I woke feeling disoriented. What happened? Why was I sleeping? Hadn’t I just been at the park? Where was I? What time was it? I started to turn over in the lumpy bed but my hand caught. I looked and discovered it was handcuffed to the headboard. Immediately a flood of memories came back.
I’d gone for a walk in the park, watching all the mothers with their children and feeling so happy that I’d be joining them. I was in love with Chase and was trying to figure out how to tell him how I felt. There was something different between us, but I couldn’t be sure he loved me, so I was afraid to tell him. Maybe he still saw our marriage as a business deal. But with a baby on the way, and the change in his behavior, I had to tell him I love him. That I wanted to be a good wife and mother, and hopefully, he’d love me and want a real marriage.
My walk at the park had been lovely. The weather was hot but not oppressive. People of all ages and types were enjoying the amenities Central Park offered. After an hour or so, I started to get tired and decided to head home. I just exited the part and was coming to the street corner, when a hand grabbed me.
“Miss me?” Glen’s menacing voice hissed in my ear.
I tried to pull away, but he held tight. I started to cry out, but he put a knife against my belly. “I’m here to save you, Sara. Don’t make me hurt you.”
Tears filled my eyes. My perfect life was about to crumble. My first thought was for my baby. Did I tell Glen about it? Would that make him not want me and let me go? Or would it anger him and cause him to hurt me?
Then I thought of Chase. He’d be angry when he learned I’d gone missing. If I was saved, he’d probably decide my baggage was too much, and that I wasn’t worth the effort. He’d leave me and probably get custody of the baby. After all, the people in my life were all letches and kidnappers. He might even think I set him up to get money.
Glen dragged me to a minivan. Pressing a button on his keychain, the side door opened. He pushed me in, coming in behind me.
“Give me your hands,” he demanded.
I did as he said, and he put handcuffs on me.
“You be a good girl, and everything will be fine, Sara.” He nodded at me. Then he climbed into the front seat and started the van.
My phone was in my pocket, so I reached for it to call Chase.
“What are you doing?” The van swerved and screeched to a stop, causing a blare of horns around him. Glen yanked the phone from my hand. He got out of the van, dropped the phone and stepped on it. Watching him out the window, he put it under the back tire, then he got in the van, and drove off, smashing the phone underneath the van.
Panic made it hard to think, but I had my baby to consider. “Where are you taking me?”
“I’m doing an intervention. We’ll get all this bullshit about living the highlife in New York out of your head. We need to get that greedy, sinful demon out of you.”
God, he sounded like my parents. I’d known Glen was religious, but I hadn’t remembered him talking like that before.
“I want my sweet, pure Sara back. Then we’ll get married. I’ve got a house picked out for us near your parents. You’ll like that won’t you Sara?”
I didn’t say anything as I tried to work out the safest thing to say. I thought he’d take me back to Staten Island, but instead, he pulled up in front of a nondescript building still in Manhattan.
“You behave, you hear?” He said as he pulled me from the van and led me up a set of stairs. “There’s no one else in his building, so yelling won’t matter.”
He opened a door to a small apartment and led me back to a room. “We’re going to get you right again, Sara. Other people said I should just let you go. Even your parents think you’re a lost cause. You’re a sinner, but I told them I’d save you. We’ll be a family, you’ll see.”
God had he gone crazy? “I can’t marry you, Glen.”
There was a flicker of anger in his eyes. “Why not?”
“I’m already married.”
“No!” He grabbed my hand, the handcuff yanking the other one up with it. He saw the ring Chase had put there on our wedding day. “By a minister?”
He gripped the ring, and yanked it off my finger. I cried out in pain as he bent my finger back.
“Then it’s not real. If it wasn’t blessed by God, then it’s not real.” His eyes narrowed. “You’ve been living in sin.” Then as if he realized what that meant he said, “Did he touch you?”
“I’m his wife.” I was afraid to tell him about the baby for fear of what he’d do to me. Would he think the child was a demon?
He slapped me hard, and I stumbled. “Don’t you say that. You’re mine.” Then he grabbed me and pulled me to the bed. He undid one cuff and I started to fight him. He hit me again in the face, and he was able to secure the cuff to the headboard.
“I’ll be back.” He left but was back within minutes. “Drink this.”
“What is it?”
“Drink it!” He slapped me again.
“Glen please. I’ll be quiet. I’ll just sit here.”
He squeezed my face by my mouth and brought the small cup to my lips. “Drink!”
The liquid hit my lips, and I tried to turn away, but he held my face. I choked as the liquid hit the back of my throat. It tasted like cold medicine.
“Now keep quiet, Sara.” He left the room.
