My eyes are heavy as I lift my head. It’s as if my whole body weights more than usual, and I can’t move correctly. I can’t do anything. With difficulty, I open my eyes to find myself restrained by my wrists to a rail. When I glance up, grunting about how hefty my head seems to be, I realize it’s not a rail. It’s a headboard.
The room is dark, so much I almost can’t see past my feet. I am sitting on a bed, my back pressed against the headboard as both my hands are locked with handcuffs on each side. The wind comes through the window; the faded moonlight it’s the only source of light that enters this room as the night breeze lifts the white lace curtains from the floor.
Not creepy at all.
I try to open my eyes more, noticing I’m still wearing sweat pants and a white shirt that I used to go to the bar. That’s when I remember her. Sarah followed me. She waited until I was out in the street alone and hit me with something on the back of my head.
I wince at the pain from the wound and feeling the small string of the gooey red liquid now almost dry over my shirt. My mouth is arid, and I try to gulp but nothing. It’s as if I have swallowed a handful of sand and nothing passes my throat.
My eyes search for a way out as I twirl my wrists, but it hurts. I can listen to my heartbeat in the darkness of the lonely room. I need to get out of here; I need to go back to Nicole. The first rays of the sun are already up, and I search for any signs of the place where I am.
Nicole, she must be worried sick searching for me. I try to ease my heart’s pressure from doing this to her, and when I glance at my wrists again and pull with all the strength I have, the headboard moves against the wall, but the handcuffs don’t.
Someone giggles, the sound sending shivers through my spine and lifting the hairs on the back of my head. I know this sound, I’ve heard it before, and it was never so scary. A footstep is the only thing that spreads in the darkness before she enters into the light that comes from the window.
Her dark straight hair covers her face on each side, leaving only those cloudy dusky eyes that stare at me with adoration. The small girl, wearing all black, smiles at me with her big eyes and thin lips, resembling one porcelain doll.
“You’re going to hurt yourself if you keep doing that.”
My eyes squint, trying to make sense of her shadow figure as she steps closer to the bed, and I retract my legs once she sits on the mattress. But it’s not use; being unable to move, Sarah’s hand touches my leg, and I growl at the move.
“What do you want?”
The words come out hoarse, hurt, and angry. I won’t try to sugar coat it; I can’t just throw a blanket over everything that happened and act as if it’s not there. There’s no point in trying to make things better now. She lost her damn mind, and I will have to deal with this.
It’s my fault if she is in my life; I need to accept the consequences.
“Now Alex, don’t speak to me like that; I need you to behave tonight,” she sings, tapping my knee and lifting her legs from the floor. Sarah leans forward, placing a small key on the bedside table. She then crosses her legs on the bed, resembling a young girl staring at me with eagerness. “You will hurt my feelings.”
“Feelings?” I scoff. “Like you thought about mine when you tried to kill Nicole?”
She rolls her eyes at my words as if I am being dramatic, but scooches closer after. I try to move, to run away from her hold, but she cups my face with one hand, eyes focused on mine, trapping me, and my escape thoughts.
“I was thinking about us,” she confesses softly, adorning her words with love. “Nicole isn’t good enough for you.”
“Nicole isn’t good enough for me?”
Ok, I need to keep myself calm, or I’ll end up dead. She is lost in her world, just as Nicole said. Sarah thinks of us as something that’s not real, that’s not true. She thinks of us as one, and I can’t have that.
But no matter how I want to shout that to the girl, I also want to go back home to the woman I love. If I don’t do this right, I will end up in a graveyard.
Sarah nods, biting down on her lower lip and crawling on the bed. She manages to sit on top of my legs, not caring when I move, so she doesn’t. Both her hands cup my face this time, her gaze peering to mine, trying to make me see things from her perspective.
Trying to make me see her.
“Alex, she wants to take you away from me,” the girl says, and I fight back the snort crawling up my throat. “I get it, we were in a bad place, and we fought. I will let that slide because I love you, but I can’t let her walk around thinking she is your girlfriend.”
“But she is my girlfriend.”
I can’t deal with this. I wasn’t made to lie, to cheat. I wasn’t made to stall someone into thinking we have a chance. Nicole always says she knows when I hide something. Just the other day, I was silent, and she knew I had a surprise. She notices those tiny things.
Well, the woman turned me cheesy as hell, but I don’t even care anymore.
