Have you ever wished that some things in your life never happened? That you can erase certain memories, forget the pain people caused you and see only the happiness they once provided or the happiness you once provided them?
Well I do, I crave that ability.
I lay every night in my bed, trying to forget the past, but each time it comes back to haunt me.
His electric blue eyes that brightens as he stares at me, the smile that tugs on his lips when I say something funny and his gentle touches. The way he ruffles his brown locks and that scar that tugs upward as he smiles. I remember his features vividly. Those gentle features that I figure soon changed after my disappearance. His eyes would darken with hurt and pain and a grimace would grace his lips as he looks at me, whether by picture or in real life.
Those reactions will remind me of the painful grip I have on his heart. The sorrow I feel for that man – who once made me feel whole– grew as I smashed his heart into pieces, all in one night because of the wickedness of others.
That one haunting night.
“Miss?” I look up from the tiled floor as the cashier calls to get my attention. “Are you okay?”
I smile and nod. “I’m fine, is my order ready?”
She nods handing me my coffee, I thank her and exit the café stepping onto the street.
The hot summer breeze blows through my now blonde –Marilyn Monroe styled – hair and my grey cardigan as I walk nursing the chocolate mocha in my hands.
After my escape from Jamaica, I went through a full transformation. I had bleached my hair, I dyed it blonde and had it cut into a replica of the famous actress’s hairstyle with short shoulder length curls. A change to my brown luscious curls that once rained over my shoulders. I’m outfitted in a white tank top, blue jeans and white flats. No more suits or heels for me, I start to dress casually so I don’t draw attention to myself.
I pull my black shades over my eyes as I walk down the street away from the café. I have an appointment to go to.
The summer is hot and the teens are just enjoying the rays. Men and women parade in swimwear on the streets as make their way to the beach. A place I barely go because each time I look at the sea I remember the fun we had in there.
Convertibles roll pass me hoarding teens with sun kissed skin as they rock out to the latest songs. Their radios are turned up to the max, voices of Eminem, Juicy J, Nicki Minaj and many more play loud from each vehicle.
I look at a young man as he whistles at me.
“What you say momma, want to ride with me?” He asks cheekily.
I flip him off and walk down the street swinging my hips.
“Momma’s got attitude and ass. Damn! Hope we meet again sweet cheeks.”
He drives off and I sigh. Childish teens.
That’s what you’ll expect from summer time in LA.
Sweet cheeks... I shake my head in annoyance, not the time to think about him.
I make my way out of the hot sun into a Victorian looking building, climb the steps and walk through the glass panel door.
The smiling receptionist smiles at me as I greet her and she gestures for me to enter the office. Thanking her I open the door that reads Dr. Monroe and enter the room.
Minutes later I find myself on a beige couch in the middle of a honeycomb coloured room. Bookshelves, walls with diplomas, a messy desk with paperwork and a man sitting in a antique looking mahogany chair meet my eyes as I look around trying to avoid a question that is thrown to me.
“Ms. Hinds, please if you wish to get over these nightmares of the past you have to answer my questions,” Dr. Monroe says as he tucks a strand of brown hair away from his eyes as it falls onto his face.
I smile at the mention of my ‘supposed to be’ name.
Isabelle Hinds, formally known as Christina Hase. I haven’t changed my name by law but I stopped going by Christina Hase for months now. Three months to be exact, for three months I have been going by Isabelle Hinds, a waitress at Klan’s diner.
“Dr. Monroe your questions spark a flame that I rather keep buried inside of me,” I say as I sip my coffee.
“Well Ms. Hinds–”
“Isabelle, if you won’t answer my questions we won’t get anywhere,” he says as he stares at me impatiently with his black eyes.
I place the coffee on the glass table beside me and sigh. “Okay I’ll speak you listen, please hold your questions until I am finished.”
I lean forward my elbows on my thighs and hands at my temple.
“Aren’t I the one who’s supposed to be in charge here?” he asks playfully and I smile.
I stare out into the distance as the memories come back to me, piece by piece.
“It was the night of the Carnival party and the four of us were having the time of our lives. I was talking to the wife of his cousin Tara– just to clarify I’m not using their real names,” he nods and gestures for me to continue.
