He's only inches away from me now. His hands are on either side of the leather chair I'm sat in. He's standing, but leaning in. I'm feeling hot, and tingly. I don't want to make eye contact, I don't want to give in. He doesn't let me though, he uses him one hand and places it under my chin to guide my gaze up. His thumb rubs over my full lip, with some pressure. I look at his eyes, then to his lips, back to his eyes. He looks like he's ready to pounce, and I don't want to stop him. His hand is putting some pressure on my neck now, not too much, just enough to show dominance, in a playful, sexy way. Why am I falling for this man, the man that stole me.
But let's rewind to a month ago.
My name is Scarlett. Scarlett Ellis. Im 23 years old but unlike other, bubbly, busy 23 year olds I keep to myself. I go to work, I go home. The routine rarely changes, and Im okay with that. I think.
The air feels crisp here. Not fresh, but crisp. The crowds and fleets of people still keep me on my toes. After nearly 5 months living in New York City, I am still no where near accustomed to this vibrant city. There are always places to go and people to see. But I don't have places to go, or people to see. I just have me.
I feel the jolt of pressure as someone walking much faster that I am bumps me out of the way. I pick up my pace and head home. I've been staying in this not so safe area of the city. It has its perks though, like cheap rent and... well I guess that's it's only perk. I moved to New York pretty abruptly. It wasn't something I really thought I'd ever do, but I've always wanted to have a change of pace, and, well, after something happened I decided life was to short, jumped on a plane, left everything behind, and now I'm here.
Soon enough I'm walking up the stairs of my complex. Luckily my apartment is on the second floor, I feel sorry for the people who have to walk up so many flights of stairs. After a little jingle of the keys I'm back home. I toss my bag on my counter and peel off the sweaty shoes that have been molded to my feet after walking all day. It's Friday so I'm sure I'll be receiving a call from Emma here soon. Emma is a work friend, she invites me out with her and her friends all the time, which I do appreciate but sometimes, or most of the time, I want to be home. Granted going out really helps me keep my mind off things.
Yup, there it is. The call I've been waiting for. After a deep breath, and a couple rings I answer the phone.
"Emma" I answer.
"I'll come to your place for 8, we are hitting the new club not too far from yours. I'm bringing Megan with me!" She replies, excitedly.
"Ya ya. I'll see you at 8." I say back. Most of the time I would put up a little fight, but it's been a long week and I could really let off some steam. Plus if it's close by I can take off and walk home whenever. I decide to pass time by watching some reality tv. Watching those catty women have fits over every little superficial thing really makes me feel better about myself. Is that wrong? I don't know but I don't really care. So I'm a little judgmental, sue me.
Before I know it 7 o clock hits. I should probably start getting ready, I'm sure we will have a couple pre drinks here before we head out. I jump up, change the tv show to some relaxing music and head to the bathroom. The qualities I've once hated about myself, I'm learning to love. My honey blonde hair, deep tanned golden skin and sandy light brown eyes just mesh into each other. I used to think I had no depth to my appearance. I looked mono tone, no variety. But the most simple things can be beautiful too. My darker coloured lips contrast though, they have always been my favourite feature. I touch up my makeup from earlier, add some powder, a little more bronzer, re-curl my lashes and top it off with a vibrant red lip. I'm not big on wearing those skimpy little dresses when going out, so I decide on a black, tight long sleeve, that has a nice low back. Paired with wide leg, black trousers. A little stroppy chunky heel will dress this outfit up enough, I suppose.
Emma and Megan made it over a little earlier than expected. We had some drinks at my tiny 600 square foot apartment and took a 15 minute walk over to the club. We got there before the busiest hours hit, but people were rolling in fast. The music was loud, the lights were dark, people were crammed. I spent my time sitting at the bar top, sipping of a couple beverages before I decided to call it a night. Emma and Megan were on the dance floor, I didn't want to disturb their fun so I decided to make the trip home and send them a text while I'm walking.
It's been about 8 minutes of walking. It's late October, in preparation of winter the air is extra cold tonight. I should be home soon, but I don't recognize these buildings beside me. It wasn't a long walk, but now I'm doubting if I even know the way. The crowds from the night life starts to fade and now I'm making my way into quieter neighbourhoods. My stomach is turning, I'm feeling uneasy and I'm not sure how to get home. I take a turn and am stopped in my tracks as I see a group of men, maybe 5 or so, standing around a guy kneeling before them. They are a bit away from me, I mostly see there outlines, I can't make out any features. I'm tucked right by the wall, with a large dumpster a few feet in front of me, so I doubt they can see me, but I need to leave. Just as I start to turn around I hear it. A loud bang, my ears start to ring. A sound I'm oh so familiar with, a sound that I heard not to long ago. A gunshot. My heart is pumping so hard. I can feel it pulsating my temples and behind my tightly shut eyes. My breath is short and fast, I can't catch my breath and I find myself sinking towards the ground leaning up ahead the filthy dumpster beside me. I'm having a panic attack. Tears flood my eyes and I have my hand covering my mouth, trying to be as quiet as I can while sobbing into my knees. The gunshot, something many people hear without blinking an eye, had sent me into a state of panic, sorrow, and desperation. Desperate for me to be back home, desperate for my childhood to be different, desperate for my mom to be holding me close right now. I don't know how long I stayed there. It could of been 5 minutes, it could of been 30 but it didn't matter. Because when I looked up, three men were standing a few feet in-front of me, staring at me, with a hint of pity and a mountain of embarrassment, embarrassment for me of course. My breathing remains heavy, and now loud, as I'm no longer keeping myself quiet.
"Please, I won't say I word, I swear" I'm pleading for my fucking life. I've seen movies, it won't make a difference. I'm good as dead. "Please let me leave, I won't say anything"
"This is fucking pathetic. Look at her." the man in the middle says, staring right at me. The street lights are hitting his face now, although it's casting a shadow on his face, and my tears are making it hard to see. I can make out a bit. A neatly trimmed beard. Raven black hair, thick, scolding eyebrows. My thoughts are cut short.
"Grab her. Stick her in the car." He says again.