Balloon Man

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Chapter 6

Giselle cowered each night knowing that one night Foret would return again. She tried to think of ways to keep him away, and when the night passed and he did not come, she would breathe a sigh of relief.

Then one night, he did come back into her room. She heard the knob turn softly. Foret crept in, closing the door behind him, quietly feeling his way in the dark. Giselle froze, pretending to be asleep. Feeling his breath on her face as he inhaled her scent made her want to throw up, but she remained still, afraid to move. He began touching her.

Unable to hold back her tears, the sobbing became uncontrollable. She knew Foret heard her crying. She hoped he would stop what he was doing but instead, he attempted to lie on top of her small body. When she resisted, Foret held his hand over her mouth and nose.

Suddenly, all that mattered to Giselle was to be able to breathe. Fighting back hard, thrashing and flailing her arms at him, she tried to push his hand off of her mouth and nose. It didn’t work. He was too strong for and soon, she lost consciousness.

When Giselle woke up, it was the middle of the night. Her whole body ached and she felt dried blood on her face and the sheets. She crept into the hallway then downstairs to the bathroom. She washed herself with soap and paper towels then took some up to her room to try and clean the sheet. No matter how hard she rubbed, she couldn’t get the blood off the sheet.

Taking the linens off the bed, she rolled them into a ball. She looked around for a hiding place and remembered the closet in the hallway next to Ada and Foret’s bedroom. Knowing she had to be very, very quiet, she slowly crept out to the hall, ever so steady, ever so quiet, and opened the door to the linen closet.

The smell of mothballs leaked out into the hallway. From years of storing linens in the closet with them, the smell permeated into the wood of the door. Giselle already felt sick and the stench of the mothballs was almost too much to stand.

Holding her breath, she shoved the bloody sheet into a far corner of the closet, pushing it as hard as she could so it would remain concealed and no one would ever find it.

After returning to bed, Giselle lay there all night thinking about what had happened to her. Her body ached and a stabbing pain jolted between her legs, making her feel like she had to pee. Giselle was not sure what he had done to her, but she knew it was wrong.

After that night, Foret would sneak into Giselle’s room as often as he could. He waited until Ada went into the shower or when Ada fell asleep. Then, he would creep into Giselle’s room and touch her in places he shouldn’t. Most of the time, he did not get satisfaction because Ada was always looming around too close for him to finish the act. He did not have to hold Giselle’s mouth shut anymore, for she learned rather quickly what to do to stay alive and unhurt. Like a frozen statue, Giselle didn’t move while he touched and groaned. When he was on top of her and pushed inside, Giselle let her mind pretend she was dead.

Dead. This is what went through her mind each time it happened. She would wait until the middle of the night to go wash her body after Foret left the room. Ada would scream out in the night when Foret was not in their bed, demanding to know why he wasn’t by her side in bed. Foret would run from Giselle’s room, pretending he had been in the bathroom then climb back in bed with his wife.

Ada would scold Foret, telling him he got up too often and it disrupted her rest.

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