my palace at 2:51am

Denny Eugenio

my palace at 2:51 am


my mother would always tell me to keep my body safe from wandering hands,

for it was a palace only those who were worthy enough got to enter.

and as the years went by, I promise that I would.

but then, I didn’t.


2:42 am

I struggle to fall asleep as I lay on the thick, cotton comforter on the hardwood floor of one of the many rooms in this house. The blanket covering my body is fleece and wine-colored, way too hot for the scorching summer heat. The pillow that lays under my head is too flat, not giving my head any support or comfort at all.

I toss and turn, re-adjusting my head onto the pillow for what seems like the one-hundredth time. I quickly sit up, only to see my little sister’s body comfortably asleep on the futon that is next to me. Her body is sprawled across the futon, leaving me no room to sleep next to her. Everyone is asleep except for him and I. I then lay back down and look up at the ceiling, only able to see a few of the brush strokes and cracks of the paint. I hear the faint sound of his TV, but all I can listen to is the silence that fills the room. The silence seems to grow louder and louder as the faint sound of the TV suddenly comes to a stop. And then, all I can hear are his footsteps. The sound of his footsteps come to an abrupt stop, and they don’t resurface again.

2:46 am

I toss on the floor again, unable to find a comfortable position. As I am turning, I shrug off the fleece blanket due to the fact my body is slightly covered in sweat. I almost jump when I hear his footsteps, that I thought were gone, enter the room I am in. I quickly lay my head down, pretending to be asleep; praying that he thinks I am sound asleep.

I close my eyes, making everything, that used to be within my sight, vanish. His footsteps make their way toward my body, but then again, come to an abrupt stop. The sound of my heartbeat fills my ears: thump, thump, thump, thump. I pray that he will soon leave the room, but he doesn’t and instead, he lays down next to me. I wonder if my sister had woken up to the sound of him entering the room, but she didn’t because I can hear indistinct snores coming from the futon. My head fills with thoughts of confusion, trying to figure out why he is here in the first place. But then, all of my thoughts suddenly vanish as I hear the shuffling of his body. He continuously moves next to me until he finally finds a comfortable position and then, he stops. I carefully open my eyes, hoping not to make a single movement as I read the time, 2:46 am. I hope nothing will happen but as time ticked on, something eventually something did.

2:51 am

The clock read 2:51 am when his hand started to carefully roam around the barriers of my palace and suddenly, I am unable to move. His cold, slender hands started to explore within my palace without my consent. Although my eyes are closed, I can still feel the warm tears starting to form. I want to scream and kick him off of me but I can’t, I’m frozen. If I were to scream or to shove him off of me, worse things would be coming my way and that absolutely frightens me. So instead, I stay silent.

Pain is the only thing I feel as he decided to take a visit into my palace, taking a piece of it one by one. The warm tears that were in my closed eyes suddenly start to fall down my face. It feels like everything is moving in slow motion like the world wants me to feel every single thing. And then, everything suddenly came to a stop.

He finally took his hand out of what no longer felt like the palace I used to own, and started to quietly get up. I am absolutely praying he isn’t making his way to my sister to do the same thing to her that he did to me. But he didn’t and instead, he left the room. My eyes are wide open in fear and absolute shock. The sound of another door starts to creak, and I suddenly hear the faucet of a sink turn on and then turn off; he was washing his hands, washing the pieces of me off of his fingers. I can hear the ruffling of his hands coming in contact with the towel, eagerly drying them off. He turns off the light switch in the bathroom as he exits, and I hear him quickly making his way back into his own bedroom.


I finally start to silently sob. I grab the thick, fleece blanket that I had previously shrugged off before and tried to cover my body as much as possible. I quietly get up, trying not to wake my sister as my mouth started to quiver with the sounds of my cries trying to escape. I cover my mouth as I try a weak attempt to wrap my body in the blanket, for fear he would come back and try to take more pieces of me. I soundlessly collapse on the floor, everything hitting me all at once. My entire body starts to hurt as I realize what had just happened. There are an endless amount of tears and I can’t seem to stop them from coming. This entire thing is my fault. If I didn’t freeze up, this wouldn’t have happened.

I curse myself for letting him do this to me. I curse myself for not guarding the only palace I was given, to righteously own and to protect. I curse myself for letting my cowardice replace the words that could’ve saved me, with silence.

After fourteen years of defending my palace from any harm, it was no longer mine to own. Instead, it was his.

I broke the promise, not only to my mother but to myself that I would always protect my palace.

At 2:51 am I didn’t protect my palace but instead, I ruined it myself.