After 6 years, I still can't forget.
“Me and my little brother were home alone back then. My dad doesn’t sleep in our house anymore because he was caught cheating and my mom started to have more work hours ever since. She’s now raising us “independently” even though our dad still provides a little backup, but they don’t seem to acknowledge each other as a spouse anymore. At least not my mom.”
The first paragraph I read to the audience seemed to catch their immediate sympathy. This was my first time in an Open Mic session where we could share our stories. My story was supposed to be therapeutic and it caught the attention of this underground coffee bar. Tonight’s theme was “Things that we are still looking for.” As I gulped to read my next paragraph, I felt just then how depressing the dark yellow lighting was. It felt like everyone inside was lonelier than me, and each set of faces slightly hidden by the dim lighting looked more hopeless than the last.
“That night, my mom was on her night shift as a nurse in Divine Mercy Hospital and my dad wasn’t there as usual. I was cooking SPAM halfheartedly for our dinner because we were just too filled with preservatives ever since that event between our parents. I was thinking of this certain pity towards my brother for having experienced firsthand what it felt like to be in the middle of a fight between mom and dad. My dad was holding his “secret” (by secret he thought hide it under the bed and hope honey doesn’t discover) phone out of my mom’s reach as my brother was sitting in front of his old laptop. My dad was yelling for him to get the phone and throw it far away as he kept on telling my mom that it’s nothing... as she was beating him with her two fists frantically. My brother took the phone and threw it as I stood behind my door held slightly ajar, hoping for things to end. I wouldn’t have did the same if I was him, but then again I wasn’t probably brave enough to even think if I were in his position.”
Before I got to read the touchy part, I felt a bit of shame. I remembered how embarrassed the first guy was when he read his story about his missing wedding ring and how things went south from there. I also remembered how some of us laughed when this one woman lost her grandma’s ancestral brooch and how granny constantly scared her. Those were relatively shallow compared to my story but I read on anyway.
“It was the first time I saw my mom cry outside watching drama flicks. It was the first time I saw my dad in this embarrassing situation. My brother might not have known what was happening, but I knew our family was over. And as I finished frying the SPAM, my reminiscing was broken by my little brother yelling over something. I asked him what was wrong and he kept saying “Emily, there’s an ugly man outside our window.” I joked if it was our dad but he didn’t break his worried face.
“I looked at the window he was pointing towards, and it was the window near our front door. It was big enough for anyone outside to look like they were in a portrait, but I didn’t see anyone there. I asked my brother if we knew him, but he kept referencing that thriller flick we just watched where there was a killer who knocked on the window with his face and that he looked horrifying. No disfigurements, no demonic shit, just looked plain angry. I asked what the man was doing and he said the man was pointing at our door, gesturing for my brother to open it.
“I looked at the door and found out that it wasn’t dead bolted. As I was slowly realizing the situation with the sight of big muddy shoeprints on the floor from the door, a sound made me turn around. A fat face with uneven eyes; a blood curdling smile that showed dark, yellowish teeth; cheeks that sagged and badly receding hairline followed with a sharp stinging pain were the last things I remember before blacking out.”
I heard a few gasps and I somehow felt that all attention was on me. My eyes felt watery and I could feel a lump in my throat after remembering those scary things, but I also felt a little better for sharing even if it’s still midway from everything. The dim lighting created an atmosphere that was both uncomfortable and comfortable at the same time. I felt a tingly sensation apart from feeling like crying, and my hands and feet started to sweat a little.
“I woke up with the sight of my little brother’s right eye which was sore and purple. He had drying blood on his upper lip and his shirt was like a rag. He was tied on a soft-padded wall facing me. Soon I discovered that I was in the same predicament. My left temple hurt really bad and I had a bowl of hogwash in front of me. My brother’s was empty. I wasn’t hungry though. I was scared.
