“Some things are only real if you believe in them” Unknown Please follow the story
You can catch up on episode 3 – “The line” here
When Julia woke up she could barely see a thing. The lack of light that had bothered her so much where she laid helplessly chained to the bed like a deranged woman had now become the norm. For a minute or two she could make out nothing at all but the dark lumps of a chair next to her bed and what appeared to be a high stool by the wall.
The chains on her wrist made her sick. She felt as though she was robbed of her physical strength, it had to be the drug injected into her body she thought. Even her eyelids felt so heavy it took an effort to open them.
She came to the sad realization that in here she had no rights. She could not get up at will to leave nor choose when to rise or the time at which she goes to bed. She could not refuse the “poisons” injected in her body that made her mind slow to the point of ceasing every kind of emotion.
She was a prisoner of some sort in a room without door handles where the bed was only but a mattress on the cold floor with no blanket for warmth.
Her sight blurred as everything suddenly became fuzzy again and then she saw nothing at all.
She drifted off into pitch darkness, time had no bearing on her insentient mind with her consciousness floating through an empty space filled with a thick static. She felt like she was floating and not falling at all. Throughout the black empty space her heartbeat pounded loudly, echoing in her ears, alongside fading pleas for help. There was a brief moment of dizzying confusion before all sense of feeling in her body drained away until all was finally just black.
On the eve of her birthday the year she turned eleven, she laid under her blanket in her nightie not wearing underwear as he had instructed. It was a familiar routine. Once the door slammed behind her mother, off to her night shift at the local general hospital on the Lagos Island, he made his move. Typically he liked it rough, she was to fight back a little but never to scratch or scream. She was not required to utter a word, not a compliment or a plea. His coarse whiskey-laden tongue licked at her skin, while he huffed and puffed until he stiffened in a fit of orgasm with his stubby fingers curling and tugging at her hair. It ran like clockwork.
At 12, all that was required of her was to lay on her front, pretending to sleep through the sodomy. Every year he tried something different. This started recently as he had switched to having brutal anal sex with her after he had taken her most prized possession- her virginity when she was only nine years old.
This was the fifth time that month he was having his fill and the month was barely halfway through. Whenever he left her, she was a pitiful wreck, mentally and physically, yet left alone to pick up the bruises everywhere on her supple body. She would have bashed eyes, battered face, broken nails and bloodied tears even for staying silent and following instructions.
From the still darkness, in this flashback she watched as her father ravished her young teenage body and tears swelled in her eyes. Hot tears trickled down her face even as she laid chained to the concrete wall in the room helpless, sobbing and sick while looking down on her 13 years old self.
She could still smell the scent of his semen. Semen that he left behind when he picked up himself and hurried off from her room along with the scars of her trauma. He always left a cup of whiskey on the bed stool and she was required to sip what was left of its content. It felt like some sort of sick ritual that lent credence to their unholy act.
Her father was an unrepentant drinker. The most prized possession in the house was the bar-stand filled with an array of exotic alcoholic drinks. When he had enough to drown himself in, he gratified himself with her body. And it didn’t matter if she wanted it or not. But, what hurt worse was her acquired taste for whiskey which apparently deadened the internal brokenness that only a person exposed to such a cruel abuse can ever experience.
There were many nights she laid in bed listening to the sound of fighting. Her mother would shout and her father would hit and slap her so hard till she cried for many hours and then fell silent. And the conversations would stop. This started after she shared their little secret with her mother who noticed how awkward she limped when she returned from her night shift in the morning.
Her mum cried bitterly while he seethed and thereafter he walked out of the house. She would push her face into her already soiled pillow that carried the remains of his scent while she thought in her head how if her mother decided to leave him, she would leave with her and flee the violence.
And leave she did!
Her mother indeed left him eventually on the day she turned 14 but not as she had envisaged.
In the morning when she walked into her parent’s room to comfort her mother, she saw her sitting in an awkward position on the dresser chair with her head slightly bent to the side and her arm dangling lifelessly. She quickened her pace across the room to behold the most horrific and heart-wrenching sight she had ever seen in her entire life.
