It was wrong. All of it. From the feeling of my pricked arms to the drip, drip, of the leaky ceiling up above as it slowly filled a pail with water. My eyes had been trained on the pail, watching, waiting, listening. Fear clenched through every piece of my body. Every vessel in my skin was still in so much agonizing pain from the latest electro-shock treatment I had received. My limbs felt like they might actually fall off, whilst my head throbbed harder than it ever had in the past.
Even the muscles in my neck felt strained as though they were pulled. I wiggled my head from side to side, trying to break the kinks. I had had brief contact with another patient, though I don’t even know if it had been real. She had whispered into my ear, saying that it was ‘best’ if I repeated my own name back to myself. Repeated the things I wanted to remember, so that I wouldn’t forget.
So in this moment I began to do just that. It took me several moments of fighting the haze from the back of my mind but I managed to recall my name. “Gabriel Elijah Brimble,” I whispered to myself, “My sister is Christabella, but I call her Belle…I love her…god…I love her….” I winced as I felt the cuffs press against my wrists as I struggled to get comfortable. “I am sixteen…almost seventeen…I won’t let them break me…I won’t break…” I stared towards the door. It opened as I said the last phrase, “I won’t forget you Belle.”
“I bet you miss her don’t you?” A soft male voice spoke from just outside the door. It was pitch black in my room. Only the low light from the hall shining in at this point, which quickly changed as the male stepped inside, and closed the door.
I was always in such a daze I barely knew one nurse from another. All their faces blurred together, and so did their voices. The male had crossed the room to sit on the side of my bed.
“I love her…” Was all I could mutter in response, the question confusing my doped up mind.
That was when I felt the male’s hand against my forehead, then down across my cheek. He was touching me in the same gentle, and sweet way that Belle would have if she were here. But she wasn’t here. Oh god I wished she was.
“I bet she used to touch you often, didn’t she? Kiss you?” His words made me miss Belle more. His hand traced down my cheek, and over my chest. It was slowly creeping down my stomach, and before I knew it he had wrapped his fingers around my prick. His hand inside of my bottoms by this point. I felt my stomach flip. This wasn’t right…I missed Belle, but I wasn’t so desperate for her. I didn’t want this man to touch me.
“Stop…What are you doing…?” I wasn’t strong enough to even cry out. I hadn’t recovered from the shock therapy. I wasn’t coherent enough to fight.
His hand stroked me, as his lips pressed to mine to silence me. I groaned, and whimpered, trying to fight, but I was strapped down. I wasn’t able to move away from him. My ankles were chaffing from the leather straps holding me tight. My wrists as well. I fought. I tried. But I couldn’t stop him from rousing me. Forcing me to spill my seed for him. I hadn’t been touched since Belle had touched me last. I felt filthy for falling pretty to another man’s lust. I was no longer clean. I was disgusting.
I thought it was over when my seed spilled into my bottoms, but it wasn’t. I felt him releasing my arms, and legs from the bed, but I didn’t comprehend what he was doing until he had me pressed on my stomach. His hardened prick throbbing at my rear passage before he was forcing himself into me. It felt like I was being torn in half.
He muffled my screams of agony by clapping one of his hands over my mouth. I was weak, however and after the initial screams I had tired myself too much to do more than whine as he took me. This act hurt me more than shocks. I couldn’t handle this. I didn’t want to think about it, nor did I want to remember. I felt him finish inside of me, heard his satisfied grunts. As he pulled out of me, straightening my flannel pants after he drew them back up over my rear.
I was lying still as a ragdoll. My thoughts were gone. I forced Belle from my mind, shame taking her place. I had laid with no other. I had BELONGED to no other. I had vowed myself to her completely, heart, soul, and body. I suddenly understood how she had felt when Walter had forced himself on her. How helpless, and sick. Why she didn’t want my touch for so long. Why she had detached herself. I had survived this one assault. But how many more would I endure? Could I bear it?
Tears tracked down my cheeks as I laid brokenly against the bed. He didn’t replace my straps, merely left the room. Quickly closing the door behind himself.
I rolled onto my side. My assaulted bottom ached too much for me to lay on it. I wanted to take a shower. I wanted to erase what had been done, but what was I going to be by the end of this? Would I even be human? I clenched my hands into fists but I was already growing too exhausted to remain awake.
Sleep was beginning to overtake me. I could feel my heavy lids clenching shut, and all sense of self-respect dwindled away.
Screams echoed through the house, causing me to sit bolt upright. Before I even had my eyes open I was sprinting out of bed, fearing it was Cooper screaming. I was into the children’s room before I realized Eli was the only one here. I had fallen asleep. I shook my head and raced towards the noise this time. Panting I stood in the doorway, my eyes blurry as I tried to focus them having just woken up after all.
There was my brother, tears trekking down his cheeks, still deep into his dreams. He was tangled in the covers, having twisted them around his waist several times over. “PLEASE! STOP!” He shouted, “IT HURTS! PLEASE NO MORE!” His cries were heartbreaking. I rushed to his side, pulling at the covers, untwisting them from around his form, trying to stop him from strangling himself. That was when I felt that they were damp.
Furrowing my eyebrows I stared down towards his pants. He had wet himself in his sleep. On top of that he was still screaming as though he was being tortured. I had tears tracing down my cheeks at this point, and I was shaking him, screaming for him to wake up.
