I went to work on a Friday and made a life-changing decision. I excused myself to text my Pop before I clocked on, and apologized for all the hurt I’d caused, told him I’d learned my lesson and wanted to come home. I knew I needed my parents’ support to return to Utah, because there was no way I’d ever come up with the money to do it alone. Shaking, I sent the text, and then deleted the message, afraid Theo would see it when I clocked off work. Pop’s response was quick. Not even 20 minutes later, the store’s phone rang. I was surprised when the manager handed the receiver to me and told me someone wanted to speak with me. Unaware of who it was, I instantly assumed the worst and thought Theo was checking up on me. I answered, nervously. Pop said hello and asked me if I was really serious about leaving, to which I told him yes, trying not to cry as he replied he and my mom could pick me up within the next day, asking if I’d rather take a cab to the airport. Scared that I wouldn’t be able to escape from Theo, I told him I’d feel more comfortable if he came down and picked me up: that way, I knew there would be no chance of something happening with Theo.
Pop told me to ask my manager if I could come in the next day, even though I wasn’t scheduled. He told me he and my mom were leaving immediately and would be there at noon the next day. He promised me updates on how far away they were, but said it would be in code, so that in case Theo intercepted it, he would be clueless. For example, if he was three hours from picking me up, he would text me and say he just saw three bluebirds. It was a bit obscure but it stopped me from worrying too much. The rest of the shift passed in anticipation of the next day.
When Theo came and picked me up, asking the usual questions, I acted like nothing was going on and told him I'd picked up an extra shift because someone was sick at work, praying he wouldn't press me further. My acting skills must’ve improved over the past couple months since Theo bought the ruse and didn’t question me further, but instead asked me if I’d like to see Avengers that night at the theater in the mall. The movie had only been released a few days prior, so after I agreed, we bought tickets in advance for a 7:00 showing that night. Since we still had a few hours until the movie, Theo and I killed time by shopping. He had recently received his monthly income, so we were a little better off than usual, but still had to save money for the rent which we still hadn’t paid. If we didn’t pay it by the next week, it would be late, but that was the farthest thing from my mind at that point.
Before the movie, we had dinner at the Denny’s down the street from the mall. Whether it was from my nerves or something else, I could barely eat. I ordered a side salad and ate as much as I could. I was already exhausted and wasn’t sure if the movie was the right decision, but without complaint, after paying, I followed Theo to the theater and we took our seats. The entire time I couldn’t take my mind off what was going to happen the next day. I was grateful for the darkness so Theo couldn’t see my face and try to read into what I was thinking. When I wasn’t preoccupied with thoughts on seeing my family again, guilt was eating away at me for finding the men in the movie attractive. I couldn’t relax. The movie ended and we walked out of the theater. It was a full moon, just past ten, and the buses had stopped running just a half-hour before the movie had finished. My heart sank as I realized we’d have to walk home: a good four-and-a-half miles away. Theo was a cheapskate and didn’t even want to call a cab. Just when I thought we’d at least be walking down Meridian Street, a well-lit street that would take us almost straight to our apartment, Theo informed me he wanted to go through Cornwall Park.
This is one of the entrances to Cornwall Park. The picture's been taken on a nice day. It doesn’t look very intimidating, but take the light away and add the fact that there’s an unknown number of homeless sleeping somewhere in there. I would rather walk Samish Way a thousand times than try my chances walking through Cornwall Park at night.
Continuing on the pavement, I found it hard to keep up with Theo's quick gait. I didn't want to fall and had my head down, looking at my feet because tree roots had dug underneath the pavement, creating mounds and potholes. Theo told me more than once to stop looking at my feet because it made me look weak, and instead, to look ahead as his vision was poor (he wore glasses on occasion, but didn't like to as it lowered his manliness). Despite the full moon, it was still almost impossible to see. When Theo confessed he could barely see anything, I grabbed my phone with the intent of using it as a light. He had me put it back in my pocket, telling me it would catch someone's attention and that we would be attacked. When I pulled my hand out to steady myself (we were still in the dark on rocky terrain) he told me to hold on to the phone just in case I needed to call the cops. I did as I was told, just eager to get out of the park and get to the apartment. With only a thin jacket on, I was freezing, still not used to the chilly spring temperatures.
We made it out of the park with no incident. Theo urged me to keep up, scolding me for not being able to keep his pace. I felt like a soldier and not his supposed girlfriend. Only the thought of going home consoled me because I knew I'd made the right decision. As we walked on the streets back to the apartment, I was finally allowed to take out my phone. Theo was texting a close friend on the street, Alvin, who we'd met up with numerous times. Alvin seemed to be having trouble with his girlfriend, and Theo was tossing around the idea of leaving me alone at the apartment to go visit him. Thinking he was serious about it, I urged him to go, telling him I'd be fine. I knew that the minute he'd left, I'd have time to pack a few things to take back to Utah with me, but not much since it would raise suspicion. He decided when we were only feet from the apartment that he would stay home and visit Alvin the next day while I was at work. We crossed the street and stopped at the driveway into the complex. He gave me a fierce, piercing stare. At that moment, I thought it was all over. He knew something. I hoped it didn't show on my face as I questioned his suddenly angry expression and will never forget what he said next:
"I hope you're not planning some covert operation."
I was exhausted and my nerves were shot, but through some miracle, I held myself together and assured him that wasn't the case. But he wasn't convinced just yet. He asked if I loved him, if I was going to stay with him forever. With a smile, I repeated the word forever.
That night was unbearable. Instead of going to sleep like I'd planned, we stayed up for a few more hours at his request so I could perform sexual favors on him. I changed into a long nightgown with quarter-sleeves, oddly, the most modest piece of sleepwear I owned. Theo had already stripped down to nothing and was waiting for me. I was, unfortunately, now used to it, but that night it seemed like he couldn't get enough. After jerking him off, I thought we were done and sat down from a painful kneeling position. My back was sore, so I lay down on the carpet and reached for a blanket, covering myself up. Theo told me to take the blanket off and get undressed because he still wasn't finished. He brought out the gel we'd bought at Spencer's along with a vibrator and told me he wanted to see me pleasure myself in front of him. At this point I knew saying no would be the death of me. Causing any sort of sexual frustration in Theo, as I'd learned over the past couple months, was a recipe for disaster. Not trying to appear too reluctant, I took off the nightgown and my underwear and spread my legs at his request. He applied the gel and I tried to appear as if I was having a good time. In reality, I was sore and didn't want to orgasm: every time I had in the past with him, which was rare because pain would normally overwhelm any other sensation, it'd felt so wrong, like it was a robotic response to an action rather than something to be enjoyed. He handed me the vibrator, and soon I felt the precursor to the orgasm, and I withdrew it, turning it off.
Wanting me to continue, Theo got close to me and coached me on how deep he wanted me to put my fingers inside myself. I was already uncomfortable with the notion and told him I couldn't: an even bigger mistake, I saw him getting frustrated. Instead of pushing me, however, he took control, moved my hand, and, putting the gel on his fingers, thrust them inside me.I had a small convulsion as his fingers rammed against the tender skin, but he wouldn't stop even if I asked him to. I started sweating, horrified I just couldn't shut my body down and stop the inevitable, stop Theo from getting what he wanted. But he did get what he wanted. Feeling defeated after he'd made me orgasm, I crawled under the covers. He finally let me sleep while he worked on his computer on a song, only waking me once during the night to relieve himself sexually.