TW: sexual abuse, rape
I sit near the window watching over the world outside. The night breeze touches my face, brushing it lightly, and it feels so good to feel this freshness on my skin, this feeling of freedom. For the past five years, my life has been a real quest for freedom, but it seems that my nightmare is about to get started.
I got pregnant at seventeen, after being repeatedly raped by my ex-boyfriend, whom I was forced to marry. Fortunately, I managed to escape in time to become the wife of a real psychopath.
Casper is that type of person who is used to have everything he wants, without looking for ways to achieve his ends, and he does not take a “no” for an answer. The only problem with this type of person is that they can make you believe that the problem is you and not them. But don’t let them fool you.
When Casper and I start dating, I was sixteen, we were both in high school, and he was the nicest and sweetest person I’ve ever known. But there it is, all psychopaths have that sweet side until they finally unleash their demons. I am the only victim in this story, remember that. I was the one attracted to the wolf’s lair. I was naïve and in love, and I believed it was a single time without an example. I was deeply mistaken.
I remember that day perfectly. It is forever imprinted on me and in my memory. We had been dating for five months and Casper invited me to dinner at his house, so I could meet his parents since he already knew mine. Little did I know what was behind this invitation.
Casper’s family, the Miranda’s, are very influential people. His father is the town councilman, and his mother is a former model and former playboy. Outside that mansion, they seem to be the most normal family that you can imagine, but when that door gets closed… you can’t even imagine what they hide inside.
I remember that my mom helped me get dressed that day. I had a beautiful pale pink dress with straps and the hem fell over my long legs like a balloon. I was so beautiful and radiant. My hair was in a bun. I remember she gave me a St. Rita of Casia’s necklace, the saint of the impossible causes, that belonged to my grandma, and she said to me: “In the greatest afflictions, cry out for her, she will not fail you, as she has not failed me.”
It was my dad who took me to the Miranda’s house. Casper was at the door, waiting for me in a Giorgio Armani black suit, a Rolex shining on his wrist. I always thought it was too much for a teenager, but I must tell you how gorgeous he was in that suit. He was a real sixteen-year-old heartthrob.
As my father left, Casper came to hold me and kiss me like if we haven’t seen each other for days. He looked so in love that I never suspected anything. Or his family.
We got inside, and the house was huge and bright. He presented me to his parents. The councilman Miranda had a sharp look but seemed very polite and nice. His mother, Natalie, was a little weird, and now I can see why. She was the one who turned Casper into a monster. He couldn’t have been born with such a twisted mind, thinking that was normal.
Dinner was served in a huge room – lamb with roasted vegetables and rice. So delicious. And for dessert, we had a brownie with ice cream. Everything seemed so perfect, so normal. Everybody had wine, except for me at the beginning, it is not a drink I am used to, but they convinced me to drink it. “You’ll like it.” They said, but I didn’t. It had a strange, bitter taste. The dinner went well, his parents were very polite with me and were always asking me about my life and what I was expecting in a relationship with their son.
“I imagine myself married to Casper. I love him deeply. I would do anything for him.” I answered, unaware of the danger in my words.
Casper smiled at me all night, holding and kissing my hand under the table. Our complicity wasn’t unnoticed to his parents, and they seemed happy with it. He was an only child and I noticed how close he was to his parents and how they seemed to know all his secrets and that pleased me because, despite being very attached to my parents, I couldn’t tell them all my secrets without thinking they would judge me.
“You look so beautiful tonight, love,” Casper says to me when we sit in the living room having a coffee, his eyes shining like two shooting stars. I blushed because I felt embarrassed about standing in front of his parents. “I have a surprise for you!” He says to my ear as we sit down. "But I can only show it to you if you go to my room."
At this time, I was already falling asleep, maybe for the wine.
I look at him and melt into a shy smile. How could I not be so in love with such a beautiful being?
Now that I think about it, I can’t understand how someone can pretend so well to be someone they’re not.
After a few moments with his parents, Casper took me to his room where there was a beautiful red dress on the bed with high heels also of the same color.
"It's for you." He tells me, pointing to the bed. "I want you to wear it and let me look at you." He kisses me and his hands start to get bolder, groping my body.
“Right not?” I ask, remembering his parents are downstairs.