He surged upright, and collided his head into mine. I groaned, and took a step back, rubbing at my head firmly as I tried to soothe the pain. “Eli…”
He stared from me, to the blanket still in my hand, to the stain in his trousers. He snatched the blanket from me, and hid his lower half. He was clearly ashamed with himself. His forehead, and hair were drenched in his sweat, and I stood with my heart pounding.
“What are you doing in here?!” He stared up at me with shame-filled eyes.
“I didn’t…you were screaming Eli…like someone was killing you. I couldn’t leave you like that.” I defended, but he didn’t seem surprised.
Eli hadn’t wet the bed since we were children. Actually If I recalled I had been the one that wet the bed. He had stopped by the time he was three. Now I was beyond horrified.
“I used to wake myself up.” He admitted.
“Do you also…wet the bed…? Often?” I wanted to know, even if he would hate me for asking.
His face went ten shades of scarlet, before he turned his eyes away from me, unable to look at me.
“Almost every night.” He shoved the blanket away, clearly figuring I had already seen what had happened anyway. I was used to dealing with accidents. Cooper had them quite a bit, even more now that he was enduring Chemo. The other two had their wetting under control for the most part. I had trained them over the summer.
I chewed my lower lip, before extending my hand to him, “Come on. Let’s get you cleaned up.” I insisted, and he stared up at me for a few seconds as though I were insane, but to my absolute shock he took my extended hand in his own, struggling into a standing position. “Strip.” I demanded of him, and he obliged, shedding his shirt, then his bottoms. Leaving himself exposed to me.
He didn’t even attempt to cover himself up this time. I doubted he got much privacy in that wretched asylum. I would be surprised if they even allowed him to shower on his own. I had peaked at his injuries before, but now they were all bared to my eyes, and as he turned around to thrown his clothes onto the soiled sheets, I nearly lost it right there.
There were bruises on the back of his thighs, and his rear had a dark coloring across the cheeks as well. He turned back towards me, staring at his body then to my eyes. He saw too late what I had seen, and I could see by the look in his hollow orbs he knew it was too late to cover the bruises now.
“How did you get those?” I asked him, already knowing the answer. I merely wanted to hear it. I wouldn’t believe it until I heard it myself.
“They threw me around a lot.” He attempted to lie, but I wasn’t having it.
“Gabriel.” I snapped at him.
Like a child he cowered from me, tears welling in his eyes, “I was raped.” He looked away, “Happy?”
“No. Not even a little bit.” I didn’t react. I couldn’t react. In the end I turned, and headed from the room. He followed me. I drew him a bath ( because he frankly didn’t look strong enough to stand for a shower ) and I sat on the extended bathroom counter whilst he washed himself. He wouldn’t allow for me to touch him ( though now I understood even more why that was ) and I watched in silence as he bathed himself.
“You don’t have to watch me. I won’t drown myself. Promise.” Though his words sounded as though they were meant to be a joke he had no tone when he spoke them. I wasn’t so certain they were much of an attempt at humor. He sounded disgusted, almost solemn.
“I am only here if you need my help.” I admitted.
“Sure it’s not to stare at me naked?” He said it in the same toneless voice, but I couldn’t comprehend if it was meant to be a joke or not this time.
Either way I blushed, “I have seen it before. Many times. I have it memorized…..or I did.”
He had nothing to say to that his eyes trained on his thighs as he scrubbed at them roughly with the washcloth I gave him. Once more we plunged into silence. I was thinking about leaving him after all until he spoke up seconds before I was about to stand.
“Tell me, Christabella do you still find me attractive? Am I everything you remember I was?” His eyes didn’t look up from his task his skin must have been raw by now.
I hopped down from the counter, and reached out stilling his hand. For the first time today he didn’t pull away from me. Maybe he didn’t have the energy to try. My thumb softly brushed the side of his wrist, and I saw him shudder at the contact, goose bumps peeling up his pricked arms.
“No matter how your body changes you are still my big brother. You are always going to be attractive to me.” I paused, for a long hard moment, “No, you are not as I remember you, but I love you anyway. Though I would love you more if you still called me Belle. Like you used to.” He seemed to think about it, before giving me a curt nod. Pulling his wrist from my grip he returned to scrubbing himself though transferred to his stomach now.
“If that is what you want me to call you then I will call you Belle.” He reassured me, “But why did I call you that in the first place?”
“You told me I was your ‘Belle of the Ball’ and it’s French which is how we used to greet one another.” I relayed to him.
Another nod. “I knew French?”
“No. Only Bonjour.”
“Bonjour my Belle.” He breathed out slowly.
My heart nearly stopped.
“Yes. Those exact words. I would say Bonjour Mon Amour, and that would be your response.” I smiled at him. “How did you remember?”
He bit into his lower lip, with a nod. “Like I said before…bits and pieces that don’t connect.”
I felt a little bit of hope surge through me, but it was only a speckle, and I knew our children would be home soon with Anna. I allowed him to finish bathing, before I helped guide him from the tub. After, I provided him with fresh clothes from my dresser stocked full of them. His old things hung off of him he had lost so much weight. I stripped his sheets, and threw them into the washer in the basement, remaking the blown-up mattress with clean sheets, putting a protective pad on top so that when he inevitably wet again he wouldn’t have to change them.
“Do you want more sleep? Or to come downstairs? I could make you dinner?” I offered.
He readily agreed. “I am hungry.” He admitted truthfully, and it was settled. I went downstairs with him hot on my heels to make dinner. Allowing Trouble back in as well. He was settled on the porch sleeping, but hopped right up when he heard the door handle turn. Eli settled on the couch whilst I began dinner, wanting to busy my mind with anything except the knowledge of what I now knew.