The pain is brief and searing.
Drip drip drip drip…
Pit patter pit patter…
I open my eyes and look at my newly lacerated fingers. Pain is supposed to be an aphrodisiac of sorts, but for me it’s just plain old pain. But I have to tolerate it, for my pain isn’t for pleasure of any sorts. Rather, it brings me more pain. I’m tainting the smooth surfaces of my fingers so I can’t hold up a cup, a needle, or a blunt. The way I see it, if my fingers are useless, I can’t cause any more physical damage to myself.
I finish with my cuts. Anytime they show signs of healing, I reopen them, each painful slice offering me the false conviction of a far-fetched recovery. David walks in, dripping wet. It’s been raining a lot lately, the perfect weather for my constant downers. Ever since the episode in Dare’s office, he’s been…distant. Staying away from me, and only talking when necessary. And during the nights, he has his way with me. I can’t struggle, he owns me. For without him, I would be creatively dead, for you see, David is my muse of sorts. In my head, he’s my only family, lover, brother, enemy. He’s my everything. Such thoughts in my head give me material to fill pages to my heart’s content. If I ever get sober, I’d turn them into a book, or a collection of stories.
But I’m already dead aren’t I?
I can’t do this anymore.
I grab whatever I can and stuff it into a bag. Then I get out and hail a cab. I have no money to pay for it, but whatever. I’m reacting. Fuck life.
This was a good day. Dare had put finishing touches to his place. He hated living in a hotel for as long as he had. He was finally glad to move into his own house and have some perfect privacy. His annual leave was also due in a few days. His things had been moved into the house. All he had to do was walk into a fully furnished bachelor pad. Time for a well deserved break.
He bade goodbye to his secretary and started walking towards his car, when he saw her. She was leaning forwards, eyes covered by black sunglasses, hair neatly brushed. She looked…well. Unwittingly, a sigh of relief escaped him. She was fine…considering…
“I don’t have any money to pay for the cab, but I figured you were the hotshot gentleman shrink and you would pay.”
He gave the cabman the expected fare and turned to face her.
“What do you want?”
And then he realized he was insane. He should have called some hospital and handed her over to them. He wasn’t equipped to deal with her games. Darting in and out of his life. Going forward and jerking backwards. Saying things she shouldn’t be. Making him feel things he shouldn’t feel., allowing herself to be treated like shit and taking it. She didn’t seem like the type, yet her calm acceptance of the riffraff’s treatment of her irked him. He was mad at the asshole, and at her for letting him be the asshole. And most of all, mad at himself because no matter what happened now, he wasn’t letting her just walk away.
Calm down Dare. Let’s see what drama she has set forth in motion today.
Five words. “I’m homeless. I left David”
The same mental blank that came over him a few weeks ago manifested itself again, when he grabbed her bags, put her in the car and drove her all the way to his new apartment. He was still in the mental lock, when he opened one of the rooms, told her it was hers for as long as she needed, and proceeded to fix himself a stiff drink…make that three.
He showered, spending more than twice his shower time letting the cold water run over him. He then called his secretary to move forward his leave. As from today, his leave had begun. He’d be damned if he didn’t solve the issue of Fareeda and forget her before his leave ended.
His pre-ordered dinner arrived and he went to the room to call her. She was huddled on the floor, air conditioner turned to the lowest possible temperature…and her hands were red swollen and bleeding.
He cursed himself for not noticing before…especially as he had noticed other…’things’.
Gently, he carried her, took her under the shower and proceeded to strip her down to her bare essentials. He washed her face, hair, hands, legs and every other respectable place, carried her back inside and put a blanket over. All the while she had said nothing and just kept shaking. He brought the food over to her room and together they sat in silence eating slowly. After eating, he went to clear the dishes and retuned to find a locked door and a note outside saying “thanks. Goodnight”.
He slept quite late that night. He decided to stay up to further research therapy points for drug addicts while he mused about how good her body felt when he carried her.
What was wrong with him?
The next day, he woke up to an empty house and Fareeda’s room wide open. It was just as it was before anyone occupied it, except for one thing – bloodstain, at the center of the bed and a torn strip from the bed sheets. There was another note. It said: “Thanks for dinner and bed. This is the last time you’ll ever see me. Fareeda.”
Dammit! She had bolted, right as soon as she had come for help.
He got into his car and started driving hoping to God she wasn’t in a lifeless heap somewhere.