The Day My Whole Life Changed
By Julija Petkus
I sit in a dim, dank room and try to get my bearings. There is a dull throb in my head and I can feel a slow stream of what I presume is blood slinking down my neck. I can feel the hard plastic of a zip-tie holding my wrists together behind me. My legs appear to be unbound, but they hurt so much I don’t think they will support my weight. I must have broken at least one bone in each of them when landing. I continue to take stock of my injuries instead of thinking about where I am (three major bruises: arm, side, and head; wounds on my bare feet that have scabbed over…). I hear a door open and shut in a shadowy corner of the room. There is a whisper of fabric, and I can see the vague outline of a person standing in front of the door. He walks forward into the feeble light. The man stands directly in front of me a few feet away, staring.
“Who… who are you?”
He stares, harder.
“What do you want with me?” My voice cracks, betraying my fear.
The man walks a little closer to me and examines my face. His eyes are clear blue, too beautiful for his face. I try and be brave and stare him down, but I know he can see the dread pouring out of the golden brown swirls of my eyes. I can’t stand to look at him anymore; I turn away. He inhales sharply and deeply. Then he turns on his heal and walk away, out of the room through the door I can’t see.
As soon as I hear the click signaling his exit I can feel the sobs bubbling in my throat. My breath comes in gasps as I try and swallow them down. It’s no use. In an instant, the floodgates open. I’m sobbing like I did when I was a kid and had nightmares, but this time I can’t just run to my parent’s bed and fall gently asleep in their arms. This time, I am alone.
TO BE CONTINUED….