I woke up today to the same old room, in the same old, big house. I pulled the curtains aside, staring outside at the yard. The sun was shining brightly. Kids and teenagers were walking to school, chatting and laughing merrily.
I miss going out. Surprisingly, I miss going to school. In fact, there have been many things – and people – that I’m missing.
I turned around. I automatically said,”Come in”, even when I knew how it would always turn out – a regular routine. A lock being turned, the door open. He came in with my breakfast with that big smile on his goofy, wrinkled face.
“Hey, sweetheart,” he greeted me cheerfully as he put the tray on the table. This time, it was toast with pineapple jam and orange juice. “How was your sleep last night?”
“Okay.” I shrugged, then closed my eyes when he kissed my forehead. I remained rigid, even when he had his big, strong arms around me for quite a while. He felt cold – or maybe it was just me. I don’t know. I try not to think so much these days. I try not to feel.
“You’re so beautiful,” he whispered softly, sending chills down my spine. He smiled down at me. “Go eat your breakfast, okay? I’ve got to go for a while.”
“Where are you going?”
He kissed me, this time on my lips. I kept my mouth shut tightly.
“As usual, it won’t take long,” he assured me gently. “And since you’ve been a good girl lately, I let you roam around the living room.”
“Okay.” Then he left this house, locking and bolting the door from outside. I heard his footsteps growing distant as my eyes scanned around.
No TV. No stereo. All the windows are barred, so they can’t be broken easily. We live in a remote area too anyway, so no such luck.
I stared at my breakfast. The first month here, I’d tried rebelling against him by refusing to eat or drink anything. I’d been ready to die anytime, because – four days after my first attempt – I fell sick with dehydration and had almost died. He revived me back to life. The only thing that’s still keeping me alive was the mind game he was playing me with that night:
“I thought you said you wanted to see your mommy again.”
It’s been a year, I think, since I last saw her. Since he’d drugged me and kept me locked in here. God, I hope she hasn’t given up just yet. I hope she’s still looking for me…
My tears started at the thought of Mom, but I quickly wiped them away. I finished the toast and the orange juice. I have to stay strong.
I didn’t know why he took me. He said he loved me and wanted to be with me. He didn’t even care that I’d cried from behind the locked door:
“But I want my mommy! Please, let me go! I wanna go home. I won’t tell anybody, I swear!”
That had made him cry, but he said he’d kill me first if he ever had to let me go…
— // —
He came back that night. I decided to start playing his game too. I slung my arms around him. This time, I returned his kiss.
“Good to be home,” he murmured with a smile. “Good to be home with you.”
Perhaps I could buy more time – and make him let down his guard. Once I can get out, I’ll have to find my way home…
– The end –
(Jakarta, 28/8/2014 – from The Couchsurfing Writers’ Club Meeting @Anomali Cafe, Setiabudi One – 8:00 – 11:00 pm. Theme: “House / home.”)