24 Jul Chapter 33: Tears
A soldier comes in and unlocks the chains. I don’t how much time has passed since I arrived here, or even if it’s night or day.
I gradually stand up and stretch my sore limbs. My whole body hurts. My neck aches, my knee is throbbing and I feel a piercing pain when I move my elbow. I look at my filthy clothes and realize they’re the same ones I was captured in. I reach in my pockets and find that everything is still there – a gum wrapper, some money, a few cards, a paper napkin with the shuttle logo printed on it. I guess the Oliot thought I wouldn’t be able to escape using any of that.
I wander around the large concrete room looking for anything of interest. There’s a sink and toilet in one corner, but otherwise it’s just featureless grey walls and a steel door. There’s a bare lightbulb hanging from the ceiling but it’s too high for me to reach.
I did get a peek out the door when the soldier left my cell—a hallway with two men standing guard. I don’t think they’re taking any chances with me this time.
I pace back and forth trying to think of something, anything. Knock on the walls, to send a message to another prisoner? No, the concrete is probably too thick. Put my ear up to the steel door, maybe overhear something useful? I try it, but all I get is silence.
I end up just lying down on the floor to pass the time.
I awaken and it takes me a second to figure out where I am. I’m back over by the wall, and my hands are chained again. The guards must have moved me in my sleep.
I smell something. A quick glance around the room reveals a tray of food over by the steel door. I had forgotten about eating entirely up till this point. It smells good whatever it is, and I yank my chains but they don’t budge. I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve eaten. I realize I’m thirsty and starving, I’ve been so preoccupied I hadn’t even noticed. Hours go by, and the food isn’t smelling any less delicious. So this is how they plan to torture me.
The next day (at least I think a day went by) I’m free to walk around but there’s no food tray. The day after that I’m shackled again and the food tray is back, tempting me. I’m crazy hungry at this point, but all I can do is sit there and look at it. I feel tears starting to well up but I push them back, I’m not going to lose it right now. I’m not going to let them do that to me.
The steel door opens and in comes a huge guy who’s not wearing a soldier’s uniform. He steps towards me and a jolt shoots up my spine—I know him. He was the bruiser wearing the pink tutu that accompanied the Association kid back at the office. I try to scoot backwards as far as I can into the wall. I pull my knees tight to my chest. All sorts of horrible thoughts go through my head.
He’s right in front of me now. He sits, then reaches a hand out towards me and I flinch. He pauses, then tries again. He’s touching my hair. I shut my eyes tight. He caresses my hair gently. It feels like an hour goes by. I sneak a look and am surprised to find there’s no malice in his eyes. He smiles at me as I relax a bit.
He gets up and retrieves the tray, then carries it back. He sets it by his side and scoops up a forkful of whatever it is that’s smelling so good. He brings the fork up to my mouth, and I open so he can feed me. I don’t know what it is but it’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted. He waits for me to swallow and repeats the procedure until the tray is clean.
He then scoots over so he’s sitting next to me against the wall. We just sit there together, neither of us making a sound. I feel tears moisten my eyes, but I don’t try to stop them this time.