"Where is the bathroom?" I ask, but he gets closer and hooks a finger through the strap of my dress, pulling it by my bare shoulder.
"I want you to put it on in front of me." He whispers in my ear, gently biting my earlobe.
“But your parents…” I try to say, but he silences me with his finger.
“Don't worry about it.” He tells me, his other finger sliding the other strap of my dress over my shoulder. Then he turns my back to him, kisses my neck, and slides the clasp of the dress down to the end of my back. I shiver at his warm, seductive touch. "Tonight, I want you to be mine." He says in my ear, kissing my neck and making my dress fall at my feet.
I dreamed about that day so many times, but I never expected something like that.
Then he takes the dress from the bed and asks me to put it on, and I obey him. I put on my shoes and look in the mirror beside the bed. The dress fits me perfectly, and I don't know how he guessed my size, but I feel… sexy and sassy. Casper's eyes gleam, watching me.
"Now I want you to put on this." He tells me, handing me a short blonde wig.
“Casper…” He silences me again with his finger, and I let myself get carried away by the situation. I'm so in love that nothing feels wrong at the time.
When I put on the wig, Casper lies on the bed on his back, his arms behind his head, and his gaze seems to devour me from head to toe. I feel so sexy and uncomfortable that I don't know what to do or say. I get closer, climbing onto the bed, to lie down beside him, but he quickly asks me to stay where I am. He wants to look at me.
I find it strange, but I obey.
"If I asked you to marry me now, would you accept it?" He asks.
“Of course,” I say, my hands trembling, the anxiety taking over me.
"And if I asked you to run away with me, what would you say?" He goes on.
“Runaway?” My mouth formed an “o”, I was so confused with those questions. What was all that about? “I love you, Casper, but…”
Someone knocks on the door, interrupting us. It could only be his parents, as there was no one else in the house but them, as the servants were laid off after serving the dinner.
“Come in.” Says Casper and I blush with embarrassment at being in that dress so short that makes me look like a slut. I try to hide at the side of the closet and Casper laughs, he seems to be having fun in such an awkward moment. Why would he tell them to come in?
His parents open the door and come in. They look serious, looking from Casper to me, lingering longer on me in those meager outfits. Casper's mom closes the door. I raise an eyebrow, completely oblivious to what's going on.
"Did you like the dress, Emily?" Natalie asks me, she has an amused look on her face, as I stand in a corner of the room, my arms crossed over my almost naked chest, flushed with embarrassment, my head down. I can barely look at them.
“I'm sure she loved it. And how good she looks like a blonde.” Answers the councilman, his eyes roam my body from head to toe. "You made a beautiful choice, son."
“Casper…” I try to say, but I'm so embarrassed and confused that I can't continue the sentence.
Casper remains to lie with his arms under his head, amused. He doesn't even seem bothered by his parents' presence there. They look so at ease; it almost feels like it's all been arranged. Was it?
"Thank you so much for dinner, but I think it's time for me to leave," I say, trying to get out of there, but Natalie locks the door, preventing me from leaving.
“It's still so early, dear. Why don't you stay a little longer? We can all have so much fun.” Natalie says, swinging the key in the air.
What the hell is going on here? What are they doing? Why did they lock the door?
I'm feeling so scared and nervous and all I want is to get out of there, but Casper doesn't react, and his parents look different from the people I met downstairs. The councilman lies down on the bed, next to Casper, and they both look at Natalie and me. This one starts to get closer and closer to me, while I'm backing away, scared.
"What are you trying to do?" I ask, almost stuttering. "Please let me go."
Natalie laughs. "Honey, we are family, you don't have to be ashamed of anything."
Family? I just date their son. That doesn't make us family. I just want to get out of there. A shiver runs down my spine as Natalie manages to reach me and runs a finger through my arm.
“Don't be scared, dear. It’s all good. No one will harm you.” she tells me, while Casper and his father continue to watch us without saying a word.
"Casper, please, what's going on here?" I ask, looking at him, who continues with a smile on his lips, amused by the whole situation, while I get more and more scared and not understanding anything.
