Come here baby, he says.
A cold clammy dread travels up my veins. The match is over and I can feel his eyes on me. I hold my back erect and continue to stack the clothes. Maybe, just maybe, it isn’t me he’s talking to. The chair groans as he rises and saunters over to me, his greed burning my back. Calloused hands dig into my skin leading me backwards. The air conditioning bites my exposed body. For a moment my rebellious mind forgets its place and fights me, pounding at my head, attempting to claw out of my eyes, ripping through my skin, curdling my stomach. But its treacherous attempts do not touch my face. Never my face. I feel the weight laid over me, the stubble grating, the force prying me apart. I feel him press down harder. I love you, you know that right, he says. Something somewhere shatters. A dispassionate calm settles over me. The pounding in my head becomes a steady buzz. The room takes on a shade of grey. The television plays a soothing lullaby. The cold recedes. From a distant realm a hollow reply drifts in. I love you too. But I know not this creature. It is not me. It can’t be me. I am not here. This body is not mine.