My brain hit a reset, and I sat up sharply, jolting the girl just a little bit. I felt like someone had dunked my head inside cold water, and the entire world was in perfect focus. I had told Andrew I’d be at the airport waiting, and I don’t know what time it is, but he will be shaking with worry by now.
There is just one thing left to be done now- I need to get out of this hell hole.
“We have to get out of here.” I whispered, but loud enough for the sobbing girl to hear me. She didn’t say anything at first, so I pinched her and repeated myself.
“How?” she asked, voice shaking and lips no doubt wobbling.
“I don’t know. But I have to get out of here. The only thing I’ve ever done right is somewhere out there, and if I have to crawl through hell to get there, I will.”
Something about my voice must have jolted her out of her crying- I was scared myself. I don’t know where that came from, but I meant every word of it.
“How do we even hope to get out of here?” she asked, her panic rather evident.
“Hope?” I chuckled darkly. “Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have.”
“I have it still, but not because I’m waiting for a miracle.”
“What do you suggest we do? We’re tied up like animals.” And then she started sobbing again.
I tested the rope around my wrist and discovered that the man paid more attention to layering the rope than to actually making it tight.
“We can wriggle out of it. It will hurt, but worse will happen if we wait for them to return.”
I counted to three, and then we started wriggling our hands out of the rope. It was hard and painful, but after what seemed like forever, I managed to free one hand from the ropes. I felt blood rush down it and the sharp, prickling sensation that went through it delayed my movement a little bit.
“I freed one hand!” the girl said from behind me, and her joy was the inspiration I needed to work faster at freeing the other hand.
Soon, we were both on our feet, clenching and unclenching our fists to aid the blood flow.
“No. it’s dark out there, I can’t even see you!” she bemoaned.
“Okay. Stay then. I can tie you back up if you want, but I’m taking my chances.”
She grumbled something about how I don’t need to be a bitch, but I ignored her and took the rope from the floor.
“What do you need that for?”
“I don’t know, but we might need it.”
She didn’t say anything. I didn’t care for her opinion.
“We’ll hold hands, and stretch one hand in front of us so we don’t bump into anything. Do you understand?”
“Our eyes are useless now, so we’ll have to trust our other senses. Let’s go.”
“You sound like you do this a lot.” She sounded fearful. If we were somewhere else, I’d have told her that I play video games a lot, and that once upon a time, I had to fight tooth and nail for my life. But, we’re here, and now’s not the time for stories. So instead, I grabbed her hand blindly and said, “Let’s go.”
We must have walked for about an hour. I could feel the sweat licking down my back and making my dress stick to my back. My legs were shaking, the arm I had stretched out was almost numb and my throat burned. If the way my partner was moving was any indication, she was feeling the same things as well. I was about to suggest that we take a break when I felt a draft hit the side of my face, and I stopped abruptly, my heart thundering wildly in my chest.
“What?” she whispered laboriously.
“I felt a draft, there must be some sort of opening there.”
I steered us gently in the direction I felt the draft from, and we started our slow procession again.
“Light!” the girl whispered joyfully, her steps faltering in the joy, almost causing me to trip.
“Shhhhh!” I whispered back after regaining my footing. “Somebody could hear us.”
It will be downright sad to have come this far only for someone to hear our premature jubilation and throw us back to where we just escaped.
We moved towards the light, and as it got bigger and brighter, something around us changed. It was subtle, but it was there. It was hope. Sure we started out with hope, but it was minimal. At every point, we thought we’d bump into someone, that we would be found out. So we moved with baited breaths and every time we hit an obstacle, my heart would skip a beat, thinking we’ve finally been caught. But it turns out to be a rock and my heart rate returns to normal and my breathing evens out again. I know she felt the same because I hear her breath hitch the exact time my does. But now it’s different, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and we can finally see it.
You know how they say things get harder when you are close to the finish line? It really is not a myth, and the universe didn’t think it right to let us miss out on all that fun by making an exception this time.
“There’s someone there.” The girl said, dragging me back forcefully. I had seen the guy standing by the mouth of the cave as well, but she acted before I did.
“I know. I saw him.” I whispered back.
“What are we going to do? We are so close.” And she started sniffling.
It’s such a painful thing, to see your escape right before your eyes, so close and yet so far. We stayed that way for what seemed like another hour, hoping the man would decide to take a pee break or something. But he remained there, smoking a joint and drinking from a bottle he keeps in his pocket with one leg against the wall of the cave.
