I jumped when I heard the front door shut with a slam. Was it morning, was Connor going to school? I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and cracked open the closet door to peek out.
" How dare they! To even think the nerve of that boy!" Master huffed around the room with mistress sitting on the bed.
" I know dear, but no amount of money or punishment will take away the experience Sierra has had to deal with."
" I know, I know… But that ( he made a face) boy, if you could even call him that, needs to be locked up!" I was in a state of shock. Are you kidding me? They are sitting there talking about how the child needed to be locked up for the very crimes they themselves also commit! I shook my head and curled back up under my rags.
" Yes, I agree dearest… Oh! I meant to talk to you but- well things took a turn. It's about Alexa." I jumped out of my skin when I heard my name. My stomach did a three-sixty and a dive, my face went pale and I listened.
" What has she done now?"
" She wants to die, and she's cutting… I'm concerned" I think I was about to faint from disbelief. Here was the lady that had given me a death threat that very morning. What was up, I know when there's a fakeness about her. Why does she care? I expected her to rant about my behavior and what I had said and how I didn't clean that day.
" Oh, wow… Why is she doing that? After all we've done for her?"
" I don't know but it's not good for her to be around the children." Ah ha! That's why, they wanted to get rid of me. I knew there was a catch.
" I don't think that would be good, we've already uprooted her once."
" Yeah, I guess… but I don't want her influencing Connor."
" Agreed. Alexa, come here I know you've been listening." They knew? And didn't say anything? I can't believe this, what the hell is going on!?
I meekly stepped out of the closet, expecting the worst.
" Alexa, I know your past has hurt you, but please stop doing this. Also, why are you in the closet hunny?"
Hunny? This is crazy.
" I-I-I have to be in the closet." I stumbled over the words, they were refusing to glide off my tongue.
" Why? Your room is down the hall."
" My what?"
" Room, hunny, are you ok? You look pale." I couldn't comprehend what was happing, it was too much. Was this their new form of torture? Luring me into believing they were nice, then BOOM! I'm the family slave again? Why? All these thoughts were running around in my head, and it was confusing.
" Here go to your room and calm down, your shaking." I couldn't control it, it was all taking over my body. I was so upset and confused… Is Connor in on this madness too?
" H-h-hey Connor?" I asked as I walked down the hall to a room that was for guests only, and it was different. The room I rarely cleaned was pink instead of crème, the plain bed sheets were the latest pop star design. There were posters on the wall, it looked as if I've lived in here my whole life. The bed unmade as if I had just stepped out of it. Was I seriously delirious, did I cut to deep? Did they slip drugs in the little milk I had today? I don't know.
" Liking your new life?" Connor was behind me smiling at my confusion.
" I don't know what's going on…"
" Ha, I know. In Sierra's story about Tate, the fact we abuse you came up. You weren't born here, we bought you and that's illegal. That's why we've never taken you out, or to the hospital. The teacher interrogated Sierra, so social services are coming and the parents are buttering you up. Therefore they won't get into trouble." My heart sank, I knew it was to good to be true. Still, I had my hopes.
" I knew there was a catch."
" Of course, you thought they loved you?" He started laughing and walked down the hall. I felt as if the only thing that could ever love me was my blade… and right now that's true. I flopped on the bed and… it was so soft… like a cloud. I've never felt anything like this. I miss the goose feather bed I had in India, but this will do. What happens when the government leaves? Will I go back to normal? Could life get any worse?
" Alexa dearest, come take a warm shower and put on your new clothes." Warmth? Cleanliness? New clothes? Have I died and gone to heaven?
" Ok-ay" I managed to choke out, rather shakily. Her almost fake smile looking at me getting me a towel and shampoo.
" Here, let me help you get un-dressed, your unstable." I kind off wanted her to see all she and the Master have done to me, so I let the clothes fall. Her twinkling blue eyes gave way to huge blue saucers. Her cracked smile turned into a surprised frown as she stared at the scars, bruises, and bones.
