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Chapter 3 Recovery

  • It did not take long for me to drift off into a deep sleep. The bed was comfortable and softer than I had anticipated. Paul’s side of the bed especially lured me in; it carried his scent that housed the strong cologne, lingering most on his pillow.
  • I thought I was sleeping peacefully, but when I started having a nightmare, my brain urged me to wake up. The sleep paralysis would not allow me; I had to see the nightmare through.
  • In the nightmare, I saw myself drowning in the depths of the ocean, where no light ever ventured, and no fish bothered to swim. Desperate strokes propelled me upward, but the relentless pull of the abyss dragged me down.
  • It was a dance of tranquillity, my body against the water, a sublime connection that transcended in between the open water molecules, with very little regard for my emotional turmoil.
  • The more I struggled the faster I sank. Panic consumed me as the pressure mounted and hope waned, a sense of impending doom gripping my entire being. The ocean was both calm and violent, scornfully magnifying the power of the water.
  • The intense and sharp composition of the silence cast enchanting shadows in my closed eyes and echoed with the tales of loss harmoniously towing me away from consciousness.
  • Right there I felt as though my heart was about to stop. It was a downward spiral, pulling me towards my end until the phantom sensation of a hand gripping my hand sent me into shock.
  • A surge of adrenaline coursed through my veins as I snapped awake, my body trembling and heart racing. My body jolted on the bed with my eyes wide open dancing to the electronic tune of my beating heart.
  • As I patted my body to confirm I was still alive then held onto my hand. It later dawned on me that I was now completely on Paul’s side of the bed, I was certain that it was the lingering scent of his cologne that must have triggered my nightmare.
  • Words cannot fully express the relief I felt that it was only a dream, such a terrible way to die, drowning and knowing that you were. Where are the sharks when you need them? At least then your heart stops quickly from the terror and pain. Even Paul’s idea of mistreatment seemed better than dying like that.
  • Instead of feeling refreshed from the rest, I found myself feeling more exhausted. My body could no longer take the emotional outbursts, living in constant fear - a life I never chose.
  • But as long as I was alive, I yearned for my freedom, that was my reality. I closed my eyes hoping to catch the wave of good sleep, but it eluded me like a criminal running from the law.
  • Maybe if I fell asleep again and slipped into another bad dream my heart would stop from the trauma, but the blasted organ was tenacious seeking a better challenge than my scared emotions.
  • Being on Paul’s side of the bed was surprisingly more comfortable compared to when I lay on my side. I stayed awake and then his side brought sleep like a bee to a flower. The sleep that came trapped me in a state of mindlessness, I no longer had control.
  • Somewhere within the deep hollow of sleep, I felt a warm sensation cover my face. My eyes immediately opened wide to stare Paul in the face.
  • “Did I wake you?” he whispered, rubbing my arm. “You have been sleeping all day, you need to eat something to regain your strength quickly.”
  • From an outsider’s point of view, this may have appeared as a caring gesture, showing compassion that he never knew to feel. He was embodying a gentle soul that solely focused himself on my well-being.
  • I plucked up the courage to stare back at him, our eyes conversing with words I did not understand. For as long as we stared at each other I had more questions than answers. Clearly, he was not afraid of me because the way he looked back at me was more intense than what I put out.
  • It was as if he was amused and when I subconsciously blinked, I immediately rolled my eyes to mask my defeat. He pulled my nose and lit a cigarette, the way he blew out the smoke was both dangerous and alluring.
  • The movement of his muscles along his jawline and neck when he dragged the cigarette deserved an award for perfection. The professionalism in that task alone reminded me of all his other well-performed tasks.
  • He made it look so effortless to smoke an entire cigarette in a couple of drags. If I had been counting, I could say five maybe, but I wasn’t counting.
  • I wondered what was going through his mind instead. It must have taken a great amount of effort for him to find me and then go through all the trouble of bringing me here, rather than returning to the basement. He even arranged for medical attention and placed me in his bed to monitor my progress.
  • Paul had a new tattoo of a honeycomb dripping with blood that was just above his collarbone. The tattoo exhibited visible redness, indicating that it had not yet healed.
  • The painted blood was dripping onto a waterlily, this was a very personal ideology considering his lack of empathy and inability to understand others' emotions. Why would he adorn his skin with something as innocent as a waterlily?
  • “Why am I here?” courage visited me again.
  • “You are here because I want you here.”
  • I sat up feeling that I was about to lose my temper. “Why?” my tone high laced with annoyance.
  • Paul grabbed my neck and squeezed it solidly, blocking my carotid artery. My body reacted quickly as I gasped for air. He pulled me towards his face, eyeing me with a frown but remaining silent.
  • He could notice my face turning pale, so he slightly relaxed his hand to allow me to breathe. I put on a brave front, though my chest heaved with each breath. A dangerous glint flashed over his right eye in the middle of our intense rubberneck.
  • “I want you to be healthy and strong again so that I can punish you. I want to be certain that you will regain consciousness for me to do it again.”