"Moody, are you hungry?" I asked him. Maybe his life did depend on it. You never know when your cat is starving to death.
"Meow," Moody replied. I nodded and got up to fill his cat bowl with food. He purred happily as I stroked his fur and let him eat. Speaking of eating, I was a little hungry myself. I did skip lunch and dinner yesterday. I could hear my dad shuffling around in the kitchen downstairs and decided to buy something at the cafe instead of distracting him. I looked in my bathroom mirror to find out I was still wearing Theo's clothes from yesterday. They were comfy. She loved comfy clothes. I snuggled into the hoodie. It smelt like... sweat. I stopped snuggling into the hoodie.
"Should I take a shower, Moody?"
"Okay then," I answered, grabbing some clean clothes and slipping off Theo's. I switched the tap to warm water before hopping in. I loved taking showers. It distracted my mind from wandering because it kept me thinking. I wonder what Theo would say about my cat. I should put a beanie on my cat. Beanie cat. Beanie cat. Beanie Moody. I should make a beanie that says Moody on it and put it on Moody! I nodded, as if agreeing with myself.
After I finished my shower, I dried off and changed into my own clothes. I'll return Theo's clothes after I wash and dry them. After patting Moody on the head, I headed downstairs.
"Good morning!" I greeted my dad when he came into view. He looked up and nodded. I slipped my sneakers on and was about to head out the door when my dad called me back.
"I heard that you ran away from Brian."
"What?" I replied, walking back to him. He glared at me.
"Why did you run away from Brian! He won't be coming back now! We need the money!" he shouted, pounding his fist against the counter.
"Sorry! I won't do it again! I'm sorry!" I whimpered. Stop yelling. I hate loud noises. Please...
"Like hell, you won't! I got another deal. $300 per night. You better not fuck it up again. The guys will be here after you're done with school. I want you to come straight home, change into whatever they have for you, and leave with them. Understood?" he ordered. I whimpered and nodded.
"Sorry!" I said again. "I'll listen to them, this time, I promise!"
He gave me a smile and nodded. I smiled back. It's worth it. He never smiles. She loved to smile. I turned and quickly left the house. I decided I would text Scott.
I walked as I waited for a response. When I arrived at the coffee shop, my phone dinged, signifying that I had a new text message. I unlocked my phone and read the text. It was from Scott.
Can you pick me up at this cafe if you can?
Yeah, I'm close to there anyways. I'll see you in about 10 min.
I locked my phone and put it in my pocket. Walking up to the cashier, I ordered a french vanilla iced coffee with regular sugar and extra cream. I also ordered a caramel latte and a snickerdoodle cookie. Spotting an empty table, I sat down to wait for my order. I barely got any sleep last night, so I laid my head down in my arms.
"-tian! Christian! Wake up, buddy."
I groaned as I lifted my head up from my arms to see Scott shaking me. I gave him a sleepy smile and he chuckled, patting my head.
"You didn't come out, so I came inside to see if you were okay," he explained. I nodded and looked over at the pick-up counter to see my order sitting on the counter. I got up and walked over, picking the drinks and cookie up.
"Here," I said, handing the latte and cookie to Scott. His eyes lit up.
"Wow, okay. Thanks so much, Christian! Come on, we're going to be late if we don't leave now," he said, taking the drink and cookie and steering me to his car. I kissed the Lamborghini and got in the passenger seat. Bennett and Beckett were in the backseat. Now I felt bad. I didn't get them drinks and cookies.
I didn't have a job, so I didn't make money. My dad didn't give me money. He insisted that I get a job and make some money by myself. All of my money was from my aunts and uncles for my birthday and Christmas. My mom would send a care package once a year.
"Let's go, let's go! We're going to be late!" Beckett yelled. Bennett laughed at his brother and placed a hand over his mouth. I smiled and Scott hit the gas.
"Turn on the radio, will you Christian?" Bennett requested. I nodded, pushing the button.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I don't sleep at night
Cause I'm thinking of you
"Oh Jon Caryl! I love this guy!" Beckett exclaimed, shoving Bennett's hand away from his mouth and sang with the radio.
Alone with my thoughts
Trapped in this bed
Know I'd give the world
Just to see you again
Bennett laughed and I turned the volume up for Beckett. We arrived at the school just on time, causing the four of us to run through the halls and burst into first period as the bell rang. I didn't have time to grab my books. I raised my hand politely.
"Yes, Christian?" my teacher called impatiently. I looked down. Oops. I didn't mean to upset her. I hated upsetting people.
"Sorry! Can I go to the lockers? I left my books there on accident. Sorry," I asked with a smile. Her face softened and she nodded. I stood up as confidently as I could and smiled at her when I walked past. When I was sure the door was closed, I took a deep breath. Control yourself. You're happy. You're happy. You're happy. I smiled and started to walk down the hallway.
"Carson! Wait up!"
I turned around to see Theo coming towards me. This time, a green beanie sat on his head. I looked up at him in confusion when he reached me. Please go away. I don't want to be friends. Leave me alone. My brain begged me to say any of those, but I didn't.
"Yes?" I asked with a small smile. He looked at me and I looked at the ceiling behind him. Stop looking at me. Is there something on my face?
"Can I talk to you after school? Come over?" he offered. No. I can't. Say no. You can't. Your dad needs you home right after school, remember. I smiled.
