Page 1 of Hush Now Love

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He calls himself Romeo but he is no Romeo of mine and I am not his Juliet.Swallowing, I tug at the ropes around my wrists and I want to scream again but my throat is too sore. When he first brought me here, I screamed, I begged, I cried for help but to no use. All that happened was me exhausting myself and then I fell asleep, despite fighting the impulse as hard as I could.

I don’t like falling asleep because that is when he comes into the room, standing in the corner in the dark, watching me with a Venetian tragedy mask on his face. He never takes it off, uses black gloves on his hands and he never speaks to me.

If he wants to communicate, he writes with a red sharpie on the wall.

Hello Juliet, my name is Romeo.

Stop screaming or you will make me very angry.

Don’t be scared, Juliet. I love you. And I will always love you.

Romantic words, words any girl dreams of hearing from a lover but he is not a lover. He is a sick pervert and bile rises in my throat. The only silver lining is that he hasn’t touched me, he hasn’t even tried to kiss me or undress me. But I don’t know how long it will be until he does.

I’m not sure how long I have been here, but I think at least four days. I was kidnapped at my own home. I’d woken up in the middle of the night from a sound outside. In hindsight, I should have stayed in bed but I went out into the garden to see what it was when someone came up from behind me. I smelled something sharp and a cloth was pushed down on my face.

It must have been chloroform because when I woke up, I was here, in a cave looking dungeon of some kind and my hands and legs were tied to the bed. Even though I know it’s not much use, I still struggle, still pull at the ropes and hope that they will break.

Tears burns in my eyes and I bite my cheek. What have I done? Am I in some way to blame for this? Because I’m bad, just like my father always told me that I was?

My father is a hotshot politician, a cold man with a rock instead of a heart. He’s the reason why I ran away from home, why I moved to another state and changed names. I didn’t want to be Melody Michaels anymore. Being her was risky, being her was dangerous.

Melody Michaels had a bad reputation, a party girl, a nonchalant, spoiled brat who did nothing but damage her father’s very important career. I know I wasn’t perfect, but I never expected to be woken up after a wild night of clubbing with a pillow pressed over my face, choking me.

I’d gasped for air, flailing with my arms when the pillow pulled away and who was the one holding it? My own father. He’d looked down at me with dead eyes, warning,

“You are not my daughter anymore. You will leave this house, leave this town. If you ever make contact with anyone in this family or try to come back, I will finish what I started.”

That night I fled, settled down in a place far away and I thought I was safe. And for about a year I was and I had started to appreciate the more mellow way of life, compared to my old one. I had adjusted, even dared to hope that I one day would be happy.

But then the kidnapping happened. And now I don’t even know how long I will live.

Squeezing my eyes, my heart clenches in pain. I miss my sister Meadow. I haven’t seen her for so long and I don’t want to die without saying goodbye to her. The ache and longing for her, gets bigger and bigger until I let out a choked sob.

If she’d been here she would have whispered, “Don’t cry, Melly, Please.” And I try to stop, try to save up the little strength that I have and I take a deep breath, then another and then another. I wish I could put my hands over my ears because I can hear the ocean brush against the shore and I have learned to hate that sound.

I hear it all the time and I know we must be near the beach but I also know that the beach around here is not the nice, welcoming one. The waves here are ruthless, the ocean cruel and nobody comes down for some surfing and swimming.

And even fewer people come for a stroll with their dogs because it’s just not that kind of a beach.

Nobody will come to my rescue. Either I save myself or he will kill me.

Clenching my teeth, I tug at the ropes so hard that they dig into my skin but they won’t budge. The only thing working in my favor is that Romeo is not here now. I can’t hear him rummaging around outside and I haven’t heard him for several hours.

He fed me food, I barely ate and then he left. Turning my head, I bite at the rope with my teeth but all it does is hurting my jaw and I stop, looking around for something sharp to use but it is so dark in the room that I can’t see anything.

I have to get out. I don’t know how much longer my mind and body will be able to take this without breaking. I already can’t remember what it feels like not being afraid.

Can’t remember what it feels like being normal and going to sleep without being scared and waking up without a pain in your gut. I have to get out. I have to free myself, I have to live. This is not how I want things to end.

Clenching my teeth, I slam my whole body including my head against the head of the bed, letting out a cry of pain at how much it hurts. But at least the bed is now closer to the cave wall. If I get close enough, I can rub the rope against it and hopefully my bonds will break.

Taking a deep breath, I throw my body back again but since I’m tied, it causes tingles of pain up my legs that are being stretched and the back of my head is sore. I do it again and again and again, screaming silently when it is finally over and I need a moments pause.

Just a little moment before I pass out.

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