It all started on a cold January afternoon while I was returning from college, hands in pocket and satchel on back, hurrying to cross the deserted alleyway. It was then I felt those eyes on me, roving over my body and boring into my back, penetrating the many layers of clothing to reach my heart and make it skip a beat. Not stopping, I turned around abruptly hoping to catch the culprit who had disrupted my quiet afternoon walk home, but found the street deserted except a grey sedan that had just turned a corner and was coming in my direction. I nodded my head in disbelief and looked to the front again, irritated at my hyperactive imagination, my brain arguing that I was safe but my heart refusing to act normal again. I quickened my pace a little, resolving to reach the warmth of my home and a steaming cup of coffee as quickly as possible, but heard another set of footsteps matching my pace. Before I could react I felt a hand pin my arms behind my back while another held a cloth to my nose and mouth.


This must be a mistake, I thought to myself, they will surely realize how wrong they are and will apologize to me and set me free. Just have some patience girl, I told myself. I couldn’t move my hands and feet. Obviously, they were tied. I couldn’t see a thing but I knew I wasn’t blindfolded.I sat up with some effort and tried to keep my eyes open, focusing on some distant point. As they grew accustomed to the darkness I noticed how dirty the walls and the floor were and had to stifle the urge to vomit. Come to think of it, that’s what those dark, dry patches on the floor looked like, Vomit. I screamed with outrage, angry at the absurdity of it all, angry at what was happening to me, angry at these men for doing this to me. I shouted obscenities at every present and non-present being, hurling insinuations at them and daring them to face the consequences. Suddenly I heard footsteps coming towards my room and then the lock turned and the door opened with force. As the dark, looming shadow entered the room I started screaming at the top of my lungs, all the while backing towards the wall using my tied hands as support. In an instant he was hovering above me and then I felt a sharp sting on my right cheek and tasted blood. His arms went around my neck and I felt a cold steel chain grip me, digging into the flesh as he started to strangle me, snuff out my life. I could offer little struggle and I soon started to gag, tears escaping down my eyes when I felt his grip relax a little and then stop entirely. He pushed me away and threw me on the floor. I started coughing and crying and begged him to stop, to not take my life. I told him I would do anything he asked, even ask my dad to give him money or whatever he needed. He chuckled at that and said he was not looking for money. I told him he would get whatever he needed but pleaded with him to please stop hurting me and set me free. He laughed aloud when he heard that, a blood curdling laugh, and I cringed, something died within me that very moment as I realized exactly what he wanted from me.


I cried a lot nowadays, though not loudly anymore and cringed at even the slightest sound, always dreading the sound of the door lock opening. My hands were finally untied but I was still locked in this godforsaken room. I tried to sit up with my back to the wall but my whole body ached with the effort. I had not eaten anything for the past few days and I felt weak and dizzy. I knew I had to do something soon or it will be too late, I wouldn’t have the energy to do anything whatsoever. I put my hand in my pocket, feeling the assurance the steel chain provided to me, a chain I had stolen from him the last time he visited me. I planned to surprise him with it, a surprise attack being my only chance to freedom. I heard the faint footsteps approaching and quickly went to the darkest corner of the room to wait, a hunter waiting for its prey. He came inside and put the dinner on the floor asking me to eat it and turned to go outside. Deciding now or never, I leapt at him from the back, putting the chain around his neck, strangling him with all my might. He struggled to keep my hands at bay but I kept pulling fiercely and after a while I heard him gagging and then his body went limp and and I let it fall on the floor. Am I finally free from this man? I couldn’t yet believe this. Scared that he would wake up any minute, I let the chain go and quietly went out the door without once looking back, finally full of hope because I had survived yet another challenge that Life threw upon me.

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