Z A R A He's right, my math skills are... nonexistent.Wait. Was that a joke? Was he teasing me?It doesn't matter, I can't get swayed by anything right now. I need to stay focused on trying to survive if that's possible. I didn't reply to his rhetorical question, though. I stay silent, hoping he won't say anything that will make my hair rise on its ends again.He didn't say anything. Neither did Frank.I take my time eating the food so I can enjoy every bit because only God knows when I'll be fed again or if I'll even be fed again. I'm sure an hour passed by because Frank opens the door to, I assume, fetch me. "Get up," he orders. I stand up, feeling much more nourished and hydrated."Follow me," he says as he starts walking.The moment I step into the light, my eye sockets feel like they're being burned to ashes. There are literally tears coming out because of my sensitivity to the light from being in the darkroom for so long."Ow..." I mumble as I rub my eyes.I see Frank give me
Z A R A Frank radios a caretaker to clean up my mess. I apologize profoundly to the caretaker, who assures me that he has seen the worst and he's glad that it was just vomiting and not a dead body, which is apparently rare [not the dead bodies]. Frank hurries me back to the room I was in."Grab your things," he orders. "My things? What things?" I ask, confused. My things were taken away when they hit me on the head.He points at my purse that's sitting in the corner of the room. It definitely wasn't there before. I quickly grab my bag to see if my phone is still inside and obviously it's not. Why would it be?"Where are we going?" I'm more afraid than curious."You're going to be given a room, as per the request of the boss," he says."A room where?""At his home," he answers. I raise a brow, "Where are we now?" "You ask too many questions for someone who is not in the position to be asking questions," Frank rolls his eyes. "And? Why can't I ask questions?" I die either way, no? He le
Z A R A "Frank, are you sure about this?" I can't close my mouth. The theme of the room is dark tones, but the view... let me tell you, if someone shot me right this very second in front of this window, I'd die a happy death."Yes," he answers. "Boss had someone fill up the closet for ya. There's food in the fridge or call the front desk if you need anything specific."Clothes? Food? What exactly is Alejandro thinking? That he can buy me? If he keeps this up, he might, the humorous side of my brain tries to cope with the messed-up situation."Boss will have a set of separate rules for you, he will explain on his own time." Suddenly, Frank's expression darkens, "A note of advice, for everyone's good, do not disobey Boss' orders, neither should you stray from his rules. And I mean it when I say that this is for everyone's good."I gulp. There wasn't a single hint of comfort in those words. He stated them as a threat and nothing more."I'll be on my way, lady. See ya around," he leaves
A L E J A N D R O I craved her touch for years, waiting for the right moment to take her for myself. She was the one person who had naively befriended me all those years ago, her first mistake. She refused to fall under the first impression everyone else had given me and wanted to understand the real me. The innocence and smile that she wore, which I treasured, has been violently ripped away from her. She looks completely lost without it.I'm seeing her after so long—too long, that seeing her even in such simple silk nightwear has left me in a trance. Even though she's trying her best to push me away, I'm much stronger. I can overpower her as easily as I can press a trigger. My heart aches to see her in so much pain but it no longer matters because I've changed, I'm no longer who I used to be.I'm no longer the man who was weakened by such complex emotions. I'm no longer the man who cares for the comfort of others. I'm no longer the man who will hold back from something that's mine.
Z A R A As the sun shines brightly through the windows, waking me up gently into my world of nightmares again, I pull the covers closer to my chest.Last night... was terrifying.I didn't know if I was going to die from a heart attack or Alejandro, himself, was going to kill me. He did leave—eventually. After giving a lecture, which was mostly made out of threats, he left—just like that.I'm pretty sure he left the apartment because once I tried to escape, he wasn't there. Did I try to escape?Yes, of course, I did.I tried to click the buttons on the elevator inside the apartment and tried to open the front door but both times, the security system announced, "access denied."Did I really think I was going to be able to leave this easily? I sigh, feeling the defeat of last night's escape. I decide quickly to brush my teeth and pick out a hoodie and sweats to dress myself in. I wrap a simple black scarf around my hair, you never know who's going to be walking in and out of this place
Z A R A"No underwear? No other articles of clothing to cover-up? He must've been insane to say that to me!" I gruff as I wrap a black, silk hijab around my hair. The clock strikes 6 PM.Did he even tell me when he'll get here? I barely ate lunch because of my nerves and now I'm super hungry. I should be grateful I even get a meal, I think to myself. I was tempted to go to the hallway and check-up but I have to listen to what Frank said, don't disobey Alejandro.If I break now, there won't be any turning back. Stand your ground, Zara. Your parents raised you to be strong, even though you can be a coward a lot of the time. I look down at my clothes nervously, he won't freak out over something as simple as clothes, would he?"Front door open," the automated voice announces.My heart drops, he's here. My hands instantly turn cold and my legs start shaking. I couldn't hold up my weight. This man scares me and he's yet to do anything to me that would make me want to wish I was dead."Shit,
Z A R A "I don't want this... don't..." my frightened words are cut short because of his sudden touches."There's a chance you may even find this punishment... pleasing," his voice is smooth as he pulls off my underwear. Alejandro slams my arms up against the wall, squeezing it painfully as I struggle in his grip. He only loosens his hold once I stop fidgeting."You know, if you comply with me, you might be able to enjoy this," he says while biting the soft skin at the nape of my neck."N-no..." I'm gasping heavily as a million different emotions flow through me, denying that I'd ever enjoy such a horrible form of punishment. I want to disappear, I've never wanted to disappear as badly as I do now. I try to not think of him, his body pressed against mine, the woody smell of his cologne, the way it's all making me feel weak and dizzy.I bite down hard on my bottom lip, trying to vanish with no success. "I haven't heard a single, genuine apology from you. Do you plan on doing that soon
Z A R A He notices my discomfort and chuckles, "Don't worry. I wouldn't do anything to her unless you give me a reason to. So? How is she?""Good," I answer flatly after chewing my food."Does she go to school?" He pushes the topic moreI nod."Is she still interested in English literature?" He asks. I can't tell whether he's genuinely interested or trying to keep up a conversation. I look up at him with wide eyes, okay, but how does he—"She told me in one of the classes we had together that she was interested in the literature field," he explains, probably because I looked shocked. I nod again,"She's studying English literature."After a minute or two of eating in silence, Alejandro slams his hands down on the table, making me flinch back, "May I ask why you're not speaking to me?"He's joking, right? "Do you want to hear the truth?" I ask quietly."I would appreciate that," he says."Will I be punished for speaking the absolute truth?" I ask cautiously. He stays quiet for a momen