By Veronica Sweet
Painted black walls, painted black mirrors and blacked out windows. Sunlight peeks through the faded paint on the window. Velvet curtains were then brought up. Too heavy to allow sunlight to sneak through. I hate the velvet, there’s something disgusting about it. Velvet is likened to skin, which I can remember too distinctly.
When I stand close to the window, anger raises deep in the pit of my stomach as I hear people outside. They speak so loud and shout curses daily. My mind tells my body to be nervous, scared even when I hear the voices of people I will never meet.
I try to see through the black veil that clouded my memories of old but it hurts my head. Resting my hand on the mirror’s surface that could not show my image. I closed my eyes forcing to recall the hazy image that was too blurred for me to make out. I had not seen my reflection in so long, I had forgotten what I looked like. My hands were lily white and my fingernails a blood red.
Painted red by a man who kept me here. I was meant to be wearing the lace white gloves that tied in a neat ribbon at the wrist, but they make my skin itch.
White’s pure and innocent, not like me. I’m dirty and inside I am as black as the room I live in. He likes me wearing white, white lace mostly. I look like a bride doll in my silk white dress with lace front and matching long sleeves. I think he knows how awkward and wrong I feel in the dress.
I am not a doll, nor a bride nor a girl who deserves to dare wear white. I am nobody, who has a terrible growth of darkness that paints me black inside. Rotting me from in the inside and turning me bad.
My hair is a silvery blonde. I hold it up, a strand in front of me. By touching my scalp in-between the strands of hair, soft bristles of new hair told me it was already growing back, replacing hair I had ripped out. I shouldn’t harm myself. I ruin myself. The silky strands, I hid under the mattress. He always found them.
He knew what I was up to without being in my room. He found the marks I made with my fingers on my face as well. I could never hide them from him. I ripped off a couple of fingernails once while clawing at my face. He wasn’t happy.
A door opened and closed loudly somewhere in the building where I was imprisoned. Hazy memories of what the outside my of room looked like. I knew my room so well the dirty black room with a lone mattress on the floor, the sink on the corner and blacked out mirror. Rusty brown blood of old had been left on the wooden floor, my blood. Heavy footsteps close by,
“One, two, three, four.” I uttered, under my breath as the bolt slid to the right, the second was one pushed and the keys rattled, the door opened, and I crawled into my corner.
“He’s back. Hide”, I whispered, to the boy next to me.
The boy never spoke, never made any sign that he heard me speak, and he never moved an inch. He did once. His skin not a white waxy colour. To the touch his skin, was cold and hard like marble. I curled up to his side, when the flies stayed away long enough. The beautiful, marble boy I liked to call him in my head.
I remained as still as the boy, as rough hands tilted my face upwards. I caught a glimmer of blue in his hazel eyes, and a white face. Was that my own? Why could I never see it in a mirror? I felt the sharp curve of my cheeks, the flutter of my lashes.
“Where are your gloves?” A harsh deep voice said.
“Can’t speak now?” he prompted, when I stared passive at him.
I pointed to the boy. I had let him wear my gloves. I dressed him sometimes in my clothes. I liked putting him in my underwear too. The heavy set man with stubble and messy hair, not like the alabaster immaculate boy, grabbed my arm and pulled me over to the mattress.
His scent of sweat, day-old alcohol and washing powder clung to me no matter how much I rubbed at my arms.
“Beautiful boy why won’t you speak to me? Why did you one day curl up and ignore me?” I whispered, closed my eyes. Biting my lip hard as tears stung my eyes. I can’t remember a time I didn’t live in this room. One day I woke up here and this was where I stayed. The boy, I think, was here first. I pressed my lips, after shooing the fly away, on the boy’s hard, blue lips.
At first when the beautiful marble boy stopped moving I had kissed his cold lips. Hoping he might be a sleeping beauty and be waken from a kiss. Maybe, I was too bad for something so fairy tale. I made him vacant I think. He stopped eating and would push the chipped plate away, I would devour his food share.
I tried to recall the boy’s voice. I was certain he had once spoken. I touched his delicate raven eyelashes, tracing my fingers, caressing his white cheek. I curled up at the side of him, wondering if I would turn into another beautiful vacant, we would be left here then one day hundreds of years later we would be found. In each others arms marble boy and girl frozen in time.
“It won’t be long till I can join you in your beautiful, vacant life”, I muttered, placing my arm around his naked, frail looking chest. Till that day came, I knew my numbered days were painted black.