oh, yeah." Luna said reluctantly. "Don't think about all the bad things that could happen. Just think about all your photo opportunities. Besides how can you resist going with me." Jon said with a wink. He was right about that. Even after all these years their love had only gotten stronger. Most days Luna couldn't believe that so much time had passed. It seemed like only yesterday that they met and three months later they were married. People thought they were crazy. Here they were seventeen years later and still even more in love as they were that first day.
"Okay. I am ready." Luna said as she walked out the front door. Jon shook his head and smiled. She was carrying her "small" backpack and no doubt it was filled with books, pens, her camera and who knows what else. "Did you pack water in there too?" He asked knowing full well she probably didn't. "Oh! No, I forgot." Luna said as she blushed. She knew he thought she was crazy to take her backpack will all her essentials as she called them. She ran inside and grabbed their waters. "Do you want me to pack a lunch too?" Luna shouted so Jon would hear her from outside. "Sure, if you want to." he answered. Luna search for her lunch bag and made a couple of sandwiches. Threw in a couple of apples, a bag of chips and their waters. Now she was ready. At least she hoped she was ready for this.
"We are going to take our time and take breaks. Don't keep going just because you think I don't want to stop," Jon told her. "If you need to stop please say something." "Okay," Luna said. Even though she probably wouldn't say anything. Jon already knew that and he had stops planned out in spots where she could take photos and they could rest in the shade. All packed and on their bikes they headed out to the river.
"This is great," Luna told Jon at their first stop as they sat underneath and apple tree that hung over from someones property. "I didn't think I would make it this far."Jon was just as excited as Luna was. He knew if he could just get her to come out one time on a bike ride she would love it and want to do it again. He knew that she panicked when she was away from home but he also knew that she was usually okay when he was with her. He wanted to help her overcome her fears. He saw in here all those things she wanted for herself. He knew she could accomplish her dreams, she just needed a little push. He just had to be careful not to push to hard because she would resist him then. He wanted her to want it for herself and to believe she was able to do it. Whatever "it" was for her. She was finally letting him into her world of secrets. It was hard for him to take it all in at first. He wanted to fix it for her immediately and hurt those who had hurt her. He also knew that would never work it would just make things harder. So he waited for her to ask for help. He waited a long time but he knew when she was ready it would all be worth it. For both of them. As he helped her heal she would do the same for him.
They were off again to their picnic spot by the river. They made with only a few rest stops for Luna. "My legs are jelly," she said as she tried to get off her bike. "I have no clue how I will make it home." "Don't worry, we will rest her as long as you need to. We have nowhere else to be but here together." Jon reassured her. She smiled and hugged him. "I sure am a lucky lady to have you in my corner. I have no clue where I would be without you." Luna told Jon. "Well you know I am one lucky man to have you in mine!" He hugged her again and whispered, "I will never let you go."
Author's Note: Tune in next time for more. I hope you are enjoying this story. I have always wanted to write a book and this is my practice. Have a great day!