With each passing moment I spend down here, Andrew is up there, probably worried sick about my whereabouts. Thoughts of him have kept me going this long, I’m not about to give up now, not when I can clearly see the finish line. In that very moment, I decided that I will do anything it takes to get to the other side. Anything.
“We must do something.” I said, eyeing the entrance, a plan already playing behind my eyes.
“What? We can’t run past him, if that’s what you are thinking. And we don’t have a gun.”
My ears perked at that. We didn’t have a gun, but we are not entirely weaponless.
“We have this rope.” I said. I had carried it like a handbag all through our little trip, and now, I have found a use for it.
“I have a plan.” I told her my plan, and when I was done, she was looking at me weirdly. She was looking at me as if I had grown an extra head. I couldn’t exactly see her, not really, but I felt her eyes boring holes into me.
“You’re fucking crazy.” She pronounced, fear lacing her voice.
I considered her words for a while and my first instinct was to defend myself, but, there are worse things to be than fucking crazy, as long as it gets me out of here and keeps me alive.
“Yes, I am. Do you want to leave here or not?”
“I want to, but…”
“Do you have another plan?”
She was quiet for a while. Then, “No.”
“That’s what I thought. Here, take it and wait for my cue.” I handed her the rope, stood up and straightened my dress.
“Our very survival depends on you. If I can do it myself, I will. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to die here.” I told her, my voice completely devoid of emotions. I just hope she gets the message.
“I don’t want to die here either.” She replied, her voice shaky. She didn’t seem sure, and I wasn’t reassured but I also don’t have a lot of choice.
We crept closer to the mouth of the cave, and when we were close enough, we stopped.
“Stay here. Don’t forget, look out for my cue. It will over before you know it.”
She didn’t seem convinced. I didn’t wait to convince her. We both have to fight for our lives, and I’m about to play my part.
“It is risky.” She grabbed my hand and pulled me back, holding on to me desperately.
“We don’t have a choice. Not one that will let us walk out of here alive anyways. Let me go.”
She didn’t hold me back again.
I hate what I’m going to have to do. I hate the fact that I have to wear this skin again, but I will have time to scrub myself clean after this.
For you, Drew. For you.
I stepped out of the cover of the darkness and walked straight towards the man manning the cave. He didn’t see me at first, probably has something to do with the haze of some surrounding him. When he did see me, I was almost at arm’s length and if I was in a different place, I would have laughed at his reaction.
Surprise, fear and annoyance chased themselves across his face in quick succession as he spat out the liquid he had just gulped from his ever present bottle. I had to step out of the way to avoid being bathed by the alcohol. When he regained his consciousness, he brought out a wicked looking knife from the back of his trousers and pointed it at me, a silent order to stop moving.
I had factored in a weapon. I didn’t have a plan for it, of course, but I knew it was a possibility.
“Stop there.” It came out as a slur, but the menacing blade in my face passed the message across better. I stopped moving, and I cast a demure look at the ground.
“Where do you think you are going? Where is your second? Who untied you?!”
I didn’t answer at first, I just started sniffing and shaking slightly.
“Answer me.” He growled. He was closer this time.
“Two of the men, they came to take her away. They said they couldn’t wait for the boss, that they wanted some action now. They took her away and left me there.”
I looked up at him with large, sad eyes brimming with tears, and his expression was satisfactory, so I continued.
“The rope was loose, so I ran away. Please, let me get away. I will do anything you want, anything.”
He eyed me from head to toe, and I knew exactly what he was thinking. His friends had betrayed him and claimed one of us, there was no reason why he couldn’t have his own shot, with the bonus advantage of not sharing. It was a crude way to think, but it is a reality I’ve reconciled with a long time ago, the only difference being that this time, this time, I call the shots.
I moved closer to him, and the wheels were still turning in his head. He was almost there, but he needs a little push.
“Please, let me pass. I will do anything you want, and I will not tell anyone.”
I knew the exact moment he made up his mind to take what I was offering, and I knew he’d throw me back to that dark room and tie me up tighter when he’s done. The sly look in his eyes was enough indication, but it is essential that I make it look like he’s in charge and he has the upper hand.
“Anything?” he asked, a slow, creeping smile spreading over his face and I wanted nothing more than to slap that smile off his stupid face and stab him with the knife he was slowly lowering from my face. Standing there in front of him, presenting myself like some sacrifice was harder than I thought, and every moment that passed was taking a toll on me.
