Beaten but NOT defeated

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Chapter 5

The next week passed in a blur. Although I was physically in the room, my mind was elsewhere constantly. All I could think about was Caleb, seeing him fall to the ground played itself over in my mind. Nothing else mattered anymore, I felt numb. I wondered if he was dead and why no one has come knocking on Josh’s door to arrest him yet. I kept my phone close in the hope that Caleb will let me know something, but he was silent. I have heard nothing. I decided to give Chloe a call and ask her if Steve may know where Caleb was but that stirred up too many questions like; ‘Why do you want to know? What do you want with him? You know he is trouble, why are you trying to find him’? It felt like I was under siege and didn’t know how to answer her without giving away what happened. I was too afraid that Josh would explode on me again so I thought it best to just leave it there.

I asked Chloe not to tell Josh I was asking after Caleb, but knowing her, she would let him know the moment I put the phone down. ‘Why do I keep doing this to myself’ I thought. I keep running to Chloe with everything, but it doesn’t look like she is a loyal friend to me. Everything I tell her, she tells Josh. But why? I couldn’t figure out why my best friend was so hung up on Josh. Josh gave me a call, moments after I spoke to Chloe and I knew exactly what it was about. I rolled my eyes and answered the phone. ‘Why the hell are you looking for Caleb and why are you involving Chloe? You’d better drop it and forget that scum ever existed or you will be next’! He shouted at me and threw the phone down in my ear. Given as I was expecting the call I was more upset with Chloe than I was with Josh at the moment. I’d had enough and decided it was time Chloe and I had it out. I gave her a call and asked if we could meet somewhere and she agreed to meet me at a pub in thirty minutes. I was fuming when I left the house as I felt betrayed by my best friend who had absolutely no reason to stab me in the back like this. She was all I had in this cruel world and now she was suddenly turning me over for the lions to devour me! I couldn’t understand her sudden change in attitude towards me.

I got to the pub a few minutes early and waited for Chloe at the bar. My face looked better and I was able to cover up the remaining bruises with heavy makeup. I felt nervous and angry waiting for her to show. I wanted answers and she couldn’t come fast enough. Chloe finally arrived about ten minutes later and she looked uneasy walking in, as though something had spooked her. Immediately I felt protective of her and wondered who upset her so much, but decided I wasn’t here to pity her, I was here for answers. She walked over to me and I tried acting as normal as possible but I found it difficult. She took a seat and ordered a drink. I turned to her and greeted her seems how she had neglected to greet me. ‘Look, before you say anything, I can explain’ she said. ‘I don’t want to hear excuses Chloe! You are supposed to be my best and closest friend. You know me better than anyone and I thought I could trust you’. I said. ‘I’ she started saying but I cut her off. ‘No you’ll have your chance’ I said. ‘Why do you keep running to Josh with everything I tell you? It’s like you want us to fight or something’! I half yelled. ‘I feel so betrayed’! Chloe looked shocked and relieved at the same time, which puzzled me. ‘Oh, that’ she said. ‘Look, I’m just concerned about you. I don’t want you doing anything that you’ll regret’. I frowned at her feeling as though there was more to the story. ‘Why are you looking for Caleb’? She asked. ‘Like I’m going to tell you after you ran to Josh the last few times I told you something or something happened’ I said. She put her hand on my arm and said ‘I know I screwed up but I promise I won’t tell him anything you tell me ever again. Pinky swear’. She looked so sincere and like the person I came to trust so long ago. She held her pinky in the air for me to hook mine in hers. This was our way of sealing a promise and we never broke what was promised in this way. I smiled at her and hooked my finger in hers. She gave me a hug and said ‘Now tell me what’s going on. I can see you are not yourself lately. I am worried about you’. I frowned at her feeling very unsure and she said ‘I promise on my life, I will never betray you again, ever’!

