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.


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