The streets were empty, for the sun was hot. The children retreated inside their homes and people avoided the hot summer air. Everyone was in, it seemed, but for a young man. Exceptionally young, though it was obvious he was no mere boy. He looked to be twenty or so, though his eyes looked old and weary. He looked worn, ready to settle. But, behind his weariness, he had a hungry fire.
He wore a worn brown leather jacket, even though it was dreadfully hot outside. He had on ratty blue jeans, stained with paint and various substances. His black sneakers were also stained and wearing through. His sandy brown hair was greasy as though it had been days since he had showered. His face, in respect, was dirty and sweaty. He had blue eyes that were cold and unfriendly. His nose was crocked, as though it had been broken at least once. But his skin was smooth, making his face look young.
He had traveled a long way. Over the course of three years, he had traveled from Portland, Oregon, to Austin, Texas, to Boston, Massachusetts, and then back across the country, to here, Las Vegas, Nevada. Each stop had its significance to this young man, and each time he traveled, it was mainly by foot or by hitch hiking. Occasionally, he would ride a greyhound bus, if he found it needed. Each stop brought him closer to his long-term goal. And, at last, he was now here. After planning since he was thirteen, he was finally here.
This man was born to Harriet Johnson, a thin, sandy haired woman with the same cold blue eyes. She named her son Luke, but affectionately called him Lou. No one knew this second name, excluding Harriet and Luke's sisters.
Harriet gave birth to Luke at a bus station in San Antonio in the year 1969. She was on her way to Portland, where a man waited for her. Luke's father had vanished days after Harriet told him she was pregnant. The man in Portland was an Army Lieutenant. He wanted the whole wife and child picture before returning from his leave back to the service.
Lieutenant Norman Stanford raised Luke, though not well. When he was at home on leave, he was abusive. He beat Harriet and the boy. Harriet needed a home and money, and she could only survive with Norman's help. So she stayed and took it, trying to stay in denial that her son was not subject to this awful abuse, too.
Lieutenant Stanford finished his service with the army when Luke was seven. He then pursued a job in business, which had him traveling most of the year. Yet, when Luke was eight years old, his mother gave birth to her second child. It was a little girl named Hope. A year and a half later, she had another girl, which was named Faith. Two years later brought Destiny. And then, a week before Luke's thirteenth birthday, his mother bore fraternal twins. The boy was named Nathan, the girl Grace. Harriet was overwhelmed, now, with six children. With Norman almost always away, Harriet was drowning. It was then that she started drinking. This caused Harriet to turn from being the abused to the abuser.
It was then that Luke started making plans. He had suddenly turned a mental corner. He was making psychotic plans. As each year went by, he became a sicker person. When Norman ran off with a young woman to Boston when Luke was fifteen, he wanted blood. He craved to let out his aggression, but didn't know how.
This psychotic boy did not just want to wallow in blood. He wanted joys of the flesh. In high school, he hooked up with many girls, yet was never satisfied. It was when he was sixteen that he realized what flesh he wanted. At first, he was sobered by the thought. But by the time he turned seventeen, it became a fantasy he longed to enact. He didn't want women. He wanted girls. His eyes would linger over his sisters. How they made him hunger… Yet, he never had the chance to do anything within his family. Harriet had, by now, sensed the monster within her son. One night, while Luke was prowling through his neighborhood streets, Harriet fled with her five younger children. Luke came home to find everyone gone. It was then that the monster was born. He could no longer be contained.
He left in a rage. He stormed to somewhere, anywhere. He needed to get revenge on someone… And it was then that he crossed the street to the park. Luke saw that there were three girls here; sisters named Judy, Agnes, and Fran. He stopped at a distance, watching. They intrigued him, and the monster seemed to be crouched low, ready to strike. He started to study them. Fran seemed older, close to seventeen. She was lanky, but had a pretty face. Agnes was young and his eyes hungered. She was thirteen, he could tell, with copper hair. And then his eyes fell upon Judy. She was ten and had golden hair. The monster inside him roared in hunger. So, Luke attacked.
By the time anyone knew Fran, Agnes, and Judy were missing, Luke was out of Portland and on his was to anywhere. He hitched a ride with a truck driver on his way to Austin. He had gone back home and burned everything he had worn at the attack, and then took only what he needed for a few days.
The police found the three sisters at the park. They had been raped and strangled. But, the police had no traces of who had committed the crime. Whoever had just killed was dangerous. But he was like a ghost: nowhere to be seen. The man had just gotten away. The police feared that they would soon be dealing with many more attacks from the hand of this man. In some respects, they would.
When Luke arrived in Austin, he prowled the streets. He just needed work. And he found Dr. Fitzgerald. He was a seventy-eight year old professor who was a multi-millionaire. His son had been killed in Vietnam in 1974, so he was looking for a young man to help him work and, ultimately, become his heir. He had spent over twelve long years alone and he knew he wouldn't last much longer. Luke was the man chosen, for he worked for Dr. Fitzgerald and showed the qualities that he wished to have as a son. Three weeks before Luke turned eighteen, Dr. Fitzgerald adopted him, as to make him the official heir of everything he owned, for he had no other family in the world.
Three months after Luke's nineteenth birthday, Dr. Fitzgerald died in his sleep. For the first time, Luke felt sad. He had become close to Dr. Fitzgerald. He was the closest to family that he cared to take credit for. However, Luke's sadness was short lived. It was found in Dr. Fitzgerald's will that all of his money and stocks were to go to Luke. The estate that Dr. Fitzgerald owned was sold. The money from that was supposed to go to Luke, but there was a substantial amount of debt that Dr. Fitzgerald had, so the money paid off his final debts.
One thing that Luke was able to do, and without suspicion, was withdraw twenty-thousand dollars from the account in cash. Dr. Fitzgerald had a private banker who was willing to do this. Luke told the man that he wanted to go away and try to forget the pain.
So, in one duffle bag, Luke packed his money. In the other, he packed four sets of clothes, a pair of shoes, and certain items that would provide special use for him in the future. It was then that he decided to go to Boston. Luke's blood was still boiling with revenge from that night when he was seventeen. He decided that Norman would be the perfect revenge.
In Boston, Luke found that Norman was not too hard to find. He had become very wealthy himself, though not nearly as wealthy as Luke was now. He had married a twenty-six year old dancer, had had two daughters with her, and was expecting a little boy. When Luke arrived at Norman's home, Norman was actually pleased to see him. He settled Luke in as a guest. Luke was kind; he was playing the game. Luke was kind to the little girls and stayed cool.
However, it did not last long. Luke's yearn for blood grew so strong that he decided to strike. After the family had all gone to bed, Luke was done pretending. He first thought the children should be silenced, to prevent a disruption. It was easy, for the little girls were both very young. The oldest girl was barely two years old. The younger was a year old. They hardly made any noise. They just looked up at Luke with wide eyes. Once he had finished, he moved to the master bedroom, where Norman and his wife were sleeping.
For a moment, Luke hesitated, wondering if he should carry on. But the longer he waited, the more he thought of the days when Norman would beat him and his mother. This infuriated him. In his rage, he covered the mouth of the sleeping wife with one hand and strangled her with another. She tried to fight, but after a while, she became limp.
This eventually awoke Norman. It took him a moment to realize what was happening. But then he saw that his wife was no longer breathing. It was then that Luke told Norman that his daughters were dead. Norman began to sob, asking why Luke would do such a thing. It seemed that Norman could not bear to try and fight Luke, so only asked why. But Luke never gave an answer. Instead, he unexpectedly pulled out a pocketknife and thrust it into Norman's neck three times. He then watched Norman struggle to save himself.
It took Norman much longer to die than his wife or children. It took even longer for Luke to wipe clean the residence. He put on gloves and wiped down every single surface. He even wiped down the portions of skin on the bodies. He wanted nothing there that would link him there. Then, he cleaned off himself and the knife of Norman's blood. Once it was all done, he left.
He kept the gloves until he got to a dumpster five blocks away. He then went to a bus station and bought a ticket Laughlin. He joined a queue of people, waiting. By the time anyone had realized that Norman Stanford and his family were all dead, Luke was in Kansas City, eating a burger with a few people also destined for Laughlin. No one suspected him, and no one ever would. Norman and his family's case went cold, as did the case of the three sisters in Portland. Their murders were so unalike that they would never be linked.
When Luke got to Laughlin, he bought a car. It was a white van, the type often used for businesses of plumbing, landscaping, or carpeting. He moved to Las Vegas, where he got a cheap apartment away from the strip. He then started a painting business. He was by far the cheapest around, and he was kind to those with children. After he earned some money, he turned his painting business to a drug store, more of a mini-Wal-Mart than anything. He only did paint jobs upon special request.
