The Big Apple – Part 1

I stumbled into the cab, vision blurred and stability definitely gone. I wasn’t too sure whether Dara gave the driver my home address or her own, but all I was aware of was that she’d gotten in with me and the cabman was driving to our destination. I was beyond embarrassed, I’d only been working with Dara for two months and already she’s seeing a side that I wasn’t even aware lived within me. She pulled my lifeless body against her own and began stroking my hair. It soothed my spinning vision and mind, I didn’t know how I was going to make it up to her, but I knew the treatment she was giving me was going to cost me a week of late nights in the office, but at that precise moment I didn’t care.

I’d embarrassed myself in front of my co-workers and my boss, all I wanted was to bury my head dead within my pillows and let this nightmare be forgotten. I closed my eyes, feeling like a little girl again and remembering the last words my mother told me before I moved out to New York ‘make sure you look after yourself.’ And here I was, a shambles. The cab stopped after a few minutes, which seemed like hours to me. Dara and the driver exchanged some words and before I knew it, she was helping me out the cab.

“Mind your left leg, the curb is close.”

I clasped her hands tight, afraid my footing would fail me and I’d land face first into the ground. Once I was upright and out of the cab, she began walking me towards some stairs that led towards a tall building. It didn’t look anything like the apartment I was staying at, but I wasn’t confident enough to believe my own eyes, so I fumbled carelessly towards the entrance, with her grip firm on my waist. I opened my pouch, in attempt to find my keys when Dara stopped me.

“What are you doing?”

“We can’t get into my place without my keys Vic!” The last words came out as a burp, causing me to cover my mouth.

“Katy, we’re at my place.”

She opened the doors with her keys and walked me through the lobby and towards the elevator. I stumbled after every few seconds, only highlighting how drunk I seemed to have been. She pressed the elevator button, causing the doors to open. We walked in, waiting for the lift to take us to her place. I wonder why she took me here? Why didn’t she just drop me home and leave me there and what floor does she live on? I leaned on Dara, feeling tired and looked up to her.

“Why’d you take me here?”

She looked at me with what seemed like a confused stare, “what do you mean ‘here’?”

I threw my arms in the air and signalled the building she lives in, instead of the building I live in.

“I wasn’t going to leave you all drunk by yourself.”

The elevator doors opened just as she answered. She guided me to her door, unlocking it with her keys, revealing a dark corridor. She led me through the darkness to what seemed like the living room. She forced me to sit on the sofa and then left me. I couldn’t believe I was drunk and in my boss’ apartment. I closed my eyes and felt the soft velvet sofa under my fingertips. The tiny hairs soothed my skin, calling me to sleep. I kicked off my heels and curled up like a ball on the sofa, ready to get lost in the call of this velvet masterpiece, when the lights flickered on. I groaned in annoyance and sat back up, confused with why it’d suddenly gotten bright.

“Before you even dare to sleep, take this tablet and drink this water.”

I obeyed her command, not thinking twice to answer back. I placed the small chalky white tablet in my mouth and then gulped the water, that I hadn’t know I’d been craving.

“Do you feel better?” She asked walking back to what I can only assume was the kitchen area.

“Why am I here Dara?” I said, looking at the light that shone opposite from where I sat.

“I told you that already Katy.”

I looked down trying to remember when she told me, but failed to remember anything passed the lights turning on and waking up from a blissful sleep I was sure to have.

“Oh sorry. Is this your place?”

The light in the kitchen turned off, turning the intensity of the light within the room down. She came out with a plate in her hand. She laid the plate on the table and sat beside me. I looked at the sandwich and my stomach flipped twice, I shut my eyes, trying to burn the image out of my head as it began making me sick.

“Yes, it is my place.”

“It’s beautiful.” She sat besides me and chuckled.

“Are you tired honey?”

I nodded, too tired to speak anymore, just wanting a bed and sheets to cover myself with. She helped me up and walked towards the bedroom. It was dark, but with the light from the living room, I was able to make out shapes from the silhouettes casted by the objects. There was a huge bed in the middle of the room, must have been double, maybe even king sized, with a few cabinets and wardrobes resting against the walls. What caught my attention was the huge window that oversaw the busy roads and buildings of New York. Little lights danced across the roads, whilst buildings stood affirm in the midst of the party of lights, like security guards. The lights started to blur ever so slightly the longer I looked at it, making my head feel dizzy. Dara must have been aware, because she pulled me towards the bed, but it was too late. The drink had finally settled and my limbs had gone to sleep, causing me to fall to the ground. She sighed and crouched down, so that we were face to face.

