AA-meetings – Chapter 8: Agonizing Reality

Agonizing reality

2011


“Did Amy accompany you to the doctor’s office?” George asks his daughter the second she walks in that evening.

Alex turns her head the other way and softly hums. Rick Spencer and her father decided it’d be preferable for her to see a doctor. There’s been a persistent infection under her arm for a while now – Alex is sure it’s from shaving – and the overly energetic girl has been feeling tired for ages. She wakes up in a cold sweat from time to time and hasn’t eaten in days. Uncle Aaron is worried too, but he’s just a pediatrician. His suggestion was for her to see a colleague of his. A ‘big people doctor’, as Eli likes to tease him.

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AA-meetings – Chapter 7: Apart For Too Long

Apart for too long

2015


It’s one p.m. when a soaking wet Alex shoots up in her bed. She’s panting uncontrollably, with eyes wide open. It takes a while before she realizes where she is. Then, the old memories of her teenage bedroom appear to be real. It’s not a dream. Not anymore.

She quickly throws her feet out of the bed and runs some fingers through her voluminous hair. The tiny knots of her hair extensions interrupt the smooth gesture. Not a lot has changed around the place. Not the people that live here, not the way it smells like cinnamon wherever you go, not the boisterous sounds reverberating from room to room. A pack of men and one girl. A pack of Spanish wolves. Just one thing. One person that used to always be here.

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AA-meetings – Chapter 5: Aching Desire

 Aching desire

2009


Word’s going around about Alex’s first big photoshoot. Any second now and her face will be glued all over town. Any second and hell will break lose in this school over it. She’s always been one of the popular girls, but this will bring it to a whole new level. The girl can’t wait for what’s next concerning her career. That feeling of an entire crew being at your disposal, just to get one perfect shot – it’s amazing. Modeling is, weirdly enough, hard work. You can spend hours waiting time before you even get on set – before the client, the model and the photographer are pleased about the result. She doesn’t mind, though. She could stare at the lens and take positions for an eternity. Just like she could stare into Amy’s eyes for just as long.

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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 6: Winter’s Cold

Winter’s cold


We’ve been actively trying to avoid each other’s curious stares and almost attempts to speak with each other. We fail terribly. I like her. A little bit too much.

John’s been home a lot lately. Seems like it isn’t working out well at his job. Could it be his personality? More frustrated and annoyed than ever, he’s determined to treat us even more as house slaves. After the massive beating, he doesn’t even bother talking to me anymore. He just smiles victoriously every time I pass him, checking out the bruises and poking the parts where I hurt most. Shoes are no longer allowed for me. I need to walk around on bare feet. Yesterday, he dropped a beer bottle on purpose, right after he finished it. I had to clean it up, but the dust bin lay in the closet across the room and by the time I got there, my feet were bleeding and stinging like crazy. Lauren picked the splinters out of my flesh later that night. It didn’t hurt as much as I expected. Especially when she looked at me with her precious eyes and kissed me softly on the lips a second later.

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Captured – Chapter 5: Memories Are Poison

Memories are poison


A typical night used to be my mom yelling at my Abuela; their odd, hispanic way of discussing if one Mexican soap opera was better than the other one. My dad would come home late and sit down in his relax chair to watch the late night news. He’d ignore the Spanish babbling. I’d be bored out of my mind, texting on my phone or playing games on my laptop to keep myself busy.

I wish I was there, now. I wish my life was boring again.

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