The Scars on My Wrists (Nanowrimo 2013)

After struggling with depression and a suicide attempt, Marie decides to take a Gap Year to Italy and Spain. She falls in love, and more importantly, changes her entire life.
Edited for movellas, in its poorly written state. R rated for lots of swearing, cutting, and sexual language. TW: (recollection of) sexual assault, cutting

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9. Chapter 9

When you step into a club, you can't feel anything but the pulse of the music over your body and the thrum of the crowd moving to the beat. I lost Cat instantly. And there I was, out of place, in a place that smelled like sweat and vomit and too much alcohol, cologne and perfume mingling with the stench as bodies danced. Back and forth they swayed, like reeds in wind except the wind was the beat of the music and it never stopped, just transitioning from mindless beat to mindless beat.

    And then when you try to step aside, someone puts their hand on your ass firmly. At first your mind downplays the hand's existence sitting there on your butt. Surely, it's a mistake. But then the hand squeezes and you heart drops and you realize it's not a mistake, it's on purpose, and perhaps there is nothing you can do. You are at the mercy of this stranger who is now whispering something in your left ear, something Spanish and your mind has shut down so what is he saying? You don't know and don't care, and you're begging inside to move but your body freezes while his hands roam, and then suddenly he's gone.

    After it's all done and there's nothing left but the memory of what's happened, you start to remember other things from a different night, a quieter night. Lucidly, vividly the memory paints itself on your retina and you're tied to the chair and forced to watch. Was it really me? Did it really happen? A blank spot on the cassette, a scratch on the tape suddenly fills in and I can see in lurid technicolor just precisely what I've forgotten. 

    The smallest things. I can sense them now. I suddenly remembered the smell of his cologne and the tobacco stained into his jacket and I remembered his eyes. I remembered the ice blue of his irises, darkened in the night air, and that his hair had too much gel. I knew him. And I didn't, all at the same time. I had never seen him before but I knew him.

    I didn't go to a party. I was just getting off the train, coming back from my city writing seminar, walking into my small town. It was safe, they said. Such a small town with almost no crime. They lied. I was fourteen and he raped me and it hurt and I cried and forgot about it. I forced it back into the recess of my brain. I told no one. It hadn't happened. It hadn't happened. But it had. It had happened, and I'd forgotten. Jesus fucking christ, why did I forget? How could I forget something like this? Just erase it, like it had never happened. But it had happened, it had! It had happened! 

    This was something I could no longer deny. I felt the memory of his hands all over me. I was a toy meant to be used and discarded. No more than a living doll that he had torn apart.

    It suddenly hit me in one massive wave, a tsunami sweeping me away. I needed to get away. I needed to get air. I needed help, I needed anything! Someone please get me fresh air, something screamed in my brain. I pushed through the crowd and slammed the door behind me and threw up in the street. My chest was constricting, and my lungs were getting smaller and smaller and the sky was pressing me into a small ball, crushing me, stomping down on me.

    "Too much to drink." A girl in line at the entrance scoffed at me. I ignored her remark and shakily started walking.

    My legs were wobbling and my arms were trembling and I was shivering. I ran home, stumbling on to the metro and shivering, running away from the world that was suddenly deteriorating around me.

    Mama was cooking dinner when I got home and I brought the apocalypse in with me. I couldn't shut the door on it, it just spilled into the room, all over the sides, a sticky, disgusting, chaotic mess.

    "Ah, Marie, como-"

    "Buena noche," I said simply. Then I burst into tears and collapsed, sobbing so hard I couldn't breath, falling down into my shell and rocking backing and forth and back and forth. I was now a child, curled into a tight ball as I sobbed and Mama tried a million questions before calling for Jandro. He had stayed over for the week. I didn't remember what happened really, just Jandro telling Mama not to touch me. Part of me was embarrassed and confused over my panic attack. I began to think I was going to die. This was the panic attack that would do me in. I was going to stop breathing and die, letting the pain wash over me. I was having a heart attack and my heart was constricting and it was too small, too small for my body.

    "BREATH, MARIE!" 

    Something in my mind screamed at me, and I inhaled deeply, and exhaled. My heart rate slowed, and I noticed that my face was wet with tears and mucous and I noticed Jandro talking quietly with me, coaxing me out of my ball.    

    "Breath, Marie. That's it. It's going to be ok. You're just having a panic attack. Breath. Breath in, breath out."

