An Oath Forgotten
The wood stairs creaked under my feet once more as my heels hit the surface with force. The light in the stairwell glistened across the darkened varnish in little strips of light that my feet chased, never seeming to catch up with. The basement door was still open wide, allowing the fluorescent glow to cascade over the cracked and worn floor blending in with the consuming dark.
Whatever anxiety I had had; whatever doubts or lack of strength that had crossed my mind just minutes prior had all seemed to vanish. Something, a part of me I had never expected had completely taken over my body. I was unsure if it was the need for revenge, the need to prove myself to Adrian, or the need satisfy my curiosity of what this life actually felt like once completely submerged within its grasp.
I stood at the bottom of the stairs, staring into the shadows. Only the outline of him could be traced with the naked eye. I took one last inhale through my nose causing my chest to rise if only for a moment before holding my breath. Whatever I chose to do. Whatever I chose to say. I knew there would be emotions nagging in the back of my mind; the unwillingness to cause harm to another human being. But as I expelled the last of the carbon dioxide I had been holding in, it too removed any unnecessary guilt my mind had already wanted to claim. This needed to be done. This HAD to be done.
My feet moved without much thought, positioning myself under the light fixture. My core stretched as my arm reached up to the small chain dangling down and pulled it, quickly illuminating the dreary basement room.
Moments flashed through my mind. Less than a year ago I was on Franco’s side of this endeavour chain to the ceiling waiting for hell to take me. It was an odd feeling, standing here holding all the power in my hands, having the freedom to leave whenever I so choose to do so. One part of me wanted to turn away as the memories flowed like faint pictures behind my eyelids. The other part of me wanted to use those memories as ammunition for the power I needed, for the strength I needed.
I stood in front of him. His face was empty. But behind his eyes a darkness roamed causing my throat to swallow forcefully as my mind flipped through thoughts of reconsideration of what I was about to do. My nails dug into the palms of my hands; my knuckles so tightly clenched they had begun to turn white. The air in between him and I filled with an uncomfortable silence as we both glared at each other waiting for the other to finally speak.
“Shall we continue our conversation Franco?” My arms crossed over my chest, showing my disgust in the man chained to the chair in front of me. He didn’t even try to move. He didn’t fight the cuffs that surrounded his wrist forcing his arm to rest against the frame of the chair. His hands had started to turn white from the lack of circulation. Metal cuff surrounded each ankle claiming his body completely to the chair. Seeing him like this gave my body a rush of relief. He was going nowhere. His body, his mind, were at my disposal.
“No? You had so much to say earlier Franco. Why so quiet now?” I sarcastically pouted to him. His eyes glared towards me. His nostrils flaring with rage. Just below his top lip twitched. If he weren’t in the position he was in now, chained and bound, I would have already had a bullet through my skull.
“I see lover boy decided to let you take a crack at me. I must have fucked you up more than I thought I did if you think you can break me when he couldn’t.”
“You? Fucked me up?” A laugh escaped my mouth before I had a chance to muffle it. “Hardly. I’ve been fucked up. You just put me in a position to figure out who I really wanted to be all along.”
“So you think you have what it takes huh? You think if I’m not fucking afraid of that asshole over there that you’re going to have me shaking and coughing up the information you want? Fuck that.” His eyes darted from Adrian over to me. My head turned slightly to look at Adrian from the corner of my eye. A small smirk crossed the corner of my cheek.
Adrian had been leaning against the wall. His arms were crossed over his chest. He lifted one of his immaculately polished shoes to press against the wall. His sleeves of his button down shirt had been rolled up showing the bulging veins in his forearms. The seam of the sleeves stretched thin by his biceps. Blood was splattered in diagonal lines from his shoulder to his waist. His jeans seemed clean but they were a dark washed color so blood could have been hiding in plain sight. Hair fell down to his forehead from the rest that were neatly pushed back. God I was so in love with this man. Even at a time like this, all I wanted was to be surrounded by him.
No particular emotion ran across his stern face. His eyes were full over wonder, worry and observation. Despite the occasional glimmers of concern that passed through his eyes he gave me the smallest nod that most would have missed, signaling me to continue whatever I had planned.
