Chapter 2: Arrival
When I shut my eyes and rest for the night, my father hits my mom, and then once he is finished with her, he turns his aggression towards me. Running is never an option as he easily overpowers my six-year-old body. It’s the same pattern every time: my mother is struck first, then she screams and cries, she’s smacked again, and then it is my turn. Both of us, two scared females huddling in the bedroom with our arms wrapping around each other, hope the anger passes sooner rather than later. And when the rumbling from the front door slamming vibrates through the house, we know the monster has fled. The last scene is so clear: my mother’s tears rain down from her face, like a light rainfall, dripping onto my tan skin. Little me, child-like Lena, lifts her small fingers and wipes her mother’s sadness away and says, “It will be okay, mommy.” Who knew when our eyes are actually closed, we can watch movies; however, instead of films produced by Hollywood, it’s ones from our subconscious minds that contain our fears, desires, and memories that we wish to forget. Humans have advanced technology, but it’s too bad we can’t record those scenes and use them to conquer our inner weaknesses.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
The constant noise coming from beside me causes me to stir. Instead of finding the source of the sound, I turn over, wanting to continue my visit into dreamland. Even though dreams remind me of my painful childhood, sleep is a drug I need, and when you’re a college student, sleeping can be more pleasurable than any sexual encounter.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
Groaning, I shift again, returning to my original position. If one of my roommates needs to borrow money again, I fucking swear...My thoughts trail off as I flutter my eyelids and then open one eye slowly, dreading to see a shadow creeping underneath my bedroom door; however, expectation and reality are different than I expected.
“Huh?” I blink, now focusing on the body standing beside my driver’s side window. Whoever it is, is wearing dark blue pants that seem blacker in the darkness. Adrenaline pumps through me, growing with each passing second as I try to figure out what’s going on.
“Is everything all right? If you can hear me, roll down your window please,” a cop, based on the golden badge that finally comes into view on their chest, from what I can tell, says as they shine a flashlight into my car, causing me to flinch and cover my eyes. From the tone of the voice, it’s a woman, which eases my growing anxiety a bit, but then again, even women can be killer.
As my arms move from my side over to the buttons on the door, aches shot through me, making me wince; however, after my fingers touch the controls for the window, the pain subsides. I do as she asks; the glass barrier between us descends into the car.
She bends down some, coming to my level. With her chestnut hair pulled back into a bun and her pale skin contrasting against the darkness, she uses her light to seemingly search my car, probably looking for any drug paraphernalia. After she points the flashlight on the passenger seat, she checks the back, and her focus is me again.
“Were you coming from the college?” She asks, bluntly, while keeping her spotlight on my face, which is almost blinding me. You got to love cops.
“Yes,” I answer as I squint my eyes, “I don’t remember what happened, or why I am even in my car,” I answer honestly, which is probably stupid because she may believe I’ve been drinking; however, my breath should say otherwise.
“Well”—she clicks the flashlight off and places a hand on the door—“I was driving when I saw your car on the side of the road. I didn’t see any damage, though, and I know you college students have finals this week before winter break starts. My sister goes to the same school. Since I don’t smell anything on you or see anything in your car, I take it you fell asleep at the wheel, huh?” She studies my face, and it’s clear she’s trying to get a story out of me.
For a second, I ponder what happened before this, but all I remember was Ryu’s rejection and Lyla persuading me to have an orgy with some strangers at a club. Both memories are gut-wrenching; however, they don’t explain why I am in my car on the side of the road. I glance at my clock; at 8:30 PM. If confessing that I’ve had a stressful college-life day will get me out of a ticket or worse, then I’ll take it.
“Since I don’t remember anything except the final exams I’ve taken today, it’s the most likely possibility,” I say, hoping the semi-truth will save my black ass.
To my words, she assesses my expression again before removing her fingers from my car and stepping back a few inches. “All right, then. I won’t give you a ticket, and if you’re okay to drive, you can leave. Drive safely next time.” After that, she walks to her vehicle, which is flashing blue and red, circular motions, on the car. On the side, it reads, ‘Police, Baltimore County, Maryland.’ Yup, I dodged one there.
