Thursday, November 15, 2012

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The final morning I was more than excited. While Theo was in the shower, I packed my Nine Inch Nails albums, my camera, some of my jewelry, my sheet music, my Nook tablet and my iPod. I had lost the synthesizer the previous month when Theo pawned it off for food money. He said I could get it back as he’d only loaned it to the shop, but I knew deep down I’d never see it again. I got less than half of what I paid for it, a mere $125 dollars.

      When Theo got out of the shower, I told him I’d packed the sheet music so I could play the piano at the local thrift shop after work. Thankfully, he was okay with it. I’d already showered and all I had to do was get dressed. But with a couple hours before we had to go to the bus, I had time. I tried on a dress we’d found at a secondhand shop. It was plain, black, with minimal button detailing on the front. When I showed Theo, however, he was overwhelmed and immediately began groping himself in front of me, another common phenomena. I could see he was serious when he told me to get down on the floor. I was hoping that he’d only make me do something minor, but instead, he had me get on my knees and forearms. In my head, I was panicking. I knew if he tried having sex with me, it would hurt, but all I could ask him was to be gentle. He tried wedging his penis inside my vagina, but I was tense, afraid of the pain, and it became impossible for him to get inside me. Frustrated, he masturbated behind me, and pulled my dress away when he ejaculated, spreading his seed on my bare butt. He used a blanket to clean himself off first, then wiped off what he’d left on me. I thought I was off the hook and decided to try pulling up my underwear, but Theo stopped me to violate me one final time, telling me he wanted to try something.

         I protested, telling him I had to get ready for work. He simply brushed off my protest as me being selfish and went ahead to slide his fingers into my butt. As soon as I felt him trying, I tried crawling away, because I told him that was something I would never even consider doing. One day in our tent he’d made me feel him up like that, and not only was it disgusting, but it made me see him in a whole different light. I hadn’t done it for long, to his displeasure, but I knew today I wouldn’t be squirming out of this one. It not only hurt, but it was uncomfortable as well, since I could feel his long nails against my skin. He didn’t stop until he ejaculated again, this time on the blanket he’d used the previous time. Taking what was left of my dignity, I pulled up my underwear, pulled down my dress, and went to the bathroom to wash my hands and redo my makeup, which was now a running, teary mess. I found my clothes and dressed silently while he watched me, asking me once again if I still loved him. I could hardly reply. He asked me again, his voice growing angry. I turned towards him and nodded, telling him I was in a lot of pain, then turned away to finish getting dressed. He stopped me and told me I owed him an apology, for what, I can’t remember, but I do remember the threat he gave me next. He held up his phone and told me if I didn’t apologize, I’d have to call in sick to work. Reluctantly, I walked into his open arms and let him kiss me, choking out a fake apology. It was enough to diminish his anger. I finished getting ready and we walked to the bus stop less than a mile away.

After getting on the bus to Bellis Fair mall, I pulled out my copy of a book on Nine Inch Nails’ first album, Pretty Hate Machine. It was one of the rare occasions where I wasn’t wearing sunglasses. As I looked up from my book, since my neck was getting tired, Theo tapped me on the shoulder and told me to quit staring. I’d zoned out and kept staring out the window without realizing it. Mumbling a quick apology, I started reading again until we got to the mall. After a kiss goodbye, I walked into work quickly and set my things in the storage closet in the back. By the time I’d started making my rounds, I ran into my dad but knew enough not to look excited. I didn’t endure what I had the past 24 hours to blow it all in a few seconds. My dad told me to get my stuff out of the back and asked the manager for a bag to put my backpack in since he’d seen Theo sitting almost right outside my work at the food court, watching. I was shocked since normally I thought Theo would be running other errands instead of watching me like a hawk. As we were waiting inside the store for the all clear from my mom, who was waiting on the outside for Theo to leave, my dad got a call from my mom saying that Theo had finally left.
 
Even with that over, I knew I still wasn’t in the clear yet. I followed behind my dad and my mom through the food court, and when we were at the exit, my dad hugged me and made absolutely sure I was ready to leave. There was no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t survive another month, much less day with Theo around. We all walked to the Pilot and while I was opening the door, my mom asked me if I’d left my phone at the store. When I told her no and showed her the phone, she took it and ran it back to Claire’s. Finally, when she got back, I felt some sense of relief. I was free. My parents didn’t lecture me, they knew I’d probably been punished enough. They were just happy to have me back, and I was happy to see them.

 





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