I rock in his arms as we climb up a step, one and then another, and then a door opens with a creak. We’re on a porch. There’s even a porch swing out here in the middle of fucking nowhere. He turns his body and to the left I make out what appear to be endless woods before he carries me into the house.
“I tried not to wake you.” His deep voice jolts my body slightly. I don’t know how to respond. I’m quick to answer with an apology. Apologies have never stopped the beatings in the past, but I know I have to respond. Being quiet is much, much worse than saying the wrong thing.
“I’m sorry.” I speak clearly. I know I must. When I started to pretend, when I decided submitting was the best way to survive until I had the opportunity to escape, I learned that whispers and mumbles are often accompanied by blows to the face. I’d like to avoid that as best as I can. If I can. I’m still not sure which type this man is.
He sets me down on the sofa and I’m not certain if I should lie down or sit. When I switch owners it’s the worst in the beginning. Their expectations always change. He walks across the foyer and hallway to an open living room. It adjoins a large kitchen and dining room. Modern and clean. This place is dark. It looks like it hasn’t been used in years. I settle down on my side, facing the room.
I want to ask if this is his home. But that would be stupid of me. I know better. I won’t be foolish like I used to be. Instead I lie still and simply wait for instructions.
“Stay there,” he says, as he turns his back and leaves the room. My heart beats wildly in my chest. It’s horrible when they leave. It terrifies me. They always seem to come back with more anger and ammunition. The faces of my previous owners flash before my eyes. I’ll never forget them. If I can, I’ll kill each one of them.
But his face is the one that persists in my mind. The leader. The one who made sure that my father saw everything. He will die a slow death. The memory is vivid. I can still see the way my father looked as they came from behind me. It must have been hours before they finally beat him to death. I’d hoped they were going to kill me after. But that wasn’t enough for him.
Tears don’t even threaten to fall from my eyes. I can’t feel them. My eyes almost feel itchy with dryness at this point. Crying is pointless and only gets me beaten. The more I cry, the harder the blows. So I hide the sadness; I hide every emotion, because it’s safer that way.
It was one thing to be beaten, raped, and humiliated in front of my father and then have to watch as they murdered him. The image of his throat being slit is still clear in my mind. It was one thing to have that happen just before my death. I was waiting for it. Praying for it. It was another thing entirely to live through that nightmare and then be taken by my father’s enemy. Someone who wants to make sure I suffer.
I’ll make sure he suffers as well.
My eyes dart to the hallway Kane left through. I’m not chained to the ground. I’m not tied to anything, or locked away. I can see the front door. I could run. I bet I could even get the door partially opened before he gets back to me. The old me would’ve taken the risk. The old me would’ve ended up scarred and bruised. Now, I’m a good girl. I’ll wait.
Why am I a good girl? Because it may be a test. I’ve failed so many times before. I won’t fail. I won’t disappoint him. At least not in this way.
Even if it’s not a test, if I leave now, I may never find him again. And I can’t let that happen. I won’t run. I’ll simply wait. My chance will come. I only need one chance.
I hear Kane's heavy steps coming down the hallway and I focus my eyes forward. I would school my expression to be impassive, but it’s already set. I haven’t dared to show emotion in so long. I don’t know how long it's been actually. Now that I think of it, it’s a strange feeling to realize I have no idea how much time has passed. I spent a very long time in a basement and then even longer in his bedroom. Learning proper technique.
I can tell Kane’s entered the room, but I force my eyes to stay straight ahead and my body to be still. It’s only when he comes closer that I want to move away. Only when I see the pliers in his hands do I want to run, hide, or show fear. But I resist. I can’t do that.
I can only imagine what he’s going to do with the pliers. I remember their threats, to cut me up and ship parts of me one by one to different family members. But I thought they were all dead. I know some are. They showed me pictures. Or simply took me with them as they hunted them down. Maybe this is just for enjoyment though? My eyes want to close, but I force them open. I know if I try to hide, he’ll force me to look. I can practically feel him fisting my hair and shaking me until my eyes are wide open. It’s happened before. I’ve learned.