Youth - Daughter
Friday, September 17th, 2:00 AM
I take a long drag from my Camel as I look out at the cloudy London night. I sit out on my back balcony facing the dimly lit street. I glance back into my apartment. Everything is almost moved in except for a few boxes of things I previously mailed. I sigh, and turn back to the canvas facing me. There is a single image staring back at me. A piercing pair of deep brown eyes. His eyes have been the only inspiration that’s come to me so far. Frustrated, I set down my paints and stand, leaning on the railing. I take another drag as I check the time on my phone. 2:00 AM. Jet lag is a b*tch. I can faintly hear the thumping of a nightclub down the street and the occasional boisterous laugh, but other than that, nothing but the gentle breeze rustles the night. I let my sheer black wrap slide down my sharp shoulders, exposing more of my lace underwear clad body. I like the tingle of the cold air. I begin to snub out what’s left of my cigarette, when the general calm of the night is brutally shattered. A black, bouncing SUV comes tearing down the street, and screeching to a halt right in front of my apartment building. I hear angry shouts and two bodies roughly jump out of the car. They whip around to the backseat, reach in, and start to drag something out. A high-pitched scream escapes as they violently throw a girl into the curb. A cold fear slithers down my spine. The girl lies crumpled just in the periphery of one of the streetlights. From what I can see she has dark brunette hair mussed and matted, warm brown skin, and is lying in a pool of dark red liquid. I stiffen at the sight of the blood, my knuckles turning white as my grip on the railing tightens. For a moment it is not the foreign stranger lying in a pool of blood, but my parents. I blink away the memory and refocus my vision on the girl. Her body quivers in fetal position as she whimpers, clutching at the pavement.
“Oi!” One of the larger figures emerges into the light and gives her a hard kick to the head.
I wince. The figure now standing over her, bathed in the yellow glow becomes distinguishable. He is very tall and lean, yet muscular. He wears baggy sweatpants, a grimy wife beater, and a gold chain around his neck. Tattoos cover his arms and sides of his neck. My stomach lurches at the sight of him. He is clearly bad news.
“OI! B*tch! I’m bloody talkin’ to you!” He shouts, giving her another forceful kick to the ribs.
She releases a wail of agony, and struggles to get her plea out, “Psymon…Psymon, please!”
“Don’t you Psymon me, you filthy wh*re!” He roars, and I notice he is slurring his words. “You…you listen to me b*tch, I don’t give a f*ck who rides you or how, your bloody job is to let them! Then they pay you, you pay me, and I decide to let you live another day, yeah? You EVER pull sh*t like that again and I SWEAR I will kill you! Do you understand me?”
She lies whimpering and doesn’t reply.
He reaches down, grabs a handful of her hair, and yanks her so she’s two inches from his gruesome face. “DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?” He bellows in hear ear.
“Yes! Yes! I promise, it’ll never happen again!” She screams through a burdened sob.
He throws her back to the pavement and starts to laugh. The laugh that escapes his throat is far from human, but a maniacal howl. He throws his head back and smiles fully while his sociopathic cackling continues. I see that his painfully unattractive smile is littered with a couple of gold teeth, one on top, and one opposite the first one on the bottom. I cringe, he makes my skin crawl.
After his laughter dies away, he leans down and plants a sloppy kiss on the side of her head. “Bye lovie, see you at the club tomorrow.” He says giving her a sadistic smile.
And with that he turns, hops back into his monstrous car, and drives away, loud rap music emanating from the speakers. Once I can no longer see the framework of the beastly car or hear the vulgar music, I rush inside, slide some slippers on, and pound down the flights of stairs until I reach the front entrance. I run outside and look around; I instantly spot her crumpled body lying under the streetlight. I kneel down next to her, and lightly place my palm on her forehead. My hand comes away coated in warm blood.
“Hey, hey. I’m going to get you up, okay? This might hurt a little, just stay with me.” I gently console her.
I loop my arms gingerly around her waist and hoist her up as softly as I can. She lets a labored moan escape her lips. I lift her up so that most of her weight is shifted onto me. I sling the upper part of her body over my shoulder. The girl can’t weigh more than 110 pounds, but my strength not being that of a heavy weight champion, I almost fall over when I stretch her across my shoulder. I trudge up the stairs with heavy footfalls. By the time we reach my apartment, I am panting with a sheen of sweat covering my skin. I nudge the door open with my free shoulder and hustle her into the apartment. I quickly grab a towel from the bathroom ajar to my bedroom, spread it over my bed, and set her down as tenderly as possible. My shoulder and back aches from the struggle, but I don’t slow down for a second. I go into the bathroom once again and retrieve my first aid kit and wet washcloth. I return, pull up a nearby chair, kneel on it, and get to work. I slowly work the washcloth around her face until it is fairly clean. The first thing I see after the grime and dried blood is cleared away, is a four-inch long gash stretching across her forehead. It is about an inch deep and is still bubbling with blood. I grab some gauze and carefully wrap it around her head to staunch the bleeding. Once her forehead is momentarily taken care of. I begin to strip her of what little clothes she is wearing: a silver glitter halter-top and black shiny shorts that barely cover her butt. Once she is in just her underwear, I begin to search for more damage. My search does not last long, for what I see takes the breath right out of me. A deep abrasion beneath her ribs is flowing blood. My mind races, she needs medical attention and fast. I dig through the first aid kit until I find what I’m looking for: a small bottle of Peroxide.
I grimace. “I’m really sorry about this.” I choke out.
I pour a slosh of the Peroxide on the stab-wound. She awakes with a blood-curdling scream. I takes me a minute to calm her down.
“Look, these wounds are going to need stitches, so I’m going to get you to the nearest hospital, okay?” I tell her slowly so she can comprehend.
She looks at me with wild, adrenaline coursed eyes. “No! No, no you can’t take me to a hospital! He’ll kill me! He’ll kill me! It’s, it’s part of our agreement!” She shrieks.
I frown. I can still see his foot crushing her face into the pavement. I won’t leave her to a worse fate by his hands.
“Okay, okay. I’m going to do the best I can, but it’s going to hurt.” I look her in the eyes. She meets my gaze and nods slowly, biting back a groan. “It’s going to be okay.” I give her a small smile of reassurance.
I dart out of the room to gather more supplies. It takes me a few minutes to dig through one of the unpacked boxes and find my mother’s old sewing kit. I also grab a wooden spoon from the kitchen and my lighter from the balcony. I re-enter the bedroom and immediately jump into action.
I hand her the wooden spoon. You’re going to want to bite on this.” I say giving her an apologetic look.
Her eyes widen as she slowly places the spoon in-between her teeth. I zip open my mother’s sewing kit and pull out a needle, black thread, and scissors. I flick my lighter on and start to heat up the needle. I feed the thread through the eye and clean off her side with some alcohol wipes. She cringes. I hover just above her ribs with the needle.
“What’s your name?” I ask.
“Grace.” She mumbles over the spoon.
“Well Grace, I’m going to need you to do something for me.”
“What?” She looks at me with fear.
Her screams still echo in my mind, long after she passes out.