Every time the clock ticked, my heart thudded to the needles movement. Beads of sweat ran down my bare back, as he once more struck me with his large, blood stained hands. My head was thumping, strands of hair sticking to my face as the blurred figure behind me continued to grunt and groan, pressing himself into me. He pulled my hair, forcing my head back, until my neck would bend no further. Clumps of my pulled hair were scattered around me, strong, sweaty hands moved onto my hips, and violently spun me round. Although I tried to look up to face the distorted man who caused me so much pain, I could not move a limb, nor push him to face me. He growled and groped my sides, scratching and clawing with his paws. The wet patch on the bed told me I was crying. I burned and ached, and he responded by striking me again, only this time was the last. Everything went black, as I was passed out on the red silk of the bed.
* * * * *
When I awoke, my bed was covered in patches of sweat and tears, and my body covered in bruises. I scurried to the bathroom, and pulled my top over my head, which ached. Examining my body in the full-length mirror, I found fresh cuts and marks covering old scars from previous encounters with him. As I entered the shower, the water felt like acid to me. The soap burned as it entered my cuts, and the water ran red.
Pulling my sweater over my head, the material felt soft and comforting on my wounds. I remembered the man I once knew, once loved. I leaned against the icy tiles of the bathroom walls, and recalled that day when we met.
* * * * *
It was a bitter night, and my boots crunched the thick white snow. I hadn’t a clue where I was, all I knew was I was cold, hungry, and in need of shelter. I had nowhere to go, and no warmth or protection. I wore brown leather boots, black slender jeans, a crimson scarf, and a brown t-shirt, my bare arms exposed to the cold flakes. A deep voice echoed behind me, the syllables bouncing from the walls of the alleyway. “Excuse me, miss?” I turned my head to see a figure standing a few feet behind me. He wore dark jeans and a padded black coat. His brown shiny hair swept across his forehead, almost hiding his mysterious eyes. “You dropped your scarf” he explained, looking down. His eyes slowly made it from my feet to my face, and as he reached my eyes, mine locked with his immediately. We gazed into what felt like each other’s souls, exploring one another. It felt like there was nobody else left in the world. Just me. And him. I was hypnotised by him, my skin tingling to touch his. We finally dragged our eyes away from each other after what seemed like a long time. He handed me my purse and smiled. “Where are you heading?” he asked, still examining my appearance. “I…” I shrugged and turned to walk away, but his large hand gently held onto my arm. “You’re freezing! Let’s get you somewhere warm” and we hurried off under the stars.
I discovered his name was Mathe, and he lived by himself. He worked as a guard of Melissa Herd. His house was incredible, with two cars parked on the drive, and stone walls. The hallway was large, covered with paintings and book shelves, and the wood flooring was glossy and clean. He led me to the living room, and sat me down on a large, scarlet leather sofa. He handed me the remote. “Put on what you want. Make yourself at home; I’ll get you a drink” he sighed “and some warm clothes”.
That was when Mathe started looking after me. That was when my world didn’t seem as dark anymore, when I turned my back on depression and self-harm, and felt loved and safe.
* * * * *
A year later, Mathe proposed. I was ecstatic. I had felt about him like no one else. Our wedding came, and although there were no family members of mine there, I was content. I was officially Bana Becker. I always wanted to change my name, but it sounded good with my new surname. I walked down the aisle feeling royal, my crimson hair curled and pinned back, and by the end, my crimson lipstick was smeared on his face, and afterwards, we laughed at drunken pictures. The theme was white and red. White reminded me of the snow, on the day we met. Red was my favourite colour.
We grew together as a couple, fights, tears, make-ups, holidays, sex, and love. I did love him, with everything I had. He took great care of me, and although we would argue, we would support each other. Every day I grew to love Mathe more.
When I had just turned twenty eight, I found I was pregnant.
* * * * *
I no longer wanted to remember, and decided to walk to work. I hoped it would clear the memories, but I knew nothing would. I knew that they’d be in my mind, forever.
* * * * *
My depression came back during the pregnancy. I would refuse to take my medication, and would refuse to accept help. Mathe flapped around me, helping me get by. At first it was alright, I had enough strength to get me by. But towards the end, I was helpless.
