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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Protective Love by P.J. Belden

*Mature audiences only (18+)*
*Dark Contemporary Suspense Romance*

Twelve years earlier

How much longer will this last?  I certainly didn’t think it would last as long as it has.  If I were to be broken any more I would be in pieces as small as a grain of sand. 
Dragging myself into my bathroom, I locked the door and turned on my radio loud enough to drown out anyone who might come into my room.
Placing my hands on the sink in front of me, I looked at myself in the mirror.  My right eye was already swollen and starting to bruise.  Reaching up and carefully running my finger down the right side of my face, I winced in pain when I got to the cut just below my cheekbone.  I was a hideous beast; a plaything for a sick and twisted guy.  I have used so many excuses covering up for any visible marks on me.  They have never been this bad.  How can I hide this one?  How can I make this one go away? 
Falling to the floor, I cried out as my back slammed against my vanity.  Nightmare can’t even describe what I am trapped in.  A nightmare is something from which you wake up in a panic before realizing it was all a dream and real life isn’t like that.  No this is my life. 
I pulled my legs up to my chest and winced when my legs touched each other.  Spreading my legs apart, I could see the bruising there - and the blood.  I ran my fingers over the small little bruises; they were from his fingers digging into me.  The half circle marks just above that was where he bit me while I fought and begged with everything I had.
The bite marks and nail marks on my other leg was the source of all the blood. Those broke the skin, and some of them were deep.  Pulling myself up off the floor, I turned on my shower and took what was left of my clothing off.  He’d ripped them in his rush to get them out of the way.  There were barely shreds left of my clothes.  As I was throwing my clothes away, I caught another glimpse of myself in the mirror.
Oh God!
I was hideous.  A beast in my own skin fighting against myself to be set free; fighting to forget, to run and hide, or to stand and kill the son of a bitch.
These aren't normal thoughts for me. A beast in my own life. How do I get my life back - or is that even possible? Has he destroyed me so much that I can't even own my own life?
Laughter filled me and came out when I realized, I was like Humpty Dumpty and no one could put me back together, no matter how they tried.  This thought caused me to laugh until I had tears falling down and landing on the floor.  My body shook, but not from laughter this time.  Instead, it was the crying that I knew would be coming, but had hoped wouldn’t.  Every jerk of my body - every deep breath - sent sharp pains running through me.
Steam was filling the room, adding a haze to my image in the mirror.  It was fitting, like the dark, eerie forest with thick fog hiding the creatures of the night.  I took one last look before I stepped into the shower.  The first sprays of water that hit my skin burned, but it was better than the pain I had been feeling; the empty, hollow pain that seemed to ache, but never heal.  It was always with me, like phantom pains that stayed with me each day.  It was hard to forget when you kept feeling the pain.  That was all I wanted to do; forget.  Forget that he ever touched me.  Forget that he ever hit me.  Forget that I ever met him.  I just wanted to forget it all.  I wanted to forget everything about Alex Greene and the things that he did to me.  It seemed that my brain seemed to want me to remember, and my body… my body couldn’t forget the damage that had been done to it over the years.  All the remembering wasn’t even the worst part, either.
My nightmares were worse; I was there again in the moment when the pain was inflicted. That was harder to handle than the ones that hovered over me constantly.  In my dream, I was stuck and left to suffer it over and over again.  Living it once was hard enough, but to relive it and feel it all as intensely as the first time was torture.  My brothers had come in several times and tried to comfort me, but it was hard having anyone that close to me.  Once I’d had one of my nightmares, it was nearly impossible to fall back asleep.  So often times, I would be up the majority of the night.  Being awake with it so quiet was enough to make me wish I could sleep.  Quiet meant the voices in my head could be heard easily.  I didn’t want to hear the voices.  I hate the voices.  They were always him, screaming, grunting, panting, whispering; no, I hated the voices.
I stood under the shower, washed and rinsed, and then just let the water try and wipe the grime away that I felt after each attack.  If there was a way to completely wash it away, I hadn’t found it yet.  I stood there completely alone, no one to turn to for help or understanding.  If I said anything, I was putting my life - as well as the lives of whomever I told - in danger.  My life? Hell, I didn’t care much about that anymore. But to endanger someone else’s life… I couldn’t do that.
