Early in the morning before the sun rose and while tucked away between the sheets, Amanda tossed and turned – fighting to break free of the terrible nightmare that held her captive for the fifth night in a row.

Startled, she jolted from beneath her 700 thread count sheets drenched in sweat and filled with anxiety. She restlessly grabbed her phone, turned the flashlight on, and shone it around the room, looking for a sign of an intruder.

The room was empty, and the traps she set were still in place. She grabbed the bottle of water on her nightstand, drank it in its entirety and consciously tried to slow her breathing down.

She turned the flashlight off, unlocked her phone and hit Cassandra’s number on her favorites list. After two rings, Cassandra picked up and groggily said, “You had the dream again?”

It had only been 2 weeks since Amanda walked into her home only to find two masked men – one unplugging her television, and the other grabbing her other valuables.

Startled to see Amanda, both men dropped her belongings, pulled their guns and quickly walked over to her. They immediately demanded her purse and her cellphone, and when she didn’t move fast enough, one of the masked men pistol-whipped her.

Amanda fell to the floor and screamed in agony. The masked man yelled, “Why are you screaming, do you want me to give you something to scream about?”, and proceeded to rip her blouse open, sending her buttons flying across the room. She begun to fight to get away from him while the other masked man continued to ravish through Amanda’s house looking for valuables.

Just then, Cassandra busted through the front door, fired a warning shot, aimed for the intruder attacking Amanda and released a single round, hitting the attacker in the buttocks, and just like something from The Matrix, spun and shot the other masked assailant in the back as he tried to flee. Both men ran through Amanda’s back door, escaping within inches of their lives.

Cassandra was a detective in the local precinct. The way she saw it, all three shots fired were warnings. She was known for being a sharp marksman, and only missed her targets on purpose. She believed that them dying would be too easy. She would find them and make them pay. But right now she was concerned with Amanda. She ran to comfort Amanda, who was now clutching her blouse and sobbing uncontrollably.

Through her tears, Amanda could see the grocery bags spilled outside her front door. Cassandra and Amanda had just headed back to Amanda’s house after leaving the grocery store. They were planning on cooking dinner and prepping for movie night with some of their childhood friends later that evening.

Even though the masked men were caught a few nights later, Amanda had been living in fear. She was paranoid about going home alone, and whenever she was inside, she would check every crevice of her home before arming her security system, and locking herself in her room.

Amanda started seeing a therapist to help her heal from her ordeal, and through it all, Cassandra had been by her side. Their childhood friendship was strengthened, and during what was one of the hardest moments in Amanda’s life, she realized that there was no bond more profound than the bond she had with her best friend.

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