She made me feel at ease in that moment and it felt like I could open up to her about everything. I was so tired of covering up for Josh and his behavior. Someone had to know the truth. ‘You can tell me’ she reassured me. ‘Ok, but if you tell anyone, I will kill you’! I said. I felt so unsure of where to begin so I decided to start with Caleb. ‘Do you or Steve know where Caleb is? I haven’t heard anything from him this week’. ‘Wait, you have contact with him’? She asked. ‘Yes, he messages me sometimes’. Chloe had an unreadable look on her face but I ignored it. ‘So do you know, or can you ask Steve for me’? ‘Steve and I broke up’ she said. Well that explained the look, I thought to myself. ‘Oh honey, I’m so sorry’ I said feeling genuinely sad for her. ‘Are you ok’? I asked. ‘Yes I’m fine. I haven’t seen him or Caleb since we broke up last week’ she said. I looked more worried than I wanted to show and Chloe caught on to it. ‘What’s going on’? She asked. ‘Ok, just remember whose side you are on’ I said and continued’. ‘I was over at Caleb’s place when Josh came to find me, but Josh was so upset that he broke the door down and shot Caleb’ I said with tears in my eyes.

‘What’! She exclaimed. I jumped in my seat with her response and told her to keep it down. ‘Josh shot Caleb over you’? She said looking disgusted. ‘What were you doing at his place’? She asked. I took a deep breath and said ‘Well, Josh threw a party and his friend got drunk and tried to rape me. I fought back and he hit me in the face with a fist. I felt scared and left the house and that’s when Caleb found me and took me in’. She looked utterly shocked. Or was she going to throw up? I wasn’t quite sure how to place her emotion at that moment. She just sat there staring at me with wide eyes which made me feel very uncomfortable. ‘I don’t know how to respond’ she said. I felt dumb and relieved for telling her and said ‘Do you know where Caleb lives? I need to go there and see if he is ok’. Chloe was still staring at me and softly said. ‘Are you ok’? ‘Yes I’m fine’ I said. I need to find Caleb and see if he is still alive. It looked like someone slapped Chloe as her whole demeanor changed. ‘Wait, ok, so Josh shot Caleb right? And you didn’t see if he is dead or not and you went to his place but you don’t know where he stays? His friend hit you and you ran away while Josh was at the house the whole time. Am I correct’? She asked. I felt put on the spot and just said ‘Um yes’. She frowned at me and it looked as though she was thinking very hard. ‘Why would Josh do something like that’ she asked. ‘Well, we don’t have a very good history and so far he has been a very violent husband. He doesn’t want anyone finding out what he does to me. I guess Caleb just got in the way’ I said. ‘I don’t believe this’ she said in a high pitched voice. ‘What’? I asked. ‘Everything’ she said and then she continued. ‘Are you sure you saw what you said? Didn’t you perhaps see wrong? Josh is a very kind and gentle man who loves you dearly. I really can’t see him being violent to anyone’ she said. I felt shocked and my legs felt weak. It felt like I could throw up just there. Why would she not believe me? She is my best friend. I just poured out my heart to her and she didn’t believe me?

I felt puzzled and before I could say anything else she abruptly stood up and said ‘I have to go’ and left. I was left looking at her receding figure feeling absolutely confused. ‘Is she upset with me or with what I told her’ I thought to myself. I finished my drink and decided to take a drive. I was going to look for Caleb myself. I drove around aimlessly looking for anything that looked familiar to me but came up empty handed as I was not conscious on the way to his house. Just when I was ready to give up my phone rang with an unknown number. I grabbed my phone and answered hoping it was Caleb but it was Steve. I felt so relieved I could cry. ‘I can’t talk long’ he said. ‘Caleb was shot and he is in pretty bad shape. I don’t know if he is going to make it. I know your husband had something to do with it but I can’t prove anything yet. I will contact you again, I have to go’ and he hung up the phone. I forgot to ask Steve anything as my head went blank. ’Caleb is not doing well and it’s all my fault. I stopped the car next to the road and just sat there, unable to move. I couldn’t muster up the will to drive home and face Josh at that moment but I didn’t have anywhere else to go. I hoped Chloe would keep her word and that Josh didn’t find out about our conversation. I suddenly found it so difficult believing my best friend.

