**Warning: This book contains graphic situations that may be a trigger for some readers. Please understand this is a work of fiction and not meant to offend or misrepresent any situations. There is quite a bit of violence so if that’s not what you’re looking for then please don’t read.***
The road to hell is paved in fucked up situations!
Inhaling deep, the moldy mildew burns my lungs.
I look around me once again, the four walls are yellowed from time and lack of care. The only light peeking in comes from a one-inch gap on the top of the lone window that’s now boarded up tight. The wood from the frame is still embedded in my hand from my attempt to remove the plywood from the window and find a way out. Ghost pains from a long since healed wound flare where the wood lodged in too deep and then the infection set in. It was agony.
I close my eyes.
“I’m nothing but trouble, Jess. You really need to walk the fuck away,” Waylon’s voice plays in my mind. “You’re everything I ever dreamed in a woman, in a lover; baby, I can’t do it. I need to walk away.”
“You’re the strongest person I’ve ever met, Waylon Thorne; we can make it work,” I plead, letting my heart overpower my mind. We’re too perfect, too connected. He can’t leave me.
“I’m weak, Jess. If I were any kind of good man, I’d kiss you one last time and never look back. I’m a selfish fuck to lay in this bed, my cock still inside you, knowing I can’t have you; I can’t have this.”
He begged me not to get tangled up in him, but I couldn’t. The love between us was too special. My chest burns, the pain of my emotional scars cuts deeper and feels worse than any torture the woman holding me can ever cause me.
I hear the sounds of footsteps coming down the hall. Light patters telling me exactly who is coming. Automatically, my body tenses and my every sense shoots into alert mode. I lay still, steady my breathing, and keep my eyes closed but not tight, rather relaxed.
The twists and clicks of the three locks being undone can be heard easily through the silence surrounding me. The doorknob squeaks as it turns, and the door creaks on its hinges as it opens.
“Sweetness, it’s time we give thanks to the Lord and have our breakfast.” Her voice is soft but high pitched, so even a whisper sounds like nails on a chalkboard.
I remain steady, unmoving from my spot on the bed.
She sighs. “Heavens above, why must they anger us so?”
Before I can react, hot liquid hits my t-shirt covered torso. The burn causes me to cry out, and my body jolts.
“I hate when you make me do these things, sweetness.”
I want to vomit. Tears threaten to leak out, but I push them down, not about to give her the satisfaction.
Slowly, I push myself to sitting, the shackles on my ankles feeling heavy as I move.
“There, I knew you weren’t asleep, sweetness.”
Time hasn’t been well to my captor. Her once dark hair is now a stringy gray. Her face covered in wrinkles and worry sets around her eyes.
I lost count of time long ago. When the walls around you are the same, one day turns into five before you can even sort your shit out. Now, they all blend together; only the small flash of light in the window telling me if it’s day or night.
She places the plate on my bed with scrambled eggs, toast, an apple, and no utensils. The coffee now on my stomach won’t be replaced, and I’ll be left with only the hope she’ll bring water sooner rather than later. Inside, I calm my nerves and know I have to behave in order for her to stay partially sane. Some days I can fake sleep, she will turn and let me be; other times, this is the price I pay.
Over time, I’ve pushed her too far and paid the price. Escape is not an option. Death will be my only reprieve. I just haven’t found a way to make it happen yet. Using sheets, clothes, and everything at my disposal to choke myself has left me sleeping on a bare mattress. Drowning myself in the tub only left me with supervised showers and bathroom time—which is beyond degrading.
“Sweetness, it’s time for our devotion,” she instructs before dropping to her knees at the side of the bed.
Like a child, I clasp my hands together and bow my head, knowing once this is over there is a good chance she will leave me be.
“Father, we thank you for this day. We thank you for your many blessings and our time together, Jessica and I. We are patiently waiting for the day you return our sweet Waylon to us. Forgive me for failing and the devil in his brother, Whitton, for taking him from us. Forgive me for not protecting our child, Father.” She begins to sob like she does every single day we go through this.
Silently, I send my own prayer.
God, if you are real, please keep Waylon safe and away from here. If it’s your will that I continue to endure this at the hands of his mother to keep him safe, I will do so with grace, humility, and the heart of a servant. No matter what happens, I beg of you to answer this single prayer; keep Waylon out of her life, out of her grasp, and let him have a life of love like he once gave to me.
My own tears fall as my heart shatters once again.
“Sweetness,” his mother reaches out and squeezes my hand. “I miss him, too. You need to know, I thought he would return for you so much sooner. I thought our life would be different. The Devil has ahold of our boy, we must pray in earnest.”
Hold it together, Jessica. He’s stayed away this long, so my prayers are being heard if I’m to believe the religion she has thrust in front of me at every turn.
Bowing her head, she continues to pray, “Father, we seek forgiveness for our sins. When you find it in your heart to return him to us, we will do everything to hold him here and, at all costs, we will keep Whitton from his life. This we ask in your holy name, Amen.”
My stomach rumbles loudly.
“Eat up, sweetness.” She pushes the paper plate toward me before reaching out to wipe the tears from under my eyes. “I miss him, too. The Bible tells us Jesus will return one day. Waylon will return, sweetness. We must have faith.”
Standing, she moves to the door and leaves. The sounds of locks clicking into place are all I can hear as I pick up the paper plate with a shaking hand.
Is it bad I feel for her? Her twisted belief is wrong. She has everything so wrong. She needs help. The kind I know I am incapable of giving her.