The concert was ending, and I was dreading to go outside. I knew that the paparazzi and news reporters were waiting for me to come through the club's doors. I usually didn't mind the flashing of camera lights and bulky microphones constantly being shoved in my face, but I haven't been experiencing the best week ever.
Jacob Rosales, my boyfriend at the time, accused me of cheating on him like he had been doing since we first started dating. We got into another argument, but this time it was out in public. People watched us scream at each other, so it put negative publicity on me. I finally broke off the relationship with him after it was all over. I have never cheated on any boyfriend; it was typically him who cheated on me. I may be quite famous, but I vowed to not become that kind of celebrity.
A few of the people who watched us argue spread a rumor not long after I broke up with Jacob, saying I punched him because I was so furious. Like all rumors, this was indeed untrue, but because this bogus accusation was so "juicy," news reporters are being paid to ask me questions about it. Over the past week, I have been denying questions from all news reporters. I never really saw the point in trying to prove myself innocent if I will always be "lying" according to the media.
Lights flickered throughout the enormous dark room. Dubstep music boomed through the speakers all over the stage. A large screen went wild with many altering shapes and colors behind me. My fans danced on the color-changing dance floor like crazed maniacs. I moved along to the beat of the music as I worked the many flips a and switches and fiddled with the turn tables in front of me.
I glanced up to pump up my fans more when a small red glow stick shot out from within the mass of bodies and hit me in the face all of a sudden. I heard girls scream as I quickly turned away to hold my nose in pain. The music sounded awkward for a moment and then stopped playing. Fans got angry and yelled. Once the pain soothed somewhat, I grabbed a microphone and turned it on. "I love all you guys, but whoever threw that is a fucking piece of shit," I said into it.
"FINISH THE SONG!" somebody complained.
"Who threw it?" I continued. "Raise your hand. Who threw the glow stick?"
"Let's bring the bitch!" a woman said aloud.
A guy wearing a lime green T-shirt caught my attention. "You threw it? You're a piece of shit," I said to him while pointing my finger at him.
Fans cheered at my remark. A few either held up their middle finger or gave a thumbs down at my attacker as they yelled at him.
"I bet you're proud of that–" I started.
"KICK HIS ASS!" a man shouted.
My attacker started saying something to me, but all I could see was his mouth moving without any sound coming out.
"N-no, I can't hear what you're saying," I told him, "but guess what?"
"HE HAS A SMALL DICK!" somebody else shouted. Laughter responded to his comment.
"H-hey, everyone, listen! I'm behind my station of equipment where all you can see is my upper body, and you hit me square in the face so you have a good fucking aim. That's all you got, right?"
"Fucking bitch!" another person said.
"YEAH!" my attacker replied to me.
"That's awesome," I said. "You're a son of a bitch."
"PARTY FAG!" somebody yelled. Other people screamed after him.
"And you don't– listen! You're not allowed to throw glow sticks or whatever the fuck on stage–"
"KICK HIS ASS OUT OF HERE!" a fan stated as loud hollering began to brew up.
"Hey, listen! I love you guys so very, very much. Can I tell you something real quick? The past week has really been nothing but hell for me, and I haven't slept in like twenty-five hours because I've been trying to get a new song out for you guys, but I still came here tonight to play this show for you all–"
The fans interrupted me by cheering.
"So yeah, I'm tired as hell, but this is my last song before I leave in a few minutes. I remixed with another song just for you all, so get the last of that alcohol from the bar over there and break this joint down! And fuck you, you fucking asshole for throwing some shit at me!" I put down the microphone as the fans cheered for the song to play. I used my laptop to make the song play. Once it started playing, they screamed in joy at the top of their lungs. I picked up the microphone again and said, "And please, don't beat him up on my behalf; I don't like violence, but just say, 'Fuck you, you fucking asshole!'"
The fans cheered.
"No violence, no violence," I continued. I put the microphone down and played the song through the speakers. I loved watching everyone dance with each other to the music I created for them. When the song ended, they cheered and clapped. "I love you all! Have a good night!" I said.
