I will survive. I may not be living but I will survive. All I need to do is keep doing as I am asked and I will have my chance. I will be compliant and obedient, I will be whatever they want me to be. I am not me. I have lost that but there is still her.
I must get out and find her. She may be still alive, may still be in need for me. I will be there to help her. Weak, weak, weak, my demons chuckle. How am I supposed to help her when I can barely help myself? But I will. I will.
“Up!” A harsh voice commands and I jump right on my feet.
I will be nice and I will follow all requests, make them feel good. That is what I do well and I will keep doing that. I am good at this, I need to be. So, I bite down the bile I feel rise from my stomach and I straighten my dress.
The door unlocks and he walks in, looking at me with the same exploratory look and I force a smile on my lips. Wider smile, don’t tense your shoulders, I order. He will read it on me, the hesitation, the disgust crawling on my skin. I can’t let him. I am a good girl. A very, very good girl.
“Wear the blue one,” he barks. “No make-up.”
I nod in compliance and I move to the wardrobe. Apart from the small bed and the mirror, it’s all the furniture in this windowless room. Long, expensive dresses hang in there, tight leather skirts, lace lingerie. I look through and I spot the blue dress, too much resembling a school uniform. I know what that means.
“Pigtails?” I look over my shoulder.
The man shakes his head in approval and I relax internally. He likes that I know my job so well. I shed the dress I am wearing and I hear him shift behind me. A whimper almost leaves my lips but I push it down.
I know he likes me. I know he likes me and that he holds the keys to this room. That is all that matters, not his smelly breath, not his filthy hands, not his pulped nose. I pick two cotton panties and I turn to him stark naked.
“This one or this one?” I smile innocently.
He takes two steps to me and I brace myself. He eyes me greedily and I cock my waist. When he is standing right in front of me, I try to breath without cringing as the heavy stink coming off his pores hits me.
“You are fine, girl,” his voice is hoarse.
This is it. I dare raise one hand to touch him. I read him like I read all the men I’ve met ever since I was young. He has been ugly his whole life, born in the lowest of lows. He is hardened but somewhere deep inside he needs the notion, the illusion, the dream of tenderness. I can provide that illusion. I have been doing so for others. But before I touch him he grabs my arm and forces me against the wall.
“You think you are the first bitch that tried to pull this shit on me?” He spits on my face. “Now, get ready before I mess your pretty face. And then what good are you to us?”
I fight the tears that well in my eyes and I nod slowly to let him know I get it.
“Good girl,” he walks and stands by the door.
I am. I am a good girl.