My eyes were sore and heavy due to lack of sleep. I felt like I couldn’t sleep without hearing a sound and becoming terrified so I spent the entire night with my eyes open, not wide open but enough to know if the door opened again - it didn’t.
The door didn’t open until the next morning. It wasn’t Val who walked in, however. Just as he promised, it was one of his men which I suppose anyone was better than him.
Rafe closed the door behind him, one hand held a small bag and he shoved his other hand into his pocket, I looked away, unknowing what he was going to pull out. Another taser? A knife? The list was endless.
“You’re bleeding,” He said as he approached the bed, touching my wrist where scars were formed from the weight on the handcuffs.
I nodded slightly, “I’m aware.”
I felt a sudden release when he unlocked the handcuffs and I quickly brought my bloodied wrists to my chest, feeling a sense of comfort from being able to move again.
Rafe stood silently by the bed and opened the bag he brought here, “We should get the wax off...”
I shook my head, feeling emotional at the thought. I knew it had to come off but I was scared to feel more pain, “I don’t want to... Not yet. It still hurts if I move too much.”
“I know, but... this will help a little,” He pulled out a small bottle of baby oil and cotton balls, “It helps remove dried on oil. The sooner it’s off, the sooner you can heal.”
I sat up slightly and lifted my shirt just a little. My stomach was red and blistered, the wax was clear on my skin and covered most of my stomach.
Rafe sat next to me and looked at me, “I’m going to pour some oil on that, okay?”
I felt a rush of cold on my stomach once he poured some oil onto me and I noticed him reaching from some cotton balls, the part that I dreaded.
“Wait!” I grabbed his arm before quickly pulling my hand away, “I’m sorry... I-I... I’m just nervous.”
Rafe extended his hand towards me and passed me the cotton balls, “Do it at your own pace, alright?”
I looked up at him, confused. There had to be some kind of catch here, “Why are you being nice to me?”
“Not everyone here wants to hurt you, Elaina.”
My eyes shifted to my currently oiled stomach and I carefully rubbed the cotton balls against the wax, flinching from the impact. It hurt. The blisters were impossible to avoid and in order to make the wax move, I had to apply slight pressure.
I felt Rafe’s hand in my hair and I jumped slightly, remembering Val grabbing my hair and shoving me against the bed.
“Don’t touch me!” I begged him, feeling like this entire thing was a set up suddenly. I was on guard, as soon as Rafe touched me I assumed the worst.
He quickly held his hands up in defense, standing from the bed slowly, “Hey, I’m sorry... I was just trying to comfort you, but I’ll back away.”
I covered my face with my hands and closed my eyes tightly. Why was I feeling like this? I hated feeling like this; miserable and afraid. I was taking my anger out on someone who was actually being kind but it was only because I had no idea who I could trust.
Rafe is Val’s friend - one of his valued men. He isn’t here to help me. He’s here to spy.
“Please go...” I said softly, “Unless you plan on letting me out of here, it’s best that I be alone.”
I could hear Rafe set something down and he moved towards the door, “There’s ointment in the bag, you don’t want to get an infection. Someone will be down with food for you later.”
I didn’t answer. I only looked at the wall and waited for him to leave before continuing to rub the wax off with baby oil and cotton balls.
It took hours. The pain was too much that I had taken breaks in between for the pain to settle and by the time I had gotten the last piece of wax off of my stomach, certain areas were bleeding slightly but not terribly.
I laid on my back, taking a deep breath. Thank god that was over. It felt never ending and the healing process could begin. My head turned to the side to see the bag a short distance away. I needed that ointment, but I couldn’t find the strength to move.
My mind forced me to sit up, I knew very well that if I didn’t take care of this burn that it would get infected and I didn’t want that at all. Maybe Val wanted that, but not me.
I stood up and limped to the table, taking the ointment out of the bag and opening it. As I gently rubbed it onto my burn I felt a soothing relief.
My stomach was red, but at least the wax was removed now.
I heard footsteps and I kept my back to the door, not wanting to see Rafe again. No one respects me or takes me seriously here but I shouldn’t expect anything more than how I’m getting treated now.