“Tara was telling me that I was the best date he ever brought here and that that other girl Australia was a bitch... He and Australia had history and to think that he brought me here, where he brought her and we slept in the same bed they did made me feel like I was no different than her. She was his quick fuck and the fact that he brought me there like how he had with her made me feel like I was just his temporary bedmate.”
I sigh as I stand wiping my palms on my jeans. “I confronted him and demanded to leave the party. He took us back, I was angry, he was clueless and when I threatened to cancel the contract and start it with another person Sunny, he lost it and yelled at me. At the end of it all we confessed our love and all was good or so I thought.”
I look into the distance as I remember the events that follow.
"Mine,” he breathes and my mind opens as a memory invades it.
That one word strikes the fear in me as the memory flashes forth.
And I can’t hold it back.
I blink as I come back from the beginning of that nightmare. “He then had sex with me. It wasn’t rape though it was consented by both.” I quickly defend.
“We needed it to blow off the steam but it all went wrong. John – as I’m going to call him, bounded me to the bed and blind folded me. The night was stormy the thunder clapped, lightning flashed and that setting triggered my flashback. As John held me, I remembered Leo’s hold on me. The fact I was robbed of sight made it hard to shake it off. John kissed me, I remembered how Leo forced his tongue down my throat. I trashed at the restraints which held me down and I remembered Leo holding my hands over my head so I couldn’t move. The thunder clapped and I jumped. This continued until he was about to enter me. He grabbed my thighs and I thought about Leo. The fear, the trembling and the way he forced himself on me. Those memories broke me and I cried out. John untied me and held me in his arms trying to soothe me but if I looked into his blue eyes I remembered Leo’s own. I ran from him that night after he had fell asleep and I never looked back because each time I think of him it brings me back to that night.”
A tear slips from my eye and I brush it away.
I look over at Dr. Monroe as he sits in deep thought. “Isabelle it seems that the source of all this is your past experience with this Leo character. This fear of John is only happening because you fear he will treat you same way as Leo.”
I smile thankfully as he didn’t offer me an “I’m sorry” or “such a shame you had to go through that”, I have gotten tired of hearing them from previous therapists. The fact of the matter is that I went through it and I can’t change the past but I can try to shape the future.
“Yes it is and I need to learn to bury it and keep it from resurfacing,” I say as I hug myself.
He looks at me sternly and sigh as he drops his pen on the notepad he is writing in.
“Burying it won’t help Isabelle the only way to move past it is to accept it. I’m not saying you should forgive him but forgiveness cleans the soul. Try to come to terms to what happened when these nightmares come take control and fight back. These nightmares are in your subconscious, you are in control. Those dreams aren’t that night. You have power over them so rewrite them.”
Dr. Monroe’s words echo in my head as I step into my apartment. I open the blue painted wooden door and step into the hall.
I take off my flats and place them in a corner near the wooden coat rack and walk into the living room.
I am greeted by a shell pink sofa which lies in front of my small flat screen TV. The room is blue, there is a window beside the TV and a three–seater couch and one–seater on either sides of the sofa.
I walk into the honeycomb painted kitchen with black and white tiles on a mission. Upon reaching the pine cupboards, I reach in and pull out a wine glass before placing it on the counter. I open my refrigerator and pull out a bottle of red wine with a smile.
“Just what I need,” I sigh.
I pop the cork and pour the liquid into the glass. I drink the wine walking to the living room with the bottle in my other hand. I place the bottle on the wooden coffee table in front of the TV and turn to the iron cage hanging near the window.
“Hello Marley,” I say to the colourful parrot that is swinging on his little swing in the cage.
He squawks before replying. “Hello Isa–” squawk. “–belle.”
Marley is a parrot that I got from a pet store days after moving here. The place was a bit lonely so I needed a pal and I could never replace my Roxie with another dog.
My Roxie, I left her there all alone.
I shake my head before cooing at Marley. I open his cage and hold out my finger. He climbs on and we go to the couch.
I turn on the TV and start to watch Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself.
I drink away the night, with my pet parrot on my shoulder and watching a chick flick.
Another day in the boring life of Isabelle Hinds.