p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; font-style: normal; line-height: 100%;"strongspan style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"TW/ Author's note: Thank you for reading the last and final chapter of Sob/span/spanspan style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"reviviente. This chapter has a trigger warning like all the other chapters. Mention of rape and violence. /span/span/strong/p
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p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"emHiya, little bird. I spoke with Steven. He told me that you were struggling, that you were struggling without someone taking care of you and I just had to get out in order to come find you and take care of you. I'm sorry that Amanda and Cassidy /em/span/spanspan style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"emseparated/em/span/spanspan style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"em you from the only true family you have ever known, no wonder you have been so scared. I'll come for you sometime soon, but I have to find a way to keep us safe from the people looking for me. I promise. I've missed you so much, my little bird. I hope you'll be a good girl and wait for me in the meantime. Tell your little friends to keep you safe, but I'll be collecting you soon. Love you, little one. Can't wait to have you in my arms again. Tell Amanda and Cassidy I'll make them sorry that they ever took you away from me. With all my love, Mark. /em/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;"I felt tears roll down my face and I choked on a sob. I turned the letter over and saw that there were what looked like finger prints in dark ink on the back of the letter. I placed the letter down on the coffee table and texted Dr. Stevens that Mark reached out to me, that he had sent me a love letter. A threat. She tried calling me but I hung up, I didn't want to talk. I sent her a text message saying that I was in the middle of a cry session and didn't want to talk through the phone, that I was going to go bother Emmanuel once I was done losing my mind and I'd take my anxiety meds and wait for further directions from her. She told me she was going to send the police over to collect the letter. I agreed and then shuffled my way towards the spare bedroom and knocked on the door quietly. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Emmanuel?" I whimpered out. I opened the door a crack and found Emmanuel laying with his back to the door, his shirt off in a pile next to the bed. I bit my lip and went towards him. I touched his shoulder gently. He jerked and turned his head over to me rapidly. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "What happened?" He gasped out. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Mark left a letter in my mailbox. Can I lay down with you for a few minutes?" I pleaded. He nodded and scooted in on the futon and I laid down next to him. He turned towards me and I pulled the blanket from around him to envelope around me too, and I leaned into his bared chest. "I am so scared." I didn't even know how to articulate what I was feeling. It was something that was a mix of horror and sick anticipation. Like the feeling of dread when you are waiting for the ax to fall…/span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I told you I'm going to protect you, Mija." Emmanuel wrapped his arms around me and buried his face in my hair while he held me close to him. I started crying, and he rubbed my back and soothed down my hair, promising to protect me, promising to take care of me. Telling me it was alright. Telling me that they'll catch him and then no one would hurt me again. When I looked up at him he had a masculine set to his jaw, and his lips pressed tightly against each other. This close, I could see the flecks of gold in his eyes, and smell his warm maple-y scent that lingered on his clothes. His thumb feathered along my jaw and brushed off some lingering tears on my cheeks. I leaned forward and closed up the limited space between us, pressing my trembling lips against his. Just then I imagined what it would be like if he could protect me from the shadow darkening my doorway and the corners of the deepest depths of my fears. What I could pretend to be if I didn't have to think further than what was right in front of me just then. I gently caressed his lips with mine in a slow kiss, and electricity fizzed around my body from the contact. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" His lips brushed mine back after a moment, before he moaned into the kiss quietly, his tongue licked at my bottom lip and I allowed my mouth to open to receive him. His hand brushed up my cheek and twirled into my hair, and my chest flushed up against his. My hand went from around his shoulders straight down between us./span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" The tips of my fingers skimmed over his groin on top of his soft flannel pajama bottoms and I felt him against me there. Immediately he broke away the kiss and created a distance between us, him panting hard before he cussed angrily and got to his hands and knees and climbed off the futon at the foot of the bed. He shook his head at me and grabbed his shirt off the floor beside me and pulled it down over his toned chest. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Fuck, Mija. That wasn't what I wanted to do." He said, his voice heavily accented. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "..." I sat up now, feeling embarrassed at myself. "I thought that's what...That's what all guys want, right?" I bit my lip and worried it between my teeth. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I didn't want you to touch me, Mija. I am not like that. When you kissed me you scared the shit out of me, but I didn't want to pull away because I do have feelings for you, but not sexual ones, Mija. You are way too young for me. You don't need to do that to me, Mija. You don't need to touch me to keep me here or for me to love you, or for you to please me. Okay? I need you to understand that wasn't okay. Do you understand me?" he crouched down so he could look at me from beneath my bangs. "Jesus Mija, please say something." He gasped out. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Did I do something bad?" I cringed, feeling badly. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Yes, Mija. But its alright." He grunted, touching my hair and pushing it away from my face. "We aren't like that. We aren't ever going to be like that. I don't want you to touch me sexually. Do you want to have sex with me, Mija? Do you understand thatch what you were doing?" He demanded. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I know what I was doing. I thought...I don't know what I thought." I managed. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Okay, Mija. It's okay now. Please don't do that again." He pleaded. I nodded, feeling embarrassed, feeling dirty and completely broken. I didn't even know how to read social cues, I didn't know who I thought I was trying to read a sexual cue. I felt stupid. "Hey, Mija. Come on." He urged, coming back over to me. "Come on. Show me the letter." He tried redirecting me. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "What did I do? I'm so embarrassed." I groaned out. "I just want to curl up in a ball and disappear for the rest of the night. Ugh. I'm going to bed. The letter is on the coffee table in the living room. I need to go...I just need to go lie down or something." I got to my feet and walked past him, not looking up at him. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I am not angry at you, Mija. Its okay..." He whispered. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "It's not okay. I shouldn't have done that. I'm sorry." I whimpered quietly. "I don't know what I was thinking." I shook my head, feeling wound tight. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I know what you were thinking, and just because its not correct doesn't mean that I don't understand where it was coming from, Mija. You haven't had that type of care before, and I can understand where it it may have misconstrued in your mind. Its okay, Mija. We're okay." He pleaded. I nodded slowly but went to my room anyway. When I closed my door, I looked up and he was standing there watching me, arms crossed across his chest and a concerned look on his face. But we didn't say anything else. I rested my back against the door and whimpered in my throat. What a shitty long day today was. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" I changed into pajamas and turned on the light next to the bedside and turned my covers down. I startled at the sight of blood. I felt a scream bubble up my throat as I dashed across the room away from the sight of the blood. My heart was in my throat, I couldn't find my voice. I blinked a few times but the blood smear in my bed didn't disappear so I knew it wasn't a dissociation or a hallucination. I ran out of the room, cracking the door so hard against the wall that plaster flew. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Mija!" Emmanuel called anxiously, obviously hearing me scrambling. He caught me around the waist as I ran. "What happened? What happened, Mija?" He gasped out, pulling me against his chest. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "There's blood. There's a bunch of blood in my bed." I yelped against him. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "What?" He hissed startled. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "There is blood in my bed. Oh my fucking god, why? Why would he do this? Why? His letter he told me that he was sorry that I've been alone and scared and that he was coming to get me, why would he go to these lengths to terrify me even more?" I gasped out. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I didn't even get a chance to read the letter, did you notice that there's blood on the back of it? Did you call the police to report the letter?" He demanded. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I told Dr. Stevens but I didn't want to talk on the phone, I was distraught and that's when I came into the room with you..." I felt stupid again./span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Well, we'll need to call the police now, Mija. Where's your cellphone?" He demanded. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "...I...I don't know where it is." I bit my lip, feeling my pockets but didn't remember where I last set down my phone. