***Authors note** Although this is a hard scene to read, it is vital to Aniela’s story. So this is a reader WARNING!***
Jump Aniela... or you are going to die.
His rasping hot breath washed across her bruised skin at the nape of her neck, causing her to bite down on the meaty flesh of her bottom lip. Like so many times these past few days, his weight forced her into the mattress, and he pushed her thighs apart. Her head twisted, and she stared unblinkingly at the wall. She didn’t move or make a sound.
She barely breathed... 11
It had been three days since he raped her the first time. Since then; she had already lost track of his persistent brutal attacks... 15
Tick... tick... tick
16... 17... 18
The posts on the bed slammed against the wall with each of his penetrating thrust. But, in her drugged state, it resonated like a clock ticking loudly in her mind. If she closed her eyes, she could conjure up a vision of a grand gold pendulum slowly swinging back and forth... back and forth.
The vision was hypnotic and almost calming in a sickening way.
Tick... tick... tick
23... 24... 25
So, she counted. With every swing of the pendulum, Gordon’s hips thrust into her and unknowingly kept pace with the ticking clock in her head.
Tick... tick... tick
31... 32... 33
The highest count she had gotten to thus far had been 189. To her, the rape had lasted extra long that night. Or day. At this point, she wasn’t altogether sure anymore.
Tick... tick... tick
39... 40... 41
His lust-filled whisper purged against her skin, causing her to falter momentarily, but her mind easily rebounded and picked up his surging pace. His thrust drove her into the mattress as his rhythm picked up, and she knew the abuse was about to end.
Tick... tick... tick
48... 49... 50
A gasping cry flowed from his lips as his body stiffened with a convulsing climax. His face turned purple, and veins bulged on his forehead... she wished he would die.
Gordon sagged against her mumbling his satisfaction and pleasure against her skin. His hand settled on her face forcing her to look at him. Suddenly, his cruel lips cover hers, and she struggled to move away.
This wasn’t normal.
Once Gordon finished with her, he always gloated about his sexual proficiency and vitality. It didn’t faze him that she displayed loathing and hate for him. Mainly because he didn’t care. As long as she didn’t struggle, and he got what he wanted.
He invariably always got what he wanted.
“You have been one of my favorite subjects, Rose,” he sighed against her lips. “That’s why it grieves me very much to end this.”
She suddenly felt the cool blade of a knife pressed against her flesh just below her left ear. Lifting her green eyes, she stared into his face unblinking, praying he went through with it.
“Do it,” she whispered in a dull voice that veiled the fear raging inside of her. She watched his face transform from anticipated joy to pure confusion, but then he wavered and commenced to draw away. Grabbing the knife, she pressed it tighter to her skin until blood began to creep down her neck. “Do it!” she repeated between clenched teeth.
Gordon’s eyes narrowed, and he hesitantly moved away from her. “I changed my mind,” he sniffed, letting his eyes rake over her body.
She struggled to lean up on one elbow, glaring at him. “You’re pathetic,” she provoked with loathing, recognizing the insult would enrage him.
He ascended on her, knocking her flat onto her back and striking her hard across the face. “How many times do I have to warn you, Rose,” he raged as his hands snaked around her neck. “I can squeeze the life from your body right now if I so choose.”
A tear drifted down her cheek. “Please,” she rasped, setting her palms flat against her body in complete surrender to him. “Just do it. Please!” With her words, his grip tightened, and her consciousness commenced to fade. But again, he grew hesitant and quickly leaped from the bed.
His breathing came in short, raging breaths. “You bitch,” he cursed with a pitched accusatory tone and darting eyes. “You don’t think I know what you are doing?” He strode to the dresser, picked up a mauve vase, then hastily thrust it across the room.
Shards and fragments of glass hit her skin and scattered across the floor.
But again, she didn’t care.
An unfeeling laugh flowed from her lips, and before she could stop herself, it shifted into a hysterical roar. She bent over, bracing her hands over her abdomen, losing complete control.
His eyebrows arched, and blood surged to his face. “Shut up,” he spat, stepping towards the bed, but her laughter only grew. “I said, shut up.” He advanced on her once again, and this time anger surged him forward. His hands found her neck, and he again began to squeeze.
Staring up at him, Aniela wanted him to see the life leave her eyes. It didn’t take long until the blackness came.
Ultimately, she got her wish.
Aniela’s eyes drifted open, and she laid motionless blinking in the darkness. A small slither of moonlight peeked in through the parted curtains, allowing her just enough light to twist and peer around the room. Attempting to sit up, her muscles screamed with pain, and a sobbing grimace flowed from her lips. She leaned herself up on one elbow and looked down, inspecting her battered torso.