After about an hour of just sitting there I finally managed to make my body do what I wanted and drove home. Josh was home early which made my skin crawl. I wished I could kill him for what he had done. Just for everything! But I wasn’t nearly strong enough to take him on either physically or emotionally. I walked into the house to find Josh in an upbeat mood. ‘Ola’ he greeted me when I walked in. I felt sick to my stomach looking at him and said ‘hi’ back. ‘Where you been’? He asked. I felt afraid that Chloe had said something and was very cautious when I answered him. Better I tell him the truth of where I was before she does. ‘At the pub with Chloe’ I said softly. ‘Oh’ he replied not looking bothered. I felt obligated to start explaining myself to him but he just waved me off and said he doesn’t care. I felt like I got away with something and relief flooded me. I took a seat on the couch and turned on the TV and started flipping through the channels. Josh was in a strange mood and I knew something was going on but I was too afraid to ask him and just waited for the bomb to drop.

I sat biting my nails for about twenty minutes with thoughts of how much I hated Josh and how desperately I needed to find Caleb running. I had thoughts of how I was going to kill Josh and how I would rather go to jail than spend my life with him. I was lost in my train of thought when I heard a knock at the door. I got up to open it before Josh had the chance to do it and I was in trouble again. I found Mindy at the door and to no surprise at all she pushed past me as if I didn’t exist. She had a bag in her hand that she was carrying like it was a Prada bag and she had a dog in it. I snorted at her with the thought of how annoying she would have been if she was rich as she sure was snobby enough to fit the role. She went straight up to Josh and threw her arms around him and asked him ‘Do I really have to do this’ and pouted her lips at him. ‘Yes’ he said sternly as if she was his child. Her confidence she walked in with faltered and she had a look of fear in her eyes when she flashed a look my way. Maybe she had met the real Josh or maybe he was asking her to do something horrible for him but something was definitely going on and Mindy was definitely afraid of something.

I felt confused at what was going on but I hardly concerned myself as she made her bed so she must lay in it. I shook my head and went outside for a smoke. I tried to push the thought of Caleb aside for a moment so I could catch my breath but I had no success. It felt like my head was being slammed against a wall of memories and then I felt a knot in my stomach again, like I was falling off of a building knowing that I was going to hit the ground at any moment. To my utter surprise Mindy came out to me and handed me a drink. I frowned at her and accepted it from her. Then she asked me if she could bum a cigarette off me and I knew without a doubt that something was wrong. Between everything that wasn’t right, this was something big. Why else would Mindy talk to me like I was a human being. She looked pale, like she was feeling sick. I gave her a cigarette and a lighter.
She started coughing uncontrollably when she lit the cigarette and it looked like she was asphyxiating. She was waving it in the air like it was a flag and I burst out laughing tapping her on the back as she was standing bent over. She finally caught her breath and stood up straight, looking at me with big doe eyes and for some reason I felt sorry for her. ‘Thanks for wasting a perfectly good smoke’ I said. Narrowing my eyes at her I asked with much suspicion in my voice ‘What do you want’? She looked as though she was going to burst out in tears and just said ‘I’m so sorry for being a bitch towards you’. I was completely taken aback by her apology and didn’t know how to react. Then she continued in a very soft tone, as if she was afraid Josh would hear her ‘I never realized what you go through with him, I thought he was the perfect guy’ and a tear rolled down her cheek and I wasn’t sure if I felt relieved that she finally saw the real Josh or if I hated her for all she had put me through. ‘You mean what I go through with you and him’ I corrected her. I snorted and smirked ‘you thought another woman’s husband is the perfect guy for you. You know he abuses me and you thought what? That he will be your perfect lover forever and he won’t do the same thing to you? You’re dumber than you look’ I said. She looked at me with panic in her eyes when Josh called her inside and she threw the cigarette she was still holding on the ground and ran in. I felt scared for her in that moment but I knew that there was nothing I could do to help her in any way. I wasn’t even able to help myself out of the situation. I heard him yelling at her for smelling of smoke and heard her saying in a panicked, shrill voice ‘I was only trying to get to know her’! That’s when I heard the punch land and I heard her fall to the ground. I felt flooded with panic and threw my hands over my ears as if my hands would shield me somehow.

