The Cause Of My Affliction

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This story follows a kidnapped girl’s life in the custody of her kidnapper as she slowly mistakes his brutality for affection; a metaphorical piece detailing the cruelties of toxic and abusive relationships. 

“Afflictions are but the shadow of His wings.” George MacDonald, The Curate of Glaston 

**********************************************************************  

The ends of my brown hair are stiff with dried up blood. My clothes matted with the nauseating liquid. My hands, damp with sweat and goose pumps ran up my arms. Blood streams down my shirt from my shoulder, where the blade had struck. It makes my shirt stick to my body and dark spots appear on my clothes.  

 

I look down. Marks cover my arm from the time he had run a knife up and down my wrist. Some had faded as time went by, but others had turned blue and brown as he cut open the same scars over and over again.  

But never did he dare to push down hard enough, to puncture a vein, and maybe that is why I fell in love with him.  

Or maybe it was the way he used to double check that the ropes weren’t too tight whenever he tied me to the chair and blindfolded me.  

Or maybe it was the way he lightly brushed his hand against my hair when he came to untie me at noon ( I know the time due to a great grandfather clock chiming at 12 o’clock every day somewhere in the house. He told me about it, in the few rare words he has spoken to me). His gesture so gentle I almost thought I had imagined it on my first day in his custody. But it was there, and it was real  

Or maybe it was the way he held my hand; his other hand placed on my back as he guided me to the bathroom, two bathroom trips a day.  

I was always unsure of my feelings of affection towards him. I think I started to be drawn towards him when I first noticed the little things he did for me.  I know I love a man who captured me, tortures me, starves me, but when did love have any bounds and limitations? I sense evil desire and compassion in his actions, and that keeps me going.

I only get to see his face when he comes to retie my blindfold every morning. He slips it off, now loosened after countless hours of moving my head to find a comfortable position. I sit still as his hand skillfully works to untie the knot and flatten the blindfold. During those few seconds, my eyes easily adjust to the dim light in the room and run up and down his face and body. He is well-built and wide shouldered, but has that essence of a long, lanky teenager surrounding him. I marvel at his defined jaw and the dark shadows surrounding the hollows of his cheeks, as well as his hazel eyes which will never become the victim of old age.  

And then he holds a glass of water to my lips. I close my eyes in satisfaction as the liquid sends a rushing cold throughout my body. He places the glass on a wooden table beside the chair I am tied into, and then he begins to retie the blindfold again. It’s tightly wrapped around my eyes to ensure it doesn’t fall off during the day.  

There are no windows in my room, hence, no hope of any light streaming through the blinds and penetrating through the blindfold, rejuvenating my dying sense of hope. Yes, I think of it as my room, because it is the only thing left in my life which gives me a sense of belonging, as strange as it sounds. I have not seen the blue sky, the white clouds, and I have not felt the bright rays of sunshine or the cool drops of rain on my face for I do not know how long. I gave up counting the days after a few weeks. Now, I am only limited to my imagination.

*  

As I stand there, bloody and bruised, I look into his eyes, really look into those light brown irises. The brief moment while he deftly worked the knot on the blindfold were not enough to observe the depth in his eyes. They are now darkened in the dim light. It is the fist time he has ever reached this extent. Sure, he had tortured me with a knife before, only stopping when continuous tears of unbearable pain ran down my face. I had long stopped crying out in agony, my throat was simply too hoarse.  

But today, he has come into the small room where I had stayed for those endless days and nights. He grabbed my blindfold and pulled it off . He hastily untied the ropes that bound me in that dreaded wooden chair. I took those few moments to slowly open my eyes and adjust to the dimness. It was now second nature to me to keep my eyes closed. It felt almost foreign to me to keep them open and look around the shabby room for more than a few scarce moments. It has sparse furniture: only an ancient-looking framed painting adorned on the otherwise blank wall and a wooden table in the center of the room. On the other side of the room was a fireplace, but judging by its condition, it had not been lit in years. I was wrong, there was a window in my room but it had been boarded up by broad wooden planks. Not a single ray of light could seep into the room.  

He was done uniting the ropes fairly quickly and roughly. Everything that happened next seemed liked a drastic blur.  

He messily gathered my thick hair into his fist and pulled with all his might. My vision blurred and I felt weak. It was like his pull had plunged me deep underwater. I felt his free hand slapping me, his feet kicking me under my stomach. All I could manage at that moment were the low gurgles of agony which escaped my mouth.  

I surfaced back to reality when he finally let go. The pain subsided to a dull ache as  I opened my mouth and took in the damp, misty air of the damned room. My eyes started watering when I open them. After my vision cleared away, I could see that he was sitting near my chair, his face red and his hands shaking as thought he was overwhelmed with rage or maybe even guilt. But I was certain he is desperate to finish me off once and for all.  

He stood up and rummaged for something inside the brown bag he has brought in with him. He took out a long, narrow shape. It was a leather pouch, obviously holding a knife inside of it. I continue to stare at it. I know I am not bound to that chair anymore, nor was I confined to darkness by that piece of cloth. But what was the point of fighting back when there was absolutely no hope of victory, no hope of escape and bounded by love for the man standing in front of me. My life was brought to a standstill.  

He has walked to the door, took out the knife, stared at its clean, smooth surface, and then, without warning, he started breathing heavily. His face is set in determination as he came to a conclusion. I have a feeling of what is coming next. I try to stand up, but after weeks of sitting still, my legs could not function properly. I took two wobbly steps to the sides and they give out, resulting in me falling shoulder-first onto the floor. . At that moment, he flings the knife forward. He had wanted to aim at my chest, but it seems like God was on my side this time. It pierces though my shoulder. A stinging pain fills my body as blood bubbled up and pooled out of the deep cut. My long hair becomes covered in blood as I turn my head to inspect the injury. I wonder the next weapon he may have at the ready.  

I think that it was inevitable that I fell in love with him, because even though he hurt me brutally, I could feel kindness in the way he touched me. No one else had displayed anything even near to such affectionate kindness to me in what seemed like such a long time, that my heart had started aching for someone to care enough to rescue me. But that tiny amount hope had soon vanished.  I looked at him for refuge.  

As he walks towards me, taking long quick strides, I saw a firm passiveness now settle onto his face. He grabs my hair once again, pulled at it so that my hands slide away from the support of the chair and my legs give out once again. He drags me across the floor. I feel something sharp pierce into my arm. I immediately feel numb and nauseous. I look up to see that he had went to retrieve the knife which had cut my shoulder. He returns and points it at my chest, his eyes glittering and his mouth set in a thin, nonchalant line. I manage a weak smile and think, ‘he must love me back, for he is waiting for me to pass out before he passes the blade through my entirety’. That is what true love is, is it not, to prevent the other person from feeling any kind of pain, even in the most unpleasant situations. I drift in and out of consciousness before blacking out, hardly feeling the blade’s sharp point digging into my chest before it finally pierces through my heart.

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