"Brodi! Honey, wake up. You're OK!"
The last thing Elise remembered was Brodi carrying her to bed. Next thing she knew she was awakened by the man thrashing beside her as she heard his gut wrenching cries of "no more!"
She got out of bed quickly and turned on the lights, knowing that she needed to stand back to wake him. Some of his nightmares she could wake him easily with a gentle shake, but she could tell by the ferocity of this one that he might attack her if she couldn't get him clear headed enough quickly enough.
"Brodi," she called again. "Wake up! You're safe. Come on, wake up, honey."
He sat up suddenly, and sure enough, he rolled off the bed and crouched as if he were going to attack her. He looked around him, seeming to be awake, but she knew he wasn't quite coherent yet. At that moment she heard a knock on the door.
"We're OK!" She called out without taking her eyes off Brodi. Then, "Brodi. You're dreaming. I need you to wake up, sweetheart. You're safe." She took a tentative step towards him, then stopped to gauge his reaction. He looked up at her and she thought she saw recognition in his expression, but he didn't move.
She breathed a sigh of relief as he spoke, nodding to him as she crossed the bedroom towards him. Finally fully awake and coherent, he slumped against the side of the bed in despair.
"Shhh. You're all right." She soothed as she knelt down in front of him. "It was just a dream. It's over."
"It never seems to be over. Elise, I'm losing my mind. This has to stop. I can't keep this up. I can't"
"I know, sweetie." She said, reaching out to touch his cheek. "I know."
Brodi looked at her helplessly. Elise said nothing else, simply holding both hands out to him, waiting for him to take her hands so she could help him stand and return to the bed.
"Feeling any better?"
He nodded but said nothing.
"OK. I'm going to go get you some water. Do you need anything else?"
He shook his head, again saying nothing. She leaned forward and kissed him, then excused herself. "I'll be right back." There was nothing but silence, so she slipped out of the room to get his water. She'd been with him long enough that she knew when to push him to talk and when to just be with him. This wasn't a time to push him.