I heard Josh storm out of the house and tried to escape around the corner before he could see me but I was too late. He ran me in from behind and caught me by the hair and he threw me completely off balance and I fell to the ground. The bottle Mindy gave me fell on the ground next to me and without thinking I grabbed it and swung it in Josh’s direction. I hit Josh in the head with the bottle and he fell to the ground swearing. I got up and ran into the house to see if Mindy was ok but found her laying on the floor in a fetal position. I kneeled down next to her and started shaking her violently trying to get her to get up so we could leave but I was too late. Josh was in the house behind me and slammed the door shut. It felt as if I would pass out as I felt immense pressure building in my head again but I knew that I had to take the beating so that Josh would leave Mindy alone. Although I hated her with everything in me I wasn’t going to let her take a beating for me. ‘You stupid, useless woman’ I heard Josh bark at me whilst breathing heavily. His fists were clenched at his sides and I decided to be brave. My knees felt weak and my legs could hardly hold my weight but I stood up, right in front of Mindy, where she was laying on the floor. Josh slowly walked up to me and said ‘Oh so now you are challenging me are you? Big mistake you useless’ and then he landed a punch in my side. ‘Whore’! He said in a menacing voice. I fell to the ground next to Mindy with a loud groan. It hurt so badly that I could hardly breathe. He bent down and closed his hand around my throat and pulled me up to my feet. He looked me straight in the face, breathing angrily through his nose and started walking backward with me. He slammed me up against the wall and tightened his grip on my throat. I tried to free myself with both hands but it was a futile effort and I started gasping for air, hitting his arms and scratching him to try and get him to loosen his grip on me. It felt as though my eyes were going to pop out of their sockets and as if my head would explode. I saw black spots in front of my eyes and breathing became a difficult. I started panicking as I realized he was killing me but I didn’t have the strength to fight him off. He had an arrogant grin on his face and I heard him mumble the words ‘you will never win against me’ before I lost consciousness.

I heard the sound of furniture being moved around and voices blending together. I started coughing uncontrollably and my head hurt so badly and my throat was on fire. ‘Josh didn’t kill me after all’ I thought to myself. ‘Well good on him. Bet the bastard doesn’t want to tarnish his reputation’. I opened my eyes slightly when I heard Josh say ‘Good you’re up. Come I’ve been waiting for you’. He took me by the arm and helped me up very forcefully. My head spun and it felt like I was going to pass out again. I saw black spots dance in front of my eyes, beckoning me to give in to the darkness. Josh slapped me through the face and gave me water to drink. I gave him a death stare but took the water from him and I took a small sip as swallowing anything hurt like fire. He dragged me to the bedroom and I saw something that looked like a tripod set up in the corner. Mindy was standing next to the bed looking scared and bruised from where Josh hit her in the ribs. I frowned at her and looked around the room not feeling one hundred percent present and said ‘I really hope this isn’t what I think it is’. Josh almost threw me at Mindy who caught me by the shoulders to help steady me. Josh took a seat behind the tripod and I saw that it had a camera on it. ‘Oh no, I have to get out of here’ I thought to myself feeling even more panicked. I could see that Mindy felt the same way but she didn’t attempt to move. ‘Are you ok’ I whispered to her and she just started at me. ‘I have to get us out of here before something really bad happens’ I thought to myself and started planning my escape route in my head.

Josh cleared his throat to get our attention. ‘Strip’ he told me. That’s when I realized that Mindy was standing in her lingerie. Something I didn’t notice when Josh threw me at her. ‘What’? I asked him exasperated. ‘I said strip’ he yelled at me and I saw Mindy cringing beside me. I just stood there hoping he wasn’t serious. He flew up from his seat and stormed me. He slapped me through the face with an open hand and I fell sideways on the bed. Mindy shied away, pressing herself up against the wall, trying to make herself look small. Josh got on top of me and started ripping my clothes off of me. He literally tore my top off and it felt like he was trying to break my neck. He then took my pants off and told me to stand. I sat up slowly but did not stand and he grabbed me by the hair pulling me up with force. He went over and grabbed Mindy by the arm and forced her to stand in front of me. ‘Kiss’ he said. ‘What sick joke is this’ I snapped at him and just as I was psyching myself up to run he reached into his pants with his right hand and pulled out a gun, the same gun he had shot Caleb with. He pressed the gun to my temple and repeated himself. ‘Kiss I said. Or are we going to have a problem here tonight’? Mindy squeaked at the sight of the gun and I felt bile rising up in my throat. My bowels felt as if they are going to fail me at any moment and my head started spinning. I felt nauseous and I started sweating. Josh cocked his head to one side and raised his eyebrow at me. I shook my head at him slightly and he told me to speak up. ‘N, no, there’s no problem’ I stuttered. ‘Didn’t think so’ he said and walked back over to the camera and wove his gun at us making a gesture with his hand for us to start.

