I could sense the lights flickering above me, the dim light knowingly cast shadows across the room as the steady creak of the walls invaded my senses. The chains buckled against my wrists as they sat, scattered across the floor. The metal glistened against the moonlight. In a place like this, you learn to count minutes, to tell the time. At this point, I knew it was dark, without being able to see. Time was a senseless wonder, coming and going. After so long it replaces your senses, I knew it was night. They should be here soon.
Tears stained my face, I knew I was covered in bruises. The purple stains already wrapped themselves along my body—the tentacles creating a second casing. The dirty rags that decorated my body were stained in the dirt, blood, and hate—the hate of myself, mixed with the unfortunate lust and obsession of my attackers.
The small cell was opened towards the front. A rusted gate hung between the metal bars, each time they’d come it would creak. A mattress took up space in the corner, and ontop of it was a towel that I would shield my body with, in a desperate attempt to keep warm. You didn’t have to see to know this place, to memorize it. Trapped with no hope of escape you learn your surroundings. By becoming keenly aware of each crack in the surface, from the cool concrete to the walls, to yourself. Damnit if I wasn’t the most cracked item in this room. I wasn’t human anymore, I was just an object.
A shiver crept across my body as I remembered their assault. The roaming hands left painful marks along my body. Pain and disgust swept through me at the thought. I lifted my crippled hands to my chest, the pain flared, and the chains rattled. I turned, then slowly and painfully curled into a ball on the dirty mattress in the corner of the room. I wanted to die.
Tears streamed down my face as I sobbed, my tangled hair casting a curtain over my face. The matted mess of brown hair was becoming painful. I remembered being brought here, the sound of the van’s engine, and its doors creaking open behind me. The betraying smell of chloroform as I fell into a world of black.
I’ve learned to hate the dark, from the blackness that brings unconsciousness, to the nighttime hours that bring pain. The dark has become an awe-forbidding irony to me. I closed my eyes, as the wind whistled through the cracks in the small cell window.
As vague as a distant memory I remember the rustic vanity I sat at, my closest friend painting my face with expensive products. She had fussed about how my blind date would go. How sweet of a guy he is. A laugh bubbled out of me and echoed through the room. She hadn’t even met him before (in person) - neither had I. Dating had always been a dangerous game, and blind dating was far worse.
I don’t remember how long ago it was, the day I was taken, but I do remember every single detail of how it happened. Every single detail of every day;
For every hour,
Of every minute,
Of every second after
Every detail littered my skin, never to be forgotten.
Shelby was my best friend. We grew up neighbors in a simple community. We had always been there for each other. Shelby was the light to my dark. Her bubbly personality was infectious. Shelby could have anything she wanted, with more boyfriends than I had had birthdays. But she knew this, she was keenly aware of everything. She always wanted me to be happy and have a fairytale romance. So by the time my twenty-third birthday came around she broke the news of the blind date.
Shelby had described the man as my superhero. Tall, dark, and handsome with an unmistakable kindness. Shelby has met him online by using a fake dating profile, set up with my information and pictures. She explained that she had skyped the man, Dale, and verified that he was who he was. Of course to avoid catfishing.
I choked on another laugh as I remembered how horrible the date went, the restaurant was nothing less than classy. Yet the entire evening Dale, my blind date, flirted with the waitress. He didn’t even speak to me as I excused myself to the restroom and headed in the opposite direction, straight out the restaurant’s doors.
Dale wasn’t everything I’d hoped for. Far from it. I’d avoided dating my entire life, I had always focused more on school and work to become successful. Not some mans pocket change. Although he matched his description and photo that Shelby had shown me, he wasn’t the hero. He knew his decent looks ould get him whoever he wanted, and that night he didn’t want me.
The flashback took me away, the details vivid as I distracted myself from my current circumstances.
I knew it wouldn’t be hard to flag a taxi or call an Uber at least, but the cool October weather satisfied me. The wind whipped across my face. Cooling my nerves and anger towards the date. I listened to the wind howling as I walked along the road. Although October led into my favorite season, it never failed to distance others from the colder nights and dreary atmosphere. Where most people hated Fall and Winter, I loved them. I opened my phone, dialing Shel’s number.
“Ditched the guy, not your best choice.”
I could hear her laugh, “Better luck next time?”
“I don’t think there will be the next time. I’m a hopeless cause when it comes to dating.”
The sound of a steady motor broke my trance, the illuminating white light intruded on my gaze as the headlights illuminated my surroundings. My footfalls quickened as I began to run away, the suspicious van not halting its pursuit of me. I glanced back, the headlights beaming closer than before as I heard the back open and two distinct falls of footsteps. One heavy, and one softer.
“May, is everything okay?”
“Shelby. Shelby, there’s a van, and they’re chasing me!”
Tears streamed down my face as I remembered this part of the kidnapping. I hated that I felt that helpless, but the street I was on was the perfect place for them to be, empty.
I remember the large arms that wrapped themselves around my waist as I struggles to escape. The arms tightened as a filthy cloth was pressed against my face. The chemical scent surrounded my nose as I struggled to hold my breath. I’d only seen this in movies, the reality was shaking. I struggled for only moments longer and then took a breath.
I was weak. I held no comparison to the burly men who picked my unconscious body up and placed it into the van. My navy dress curled underneath me. My short stature couldn’t stand against their towering bodies, they had to have been at least a foot taller than me.
Tears continued to stain my cheeks as I remembered how weak I was, How weak I still am. Lay on the dusty bed, the creaking of the window as what I guessed would be moonlight surrounded me. The un. mistakable sound of the lock on the door made me shudder. The hollow footsteps made me want to cower into the corner more. Silent tears streamed down my face as his grimy hands fall across my body. The whip knowingly stained me red.
I held my eyes shut as the steady grunts surrounded me, the assault on my body continued. I had long given up. A flaming pain erupted from my lower regions as I cried out. Excuses were thrown at me after. Thanking me for the relief as y assailant had had such a terrible day. The new bruises scored minutes on my skin. The aching pain grew as I shifted to face the grey wall beside me. My mind grew dark as the pain overwhelmed me. My one request was scattered, lost, into the night as I heard the lights flicker above me.