My palms sweat and as I run my hands along my new scratches, I can feel the dirt there, too. I’ve spent the last twenty minutes beating my car’s trunk lid, hoping someone on the road or walking by would hear my screams for help.
My body jolts from side to side as I sense Rex take the corners dangerously.
Abruptly my body rolls and hits the side of the trunk. I’m pushed into the steel with great force as the car comes to a quick stop.
My body feels a thump vibrate through the flooring, and then the trunk opens, and I’m forced to squint my eyes from the blaring sunlight shining straight down on me.
A figure moves in front of the light and I’m able to open my eyes. Clearly, I see Rex standing there. What once was a good-looking man is now a shell of his former self. He’s lost all of his muscular appearance and looks as if he’s homeless and starving. However, the strength he used to grab and force me into my car defies his weak appearance.
Rex grasps the top of my right arm painfully and pulls me from the trunk. I bend my knees, fearing I’ll fall backwards as my shaking body refuses to help with my balance, but I manage to stay upright, relieved to be out of the small space.
My long blonde hair whips around my face as my eyes instantly search the area, and right away I know where I am. It’s where my brothers and I used to come sometimes with Rex and his friends when we were younger. When we discussed where to meet we would say, “Meet you at the tracks.” There’s nothing here but green grass and train tracks, which bend around a sharp corner, and over further is where the woods start. The guys would build a fire pit between the tracks and the trees and sit around drinking and laughing. We’d come here quite a lot. Sometimes it was safer than the abandoned building we were living in at the time.
While Rex is shutting the trunk, I take the opportunity and twist my body around in a circle, forcing him to relinquish his hold on me as Rex’s wrist bends backward.
He grunts loudly and then his grip releases me.
I’m free. I don’t freeze; I start running, not caring what direction I’m going in. I hit the long incline down towards the tracks and my legs wobble from the speed I’m trying to keep up while going down a hill. My heart pounds against my chest and almost explodes when I suddenly hear Rex yell out my name; he’s right behind me. My breathing becomes erratic and swallowing becomes near impossible with the dryness of my mouth.
I come to the tracks, and before my mind can decide the best way to tackle getting over them with the speed I’m going, my feet are separating. I’m trying to take even bigger strides to get over the large metal rods. Stumbling, I lose my balance and fall, but stop my body from hitting the ground with my outstretched hands landing on a large, dirt-covered wooden plank.
I keep moving. Dragging my fingers along each sleeper as I find my balance again and I’m over the tracks and running as fast as I can. Glancing over my shoulder, I watch as Rex takes the tracks perfectly with only a few long strides. His cheeks puffing heavily as he races to me as quickly as he can. Chills race down my spine as I realize I’m not going to be fast enough to get away.
A massive weight hits my back and steel arms fold around my body as I’m thrown to the ground with a heavy thump, which immediately winds me. My jeans and shirt protect as much skin as they can, but my arms are cut and begin to sting.
I’m fighting furiously for my lungs to expand as terror grips my body until I’m able to take my next inhale. All I can hear and feel is Rex’s heavy and hot breaths against my cheek. Showing me how exhausted he is as well. His arms are like a tight rope around my center, trapping my arms in too.
“Get off me, Rex! What the hell is wrong with you?”
I’m turned over roughly, Rex’s body on top of mine. I have nowhere else to stare except into his lost green eyes, which appear to be filled with deep grief, but for what I’m not sure.
He gently runs his fingers down the right side of my face.
“Did you tease him with this beautiful face?” Rex asks softly.
My body locks up from his words and the meaning behind them.
I harden my features. “Fuck you,” I grate out.
At the angry tone of my voice, Rex takes notice and it appears to wake him from whatever world he’s been lost in.
He examines my face a little more and his eyes grow glassy. “How could he? He knew I loved you,” Rex says, his voice distant and calm.
My body relaxes, though not from feeling safe, but from confusion and also sorrow. I knew Rex loved me, once upon a time. Before his father took what I had kept intact only for Rex—what his father took that wasn’t his to have.
My lips tremble and suddenly years of emotions come to the surface, and a sob bursts from my lips.
Rex jolts up in shock, but not enough to let me up. His face turns worried, his brow furrows and lines appear on either side of his eyes, showing just how much he’s aged in the last five years. Not from growing, but from stress, sadness and anger. It’s ravaged his body and soul.
“Were there signs?” Rex asks. “Why didn’t you tell me? I could have done something, stopped him before he hurt you. Then he’d still be alive, all of this could have been avoided if you just told someone,” Rex ends on an enraged shout.
My heart stills and my mouth widens from the shock of his tone going from gentle to furious within seconds.
Nevertheless, I don’t stay frozen for long. Injustice and anguish surge through me, to the point where I nearly give up—almost. Instead, I get mad. Frenzied rage vibrates through me.
How dare he blame me.
How dare he put the last five horrible years on me.
My fists bunch and I strike Rex. My hands colliding with whatever surface of his body I can get to. Thumping them against his shoulders, neck and head.
In Rex’s attempt to catch my wrists, he leans backward and I take the opportunity to slip out from under him. As soon as I’m up, Rex is too. Arms out wide, his feet dancing from side to side ready to cage me again. Defeat slams into me and I raise my hands in the air, halting him. I look around and there’s nowhere to run, no-one to help me. There’s only my car and even if I could outrun Rex and get to it, it’d be a miracle that the keys were in the ignition. We’re just going to keep running around in circles. My best bet is to stop and find out what Rex wants with me.