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Shit. Alright, let me go grab mine from the room." Emmanuel started walking towards the room that he was borrowing and I followed him closely, my heart hammering so loud in my chest that it was all I could hear. Emmanuel walked over to the bedside table and looked on top of it and then underneath it. "Maybe I knocked it over when I got out of the bed?" He mused to himself. Just then a gust of air blew the curtains in towards us and I couldn't breathe. Neither of us opened the window when we were in here, and honestly, I had never opened it before. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Emmanuel!" I grabbed him and dragged him from the room. I scrambled into the kitchen and went to the drawer closest to the refrigerator. I grappled around the drawer, but all my stake knives were gone. I grabbed the mugs from beside the sink and crashed them against the metal basin. I grabbed the jagged pieces and handed one to Emmanuel. "He's here. He's in the apartment. We need to get out." I hissed out. "All the knives are gone." I rushed out, and watched Emmanuel tighten his grip on the porcelain I handed to him. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "We need to get to a phone, Mija. We need to call the police." He grunted. I nodded. "And then we get to my car and we drive as fast and as far away as possible." I didn't know where he was in the apartment, but I hoped that we'd be able to make it to the door without being intercepted. I grabbed Emanuel's free hand and aimed the porcelain outwards in case I needed to make quick contact. He mimicked me and grabbed my hand hard before we sprinted together towards the door. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "oh little bird." His voice sent what felt like a million fire ants running up and down my spine. "Little bird, little bird, fly away home. Your house is on fire, the children are alone..." Emmanuel went to stop, but I refused to let him. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Move. Move. Manny, lets go." I pleaded. Emmanuel got to the door, but of course there were three locks because I was a paranoid person...so he went to work at opening them while I pressed my back against his, holding the porcelain shard like a dagger. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I never thought you'd be this beautiful, little bird." He was on the other side of the couch, the lighting only lighting up half of his face, and the rest of his features were shadowed. He had gotten older since the last time I saw him, but his eyes were the same. The strange twist to his smile was still the same. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Mark, how come there is blood in my bed?" I don't know where the strength came from, but I needed to buy Emmanuel some time. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "he's going to be having a hard time with that, baby girl. I fixed your locks while you were away." He said with mirth. I felt my stomach bottom out, because I knew that had to be true, because it shouldn't have taken that long to open three locks, even if you were under a large amount of stress. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;""span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;"You know how I liked to have my place secure. Its the same trick." He shrugged a shoulder loosely. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "okay. Then we are going to have to leave a different way." I nudged Emmanuel hoping that I would be able to get him into the bathroom where there was a window to the front of the apartment building overlooking some brush. It would hurt if we had to jump, but it was doable. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Don't you think I'd have thought of that way already, baby? Don't you remember, once I got you inside with me you couldn't get out?" He laughed. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I was a little girl, I'm not little anymore." the dip in my voice betrayed how I felt. I wanted to pretend I was still a little kid, maybe closing my eyes tightly and pulling a blanket over my head would make the monster disappear, but all my life I had never been scared of boogey men, because I had Mark. And here he was. The devil I knew. At least there was no more fear of the unknown. Here he was. This was what was going to happen inevitably. I knew as soon as Amanda contacted me./span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Emmanuel, if you can get in the bathroom, lock the door and go out the window." I whispered quietly, not taking my eyes off Mark, but quiet enough that I didn't think he'd be able to hear me from where he was standing in the room. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "What are you going to do?" He gasped out. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I'm going to go for my bedroom, I think I left the cellphone in there, and since he came from the guest room I don't think he had time to grab it. I'll call 9-1-1. If you get out, call for help too. Get someone here as soon as possible. You'll have time to get help, he won't kill me right away." I rushed out. Without giving him any other choice, I dodged to the side, upending a lamp between us and heard Emmanuel scramble into the bathroom and shut the door. I ran full tilt into my room but just as I was getting the door closed, his foot intercepted and wedged the door open. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" He was much stronger than me, and he got the door open while I tried throwing my weight against the door. I looked around the room for my cellphone and found it on the floor where I must have dropped it when I was startled by the blood in my bed. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" I dove to the floor, grabbing the electronic device in my hand and army crawling under the bed. I quickly dialed 9-1-1. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Hello, what's your emergency?" The operator said blandly. She was obviously having a slow night. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "My name is Ryan. You have my address on record. Mark Threshner is in my apartment and I'm going to die." I rushed out. I felt the bed sag on top of me. I was surprised that he didn't grab me, he was fast when he wanted to be. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Little bird." His tone made me flinch, like he was disappointed in me. "I don't like that you are hiding from me. You know why I am here." He scolded. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "The police are on their way, Mark. You can go now." I scrambled out from under my bed and rushed the window across the room. I used my elbow to try to break the window, but now he was on me. He flung me across the room and my head bounced off the foot board on the bed, sending sparks behind my eyes and I scrambled across the floor trying to find purchase while thrown for a loop./span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "You stupid bitch. You always try testing my patience with you. Why do you do that?" He grabbed my ankle and dragged me bodily backwards, while my fingertips got rug burn from trying to grasp and claw at the floor to try to slow him. He flipped me over, pulling my thighs around his as he was kneeling on the floor between my legs. "Its been so long." He groaned deeply, grabbing my shirt and lifting my shoulders up before shoving hard on the ground, bouncing my head off the floor. I couldn't see, the sound was going in and out of the room. I was holding onto consciousness. "I forgot how beautiful, no, that's a lie. I could never forget how beautiful you are. You look just like Cassidy does. My little girl." He smiled and caressed my cheek. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" I slashed hard with my porcelain cup shard, which made purchase across his chest and shoulder. He screamed in rage while I was able to scramble back away from him. He recovered faster than I did, I was still seeing stars, but I got underneath the bed. I wedged myself between the heater and the head of the bed, keeping tight. He was roaring at me, swearing at me, he tried moving the bed but every time he moved, I went with it. He couldn't completely get it away from the wall without help. It was a heavy bed, one that I had to have the delivery men set up for me. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" He tried grabbing me from the top and he grabbed my hair. He pulled which ripped it from my skull in patches, but I refused to let him pull me from the corner I had wedged myself in. When his anger seemed to fissile out, he laughed. His baritone voice cackled and set my teeth on edge, this was when he was the more dangerous, Cassidy always told me. This was when he was going to do more than beat you. Sometimes crying would fill that sadistic need in him. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Mark?" My voice cracked. "Mark, I'm having a nightmare. I'm scared. I'm so scared." I hoped it would work. It wasn't a trick that worked when he was beating me when I was living with him, but I remembered one time when I was having a nightmare he treated me differently. Which was an example of why it screwed me up all the more, because I was telling the truth earlier today when I said sometimes he did love us. And I was hoping that maybe he was going to be that Mark right now, just to buy me some time. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Then why don't you come out to me, and I'll comfort you." I was surprised at his change of demeanor. "I'm the only one who is going to be able to take care of you, Little one. Why do you always fight me like this ? You know I love you, unconditionally. That's why I always forgive you when you are naughty like this." He sighed, chastising me. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I know, I am always bad, Mark. But I get so scared and I know you'd protect me if you could, but when you get angry you scare me too. I think you are going to hurt me if I come out right now." I responded quietly. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "If I promise I'm not going to hurt you?" He urged. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I don't know, Mark. I'm scared." /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "baby, I'm the only one who has ever been there for you. I'm the one who got you sisters because you were going to grow up lonely...Cassidy told me that I needed to give you people to play with, so I did! I'm the one who made sure that you didn't have to bounce around foster houses anymore, and I made sure that I loved and provided for you. Don't you remember that?" He grunted. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Okay, Mark. I'll come out slowly, okay? Let me get used to being around you again, okay? It's been a long time." I murmured. "Can we talk till I'm not scared anymore?" I pleaded. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Of course, Baby." He seemed to relax against the bed. "You'll have to speak a little louder than before, sweetness, Dada's gone deaf in one ear while I've been away." That would explain why he didn't hear what I said to Emmanuel, or why he seemed not to know I made a call to the police. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Mark, why is there blood in my bed? If you came to me without doing something like that, I think I'd have been less scared." I said, turning my phone on and saw that the emergency number had tried calling me back a few times. I texted Amanda and I texted Dr. Stevens. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" 'Mark is at my apartment. I called 9-1-1. Not dead yet. Under bed talking to him.' I don't know why I wasted my time telling them, but maybe that was my weird sad way of saying goodbye. I'm sure eventually Mark would get sick of my games and kill me. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Well, I thought you loved when Cassidy taught you about Van Gogh. You said that it was romantic that he cut off his ear to give it to his beloved. I only have some hearing left, and I didn't want to look ugly for you, so I figured some blood would show my love for you. I wrote the letter in it." He sounded like he was proud of himself and I didn't know what to do with that information. Because that was definitely something that he wouldn't have done before. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "It startled me, Mark. You don't like messes. I'm surprised that you allowed it to be so messy." I said grimly. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "maybe I also wanted to show passion. But I saw the police skulking around, so I couldn't paint the wall, I figured this could be a private canvas just for us. To reminisce...since the bed and bedroom have so much meaning to us and our relationship. I am your first, after all. Not only am I your father figure, I was your first, which means that you'll love me forever. All girls love the one they give their virginity to, baby. We share this sacred and blessed bond. I talked about you all the time while I was gone and a gentleman told me he was jealous of how proud I was of you, baby, and told me that since I had such a perfect girl already, I should just settle down with you and have a family. I didn't realize how much time was going to pass before I had the opportunity to do so. But now I'm free and we can go back to how things were, baby." He said, sounding exuberant. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Yes, we shared a lot. But you loved Cassidy, Mark. Not me. I was supposed to be your daughter. I was supposed to be Cassidy's." I pleaded quietly. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Cassidy is gone. I saw the newspaper covering the train accident." He sounded sad. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Yeah, but Cassidy still took care of me until the accident happened." I said stubbornly. "She was the one who took care of me when you hurt me, she was the one who fed me, clothed me, took care of my wounds..." I hissed out. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Because I told her to, Little Bird. She wouldn't have done so without my permission. So really, it was me taking care of you. But its okay, you were little, you didn't understand all that I was doing for you." He sounded so sure of himself. I looked down at my phone and saw that Dr. Stevens texted to see if I was okay. I texted her back asking her if she got a hold of the police, because I called them minutes ago and they still hadn't shown up. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Come out, now." He ordered, his tone showing that he was done being patient with me. I shook my head firmly and told him that I couldn't. "I said get out here now." His tone harsh. He got up off of the bed, my stalling was over. He rounded the side where the bedside table was and he threw it away from him and he grabbed me by my hair. I screamed in pain, and he got a hand around my throat at the same time, cutting off my air, he dragged me upwards and out, scraping my body along the way up./span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" He threw me over the headboard onto the bed and when he pulled his hand away from my hair, hair and blood came with it, dripping blood onto my cheek. It wasn't the first time he yanked a fistful of hair out of my head, but it hadn't been a preference of his abuse, as he liked having hair to pull on us, but not for it to be messy and unruly./span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" He knocked me in the nose, shattering it. I screamed, grabbing his hand that was still holding me down to my bed by my neck. He grinned down at me and climbed on top of me in the bed. I hit, scratched and bucked my hips, he had no intention of stopping this time, I could see it in his eyes. He was done with my stalling, he was done with the waiting. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I thought of how good you'd taste after the years of our separation. I was going to wait a lot longer, to tease you a little more, to make the reunion that much more sweeter, and especially bring you back home where you belong, but I like what you did with the place, I liked looking at how you would decorate your own home and your taste is splendid. I'd like to think I helped contribute to your decency at maintaining a home. Otherwise you'd have been so messy, like the others. Everything has a place, and I even enjoy that you have little reminders of me around here. Like towels with flowers on them. Lillies." He laughed. I froze, I never had anything that resembled lillies...I hated those flowers, because before they reminded me of Mark, they always reminded me of funerals when growing up...why he thought I was keeping flower mementos of his was beyond me. Maybe it was part of his delusional thoughts. Especially since he obviously thought that this was romance…/span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "You want to bring me home? Do you still live there?" I gurgled out, blood in my mouth from my bloodied nose. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I had to sell it, to pay for my representation in court." He said, distressed. "but the owners have been nice enough to let me borrow it for the time being." He smiled down at me and kissed down my jaw. Borrowed it? A cold chill shook me within, he must have hurt the current owners in order to get access to his old home./span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "You had the same lawyer as me, I saw your news article, Steven was your representation in court?" I grunted./span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Yes, how ironic isn't it? He mentioned that he had this little slip of a girl that he was working with and he couldn't believe that someone who was as beautiful could be so completely shattered. He thought you were broken, he obviously couldn't see how amazing you are. His loss, though. I don't want anyone else looking at you the way I do. You belong to me, little bird. That Spic that you were rubbing up against, he can't give you the kind of love and pleasure I can." He laughed darkly. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "That was a mistake. I didn't mean to kiss him. After all, I didn't know you were here." I felt pathetic saying that. Like I was feeding into his dangerous ego, but Cassidy had used that technique before and survived his unpredictable wrath much more than I did. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "That was a mistake. A mistake I will forgive because he realized you belonged to me that's why he immediately stopped you when you touched him. Touched him with your hands. You silly little slut." I guess I wasn't going to avoid his wrath regarding that. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "He's the only man I have kissed besides you, though. I'm a good girl, just like you taught me to be." I whimpered, desperately. "And I was confused. I was confused at my feelings and scared and he was comforting me. No different than you, Mark?" I said quietly. He smiled in triumph and brought his mouth to mine. Where sparks flew with Emmanuel, bile rose into the back of my mouth now, and I could taste it on the very back of my tongue, tinged with the iron of blood. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" As he kissed me, his hands wandered to the rest of my body, which I was beginning to feel the aches from being tossed around. Since he was enjoying his time with my body, I was able to take inventory of what I had around me. I had somehow lost the shard of porcelain, he was still bleeding, as it was dripping on me when he moved so that he could get his fingers down the front of my pajama pants. I pushed at his chest, making enough fuss that he had to remove his fingers from me in order to physically subdue me. It hurt, but I just added that to the list of pains that were barely registering./span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "My itty bitty bird. Why are you fighting me? Didn't you miss me?" He cackled in my ear, and everything in me told me that I needed to just let him do what he needed to do in order to survive this, especially since he sounded cruel now. Before he was just manic, now I was pretty sure he was going to hurt me since I was fighting him...but I swallowed my internal panic. /span/span/spanspan style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"emHe's always been cruel. He's always hurt you. This is not any different than before. You are not broken or tame anymore. Don't let him. /em/span/spanspan style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;"It was a faint whisper of a thought, but it was honestly all I had left, and I fought. I scratched, I thrashed, I kicked, I screamed, and made sure that I didn't stop. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Ryan!" He hissed through clenched teeth, cocking his fist back and punching me square in the chest. My air screamed out of me, and I choked, trying hard to make my lungs work again, trying hard to suck in a breath, I felt panic start clawing its way up my throat because I couldn't get air or my lungs to function normally. He spun my spasaming body onto my stomach and yanked my pants down, trapping my smaller body beneath his, he fisted a hand into the hair at the base of my neck. I finally managed to get a breath in, thanks to being shocked back into my body and I waited until he brought his head closer to mine, which he did, and I threw back my head as hard as I could, catching him in the face. I saw stars, but I didn't stop, just flew out of my bedroom, having walked it in the dark many times before. I continued moving until the stars behind my eyes cleared and I got my pants back up where they belonged. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" I went to the back room where the washer and dryer were, hating that I was trapping myself back there but I knew there was a hammer back there, and it was my only choice of a weapon since I had no clue where all my knives went. And I couldn't afford the time to break another mug. I grabbed the hammer and got myself out of the utility area just as he was stumbling out of my bedroom. I got in the spare bedroom and locked the door. I went over to the dresser, it was smaller than the one I had in my bedroom, and pushed it with the rest of the strength I had in me, to block the door as an extra barrier and then I sunk low behind it, supporting it with my weight further. The only way he was getting into this room is if he crawled in through the window in which he crawled into earlier, the curtain still billowing in with the wind. I was too scared to move to go close it, my body locked up and I still panted for that missing air that had been knocked from my lungs earlier. Mark was swearing and cursing still in the kitchen, rattling the door knob and alternating pounding his fists against the door. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Goddamn it, little bird. I was just trying to reunite with you!" He screamed angrily. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "You nearly killed me, Mark! You hit me so hard I couldn't breathe! And then you were going to have sex with me anyway?! How is that taking care of me, or protecting me! That's evil, Mark. You are an evil man! I hope you drop dead!" I wiped angrily at my face, tears were soaking my pajama shirt. Everything on me hurt including my hair. I felt over sensitized and dehydrated and helpless. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;"Where were the police officers? How come they weren't there yet? I must have called a half hour ago. When I felt like I couldn't wait anymore, I went to the window that he came into, he had gotten a ladder and had attached it to the side of the building, and because it was so close to the other building, no one walking around it would have paid it much attention. I had to get out. This was likely my only chance of getting out of the apartment, and I had to see if Emmanuel got out safely or not. I got one leg out when I heard him hid the door hard with something. He was going to get in. I scrambled down the ladder my heart in my throat. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" I reached halfway down when I jumped, landing wrong, but I didn't stop moving. I kicked the ladder out so that he couldn't use it as his escape down, and then I hobbled around the building. I saw Emmanuel who was screaming at a police officer in Spanish, gesturing to my apartment. There were teams of people, they were just milling around. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Manny." I called weakly. He spun around and yelped, rushing at me. Police surrounded us and dragged us to an ambulance that was waiting, and I heard the police give orders to enter and exterminate the target, that all innocent people were out safe. They hadn't had the capabilities of handling a hostage situation with Mark Threshner. He wasn't known to give up, so they were waiting for the perfect shot and were going to enter into the apartment...which was why Emmanuel was freaking out. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "What's your name, sweetheart?" The paramedic managed to get Emmanuel to sit down out of his way while he took my blood pressure and got out gauze for whatever he got gauze for. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Ryan." I managed out. My hammer laid beside me on the mattress of the stretcher I was sitting on./span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Okay, Ryan. I need you to hold some gauze to your face, okay?" He grunted. I nodded and held the gauze under my nose and winced, my nose smarted something awful. But that was just one of the many pains echoing in my body currently. /span/span/p
div id="Section1" dir="ltr"
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""How did you get out of there, Mija?" Emmanuel whimpered quietly. "...are you okay, baby?" He pleaded. I looked over at him and nodded slowly. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""I'm alive, so that's much more than I expected to happen today." I answered. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Can you take a deep breath for me?" The paramedic asked, looking at my oxygen on the meter he had on my finger. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Alright. Something is funky, I'm going to give you oxygen till we get to the hospital okay?" The paramedic grunted. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Sure. That would help." I nodded. He placed a re-breather mask over my nose and mouth since my nose was covered in gauze. I felt everything catch up, my heart rate began to accelerate, my dizziness came back full force and I yanked the oxygen mask up. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Can I have something to puke in, please?" I whispered. He handed me a bin and I puked so hard I saw black. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"When I came to, it was because they were moving my stretcher. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Ryan, she's in and out of consciousness. She threw up in the ambulance there is blood in the expectorant which may or may not be from her broken nose. She was attacked in her apartment, blood pressure is odd as is her breathing. May be in shock." I blinked over at him, like he wasn't talking about me. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"I went back out during the transfer to a different room in the hospital. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"When I came to again, Police and hospital staff were coming and going rapidly. After a few moments a police officer came over to me and had a very solemn look on his face. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Sweetheart has anyone asked about a rape kit yet?" He grunted out, his eyebrows furrowed in anger. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"I shook my head anxiously but sighed heavily, it was Mark after all, I escaped him a second time. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Officer I don't think he was able to get more than fingers..." I hissed out, feeling all kinds of disturbed, hurt and sore. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"His face twisted in disgust and I grunted. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""I know, that's disgusting I shouldn't have said it that way, I'm sorry. No sir, no one said anything about a rape kit." I paused biting my lip./span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Alright, we are going to get one done now, okay? Just to cover everything. Do you have anyone you want to come in and hold your hand during it?" He asked nudging a nurse and told her to go get a kit. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""I- I don't know if anyone I know is here. I can do it without them." I bit my lip hard. "Sorry." I mumbled out. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Not mad at you, sweetie. Not mad at you at all. Mad that this son of a bitch was able to get his hands on you again. That's all. The nurse here is going to get you all fixed up, once they do the kit honey, we'll see about getting you into a hot shower to help you feel better." The nurse mumbled something about it not being up to him. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"They got me in the position for the kit and I held really still and focused on the tile above my head. The nurse asked me questions on sexual history, medications, they put my clothes in a bag and took photographs of all my injuries. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Okay, hon. It looks like you have a little bit of scratches, so we're going to send that information to the doctor and he may suggest treating you against infections for a little while." She concluded, snapping her gloves as she took them off. I nodded and the police officer came back and took the evidence that she collected with him. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""I'm going to go get a shower bench and we'll see about that hot shower." She smiled at me gently. I thanked her quietly and sat awaiting her return. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"A doctor came in and explained that he was the doctor that had me during intake that I was in and out of consciousness which was why I had a cat scan and that I had a concussion with a broken nose, cracked ribs and a severely sprained ankle. He didn't know the details of how I obtained my injuries, but he just got word that I had a kit done and that I had scratches so he was treating me for preventable STIs and hep c and HIV just to be overcautious. I nodded in understanding. He explained that all visitors have been kept from my room due to the suspicious circumstances. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Thank you, Doctor. But I may have a couple people who need to see me. Do you know if the police are going to come back to speak with me?" I whispered quietly. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""They may, I am not sure." He said sadly. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Do you know if Mark Threshner was caught?" I grunted out. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Is that who did this?" He asked, appalled. I agreed quietly. "They haven't said so, unfortunately." He said. I thanked him and watched as he left. My nurse came back in, shooing away a police officer. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""Let her take a shower and get some pain killers and then you guys can leech on her." She laughed gently with him before she came over to me. She explained what she was doing while she loaded the shower bench into the shower and then went to get towels and in her words "toast up a clean Johnny." Which meant that she put a Johnny in the dryer so that it would be hot when I was ready to put it on. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"She helped me up and I realized I had a brace on my ankle./span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""How did you mess up your ankle?" She asked once she got me sitting on the bench so she could take my brace off. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"I was about to answer her when she removed my Johnny and gasped at me. "How did all of this happen?" She demanded, touching my bruised body gently. I looked into the mirror to access the damage. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"I had scrapes and bruises up my back and side from when he dragged me up the bed, I had patches missing on my head in large clumps from him pulling my hair out, blood down my face, my nose packed with a splint and dried blood down my lips, I could already see the beginning of two black eyes due to the broken nose. I had a large bruise in the dead center of my chest and the area surrounding the bruise was mottled in color. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;" /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"The rest of my body was covered in scars. It had been a long time since I addressed them, a long time since I have had to see them. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;""These are from Mark Threshner. All of these are from Mark Threshner." I sighed heavily. "I sprained my ankle escaping the man for the second time in my life. Do you believe in God, Miss? Because I think for once in my whole entire life, I believe in God today." /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"She placed a hand over her heart and looked down at me with watery eyes. I met hers and gave her a small smile./span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;" "Seeing you, Maybe I do too." She said confidently and it made me feel better. She was gentle while she soaked away some of the aches with the hot water, she made sure that there wasn't any more blood left on me and she helped me brush my hair and braid it back. It did make the patches yanked from my scalp that much more obvious but at least it was tidy and wouldn't knot while I rested in the hospital bed. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;" She brought me the warmed Johnny in which I was grateful to be swaddled in, but in the moment that she left me to go get the Johnny, I was left looking at myself in the mirror. I didn't shy away, I didn't close my eyes or make silly faces at the reflection. I just took in what I saw and accepted it. This was who I was. This was every bit a part of me. I felt tears come to my eyes and I willed myself not to break down and cry. Once I was warm and dry she re-braced my ankle and helped me to my bed where she brought me my medicine and pain medicine. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 200%;"span style="color: #454545;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;" The police came in and requested what happened step by step and sleepily I gave my account but soon fell asleep. I was very confused at what time of day it was when I finally woke up, I guess it had been early morning when I had finally gotten a room and had the kit and shower done. It was afternoon when I woke up to take my medicine and to order some lunch at the nurse's request. /span/span/p
/div
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;"I didn't think that I'd be able to keep anything down, but did manage to eat a small bowl of broth. It was around three o'clock in the afternoon when Dr. Stevens, Emmanuel, Tia Maria and Amanda rounded the corner to my room and rushed in. I startled at their entrance. I wasn't actually expecting anyone to come see me today. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Mio dios! Mija no!" Tia Maria started blubbering and rushed around to the side of the bed that didn't have an iv pole with fluids hanging from it. I didn't know what it was that they were giving me, they explained, but I really didn't pay much attention other than to nod at them when they came in and took my vitals. I was tired and sore and just really wanted to be left alone from all the questions, since no one could answer mine. Did Mark escape? Was he going to come after me and Amanda again? /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Oh! Hi guys!" I tried to be cheerful for them, but my face hurt too badly for that. I accepted Tia's fretting and kisses on my cheek, even though it smarted when she pressed her lips against my skin, I didn't flinch as I didn't want to deter her from her affection. It was nice to get fretted on, truthfully. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "My god." Dr. Stevens had a hand over her mouth and she shook her head at me, devastated. "What happened?" She begged, sitting on the edge of my bed. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I'm not really ready to get into it until someone can answer my question. Did he escape? Did the police get him?" I urged, looking at them all to see if I could read anything from their expressions. They all looked as clueless as I felt. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "They said that there was an assault on one of Mark's victims and it was believed to be Mark who did it. They stated that the victim escaped with non-fatal injuries but was hospitalized but in stable condition. They said there was no more information that could be given at that time..." Amanda grunted. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "So they didn't catch him? He locked himself in my apartment, and I knocked the ladder away from the window where he couldn't climb down, and they still didn't get him? How come it took them forever to get in there after me? They were just milling about outside the apartment and Emmanuel was screaming at them to go in after me, but they were just standing there." I said, frustrated. "He was going to kill me, and they were just standing there. Even better! He tried raping me again, and they just stood out there! I don't have any faith in our police department catching him." I groaned, easing back into my bed before groaning in frustration. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Mija!" Emmanuel snapped. I looked over at him and he looked furious. "He tried what?" He reiterated, explaining what it was that got him so bent out of shape. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I really don't-" I whispered, realizing that I had burst out something that it took Dr. Stevens more than several months to get me to even write down and admit to happening to me. "I-" I stuttered and looked over at Amanda helplessly. She whimpered out, clenching her eyes tight, obviously knowing the pain and could relate to where I was at right now. "I fought." I managed out quietly. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "You fought? He didn't get you?" Emmanuel pleaded, wringing his hands together anxiously. I tried jiggling my leg, trying to burn off some of the anxiety and I yelped when I jiggled the wrong leg. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "You have a sprain? What happened there?" Dr. Stevens sighed heavily, trying to work at the beginning of the injuries and working up from there, which was the process in which she did before. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I jumped off the ladder that Mark had up against my apartment. He used a ladder in between two of the buildings which lead him to my guest bedroom. He came in while we were in the living room reading his letter. I went into my bedroom because I was stressed and grossed out and went to get in my bed, pulled back the sheets and there was blood all over my sheets. I freaked out, and ran out of the room to Emmanuel. He wanted to call the police, I didn't know where my cellphone was, and his was left in the guest bedroom. We went for it, and that's when I noticed that the window was open, and I've never had that window open ever. I ran for the knives, and they were gone. So I broke the mugs for something sharp, and we ran to the door. He came in the living room by the time we made it to the door and Emmanuel tried opening my door's locks. But he did something to them, so I told Emmanuel to go into the bathroom, bust the window and get out for help. I then ran at him, knocking a lamp in between us and ran for my bedroom where my cellphone had to be. I found it and crawled under the bed where I called 9-1-1. He just let me. He sat on the bed and chastised me for it. I don't remember which order everything else proceeded in. I ended up between the wall and the headboard of the bed, and I talked him down and then he yanked me out from behind the bed and scraped up my back. He got his hands down the front of my pants and punched me in the face. He punched me in the middle of my chest when I fought him, and I felt like I was never going to remember how to breathe. He got my pants down and I let him get close and I threw my head back into his face and used that to get away. At some point of time before I lost the porcelain mug shard I cut him with it...upper part of his chest and shoulder. Once I got him off, I ran to the utility room and grabbed my hammer, I thought he would recover as fast as he did in the old days, but when he was stumbling around still holding his face I knew I had to make it to the window and down the ladder. It did take me an obscene amount of time to talk myself into doing it though, as I was freaking out." I grunted, wearily. "There. Now you know everything that happened." I sighed heavily. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "So only his hands?" Amanda murmured darkly. I nodded and sighed heavily. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I'm on meds to make sure I can't get any infections or anything just as preventative measure. They did a kit once I got here." I shrugged one shoulder, feeling uncomfortable saying that out loud, something like that seemed so private, but I held so many private painful memories, and I didn't want to be the only one in my head right now. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Are you uncomfortable saying that in front of me, Mija?" Emmanuel whispered. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "A little bit." I nodded. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "He raped you before, did he not?" He hissed quietly. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Yes. He raped all of us." I shrugged a shoulder. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "He's an evil man." Tia Maria grunted. "I saw body, its hurt." She then turned towards Emmanuel and said something in Spanish. He nodded his head and bit his lip. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;""span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;"I saw it too. Si. Burns and cut marks all on her stomach and sides." He agreed. Dr. Stevens looked over at me for clarification. I sighed heavily and pulled my blanket up over my underwear so that I didn't show them everything I had underneath the johnny. I then rolled my johnny. up to just under my ribs, groaning as I pulled at my scrapes and cracked ribs. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Shit." Amanda started breathing heavily. "Shit, shit, shit." She clenched her eyes shut and turned around. "Sorry, Ryan, I just can't...I can't process the scars yet, I can't even look at myself in the mirror." She said quietly. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I couldn't look at them either until this morning, actually. When the nurse helped me bathe all the blood and pain away. I looked at them for a good while and realized that they are part of me, and I don't hate them as much as I usually do." I looked down at my scarred stomach. "He could have killed me. He could have killed me so many times and I didn't die. And even when I wanted to die, I didn't die. You didn't die. Cassidy shouldn't have died, but we didn't die, Amanda." She looked over at me. "he took everything from me, but he didn't take that. He won't ever get that, again." I laughed at her. Laughed, maybe coming a little unhinged. br /I pulled down the johnny. and then unsnapped one of the sides at the top of my shoulder and lowered the johnny's sleeve down and exposed the awful bruise on my chest. Emmanuel leaned over and pressed quivering lips to my cheek before kissing my forehead and brushed a few wiped hairs away from my face. He gingerly touched a sore spot on my head and I grunted. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Did he pull your hair out?" I nodded slowly. "Yeah. Is it that noticeable?" I saw it in the mirror, to me it was noticeable, but I wanted to know if when they saw me that was one of the things they could see right away. It was bad enough that the broken nose screamed that I had been apart of a domestic assault, I didn't want the patchy hair to scream who I was when I left this place, I didn't want to be harassed by the newspapers. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Only when you are as close as we are." Emmanuel said to comfort me. I thanked him and looked over at Tia Maria who was standing there silently, her eyes worried. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I am so sorry that Emmanuel was put in there." I felt a frown on my face turn weary with dread when I think about what could have happened if Mark wasn't so hellbent of fucking around with me. Or technically speaking, fucking me. He could have killed Emmanuel, and it would have been my fault that he was put in that scenario. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "God! Can you imagine if I wasn't, Mija! I am so fucking glad I was there, not like I did you any good anyway! I fucking promised I would protect you, and I ended up separated and escaped long before you were." He snapped, angry at himself. "If you were killed Mija. Shit...look at what he was able to do to you, Mija. I should have fought him. It would at least have been more fair a fight! Mira! Look at what he did to you! You are so much littler then he was! What did he have, a buck, a buck fifty on you?" He demanded. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Manny, he would have killed you. What were you going to do with a little piece of porcelain. We did what we had to do, and both of us got out of there alive this morning. We are both fine, and for that we need to count our blessings." I smiled at him, hoping to relieve him of some of his stress. But he shook his head and pushed his palm against his stomach, hard. Tia Maria pointed at Dr. Stevens and Dr. Stevens nodded and told Emmanuel to sit down, that they needed to have a chat to make sure that he was doing okay, mentally. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I will be doing okay mentally when I know she's going to be alright. When there are no bruises or dried blood or fucking black eyes!" Emmanuel snapped out. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Those are going to take a long time to heal, unfortunately." The doctor explained, coming into the room with a nurse. "Especially since her ribs are cracked from that punch that you are looking at." He gestured to the way I was holding my johnny. open./span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Would you like everyone to step out while we had a chat?" The doctor asked quietly. I shook my head at him. Something about his demeanor made me uncomfortable with him, even though the nurses said that he was a really nice guy. His tone of voice was too close to Mark's for me to be comfortable, and when Amanda backed up over to me, I knew I wasn't the only one affected. I had told Dr. Stevens that certain people's vibes that they gave off made me frightened over any other specific reason to fear someone. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Alright then. So the preliminary screen that we did on the rape kit came back negative for all STIs. We are still going to need to do another redraw on the hep c and the HIV after treatment. You are going to need to follow up with a gyno in the future to make sure that the lacerations are healed and not exposed to infection. You will find that you may be sore during sexual intercourse and or experience some bleeding, though I know most of the time after an assault like this, you won't feel like having sex, which is completely normal and I encourage that you go to an assault support group in the future." He paused, his bedside manner completely lacking. "That being said, during the kit, they found extensive damage and scar tissue, which leads us to consider that you've been assaulted before. And though our findings are inconclusive, I have found that women who had similar type of damage, have a higher chance of being infertile or have a harder time getting pregnant in the future. I'm sorry." He stood there for a moment in silence letting that news settle in on us like a wet blanket. Everyone else seemed more upset about it then I was. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "That's alright. I do not want kids." I whispered, quietly. "I know what being unwanted looks like, doc. I'm not going to put another child through the childhood I had. Plus, there's so many fucked up things about me, I doubt I'd even make a good parent. It's alright. I don't need that." but for some reason, my eyes started watering profusely. He nodded his head and apologized again solemnly. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Another thing is that the police are going to be coming in momentarily. If you are in too much pain, I can stall them off for another few hours while you eat dinner and finish visitation, but there is not much longer that I can stall them off on." He grunted. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Its alright, I rather them come in while my visitors are here. Can I request that my anxiety medicine, though? I am having a hard time right now." I explained. He nodded and told the nurse what to give me for a dose, and it was a larger dose than what I normally took, obviously he felt I was so distressed that I may need to actually get some rest. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" The police came in shortly after the doctor left and they re-interviewed me, and I walked through everything that I told them earlier. I was frustrated that it was more than the second time that I've had to say the same story, especially since it was hard enough talking about it with people who cared for me, it was hard to see things click into place when they looked at me, like their eyes narrowed at the spot I talked about when I mentioned being hit, or choked, or molested. I could feel their eyes trail over my skin as if my words drew a map for them to follow. But I didn't want them to leave me alone either. I was worried about what it was going to be like, the nightmares, the delusions, if I was alone. Luckily enough it wasn't long before the nurse came in with my anxiety meds and I felt a little bit more controlled than I did while waiting for them to arrive. Because I knew with them came stability, and after the night I had, everything around me seemed upended and I wasn't processing any of it. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;""span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;"He stated that he was borrowing his old house, I don't think the people who were living there are fairing very well..." I manged out. "He said he wanted to bring me back home where I belonged." a shiver of contempt rolled up my back. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "We checked out his old home and we didn't find any trace of him..." The Lieutenant murmured behind the well seasoned officer who was speaking to me. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "The house has hiding places within it. Doors that don't go anywhere. A basement that can only be accessed from the inside of the house, and there's the backroom that is in the closet of his master bedroom?" Amanda offered as advice. They took notes and mentioned going to give it another look over. But they also mentioned that they never got to finding the owners either, and they were going to put them out as persons of interest to hopefully find them alive. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" Due to the nature of the assault, the hospital kept me under watch due to my unstable mental health, which was reiterated by Dr. Stevens, as she wanted to make sure that I was somewhere where Mark couldn't easily get a hold of me again. On the seventh day after the attack there was finally something on the news about the incident. Emmanuel was sitting beside me on his phone when the new station started broadcasting about bodies being found on the old Mark Threshner property. I turned up the television and looked over at Emmanuel worriedly. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Turn it up, Mija." He said, quietly. So I did. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Devastating news for the families of Threshner's victims, as the remains of two Jane Doe's were found at the corner of the property which speculation believes are two of the women that Threshner kept in his home several years ago where there were only three survivors, only one of which, Amanda Knorvil, came forward to speak about obscene horrors that Threshner pleaded guilty to at the beginning of the year which gave him life without parole./span/span/spanspan style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"em However his recent escape and attack on one of his surviving victims lead police to searching his old home where a new grave was discovered having the elderly couple who had owned the home after Threshner was found inside, and when continued searching the property police recovered the two Jane Does. Threshner is still considered at large and anyone who has any information or spots this individual is asked to please contact local authorities and to give him a wide birth. He is considered armed and extremely dangerous." /em/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"em "/em/span/spanspan style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;"They found Zoe and Gretchen." I sobbed out, my face stung as hot tears poured down my face. "Thank god. They can finally be buried and their families can know what happened to them. I know Amanda reached out to them and told them that they died, but that we didn't know where their bodies were…but now they can have a proper burial. I am sorry for the elderly couple though. They were innocent in this. I wonder where he is now." I grunted, angrily. Emmanuel grabbed my hand and took a deep breath. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Mija. Sombrevivente. You are a survivor. No matter where he is, he failed time and time again for killing you. And you'll survive this too." He promised, before pulling my hand up and kissing my knuckles firmly. I smiled at him and thanked him. The nurse came in with my medicine and Emmanuel stated that he'd be back, he was going to run downstairs for something to drink in the kitchen. While the Nurse was double checking my name and birth date, something they always did to make sure that the right medicine was getting to the right person, she smiled towards where Emmanuel left. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I'm so glad that you have family here to support you." She told me. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "He's just a friend. I met him earlier this year, actually." I explained, quietly. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Oh, I'm sorry. I just assumed you were family since he's been calling you daughter since he arrived. But maybe my Spanish is a little rusty." She shrugged. I felt my lip quiver at that and I thanked her, that I didn't know that that was what he was calling me, I thought it just meant friend. "Friend is Amigo!" She laughed like I was obviously hidden underneath a rock. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" When Emmanuel came back, he looked sallow in color. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Mija. They are going to dismiss you from here shortly, we're going to be leaving with the police." He said, his tone firm. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Why?" I asked, sitting up, confused, but my anxiety meds dulling my reaction. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Lillies were delivered to the nurse's station with your name written on them. I saw them sitting there and as soon as I saw the lillies, I freaked out. The police were called, and they are shutting the wing down. I need you to put your shoes on. Do it now. Move." He ordered, snapping me out of my frozen state. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I can't bend down, the ribs." I said anxiously, chewing on my bottom lip. He cursed and grabbed my shoes and got them on my feet in record time. "But where are we going to go? He obviously knows where we are...you need to get back home to Tia and make sure that she's safe. What about Amanda and Dr. Stevens...we need to let them know what is going on. I hope Amanda is safe. If anyone is in trouble because of me, I'd never be able to forgive myself." I whimpered out, feeling helpless and small. It didn't matter that I had already had a face off with Mark two weeks prior, the fact that he was there sending me a message, somehow getting it to the desk of the nurses station, means that his reach could go as far as he wanted it to go. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" The police came in with a nurse not too long after and the police handed a phone that had a recording of from a security tape, but they asked me if I recognized the man that was carrying the vase. He was wearing dark sun glasses, but after he placed them on the nurses station, he pushed them up onto the top of his head and looked directly into the security camera before giving a smile that sent cement down into my legs and my heart to accelerate. Steven. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "That's my lawyer. Was my lawyer. I found out right before Mark was in my apartment that Steven had also been Mark's lawyer during the trial… He knows Mark, knows what Mark did...Lillies are Mark's favorite flower, and this is definitely Mark's message to me but he would know he wouldn't be able to get it into me himself. Steven must be helping him." I gasped out. "Though Mark basically spelled out that Steven wasn't...because he said it was too bad he thought me so broken, but that it was good for him because he didn't want anyone else looking at me the way he was." I cringed. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Well Steven better start talking about where Threshner is, because he's going to find himself facing charges for a quadruple homicide if he doesn't." The older police officer groused. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Mark only killed three of those people. Zoe killed herself to escape his abuse. I know it still counts, but that's what happened to Zoe." I explained. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "For Aiding and abiding, Steven could face just as long as Mark. And now Mark's deal has also gone out the window," They explained. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Well then there is nothing that is keeping them in line, right? They are likely to keep coming because they have nothing left to lose?" I felt distraught by the idea. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "He is going to go for the death penalty, Ryan. There's no way that he can continue hurting people like this. He should be put down like the wounded animal that he obviously is." Emmanuel grunted at me. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I'd be all for that if they could actually find him. Where are we going to go? Steven knows everything about me. He was my lawyer too, which meant that he had access to private information and data. He knows literally everything about me, I am pretty sure that he'd find my social security number on something and even if I left town would be able to track me down. And if Mark has him in his back pocket then who knows which one of them is coming after us? What about you and your family?" I asked, rubbing at my arms, anxiously. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "We are not going to worry about that right now. We're going to go with the police and do what they say." Emmanuel snapped at me. I nodded obediently. "God, I hate that. You better fucking have a place to keep her safe, because I can't stand having to do that." Emmanuel hissed at the older Officer. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Do what?" He seemed clueless. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "To make her do something that she is so anxious about. She is scared and otherwise, we'll be standing here all day. I don't like forcing her to do something she doesn't want to do. She's had enough of that shit for a lifetime." He said darkly in return. The officer winced and then agreed quietly. I hated feeling like they were talking about me and not with me, and that I was something to be handled. I knew it came with the territory and since I happened to be someone who frequently lost their cue and who also couldn't function without some type of medicine to keep her from dissociating, I knew that it was needed. I just wondered if there would ever be a time that I'd stop looking over my shoulder, and wondered if there would ever be a time that I didn't have to rely on someone else to take care of me because I was inept at being a human being./span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" I followed the officers and told Emmanuel to leave and go home to Tia Maria, because I was worried about her safety, and that it would be better for me and my anxiety if he was safely at home instead of someone with a target on her back. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "No. I am not leaving you to handle this shit alone, Mija. We are family now, yes?" He demanded./span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Of course. But you know that I am not going to be able to think straight if all I am doing is worrying about where you are, where Tia Maria is, and if someone is taking care of you guys. And when I am worried about that, I lose focus. Seriously. Please stay behind and when I can, I'll come to you." I promised, holding out my pinkie finger, something that Cassidy had taught me meant that there was no way of breaking a promise once it was pinkie sworn. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" Emmanuel listened to my wishes, albeit unhappily, when the police decided that it was actually better off that way. I gave Emmanuel a hug goodbye and told him I would come find him as soon as possible and then went with the officers elsewhere. I ended up at the police station before I was put in a unmarked police car and driven out of the city. They kept an officer with me at all times, but they had me stashed in a pretty generic hotel. We had one of the rooms that had a attached second bedroom so that the officer had the outer room while I had the internal room. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" When a couple weeks passed, and there was no news of Mark, they decided that it was safe for me to return home. But I didn't go to my apartment. Someone had packed up my things and brought it to a storage container if I wanted to get it, but I really didn't have anything of value there except Cassidy's paintings, which I had the police come with me to get, and then I made sure to bring them with me to Emanuel's place. It felt like coming home when I finally arrived back, Tia Maria had the house smelling like cinnamon and baked goods, and she had a steaming cup of tea waiting for me at the coffee table when I came up the stairs. I accepted the warm affections and then I sat with her to drink my tea. She didn't ask me any questions, but accepted that I might need time to myself./span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" Emmanuel had gone back to work, was the only information that I had received from her. Or at least understood what she was saying. She ended up going to bed earlier than I did, I stayed up sitting on the couch trying my best not to switch onto the news from the telenova I was watching. No one had heard anything about Mark Threshner for weeks I was pretty sure that he had tucked tail and ran for a little bit but something inside me told me that he'd never quit. Because I knew him as a person. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" Emmanuel didn't come home, and I thought that was different, as he always came home at a set time because of Tia Maria. But because she wasn't worried, I tried not to think on it. Finally I went to sleep in my borrowed bedroom and drifted into an unsettled sleep. I don't know why I woke up, what triggered me into rousing, especially since I took a Tylenol pm in order to help with the paranoia and gapped sleep. But when I woke up, there was a shadow over my bed. I held my breath and blinked, thinking I was having sleep paralysis. Thinking that any moment I'd wake up from a dream, but I wiggled my pinkie finger and knew. There was someone standing over my bed, and it was real. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" Fight or flight kicked in, and I kicked upright as fast as possible and jumped out of the bed, hitting the floor and mad crawling as fast as I could to the kitchen, screaming the whole way. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Little bird." Suddenly I was forced to the floor, pain knocking the air out of my lungs as he pitched me forward onto the hardwood. "You have given me more than a ration of shit! I am so sick of you!" He slammed my face hard into the hardwood until I saw stars again. I heard screaming, this time from Tia Maria. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "CALL FOR HELP!" I screamed at her, but she launched at us, wrestling Mark off of me and attacking with a viciousness that was frantic and fear fueled. She was surprisingly limber in her attack, gouging her fingers into his eyes and raking trenches with her nails down his face, biting at his face and shoulders as she managed to give me enough birth to get to my feet and scramble. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" I got into the kitchen and grabbed the large stake knife that was in the basin of the sink. When I spun around, he was launching at me, Tia no longer to be seen. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "TIA?!" I screamed, my voice choking. He laughed and came towards me slowly, like a lion stalking its prey. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Do you really think a little old lady would save you, you stupid bitch? When four young girls couldn't save you? When you, a healthy young girl,. couldn't save yourself? You really fucking think that an old lady would be a match for me?" He wiped the blood from his lip and he barked a mad-dog laugh and rushed me. As he rushed me, I drew back and swung up. There was a thick thud sound and he choked, spit spraying my face. He stumbled away from me, his hand on the hilt of the knife that was just below his ribs on the right. I then grabbed the frying pan off the hanger over the stove and swung as hard as I could, catching him in the temple, and then once he was slumped against the stove, another strike to make sure he wasn't getting back up. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" I dashed over to where I last saw Tia Maria and she was slumped at the bottom of the stairs against the front door, her neck bent at an unnatural angle. I screamed and cried until I couldn't breathe, and then I moved towards the wall where the phone hung. An old fashioned phone with a chord. I dialed 9-1-1 and waited anxiously for the dial tone to pick up to signal someone answering. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Hello, 9-1-1 what's your name and the place of your emergency?" I sobbed into the phone. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "My name is Ryan. I don't remember the house number, can you trace this phone call? Mark Threshner...fuck." I hiccuped out collapsing against the wall. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Ryan, honey stay on the phone with me. What is Mark Threshner doing right now?" She grunted. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "He's hurt. I hurt him. He killed Tia Maria. She's at the bottom of the stairs, it looks like her neck is broke. She was protecting me. She saved me. She protected me. I stabbed him and then I hit him with a frying pan. Help. Please send someone. I don't know if Mark is dead or not." I whimpered. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Can you go and check his pulse for me, Ryan?" She asked. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Absolutely not, I can't go near him. He tried killing me. He tried killing me and he killed Tia." I shrieked out. I heard a low guttural moan in the kitchen and looked to make sure that he wasn't getting up. "He moaned." I managed when I didn't see that he was moving. "But he's not moving." /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" I remained on the phone, sobbing hysterically until the police forced themselves in the house through the lower level's door, instead of the front door. I watched them come up the stairs, two remained with Tia Maria, one came to me, pulling me to my feet and getting me to the couch, and the rest went to where Mark was. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" I sat in silence as they took care of removing Tia Maria and Mark's bodies. Emmanuel had been contacted and was told to come and get me, but I panicked, because all I could think was facing the man who took me in like his fucking family and in protecting me his beloved Tia was hurt. I didn't think it was a fair enough trade off. Especially for him. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" Emmanuel came into the house, sobbing. He looked over at the coroner and screamed in Spanish. The officer told him that I was upstairs on the couch, and that he could take me and meet them downstairs and he'd drive us to the hospital to be with Tia Maria until the coroner came to pick her up. Emmanuel came over to me, looked me over and and then fell to the floor in front of me, his arms supporting his head as he cried into my lap. I wrapped my arms around him, rubbing his back wearily, pushing his thick salt-and-pepper hair back. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I'm so sorry, Emmanuel." I sobbed out, my voice cracking. "she saved me. She saved me, she got him off of me." I quivered. He managed to get to his feet, sit on the couch beside me and pulled me into his arms and held me to him tightly. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "We'll stay here. Maria needs to go to Delasuara Funeral home. They know her end of life wishes there. I need to be here and contact my loved ones." He said to the officer. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "They will be here a little while processing the scene. I'll send someone here shortly to clean up the blood in the kitchen." The officer tipped his hat, apologized, and then left. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Can you tell me what happened, Mija?" His voice broke but otherwise he was holding it together much better than I was. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "I woke up and he was standing over me. I kicked him and screamed and came down the hallway, he knocked me to the floor, and Tia launched on top of him, digging at his eyes, scratching him and biting him. I got to my feet and ran, I should have stayed, I should have kicked him while she had him pinned down!" I rubbed my face, anxiously. "but I got to the kitchen and grabbed a knife. I stabbed him. Then I hit him in the head with a frying pan till he stopped moving. I then ran for Tia, and found her at the bottom of the stairs." I hissed out. "I knew. I knew that he wasn't done...I should have never come back. I should have stayed away. I should have. This is all my fault." I choked out. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "Mija, remember that Mark Threshner was an evil man. Did you kill him, Mija? Do you know if he's dead?" He looked anguished. I shook my head and shrugged. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "All I know is that they took his body out on a stretcher. They had oxygen on his face but I don't know if he was actually breathing...they might have been trying to save him. I don't know. There was a lot of blood, I doubt he is making it to the hospital, and that means I'm going to be tried for murder." The words were barely out of my mouth when I dissociated. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"emHis body was hot over mine, he smiled as he kissed my temple and landed roughly on his side. A short while ago he had just turned into the monster we were so used to, and the alcohol in my system was barely keeping my memories blurred. I hoped they would somehow choke me alive when I threw up later. /em/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"em "You are always mine, little bird. I'll never let you go. The only way I'll ever stop loving you, and having you all to myself, is when I'm cold in the ground. And trust me, Little bird. You'll be in the earth right beside me." Later while I was puking into the toilet the mix of alcohol and pills that he had used to subdue me, Cassidy was combing my hair back while I cried and wished to die, the first time I ever uttered the words, but only Cassidy was there to hear my confession to the porcelain bowl. /em/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"em "You don't want to die, little one. You're a survivor. We all are. One day I'll get you out of here. Remember what I told you? Little birds can fly." She urged. /em/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;""Little birds can fly." I choked out, I was standing in the kitchen, my throat raw, and I screamed it louder, Emmanuel standing there with a police officer staring at me confused, Emanuel's hand outstretched to keep the officer from intervening. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; line-height: 200%;"span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"span style="font-size: medium;"span style="font-style: normal;" "That's right, Mija. Tia Maria made sure that her little sombrevivente, her little survivor never had to worry about that monster again. She was a hero, Cassidy may have set you free, but Tia, Tia gave you the ability to fly." He nodded. /span/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; font-style: normal; line-height: 200%;"-FIN- /p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; font-style: normal; line-height: 200%;" /p