    I took a steady breath, shakily exhaling. I focused on Jandro's face and noticed the worry dotting his hazel eyes.

    "There you go Marie. Ana, necesito una sábana, rápidamente por favor. Pues, voy a hablar con Marie solo, no the preoccupies, pero puedes salir el cuarto?" Ana left, returned with a blanket, and closed the  door to the room silently. I could hear her calling Francisco on the phone, crying softly, and my heart twisted in my chest. I had caused her pain. A host family who had opened their home to me, and now they were worrying about me.

    Jandro wrapped me in a blanket and led me to the couch, taking my pulse. He shook his head.

    "Ok. Marie, please relax. I am a medical student, and after I get you calmed down and feeling safe, I am going to take you to the doctor's with Ana tomorrow. I will ask you a few questions so that I can communicate with the doctor better, since perhaps he may not speak English. Have you ever had panic attacks before?"

    "Yes," I muttered. "I just didn't know why I was getting them."

    "Have you been diagnosed with anything like anxiety back in the Estados Unidos?"

    "Yes," I said, breathing still hitched. "Jandro, I see a therapist once a week and I take medication for my anxiety related problems. For depression. I haven't had one in months. I thought that I was getting better," I sobbed. Jandro handed me tissues calmly. Only his eyes betrayed emotion beneath his calm exterior. 

    "Ok. So this is, ehm…how you say, reoccurring, yes? And do you have a prescription copy of your medications?"

    "Yes, and yes. Jandro, can I tell you the truth? About what happened with me tonight?"

    Jandro paused. He looked visibly uncomfortable with me clearly a sobbing mess on the couch.    

    "Yes." He said it simply, and his expression went back to being empty.

    "Jandro, I went to a club with Cat tonight. A guy groped me and I couldn't move. I was terrified. And I think…" my voice trembles, "no, I know. I was raped when I was fourteen, and I just remembered it now." My voice rose hysterically.  "How could I forget something for so long?" I looked at him, but his expression hadn't changed. His eyes were darkening.

    "It's called memoria reprimida. I don't know how to say it in English, probably memory repressed? But probably, well, what happened was your brain was trying to protect you. It was trauma, yes? So your brain forgot it on purpose so that you could continue. Probably what has happened is that your brain was so busy trying to forget that you got very stressed, and it may have triggered the first anxiety symptoms. It is very normal in trauma patients. Please, do not worry. It is like amnesia almost. But tonight was a trigger for you, yes? So the action of that person tonight reminded your brain of that event, and you remembered. When did you start having, um, depressive symptoms?"

    "I started cutting after that thing happened," I said. The word rape was too much for me tonight. Too heavy. It sat on my tongue and when I swallowed it cut down to my stomach, like a razor blade hidden food. "I was diagnosed with depression after I didn't go to school for that month.  I was getting bullied a lot though, and I just assumed that all my anxiety stuff was related to that."

    Jandro shook his head slightly, and rubbed his stubble.

    "I want to give you a hug," he said honestly, "but I will not since touch may trigger you."

    "No," I said firmly, tears running down my face. "I need a hug right now." Without hesitating, I sunk into his arms and shuddered while crying. He patted the back of my head and rubbed my shoulder blades in circular motions, and started singing some sort of Spanish lullaby. His voice was rough and a little off-tune, but

    Una nanita de amor

    Una nanita por amor

    Mi amor esta cansada

    La luna esta llena.

    I settled deeper into the crook of his chest, his t-shirt absorbing my tears as I swayed gently to his heartbeat. This was a pulse that beat slower than the club, and soothed me.

    Mama stepped in lightly, footsteps like feathers settling to the ground, and Jandro paused in his singing..

    "Está bien ahora," he said quietly to her. I could hear his voice rise through his chest, deep and resounding.

    "Es verdad?" asked Mama. I could hear her sniffling.

    "Si, Mama," I answered her. My voice was muffled from Jandro's shirt, but I reluctantly stopped clinging and reached up and gave her a hug.

    "Can I tell her what happened?" asked Jandro.

    "Yes," I said, tears bubbling up in my eyes. Somehow, even though it hurt, trying to hide something like this and pretend I was ok would hurt more. I couldn't pretend. I needed her help.

    Jandro relayed what happened, and Mama burst out crying.