A sudden wave of dizziness took hold, and her head jerked to stare at the door. Her heart pounded in her ears, and fear-induced nausea began to take hold, causing bile to settle in her throat.
Her stomach lurched. She laid flat on her back and drew a few deep breaths, and released them slowly, attempting to calm herself. Closing her eyes, she lifted her hand and massaged her temples; then a sudden awareness made her freeze.
Once again, she pulled her hands up to her face and stared at them. Slowly she flipped them back and forth.
She was free!
In his rage, Gordon forgot to shackle her back to the bed and she could ultimately leave this room.
Her head jerked again to peer towards the door, and a new kind of panic began to seize hold of her insides. For a moment, fear held her frozen, and she couldn’t bring herself to move. But then she heard his muffled screams and what sounded like objects crashing into walls coming from below.
A minuet trembling began in the pit of her stomach, and before she could will her limbs to move, her whole body quaked with tumultuous fear.
It was a fear of knowing and possibly losing, her only chance to escape.
Her feet slipped to the floor, and she tip-toed to the door. Lifting her hands, she laid her palms on the flat surface, then leaned in and pressed her ear to the wood.
The muffled cries drifted up the stairs, and to her surprise, she heard Meetza’s shrill screams. Her eyes narrow, and she stepped away, staring at the door with foreboding dread.
Why, after all this time, would he choose to hurt Meetza? Even though deep down, she knew the answer. It was because of her.
She had pushed Gordon too far this time, and now he didn’t care who he inflicted pain on. Even Meetza.
She lifted her hand and settled it on the doorknob, giving it a slow turn. But her heart dropped when she felt the knob click against the burdening lock. She turned to peer at the large windows and quickly shuffled over to one. Flinging back the curtain, a defeated moan flowed from her lips when she recognized that she had been harbored on the second floor of his home.
Shuffling back to the door, she dropped to her knee’s and willed herself to not break down in hysterical sobs because she knew most probably that she would not receive a second chance for escape.
She pressed her ear to the door again as she wiped her tears and nose with the back of her hand-she drew her hand away, she noticed the bright red color of blood on her fingers. So she checked her nose once more, and again her fingers came back marked in blood. Alarm washed over her, and she rose, walking slowly to the dresser to peer at her reflection. The room was dark, but there was no disguising the dark hue of blood drifting down her skin. Her tongue passed over her upper lip, and the metallic taste was unmistakable. Leaning in, she squinted her eyes, attempting to obtain a better look and almost immediately wished she hadn’t.
Her left eye looked swollen with pooled blood settled around the bottom, leaving very little white left showing. Her hand lifted and glided across the purple bruises on her neck, and the minor cut Gordon had created on her skin with his knife.
This wasn’t Aniela Matthew’s looking back at her any longer. This person was a small beaten shell of a girl, compared to the person she previously was.
She knew right at that moment; she would never be Aniela Matthew’s again.
A loud thud caused her to turn around quickly to stare at the door. Fear like she never felt before crept through her body, almost paralyzing her to the spot.
The doorknob wiggled, and she performed a rapid glance around the room, seeking to find the best place to hide. With not much time, she drew the full curtains back and slipped behind them. The heavy folds enveloped her thin body, and she held her breath, afraid to move.
The bed-chamber door opened slowly, and a shadowy figure entered in. Squeezing her eyes shut, she slowly placed a hand over her mouth, hoping to suppress any overflowing sounds of breathing or uncontrolled sobs. Her body quaked and trembled with each passing moment. She was positive the draperies spasmed with her, trying to give away her hiding spot.
“batangbabae, kungnasaanka?” Meetza whispered, tip-toeing into the room. Then repeated. “batangbabae, kungnasaanka?”
Aniela pulled the curtain slightly to the side, contemplating her every movement.
Meetza appeared doubled over, and her one arm clamped over her abdomen. “Gusto kongmakatulongsaiyo,” Meetza pleaded.
She watched Meetza grimace as she leaned on the bed, then crouched down to check underneath it. When she did not see Aniela, she leaned back on her heels, twisting her body to peer around the room.
Aniela’s bottom lip quivered when Meetza’s roving eyes paused over the curtain she hid behind. Her mind screamed in prayer, hoping Meetza did not recognize her hiding place.
But then, something unusual happened.
Meetza looked at the curtain with an impassive stare, and she slowly pushed up to stand on her feet. She twisted and glanced at the door, as if she was pondering her next move. Then she angled back to face Aniela with wild panicked eyes. She shook her head, then one hand lifted, and she placed a finger over her swollen lips.