In life her mother’s eyes were every shade the sky possessed from dawn until dusk, but in death they are black. Stone cold.
She was dead at least two hours!
Something snapped in her.
Not exactly explainable. Like the static sound of a crackling twig under the weight of a foot. Her mother was the beacon of hope and all she had left in her entire life.
Her mother’s lifeless left hand clutched tightly an object of interest- an inscription bottle of antidepressant. She must have over-dosed on it.
Her ear shattering scream reverberated through their now empty home and smack into her own ears as she stirred on the lean mattress of the seclusion room back into consciousness in agony and sadness. She curled herself up into a ball as far as the chains on her wrist would allow.
She wept bitterly, like she did that day.
Her mother was gone.
With her whole world hanging on a thread she started to get visibly angry.
This time when she turned up from her cries, there was an ominous sneer on her face which was red with suppressed rage. Her knuckles slightly red from clenching her fist too hard and she gritted her teeth from the effort to stop herself from crying further. Her hunched form exuded so much animosity that was like acid – burning, slicing, and potent.
He had to pay.
She raced quickly to the bar-stand in the living room, picked up her father’s favorite bottle of whiskey, cocked it open and emptied the content of the antidepressant all the way into it. She watched as the pills fizzled and whizzed till they were all dissolved into the chrome-colored liquid. This was going to be poetic justice.
It was time to make things right.
She hurried back into her mother’s room to heave her dead body unto the bed. She was lean and athletic during her lifetime, all 65kg of her. She mustered all of her strength as she laid her mother to rest in her own bed. She then turned the duvet over her body leaving her face uncovered, she cleaned her mouth of all the bile and foam from her encounter with death and laid her on the left side of her body. He wasn’t to know that she had passed, at least not until she was done with him.
Her death would cause her so much agony that could only be seen on the inside. The pain that no one else would ever see because… well, no one else cared enough.
Then she prepared the meal her father would eat on his return from work. Something he couldn’t resist. It had to be his last meal she thought.
She was in her room when he returned. She waited a while with bated breath before she stepped out to see him.
She watched as he mumbled a response to her as he walked away after she had welcomed him. As expected, he walked to the bar-stand. As though on cue, he picked up the same bottle she had poisoned and took a strong gulp of whiskey.
But hours after he had taken the drink and had his dinner, her father showed no sign of discomfort. Neither did he look like he would succumb to the drink or its content or writhe in pain till he died. He made a good many calls on his phone and then paced about the house until he noticed the lifeless body of his wife in their bedroom. She had been dead for some time when he felt her for signs of a pulse.
In panic, he turned with the sole intention of hurrying out of the house to God-knows-where, but she was standing right at the door with her hand behind her back. She had been ready with a knife.
When he got close enough to her, rather than step aside to allow him pass through the door, she buried the cold steel blade of the kitchen knife swiftly into his lower abdoment right to the hilt.
She looked at his stupid surprised eyes and gave it a twist for good measure leaning into him as she forced the blade further. She then shoved him to the side as he collapsed to the floor holding his abdomen in his hands. He tried to apply some pressure to stop the bleeding. But within a short while, he started to groan and gurgle as he bled out, his skin greying as the light left his eyes. He performed the dance of the dead on the floor of his bedroom fighting for his life till his body stiffened. She watched him die and she did not feel a tinge of pity.She was a murderer. Time to run.
Many years after she would still smell his semen and sweat even when there was no source of either. The scent would be as strong as it was in her childhood bedroom. Her heart rate would pick up as she battles panic attacks she seldom wins, checking herself for the blood that had run down her legs from the rips and seeing the face of her father on every man that walked the street. Her sense of self remained in tatters.
She had dumped her blood-stained gown as she hurried out of the house that fateful day and got on a commercial bus after she had raided her mother’s trinket box for every valuable jewelry she could exchange for money.
She may have escaped the house and the corpses of her parents, but she could never escape the trauma and all that came with the horrors that tainted her early years. Now she was lost in that nightmarish world once more; reliving, refighting, hurting, terrified while she forced her eyes open as the door to the seclusion room started to open.
Stephanie sprang up from the bed wondering why she was in chains and where the hell she was?
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