"No, I can't today. My dad wanted me home right after school," I said, turning and walking away. He yelled after me, but I ignored him. I heard footsteps and a hand grabbed my arm. My mask cracked.
"Get off!" I yelled angrily. You're happy. You're happy. My angry expression quickly contorted into a passively happy one.
"Sorry," he apologized. I smiled. She hated when I got mad at her.
"It's okay! I've got to get my books though. Before my teacher gets suspicious. I can't hang out today. Maybe tomorrow?" I asked and he nodded slowly in confusion. I smiled again and turned, walking towards my locker. I got my books out and when I turned back around, Theo was gone. Good. I sighed as my mask quickly repaired itself. I'm happy.
"Hello!" I greeted the two men. They looked at me. Their eyes wandered and I shifted, uncomfortable. You're happy. It's fine. I smiled.
"You're dad didn't lie when he said you wouldn't disappoint, huh?" one of the men said gruffly. He smirked at me and took a step closer. My heart beat sped up. Go away! Leave me alone! Step back! He reached out and I froze. Please, leave me alone! His hand rubbed down my chest.
"Please..." I whimpered. Please go away! The men smirked.
"Look at that. Already begging for us. Let's go. Change into this," the second man said, throwing a bundle of clothes at me. I'm not begging! Go away! My mind screamed. I caught the clothes and stiffly climbed the stairs and entered my room. They followed me. No! Leave! I stared at their shoes, waiting for them to leave.
"What are you waiting for? We're not leaving. Hurry up and change so we can go," the first man commanded and I nodded. My dad smiled. Do this for him. He loves you. He knows what's best for you.
I quickly slipped my hoodie off and shrugged into the black t-shirt I was given. Hoodie? I hated my arms. I could feel their stares. Do it for dad. My pants came off and I was left in my boxers. Just as I was about to slip their pants on, I felt a hand on my butt. I squeaked in surprise and moved away. I quickly changed into the pants and stood in front of the men. They grabbed my arm and pulled me down the stairs and out of the door. Don't cry. Don't cry. Don't touch me! Leave me alone! Don't cry!
I was tossed into the backseat and one of the men sat next to me while the other got in the driver's seat. He started the engine and began to drive after locking the doors. Help! My mind screamed. Somebody help!
"Somebody help! Help!" my voice was hoarse. I cradled her in my arms and ran in the direction to the hospital. "Help!"
My body was sore all over. Marks blemished my thighs, stomach, and neck. I was freezing. I was crying. Stop crying. You can't cry! You're happy! You're happy! I promise I'm happy! I managed a small smile as the two men relentlessly pounded into me. I felt too many things. Pain. Happiness. Pain. Happiness.
"He fucking likes it! He's smiling!" one of the men exclaimed, laughing. I couldn't stop smiling. I was happy. Right? Whimpers left my lips. Ouch. Help! No! You're happy! Be happy! I argued with myself in my mind. The men grunted as they pulled out and released on me. Stop! Leave me alone! Go away! I hate you! I wanted to scream and yell, but I smiled. I laughed.
"What the fuck?" one of the men muttered under his breath.
"Hey, get up. We're taking you home now," the other man commanded. I sat up, ignoring the sharp pain and obeyed. The men raised their eyebrows in shock.
"For a virgin, you have an amazingly high pain tolerance," one said. I just smiled and pulled on the clothes I was given. I got in the car. Both the men sat in the front, not even bothering to be careful about watching if I ran away. I wouldn't. My dad smiled. I did it for him. It wasn't bad. I liked it. I'm happy.
"We're here. Wait. Before you go, here's a tip for you. I hope we can see you again," the man in the passenger seat said and winked as he handed me a twenty dollar bill. My eyes widened and I reached out and took the money.
"Thank you!" I exclaimed. They watched me enter my house before driving off. I held on to the money tightly. Free money? It's... impossible! How did I get free money from that? I smiled to myself and trudged up the stairs, despite the ache in my back and legs. My dad wasn't home yet. I hid the money in a book so my dad wouldn't find it. He would take it. We like to play hide and seek with the money I got. I would hide it, and if he found it, he got to keep it. He introduced me to it when I was six years old. I loved playing that game. I had around fifty dollars in that book. He hadn't found it yet, so I was free to spend it how I like.
I started up a shower and cleaned myself, thinking about the men and the free money they gave me. I glanced at my arms. I hated them. She hated what was on them. Scars lined up and down my arms from months ago. My dad found the blade and took it from me. Said I was stealing the kitchen utensils from him. I was saving up for a blade of my own. Without it, my mask would crack. I needed it. It relived my stress. It created art. She hated my art.
"Stop! Stop! That won't help with anything! Please stop!" she pleaded. I looked at here with sad eyes.
"It's dark. It's so dark! Please! This helps me. I promise it does! It so dark..." I whimpered. Blood dripped down my arms and onto the grass. I had brought my blade to the hill to show her how to create art.
"Tia! It may be dark, but no darkness lasts forever. And even there, there are stars. Please. Stop cutting yourself. For me?"
She lied. My darkness never ended. It was here before she came. It was here while she was here. It was here when she left. My darkness consumed me. My darkness suffocated me. My darkness was too dark to let me see the stars.
And I was drowning in it.
[November 23, 2020]