I was only in my briefs when I finally woke up. It felt like I hadn’t moved for days; my body was stiff, and I could taste the day-old breath. Just get up and leave. Don’t think about it. It doesn’t matter anymore as long as you hurt her. I got dressed and got ready to leave. Wait. My bag. They took all my stuff: my food, my clothes, and my money. I was alone in the blood red room, with nothing but myself and my phone to carry me through the next few days.
By the time I was out, the night was young, and the moon hung proudly in the starless night.
“Do you wish to send these images to Mom?” the phone buzzed. Yes.
Since the night I had left my house, I had made sure not to go too far; I was close enough from the apartment to hear her anguished scream. Her scream pierced through the otherwise familiar sounds of a busy city night, and I felt good. I was happy. Now, it was time to go back.
With a big smile, I skipped back to my apartment building. The dark alley didn’t seem so dark anymore, and for once, I was excited to go back home. It’s over. You can rest now. Finally, I reached my apartment and began climbing the stairs. I stood in front of the door, but I didn’t miss a beat in opening it; I didn’t even once think to reconsider. I was going to go home. I was going to see mom.
The cold wind of the rooftop slapped me as the milliseconds seemed to drag on to minutes, but I was fine. This is what I wanted.
“AHHH!” The short burst of pain from my mother was the last thing I heard as relief inched closer and closer. At least I smiled for her.
“Will he be fine?” I heard the cracking voice of my mom as I attempted to open my eyes. My world was painted with flowers of red and black, and I was struggling with the feeling of nausea. What happened? I realized. It didn’t work. A terrible, terrible scream erupted from the room and filled the very hospital with a loud cry of panic and fear. It took me a moment to realize it was mine. No. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I looked down; my hands were bent at an awkward angle, and my legs were no longer of my own. I stared at them, unbelieving; the sound of raw laughter erupted out of my chest, and I couldn’t stop laughing hysterically for minutes as my mother sat besides me, crying silently with her hair messed and her body marked with blooming buds of purple and blue.