The water turned cold, so I stepped out and dried myself off before slipping on my sweats and tank top.  Being in a house full of people and still having the feeling of being completely separate from them was almost as if I was watching my life rather than participating in it. I hated no one and everyone all at the same time.  Filled with confusing, conflicting emotions, and yet the person I really hated was me.  It was my fault I was in this boat.  I couldn’t fight hard enough.  I couldn’t save myself.  Even if I wasn’t able to save myself, how can I even think to ask someone else to help?
Knock knock knock…
I sighed.  I didn’t want anyone to see me.  Today was enough to deal with on my own, it would only be tougher if someone else saw me too.
“Go away.  Get out of my room.”
I hated that my voice was shaky.  Strength came from within, and that was all I had that kept me making it through each day.
“I need to talk to you.  Now!”
Dad sounded pissed.  Just what I needed - a lecture on top of everything else today.  I threw the towel around my shoulders and hoped it covered enough of my markings that weren’t covered by my clothes.  Taking a deep breath and putting my head down, I opened the door and walked out to my room.
“What have you done to your room?  I’m shocked to see this from you, Kayla.  One rule, we have in this house and that is to keep ourselves and our spaces clean; that includes this room.  You’re grounded, Kayla.  No summer camp this year.”
Dad was right; the room was in shambles.  I never left my room like that, but then again, it wasn’t me willingly doing it, now was it?  My bed was messed up, with pillows and blankets everywhere.  My side table had been turned over, and everything that was on it was on the floor.  The shelves that held my books and movies were empty.  If my father would just look around more than just a glance, he would see the blood speckling my sheets and the floor.  If he would breathe in, he could smell it in the air.  Maybe that was just me.  I can smell the dirtiness he left behind.  I can smell the fear. 
Please look harder daddy… please save me.  Notice on your own because I cannot tell you on my own.  Lift my face up.  Make me look at you.  Save me daddy; he’s going to kill me one day.  I’m not ready to die. God, daddy please… I’m so scared and alone.  Someone save me… please.
He didn’t do any of that.  Why would he?  There was no reason he should suspect anything out of the ordinary to have happened there.  To him and anyone else, it was an open and shut case.  I was being destructive, and punishment needed to be given.
Damn! I have to clean up this mess.
Whenever I looked around my room, I relived the moment - this time as well as the others before it.
I need to get out of here.  Two more years - that’s it, and I can get away from this place and the memories… but not the nightmares it carries.
My father continued to yell at me for the mess in my room.  I kept my head down and nodded where needed.  The burning in my eyes was intense and I was holding the tears at bay the best I could.  I’d just had my only sanctuary taken from me, leaving behind nothing but a mess, by having the shit beat out of me and being raped.  Tears fell, and I knew my dad saw them because he stopped yelling and told me to go to bed before leaving my room.  Once my door shut, I cried and cried.  It was in that moment that every hope I’d had disappeared, and anger and resentment took its place.
I stared out at my bedroom window.  The sad thing was that he didn’t even have to use that half the time.  For most of the attacks, he just walked through the front door.  I don’t know how he broke away from my brother without raising alarms, but he did.  I tried locking my door, but it doesn’t help.  That’s when he uses the window.  The latch is broken, so I can’t lock it.  I tried to put stuff in there to keep it from opening, but it never worked.  I couldn’t get away from him.  He was everywhere I was; school, work, shopping… everywhere.
Getting off my bed, still crying, I found my paper and a pen, then wrote out a short little note.  It was not to my family, but instead to the man that had haunted me for the past four years.  This note was not a ‘give up’ speech.  It was to let him know I would not go down without a fight.  It was writing out the courage I needed to keep moving through life.  I would keep this note with me for as long as I needed the courage and strength to push forward.
“One day, it will be your time to suffer.  One day, I will be there smiling as you taste revenge at its best.  You may have broken and hurt me now, but it won’t be like this forever, and you will soon see what messing with a Williams girl means.  Good luck asshole.”

 Buy links
US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I1JCVWM
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00I1JCVWM
AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00I1JCVWM

Social links
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PJBelden 

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