    "Ay Marie, que," she choked. "Bad man. Not all Spanish man like him," she said in broken English, trying desperately to communicate, tears rolling down her face.  Of course I knew all Spanish men weren't like the man who had groped and unknowingly triggered me. There was Jandro who had comforted me and of course, Papa who had been like a father to me.

    "Yo sé," I sniffled into her shoulder as she hugged me tightly. "Yo sé."

    "Mañana, vamanos al medico." Tomorrow, we would go to the doctor, and I would get help. More help. And I would call my therapist after dinner and make an appointment for after.

    "Sí."

    Jandro let me lie on top of him after dinner, head on his lap while the tv played lightly in the background. I asked him to pet my hair and he did, massaging my scalp lightly which felt damn good. I could feel my headache and tense temples melt away from my eyes. It was done in almost a brotherly fashion and in this moment I wasn't thinking about attraction. I was thinking about how he and Mama had done something so small, turned touch from a weapon into something that soothed and calmed me. I snuggled up and fell asleep, somehow completely soothed into a dreamless sleep.

    What woke me up was another panic attack in the middle of my sleep. Brought on by another flashback in my sleep. I was haunted by my sudden return of memory, and I could feel the man's hands all over me. I flailed and screamed and cried, smothered by sheets and woke up hyperventilating, disoriented. 

    My screams luckily hadn't woken anyone else up. I went for a walk, trying to slow my heartbeat and breathe. I could hear Mama and Papa snoring and I peeked into the spare room, looking for Jandro. To my surprise, he wasn't there. Turning around to go back to my room, I bumped straight into him and shrieked.

    "Shh. What are you doing?" he asked, his eyes looking nearly black in the lack of light.

    "I can't sleep," I whispered, babbling again.

    He said nothing, just opened his arms and let me in and I sobbed.

    "Is there anything I can do to help?" he asked. I thought for a moment.

    "Honestly, I can't sleep alone tonight," I said, shuddering as I tried to hold back enough tears to choke out a whisper. "Every time I close my eyes, I see it, I see them, I feel them and I want to just take a knife and slice off my skin. I feel so disgusting and dirty."

    "Ok." Jandro paused for a moment. "Well. I'll go talk to Mama and see if she can sleep with you tonight-"

    "No, please, don't wake her," I begged. "I don't want to worry her even more. You saw how she was crying last night. I don't want her to be more upset, please."

    "Marie, it is her job to take care of you. She is your host mother." 

    My voice dropped to a barely audible sigh.    

    "Can't I just..sleep with you?" I squeaked out. I was redder than an apple now, the tears and emotions discoloring my face. How attractive.

    "Marie, you can't. What if you roll over in the middle of night, forget where you are, forget who I am and I trigger another panic attack? Wouldn't you feel more comfortable around a woman, like Mama?"

    "Please, Jandro. I fell asleep on you earlier, and I didn't have a single nightmare. Please? I promise I'll leave before Mama wakes up and goes to work."

    Jandro sighed, and ran a finger through his uncombed, curly black hair.

    "Ok then," he grumbled. "Get in," he said, pointing to his open door.

    I curled up on his bed, like a cat turning around and falling asleep. I felt the bedsprings shift as he got in beside me and I sighed contently. There was a space between us, parting us like the ocean, and yet instantly I felt safe. I fell asleep.

    Initially, there were bad dreams. I think I started crying in my sleep, and then I rolled over, and Jandro embraced me as I quaked there in his bed. Was it a dream? Either way, with his arms around me, imaginary or not, I stilled and curled into the warmth, and slept peacefully.

    When I woke up, I was nestled under the crook of Jandro's arm, my face resting against his chest. I could feel his breath softly on my hair as he inhaled and exhaled. Slowly, I moved my face away and began to untangle myself from his sheets, but as I rolled away, his arms hooked tighter around me.

    "No me dejes," he murmured. I couldn't understand the words, but I stayed there, awake, just enjoying the warmth of his embrace, his touch soothing me.

    Around him I felt safe. Safe from myself, safe from the bad things. Not because he was there to protect me from those things. No one could protect me but myself, and even then I couldn't protect myself from the things that life threw at me, smacking me into the dirt. But he was there for me if I needed him. He hadn't gone running from my scars. He accepted my cry for help and most of all, accepted me. 

    I looked at the window, streaming morning light now into the apartment. It was at least eight, which meant-

    "Jandro, donde está Marie---ahhhhh!"

