You must hate him. How could you not? After all he’s the reason I’m gone. But it isn’t his fault. I was angry, and hurt on the day that he took me. I waited at The Cat House for Robbie, I knew it had been a long time since we had seen each other but I wanted to surprise him. I was nervous and I can still feel the downy grey fur of Eries as she purred on my lap. She meowed as I saw them, jumping off of me to play with some catnip. Them. Robbie and Melissa hand in hand, smiling and giggling. My eyes welled up and my skin turned red as I choked back the lump in my throat, they hadn’t seen me yet. So I left, I didn’t say a word to them but I can remember hearing people calling my name, I didn’t stop or turn back, I just kept going but I was careless and then he took me.
I assume he used chloroform, it’s not that difficult to make it yourself and I remember something being held over my nose and mouth as he grabbed me. I didn’t even try to fight back. However he obviously wasn’t very experienced in this kind of thing as I woke up in his car about an hour later, led on the backseat with a seat belt on and my hands and feet weren’t tied. He heard me stir and muttered an apology, saying I wasn’t meant to wake until we were ‘home’. Maybe it was because I just saw my best friend with my boyfriend- now ex-boyfriend, but I didn’t react how you would have hoped me to. Quietly, I asked “Are you going to hurt me?” he replied that he wouldn’t and for some unknown reason, I believed him.
* * *
He didn’t tie me up. I woke up in a large double bed, engulfed in blankets and pillows of pale blue and gold. Everything was so elegant and regal, the gold painted Rococo mouldings on the wall panels were just like something out of a fairytale. I’m sorry mum, I know I should have been figuring out my escape, if I could and trying to get back to you but in all honesty I wasn’t panicked or scared. I was intrigued, who was this man that had taken me?
I crept out of the room, gawking at the house, it was stunning. You know how I loved places like this. I couldn’t resist exploring it. However he had his bedroom door open and saw me wandering past. “You're awake!” he smiled charmingly and proceeded to ramble on about how he didn’t know if I would want anything when I awoke so he thought he would just stay close by. I nodded and didn’t say much. He wasn’t much older than I am, a couple years maybe and he was almost as beautiful as the house. You will never understand how I could be attracted to him even though he took me because my Shrink has filled your head with stories of Stockholm Syndrome.
He showed me around the house and stopped when we got back to the room I had woken up in. “This is your room, the bathroom is through that door,” he gestured to one of the wall panels in the room and only when I squinted did I see the hidden doorknob and then moving over to another hidden door that lead to a room of silver, filled with mirrors, “This is the dressing room and one of the doors leads to a secret room, I never go in there so if you want to hide anything, then that is the place.” He smiled nervously and stood nervously too. He seemed awkward so I broke the silence. “How long are you going to keep me here?”
“Technically you could leave now, I’m not forcing you to stay here but I assumed after what happened yesterday, you would want to be away from it all.”
Again, I simply nodded and after he told me when dinner would be ready, I went to the library. You would have hated the library, aside from the fact that it is his, you would have hated it because you have never appreciated the beauty in the detail and intricacy in architecture. The library had one of the walls removed and replaced in a Victorian style conservatory with piles of books and a grand piano. I have never seen so many books in someone’s home and only after I stood stunned by the beauty of it all, did I pick up a copy of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and sit of a mossy green velvet chaise lounge.
We ate in silence. He sat at the head of the table and I sat next to him and the only sounds were the faint hum of some classical music that I’d never heard before and the clatter of knives and forks as the scraped across our plates. Perhaps it was force of habit, from you shouting at me when I didn’t do my chores, but as soon as we finished I took both plates and went to the kitchen to wash them up. He was about to get up to stop before I told him it was the least I could do and we agreed that I would clean up and he would cook.
* * *
In the next few days we had made our own little routine, he would spend most of his day doing work in the balcony of the library where he had a computer and internet access along with a working phone line. That surprised you, didn’t it? I didn’t even attempt to contact you, I let my phone die and never bothered to recharge it, I even used the internet to buy clothes and books with his permission and never tried to email you or send you an instant message. I would clean this house, it was therapeutic and I got to know every nook in the whole house except for his room and the attic. I would still clean his room but not as throughly as I did’t want to invade his privacy and he had asked me not to go into the attic. It was his secret space like the hidden room in my dressing room.
Most days I would live with the cold floor against my bare feet but as winter had turned especially cold and the first snow was falling, my feet were freezing and the two pairs of socks I was wearing would not suffice. He was in the library as usual and I was walking past his room when my curious nature got the best of me and I decided to have a look around.
Unlike my room, his was darker with a single canopy bed in mahogany and dark forest green, still beautiful but with a bigger sense of masculinity. His walls were covered in maps and architectural drawings of buildings. I saw a pair of grey fluffy socks on the top of his bedroom dresser and put them on. Yes they were his socks, but they were much warmer than mine. I just wanted to know who he was. Perhaps I was going at it the wrong way, after all I had’t had more than an hour total of conversation with him since I came here. He had one of those impossible bottles with a black pirate ship in it on his desk, however he hadn’t finished it, I bent down for a closer look when he spoke. “I can see you’ve taken a liking to my socks,” he smirked and it shocked me so much that I stumbled back, knocking over a pile of books on the floor as he reached over to grab my arm to stop me from going over with the books. “Thanks” I stuttered, trying to straighten up, his hand lingered at my arm for a while. “My feet were cold and your socks are a lot thicker than mine, so I-” I stammered, and he smirked again telling me that it was okay.
At dinner that night, I broke my silence and I asked him about all of this. “How do you have all of this?”
He sighed, “My parents left me this house when they died, along with all of their money, so...” he trailed off, I knew he didn’t want to talk about it.
“ah, sorry, I guess.”
It didn’t go so well at first, but after a few days I did begin to get to know him, and he was charming and extremely nice.
* * *
I didn’t think about you, I didn’t give you one thought after the first few days. Henry and I spent most of our time in the library. Sometimes he would be working but sometimes he would play the piano or read. I’ve never read so many books. He knew so much about everything, about books and the world from his Father, and I was very content listening to him. There was a Phonograph in the library and one day I asked if he had any wax cylinders to play music from, and so I started to play Dmitri Shostakovich’s The Second Waltz, Do you remember when I used learn ballroom dancing? This was my favourite waltz. He was reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula as I started to twirl by myself in the room, staring up at the glowing chandeliers and ornate ceiling mouldings. I began humming the tune of the waltz and caught Henry glance up at me, smiling. ‘Oh don’t you think it’s rude to make a lady dance alone?” I asked in my poshest voice as I skipped towards him to make him dance with me. He laughed and took my hand, beginning a childish dance that was loosely on a waltz but mostly revolved around twirling me around. The music picked up and as he lifted me, still spinning. We laughed and then our eyes met and I swear no one has ever looked at me like that before. He set me down slowly and leant in and we kissed. Fireworks went off and the music soared and then, his phone rang and he raced up the spiral staircase to get it. I sighed and hurried off to my secret room. What was I doing? Allowing someone I barely know, to kiss me? I don’t think you could understand how it felt, it was... perfect, enchanting and it made me feel so alive. You have never listened to anything I have said to make you understand that he never pushed me to do anything, I wanted to kiss him. This isn’t Stockholm Syndrome. I genuinely liked him. You see for it to be Stockholm Syndrome, he would have to be my captor. But I was always free to leave.