Walking into the living room I see my mother sitting in the sofas middle seat transfixed with her hands, checking her nails and rubbing them constantly, looking to take her mind away from what must be happening upstairs. My fathers no where to be seen, but the low thumping on the ceiling betrays his presence. A muffled scream echoes down, and I close my eyes in disgust. Mothers hands are covering her ears now as she fights back the thoughts of her daughter, I step forward, knowing she needs help to take her mind away I have to be careful with my words.
“Hi mom. Have you done the washing up already?” She looks to me, hands still raised then lowers them embarrassed.
“Sorry, I didn’t catch that.”
“I was planning on making something to eat,” i raise the bag in my hands into view “have the plates already been washed.”
“We just had some sandwiches, you know I didn’t feel up to making something big, so there’s still lots of plates left.” She gives a tiny smile and goes back to looking at her hands, I move past her to get to the kitchen, keeping myself between her and the bag. I begin work on the meal, the clatter of preparation does little to cover the noise of my father and sister directly above me, I have to concentrate not to cut myself due to my seething anger. Dads steps come from the living room just as I start to plate the food. All I hear him say is “not yet” and my mother whimpering as she begins breathless prayers. I grab the plate, a glass of water and towel draped over my arm and begin to walk to my room without a word.
When without looking up dads says “don’t feed her anymore”
I stop but don’t turn “she needs strength to fight, even you can see that.”
“Your misplaced kindness only gives strength to that thing inside of her”
“As does your treatment of her” I hear his response begin to form but I turn to interrupt “if this is what you believe it to be, then strapping her to a bed with only it for company, destroys her resolve.” He stands from his chair, bible still in hand, I have to look up to meet his eye, as I refuse to recognize his white collar as anything but a joke.
“Do not speak to me of resolve. I tied her to that bed, I perform the rights with every moment I can spare and I have to perform my duties to my ENTIRE flock even whilst in our darkest hours.” My mom puts her hand on his shoulder and brings him to sit down on the sofa next to her, I didn’t notice when she got up.
I open my sisters room with my shoulder careful not to spill her first meal in a day and a half. Her wrists and ankle are red with the skin beginning to tear. I bring the towel over her naked body and work the buckle of the gag free. Her red puffy eyes stare at me as she quietly begs “please”. It breaks my heart that I could easily set her free, but then what. father would either stop us inside the house or get aid from people in the neighbourhood, we’d be caught, returned and both trapped as she is with then no chance for rescue. All I can do is bring the food to her lips one spoonful at a time. I tell her of my day, the trip to the library, the run in with Jared, she doesn’t care, her eyes are still begging with me. I can’t stand it anymore, replacing the gag I start to leave my hand hovering over the towel but I leave it (small favors), she begins to cry as I turn to door. Fathers in the hallway, I hand him the plate.
“I can’t do nothing.”
“I know son, it’s what makes you a good man, but demons live to destroy good men.” I storm to my room, slam the door with everything I have, rattling everything on my shelves and whisper
“I won’t do nothing.”