I exhale the anxious breath that was dying to come out, and after watching the cop head down the road, relaxation finally decides to visit me.
Did I really fall asleep at the wheel? That isn’t like me. For a second, I rewind my day again, remembering only the events that came to me before: the final exam, Ryu, and Lyla. However, the iron on my tongue is unsettling, causing a pit to form at the bottom of my stomach. Thankfully, my car is still running, but the waste of gas annoys me more than me fainting for who knows how long. I wrap my fingers around the steering wheel, place a foot on the gas pedal, and then look outside the driver’s side window. Me, alone in the car, on the side of the road, yeah, that doesn’t seem right, but it’s better to muse over these things when I’m safe at home, in my own room, safely locked away from the outside world.
As I drive out of the ditch, I press down on the gas pedal, thrashing and tumbling about until finally, all four tires kiss the pavement. I sigh, wondering and hoping the night will get better. Then again, once I get into my safe space, nothing should bother me.
I continue down the road, stopping at lights and turning into neighborhoods until I reach the newer development where the townhouse is. Mom never listened to me when I told her something reasonable is fine, but she insisted on helping me pay rent for a nicer room in a newer community. Therefore, we agreed on a house that was less than five years old, even if the room’s monthly fee was twice as much as an older home.
As I make my way through the nearly empty streets, only the pole lights and a few people walking under the moon’s light on the sidewalk greets me. The townhouses are almost identical, each with a one-car garage, brick-front, and small lawn space. Luckily, I managed to find a townhouse that is in a cul de sac, located in a corner, with an empty backyard space on the other side, which is perfect for practicing Iaido and Kendo.
Once I reach the house, the lack of lights on is a blessing; my roommates are out. Since it’s the Friday before winter break, I’m sure they are at parties, unlike me, who will be basking in misery and confusion. Instead of delaying the inevitable depression from today’s events, I turn into the driveway and park outside the garage door. Today is Friday, so no one will be home, and tomorrow is Saturday, so that means sleeping in and ignoring the cruel world called real life.
Turning the key, I power down the car, and before getting out, I grab my bag and wooden sword from the passenger seat. I waste no time exiting the car, as the eagerness of returning to my bedroom is the only highlight of tonight.
I better check the mail real quick. As I stroll to the mailbox, I stare at the semi-lite circle of homes and ponder what my next move should be. No date, no parties, just me alone in the house tonight. And I still don’t know what happened earlier on the road. What a shit day! Thanks to the pole light on the sidewalk, by the mailbox, the path is clear; however, a figure walking in the street catches my attention. Whoever it is, isn’t directly under any of the light, making them hard to see.
Great! Is this another addition to my already shitty day?
Even though this area is relatively safe, it’s not wise to think something won’t happen. Shuffling my stuff around, I move my bag to my backside and grip the handle of my sword. It may be wooden, but a weapon is a weapon. Quickly, I flick my raven-reddish hair from in front of my eyes and focus on the shadow creeping in the darkness.
Keep your cool. I repeat the words like a prayer, hoping to ease my anxiety a bit. A few more steps and I’ll be right next to the mailbox. Just open it, grab the letters, and then run to the front door. Adrenaline pumps through my body, and my breaths become labored. I move faster, pushing my legs until I reach the mailbox; however, as I place my hand on the handle of the box, the shadow from before disappears from view as if it was never there.
“What the?” Roaming my eyes around the street, I whirl around as my heart leaps from my throat. Flight or fight takes over, sending messages to my brain to haul ass and go. I grab the letters, slam the mailbox door, and spin around back towards the house. I take a few quick steps, power walking until a sound catches my ears. Someone is behind me.
Swallowing the ball forming in my throat, I quickly whip around. To my surprise, a person is standing under the pole light, by my mailbox, and the stranger is staring into the heavens, not moving. What is even weirder is the outfit they are wearing; they have snow-white hair flowing down their back, so white that if I didn’t know any better, I would think it’s an older woman with silver-grey hairs. On their bottom are black pants, mixing in with the darkness, but the back seems to be covered with a matching coat. Their flesh is pale, a contrast to the surrounding black and semi-lite area.
