She was startled awake and found herself sitting upright in what she assumed to be a bed. There was no light around her, so she couldn't see anything. With a jolt, Louise remembered everything that had happened before. 'But then, shouldn't I be dead?', she thought. The realization that it had all just been a dream slowly seeped in. Everything had been a dream, it had all happened inside her own mind, made up by her imagination. Louise whispered: 'It seemed so real…' She let herself fall back onto the bed, into what felt like fluffy pillows. She finally recognized where she was. Thìs was her house, her bed. The life she had dreamt of was mere imagination, and now she had to start living her own life again.
Confused and feeling slightly sad, Louise got up and walked over to where she remembered the window to be. Pushing the curtains aside, she took in the familiar view. It was early morning, the sky slowly becoming lighter as the sun approached the horizon. The small town, the flickering light in the corner shop, with the only proof of anyone else living there being the one man who was slowly heading to his job. The confusion was washed away and replaced by a different feeling. She was alone again. Her best friend had been the woman in her dream, Thelma. Maybe she still was, even though Thelma only existed in her imagination. A tear escaped her eye.
For an instance Louise thought she could feel someone, or something else, with her in the room. It gave her strength, and Louise whipped the tear away. 'I can be strong. I have to be strong!', she spoke to herself. Her dream had shown her what she was capable of. She wanted to be the woman she had envisioned herself to be. 'What's stopping me?', she said firmly to herself, 'I can be that woman, and no one can hold me back!'
Louise walked to the other side of the room and flicked the light switch. She took a moment to let her eyes adjust to the light and to take in the familiar room. Then she walked to her closet and picked up one of her skirts. With a look of disgust, she threw it to the side and began looking for the clothes she thought were most comfortable, not caring about what they looked like. She put her jeans, t-shirt, shoes and jacket on, and had almost closed the door to her closet when a small box in the corner caught her eye. She doubted for a moment, but then hid the content of the box in the small purse in which she kept her wallet. She gave the room one last sweeping look, walked out of her room and closed the door behind her.
As she walked out of her house, a realization hit her. She had no car. 'I'll have to get one then.' The lone man who had been walking there seemed surprised to see her. Now that he was closer to her, she recognized him as being one of the guys working for the only car dealer in town. She had been there, to admire the 1966 Thunderbird convertible they were selling. At once, she decided that thàt was to be her new car.
'Excuse me sir, but I have a question for you.', she shouted after him, for he had already walked past her. Turning round, he said: 'Yes, what do you need?' She walked up to him, and said: 'I want to buy that car you were selling, that 1966 Thunderbird convertible. And I want to buy it now.' 'Isn't it a little early to buy a car, madam?' 'No, I need it now.' Looking confused, but pleased, he said: 'Of course, of course dear lady, I will arrange it for you. Of course we will have to decide on the price…'
A little while later, she started the engine to her new Thunderbird, and turned into the road. She knew exactly where she would go. 'I can't keep avoiding this. I have to confront my fears, instead of trying to hide from them.' And so she hit the freeway.
Sitting in her car, which was parked a few yards from the side of the highway, Louise was sipping the water she had bought from the last gas station she had passed. She looked at the road sign which clearly stated that she was about to enter Texas. Willing herself to be the as strong as she intended to be, she reignited the engine, stomped the gas pedal and crossed the Stateline.
As she came closer to the town of her nightmares, she began to feel more confident. 'He hurt me… He will finally pay for that...', she whispered to herself. When the town came into sight, night was falling around her, and she saw the lights of the town starting to twinkle, one by one. It might have been a beautiful sight, if she had not been preoccupied with her thoughts of vengeance.
Slowly, she drove up to the house and parked the car in front of it. The curtains were shut and it looked as though there was no one there. However, Louise knew better than that. She knew he'd be sitting in the living room, watching TV and drinking beer, eating chips and leaving the bags on the floor, never cleaning. She stared at the seemingly empty house for a few more minutes before she took a deep breath and got out of the car, taking her purse.
She walked to the door and rang the doorbell. As she stepped back, she took the box out of her purse, and out of that she took a small handgun, which had once belonged to her mother. Aiming carefully, she watched as the light behind the glass lit and someone walked to the door. When the door was open and she could clearly see it was him, rage seeped through her with immense force. She aimed for his forehead and put her finger on the trigger.
Then the realization hit her. She had done this before, and it had not brought her satisfaction. She had shot the man who had tried to rape Thelma. Was this worth giving up the freedom she had just gained?
Slowly she lowered the weapon. The man was frozen on his doorstep, his eyes wide and his face pale as a sheet. As she lowered it, his knees buckled and he fell to the ground. She walked up to him and put her nail under the edge of his chin, lifting his face up so she could look him in the eyes. His lips formed the words: 'I'm sorry…' In a flash of rage she hit him in his face, with all the force she had.
There he lay, at her feet, crying. How could she have ever feared this man? He was nothing. Nothing.
She walked back to her car, got in, started the engine and drove away to the motel on the other side of town.
When Louise walked into the restaurant to have breakfast the next morning, the room was buzzing with voices. The night before, one of the guys in town had turned himself in and confessed to rape. He was put in prison until he could be sentenced.