It was raining heavily, the streets were all flooded and the wind blew everything like an infernal tornado. There was no doubt that the electricity would be out, the cables wouldn't be able to withstand the storm. She checks the time on her wristwatch, it was a little past eight and no one except her was crazy enough to be outside, not even the homeless man who usually sat by the bus stop.
None of this mattered to her, she was going to be late and he was certainly going to punish her. He always did so whenever she wasn't 'good enough'. She couldn't really remember what she did the previous time, it was a blur now but the feeling of the hot iron as it was pressed on her back. The heavy slaps that left marks on her face.The kicks that pushed her off her feet. The wails of a woman. All these were imprinted in her brain. It was hard to forget when the scars still lingered on her body. She couldn't waste time, tightening the straps on her bag, she dashes into the rain again.
She keeps running till she got to his doorstop. Drenched,cold and more importantly, she was late. For a second, she thinks about sprinting back the way she came but as if being held by some supernatural forces, she couldn't move. She looks at the street and she couldn't see any other houses, not even trees or anything. It was weird and familiar.
Taking a deep breath, she knocks the door once, then twice, before she could knock it again, the door suddenly opens. An offensive stench hits her nose immediately. She feels bile rising up to her throat but she holds it back. She looks at the man who opens the door, he looks angry and pissed off. He scrunches his face as if trying to recall who she was and as soon as realization dawned on him, he sneers angrily. The look in his eyes changes to rage and contempt as he speaks,
He shoves her roughly inside the house. She had to squint her eyes to get used to the light that was flooding the hallway. She wonders how they still has electricity and why the place looked familiar yet strange. As she tried to get her her thoughts together, she hears a woman's voice,
"Who was at the door ?" The woman asks meekly
She takes a look at the woman but the woman's face was blur, the woman drags her into a bathroom. The woman helps her out of her soaked clothing and asks her to sit on a stool,
"Dear, you are such a mess, why were you out so late. You know how he gets when you do things like this" the woman whispered in a scared voice
She doesn't reply her, she turns to look at the woman's face. She still doesn't recognize her, she tries to think of who the woman was and why her face was blur. The woman takes a dryer from the sink to dry her hair but she unconsciously flinches when the dryer got near her. The door suddenly opens, she grabs a towel on the floor to cover herself. The man looks at her, something flashes through his eyes, she shudders and tries to resist the urge to puke. The woman's hold on her hair tightens and she feels a little pain,
"Olivia,the brat can dress herself , make yourself useful and get me a glass of bourbon" he said and leaves
The woman whose name was called stiffens, she drops the dryer and tells her in a clipped tone that didn't betray any emotions
"Clean up quickly and meet me in the living room for your dinner" she says
She watches as Olivia leaves. Tears polled in her eyes, her heart beating frantically. She was scared. Scared of the man. Scared of what he would do to her. Scared of the woman. In a slow pace, she gets dressed, wishing time would drag for a bit.
On the wall of the passage that leads to the living room, she sees pictures. There was a picture of the man carrying a little child, they were both smiling. There was another picture of the little girl, she was smiling again, the girl looks strangely familiar. It was like she knew her but she doesn't know from where. She moves closer to the picture and touches it. In a little way, she sees some similarities between the little girl and herself. The girl has a certain glow on her skin and happiness in her eyes unlike her. All she had was a scarred skin with ugly marks. The little girl looks like she could touch the stars if she wanted. She doubted if her own damaged body could move up from the floor. She sees another picture, the man, the little girl and the woman...no no, it was Olivia; even if she couldn't still see her face, together. The man had his arms around Olivia's waist and the little girl held a teddy bear. They looked like a real family. The type that could protect and love their child. She wonders she she didn't have the same.
As she enters the living room, she notices the blood on the floor. The destroyed furniture. The man was sitting on the only good chair in the floor. Olivia stands near the man, she's trembling, there is blood dripping from her hand. Somehow, she knows the blood on the floor isn't Olivia's. The man doesn't acknowledge her, he is nursing a bottle of alcohol. As she moves closer, the lights flickers. Olivia looks at her straight in the eye. She's trying to say something that her mouths are too scared to say but she felt that Olivia was telling her to run. This scene feels strangely familiar. She keeps moving to the mouth, she wants to stop but her feet refuses to listen.
There's a bitting cold in the room, but she's still sweating. She couldn't remember the last time she felt so weak and scared. She's standing a few feet from the man when he speaks,
"Why were you late ?", He asks with venom
His voice had a threat that promised pain no matter the answer she gave. She had no answer to the question. There was nothing for her to say. She doesn't know why she was late. She doesn't remember going anywhere. There were no excuses. She knew she had to say something, anything. She didn't want to get hurt. The only sound she could utter were sons, her vocal cords seemed unable to construct actual sentences and tears were flowing from her eyes. She looks at Olivia with pleading eyes, hoping to get help but Olivia said nothing. Olivia's face seemed to blur a little bit more.
The man stands up and walks straight to her, he stumbles a bit and almost falls. He stables himself and looks at her with a menacing glare and sadistic smile, as he got near her, he raises his left hand to strike up and she suddenly wakes up.
Kate wakes up with a scream. Sweat trickling down her brows, her heart was beating faster than it should. It felt real, too real. It was almost as if she was there and everything was happening again. She jumps off her bed and goes straight to the phone. She goes on speed dial and call her number one contact, her therapist. It seemed like she was going to need more sessions.