    Fuck. Mama had just walked in on her brother in law spooning her host student who had just survived a terrible ordeal.

    WHAP. She smacked him hard on the back, and Jandro sprang awake.

    "Que hizo durante la noche?"    

    "Ay! Mamita! No hizo nada!" yelped Jandro. He explained rapidly to her that no, we were not having sexual relations in her house. Tears sprung to her eyes.

    "Ay mi pobrecita Maria, llena de gracia-"

    "Ana, no te preoccupies. Vamos al medico ahora?" Jandro tried to calm her down, but she glared at him through watery eyes before stomping out.

    I got changed quickly and silently, and Jandro didn't meet my face as I walked out. The car ride was silent and awkward. The doctor's office was even more awkward, and both Mama and Jandro sat silently as we waited. Occasionally they would say something, and then the conversation would die back down, but I couldn't understand. My brain was tired. Too tired to attempt to translate or speak or anything.

    Jandro suddenly interrupted me while I yawned.    

    "Ana wants to call the program to report this," he said. I stiffened.

    "Uh…"

    "She wants the girl who was with you to be safe as well, so she wants to talk, I don't know, with housing coordinator people. Also, maybe with your insurance, you can get a refund. So we will talk later. Is that ok?"

    Tears sprung to my eyes. Jesus, I was a leaky faucet these days. Someone had turned the water on in the tub and left it running or something. My head was beginning to hurt from crying so much.

    "Yeah. Sounds good," I said, somewhat deflated. I was stressed about what the program would say. Would they blame me for what had happened? Had it been my fault, going to a club? Common sense told me I had taken a risk by doing it. I had put myself in danger. And I had paid the price. Perhaps I had deserved it.

    The squeaking of shoes on white, linoleum flooring made me look up. A kindly faced doctor smiled back at me, before checking the information sheet that I had filled out with Mama and Jandro beforehand.

    "Que es el problema?" he asked.

    "Umm…Soy un estudiante aquí en Madrid, pero no puedo hablar bien…" I looked to Jandro to translate. He picked up my cue, and immediately began telling the doctor all about what had happened. He mentioned Memoria reprimida and my ears picked up.

    "Si, claro que si," mentioned the doctor. He then said something about Jandro being in medical school or something and asked where he'd studied. To my surprise, Jandro mentioned attending undergraduate school at University of Pennsylvania in the USA. And that he had just been accepted for graduate school there, but was taking a year off.

    "No me lo digas nada!" I exclaimed, my eyes round. "Soy un estudiante de Drexel!" Jandro's jaw dropped to the ground.

    "Es un mundo muy pequeña, no?" he said, his eyes dancing, informing the doctor that the Drexel Campus was located in University City, Philadelphia. "You could say I'm taking a gap year too," he said, to me. "A year off, back in my home city to visit family and intern in a clinic." I had visited Penn while visiting Drexel, and had been astonished by how close the campuses were, and how different the layouts had been. Penn was gorgeously old, with brick-layered buildings and Victorian lecture halls. Drexel was decidedly modern, focusing on expansion. I'd applied to Penn, but had been rejected. It was an Ivy League after all, and my 2080 SAT score simply wasn't good enough. Drexel had offered me a sizable scholarship package though and I could go for little more than fifteen thousand a year.

    The doctor interrupted my thoughts with a sudden discourse filled with words that I didn't understand.

    "He says to take your medication. He says it's appropriate and may help with the panic attacks. Continue meeting with your therapist. But don't worry, this is normal. If you feel anxious because of a panic attack, just concentrate on breathing in and out. Do not be worried or upset, your body is just trying to deal with a traumatic event."

    I nodded, somewhat relieved, dropping my gaze to the floor again.

    "Oh, Marie?" I looked back up at him. "It's not your fault, no matter how much you think it is." Against my will, another tear leaked out of the corner of my eye. I sniffed, loudly, and accepted a tissue from the doctor.

    "Thanks," I said in a watery, scratchy voice. To Mama and the doctor, I added, "Gracias."

    The car ride back was short. I didn't want to go anywhere really, even though it was the weekend. Normally I would have been up exploring Madrid and museums, but I just felt drained.

    "Que quires hacer?" asked Mama. Nada. Nothing. I don't want to do anything.

    "Quiero mirar la tele. Escribir alguna cosa. Pues, quiero comer un pastel." Mama laughed, and brushed away a small tear.