I turned off all of my equipment and went backstage. I made my way down a short hallway and into a dressing room. My sleepy fatigue caught up when I sat down in front of my makeup mirror. I yawned and looked into it. My reflection greeted me. I saw it was the same as it was every time I looked in a mirror: my long, brown, and naturally curly hair dangled down my back, my signature fitted hat rested on my head, special sock gloves stretched across my arms, my pretty face with light hazel eyes looked back at me, eye liner and mascara carefully applied to their designated areas on my eyelids, my headphones and dog tags wrapped around my neck, my natural tan skin radiated, and a tank top on my torso that had, "DJ Macca Soxx," printed on it in bold letters. I also wore baggy jeans, men's boxers, and sneakers. My fans adored the fact I dressed like a gangster every day, many claimed I am one, but they all know I don't do drugs, drink alcohol, nor smoke cigarettes. I just liked to think of myself as an ordinary eighteen-year-old woman who wants to express myself.
I removed my fitted hat and fixed my hair a bit. Thinking of the horde of paparazzi and news reporters made me sigh. I had no desire to face them.
This is all your fault Jacob, I thought. Because of you, I'm stuck in this stupid situation. I didn't understand why so many of my recent romantic relationships have ended so badly. Jacob was so sweet and loving at first, but then he turned against me. Was it something I did? No, it was just him. He did not appreciate me as his girlfriend just like others before him. All I have ever wanted was to meet that one guy who would forever love me and treat me right, but who was I kidding? I'm a celebrity, I reminded myself. My life will never be normal, and not finding my soulmate is clearly a part of that.
I put my fitted hat back on my head. The time to leave had come. I collected my possessions and put them in my gym bag. When making my way to the building's main entrance, all I could think about was having the ability to teleport home.
I walked down a hallway and halted at a corner. I waited for the last of the fans to leave before I showed myself. As the doors closed behind the last group of them, I heard the sound of people whispering. I knew the paparazzi and news reporters were outside, and the multitude of them was larger than last night.
I banged my head against the wall I was leaning on and groaned in frustration. The paparazzi might all be barricaded by flimsy red theatre rope, but it definitely wasn't going to stop some from jumping it and getting their money shot of me.
I pulled down the peak of my fitted hat down over my face as I dragged my feet towards the doors. My free hand hesitantly pushed open one of them. Like a grenade exploding, piercing white light flashed in my face. I was immediately blinded. Members of the paparazzi called my name to get my attention, but I ignored them. I tautened my grip on the strings of my mesh bag in case somebody were to grab it. I made my way to the limousine very disoriented from the cameras taking pictures. A member of the paparazzi suddenly squatted down in front of me and took a brisk photo. I nearly had to push him out of my way as I was becoming irritable.
The wave of news reporters ambushed me. All kinds of bulky microphones were shoved in my face after a question was asked.
"Macca Soxx, what were you and Jacob Rosales fighting about?"
"Macca Soxx, witnesses say you punched Jacob Rosales. Is this true?"
I pushed through what seemed like an endless ocean of news crews as I ignored every question. I hopped into the limousine as fast as I could and shut the door. An annoyed sigh escaped my mouth once I sat down.
If this is what's going to happen to me every time a relationship ends, then I don't want to deal with it anymore! I give up on love! I'll never date again!
"The usual destination, Miss Soxx?" Emerson, my handsome limousine driver, asked me.
"Yeah Emerson, thanks," I replied calmly. I yawned when the long vehicle drove forward. I laid down across the black seat. Because of my extreme exhaustion, I almost instantly dozed off.
The back of my eyelids brought me to a dense mist that blanketed the ground. I found myself wearing a weightless white gown. As I looked around, I realized I couldn't see any of my surroundings. A girl's voice suddenly started calling my real name. I tried to follow her voice, but it seemed to drift further away from me. "McKenna! Don't go inside! It's a trap!" she said, sounding worried.
"Hello?!" I responded. "Where are you?!"
"Don't go inside!"
"You have to listen to me! They're waiting for you! Don't go inside!"
"We have arrived, Miss Soxx," Emerson said, waking me. I drowsily sat up and rubbed my eye in confusion. It felt like only seconds had gone by. I grabbed my mesh bag and exited the limousine. It drove off, and movement was caught in the corner of my eye. I turned and glanced at the alleyway that divided the apartment complex I lived in with the brick building next to it. My vision didn't see anything out of the ordinary, but I could've sworn I saw someone. He was a man, and he wore a black mask over his face. Feeling frightened and unsafe, I went inside the apartment complex.