Amos Becker was born, and he was beautiful. We raised him to be an amazing boy; he would come home every day from school and brag about his work and his friends. I would look at the clock and it would be twelve o’clock. I would look again after what felt like five minutes, and it would be half past three. My depression was still getting the better of me.
On Amos’ fourteenth birthday, we gave him a grand to spend on what he wished, within boundaries of course. Money was like water to us. Mathe had a well-paid job at the time, and I worked as a manager for a local firm, so money was never a problem. Amos, however, broke the boundaries. So he got punished.
* * * * *
“Bana?” I jumped. My boss looked at me with stern eyes. “Gilbert is on line one for you”. I smiled and said thank-you, and declined the call. I couldn’t be there anymore. Not after an hour of remembering. The red walls and dirty white carpet helped me remember all too well. I grabbed my bag and left.
The town was loud and busy, and I smiled as I remembered mine and Mathe’s outings to the various bars and restaurants. I grinned at the thought. But yet again, that day came clawed its way back into my head, brainwashing me.
* * * * *
Amos entered the house, drunk. He had not just had a few to drink, no. He had also brought a girl home. “What in God’s name are you doing?!” I cried. “Mother, you’re not religious, shut up” he slurred as I snatched the roll up from his fingertips. The girl stood smirking, looking me up and down. I hated that. “You, out!” I screamed in her face, but she just stared at me, her eyes glazed over. “You’re not MY mother” she replied. “This is Amos’ house, and I’m going to his room!” I gave Amos a stern look as she crawled up the stairs, and he shrugged his shoulders and followed. Screaming at the top of my lungs, I ran up the stairs and swung his door open. The pair had hands all over, exploring each other’s bodies. This disturbed me. I was protective over my son. “Disgusting, your mother would be disappointed!” I bellowed, and led the girl by the shoulders out of the house, away from the house, away from my gorgeous son. It was Mathe’s late night at work, so I had no help from him on how to deal with this situation.
I walked back into my son’s bedroom. He winked at me and gave me a cheeky grin. At the time, my mind was not with me. This image scarred me for the rest of my life. I undid the buttons on my shirt, and Amos sat and cried. He refused to look, so I made him. “Want to be grown up?” I asked. “Want to know what it’s like to be with a girl?” He shook his head and wailed. He could hardly breathe, he was hyperventilating. “I’ll show you what it’s like”
After that night, this would happen on a regular basis. Amos loathed it, he was scared. And I liked the feeling of making somebody scared.
One night, I stood in front of my blubbering son, naked. The door swung open behind me, and the light flickered, brightening the scarlet walls. “What. On. Earth?”
I remember sitting in the bath, bawling. Mathe lashed out, breaking every item we owned. He left the hot tap running, burning my body. “You deserve whatever you get, you sick twisted woman!” he roared, pulling a knife from his back. He sliced at my skin, and once the cleansing was over, he left. That’s the last time I saw my Husband. And my son.
I was sick.
* * * * *
I slowly made my way back home, tears streaming down my face. He stood at the door, watching me with his dark eyes. Panicking, I scurried past him and through to the living room, causing him to slam the door and bellow. “Bitch!” he spat, and repeated motions made earlier in the morning.
I was left in a pool of sticky red blood. He had gone now, I don’t know where. I dialled 999. “Please, I’m dying, please! I’ve been attacked!” I cried down the phone. They said they’d be straight over. I couldn’t even bring myself to put my clothes on, every limb ached. Paramedics arrived.
“What on earth?” said a broad man in his green uniform. “Well?” I screamed. “Help me!”
“Put your clothes back on and sit down! There’s nothing wrong with you”
I was hysterical. “I’m drowning in my own blood, you fucking idiot!”
“Blood? You’re crazy, there’s nothing wrong with you” and he explained to a voice on his device that there was “a crazy woman hallucinating naked on the floor, no marks, nothing”.
I looked down. I was covered in scars, blood, sweat, tears. I was a mess. Was this man an idiot?
I saw the figure appear behind the paramedic. “I’m back!” he said, gripping a large knife.
“Mathe” I whispered, and screamed as the paramedic suddenly took me away. “No! No! He will get me! No!” I couldn’t do it. I blared. Mathe stood in the living room, watching me out the window. He twisted the sharp blade between his fingers and smirked.
“NO!” I screamed, as I was taken away in the white and red van.