“You alright?” Another nod, replaced speech. She lifted me up for another time tonight and managed to get me into her bed. At first she tried to undress me, and I tried to fight her off. I was drunk, probably more than drunk. But I still had enough sense that this wasn’t a good look at all, rolling around intoxicated in her bed was bad enough, but having her unzip my dress and try and pull it off was another. What was worse was that even though I felt I was putting up a good fight in attempt to stop her, it was all futile. All she had to do was move my defensive hands with force and they never lifted again. This was definitely something I was going to regret in the morning. Once I was down to just my undies, I closed my eyes, letting the silk sheets caress my skin and drag me further into the sleep abyss that had been calling my name.

As I slowly drifted deeper into sleep, it was as though I felt Dara hover above me and watch me. I’m sure she even muttered a few indistinctive words, but after I groaned and kept saying sleep, I felt the duvet fall over my shoulders and two soft lips touch my forehead. Then I was gone.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

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His Eyes.

It was the cold air that woke me up. The slightly chilled wind that passed me was what had me blinking my eyes to darkness. I was sure I slept with the bed lamp on, so I was beyond confused when I awoke to utter darkness. All that filled my sight was dark shapes that surrounded me. Still in a haze, I try to pull the duvet over my cold body, but realise my arms are tightly bound above my head. I pull a few times, hoping the knot would ease, but instead, it cut into my flesh, burning my skin as I pulled harder to free myself. My arms grew tight and heavy, but I continued to pull hoping to loosen my arms. I look around hoping for some sort of answer for where I was and what was happening to me, but all that accompanied me was darkness and silence. Breathing out a trembling shudder, I tried to move my feet. Not surprised that my ankles too were tied together and then against another object. But even with the assumption in my mind, I still found myself shaking in fear. Becoming more powerless as the seconds flew passed, my desire to break free became erratic. Simultaneously, I struggled to free both my ankles and wrists, but with the bounds only getting tighter with my fight to break loose, I was only making things worse.

Trying to calm the heart that crashed against my chest, I took a deep breath. The air blew against my skin, making me realise I wore nothing but the restraints that held me captive. Inhaling a large amount of air, I prepared to scream, but when the air moved passed my throat, a burning sensation arose. My throat was dry, causing my helpless scream, to become a pitiful whisper. Without the ability to free myself, losing the power to use my voice and the fact that I couldn’t see anything, all rational thoughts dissolved. I pulled, wiggled and rocked uncontrollably, trying to break something…anything. Yet, nothing but my muscles and bones ached, pleading with me to stop my attempts. The feeling was something I was familiar with. As I lay trembling in fear, all my body could do was remind me that this was not the first time I’ve experienced this. Even with my wrist tied together firmly, my fingers quivered as my nerves took control of my body. I was beginning to remember this scene. Images flashed in my mind, as my brain worked to remind me what was meant to come after the shock and realisation of being kidnapped. I shut my eyes, horrified knowing what was to come next.

With a click, dim lights filled my surroundings. My body reacting to the slight warmth the lights gave and my eyelids slightly becoming lighter with the help of the lights. For a few seconds nothing happened. There’s no movements, no breathing, nothing but the lights slowly brightening. The only noise apparent was my breathing that seemed to bounce around in the room I was in. With no action after the lights being turned on, my curiosity pushed me to slowly lift my eyelids. With images flashing in my mind as to what was to come when my eyes were opened. As my eyes fluttered open ever so slowly, a frame filled my face, causing me to feel suffocated. My breathing no longer bounced across the room, but was colliding with an intruding frame that had taken its place in front of me. My whole body shook, as I opened my eyes to witness the same dark glassy blue set of pupils that stared right back at me every night.

Immediately I sat up, holding my mouth from the scream that had burst through my lips. It was a nightmare…a nightmare I was too familiar with. With tears uncontrollably streaming down my cheeks, I clutch onto my chest, trying to steady my heart that was punching my chest. It was always those eyes I found myself screaming myself awake to. I feared to close my eyes even to blink, in case the eyes awaited me as my eyelids covered my eyes. I slid out of bed, still shuddering as I made my way to the kitchen. Making sure every light was turned on. Once I reached the kitchen, the cold wooden floor helped chill my sweaty body as I ran the tap to get a glass. I opened the draw above the sink and grabbed a glass cup, glad my hands were steady to hold the cup without it slipping through my grip. I ran it under the tap and then locked the tap. Bringing the cup to my parched lips, I drank the water, thankful the water managed to relax my tense muscles and ease me slightly. I rested against the sink and took a deep breath, remembering he’d been arrested and had been for six years. I am safe…if only I felt safe.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun