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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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 13: That Different Point Of View

That different point of view


Their little girl

They were pacing up and down for about twenty minutes before one of them actually dared to say what was on their minds: something was wrong. Their little girl would never just not show up to her father’s birthday party. Her mom had begged her to be on time and just ten minutes ago, she was raging about how Mariana had the nerves to show up late. But another ten minutes had passed and they had called Ellen and Coach Edna. Nobody knew where she was. Ellen promised she left sort of on time, which wasn’t a surprise. But, that was about thirty minutes ago. Mariana was an excellent biker, she only needed ten minutes to get home from school. The room next door was filled with family members. Nobody had picked up on the nervous behavior of the Diaz’. Abuela kept the audience entertained with stories about the neighborhood she grew up in. But they couldn’t raise a spark of interest in the worried set of parents, who were still anxiously dialing Mariana’s number like crazy. She didn’t pick up. And knowing their daughter’s incredibly annoying habit of having the phone glued to her hand, that meant trouble.

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Captured – Chapter 12: Moving On

Moving on


Lauren left and weeks passed. It was like she had never been there. My life started to unfold rather pleasingly – contrary to all expectations. Sure, I missed her with every minute that went by, but I kept myself busy by studying for my G.E.D. tests … I passed. Also, I started writing some pages about my experiences in the house – in order to keep my publicist happy. I had a book deal, as you remember, and my therapist said it might be therapeutic to pen my emotions and memories down. It wasn’t. It kept me up at night, reliving all what had happened in my mind. About what John did to me.

I like the writing part, though. If I had discovered anything during my captivity – apart from my experienced level of lesbianism – it was my love for books.

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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 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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AA-meetings – Chapter 4: Ambitious Friends

Ambitious friends

2009


The house is abandoned. Even Eli is not hiding in his dungeon as usual. Alex and David carefully roam around the place, listening to the nothingness, moving so very slowly that their shoes won’t even squeak. A situation like this barely ever happens, simply because there’s always someone here. Too many people live in this house.

“Do you hear that?” David whispers, almost unnoticeable.

He holds out his hand to make her stop moving.

Alex just nods, because – yes – she does hear it: the deafening sound of loneliness. They face each other and start laughing out loud. An exuberant Alex jumps on top of the leather couch and starts dancing like crazy.

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AA-meetings – Chapter 3: At Sixteen

At sixteen

2009


It are the same old lockers in the girl’s dressing room where they are recovering from an intense workout. Alex finds herself staring at her best friend. They have been there a million times before. The lockers still sound the same when they shut them with an attitude, the room still smells like a weird mixture of perfume and sweat. It has always been the same, they have always been the same. The friends discuss routines in here or math or even boys. They cry over teenage dramas or laugh about stupid jokes. Nothing about their interaction has changed over the years, not even the slightest. That’s why this is weird. That’s why Alex can’t shake off this weird feeling taking control of her.

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Captured – Chapter 4: John

John


Days became nights. They then turned into weeks. Slowly, I lost track of time. John had taken away my watch after a couple of days. The more I felt lost, the less I’d try to do anything stupid, he gathered. Nothing indicated that I’d get out of here soon. I had started calling this house a fortress. During the nights when John locked me up in the basement, I tried to remember every single door and window I had seen of the rooms I was allowed to walk through. There was the outdated kitchen with a six seater table. It had a door and two small windows. They were secured with iron bars and key locks. And darkened. He never left them unlocked, not even accidentally. Lauren’s ten year long stay in this house probably learned him to never forget. The living room had two big windows and a door that led to the kitchen and another one to the hallway. Same story. They were locked and it was unable to see through them. The furniture was surprisingly refreshing and modern. He had a big flatscreen and a Playstation. We weren’t allowed to touch it.

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