His fiery gaze is burning through my skin. I want to kick, scream or run but my fear has rooted me to the cracked tile on which I stand. Oh God… Now, I am staring at the cracks I nagged my mother to fix, tracing them with my eyes as they intersect and part, only to meet again. Like us. Those cracks I wanted to rid my room of so badly are now the only distraction from the torture that is about to befall me. He is laughing. Ecstatic in his evil. He loves it.
You are nothing. You are nothing because that is what I say you are. You think that fool is going to save you from me?
He lets out another deep, throaty laugh as he continues his assault on my mind. I own you. I always have and I always will. If you go near that idiot again, I’ll own him too. Now, his arm is slowly encircling my waist and his lips are brushing against my left ear. God… I used to love this. I used to love him. I lusted, encouraged, wanted… Now, I am trapped. He is whispering the way he used to when he said my name in ways that annihilated my self control. My nails digging into his back… His strong arms pulling my hair… God… What have I done?
Stay away from him. Or you’ll both pay.
Shut. Up. And lie down.
The tears are fighting their way out of me but I am resilient. He can’t see me cry. It’ll just make this worse.
“Please… I’m sorry… It’s Papa… He wants to become Chief’s in-law… I never…”
SHUT. UP. AND LIE DOWN. You know you want to…
I hate the fact that a part of me still does. A part of me that can’t do without this exhilirating dance I have been performing since I was thirteen. My nails in his back… His hands on my throat… Before I know it, we fall to the bed… God…
Mama had burst into the room suddenly. I hadn’t realised I had been screaming.
“What is it? Are you alright?”
“Yes Mama… I’m sorry…”
“It’s okay… You were screaming, you know? What is it? Who were you talking to?”
As usual, he is gone. His scent still lingers, though. He’s not far… My husband…
“Nobody mama… It was just a bad dream.”
“Are you sure?” She moves to sit by me, worry etched into every one of her wrinkles. “My dear… This is the second time this week…”
I shake her hands off my shoulder. “I’m fine.” The guilt her love inflicts on me is too much to bear. The secrecy… I wish I could tell her… The words seem to rise through my throat but my tongue is too weak to to carry them out. He will kill me. I can’t. Instead…
“The wedding is off.”