Aniela’s eyes narrowed with suspicion and fear when Meetza waves her hand, gesturing for her to step from the hiding place.
“Come,” Meetza whispered with desperation, waving her hand.
Feeling she had little choice, Aniela pushed the curtain aside and stepped out before her. “I will not allow you to tie me again,” Aniela declared with a trembling voice. “You are going to have to kill me if that is what Gordon sent you here to do.”
Rushing to her, Meetza reached out and grabbed Aniela’s one hand while the other remained pressed to her lips. “Shhhhhhh,” Meetza urged, shifting to look at the door again. “You go.”
Aniela watched her perform a sweeping motion towards the door.
“Go... go,” Meetza repeated.
“Go?” Aniela whispered, shaking her head. “I-I can’t go downstairs. Gordon will catch me and deliver me back here.”
Meetza grabbed her face with both hands. “Kailanganmong umalisngayonopapatayinka nina Gordonn gayonggabi,” she cried with desperation.
Distraught, Aniela shook her head. “I don’t understand you,” she sobbed, feeling a wave of hysterics start to circulate through her.
Meetza’s hands dropped, and her fist balled up at her side. She peered around the room, then she abruptly backed away from her and commenced removing her own clothes.
As Meetza undressed, she handed her clothes to Aniela and gestured for her to put them on. She even removed her worn boots, and Aniela struggled to wedge her foot into them.
In a few minutes, Aniela dressed in all of Meetza’s attire. Now she stood staring at her, not altogether clear on what to do next.
Meetza stepped to the door and slowly cracked it open. She strained her head, listening for a moment when she heard nothing; she opened it further and stuck her head out into the hallway. She glanced one way, then the other.
Aniela watched her, unknowingly holding her breath. She half expected Meetza to slam the door shut in retreat because Gordon, at this very moment was heading up the stairs to finish them both off.
But instead, Meetza turned and reached out for her hand.
Aniela tentatively set her hand in hers and allowed Meetza to guide her out the door. Once it the corridor, they held fast to the wall, listening for any movement or noise coming from below.
Twice they faltered when crashes from below drifted up to them, accompanied by Gordon’s agitated shouts.
Meetza ushered her to a remote door at the end of the narrow hallway; she opened it and shoved Aniela inside while she followed immediately behind. She leaned on the door, her chest was heaving, and she was gasping for air.
Aniela recognized right then that Meetza was also terrified just as she was.
“You go,” Meetza gasped, pointing at the window.
Shaking her head, Aniela gawked at Meetza then rounded to the window. “I-I can’t go out the window,” she choked, her voice spiked with the fear of a caged animal. “We are on the second floor.”
Waving one finger in the air, Meetza rushed to the window and hurled it open; then, she twisted to Aniela nodding her head. “You go.” She made a hopping motion.
With eyes wide, Aniela continued to shake her head as she walked to peer out the window. “You want me to jump?” She gaped in disbelief.
Nodding her head dramatically, Meetza pointed at her and repeated. “You go...” then she made the hopping motion again.
Aniela stuck her head out the window to assess how far it was to the ground below. It appeared to be a devastating distance. In other words, if she jumped, the fall would either wound her terribly or kill her. “It’s too far,” she cried.
Picking up on her reluctance, Meetza grasped Aniela’s face. “Kailanganmong umalisngayonopapatayinka nina Gordonn gayonggabi,” she pleaded between broken tears.
She didn’t understand Meetza’s words, but she recognized her desperate tone. A sudden revelation struck her then. It didn’t matter how high of a jump it was because if she remained in this room, she would most likely be dead before sunrise.
Suddenly the words her father spoke to her in a dream came rushing back to her. She closed her eyes, seeking to conjure the memory in her mind.
“Jump Aniela, or you are going to die,” William had murmured to her. His voice had been as sharp and crisp as if he was in the room with her.
She opened her eyes and could feel tears pooling, ready to spill over. Aniela looked at Meetza and placed her hands on her shoulders. “Come with me,” she pleaded, battling to force back her fear. “Please, we can jump together.”
Meetza shook her head. “Hindi, hindikomaiiwananglugarnaito,” she responded, refusing her. Then she held her hand out, ready to assist Aniela up to the window ledge.
Staring at her extended hand, Aniela chewed on her bottom lip. She lifted her gaze and could feel her heart pounding in her chest. It was now or never. She knew that. So she lifted her hand and set it on Meetza’s, allowing her to help her climb onto the window sills ledge.
Crouching down, she peered over her shoulder one last time. “Thank you, Meetza,” she whispered with an emotionally broken voice.
Without another word, she peered down into the darkness and jumped.