Victor peered up from behind his fork full of meat and I knew. I watched as he put the bite of food in his mouth then, in his usual precise manner, put his fork down on the napkin beside his plate. He never took his eyes off me. We were about to play, this is what I knew, but what did he have in mind? He was hard to read this evening, I couldn’t help but be excited and terrified at the same time.
He slowly pushed his chair back from the table, continuing to keep his eyes on me the whole time. Shivers ran up my spine.
Are you ready little whore?
Uh oh! My eyes darted around the kitchen searching for a way out. Behind him was the entrance to the living room, which then led off to the rest of the house. I would have to get past him first though. Highly unlikely. To my right was the basement door. Nope. Just a dark damp nothing behind it, not even a lock on the other side, I had checked earlier.
He picked up his drink then in a low voice, barely above a whisper, Run…
I was out the back door before the word was fully out of his mouth. Which way? I didn’t even know where I was, let alone know where to run to. I couldn’t believe he was doing this while we were on holiday. At least it was still early evening so I could see to find my way. Straight ahead, towards the beach.
You don’t want me to catch you, do you little whore? You better run. I could hear him clearly. Turning around I saw that he had come out the back door and was standing there, watching me, sipping the last of his scotch and buttoning his shirt. He was taking his time. He wanted me to know he was taking his time. I again wondered what he had in mind for tonight. He was thoughtful, even when he was being what appeared to be just plain mean and sadistic, he wouldn’t send me running without a plan.
The last time he chased me I gave up, conceded his win, and he proceeded to punish me thoroughly with his hand and the cane for doing so. I was unable to sit comfortably for nearly a week. Each time I did I was reminded of my own failure. I knew the rules and had purposely disobeyed, at least that was what he thought and what he thought was what mattered more than anything else. I was determined to win this time.
I took a left at the end of the property, before the beach started, and ran into a field of blossoming buttercup. It was a beautiful sea of yellow and green. I was brought back to my childhood, memories of buttercups under chins. Some old children’s rhyme I couldn’t quite recall… do you like butter, do you like cheese…. There was something else too, something about a handful of buttercups. I couldn’t quite catch a hold of the memory. It fluttered through my mind just beyond my grasp leaving a trail of something that felt like, I don’t know, sadness maybe.
I was returned to the now by the sound of Victor’s voice. Where are you little whore? Not close, yet not too distant, I could barely hear him now above the waves and the breeze rustling the trees. The flowers in the field were joining in with a little dance of their own before the rain came. It was a beautifully choreographed sight, the breeze sweeping down, the flowers bowing to it, moving to and fro in response to the breezes gentle sway. More flutters. Deja vu. I have been here before, I have seen these flowers do their dance before.
I am having the best day at the summer house running carefree at the beach and through the fields, feeling the sun warm me through my orange and pink sundress. The smell of springs blossoms surround me. I pick some buttercups for Mum. She loves when I bring them home. She smiles and hugs me and says thank you before putting them in a little glass cup on the window sill. I run back to the house to give Mum her flowers and am greeted by a policeman and ambulance. The policeman tries to turn me about and get me into his car but I struggle free and into the house before he can stop me. There is my Mum, hanging from one of the banisters in the open upstairs hallway. I drop my handful of buttercups.
I fell to the ground, tears flowing, wretched agony overtaking me. My memories didn’t feel like twenty year old memories, they felt fresh and new as if it had just happened right now this moment. I couldn’t stop crying. It hurt so. I sat there weeping, remembering it all, replaying it over and over again in my head. Victors arms were around me now, his mouth to my ear, soothing me, comforting me with his words and his touch. I love you baby. Everything is going to be ok. I am here, I have you, I won’t ever let you go. It’s ok baby. Let it out, let it go. I’m here. He kept saying these words to me. Sometimes he sounded as though he might break himself. It was so touching and heartbreaking at the same time. I love you baby. Everything is going to be ok. I am here, I have you, I won’t ever let you go. It’s ok baby. Let it out, let it go. I’m here…