AA-meetings – Chapter 15: A Wedding

A wedding

2016


“How come we don’t do this more often?” Amy wonders out loud, while walking down the streets of her beloved old town.

“Because I’m a famous person and shopping requires a three hour makeup preparation,” Alex sneers.

Like always, the Latina quickly kicks the fun out of it by joking around.

“Shut up and hold my hand,” Amy tells her, determined to ignore the sassy comment. “Nobody knows you’re here. So it’ll be fine.”

“It wasn’t fine yesterday. Ever since the engagement came out, the pap is on our ass twenty four seven.”

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AA-meetings – Chapter 13: Alternative Plan

Alternative plan

2011


There is only one feeling that absorbs her completely. It is pain. Utter pain of constantly throwing up and feeling like her body is under attack. Her muscles and gullet hurt from the constant vomiting. Her essence is gone, her determination is destroyed.

“Oh, God, make it stop,” Alex prays to the ceiling while backing away from the tray she just dirtied completely.

She’s exhausted and she hasn’t even left the bed in days. Her dad is standing nearby, helplessly observing her every move. The warm pajamas she’s wearing still aren’t enough to stop her from shaking like crazy. It’s fever. It’s always fever. Her fingers push back the hat that’s supposed to cover her bald head.  Continue reading “AA-meetings – Chapter 13: Alternative Plan”

Captured – Chapter 19: Epilogue (final chapter)

Epilogue


Unlike a lot of things from my memories, the new ones I’ve built are amazing. They erase the level of sadness and depression I’ve been through. Lauren is the source of all my happiness. She’s the reason I wake up in the morning and jump in bed at night. She draws little circles on my tummy when we watch TV and kisses me softly when everyone is looking our way.

My book got published and sold a couple million copies worldwide. It got translated in seven languages. So one might say it was successful.

There are a lot of times when I still think about John and his demonic eyes. There are times when I wake up and smell the scent of the basement in our room. Sometimes I even lock myself up for a while, just like he used to do, to reconnect with myself. It’ll be a closet or a darkened room. And though it’s ironic, it helps me to forget. Because being all alone puts things in perspective. It makes me realize that after all the bad, the good triumphed. Actually, it took the bad, it kicked the living shit out of it, pushed it – face down – into the dirt and tossed it into the ocean so it could drown.

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Captured – Chapter 18: The Book

The book


When I open my eyes, it’s obviously way too early. Everything inside of me screams that I wasn’t supposed to be up already. My body’s still tired, but it’s not listening to itself. So I wake up and yawn long and hard. Tonight was way too short. Lauren kept me up for hours. First, we fooled around properly, then we talked until the sun came up again. She needed to tell me things, she said. Things that happened while we were apart. It were simple stories about going to the mall, getting a driver’s license or riding a horse, but they were special to her. I understood why. She let me in on her very admirable first-evers. The first time she ever dared to do things on her own, without anyone holding her hand. As sad as I felt about not being there with her, tonight I felt even more proud about the young woman that saved herself in this big world.

After smacking my lips to moisten them, I turn around to find an adorable Lauren glaring at me in wonder, like I’m the most adorable thing in the world. She looks beautiful in the morning, but finding someone staring at you while you’re sleeping is a bit disturbing.

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Captured – Chapter 17: Injuries

Injuries


Ellen and I decided to enjoy life a bit after our emotional evening. My mom and dad were at a point where they accepted that I wasn’t a baby anymore. They let go of me more and more. They realized that locking me up and keeping me under some strange kind of surveillance wouldn’t do any good. And, even though I didn’t exactly need their permission, they gave me their blessing when Ellen and I expressed our desire to go on a holiday.

We went to Mexico, where we stayed at a beautiful hotel surrounded by palm trees and beaches. We drank mojitos and fresh coconut juice at the pool. We went for massages and even spend a day swimming with dolphins. It was incredible. That country stunned me on so many occasions. It simply took my breath away.

