I open my eyes, realisation that I am still here. My stomach rumbles and I move my tongue in an attempt to moisten my mouth.
It is dark, the room, not as unfamiliar any longer. I can see the hospital bedside table, the doors on the far wall, the single chair. No windows.
As I move my arms and legs I wince, the nylon restraints cutting into my raw skin.
How did I end up here?
I’ve been in places like this before, when I was twelve and a couple of times for rehab and six months ago.
The door opens, the one on the right. It’s him. He has food. And my medicine, I hope.
I instinctively move away from him. I don’t want to be hurt again, but I want my medicine. My skin is crawling, I can almost see the bugs climbing along my veins, surfacing onto my skin.
I find some moisture in my mouth and I scream. This can’t keep happening to me, someone out there must know what’s happening.
I scream, toward the open door. Surely someone can hear me?
He laughs, he is so familiar. I stop and look at him, my head hurting, my skin crawling. If he gives me my medicine he can do what ever he wants.
“Oh baby, come on. I thought we were getting on so well. We had a good time last night. Don’t you remember?” he says to me, smooth voice, smiling face.
“I know you.” I croak.
He tips some water in my mouth, I lap it. “More.” I beg.
“There you go. See I’m a nice guy, I’m here to help you, baby.”
He feeds me, I crane my neck to see if he has brought the medicine. Yes.
“Oh, babe, yes I have your medicine. But first you need to be a good girl, don’t you?” he coos into my ear, so soft and sweet and then he yanks my hair, pulling my face closer to his, I can see spittle on his lips as he sneers at me. “A good girl.” He shouts and slaps me. “You’ll get what you deserve.”
My face is smarting but all I can think about is the medicine, the oblivion it offers me. I watch him unscrewing the lid. My medicine. He tips it toward my mouth, I arch up, my tongue protruding, I need it.
“Not yet baby.” He laughs, replacing the lid.
He unstraps me and I reflexively pull my legs up to my chest, protecting my nakedness.
“Get up. Go and clean yourself up.”
I slowly shuffle to the bathroom, my legs feeling alien to me.
I stand under the water, closing my eyes, where am I? What am I doing here? How long have I been here?
I know that when I’ve had my medicine he comes in, he gets inside me, he hurts me, I know because I wake up with sticky thighs and new bruises. I open my eyes and through the water I can see him, standing there watching me.