Erica, the front desk lady, greeted me as I entered. She wore her daily work attire of a light gray suit and her wavy blonde hair swayed past her face every time she moved. "Hi Macca, how was the concert?" she asked me in her standard friendly manner.
"Oh, it was fine. I mean, I got hit in the face with a glow stick, but it's no biggie."
"Yeah, it's a long story, but…y-you haven't seen anybody outside, have you?"
Erica gave me a questionable look. "Well, a few people walked by, but other than that, no. Why?"
"It's just that…you know what, never mind. I-I'm just tired. Goodnight, Erica."
"Oh, um, goodnight, Macca."
I walked to the elevator and pushed the button that made it come down. I stepped into it when the doors split in two. Its doors closed after I pressed another button that went up to Level 10. The man was stuck in my mind the whole ride up. A scared sickness fell into my stomach. The elevator then dinged and opened its doors at the tenth floor. The hallway before me was vacant; not a single person roamed it. I proceeded down to Apartment 22, careful not to disturb my middle-aged neighbors. I took my keys out of my mesh bag and stuck it in the lock socket. A clicking noise made me stop. I listened as my eyeballs moved side to side.
Why am I being so paranoid? I wondered. I turned the key and the lock released. I also unlocked the deadbolt lock above it. My sight came to blackness when I opened the door. I stretched my arm out to flip the light switch beside me.
Something sharp caught my throat, making me freeze in place.
"I'll slit your throat if you scream," a man's voice said.
I was towered over by a man wearing a black mask over his face. His murky eyes burned into my terrified stare, petrifying me to the point I couldn't suck in air to my lungs. The sword he held to my throat could break the skin with just one tiny movement from either of us.
He clutched the back of my neck very forcefully. I about shrieked, scared of the sword, but I kept my mouth shut. It didn't slice through. The man threw me into my apartment. The light from the hallway disappeared when he closed the door. I felt fingers rip my gym bag from my body. The fibers from the strings caught my skin on fire as they travelled down my arms. I could feel him against my back. A hand squeezed my jaw. Another reached around and grabbed my breast.
My immediate reaction was to claw him away. I knew what he was trying to do. I had to fight back if I wanted to survive.
I could hear him struggle to contain me. His hot breath filled my ear.
I thrashed myself around, trying to escape his rock hard hold. I dug my fingernails into his sleeve as hard as I could. I screamed, wanting to alert someone nearby. I needed help. I was being attacked.
He smacked his hand over my mouth. I pried my jaw open and bit into his palm with all my might. He squawked in pain, letting me go completely. I had to run for the door. I could escape now–
I was hit so hard it knocked me off my feet. I came crashing down, the side of my face catching the edge of my kitchen table. I screamed louder. My fitted hat slid off my head. Tears filled my eyes. My whole head hurt. I touched my throbbing and tender cheek. I could taste blood on my tongue. I was punched, but how?
Two hands yanked my head, slamming it into the table again. I yelped. The hands repeated, unhesitant. I finally stopped making noises as the agonizing pain blurred my awareness. The hands repeated a third time. My whole head throbbed. I could barely comprehend what was happening around me anymore.
The hands let go of me when I went limp.
"Is she dead?"
"I hope not, 'cause the fun's just getting started."
A frantic knock came from the door. "Macca? Sweetie, is everything okay in there?" a woman's voice worriedly asked. She knocked again. "Macca?"
The hands lifted me from the floor. Fresh blood trickled down my scalp. I was shaken violently. "Macca?" the man teasingly whispered. "Wake up, you little bitch."
When I didn't respond, he slapped me across the face. "Wake up," he firmly demanded through gritted teeth.
I let out a tiny moan that could barely crawl between my vocal cords, let alone my lips.
"We have a visitor. Tell her your fine. Don't give anything away."
My feet wobbled with each small step I was forced to take towards the door. The woman had started knocking more hastily. I felt like fainting. I could barely open my eyes.
I felt for the doorknob within the blackness. While doing so, I could feel a blade – the sword? – being pressed up against the center of my spine. There was no point in fighting anymore. Whoever was in my apartment with me had won the skirmish, and I was probably going to die as a result. But in order to survive, if there was any chance, I must do what I was told to do. I had to face whatever torture was planned for me tonight. There was no escape, no hope.