I stepped closer to Mindy and closed my eyes. I took a deep breath and put my hands on her arms. She was shaking uncontrollably and she started sobbing profusely which only made the shaking worse. I slid my eyes over to Josh and saw him growing more agitated by the second. ‘Calm down, we’ll get through this. We are going to be just fine and tomorrow you can go back to your life’ I said trying to be the strong one. She continued sobbing loudly when I caught sight of Josh flying up from his seat again which made Mindy scream. He was pointing the gun at Mindy and yelling at her to stop crying which only made matters worse. Although I felt more afraid than I ever had in my life I couldn’t handle to see another person getting killed in front of me by Josh’s hand so I stepped in front of the gun and closed my eyes for a second expecting the worst. I put my hands up in surrender and just looked at Josh, waiting for him to pull the trigger. He dropped his hand and told me to ‘calm the bitch down’. I shook my head yes and led her to the bathroom. ‘Just give me a second’ I pleaded with Josh and he nodded. Once in the bathroom I pleaded with Mindy to stop crying trying to make her understand that she is only making the situation worse. I put my hands on both sides of her head and bent down so I met her eyes. ‘Look at me’ I said, trying to sound as calm as possible. ’Calm down or he will kill you. Just do what he says and we’ll live to see another day’. She nodded and tried to calm herself down by taking shaky breaths. I could tell that she had never been this afraid in her life and to be honest that made two of us. ‘Time’s up’ Josh said while banging on the open bathroom door. I walked out in front of Mindy not looking at Josh. My main goal for now was for us to survive the night.

Josh was back behind his camera and we were the main attraction. Josh motioned for us to start as if he was a film director and both Mindy and I were shaking as if it was zero degrees outside. Josh said nothing as I leaned in closer to Mindy and I put one hand on her back and one on her face. I tilted my head slightly and looked her straight in the eyes. I tried to encourage myself to go through with what he wanted us to do but getting shot almost sounded like a better option at that moment. I tried clearing my mind of everything by saying to myself I need to find Caleb which I couldn’t do if I was dead. My lips softly touched Mindy’s and it felt like I was going to throw up. Not because she tasted bad but mostly because I felt afraid and was doing something I would never intestinally do. ‘Deeper’ I heard Josh bark and I took the lead and kissed Mindy as though she was my life partner. My tongue found the inside of her mouth and we explored each other like that for what felt like an eternity. I could feel that Mindy felt the same way I did put of fear for Josh and she only complied with his demands so that she could see the day of tomorrow. Finally I heard Josh say stop and I pulled away from Mindy, apologetically looking at her tear stained face as I knew it was not a good sign that he was coming over to us. I wished in that moment that I could spare Mindy the pain that I knew would follow his approach. Josh came and stood next to us, clearly feeling turned on by the show. He made my skin crawl and I wished he would just drop dead. He stroked Mindy’s half naked body and she stood frozen, shaking with fear. ‘My play thing’ he said to her and gave her a smirk. He looked at her as if she was dessert. He pulled me closer by the head and put our faces together. I could see the fear in Mindy’s eyes and I honestly didn’t know if we were going to make it through the night alive. Josh forced us to kiss again while he held our heads together. His face was so close to ours I could smell the alcohol on his breath. ‘Get on the bed’ he demanded and my heart started pounding loudly in my chest as I knew he wanted us to have a threesome. I knew I had to get out of there immediately as this wasn’t something I was willing to go through with, especially not like that.