“It seemed like we were in a basement. I couldn’t see where I was tied to but it felt like the same soft-padded wall. I couldn’t move my head because it really hurt. I could just move my eyes but couldn’t whisper either. I just knew my brother was staring at his bowl since God knows when. My legs felt numb and I couldn’t move any of my limbs. My left arm was filled with bruises and my watch was missing. My night dress was tattered. On the faraway wall to my left was a door. A door that I wanted to go to so badly, but couldn’t. Light seeped through the foot of the door, teasing me with the thought of “so close yet so far.”
“After some time I began to regain my sensation of feeling, much to my suffering. My whole body was hurting, especially my private parts. I tried moving my feet and my brother noticed. But when he looked at me, he looked frightened to death. I was starting to feel and gain control of my limbs when I asked myself that if my hands were tied in front of me, what’s keeping me from moving?
“My brother was crying. His voice sounded like he screamed for days. Moreover, I felt really sore down there. I could finally move my head when I felt that the wall I was tied to was breathing. I looked down and found that I was sitting on hairy legs and I felt a hard object on my backside. Then something slimy sucked on my nape.
“I smelled and felt warm dog breath and a deep voice that said “Hmmm my darling is awake,” as he proceeded to violate me. His hands were going all over and I felt his harsh, rough fingers as they sent extreme disgust in my mouth. I tried to stand up and bolt but my legs were very weak and he was holding me tightly with his fucking violating hands. I cried for help as the man yelled “Pussy licking service, how may I help-”
“He paused midway when I flashed a look at my brother but he wasn’t there anymore. I heard the man’s voice fading from screaming to whimpering as blood poured into my neck. I shouldered the man’s full weight as I saw my brother run towards the double doors, screaming. I could hear a bunch of other men’s voices and lots of thumping, but all I wanted was to be as far away as possible from the sickening pig behind me. I rolled to my side and then dragged my body away from him as his unearthly smile widened. His rough, fat fingers were still moving as he said “Y-ya liked it... Din’t cha?” His uneven eyes and his receding hairline and his yellowish teeth and his sickening smile and his... I could not stand looking at him and his hairy body. I involuntarily imagined how long I have been his toy and how his disgusting self ravaged me in front of my brother. I dragged myself outside, following the blood from my brother’s knife, through a corridor of dusty canned goods, rooms with hanging shirts that seemed to be used and a kitchen full of dishes to do.
“I went on until I reached the open door and let myself collapse in the middle of the street. The next thing I saw upon waking up is an hospital setting with my friends around me. I underwent therapy and transferred to another town and finally reached this place where I can finally-”
I felt like breaking into tears but I held it as I saw some of the people in the audience teary-eyed, some were in disgust, some were in awe.
“Where I can finally share my story to people who can sympathize with me. Until now, my little brother is still missing and it still haunts me how I was so helpless in front of him. I don’t even know if he’s dead now or what, but we turned to the authorities and some of the men responsible were arrested, but the man who invaded our house and violated me was nowhere to be found. I am still afraid that he might pop out in my house when I sleep or something. I still have horrifying dreams of him at night, and I don’t think I can manage another frightening experience. Thanks for listening.”
They were clapping as I left the stage. Some were saying I was very brave and some where crying with me. I knew I was a strong person, but apparently not strong enough for my brother.
The man next to me walked to the stage as people behind me were patting me as I cried, including the woman who lost her grandma’s ancestral brooch. “You are a very strong woman. You should write an inspirational book,” she said.
Her comment felt really off but I thought she was just being nice or she was really moved.
The man on the stage started sharing as the woman beside me suddenly smiled. Still wiping his eyes and with his voice shaking, the man on stage said “I didn’t know this Open Mic tonight would be so heartbreaking. And I didn’t-” His voice trailed off as he started crying. My heart skipped a beat as I recognized who this man was. “I didn’t know I’d find who I’ve been looking for here.”
The hands that were patting me started to grab me and I could see the crazy smile on the woman’s face. The man on the stage had uneven eyes; a blood curdling smile that showed dark, yellowish teeth; cheeks that sagged and badly receding hairline.
“I didn’t know I’d find you here, honey.”