He stepped closer to me, and I took one back. He took another one closer, and I stepped back again. We were like cat and mouse, and the chase thrilled him like I thought it would, if the stupid smile on his face was any indication.
“You said you will do anything. Didn’t you?” he asked suggestively, eyeing me from head to toe and licking his lips in the process.
“Yes.” I whispered, looking frightened. He was pleased.
I have never understood that thing. That thing that excites men about defenceless women and makes them want to ‘possess’ them.
“Very good. You will do whatever I like, okay?”
“You will let me go after?”
“Of course.” He sneered.
I nodded my head as if reassured, then I took another step back, and another, until I was almost at the spot I left the girl. I moved to the opposite wall, such that he will have his back to her. He caught up to me on the wall, and started kissing my neck. Wave after wave of revulsion hit me, and between his stench and the very act itself I’m not sure which is worse.
“Is that what you want?” my voice was clear and free of fear or any sign of trembling. That was the sign. “Wait for when I sound like myself again and move.” I had said to her.
The sign was out, but nothing happened.
“I’m ready.” I said, loudly this time. Nothing happened, and the idiot that seemed determined to swallow me hole didn’t notice anything.
I stayed there and endured minutes of him touching me, wondering what could have happened to her. It occurred to me that she could be lying dead in the shadows somewhere, and the thought brought tears to my eyes.
“Why are you crying? I’ve not even done anything to you yet.” He sneered at me again, and I saw red, so when he moved in to kiss me on the lips, I grabbed the knife from his back pocket and stabbed him in the back.
Except I somehow miscalculated and he was faster than I gave him credit for.
“You stupid bitch.” He said before slapping me so hard that my head slammed against the rock behind me.
It occurred to me then that I was going to die. I was going to die in a kidnapper’s den, and no one would know what happened to me.
I tried to fight him off, but it only seemed to annoy him as he slapped me again, even harder this time. I felt fire on my face, hot and livid, slowly melting my face. He dragged me by my hair and pushed me on the floor.
“I will teach you today.” He fell on his knees in front of me and started to part my legs.
No. God, no. Not again.
I tried to fight him off, but he overpowered me in the end. I felt his hand inside me and I tried to recoil from his touch, but I couldn’t. I tried to detach from my body, but it felt as if my very soul was anchored too strongly to the body that was about to be defiled.
“Please.” I said weakly, hating myself even as I said the word.
“Yes, you will beg me to stop.” he grinned from ear to ear, and he started to unbuckle his belt.
I turned my head to the side. It will be over soon, I told myself. I dared not hope, and I kept my breathing as slow as possible, hoping I’d just drift away before my body registers the assault even more.
I heard a grunt from above, and I closed my eyes tighter, counting the seconds, then minutes.
It will be over soon.
Another grunt, then a thud.
“Stand up. Are you still alive? Please be alive.” Somebody was shaking me awake, pleading.
It was then I realised that the weight on me was no longer there, and the hands on me were different. These new hands were not looking to take or to abuse. Maybe hope did come after all.
“I don’t even know your name. Please wake up.”
“Meg. My name is Meg.” I said, opening what I could of my eyes. My head was throbbing, my throat was scratchy, and when I sat up, I felt my head spin. I saw the man’s slumped body near me, a thick rope around his neck. I didn’t ask what happened. It didn’t matter.
“Jade. That’s my name.”
“I thought you were dead.” I said weakly as she helped me up.
“I’m sorry it took too long. I froze. I was scared. But I saw what he was doing to you and I would never have forgiven myself if I allowed it to happen right before me when I could have done something about it.”
I nodded. I don’t know if I would have been mad at her if she hadn’t done anything. Asking someone to ‘man up’ is one thing, asking them to kill a man is another thing, and some people are fortunate enough to see the line between them, and respect it.
“What do you say we get out of here, Jade?” I asked instead.
Today is a fairy tale. I wore a white dress, and even though it has blood, dirt and an unforgettable experience stamped all over it, and no one will believe it to have ever been white, I’m still going to meet my lover, and really, that’s all that matters.
Score: Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have- but I have it. Lana Del Rey.
Featured Image Via Dark Wallpapers
2 thoughts on “Fairy Tale for Girls Like Me-2”
This is so thrilling, I’m shaking!
Niiiicceee! As always.