(NC-17, trigger warning)
She treats me like shit. I failed to realize that at first. Call it naivete, but for some time my faith in her seemed undying. I genuinely believed she wanted me to have the best, to be the best. Fucking hate how I’m constantly wrong. That woman despises me. She conditioned me to drown myself in disbelief whenever loved ones showered me with affection. Here I thought she wanted to protect me from vulnerability, but I see now that she just didn’t want anyone coaxing me away from her. She trained me to yearn for a superiority that she hid from me because she knew that if she could shroud me in failure that I’d never leave her. She’s locked me in this goddamn room to shield me from danger but she’s done nothing but destroy me since I fucking got here.
Every day this woman makes me grit my teeth harder and force my nails deeper into my palms. Before, I just hated how she didn’t let me have friends, how she kept me from being a normal child who laughs and tells secrets and hugs—oh god I remember those. I miss those. As I got older, I resented the way she constantly hovered around me, watching and judging every flick of my wrist, every bat of my eye. Eventually I even grew to despise her short steps, her curt gestures, her sharp breaths. Each and every aspect of her existence made me want to kill myself. And she ran such a tight ship. I couldn’t get away with shit. One slouch or smile or sigh and I was a goner; never quite as gone as I hoped for, though.
But lately, she’s slipping. Maybe it’s wishful seeing, but each of her steps, blinks, sighs, seems less deliberate somehow. Like her guard’s coming down. Or she’s tired. I mean we’re both tired, aren’t we? She hasn’t taken it out of me, though—not yet, not anytime soon. At least for now, I’ve still got it, that something, and I intend to use it before she drains me of it. Every time she blinks and leaves her eyes shut for that one extra sliver of a moment, it grows inside of me, gets stronger, and convinces me escape is a possibility.
Surely freedom exists in my future. It must, right? A scenario in which I’m happy must reside in the near future. And a life—a real life—is surely waiting for me somewhere. I will get out of here, and I will find it. Won’t I?
I almost can’t remember a time where I wasn’t here—in this room she keeps me in. I’ve become hyper aware of any and all details of this room, though I suppose that happens when you watch time pass through an isolated space. See, at first I considered the room quite plain. Even under close inspection, I found nothing but a dull beige sucking the life out of every corner. Everything blended together such that details—individual nuances, unique flaws—appeared nonexistent. But monotony is a masterful disguise, and over the years, little treasures slowly revealed themselves like creatures hesitantly emerging from their shadowy hideaways: the startling squeak of the bed frame, the scratches that litter the bookshelf, the splotches that pattern the worn carpet. As of now, I’ve counted all the cracks on the walls and can tell you exactly which ones propagate up to the ceiling. I know how many times the bed squeaks when I climb in every night and how many times it groans when I crawl out every morning. I know which stains look like countries and old presidents and which ones are nothing more than formless blobs.
But make no mistake, I’m not so naïve that I’d say I know everything about this room—I don’t. As time goes on, I will see more and more things with new yet older eyes. And although I desperately want to get out of here, part me wonders if anything worthwhile awaits my discovery.
With three squeaks and a groan from my bed frame, I settle under my old blankets for the night, tracing my fingers along the cheap fabric. When I first got here, these blankets stank of stale sweat and felt like a disappointing newspaper-rag hybrid, but they’re not so bad anymore. They’re gently layered with my scent and have softened in their old age. I suppose time and its wear have their benefits. With any luck, they’ll assist me in my escape. Just this once, I allow a smile to skip over my lips at the thought as my eyelids sink shut. Breathe in. Breathe out.
* * *
Colors rush past me as my feet urgently pound against the ground, fueled by an energy that feels nostalgic. I draw power from the vibrant blues and greens and golds that surround me. I haven’t seen those colors in years. The faster I move, the more colors I see, and soon I’m enveloped in swirls of orange and pink and yellow flecks, so I run faster and faster—chasing this contagious warmth. Reds and purples fly by and evolve into rich blues and deep greys. The colors stop moving as my feet come to a standstill, suddenly numb with fascination. Calm. There’s a certain pain in my chest, but I feel incredibly calm somehow. In some strange way, the weight feels natural. At some point, I find myself lying down, absorbing the grey.
My eyelids sink shut. Breathe in. A hand slithers up my thigh while a ghastly breath crawls over my neck. Fingers leave a trail of goosebumps as they obnoxiously saunter up my waist towards my chest. My breath hitches, and every part of my body simultaneously tenses and contracts inwards in a painful cringe as the hand presses into my crotch. My eyes snap open and fall upon his wrinkled brow and scrunched up nose. With a distant yet invasive voice he croons, “Relax honey, you’re in safe hands. You trust me, don’t you?”
Before I even form a response, I notice my clothes being removed—dissipating into the dark grey abyss at his every touch. Frozen. My hands and my mouth and my legs lock in place, and I internally curse them for failing me again. Staring blankly ahead, I will the end to approach quickly. I desperately try to remember the colors: the pinks and yellows from the time before. In a numbing, frantic delirium I attempt to convince myself that I wanted this. I wanted it. I asked for it.
There are fingers inside of me. There are fucking fingers inside of me and they’re writhing and I’m screaming and they’re writhing and I’M SCREAMING.
I slam my eyes shut to try to block it out, to block him out—him and his too big, repulsive face and his sweaty hands. I squeeze my eyelids together tighter and tighter until everything turns black. Breathe out.
* * *
The world around me retires to its usual beige, and I remember why I’m here. I’m damp with the memory of a different pain and the acknowledgement that she does protect me. She separates me from people because people don’t want me. They want what they can get from me. They do nothing but invade and exploit because they’re selfish.
All these years, and I’m still ridiculously naïve. I tighten my grip on my blankets and lament that somehow I’ve grown more ignorant with time. To think I wanted to go back to that hellhole where reds and blacks reign in a predatory rage. To think I forgot about the safety that comes with living in a faded world. I came here for a reason, and a good one at that.
This is the first time I've written fiction in over a year, but I'm glad to be back at it. Hope you like it! I'm writing every day in April, so hopefully there's more to come.
Poorly drawn digital art by yours truly.
Also, not based on personal experience so no need to worry about me.