    "Ok. Nos vamos a comer un pastel."  Clubs and loud noises, distractions comforted Cat. But for me, quiet and solitude, and a good slice of cake usually worked wonders. 

    "Quiero mirar Pans Labyrinth." I hadn't seen the movie, though I'd wanted to. I was a big fan of Guillermo del Toro.

    "Pans La-be-ri-nt?" asked my host mother, confused.

    "El laberinto del fauno," corrected Jandro, shooting me a smirk, and I stuck my tongue out at him. The doctor's message that I was going to be ok seriously made me feel better. I was going to be ok. I was going to survive this. I had survived worse, clearly. I stared at my scars. Cutting seemed pointless right now. And spending time with my host family, although part of me wanted to be alone, I welcomed their banter in the car. I remembered Jandro's warmth. He probably had a girlfriend, anyway. But he had shown me kindness and patience. As had Mama and Papa as well.

    "Donde está Papa?" I asked, suddenly remembering his absence at breakfast.

    "Está cansado," mentioned Mama. "Ay, dios mío," she muttered as an afterthought. She stopped the car at a store named The Best Chocolate Cake of the World, in English. I stared at it.

    "Este pastel es muy famosa, muy muy popular," mentioned Mama. "Nunca lo he comido," she added quickly. She had never eaten it? I felt bad. I stared at her skinny waist. Would she take offense at me requesting it? I hadn't been all that serious. Ok, well, cake could solve a lot of issues. Especially chocolate cake. Not a full cake, just a slice. And I had lost a lot of weight. I looked down to my baggy jeans. Jesus, it was cake. I didn't have to rationalize it to allow myself to eat it. One slice wouldn't automatically make me fat.

    "It's very delicious," said Jandro. 

    "Have you tried it?" I asked.

    "Once, with my friends. It is pretty good, but there is nothing better than a homemade cake." He winked at me. Yeah, right. Like I'd ever be able to make him a cake. My food usually ended up burnt.

    Mama split the cake into large pieces after a large lunch and insisted on giving me the largest piece. I ate it all, without regret. Was it deserving of the lofty title, the world's greatest chocolate cake? Absolutely. It was delicious. 

    I ended up taking another nap in the couch with Jandro instead of actually watching the movie, which was a shame because it was really interesting. I just wanted to sleep and sleep and sleep. My head hurt and my body felt gross.

    "Pobrecita Marie," I could hear Mama's words in my sleep, drifting in and out of consciousness as she talked with Francisco. Poor me. Yes, poor me. "Ella es tan fuerte, muy muy fuerte. Es increíble, no puedo creerlo." She was telling him how I was strong. I didn't feel strong. I felt weak, for giving up, for not defending myself. But how could I have defended myself? I was eighteen, but a frightened little girl trying to grow up in an adults world. The only thing I could do now was move forward. I was surprised with how remarkably well I was taking everything. Five months ago, this incident would have been the nail in my coffin. Literally. Hammer it in, drop me down six feet under, the full nine yards.

    I took a long bath. I soaked my skin, without scratching it or sloughing it off. The hot water helped. I didn't feel as dirty or as broken anymore. Jandro and Mama and Papa saw worth in me. They didn't see me as broken. They saw me as strong. Maybe I was strong. Maybe leaning on others could make me stronger. I had always seen it as humiliating, as begging, as bothering. But my suicide attempt had begun to taught me something that I was still learning. 

    I stared at the vertical slits on my wrists. If I had leaned on my parents, confided in them about my school worries instead of holding back and holding it in, would I have attempted suicide? It was a question I couldn't answer. Somehow I wasn't ready to talk to my parents about this. It was still something that I was coming to terms with myself. And once I could face the ugly truth and stab it in the throat, slice it's neck, conquer it, then maybe I'd be ready to start sharing. But in the meantime, I had Mama. I had Papa. I had Jandro, even though he was leaving on Sunday.

    I just hoped that the program wouldn't destroy all that.

    In the middle of the night, I crawled back into Jandro's bed.

    "What are you doing?" he mumbled. "Don't you remember how upset Ana got last time? Do you want to have my neck on a platter, amor?" He had called me amor again. Dear. Darling. That's what it meant. I tried not to take the words seriously. After all, Mama and Papa used it with me occasionally as well.

    "You're leaving in the morning," I said simply. "I just want one more night with the nightmares gone. You chase them away. I don't know how, but I need someone, and that person is you." He grumbled, but draped the covers over me.

