Fragile *Complete*

When Alex set out to find her long lost brother, she never guessed he'd be famous. But can she get him to remember her, that tiny blank in his childhood memory? Or will his life prove too much of a distraction?

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16. New Life

( IMPORTANT A/N) Hey guys, made a huge mistake in the last chapter. You know how the date said 2012? Yeah I've gotten so used to typing that, that I did. It was actually supposed to say 2011. Sorry! Hope this doesn't confuse anybody!

I stood up, brushed myself off, took off the blindfold, and looked around, my eyes adjusting to the darkness. I was in a basement. There was nothing at all down there, absolutely barren. Peachy. I fumbled around until I found the staircase. I slowly and carefully climbed up, testing the boards, counting each step. When I reached the top, I concluded that there were 56 steps total, about twice as many as the average staircase. I gently tested the door handle: locked, of course. I walked back down and sat on the steps, contemplating. What now? There were no windows, the door was locked, and there was nothing down here to use as a weapon. I was defenseless. Today was Thursday, and on Saturday it was Christmas. Was I going to be stuck down here for the holidays? I started to panic, remembering when I was a child, the beatings, the pain, everything; tears sprang to my eyes. No! I couldn't let him beat me, break me. I had to stay strong. If I was down here until my birthday (April 17), then fine. 

I waited, and waited, and waited. I almost wanted him to come down, just to stop me from waiting. 

Days went by with nothing. No food or water, no punishment, no door opening. Nothing. Finally, on Sunday, he set a tray of food and water on the top step, then closed and locked the door again. On Monday, it started. It wasn't as bad as I had expected. I had been gone for almost six months but he wasn't making up for lost time like I had predicted he would. It was the usual; it still hurt of course, but it was bearable. He hit, kicked, screamed, yelled, cursed, but never broke out his knife. I was grateful. Sounds weird right, to be grateful in my position, but I was. It continued for a few hours, then he left me, curled in a ball, on the cold hard floor, and went upstairs. 

I couldn't cry, I couldn't show any sign of weakness. I just laid there, letting the pain come in waves. I stayed like that for hours, until finally, I sunk into the welcoming arms of unconsciousness. 

*****

I woke up to his footsteps. Was it Tuesday already? He never beat me twice a day. But things can change... I groaned at sat up.

"Have you slept all night, Slut," he spat at me. So it was Tuesday.

"Yes sir." Had to be polite. I didn't want to make things worse. 

"Lazy a**," he grumbled under his breath. Well, what was I supposed to do? He locked me in an empty basement; that doesn't give me much to do. "Get up," he commanded. I stood. He always did like to knock me down, which is just what he did. He circled me like an inspector at an art museum. Once he was behind me, he kicked the back of my right knee, causing me to collapse. He did this almost every time; and people wondered why I had a knee problem...

Once I was on the ground, he proceeded in the same fashion as the previous day. I did notice though that today was twice as bad as yesterday. Oh well, I deserved it. See, that's the thing about me: whether or not it was, I always thought everything was my fault, like I deserved everything. It didn't help that my father insisted upon telling me everything was my fault, but who cares?

After what felt like an eternity, but was really only a few hours, he stopped. He kicked me in the gut, just because he could, and left, locking the door behind him. I rolled onto my back and groaned, clutching my stomach. This was going to be so much fun...

Wednesday was 3x as bad as Monday, and I got water, Thursday was 4x as bad, Friday was 5x as bad, and Saturday I was on the brink of death. Sunday, Sunday was my new favorite day.

On Sunday, he opened the door, just like always, but he didn't come down, didn't talk, only set a tray of food and water on the top step and left, locking the door behind him. I scrambled up the steps, retrieved the tray, and carefully walked down the stairs. I slumped against the wall facing the door, stretching my legs out and setting the tray on them. I could barely make out anything, so I had no idea what I was eating. I honestly didn't care. When you go six days without food you don't really care what you're eating, only that you are. It wasn't nearly enough food, only enough to sustain me for another six days. I was starting to catch on to his plan. 

The next week was exactly the same. As was the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that. I was begining to loose track of the weeks, and loose hope. If Louis was going to come, he would have by now. Besides, I'd told him not to come, that I might be moving back to America. I told him to forget about me and move on. I'd acted like my father was one of my favorite people on earth, there was no way he would suspect anything, and even if he did, it wouldn't be of this magnitude. If I was going to escape, it would have to be on my own. But how?

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