My head turned back towards Franco, a devilish grin still lifting my lips upward. My feet took the tiniest steps towards him until he was inches away from my skin. My fingers unlatched from pressing into the palms of my hands to reach for the armrest of the chair. I latched on tightly, causing my back to bend over from the height difference. My face dipped down to the side of his head, my lips centimeters away from his ear.
“See here’s the thing” I began to whisper into his ear. “You should be afraid of me.” I pushed myself away from the chair walking nonchalantly to the metal cabinet in the corner of the room, the one I had seen him go to many times. “You should have killed me you know, finished the damn job. Care to know why?” I began rummaging through all the tools that laid in front of me. There was no response from him. “Ha, found it.” I finally found the one thing I wanted lifting it into my hand. My devilish smirk turning into a full blown smile and not a part of me felt guilty for it. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned Franco. I’m sure it’s something you’re not used to seeing as I’m probably the only survivor of your fucking pathetic ways.” I stood back in front of him, the serrated blade gripped tightly in my hand balancing by my thigh. Every so slightly I raised my arm caressing the grooves of the blade over his cheek bone. “Remember this? You used this on me, countless times. Creating your works of art because you could. Taking small gouges out of me, piece by piece while your eyes turned demonic and your sadistic laugh rang in my ears.”
“You won’t hurt me bitch. You took an oath. You don’t have what it fucking takes.” He spit his words at me in disgust. I continued trailing the blade down his neck pressing just a little harder. If he were to move even slightly the blade would slip and nick his carotid artery.
I lifted the blade in one swift motion and dropped down to his eye level as my body balanced on the balls of my feet. My hands gripped the sides of the chair.
“That oath you speak of... well that oath was thrown out the fucking window a long time ago. I may have been a nurse who promised to save each person she could, to do no harm. But she didn’t know what true evil resided in this world, until you showed your fucking face. That nurse that took that oath didn’t know who she was, where she belonged. She didn’t know what it felt like to be loved, or have a family. If I have to throw that damn oath away to protect the ones I love, then so fucking be it.”
“You don’t even know what the hell you’re doing. Sure you hold that knife in your hand but you’re stalling otherwise you would have already used it. If you think for one second you have what it takes and you’re little fucking lover boy doesn’t, who mind you I’ve trained since he was a child, than your more fucking dumb than I originally thought.”
I don’t know what flooded over me. My body language must have changed because Adrian’s voice hit my eardrum without a second thought. All I could hear was his scolding words saying my name, threatening me not to do what was crossing my mind. But I could feel my face flush, the rage in me boil over. My teeth snarled at Franco. I could feel something new surface. The nurse that took that oath so long ago really was gone and replaced by someone new. Someone who had something to fight for, a family to fight for. And she was a bad bitch that was willing to do what it took to get what she wanted.
It was over before I had even known what I had done. Still balancing on the balls of my feet my hand released the chair, turning the blade handle in my hand to a correct position and slammed it down into Franco’s thigh. His muffled screams could be heard throughout the house before they turned into a string of curse words.
“You fucking BITCH.” I left the knife submerged into his flesh and began to stand up. He refused to make eye contact with me as his brain was too focused on the pain radiating through his leg. I quickly grabbed his chin and forced his face to look up at me.
“Don’t fucking play with me Franco. While you were trained in this, your tactics are all superficial. And I would know personally. I know every bit of fucking anatomy to cause the most harm and pain but keep you fucking alive. Like this spot here for example.” I kept his chin in my hand but reached with the other one grinding the knife that lay in his muscle. “This spot here. No major vessels or arteries. Sure you’ll bleed once I pull it out. But luckily for you, you won’t bleed out to death. Or is that lucky for me? Either way. I know things you don’t. And better fucking yet. I know drugs that you’ve never heard of. Paralytic drugs that will render your body useless, hushing your screams, no matter how hard you try. The only thing that it won’t affect is your lungs ability to keep breathing. Still think you shouldn’t be afraid of me? Guess you fucking thought wrong.” As my last words left my tongue I ripped the knife out of his leg with shear force causing a burgundy river a blood to stream from his new wound.
I didn’t even bother wiping the blood off of it. I simple tossed it back into the cabinet and slammed the door shut. I turned to face Franco once more as I reached for the light above his head. “I’ll give you some time to think about who you should really be afraid of now. Him or me.” And with that I shut the light off, leaving him in the dark with nothing but his own thoughts.