Tick…Tock…Tick…Tock…The rhythm pulling my consciousness back from the depth of slumber. My eye lids struggling to open, fighting against the weight of my thoughts, pushing them shut.
“Clean your room, Mia!” shouted my mother over the sound of the hairdryer. “You could at least put your washing in a separate pile.”
“Why can’t you knock before you enter? Fine, whatever, mother. I’ll do it, maybe, when I get back.”
Sixteen: the ripened age to rebel against the atrocities of the nag monster. Detesting the act of being told what to do, brought me closer to, normalcy. To me, it wasn’t about avoiding the sheep clan, but the freedom to walk, talk, love, run…my verve; my terms.
Love: never dictates. Dave- my prince-is love; persistently cheering me on in the direction of excellence, especially towards the one subject he is fondly known as the guru: Maths. The thrill of stealing winks from him, my chin dipping into my chest as I smile shyly, whenever his palm rubs against my arm in class, priceless.
“Mia, you’re smart. Though, pay more attention to my teaching, not me.” Dave tenderly scolded, handing me my marked sheet with a B+ on it.
“You’re the guru. Teach me,” I flirted, my praiseworthy long lashes, baiting him.
Finally, my eyes give way to allow the light glowing from under the bolted door to infiltrate the pupil. Coughing, I wondered what my mother would’ve had to say about the begrimed filth, making its way up my nostrils with each breath. As a single mother, she’d tried to inculcate in me the valuable lessons of courage. This maverick: whose wrists were now in shackles, mouth covered in tape, yearned to hear her speak those wise words.
The bolted door opens. Two bulky men walk in.
“Damn, this one is a beautiful bitch. Pity we gotta sell her.”
Bending on one knee, he ran the back of his fingers against my cheeks. Taking out a syringe from his pocket, he kisses me on my forehead, before injecting me. This was my sixth, seventh… only them and God knew the right count of hits, days and the kind of drug swimming in my bloodstream.
I’ve wanted to run away. I did. Dave, the cheat; got engaged to his true love, Dalia. Not Mia, who was only a student. He’d introduced his love to the class, announcing his departure to faraway land. Heartbreak: then painful; now, insignificant. I should’ve listened to that inner voice, screaming to not ask for directions. “But why not”? I’d to question it back.
Suddenly, I feel the ground trembling. My shackles break away. I tear the tape. The men, shivering and shouting, disappearing between the cracks formed in the earth. I am high, even if my body is starting to sink slowly through the gaping hole. Earthquakes were devastating; creating chaos and fear. Right now, it gave me the reason to be thankful. I no longer experienced any dread. Falling openly and freely, I giggle.