All Grown Up #5

To The Top Of The World: Sky High

August 31, 2012

Somewhere in Bellevue. I was sitting with Marcus on a park bench. 44 and 21. We did attract a few stares as we smoked our pot.

They thought I was his daughter, maybe a visiting niece. I was his girlfriend. Salt and pepper hair and an icy blue stare. Warm hands caressing my back. He bought me gold chains and silver rings. I gave him chocolate ice cream and strawberry kisses. We held hands and walked the streets at night. He’d kiss me under the streetlight and stars, whispering promises of a new land onto my neck.

He was also, very married. His wife spent most of her year travelling for her highbrow job. Sometimes he went with her, but now I had him. He didn’t think of leaving. Some days we just stayed in bed, I’d make sandwiches and we’d watch TV all day. Some days we played Xbox with his friends, and drank a whole lot of beer. His friends liked to touch me. I didn’t mind. I was shared property.

Sometimes we’d just be on the balcony, I’d be sitting on a warm, firm lap, and we’d smoke cigars and talk shit and sip whiskey. I liked it when one of Marcus’s friends stayed the night, and I’d get to sleep in between. Safe.

Marcus would go for a run the next morning and he’d shower with me. He’d run fingers through my hair, down my dress, up my thighs.

The sun would disappear in the midst of darkness and the night would burn bright with a million broken stars.

The night would bring a new wave of freedom. Leather jacket, skinny jeans, dreamcatcher in my hair, and a handsome man on my arm. I flirted with the bartender, Marcus laughed a little, drank some more.

He leaned over and muttered, “So what are you doing with that salt and pepper daddy over there?”

He had the devilish smile of a bad boy, with tattoos and muscles to match.

“That salt and pepper daddy keeps me safe. He does me good.” I gave him the bitchy once-over. “You are clearly underqualified.”

He leaned in closer; I could feel his breath wash over me. His face inches away from mine.

“You’d be surprised.” He winked and turned away, but not before slipping me his number.

“Call me if you wanna double up on security.”

Marcus grabbed my hand and pulled me out the door. I hit my shoulder on the way out, it would bruise. I knew it would as soon as the cold wind hit me. He told me I belonged to him. He groped me on the street, drunk on power and what I once thought was love. Because I was this foolish 21-year-old girl who thought running away from home would take me to a better life.

And here I was, in the forceful arms of a man who’d promised to take the monsters away, but he had his own horns and growls.

He raped me in his car and told me I belonged to him.

Just like that I was three and back in my bedroom and the monsters came tumbling out of the closet. Towering above me, hairy in the blue and purple way, horns erect with passion. A monster fell in love with me and I could never love a human again.

I knew the nightmares would return that night, so I slipped out the door while he was in the shower. I ran in my sweatshirt and Billy’s boxers, bag tucked under my arm. I ran till I found a payphone.

It all brought back the nightmares and I wasn’t even asleep yet. And I did the only thing I could think of.

I called Kyle.

He took me home and showed me his poetry. I couldn’t leave him. He took away my nightmares. I went away with him.

Marlie

Rohan Dahiya

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