Yesterday, I was hungry. Today, I’m cold, and tomorrow is another day to survive the unknown. It’s been like this for me ever since I lost my home. All thanks to my ex-husband and his gambling problem.
One day, I came to my house after a few errands. I found two strangers in my house as they were arguing with Paul. He owed their boss a lot of money. It took all of our possessions to give them back what he owned. While we had solved one problem, another one followed. The bank took over the house since we had lost everything.
I never had to work since it was Paul who provided everything with what we needed.
I have the worst hours. I always work the night shift. I work as a cleaner in a motel, the Grey Palace Hotel.
I never mingle with my colleagues. I’m too ashamed of my past. Besides, we aren’t that many in these hours. I have no family. All I had those past years was Paul.
So I’m on my own, surviving my days as they come and go. I hope one of these days I will feel safe again. Am I crazy to hope, even if it's just a little?
“Oh my god, sometimes people are real pigs!” I say as I see the inside of the room that I have to clean.
It’s going to take me years to clean this room. Thank God, this is the last one I have to clean tonight.
I have broken glasses in the bathroom. The bed is upside down and the walls. No, don’t look at the walls. What is that? Is that crap? Who the hell does such things?
Let’s see. I’ll need a mask and a pair of gloves. Let’s put on double the gloves to make sure I don’t catch bacteria or something. Now let’s deal with this shit. I mean literally, not figuratively.
Finally, I’m done, and now my back is killing me. That’s going to hurt in the morning. I need a bath and pronto. Great, it’s 2 am, and my shift ended at midnight. I’m telling you, they don’t pay me enough for all the shit that I have to deal with. I guess I don’t have a choice. It’s better than nothing at all.
One day at a time. One day at a time. I repeat over and over in my head as I walk outside. I have no other choice but to walk home. I don’t have enough money to take the taxi and the bus has already left.
As I walk, I count the little money in my head to see if I will survive until my next paycheck. Sometimes, I miss my old life with Paul. Those days were so easy back then.
NO! Don’t you dare to go there. It’s because of that asshole that your life is upside down. Put this asshole far, far away in your mind, close the door, lock it, and lose that fucking key. He doesn’t deserve a glimpse of your thoughts.
The problem with being so lost in my mind is that I'm not focused on my surroundings. Suddenly, I hear footsteps following me. I do a stupid thing and look behind me.
“Hey, baby, what’s up?”
There are two men following me. I step on faster.
“Oh come on, darling. Don’t be like that!” The other says as they both speed up their movement to follow me even closer.
Maybe, life isn’t this cruel. Maybe, they are just fooling around to scare me. Maybe, I have too much hope in myself to think like this.
Shit, a dead-end!
They knew what they were doing from the start. They both played with my fear. They brought me exactly where they wanted.
“Why are you doing this? Please leave me be. I don’t want any problem.” My body shakes out of fear.
“Come on now, baby. Play nice. You might like it. My good friend and I just want to play.” One of the two says, mocking at my expense.
I try to run to escape from them, but one of them is way faster than me. He grabs me forcefully by my hair, slamming me hard against a wall.
“Uh-uh, not so fast, sweety. We haven’t had our fun yet.”
“SOMEONE PLEA…” I start screaming. I quickly regret it as I receive a slap from the one who’s holding me up against the wall.
“What did I tell you, huh? Tell me, are you going to be a good girl from now on?”
Tears are streaming down my face. I can’t believe that faith would have brought me here. So I would endure something else on my list that was my life.
“That’s right. Nice and easy. Be good, and we won’t hurt you.” He says to me as he starts unbuttoning my blouse.
“Fuck, your skin is so soft.” He whispers over my skin, and I want to vomit. “Hey, Vick, come taste her skin.” He turns around to look for his friend.
“Vick? Vick? Where the hell are you, man?”
He pulls away from me and looks for his friend. Now it would be a good time to run, but I can’t find the courage. My body is still shaking.
“Guess more for me then.” He licks his lips with his tongue in a discussing way.
He ogles at my body then he walks toward me again. I don’t know if it's my imagination caused by fear mixed with fatigue, but out of nowhere, I see a shadow appear behind him. I hear something snaps very loud and quickly. Then the body of my attacker falls to the ground, lifeless.
It’s too much for me to handle any of this. I collapse to the floor. Before I pass out, I feel two muscular arms picking me up bridal style.
For some unusual reason, I feel safe before darkness takes over me.
As I slowly regain consciousness, I’m lying on something soft. It’s been a while since my body touched something as comfortable. I want to stay here forever.
My eyes widen as I feel eyes on me. I sit so quickly that my head spins a little.
“I see you’re finally awake.” When I hear that voice speaking to me, it warms my heart somehow as I feel safe at the same time.
I must have hit my head harder than I thought to think such a thing. Then what went on earlier hit me. He must be the one who saved me.
I look around as I try to look at him. I don’t see anyone, but I can feel his presence. He must be lurking in the shadows.
“Why have you brought me here?” What a stupid thing to ask.
“Where else should I have brought you? I don’t know where you live. Now that you’re awake, It would be best if you leave.”
No, I don’t want to leave. For some reason unknown to me, I want to stay. It’s been a while since I felt this safe. I don’t want to go back to what awaits me. It’s only pain and suffering. I want to feel safe as I am now.
“If you give me a choice. I want to stay. I can clean for you. You must be needing a maid.” I say desperately. I don’t want to go back. Please don’t let me go back.
I hear nothing, Is he gone? No, I can still feel his eyes on me. Then, I see him coming out from the shadows. He is, without a doubt, the most beautiful man I have ever seen. He has dark hair and a beard that covers his entire jaw with brown eyes. He has tattoos that go up on his arms travelling on his chest.
I can see in his eyes he’s struggling with the decision that he must take.
“Very well. You’ll be my new maid. You’ll pay your rent by working for me. In return, I will provide you with what you’ll need.”
He doesn’t wait for me to thank him. He leaves the room. I look around, and I think this must be my room. When he’s gone, I realize what I’ve done.
What came over me? I don’t even know him.
I felt drawn to him. Was it an allusion?
Did I make a deal with the devil himself?
No, even if he isn’t with me, I feel safe, and that’s all that matters to me.