I caught Josh by surprise as I pushed him off of his feet and I grabbed Mindy by the wrist in an attempt to get her out of the house. He stood frozen and zoned out and I screamed at her to run. She bolted for the door with me and I pushed her out in front of me towards the door but we were too slow. I heard Mindy scream as Josh had gotten up and slammed into me from behind, sending us flying to the floor. I landed with my face down on the ground with my wind knocked out of me. I could hardly move with Josh’s weight on top of me and I felt him moving his hands to restrain me. He got a hold of my wrists and held them together in one hand behind my back as he pulled out his gun with his other hand. ‘Move’ he said to Mindy who looked like she was about to have a stroke and I knew just then that I had failed her. I was unable to get her out of the house and it was possible that I had made the situation worse for us both. Josh marched us back to the bedroom and threw Mindy on the bed. Then he swung me around to face him and pressed the gun under my chin and said ‘Try anything like that again and you’re dead’ and he threw me down on the bed next to Mindy. Josh stripped off his own clothes so that he was completely naked but he held his gun in his hand the entire time and pointed it in straight into my face. I saw Mindy’s body straighten with fear as she froze, feeling afraid for what Josh may do next. She then looked me in the eyes consumed with panic and my emotions weren’t far behind hers although I tried not to show her how afraid I really felt.

Josh got on top of Mindy forced himself into her as violently as he could and she screamed out in pain. I felt an immense pressure in my head as black spots started dancing in front of my eyes and I knew that I wasn’t going to be conscious to endure Josh’s torture for much longer. I tried fighting against losing consciousness but for the first time since it started happening I was thankful that it happened when I was too panicked. I heard Mindy begging Josh to stop and wondered if I would wake up this time as the gun was pointed at my head and Josh could pull the trigger at any moment. My thoughts went empty as the blackness consumed me and I welcomed it with open arms as it was better to be in complete and utter darkness than in the same room with Josh.

I woke up early the next morning still lying on the bed, in the same position as when I passed out. Mindy was lying next to me looking up at the ceiling. My head was pounding but my body wasn’t hurting which meant that Josh hadn’t assaulted me. I felt relieved at this but also felt sorry for Mindy for having to go through what she did. ‘Are you ok’ I asked Mindy but she didn’t answer me so I continued ‘I know you don’t like me and honestly I think you are a real bitch but what Josh did last night wasn’t ok in any way. You really need to get as far away from him as possible, before he really hurts you’. Mindy still wasn’t answering me and I pushed myself up to my elbow and looked over to her. Mindy’s face was a dark, odd color and her eyes were glassy, just staring up at the ceiling. She had a dark ring around her neck as though something had been tied around it. I looked at her chest and saw that it wasn’t moving at all and that’s when I realized she was dead!

I let out a deafening scream and started vomiting as I jumped off of the bed as quickly as I could make myself move but the vomit wouldn’t stop. I emptied my stomach out until I was just heaving air. I looked at Mindy just lying there and panic seized me and my legs gave way under me. I fell to the ground like a heap of bones, unable to move and felt afraid for my own life. Seconds later Josh came bursting through the door with panic all over his face but he wasn’t alone. I got a fright at the sight of him as I thought that surely I would be next and I let out a scream and saw that there were two other men behind him. I felt sick to my core at what I was witnessing as the two men didn’t hesitate when they came in. They pushed past Josh that was standing in the doorway with his hands in his hair and went straight over to Mindy. They didn’t even glance in my direction and it was as though I wasn’t even there. I sat on the floor watching as they wrapped Mindy up in plastic wrapping and set her lifeless body down on the floor. They then removed the sheets from the bed and carried the matrass out the door. They returned seconds later with a new matrass and sheets and they made the bed. They then lifted Mindy and carried her out too like she was nothing more than a piece of furniture. They did all of this in complete silence and shut the door behind them when they left. I was now staring at a new and flawless bed with new sheets and comforter and nothing looked out of place. It was though nothing bad had just happened there. I was staring at the bed in disbelief when I heard Josh let out a sigh of relief. ‘Well, now that’s sorted, I’m off to get breakfast’ he said sounding as though he had dodged a bullet. ‘You look like shit by the way’ he said to me before turning and walking out of the house.

My jaw dropped to the floor as I couldn’t grasp what had just happened. It felt like I was in a nightmare that just wouldn’t end. I heard my phone ringing somewhere on the floor where my ripped clothing was laying and I jumped at the sound. It took me a while to order my body to move me towards the sound. I moved like a zombie about half way when the ringing stopped. I just sat there wondering ‘who did I marry? What just happened’? The phone started ringing again and this time I managed to get to it in time. I looked down and saw that it was Chloe. I felt like I had been hit by a bus and I didn’t want to move or else I will die from my injuries. I lay my head against the bed and brought the phone up to my ear. ‘Sweetie, you’re up’! She excitedly yelled in my ear. I just kept quiet and she continued ‘I’ll be over in ten, I’m taking you out to breakfast’ and she hung up the phone. I dropped the phone to the floor as I was in a daze and felt unable to move. I didn’t want her to come over, let alone for her to see me like this. My body started shaking as I recalled how afraid Mindy was last night, the night she died right next to me while I was unable to keep my promise to her and see her through to see a new day. I was weak and I passed out while she got raped and murdered. I felt bile rise up in my throat again and I threw up. Who knew that I still had anything in my stomach to puke out?

