I sit alone and I wait. The silence is deafening. The blackness is total. The fear, my fear, suffocates me. I can actually taste it. The salty, gaulding bile rises in the back of my throat and I gag on the futility of it all. How could I, of all people, have ended up like this?
I pride myself on being self-sufficient. I have never needed anybody. Not until now. Now, I would give my right arm for one of my big brothers or my ex-husband to walk through the door. I would kiss the feet of my worst enemy were she to get me out of here.
But that was not to be the case. I don’t know how long I’ve been here, but it’s been a while. My hair is a good two inches longer than when I arrived. That same ex-husband would love it. He always griped when I cut my hair. Now, I wish I was bald. The lice wouldn’t have as much to chew on.
In some ways I’m glad I can’t see myself. From what I can guess, my body is a total mess, and the smell, well I don’t even like to think about that. The dirt and excrement covering my body stink to high heaven, but the rats don’t seem to mind. Every now and then one will take a nibble.
I have infection somewhere. I can smell it. Rotting flesh. I can’t find it though, with my hands tied behind my back. I can’t even feel my hands anymore. And my legs, well, that was a whole other story.
I don’t think whoever dropped me in here wanted it to happen. My screams and the snaps of breaking bone seemed to have shocked him. I don’t know what he expected. You drop a bound woman down and thirty foot hole and something is going to break. He did splint them for me. Not that it did much good. Still hurt like hell for a while. Not so much anymore.
Nothing hurts now. I don’t know whether it’s lack of food or just body parts dying, and I don’t really care. It’s nice not to be in constant pain. I know, pain means my body is still fighting, but my mind can only stand so much fight. I’m tired.
I try to sleep, but it doesn’t work. The rats keep me awake. I lay here and I listen to them coming. I can keep them away by screaming or jerking as much as possible, but eventually exhaustion takes over and I’ll pass out. I wake up and feel them. My shrieks force them away again but it’s too late. I think that’s where the infection came from.
I still have no idea why he took me. I asked, at first, but soon learned it was a hopeless case. He wasn’t going to tell me. All he would do was mumble something about uppity women thinking he was stupid. “I’ll show you stupid,” he would yell every time he slapped me, or he’d ask, “Who’s stupid now?” while he was bucking on top of me.
I’ve never met the man before in my life but that didn’t seem to matter. He still hated me. You want to hear the sick part? I wish he would come back.
I wanted him to stay away at first. I would scream and curse at him every chance I got. I told him I would rather starve than have him touch me again. I spoke in big words to make him feel as stupid as he said women thought him to be. I made him furious. I did a good job.
He hasn’t been back in a long time. My stomach quit rumbling a while back. Now, it’s just a gnawing pain that won’t go away. I’ve had dry heaves and the passing out spells are coming closer together. I would eat the rats, but I can’t catch one in my mouth. I’ve tried.
I wonder if anyone misses me. My family probably hasn’t even noticed I’m gone yet. I only talk to them a couple times a year. I guess maybe my clients wonder where I went, but freelance designers aren’t always the most reliable so I’m sure they just hired someone else when I failed to show up. The bill collectors are probably more worried about me than anyone else.
It turns out independence isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and I’m not as independent as I thought I was. I’m lonely. I miss talking with people. I miss my family. I miss my life. I miss a lot of things.
I can’t believe it. He’s back! I must have passed out again and didn’t hear him come in.
He has coffee. I can smell it. I miss coffee.
He also has a bag. I don’t know what’s in it, but it smells delicious. I miss food.
He has a bucket and rag. Soapy water! I miss taking a shower.
He has the knife. He pushes it into my throat as he rapes me so I won’t resist. He doesn’t need the knife anymore.
“Did you miss me?” he asks.
“Yes,” I whisper back.
I miss a lot of things.