" Oh my God! Craig!" Her face never leaving my body she calls for Him, the Master. Who has already seen my marred body.
" What is it Caroline?" He stopped in the bathroom and stared at me, I felt exposed and ashamed with mistress staring at my nakedness and the expressions made me self- conscious.
" Oh, those… She got them in India dear, remember? Right Alexa?" I stared at Him my mouth gapping at the lies.
" Oh, my hunny… What those nasty people did to you before you came here. No wonder you cut, baby." I wanted to rush out of there, grab my blade… Anything to get away from them, and their lies. To tell them I had not one scratch before they abused me for six years, six.
" When are they coming?" I quietly said, with my head downcast.
" Who hunny?"
" Social services." I picked up my head a little to see their expressions change.
" What!? Is it not good enough here!?" I cringed as she yelled at me.
" N-no, I-I was j-just wond-d-dering, becau-se Con-nor t-told m-e the-y we-re." I gasped that out in small bits and pieces sounding like a whimpering dog.
" Oh! That boy! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to frighten you. They're coming tomorrow, so be on your best behavior. You get in the shower then dinner's waiting for you out in the dinning room." A life of luxury, even for a day was alright by me. I got in the shower, an unfamiliar place. My bathing happened in a rusty bucket in the basement. The perfume scents from the gelatin goo was amazing. The dirt and dried blood ran down the drain and the steam was so refreshing…
As I dried myself off I looked over my body, again. My black hair hung down in wet curls to the middle of my back. My huge brown eyes were deep and dark, as if I have lived forever and seen everything. My tan skin was marred and bruised, my legs were in the best shape out of everything… Even they looked as if I had gone through a deli slicer. I pulled on a new shirt, blue with the words Aero down the front and the year 1987, New York. My skinny jeans were new and still had the tags on them. At least Mistress has a good sense of fashion. Wrapping the towel around my head I walk out to greet my first real meal in six years. The dinner plate had steak and potatoes and veggies, things I had prepared, but never eaten. I ate them as slowly as I could, to savor them, because after tomorrow this was something that was never happening again. The milk, the whole glass, felt like a sweet river running down my dry throat. After I was finished I leaned back and closed my eyes… sweet serenity… at least for now.
" Dear…Bahadur …. Wake up!" A man groaned and rolled over to face his tearful wife.
" What Sajani?"
" It's May 3... And 8:59am…" The woman started crying hysterically in her husband's arms.
" Oh, babe, I know, I know…"
" Mommy? Why are you crying?" a six year old girl stood in the doorway looking upset.
" It's Kali's birthday sweetie… My beta…" She turned her face into her husband's shirt and cried until she couldn't anymore.
" Jyoti, go get Kali's picture for your mother." The girl skipped down the marble halls and in her satin gown grabbed the jeweled picture frame of a small girl, little older than her.
" It's too much to remember our mistake… giving our firstborn to those cruel people. Why was money so important? Don't get me wrong I love it here in the palace, but to give our daughter's life for it? How could we have been so cruel?"
I don't know, beta, but she's somewhere in some loving family… I hope." The couple embraced and held their little girl in the frame for hours…
" My Love…"
Kali… Kali… Kali… A woman in a white gown reached her hand out to me. Her boney hand outstretched to me, a single tear sliding down her face. She faded into a blur as I woke up. That name sounded so familiar but I couldn't grasp why. I lay there feeling the bed shift beneath my weight as I moved from one side to the other. They were to be here today, and this was to be the last day in the lap of luxury.
" Alexa, dear, come on baby time too get up." I almost wanted to be sick, here where the people who beat me, starved me, and raped me, and there calling me baby? I rolled my eyes and got out of bed. Made it clean in the room and opened the crimson curtains. The sun stung my eyes but I guess I liked the brightness in this dead black life. I went over to the dresser and looked at my hair, it was a wreck. It reminded me of so much… The mirror… I've always been fascinated by the mirror, what is up with that? Oh, well.