I worked the cuff, trying to figure out how to free myself, but the headboard was metal and sturdy. Before long I was tired, and I realized he’d given me something to sleep. Even as I let myself fall, I cried. I cried because I was afraid he’d hurt my baby with the medicine. I cried because I imagined the panic Chase was going to feel when he realized I was gone.
When I woke, all those memories flooded back. The room was dark and quiet. Again, I tried to figure out a way to free myself, but stopped when I heard the door open.
“You awake Sara?”
“Please let me go, Glen.”
The light flared on, making me squint from the glare. He grabbed a chair and brought it to the bed.
“You’ve been a bad girl, Sara.”
“I read what you did to your professor. You offered to fuck him so you could come to New York.”
“No.” God, that was in the newspaper?
“Did you offer to fuck all the Raven brothers until one agreed to marry you too?”
“Glen, it’s not like that. I love—”
His hand came down hard on my face, and I cried out.
“You don’t know love, Sara.”
I had to get out some way, somehow. “Glen I need to use the restroom.”
He growled, but uncuffed me and dragged me to a tiny dirty bathroom. He shoved me in and shut the door. “Hurry up.”
I looked around for something I could use to help me get free or use to protect myself, but there was nothing. I used the toilet and decided my best option was to try and make a run for it.
I opened the door, but before he could get my hand, I shoved him, and rushed past him toward the front door.
“God dammit!” he roared and launched after me. He caught my hair and yanked hard, causing me to fall back. He grabbed me, his arm coming around and his fist catching me in the jaw. Pain burst through my face as my head jerked around and I fell.
I lay on the floor, crying and trying to protect myself, I curled into a ball. He tugged me up and dragged me to the bed. He punched me again in the belly, and my heart cried out for my baby. He latched the cuff onto the headboard.
“You fucking ungrateful bitch.” He finally seethed. He left and then came back with another glass. “Drink.”
“No, Glen, Please.”
“Drink or I’ll kill you right now.”
I believed him so I drank the medicine. I was in pain, emotionally and physically. I’d endure it to protect my baby, but that didn’t mean I didn’t wish for oblivion.
I had a vague sense that days had passed. While the room was dark, the shade on the window would become lighter during the day. I wondered if Chase was looking for me and what he’d do when he found me. He’d take care of me because of the baby, but would he still want me around?
I’d given up trying to fight Glen and prayed that Chase would find me. But even though I did as Glen asked, he still made me drink the medicine. I was terrified of what it was doing to the baby.
On what I think was the third day, Glen entered the room, and I knew something bad was going to happen. It was clear that he wasn’t only mad, he was drunk. My best bet was to pretend I was saved from my sins.
“Glen a miracle happened.” I said as he stalked toward me.
“I’ll make a miracle happen.”
“You’re right. I was lost, tempted by the devil. But I see the light now.”
He uncuffed me and dragged me up. He’d fed me, but with all the medicine I felt weak and loopy.
“You’re a fucking liar.”
“No. No… you’ve saved me.”
I blocked the first blow, but I couldn’t get away from the others. They came and came, even as I fell to the floor and tried to get away. I ended up curled up on the floor, certain he was going to kill me. Finally, he staggered back.
“I’m sorry Sara.” He sank to the floor. “You shouldn’t make me so mad.”
All I could do was cry. When he reached for me, I flinched and tried to get away.
“Your punishment is done.” He lifted me and put me in the bed, redoing my handcuff.
I lay in the dark, losing hope. He didn’t give me medicine, but sleep overtook me anyway.
I was awakened the next morning by excruciating pain in my belly. Immediately, my hand went to my stomach.
“No, please no.” It was then that I felt the moisture between my legs. “No.” I’d never felt such pain in my heart. I was certain my cry of grief could be heard around the world.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” His eyes narrowed when he saw the blood. “It’s your time of the month. Good. That means in a few weeks I can plant my seed in you and you’ll be mine.”
He took me from the bed, and shoved me in the shower. “Get cleaned up.” He’d left me a pair of sweats and t-shirt to wear. There were even some sanitary napkins.
“Glen, I need to go to a doctor.”
“Don’t play tricks. I know all about a woman’s cycle.”
I couldn’t know what he’d do if I told him I thought I was miscarrying. “Something’s wrong. This is more than usual.”
“You’ll be fine.” He led me back to the room.
I finally decided that I had no choice. “I think I’m miscarrying.”
He stopped and looked at me. Slowly I saw the rage build and realized that he was probably going to kill me.
“You let him plant his seed?”
“He’s my husband.”
His hand struck me. “He’s the devil. God is expelling the demon.” He hit me again. I saw the moment that something snapped, and I knew he wasn’t going to stop. I fought as hard as I could, but in the end, he was too big and strong. The last thing I remembered was his foot propelling toward my head.