“Is there a Comic-Con or Anime convention in town or something?” I mutter, barely audible. Instead of trying to catch the stranger’s attention, I take one step backward, watching their frozen form as I ease my way to the house.
“Most species never realize the gifts they are given. The sky here is clear, but slowly, it’s being damaged. However, the nest will heal your planet and make it healthy again. We have been watching and waiting, and now is the time to claim what was forgotten,” the stranger says, a voice deeper than I was expecting—a male voice.
I blink, confused over what this mystery man is talking about. As an anime and video game lover, I know people can get into their fandoms, but this guy is a walking understatement. For a second, he glances at me, and his crimson irises bore into mine, an inhuman feature that shouldn’t be possible; thus further proof this is a cosplayer too into their fandom. Good cosplay is always fun to admire, but now is not the time for such things.
“Okay, then, have a good night!” I say as I whirl around again and pump my legs to the townhouse while searching for my keys in my bag. As my fingers rub along the cold metal, I exhale an anxious breath and yank them from the bag’s pocket. I open the door, quickly shut it, and then lock everything, including the top lock.
That was close. Just when you think a terrible day can’t get any worse, a random guy dressed in a cosplay outfit walks by. Too bad I didn’t get a good look at his face. Ah well. Even though whoever the guy was looked interesting, my own social anxiety would have come out in full force, turning me into a panic-feared mess: heart pumping, dizziness, and unwanted thoughts constantly warning me that I’m going to screw up and say something stupid. I already had one fumble today, and I didn’t need another, especially if this random guy wanted to hurt me.
Instead of heading upstairs to the kitchen, I enter my room, which is on the bottom floor by the front door. Mom offered to help pay the rent for the master bedroom, but I didn’t need or want it. The bottom bedroom had everything I needed—sizeable space and a private bathroom.
I push the door open and drop my bag and sword on the floor. Since it’s just me, alone in the house, I decide to finally relax from the day. After flipping the light switch on, I grab my bag, take out my phone, and notice that I’ve missed a few calls and text messages. Mom, Lyla, and Mark. They can wait. Before I plop on the bed to rest, I stand to admire the sword hanging on my wall. Every day, I’m thankfully for the gift my mom gave me, even if I can’t use it for combat. As I lay on the bed and rest my head, I scroll through my messages. However, the accident from before still doesn’t leave me. I still wonder how I just fainted at the wheel. You’re missing out on some fun!
Of course, Lyla would message me a picture of her at the bar, standing in between two good-looking men. One of the guys has olive-toned skin, raven hair, and a muscular chest and body, with only some navy pants on. His arms are on Lyla’s waist as she smiles at the camera; her maroon dress is hiked up, and I’m sure that her red thong is showing. The other man, also muscular and well-built, has the same pale skin and hair color as Lyla. Unlike the olive man, the second dude is on her neck, seemingly naked, positioned as a vampire sucking out his next meal.
Rolling my eyes, I continue swiping through the images. Next, my friend Mark appears. His afro of brunette curls spans around his face, partly over his matching eyes. The zipper on his pants is overshadowed by a black-haired woman. She’s licking her ruby lips as she eases her way through the fabric that’s keeping her from her target: his male member. Too bad for Mark, though. His body isn’t on the same level as Lyla’s men, but hey, at least he’s getting some action.
I groan, not wanting to see any more pictures of fun times without me. Even though he made it clear he wasn’t interested in me, I wonder what Ryu is doing now. I bet he is laughing at me. My chest aches and tears string behind my closing eyelids. As I leap from my bed, I can’t help but wonder if my mom was right: focusing on relationships is a waste of time; it’s better to be a woman who can stand alone, without anyone else.