“Love, it's okay. You heard what my mother said, nobody is going to hurt you. Let's just… play a game. Just for a little fun. Come on, don't be boring.” He says and gets out of bed, coming to meet me. "Lie down beside dad." He orders Natalie and she willingly does it. “Now us.” He turns to me. "You love me, don't you?" He asks, to which I respond with a nod. "And you want to marry me, don't you?" I nod my head again, but not so sure. “So, if you love me, you don't need to be afraid. You know I love you too, don't you?” Another nod. "Then be a good girl and play this game with us."
I swallow, full of fear. Still not knowing what they want.
"Which game?" I ask, the insecurity in my voice.
"Truth or dare." He answers, smiling. "You've probably played it so many times, and you know there's nothing wrong with it, right?"
I nod in response, but still, something tells me that with them, the game must have other rules.
“I'll go first.” He says, turning me over so that I can face his parents, who are lying side by side on the bed, touching each other through their clothes. I feel so uncomfortable at that moment, seeing the councilman and his wife in those scenes in front of me and their son as if it were the most normal thing in the world. "Truth or dare, Emily?"
I try to turn to him, but he insists that I face his parents, I can't understand why, but I don't dare ask either. I’m so afraid right now. I find it all so strange and I prefer not to be there anymore.
“T-truth, but…” He interrupts me by running a finger across my mouth, then sticking it inside my mouth, forcing me to suck it. His parents delight in each other with what Casper is doing to me. God, this is so wrong, I think.
"Have you ever touched yourself?" he asks, his mouth sucking my neck, making me shiver at the question. He squeezes my neck a little, forcing me to respond.
“N-No,” I reply, closing my eyes because I want to avoid seeing his parents looking at us, amazed by that awkward situation.
"Oh, honey, that will change right now." He says, and I feel his hand go over mine, bringing it to my leg and pulling it up until it slips through my dress and stops over my panties. I feel myself blush even more.
"Emily, open your eyes." The councilor orders. And I shudder at the sudden change in his voice, now authoritative and violent.
I obey, my body shaking with fear. What’s going on? I'm scared because I'm starting to realize this is some kind of family fantasy. And nausea builds inside me.
“Casper, I don't want to play. Let me go home, please.” I say, tears starting to form in my eyes. I'm scared of what they can do to me. At this point, I know anything can happen.
"This is your home now, dear." He says to me, tearing off the necklace of Santa Rita de Cassia that my mother had given me to protect me and I feel him stick my hand inside my underwear and his parents approach us, with the look of predators and I feel them all three touching my body, so I feel disgusted and all I want is to scream, but the councilman covers my mouth with his hand while he pats my chest with the other, and Natalie unzips her husband pants, leaving him in his underwear while she masturbates him while they touch me, and all I remember then is to see all black and waking up in the Miranda's basement, with my mouth covered and my hands and feet tied. Completely hostage to that monstrous family.
How could Casper allow such a monstrosity when he said he loved me?
I have never felt so ashamed and humiliated in my life. How could they do that to me? I was just a girl in love with a monster.
Days passed, and my parents were told that I had disappeared after arguing with Casper when he received a cheeky message from another girl. And while my parents and the police were looking for me, I was in that cold basement, crying, day after day, being constantly beaten and raped by Casper and his parents. Until the night I managed, after several failed attempts, to cut the ties from my hands with a piece of glass left over from a mirror that Casper had broken the day before. It was after his visit, in which he informed me that we were going to get married so that anyone could take me away from him, that I pushed him, still unaware how, and managed to escape upstairs when luckily his parents were not at home.
When I managed to get out of that house and onto the road, almost getting run over by a car, I finally realized I was free of all that nightmare.
What followed were moments of genuine panic. Between being rescued by the driver who nearly ran me over and Casper's house is surrounded by police cars until I arrived at the hospital and the news that I was pregnant and had been drugged, these years have been a search for a new life for me.
I had my son nine months after Casper and his parents were sentenced to five years in prison for rape, kidnapping, and ill-treatment of a minor. And I'm not going to lie to you, saying that I don't remember everything that happened to me every time I look at my son, but I couldn't deny him life, he had no fault. I don't know how Casper found out about my pregnancy, but I know that now, as I received the news that he will be released from prison, my life will be a real nightmare again because I know he will come to get revenge on me… or to finish what he started that summer five years ago.