Many people thought that Mr. Lou Fitzgerald was the sweetest, quietest man who was respectable, honest, and good. But little did these people know that it was truly Luke Johnson, a man who had raped three girls, and murdered a sum of seven people.
He was bidding his time. He wouldn't kill again for a long time. But he still had to satisfy his need for the flesh… and Las Vegas was his destination. After that? He didn't know. For once, Luke didn't know what was the plan. All he knew was he needed a girl… And he would get one, one way or another.
And it was for this reason that Luke was walking the neighborhood streets. He could not wait any longer. It was now… or never. He had been here several times before, watching the girl that lived in one of these houses. This was one of five locations, and he was now deciding which girl he wanted most. It was hard, for he had never had the choice of which girl before. And now he had his chance. He had spent three months watching each one. But, he still could not decide, though he had a feeling he knew which he wanted. He wanted one desperately, and if any opportunities arose, he would grasp it.
All he had to do was prowl and watch… waiting…
Suzanna Guthrie- July 29, 1989
I was in my room, looking through an old edition of a magazine. I was looking for my favorite picture of Bon Jovi, my biggest crush of the year. I had been in love with Michael Jackson since I was five, but the arising star of Bon Jovi swept me of my feet when I was twelve. I had pleaded with my mom to buy his albums. She had preferred Jackson much more, but after six months of relentless pestering, my mom gave in and bought me my favorite album. It was all I ever listened to. Well, sometimes Michael Jackson won me over, but only because old flames never die.
But I liked a quiet life. True, my life was hardly ever quiet. Between Mom singing to Madonna or Billy Joel with Dad, when he was home; Jude playing Journey as loud as he could or having his usual five friends over, playing drums and guitars; or Amy playing with our dog Bandit, making more noise than sixteen kids would, whenever she wasn't obsessing over Barbie products or singing with my mom. True, it was always loud. But each person in my family seemed to keep to him or herself.
When Dad was home, he was either reading, watching the latest sports game, singing with Mom, or building stuff. Dad was an engineer and never seemed to leave work when he was home. Sometimes he would go play some ball with Jude or play with Amy, if she begged enough. The only thing Dad and me liked to do was paint. It had been my idea when I was little. I loved colors, and I had been asking Dad to paint with me. He tried it when I was six, and ever since, he and I would paint every Saturday. He liked it, especially because he could paint his engineering plans. I didn't care what he painted. It was hours of time with my dad.
Mom did listen to music a lot, but usually she was cooking when she was listening to music. My mother had a passion to cook, that comparable to my passion in Bon Jovi. She cooked a variety of things. Most of the finished products were sold at bake sales. Most of the time, the only samplings we would get was when she wanted opinions. Jude and I didn't usually appreciate it as much as Amy. When Mom was in the kitchen, Amy would play in the living room or backyard, where she was in earshot of the kitchen.
When Mom wasn't in the kitchen, she was sewing. She made elaborate dresses, skirts, scarves, purses, blouses, and socks. Mom made most of the wardrobes for us girls. Amy had more of Mom's creations than I did. I liked pants much more than skirts or dresses. I would wear them every so often, but it wasn't normal to wear them all the time. Amy could get away with it. She was only four.
Jude was the typical teenager, perhaps on the rougher side of the spectrum. Then again, I didn't expect seventeen year-olds to be much different. Jude and I liked to keep our distances. He would play his Journey or Queen, or sometimes play his drums. More times than not, he'd have his stupid friends over. They all were about as smart as doors. Sometimes it was amusing, but other times it was annoying. Some of them were punks. They were so stupid that they would hit on me. Jude's girlfriend, Jodie, said that one time. I liked Jodie a lot, because she would stick up for me. She called me her little sister. Whenever Jude was wrapped up in what she called 'Bro-mance', she would come and talk with me.
I remembered one time when Jude's friend Gavin was hitting on me. I was twelve and probably had no idea what in the world he was doing. I figure I was laughing, because Gavin is one of the dumbest of Jude's friends. But Jodie was really mad. I was awed at how much power she had over a dumb boy twice her size. She is my real life idol. Sure, I look up to my mom, but she is way too much of a housewife. Jodie is real. She is cool, pretty, and hip.