Meandering to the bathroom, I shake my head, hoping to redirect my mind to other thoughts—like becoming a journalist. I place my fingers on the shower knobs and turn them, creating a liquid mixture of both chill and hot water for a bath. As I remove the cloth coverings from my body, thoughts of Ryu enter my mind—his leafy irises, body covered in darkness and mystery, and his visage, which contains high cheekbones, a strong jawline, and lips meant for kissing and licking. More pieces of clothes drop from my body to the floor, and my hands trail up my form, moving to my breast. Tension builds between my legs, and the hunger for relief overwhelms me. Lyla and Mark may be getting stranger love, but at least I can do self-love with a side of Ryu’s image glued to my thoughts.
Quickly, I dip a finger into the tub, ensuring that it is prime for dipping. Check. Bubble bath is a luxury I don’t need right now, so I ignore the bottle sitting by the sink and, instead, step inside the water waiting to take my juices. The heat from the liquid warms my skin, smoothing any anxiety I had from the day. It’s quiet, and the only sound is the swooshing liquid moving back and forth, splashing against the four sides of the tub.
“I need this,” I breathe as my digits roam my body, inching their way to my sensitive bud. “Ryu.” His name comes from my lips, and for a second, as I spread my folds, a sudden noise snaps me from my thoughts. From outside, it sounds as if someone is yelling or fighting, but I ignore it and resume my pleasure time with the imaginary Ryu, who wants to devour every part of my tan flesh.
Shutting my eyelids, I see his body come into view; chestnut hair drapes down his back and tickles my chest as his lips press against the buds of my breast, sucking and licking them until their hard, so swollen that my need to finish is a hunger only he can adhere to.
My breath hitches, and the water swooshes around me, moving with my fingers as I rub myself in circular motions—the pleasure coursing from my sensitive clit goes to every part of my hot flesh. Ryu stops, teasing me now as his kisses become soft, and he makes a trail of light pecks from my breast to my stomach. Deft hands snake underneath my bottom, grabbing my cheeks and pitching them. Scream for me. He says, and the moan I’ve been suppressing comes out.
“Ryu!” I scream his name, and this time, he moves his body closer to mine. He unzips his pants, signaling what he wants. Even though it’s not real, that he isn’t really here, I position my mouth to take his member. For a second, the daydream becomes more intense. My tongue, in a strange way, feels as though it’s taking his length, filling my mouth. The urge to open my eyes, to see the truth is calling to me, but I want to stay here, with Ryu as he moves in and out of my warm hole, moaning my name for more sucks, swallows, and licks.
Fingers moving faster than before, my rapid rubbing continues until my body jolts, rocking with the madness of pleasure that makes me lax. I curl my toes and cry out, letting myself bask in the scene that never was: Ryu and I pleasuring each other with sultry tones and dirty words. Even submerged in water, my wetness drips out, wanting a dick that isn’t there. It’s depressing.
I gasp and release a few more moans. And after my body settles and the image of Ryu’s cock fades from my mind, I’m alone again, utterly and totally alone. No aftercare or cuddling for me, just an empty bathtub filled with my own juices of loneliness. I sigh as I stare at my reflection in the water. The reddish-raven tresses on my head are a mess of tangles and knots. And my brown eyes are becoming red as tears start to form, but I don’t want to cry.
Boys don’t cry, I sing that song to myself, wishing the lyrics were girls don’t cry. Instead of staying in the bath, I drain the water and step out of the tub, grabbing my towel. From the outside, another unusual noise catches my attention.
There shouldn’t be any fireworks this time of year, I muse to myself as I enter my bedroom.
Bang. Bang. Bang. I jump, wondering who or what could be at the front door. I hope no one locked themselves out again.
Bang. The sound grows. Whoever it is, clearly wants someone to answer the door. I secure the towel around my body and step outside the bedroom.
Crash. From upstairs, a loud crash echoes through the house, and adrenaline courses through my veins.
“What the…” I rush to the stairs, roaming my eyes around to see anything, but it’s dark. The banging from the front continues, and I pad my way to the door to peep out the hole. My eyes go wide. Standing outside is Ryu, dressed as midnight and darkness. What is he doing here? Upstairs, the sound of dishes cracking and thrashing causes me to jump. My heart catches in my throat, and something isn’t right. However, what distresses me more is the guy I just touched myself to is outside, and I don’t know why.