Sometime during the evening, Adam woke to feel a cool rag on his forehead.
“Sssh… You were moaning from the fever.” Davie drew the rag across his shoulders and down his chest. “How are you feeling?”
“Sick.” He groaned. “What time is it?”
“Two o’clock. At least you managed to get some rest.” She dampened the rag in a small bowl she had next to the bed and held it behind his neck.
“Thank you for staying.” He caught her hand as she ran the rag down an arm. “Don’t leave…”
“Don’t worry. I’ll be here.”
Davie had fallen asleep while watching television in the living room after she had seen that he was resting. His thrashing sounds woke her and at first he seemed to fight against her touch when she felt his forehead. She had to admit that he had even scared her a little, his initial reaction to her presence had been violent and unexpected. It had only been after she tried to cool his forehead that his sleepy anger turned to moaning.
“I’ll bring you some aspirin.” She went to get the medicine from the bathroom.
After he swallowed the aspirin and another dose of cold medication, Adam lightly touched her hand again. “Davie…would you stay with me…please?”
“Don’t worry, I’m not leaving.”
“I mean here, next to me.” He gently patted the bed.
She hesitated a moment. “Okay.” After clearing away the bowl with cool water and returning the aspirin to the cabinet, Davie settled next to him. She sat with her back against the headboard and her legs stretched out on top of the bed covers.
Adam put his head in her lap, murmured a thank you and dozed off again. She ran her fingers through his hair thinking of the independent air he usually had and how vulnerable he seemed now when he wasn’t feeling well. He put an arm around her as if to make sure she didn’t go anywhere. Davie could feel the heat from his fever and worried because, even though she hadn’t taken it with a thermometer, she knew his fever was much higher than an adult’s should be.
Although she hadn’t meant to spend the night, she was glad to be there for him. In the morning she’d go home to pack her overnight bag for the short trip home. If Adam still were so feverish, she’d convince him to call his doctor first and maybe get some antibiotics. She had to get home to her dad.
Sometime just before daylight, Davie dozed off while Adam held on to her. She woke suddenly, alarmed to find him lying on top of her, his hands working at the waistband of her jeans.
He was having that repeated nightmare again and he felt trapped. Escape was impossible, just as it had always been.
“Adam?” She tried to push him off. “Adam? Adam, wake up.”
Although his eyes were open, she could tell he wasn’t really awake. His skin felt even hotter than before. He managed to unsnap her jeans and was pulling at her clothes.
“Adam, stop!” She squirmed under him. He used his free arm to hold her down. “Adam, let me go…Adam! Adam!”
Davie tried to pull her knee up when Adam clasped one hand over her mouth and pushed the other one under her panties. Tears welled in her eyes.
She shook her head furiously and tried to uncover her mouth. He grabbed at her, hurting her at the same time. She bit his hand and he stopped fighting her suddenly. With one huge shove, Davie managed to push him off of her. She fell unceremoniously onto the floor.
Adam looked startled. He realized in seconds that he was in his own bedroom and he had been fighting with Davie, not the monsters in his memory. It had been a long time since he had dreamt with such violence.
Within moments, a look of horror grew on his face. “Oh my God, Davie…I’m sorry.” He stood remembering to take the bed sheet with him. He reached for her and she instinctively recoiled. “Davie, I would never hurt you…I would never want to hurt you.”
Davie scurried backwards, away from him, and finally stood. “Are…are you awake now?” She sounded terrified of him.
He looked at the open waistband of her jeans and then at her terrified eyes. “What did I do to you?” The room started spinning and he sat heavily on the bed. “What…Did I hurt you, Davie?” His dreams had transported him to another place, another time. He was someone else in his dreams. Adam had no idea how far that someone else had gone and that terrified him.
“Who are you?!” Her voice sounded calmer.
“I’m sorry Davie…”
“Tell me your name.” She tried to sound stern.
“Adam Sherman. Why?”
“What day of the week is this?”
He had to think about that. “Uh, Tuesday, I think.”
“What’s my name?” Davie pulled her jeans closed.
“Davie Prescott.” Adam tried to take a deep breath; it hurt. The fear in her eyes hurt.”I’m awake, Davie. God Davie, I’m so sorry. Please…are you okay?”
“Yes.” She relaxed her posture a little bit. “Are you okay now?”
He could see the unshed tears and hated himself. It angered him. It frightened him. Davie stepped closer to him and touched his forehead. He flinched.
“You’re burning up.”
She was so innocent and trusting. “Get out of here, Davie.”
“What?” She couldn’t believe what she had just heard.
“I said get out of here. You’re not safe…” He realized he was too sick to be in control.
“Adam, you were delirious from your fever.”
“Get away from me. Leave.” He tried to stand, but his knees were too weak. “I don’t want you here.”
“Adam,” she tried to get closer, “I’m not scared of you. You’re sick with a fever.”
“Get out!” He raised his voice and found that his throat hurt from the effort. “I didn’t ask you to be here.”
“Leave…me…alone!” His chest heaved and he suffered a spasm of coughs.
“Adam?” A tear embarrassed her and rolled down her cheek.
“I almost raped you, Davie.” He couldn’t hurt her like that. “Get the hell out of here, now!”
“But you didn’t mea…”
“Leave, Davie. Please.” He had to get her away from him before he did her any more harm. “Davie, I don’t plan to help you lose your virginity, especially not like that. Get the hell out of here, now.” He had to make her leave, he was too scared not to. He forced his next words out. “Get out before I finish what I started.”
She stared at him in silence and tried to tell herself he didn’t mean what he said. But he was awake, he was aware of what he was threatening. Another tear escaped, she couldn’t argue anymore.
“Get out.” He sounded defeated.
She sounded choked up. “Get help. Call your doctor.” The tears ran down her cheeks.
Adam stared at her in stony silence.
Davie picked up her books and shoes on her way out.
Adam barely heard the door close before he stumbled to the bathroom to heave. He sat on the cold tile floor, naked, and felt the coolness against his skin. It wasn’t long before he realized that even the tile had picked up the heat from his body and began to feel warm. He had hurt her. Davie was the best thing that ever came into his life…and he hurt her. Then he had thrown her out and hurt her even more.
There was no way he could ever undo what he had done. He hated himself. Adam couldn’t excuse himself for attacking her. He called himself a monster among other things. An apology wasn’t enough, but he didn’t know what else to do. He was glad she had finally left, but he wanted her there to see that he really wasn’t so hateful. He tried to stand and had to lean against the wall as he worked his way back to his bedroom.
Adam had never felt so sick before He had to speak to Davie. He had to let her know he never wanted to hurt her. He struggled to get dressed and nearly gave up when he couldn’t button his shirt. After he found her and apologized again, he was going to see his doctor. He felt sick.
Adam struggled to get to his front door and the exertion made him breathless. He wondered if the pain he felt in his chest was even worth the effort to breathe. Adam pulled the door closed behind him and only made it a few steps away from his door when he felt himself falling forward. He remembered thinking how far away the floor was when darkness surrounded him.