A writing prompt I did a very, very long time ago where we had to leave the reader hanging in the end – so beware, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I can’t remember how I was feeling at that moment in time but I feel the past-Amina had some deep feelings whilst writing this. It has an underlying scary tone to it.
I once had beautiful golden locks of hair. Now they look like sludgy seaweed. I once had full, pouty, dark-pink lips. Now they’re cracked and bloody. My long legs, worth ogling at, walked with swift strides. Now they can barely carry my weight. The head that was once held high, now stays bent towards the Earth in shame. The eyes that could look in your eyes and tell you the truth, however bitter, are murky and dazed and incapable of looking straight into the eyes of another.
I compared the picture on my table with the shameful face peering at me through the mirror, in disdain. The picture of me just three years back but if you looked at it and me now, you’d swear I was much older.
The phone rang, making me jump with fright. My heart leapt into my mouth and banged back into my rib cage so forcefully that I had to lean against the table and wait a few seconds to get by bearings back. I slowly wobbled to the phone and picked it up. Despite no-one being around, I whispered out of fright. Like my voice would carry to someone outside these walls that had become my cage.
I took a deep breath and smiled wearily at myself in the mirror. With fake happiness I greeted the person on the other end. No-one could know, no-one would know.
“Angel, you sound worse than ever.”
The façade slipped and the smile plastered across my face returned to its usual frown. My one and only friend, the only living person who knew. Well, my only girl friend, anyway.
“Hi, Sal,” I answered, not knowing what else to say.
“I won’t keep you long,” There was bitterness in her tone and as always I felt tears prick my eyes, “I just wanted to ask if… uhm can call.”
I knew what ‘uhm’ meant. No-one was around but I still felt blood beating in my ears. My heart thudded hard against my rib cage and I looked nervously at the locked door that would open only in a few hours.
“I guess,” I whispered.
“You sure?” I hated sympathy, it made me want to scream. But Sally’s sympathy always touched my heart, she was so kind, so considerate. It was because of her that I was going on despite what I was in.
“Yeah,” I breathed, clutching the phone tightly until my fingers went sore.
“Alright, well, take care, hun. I’ll send the message,” I knew she wanted to talk more, ask me how I was, comfort me; but she knew what would make me happier.
“Thanks,” I said, my tone returning to normal, my glances towards the door increasing, “Bye.”
She hung up and so did I. I stood staring at the phone, wondering what would happen if I ever got caught. I didn’t want to think about it; it would only make me tremble and weep. I jumped again when it rang for the second time.
“Hello,” I bit my lip nervously, watching how I cracked them. Blood seeped through them and ran down the length of my chin and I sighed.
“Angie…” His voice carried so much compassion, so much love, so much fear that tears fell from my eyes, down my cheeks and mingled with the blood as they reached my chin.
“Jack…” I choked over my own tears as they rushed down in torrents. I looked like a human fountain.
“Don’t cry. I’ll get you out of this,” His voice was low, filled with anger and determination. It made my heart ache to think someone loved me so much. I didn’t deserve it.
“You can’t,” I sobbed and I heard a growl from the other end.
“I will. Just stop crying, love. It makes it worse for me.”
I swallowed, trying to stop the hiccups from giving me away, but the silent sobs still made my body heave as I tried to talk.
“Angie, just calm down, please. I’m coming today. I’ll free you if it kills me,” I nearly banged my head on the wall as realization struck and I toppled on my own legs in fright.
“No!” Thankfully my voice didn’t break, “You can’t come today. No, no, you can’t.”
I had one hand squeezing the receiver so hard my knuckles went white as a ghosts and the other hand twisted inside the wire. I squeezed my eyes shut and waited for some oxygen to seep back into my lungs but they felt like they were on fire.
“You can’t, you can’t,” I repeated like a chant, wheezing and coughing and sobbing, “Oh Jack, please don’t do anything crazy like that.”
The receiver fell from my hand as I stood staring through the mirror with my mouth wide open.