I barely opened the door. My hand shook. I forced my eyes to see who it was.
I recognized my neighbor, Deborah, from the blur of fading sandy hair I saw.
"What's going on in there?" she warily asked me.
The blade was pressed deeper into my back as a warning for my response.
"I'm sorry, Deborah," I replied, trying to sound as normal as possible. "I just thought something was in my apartment. It was nothing."
"It sounded like you were moving furniture in there!"
"I-I'm sorry. I'll keep it quiet."
She looked at me for a moment before saying, "Okay." I quietly closed the door. The torture would begin now. Tears spilled over and rolled down my cheeks. I was going to die.
"Good girl," the man said. The blade was gone from my back. I was jerked around to face him. He slapped me again, and then grabbed my jaw. "It's time you were taught a lesson," he growled. My jeans were yanked down to my ankles. His hands were suddenly around my neck. I took hold of his wrists, choking from the extreme pressure that was crushing my airway. I struggled against the hot emptiness that was reaching my brain. I fell to my knees as I began to black out.
The grip released. I gasped in air and coughed. I felt so dazed.
I was picked up from the floor. Soon my bed made contact with my body. I started to silently weep. This was really the end.
My tank top was pulled. I could hear him tear it to pieces with the sword. When he was done, he stroked my cheek. His fingertips glided down to my neck, and then my chest, and then my breasts. He paused. "I'm sorry it has to be this way," he whispered. "We know you can't help who you are. It's not your fault you were chosen. But now you must suffer for what you'll do one day."
That was when I felt the other fingertips touching my body. I couldn't count them. They all moved too much. I wept harder. There were men in my apartment. I didn't know how many, but all I knew was that they were all going to torture and kill me tonight.
My underwear was shredded out of the way. I could feel the bed shift as I lay there naked. He bit my breast. My back arched from the pain. An inaudible scream erupted from my mouth. Only I could hear it. When he let go, I let my back fall back down. Tears were blocking my eyesight, but from the dull moonlight that was leaking in through a window, I could see a man in a red mask towering over me. I knew what torture he was planning for me.
"Please don't rape me," I desperately pleaded, the tears rolling down to my ears. "Please don't rape me."
I was ignored. Something covered my eyes and mouth. I could feel him explore every inch of my body as my wrists were tied together. I was forced onto my knees. Something caught my throat and pulled against it. My head was jerked back. I choked. Then the torture escalated.
The men brutally raped me to the point I was bleeding. They hit me and called me names. I could feel them take turns as they forever traumatized me. When they finished, they took everything from me that I wanted to keep. I was glad they were going to kill me now. I had no reason to live after this. What they took was something that I was wanting to give to somebody special in my life. I couldn't give it to him now. They stole it from me.
I laid on the bed and cried. I waited for the sword to enter my heart, to end my life right here. I didn't care anymore.
"Get up," one of them said.
I didn't move. I just cried as I felt my blood ooze out from where my skin tore.
"I said get up."
I weakly sat up. My arm was gripped. I was dragged away from the bed. The side of my body soon found tile instead of carpet. I was brought into my bathroom. My shower was turned on. My arm was pulled one last time to haul me into the freezing cold water. I trembled as my entire body was scrubbed raw, inside and out. It hurt so much, like my skin was on fire whenever something touched it. I cried the whole time.
I was quickly dried off once the water was turned off. Every stroke of the towel made me cringe. My hair was still dripping wet, but that was enough for them. I was dragged out of the bathroom. The carpet felt much worse than the towel.
The man lifted me onto my bed. I was terrified, not sure if I was going to be tortured more.
I was covered up with a blanket. "I hope you've learned your lesson," the man said in a low voice. "It would be a shame if we had to come back to finish what we started."
I whimpered at his words. I didn't want to go through being molested ever again. I never thought I'd be a victim to such a crime.
I couldn't feel the man's presence anymore. I was too scared to uncover my eyes to check where he went.
As I laid there, finally starting to warm up, I felt the pain in my head more sharply than before. My daze was returning. I shut my eyes to see if I could find a solution to best ease the pain.
From across the room, the door silently opened and shut. I slowly drifted away, unaware that I was alone now. The men left me to die.