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Captured – Chapter 16: Ding, dong, the witch is back

Ding, dong, the witch is back


A worked up woman is pacing up and down in front of me, while I’m sitting on a couch, smartly remaining quiet. The person in front of me is not happy. My publicist rarely ever is. She’s holding the last few rough drafts of my work in her right hand. She doesn’t like it. Hell, I don’t even like it. Something about it just isn’t right.

“This isn’t working, Mariana. I mean, look at your last three chapters. They lack finesse. They lack an emotional input. You’ve been rambling and rambling about the interior of the house for ten pages.”

I crunch my nose and shake my head doubtfully. It was a very unique house, though. Of all the things I hated there, the structure and bold posture of that Fortress was the least of it.

Ellen is standing in the room as well and objects in a supportive way: “It can’t be that bad.”

But Edna, my publisher holds the papers towards her: “Front and back!”

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Captured – Chapter 15: Drunk In Love

Drunk in love


We are checked into a fancy hotel by the time evening falls. She doesn’t feel like going to the one where her mother’s staying, even though it’s just a few minutes away. She needs to be near me tonight, she said. She needs to feel me close to her, just in case she’ll wake up in the middle of the night, thinking it was all a dream.

I should know better, but I let her. The entire ride back, on the Vespa, we didn’t say a word. She just held on tightly to my upper body, with her head on my shoulder. We didn’t even wear our helmets. By the time it got a little chilly and we got bored of staring into the distance, we ended up here.

“Here’s the key, Miss. Your room is at the second floor, on the right. Number 203. Elevator is down the hall.”

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Captured – Chapter 11: Panic

Panic


It’s seven P.M. when the doorbell rings some sound into the house. It can’t be my parents. They left for a dinner date an hour ago, and I saw my mother sticking the keys in the left side pocket of my dad’s coat. I’m very attentive like that. Something I’ve learned during my stay at the fortress. Nothing escapes my eye, an old survival trick I can’t shake off.

I told them I’d be okay for a few hours on my own. It wouldn’t be the first time, yet they act like it is, every time they leave me behind. The truth is I enjoy the silence once in a while. It drove me insane in the basement of the house I was being kept in by John, but here … I can smell my mother’s baking, my fresh clothes, my father’s liquor on the cabinet. It’s peaceful.

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Captured – Chapter 9: Confrontations

Confrontations


“I like going to the supermarket.” Lauren joyfully announces.

Even though big crowds still seem to disturb her slightly, she enjoys the sight of the diversity of people. The more versatile they appear, the more she likes them. I take her out every now and then, since I’m the only person she fully trusts to show her these new things. It’s a safety thing – when occasional anxiety takes over, I’m the one to hold on to. Literally. Her family isn’t too happy about it, since they prefer to keep her close and safe inside the house, but every now and then, I convince them with my sincere intentions. It’s better for Lauren to discover the world right now. She must learn, before she gets asocial and estranged from a world she has no part in.

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Captured – Chapter 7: Hasty Blurs and Blue Uniforms

Hasty blurs and blue uniforms 


Everything after then seems like a memory that isn’t mine. We were taken out of the fortress within minutes. The police was worried that someone might come home to walk in on them, even though we told them that there was no chance. Only John knew where we lived. Only he came by the house. Lauren kept hiding in my arms and my warm embrace as the black, impressive SUVs with darkened windows took us further and further away from where we’ve been kept captured for months – Lauren even for years.

“So …”  the detective who introduced himself as Webb before, sighed relieved and proud.

I noticed he had tears in his eyes as he looked over to me and in order to kept it hidden, he held both hands in front of his mouth. I didn’t understand. The car was shaking, since we were driving so fast, sirens blasting through the air that all the rapidity and unfamiliarity shook me up completely. All I knew was that I held a scared, shaking Lauren in my tight embrace. Her fingers were clenched deep in my skin, but it didn’t hurt. All around us were cops, dressed as if they were ready to head to war.

“I finally found you.” the man emphasized while catching a relieved breath.

Continue reading “Captured – Chapter 7: Hasty Blurs and Blue Uniforms”