    "Jandro?" I asked, suddenly feeling brave. "Do you have a girlfriend?"

    "Did. We broke up after graduation," he grunted. It looked like I'd suddenly touched a nerve. I winced. "Trust me though, you don't want a boyfriend now though. You need to take time for yourself, without worrying about a man or a relationship. Take my advice, amor." Amor. The words sounded honey-sweet, dripping off his tongue.

    "If I do that. If I get better, will you go on a date with me?" Part of me was teasing, the other part of me was serious.

    "If you let me sleep, I will," he groaned.

    "No, I'm serious," I said, dropping the joking tone. 

    "Yes. I will. You have my word, ok? Puta madre, I'm tired. Let me sleep," he grouched.

    "Thank you," I said, warmth spreading inside of me. I curled up in his arms again, and drifted off to sleep.

    When he left the next morning, I stared at him as the light hit his face, memorizing his eyes and his hair and his skin, bronzed and stubbled chin.

    I couldn't say goodbye.

    "Can I have your cellphone number?" I asked, just before he left, and he punched it into my phone. "Thanks. I'm going to need it so I can call you for our date." Jandro stiffened for a moment, and for a terrible moment, I thought that he'd forgotten or I'd misinterpreted or he hadn't really wanted to. Then he grinned.

    "I'll give you something better." He kissed me, fleetingly on the lips, taunting, teasing, and then he left, closing the door behind him, leaving me stunned.

    I cried for a while after that, for no reason. And I cried because I had a reason too. Because inside I was hurting and exhausted, and it seemed that all I could do was cry. But I didn't once go for a blade to release the pain. Instead, I called Jandro, and he talked with me, telling me funny stories and his deep voice on the phone comforted me. I still worried that I wouldn't get to see him again.

    We were in the same city. It wasn't as though I wasn't going to be able to see him again. Logically, it made no sense. Did I love him? Definitely not. But I felt connected somehow, like I'd met him before. He and I were going to be studying in the same city, after all. Merely blocks apart next year. I began to fantasize about him, nonstop. I found myself in class staring in the corner, remembering the way his hair fell on his face in the night and how his body felt, pressed up against mine. I read into every text he sent, pressing my phone under the hollow of the table, away from the teacher's eyes as she taught us about el preterito, which I already knew how to conjugate.

    Hola amor. amor? Is that his pet name for me now? I smiled, and punched in a reply.

    Yo Jandro. Is Jandro your real name? Or is it a nickname?

    He responded quickly. Probably because he had just gotten off from work.

    Nickname. My real name is Alejandro. How are you doing? I smiled again. Whenever he texted me I felt like he was here. In my mind I kept replaying the feel of his kiss and the taste of his lips.

    Better every day. Still getting closer and closer to our date.

    I'm going to talk with your therapist just to make sure, he responded. I frowned.

    You can't do that. Patient confidentiality.

    Just joking, amor. te extraño. 

    What does that mean? I'm strange?

    He stopped texting after that, and I put my phone away just as the teacher called on me.

    "Que hizo durante el fin de la semana?"

    I froze. It was Thursday, a full four days after the incident. A full five days since my last panic attack, that night after the nightmares. The program had assured me that it wasn't my fault and they'd actually issued a warning to Cat and other students about going to clubs. I'd met with my therapist. 

    "You're doing so well, really. You've come a long way," she said.

    The weekend? What had happened on the weekend? Oh that had happened. The club, the memories, It began to well up inside of me.

    "Marie?" asked the teacher, but her voice seemed far away. I could feel his hands now, the blade, the whispers in my ear as he tore at my clothes and a disembodied scream broke from my lips a million miles away. Was I screaming or was it him or was it the fourteen year old me or was it the me from Friday? I couldn't tell but I fell to the floor, writhing, unable to breathe, rocking back and forth and back and forth, my breath coming in shuddering sobs.

    "DON'T TOUCH ME!" I screamed, from far away. "DON'T TOUCH DON'T TOUCH PLEASE I'll be a good girl, I'll be anything you want me to be, but don't touch me, don't hurt me, don't kill me, please, please please," I sobbed.     

    "PLEASE STOP!" I screamed. My breathing grew more and more erratic. I inhaled deeply, seeing black spots and exhaled in a series of sharp bursts. I stopped breathing.

    Then everything went black. 

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