I heard the front door open and close before I knew what was happening and suddenly Chloe was standing in front of me. ‘Ugh, what happened in here’? She asked wrinkling her nose and looking disgusted. ‘Are you sick’? She asked and her eyes went wide. ‘Are you pregnant’! She exclaimed looking at all the vomit on the floor. I just shook my head no unable to lift my head to look at her. She snorted and then asked in asked in a bitchy tone ‘Well what’s with you then’? ‘Just leave’ I said softly while waving her off, but Chloe snapped at me. ‘You know you’re being a total bitch lately. I’m over here trying take you out and you treat me like I’m beneath you! I called beforehand and you didn’t even have the decency to get dressed! Well newsflash honey, you’re nothing compared to me. I mean just look at you. You always look like you got dragged behind someone’s car. No wonder Josh is fed up with you. I really can’t blame him you know. He deserves better, he deserves a real woman who will take care of him and all his needs’! ‘He killed Mindy’ I said softly. ‘What? I couldn’t hear you, sounded like you were choking’ she said. ‘He killed Mindy’ I repeated a little louder. ‘Are you insane’? She asked loudly. ‘Josh would never hurt anyone. Be careful what you say about him’ she warned. ‘Where is this coming from’ I thought to myself. ‘It’s true’ I said. ‘He made a video of us last night and then I passed out while he was raping her. I woke up next to her body, she had clearly been strangled’ I said. ‘So then where is she now and where are the police? Did they arrest Josh’? She asked and I could hear some concern in her voice. ‘Josh had someone come in that took her body and changed the sheets and matrass with new ones’ I said. She looked at me with disbelief in her eyes and frowned at me. ‘So first he shot Caleb and then strangled Mindy, but in both cases there are no bodies and no witnesses except for you who is constantly feeling sorry for yourself’? ‘Yes’ I said. ‘Please you have to believe me’ I pleaded, now sobbing at her feet. ‘You really are pathetic’ she said. ‘I should’ve believed Josh when he told me I’m wasting my time with you. No one will believe you anyway. Mainly because of the way you look and oh because there are no bodies’.

I didn’t that think I could feel any worse than I did but with Chloe not believing me it felt as though the floor was ripped out from under me. Chloe looked down at me with disgust in her face and said ‘you need help’. She then turned on her heel and stomped out of the house. I could understand how I must have sounded and looked to her but she was my friend, wasn’t she supposed to at least give me a fair chance? I sat on the floor looking disheveled for a long while before I forced myself to get up. The room stank like vomit, urine and feces. I realized that Mindy’s bowels must have given in when she died or she defecated herself in fear. Either way, thinking about it didn’t make it any better. I walked over to the bathroom like an injured deer and got in the bath. I opened the water and let it run over me. I sat with my face between my knees, head down and told myself to wake up. ‘It has to be a dream, please wake up’, but nothing changed and I sobbed loudly, almost wailing with the loss I experienced, the loss of a person I hated, a person who didn’t deserve to die the way she did. I spent the remainder of the day in tears, cleaning up the mess I had made before Josh returned home. I felt dizzy from hunger but was unable to bring myself to eat anything.

After I was done cleaning I went outside for cigarette as Josh hated the smell of smoke in the house. I stood there, trying to wrap my head around the events that happened and wondered to myself if they were really real. I considered going to the police but what would I say to them? I had no evidence of the murder taking place and it went down so well when I was trying to tell Chloe about it, and what about Caleb? He was shot and left for dead but I don’t know where he lives or what his last name is. It felt like I was going crazy, like my world was spinning out of control. It felt real as I was living through it but I questioned everything at that moment, hoping that Mindy would drive up with Josh and that all of it was just a bad dream.

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