I often wondered why Gavin would hit on me. I didn't think I was anything special, but Jodie told me I was just like every girl in America, because most girls never seem to be able to think they are anything remarkable. She even told me she thought she wasn't pretty at all. I spent the next hour telling her that I practically prayed to be as pretty as her someday, and to be anywhere as cool as her. She was flattered, but unconvinced.
The cool thing about Jodie was that she was my best friend, and she was four years older than me. I had some friends at school and stuff, but not any as close to me as Jodie. I'm able to talk to her about everything. At school, I was the quiet girl. I was the girl next door who was unremarkable. I wasn't a jock or a nerd or an undiscovered talent. I was simply okay. But Jodie said I had great potential, which made me feel better. The truth is, Jodie is the only one who seemed to understand, even though she is everything I'm not. She's popular, a great singer and dancer, and can run faster than any other girl at the high school. She's also really smart. I often wonder how she ended up dating my brother, who is even more unremarkable than me.
I guess many people would label my life as average. And it feels that way. Mom is a stay at home mom while Dad brings home the money. Jude is typical and I am what most would consider typical. Our family is a typical size in a typical neighborhood. We are completely average. I never really understood what average was, but accepted the title. We could be off worse.
I put down my magazine, after staring at Bon Jovi's face for a long time. I looked around my room. It was plastered with everything and anything. I had paintings, posters of Jackson and Jovi, pictures, souvenirs, and magazine and newspaper clippings. This, perhaps, was the only odd thing about me. I liked to keep it secret. Only Jodie knew about it. A whole section of my wall had articles pinned up about various crimes. I was so intrigued by crimes that I'd keep them. I would spend ours reading about them and creating mental images of what it all was about. I often felt ashamed that the most common crime in the group was rapes. Yet, I seemed to connect to them better. I had never known anyone who had been killed, robbed or assaulted. But rape was a different story.
I had a couple friends who had been victims to rape, in one form or another. One of them was Jodie. And, strange enough, she had three cousins who were killed after being raped back in Portland. Their article had been one of the first to be pinned up. The youngest of the girls was about my age. It struck me in an odd way. And ever since, I collected articles.
I decided to go downstairs. It was fairly early into the afternoon, so I couldn't play my music. Mom didn't want Amy to wake up from her nap. Passing Jude's room, I could hear that Jodie was still here. She was helping Jude finish a report for his English summer school class. I wondered how long they would be working.
Downstairs, Mom was sewing. She looked up as I stepped off the last stair. "Is everything okay, Suzy?" I shrugged.
My mother frowned, then looked at the clock. "Why don't you go outside and play or something? I know it's warm, but there's lots of shade at the park, with all those trees. I reckon there's a nice breeze out. It might be nice to get away for a bit."
I nodded. I had just occurred to me that my mom was referring to Grandma Guthrie. She had had a stroke. My mom thought I was taking it hard, but in reality, it hardly phased me. I hardly knew her, and she was old. She was in her seventies with all sorts of problems. But I didn't want to talk about it. I preferred my mom to stay out of my thoughts and mind.
"Will you tell Jodie that I'm there? I kinda wanted to talk to her, but I really could use the fresh air."
My mother sighed in relief and smiled. "I'll be sure to tell her."
I went to the door and slipped on my sandals. Before I could leave, my mother stopped me. "Be back in time for dinner. And watch out for the cars. And don't talk to strangers. And-"
"Mama," I interrupted, "I know. Be safe. Come home before it starts to get dark. Stay out of the sun. Be nice." I gave her a reassuring smile. "I'm thirteen, I'll be fine. I know the whole deal. I'll be careful and cautious, I promise."
My mother smiled and nodded. "Bye sweetie. I'll see you, then, in a bit."
Before she could say more, I waved and went outside, where it was very hot. I went to the sidewalk where I was greeted by a breeze. In all truth, it made me grateful I was wearing one of my dresses. It made it a lot cooler.
I had passed four houses when I heard my name.
"Suzanna, wait up!" I turned around to see Jodie. She caught up to me quickly, and then we resumed walking. "Your mom said you wanted to talk. Is everything okay?"
In all truth, it wasn't. I had been troubled by some things, but was too afraid to ask. It had been a few days, now, and I knew I'd have to ask. "You're the only one I know that I could ask. But I feel terrible for wanting to ask."
Jodie seemed to know what I was talking about. "What article did you read?"
I chanced a glance at her. She was looking at me as if she thought I was experiencing some horrid trial. It made me feel guilty, but I knew that if I didn't ask, it would bother me.
