The next few weeks were a blur. They ran together like my life was a fresh painting, and someone came to drag their hands across the surface, blending the lines so I could remember what I used to have, and that I will never be going back.
I tried to forget my new life here. I didn’t want to think about all of the horrors that Vincent inflicted daily.
Vincent brought me to his home. Vincent takes care of me. Vincent is my keeper.
Suddenly I heard footsteps above, they became louder as a shadow descended the staircase, stretching far across the crack under the door. I was too afraid to move. I pressed my back against the wall, waiting for him. I had learned to stay silent when he comes, to just bear it and stop fighting. He tortured me not with weapons, though I knew he kept them, but with his words. Each time he spoke it was like a piece of me drifted away, never to be seen again. And I knew he would continue until I was gone, until I was broken.
On the first day, blood still dripped from my ear, and the pain was far worse than before. Vincent had bandaged it with gauze and sat in the chair across from me, his eyes running up and down my body. With one elbow propped on the arm of the seat, he studied my face. I looked away, telling myself it wasn’t real, someone will find me. Someone will know.
I heard metal hit the wooden table, and I cringed away, shaking.
“It’s your choice. You can end it now, because nobody is coming for you, not ever. No one loves you.” He had said as he began to leave, laughing like it was a great game.
I looked to the gun he had placed on the table, one bullet in the cylinder. I picked it up, tracing the smooth finish of the muzzle.
He said it so easily. With no doubt.
No one loves you.
I cocked the gun.
I listened as the bullet positioned itself, straight for my skull. Placing it to my temple, every thought I had ever had rushed through me. My heart beat rose, blood stirring in my veins.
Stop! I thought, Stop, stop it now!
Pounding filled the room once more, the fury in Vincent’s eyes bored into me, causing me to shrink away. Had I spoken out loud?
He ripped the gun from my hands and picked me up by my shirt collar, dragging me to a closet that was tucked away in the corner. Throwing me inside he slammed the door shut, a key jamming in the knob, locking us both inside. He beat me then, thrusting punches to my head and stomach until I curled against the wall, unable to shield myself from his endless blows. At last he walked out, hands still balled into fists, closing the door behind him.
Waves of pain hit me afterward. My body ached as I lay, broken and tired.
That was the best day.
I sit here now, waiting for him to call my name as he always does. I hear him. Running out into the basement I quickly take my place next to him. My face expressionless as he removes the bandage from my ear.
“No bleeding these past few days.” Vincent says, tossing the wrappings into a trash can. “You won’t need that anymore.” His eyes were apologetic, but I remained still, because I knew this was a good day for him. Anything I might do could set him off.
“One month! Isn’t it great?” He exclaimed, clapping his hands together, smiling at his accomplishment. Abruptly he placed his hands on the table, leaning in towards me his face turned serious.
“I visited her today.”
I sucked in my breath, trying to compose myself. This was routine, but each time it became harder not to scream, not to fight and block out his words. If I tried, he would hit me again.
“She’s very upset, Nick. She keeps on crying and crying. Are you proud of that? Are you proud of what you did to her?”
This time I couldn’t hold back my anger.
“I didn’t do anything!” I yelled, standing so that I met his dark eyes, the eyes that held so many secrets. “It was you! You did this! It was all you.” I quieted the last words, a lump forming in my throat.
Saying nothing, Vincent paced around me, slowly, like a lion staking out its next meal. He sighed a long, dull sigh.
“It’s getting so, so boring.” He shook his head, as though he was frustrated with his work. “Maybe, I can stop her tears. Show her something to really cry about.” He spoke to himself now, hitting his hand with his knuckles.
I bit my tongue, curling my fingers until my nails pierced the palms of my hands.
“Are you lonely Nick?”
I didn’t answer.
“Don’t you want someone to be there for you?”
“No.” I lied, my voice wavering.
“I could get her. I can bring her here.”
“Don’t touch Lacy!”
“Oh.” Vincent chuckled “Lacy.”
The name rolled smoothly off his lips. He started to walk around me as he chanted softly, “Lacy, Lacy, Lacy, why don’t you come and save me?”
“Shut up!” I screamed, heat rising in my cheeks as I stood there, immobilized with fear. I couldn’t take another one of his beatings, but his words were worse.
“Lacy, Lacy, Lacy, why don’t you come and save me?”
Finally with tears brimming my eyes I covered my ears from his rhythmic chant, knowing what was to come. He stopped now, bringing his face inches from my cheek. His light sandy hair prickled against my hand as he spoke.
“Get in the closet.”
Removing my hands from my ears I entered the closet and faced the wall, waiting for him to strike. Restraining my cries of pain I reminded myself.
Vincent brought me to his home. Vincent takes care of me.
Vincent is my keeper.