Currently sitting on the floor, I was facing the bed and staring at the mattress when the door opened again. Why did he come back? I just wanted to be alone.
“You’re not even going to say hello?” Val’s voice shocked me and I jumped up instantly, turning to face him and stepping back but the back of my legs hit the bed. The corner of his mouth twitched upwards into a smirk and his lifted a container that was in his hand, “I took it upon myself to bring you your meals for the day.”
As he walked to the little table, he set the container down and I watched him closely. He had scratches on his face from where I slapped him yesterday. I had remembered digging my nails into as deeply as I could at the time, I wanted to inflict pain on him but a few scratches would never be enough.
“How did you sleep?” He asked when he looked at me again.
He was seriously asking me that? Sick freak.
“Good,” I lied.
He kept his eyes on me and motioned towards my stomach, “Let me see.”
I began to shake my head no but quickly stopped myself and slowly lifted the hem of my shirt so Val could see the damage he had done.
He made a sizzling sound, “Ah... That looks bad. Rafe gave you ointment, I assume. Keep applying it.” Val headed towards the door again and he stopped to look at me, “No one else will be down to see you. As long as you’re down here you’ll be alone, as you wish.”
I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion. Rafe told him? That was very quick. “But... what about food?”
“Today’s portion is there,” He pointed to the table, “Every other day will be dropped off before you wake up in the mornings.”
“How will you know of I’m awake or not?” I questioned him.
He simply pointed to the corner of the room before walking out and closing the door behind him.
Click. The door was locked.
I looked to the corner of the room and in the corner of the ceiling I hadn’t noticed until now, a small camera was visible - he was watching me. Even now, he was always watching me.
He knew that I didn’t sleep last night, he knew the pain he inflicted on me, and he knew how hard it was for me to go through the pain all over again while removing the wax.
I slowly stood up and walked over to the table, looking at the container. It looked pretty small for someone to eat out of for an entire day.
As I opened the lid, I was face with one meal and one meal only. White rice. It was set by a bottle of water and I felt like I was on an episode of Survivor but even those people stand more of a chance of surviving than I do.
This charade went on longer than I expected. Val was right. He knew when I was sleeping and when I wasn’t because every morning I woke up there was a new container of rice waiting on the table along with a fresh bottle of water.
My burn still hurt but the days helped it become more barable and begin to heal over slightly.
Every night I slept in the pitch black, if it weren’t for having my watch on I wouldn’t even know the time of day. I had learned that Val turned the lights off at 10:00pm every night and I dreaded the very second.
I counted each day, feeling further and further away from social interaction which I’m sure was exactly what he wanted. My days were spent either sitting on the bed or just laying there. If I wasn’t eating the bland rice, I had nothing else to do but sit and wait for whatever was to come.
This went on for nearly two weeks. Twelve longs days based on the tally I had started. It wasn’t until the thirteenth day when the door opened that I was allowed to leave.
It wasn’t Val or Rafe who came to get me, but Stefano. He led me out of the horrible room that I’ve spent the past two weeks in and down a long, cold hallway, not speaking a single word.
Did he hate me too?
There was a staircase and Stefano went before me, waiting for me at the top. As I followed him we entered a small room and Stefano opened the door, nearly blinding me from the sunlight.
He passed me a pair of sunglasses, “Wear these for now.”
I quickly put them on and followed Stefano out of the room, standing in shock when I realized where we were. In the backyard. This entire time I had been hidden under the backyard, though I assumed I was in the basement.
Stefano turned to face me, “You should take a shower. Get cleaned up, Val isn’t home so you have some alone time until he gets back.”
“Does he have plans for me?” I asked Stefano, nervous to hear his answer but after what he just said I had to ask.
He shook his head, “Honestly, Elaina? Not that I know of. But I’m sure you want space before he’s hovering over you.”
I nodded my head slowly, “Thank you.”
I looked towards the house, taking a deep breath and beginning to walk towards the back door. As I leave one nightmare I return to another. The past two weeks had been the worst of my life and I know just how much of a ticking time bomb Val is.
Stefano was right. I needed to shower. I felt disgusting and the last person I wanted to see right now was the monster I’ve been forced to call my husband.