"There was a group of girls in L.A. that were raped a week ago. Two of the girls were younger than me. A third was my age, and two more were close to my age. And it's just… I can't imagine what it must be like to live with that. I keep reading their articles. I haven't even pinned them up on the wall yet."
Jodie looked like she was concentrating on a deep thought and didn't answer for a long time. We had passed two-dozen houses before she did. "It's almost like living half of a life at first. It feels like part of you has just been taken. More like most of you…." She hesitated, as if what she was about to say was going to cause her great physical pain. "After I was raped the first time, I felt like I lost the ability to think or comprehend anything. I lived through the motions, but only barely. I was definitely not the same.
"It got better over some time, but after the second time, it took much longer. But after it happens six, seven," she paused, wincing, putting off her next words, "eighteen times, you sort of adapt to it. You learn to hide it and just try to get over it and consider it normal."
I took Jodie's hand and gave it a comforting squeeze. She smiled at me, though she had started crying. I didn't say anything for a while, not knowing what to say. Then, I felt I could not keep a burning question in any more. "Will they be able to be okay? Will they be able to go back to normal?"
Jodie looked at me with a sobering look. Then she frowned. "I'm afraid the answer is no. They will not forget it, nor will they ever be the same. To force something as sacred as that… It breaks a person. I don't care how strong they are. They will be broken forever. Some manage to repair most of the damage, but even they still have cracks in the old self. And it is a shame. So many beautiful, perfect people are destroyed by it. It doesn't make them bad or dirty, but they will always hurt. They will always be wounded. They will always have a lingering terror. They will always have a worst fear. They will always have a sense of loss. It's probably one of the worst things a person can do to another person. I mean, you can kill someone, but in the end, the person never feels the pain of it."
She broke off, lost in thought. My mind wandered to all the girls and boys I had read about, all existing with this broken feeling. I didn't think I could ever understand. But I tried, for Jodie always tried with me.
Then Jodie looked at me. "If anyone ever tried hurting you, Suzy, you can bet that I would never rest until he was caught and was ruing the day. I'd make sure he never felt anything good again. I would never let him see the light of day." She frowned. Something had crossed her mind. "I used to cry and wish I still had my little sisters. When they died in that crash, I thought I would never feel okay. I mean, this comes from a girl who has been through it all. But I had to have little sisters. Who was I going to help and talk girl to? Sure, my brothers are sweet and everything, but boys are boys. And then I met Jude. And after we started dating, I come to find he has two little sisters."
Jodie smiled at me, putting an arm around my shoulders. "The biggest reason I like Jude so much is because he has a love and appreciation for his little sisters so strong that I've never seen in a boy. I know he doesn't show it," she said due to the expression on my face. "He talks about you and Amy very fondly. He doesn't know what his life would be without you girls. He only teases because he feels it's his brotherly duty." We laughed heartily at this.
We walked in silence again, for Jodie was lost in thought. We were coming close to the park, in which I was grateful. I yearned for the shade. My wanting thoughts were broken by Jodie. "You're the closest I've had to a little sister in five years. Hailee and Shannon were so amazing, and I loved those girls to pieces. They were the closest people to me. And I'm sure you can see how. You've heard so many stories about them." I smiled at Jodie, nodding. She returned it. "I still wonder what life would be like if they hadn't been killed in that crash. But having you and Amy as my adoptive little sisters? It's helped me make it through. I'd die for you girls. And I would be ruined if anything happened to you."
I felt a huge wave flood over me. It was a sudden burden on my shoulders. What if I was the one to destroy Jodie? She had gone through so much… But we were like sisters. I'd be destroyed if anything happened to her. But what if something happened to me? I couldn't imagine what it would be like for her. I knew it was possible, because the modern world was a dangerous one. It could happen…
Then Jodie seemed to sense my discomfort. "Don't worry. If anything were to ever happen to you, I would just have one more thing to work on. I would personally go out to find the person who thinks they can mess with my sister."
We reached the park and sat beneath a big tree, whose shade was cool and comfortable. Here, we sat for a while in silence. Then, Jodie changed the subject to petty things, like music and celebrities. Even still, the conversation carried us for over an hour. We laughed and joked, as if we had never had an awkward conversation. I loved these conversations with Jodie.
But after long, she had to go home. "Dad is going to some party or whatever and Mom has a night shift, so I'm watching the boys. I've got to be there in time to say goodbye to Dad. I'll see you tomorrow, because I'm coming over after church."
