Present: “You look famished Nayja. Look I made smothered chicken, rice an gravy, roasted carrots and sweet bread muffins.” Colin’s voice was soft but there was something else, he also looked tired physically and mentally. My insides were turning with hate and fear but I had a plan, and my plan was way more important than what I was feeling. I walk over and slowly grab the plate from Colin then go back to my corner.
I sit with my back up against the cold dry wall and start to stuff my mouth with the food. Colin didn’t give me any utensils to eat with, but what blew me the most was how magnificently well he cooked. Colin set in the chair watching me eat with his hands placed evenly apart on both leg’s.“You’re dirty Nayja!” He says it so calm and as a matter of fact. He was telling the truth though, I hadn’t bathed since the night of the frat party which was a week ago.
Colin stands up an disappears back up the stairs leaving me to eat dinner alone. It didn’t take long to scarf down the meal and then I drop down and start to do sit ups at one of those crazy paces. About twenty minutes pass before the door at the top of the stairs creeks open again, and down he comes. Colin held a bottle of water under his left arm, as well as a big tin bucket full of soapy water. He sits the bucket down over by the wash station before walking the bottle of water over and handing it to me.
“I’ll bring you a case of drink’s down here too. I know I haven’t been keeping you too hydrated, but if you can work with me I’ll work with you too.” I look from him then back to the tin bucket. “What’s that for”? Colin walks over to the bucket and pulls out a soapy sponge.“You need to wash up. When you’re done dump the bucket and I’ll be back later to check on you.” I watch as he grabs my empty dish and hurries up the steps as if he’d gotten nervous or something.
The next few days was the same pattern over and over again. I was starting to get lonely and even though his company wasn’t the best, at least it was company nevertheless. “Wait Colin… I have a favor to ask you!” He’d come down to get my breakfast tray and was heading back upstairs. Colin stops and faces me with enquiring eyes. “Do you think you can bring me some books? Oh and I wouldn’t mind a radio or tv or something. I’m bored down here Colin” I pout.
He doesn’t respond but the smile on his face told me that I’d at least get one of my requests. He goes up an I go down into my daily workout, strength is key. Hours later: “Tell me little Luv, have you been enjoying spending more time with your grandmother”? The young girl walks beside her father nodding her head yes but she doesn’t speak.“You can pick out any two books that you want to take back to Nanas.” She noticed her dad was more upbeat then normal as he searched the bookstore shelves.
On the way home she couldn’t hold her tongue any longer. Yes she loved her Nana but it had been she an her dad against the world for as long as she could remember. “Dad, when can I come home to stay again”? Colin’s body tenses up at the thought of his babygirl finding out his secret. “Soon Luv, but for now we’ll stick to you coming home for dinner an going back to sleep at Nanas.” His daughter shuts down accepting the terms her father had laid out before her.
A few more weeks of the same pattern went on until one day it didn’t. I had somehow fallen asleep and was awaken by Colin tussling around me. For some reason being awaken by his presence didn’t frighten me any longer. I sit up and wipe the sleep from my eyes as I watch him sat up a bookshelf and strategically place books upon it. The bookshelf was made of the most beautiful red cedar I’d ever seen. “Wow Colin this is nice, thank you.” He lights up once more giving me a funny feeling.
Once he was done I start excitedly prowling through the books like a kid on Christmas morning. Colin had definitely spent time buying a plethora of different genre’s. “I got you something else as well.” I’d nearly forgotten he was standing behind me until I spin around to face him and was caught totally off guard. Colin waves a pink stuffed animal in face, one that made my heart want to cry out. It was nearly identical to the one my mom had sent me off to college with, that set on my bed back at the dorms.
“GET OUT… YOU JUST GO! HOW’D YOU KNOW ABOUT TEDDY”? I scream at the top of my lungs ruining his happy mood. Colin snaps back a me in an angered tone.“Don’t yell at me, I was trying to do something nice for you.” My body was full of rage as I snatch the teddy and throw it at him.“GET OUT, YOU’RE A PSYCHO. YOU DID THIS ON PURPOSE” I scream. Colin takes the teddy and in one pull he rips the head apart, then throws the pieces back at me before tromping off up the stairs slamming the door behind him. –To be continued…