" Alexa!" The stern, yet kind voice screeched down the hall.
" I'm coming!"
" Well, their here, so hurry up!" Already? What time is it? I look over at the digital clock and it says 12:34. I over slept, as soon as they leave, I will pay for that.
I open the door and walk down the hall, then I remember, today is my fifteenth birthday… Guess what your present is Alexa… A beating! The mocking voice in my head laughs at me… Why care about your birthday? Nobody else does.
" Alexa! Darling! This is Sabrina Cortez and Olivia Hapeman, they're going to ask you a couple questions, okay?" I nod my head and sit at the table where the two in unfamiliar woman sat.
" Ma'am, could you please exit the room?" Olivia, the one with blonde hair and blue eyes asks.
" Um, yes, of course." Mistress leaves the room and I glare at her retreating back.
" Yes?" I look at the woman, she could be no more than twenty and gorgeous.
" Can I ask you a couple questions please?"
" Yes…" Her partner, a Latino woman with black hair pulls out a notebook and starts to write. I look back at Ms. Hapeman ready to answer the questions.
" Does Mr. or Mrs. Slade ever hurt you?" I shift nervously and say the safest thing.
" No." She looks at me like she can see right through the lie.
" Okay… Where you adopted?"
" Did you know your birth parents?"
" Who where they?" I struggled to remember, but my memory failed me.
" No, I can't remember…"
" Alright, it's okay. Now, can you show me your arms, back and stomach please?" My heart raced and I panicked.
" Um, uh, I can't."
" Why not?"
" It's bad." The woman eyed me up and down, her glare scared me and she then looked calm.
" I know this is hard, but please, show us." I slowly took off my shirt exposing my bra and scars.
" Um, hm. I knew it. Alright sweetie, put your shirt on and go pack your bags." I was terrified, I've never been out of the home, and with these woman. Will they hurt me or not? I don't know.
" Mrs. Slade we are taking Alexa into custody, she is the victim of abuse." The Mistress glared at me and let me pass her. I heard them mumble something then Olivia followed me into the bedroom, Ms. Cortez still talking to Mistress.
" Hey, need help?" I turned my head and looked at her, I didn't know what to say.
" Um, I guess."
" I happened to notice your arms, do you cut?"
" Yes…" Her face looked upset and concerned as if she was remembering something.
" It's okay, and it's going to be okay. I myself was rescued from my abusive parents."
" Oh…" I was to lost in thought to care what she said. I was packing what little I had, including my knife. Olivia didn't notice, and I wanted it to stay that way.
" You are going to be alright, nobody is ever going to hurt you again." I stop and look at her, is this a dream? I've almost always been hurt, could it be true? She read my confused expression and said " Yes. I know it's hard to believe, but you will."
" Okay.." That was all I could say. All of a sudden I became scared. I didn't want to go, and I wanted to die. Just go away forever…
" Um, Ms. Hapeman?"
" I have to go to the bathroom." My eyes shift quickly to the side as I lie to her.
" Alright, but make it fast."
" Trust me, I will." With a plan in mind I take my bag, containing my knife and went into the bathroom. I locked the door and took out my knife. I stare at it then brought it to my arm, right on the vein. I pressed harder then I ever have before and the blood comes gushing out, even with my knife still slicing. I pick it up and the blood came out, fast. I did the other arm just as bad. The floor and I were covered in the crimson liquid. I fell to my knees and laid in the pool of my own blood. I started to see stars and faintly heard the door being pounded on. The faint screams of Alexander and Madeline, the running and pounding… slowly turning black… I faintly see the door open and a woman comes in, Olivia.
" Hold on Alexa, stay with me, come on." Her voice didn't rock or anything calm and collected her knees covered in the scarlet blood.
" It's okay come on." I think No, let me go… please… just let me go… Then my world fades to the black, my everlasting silence…