Sarah’s eyes narrow as her hands press my cheeks tighter together. She leans closer; my breathing gets stuck on my chest, trying to find it’s way out as I notice the change in her gaze. It’s not loving, I see anymore; it’s not adoration as if we share the perfect story.
It’s fear; it’s madness.
“How can you say that,” she squints. “I am your girlfriend, Alexander. I am the one that you took to that room all those nights ago. I am the one you made promises of love-”
“I never promised anything to you, Sarah,” I voice out in a deep tone, and she gets out of my lap.
The woman slides both her hands through her long locks simultaneously, taking deep breaths and glancing everywhere in the room.
“You said we were great together; you said it was a perfect night and-”
I don’t listen anymore, trying to recall the exact conversation that took place all that time before. It was a lonely night, one of many as I ate take out for the tenth time that week. Work wasn’t going well, and all I had was the channel.
The memory of me walking around my apartment, barefoot, and finding something to wear comes to me. I wanted to go out to do something different. All I had were the women who watched me, so I did a quick live, one of me eating dinner, and the notifications started to flow.
That’s what I did when I wanted sex; I would do lives, tease them. It only worked for a month until I met Sarah. That night I recall her sending me a private message, one of many she had to send before and that I always ignored because she seemed overly desperate.
But that was my type, and I wasn’t going to be picky, so I replied to her, and we changed numbers to meet. We went for coffee, and after a few minutes, we were already at the motel on the other side of the street. The sex was okay, not the best one I had, but it was fine. I remember saying specifically that this was a one-time thing as she was lying on the bed and pulled me to her.
That I wasn’t into relationships, and this would only happen once. That’s the biggest memory I have of her from that night.
But then it started. The texts, the calls, the comments on my channel. I blocked her, but Sarah found my address, and all hell went loose. She broke into my home, and I caught her red-handed. The police came, forced her out, and took her to jail. I got a restraining order and moved out of that apartment to the one I now share with the loveliest, strongest, sassiest woman I know.
That night I made myself a promise not to have sex with my viewers ever again. Eventually, that faded into not having sex at all. Because I wasn’t meeting people. I wasn’t going out. I was scared to have another woman following me as Sarah did.
That live, her first one, caught my eye, and she had something different. She reminded me of when I first started. Her smile melted my heart, and the rest is history. She made me break my rules, she emended my heart, but most importantly, she made me believe I could allow love in my life.
“I said we had fun, and then I walked out of the room. Sarah, I never gave you any idea that it was more than sex. I-”
“So you used me, is that it? Are we going back to that conversation?”
“Sarah-” I sigh, exhausted by trying, and then lift my gaze to hers. “I told you it was just sex. You knew what I wanted, and you wanted it as well.”
She takes two steps in my direction, leaning forward so her face is at the same level as mine.
“We have a connection Alexander,” she says harshly. “We make the perfect couple, and you can’t see it because that slut is messing with your head.”
“Don’t you dare to open your filthy mouth and insult her,” I sneer at the girl.
Her lips touch mine, and when I retract myself, Sarah’s hands press our mouths closer and force the kiss to happen. She bites on my lower lip, pulling away, and I fight back the urge to vomit.
“You won’t even kiss me properly.”
I close my eyes, pushing the words that so desperately want to come out. We only kissed once, during sex, and I didn’t enjoy it. The way she kissed me was just like now, desperate, and with feelings I can’t match.
Sometimes a kiss is more intimate than sex, that’s what I think. The connection I have with Nicole, no matter how much I tried to deny it, after that first kiss, I couldn’t stay away from her. But this, the way Sarah clings to me even through the simplest touch, is the red flag I saw and ignored.
“I know what I have to do,” she whispers, resting her forehead against mine.
The woman pulls away and heads to the door passing by the open window that lets the sun shine through it. Panic kicks inside me when I notice her picking a blade from the chair she was seated before. The one she stayed observing me and heads to the door.
“Where are you going?” I ask, noticing the crack on my voice and fighting with the restrains that keep me in place.
“She is in the way; that’s why you can’t see the two of us. She isn’t letting you,” the girl says, twisting the blade in her hands.
A knock. The most amazing sound in the world right now stops me from forming a sentence as I see the girl frowning and snapping her head towards the direction of where it came from.
She wasn’t expecting this, and hope invades my heart tangling with panic as I know who’s on the other side.