I threw up. I didn’t mean to. Yesterdays meal, a burrito from some fast food joint, in dull pastel colors of red and yellow flushed down the porcelain throne. My body throbbed a mixture of twisted emotions: hate – the kind that makes for revenge, love and admiration, respect as an equal, one game player to another, but stronger than them all – fear. Slammed against the wall, hand around the throat kind of fear, the kind that makes your heart race and your chest hurt as you gasp for breath.
No being in the world has ever intimidated me so.
I panic each time my phone rings or my cell vibrates. He’s found me. I cannot escape. I have nowhere to run. He will get me, he always does. He knows my weakness. The deep, sultry sound of his voice, the intoxication of his laughter and then the taste, the sweet seductive taste of his mind and like a marionette I become tied to his manipulative strings of power and control.
Tonight is different. I have the upper-hand.
I was not, not nearly as tempted by his riddles. With each inquiry, my mind carefully deciphered every word of his malarkey. My power now as trained if not stronger than his. My voice smooth, steady and without emotion. My face blank, eyes flat and empty. Knowing everything was not as it seemed, always an ever-changing illusion. His favorite trick was to use my deepest desires against me, but the illusions of nothingness is most undesirable.
I feel him strike me, no not outright or physically, he is much to smart for that. Appearances are everything. Mentally he tears me to pieces, stabs at the laughter in my eyes and chokes the words before they’ve been released from my lungs. I smile knowingly.
The world around us has silenced. No cars flying by, or the rush of the wind. As if someone has pressed pause. He steps from the protection of shadows and approaches the chair where I sit comfortably. He walks behind me, his towering six feet meant to intimidate, make me feel small and weak. I lean forward and place my empty martini glass on the table and wave for the bartender to serve me another. Seeing I’m not bothered or affected by his attempt, he returns to position himself in the light., I lay back against the fabric and gesture to the chair mated to the table and opposite of my own. He sits, posture mirroring mine yet masculine. He nods a refill of his amber poison and then he waits.
“Alaires, beautiful as always.”, It was not meant as a compliment but gentle mockery.
I wake, body upright, gasping for breath. Its happening again, these dreams of my past and the man who stole everything from me. of al the things I could dream about, its this I keep coming back to. Not my alcoholic father or meth head mother who lost custody of me. Not the abusive foster home i spent seven years in, not the group homes that cradled my damaged teenage pshyche , or even the night my older sisters baby daddy stole the innocence from my intoxicated fourteen year old body, on the holiday which we say thanks. Dante Reynolds.
I met him just after my eighteenth birthday. I was working at this rundown dinner theater a couple blocks from my apartment in Tustin. I love the theater, of any variety. I got a job working in the box office, taking phone reservations for the thursday through sunday showings of
To be continued…….