She hugged me. "I'll see you tomorrow, then. And thank you, Jodie, for talking."
"No problem, Suzy. Any time." She released me and then walked away.
I was left alone, under the shade of the tree. It was so comfortable, and I was suddenly very sleepy. My eyelids grew heavy and I soon drifted to sleep. I had a dream of clocks ticking, newspaper clippings burning, cars honking, and trees wrapping their branches around me. The branches were shaking me and throttling me. Feeling the grip woke me. But now awake, I realized it was no tree that was gripping me.
Upon opening my eyes, I looked into the cold blue eyes of a man. My heart stopped. For a wild moment, I thought Jodie was playing a cruel joke on me. But after looking around for her, I realized I was no longer under the tree. I was laying on something padded, and I was in a place that was very warm. It was dark. Perhaps I was in a building? But no, it was too small. Maybe I was in a car?
My heart then started beating very fast. I looked back at the man who was very close to me. I could smell him, an awful mixture of a strong cologne and body odor. He looked pretty young, though. He looked only a couple years older than Jude. His face was vicious, but steady. I tried to stay calm as I looked back into those eyes.
Then, very suddenly, he smiled at me. For a moment, I thought he was going to talk to me, but instead, he started laughing. It was quiet at first, but quickly grew to a roar. I started shaking, and without realizing it, I started crying. When he saw this, he stopped laughing.
"Shush, shush," was all he said upon coming close to me again. I shook harder and began sobbing. What was happening? But he insisted. He stoked my hair and tried drying my tears. I tried fighting him off. This was a poor move. He suddenly grew wide-eyed and gripped my wrists tightly. I stopped struggling, looking at him through the tears, where he smiled again. He shook his head and started laughing again. A terror so cold and so petrifying took over me.
Then, very suddenly, he let go of me and grabbed tape that is usually used when painting. He bound my wrists and ankles, and then put some over my mouth. Now I was completely silent and defenseless. He grabbed me, and emerged from the dark space. It was dusk. It must have been hours…
We were outside somewhere, but he had thrown me over his shoulder. I was now looking at the ground. I tried looking up, but to no success. He quickly entered a building. I figured it must be a warehouse of some sort. He walked through many doors and thresholds, until we were well inside. He then threw me down on a mattress covered with a thin blanket.
Everything that happened next seemed to last for days, though I'm sure it was only a few minutes. I was so filled with fear and doom that it seemed to string out seconds to minutes, minutes to hours…
The man laughed again. He unbound me and took the tape off my face, laughing the whole time. I was still shaking and crying, looking at him in fear. He then knelt beside me, smiling. His eyes were wide in a sick sort of way, making him look crazed. My mouth went dry, fearing each second to come. He started stroking my hair in a way he thought was out of affection. He began to chuckle again as he looked me dead in the eye.
"It's time, Suzy." His words were like a bucket of ice water. Then next few moments were mixed up in my desperate attempts to stop him and my sobs, pleading with him.
"Please don't, please don't," I cried over and over again, for I knew my struggle was not stopping him. I cried in agony as he pressed on, one thing on his mind. I tried what I could, but his weight was keeping me pinned. But before he reached his goal, he looked at me and smiled and laughed a demonic laugh.
It was the worst thing to ever happen. It felt as though my heart was being ripped from my chest. There was an instance of pain, and then I suddenly went numb. All my brain could focus on was the agony. I sobbed, paralyzed by shock. I couldn't take in anything the man was saying or doing. Perhaps it was a good thing, because my heart was breaking. I was sure that it was in pieces.
Towards the end of it, my mind turned to Jodie. It remembered that conversation we had just had hours before. It was tormenting me. What would she say? What would happen? Would I ever see her again? I wanted more than anything to have her here to talk to, to help me. But at the same time, I didn't want her to see me as my heart was being shattered.
After a while, I realize the man was kneeling beside me again. I curled up, sobbing. He started stroking my hair again, which made me physically ill. My head started to spin, and then I vomited all over his pants. He leapt back, surprised, but not angry. Instead, he grabbed a nearby towel and mopped up the sick. He then bent down and kissed me. I was too numb with my sobs to do anything. "Shush," he said again. He gave my head a final stroke before he got up and left the room. I heard him bolt the door shut. Now, I was to be trapped here. I cried for hours before I drifted into a horrible sleep.