everything i never had
Chained to the wall, her wrists had grown calluses where the metal had cut away at her skin. They made sure to unshackle her every so often and bathe her, cleaning her off, doctoring her wounds so that the chains wouldn’t fuse to her skin. Then putting her in her place once more.
At first the sound of the restraints had been a terrible noise, something to be feared when heard, but now the sound was a comfort. It had to lock, or else she felt fear and didn’t know what to do. What if someone came in and tried to take her away? She needed to be chained to the wall. She needed that security.
She’d grown accustomed to the cold, to being in the dark. The light hurt her eyes. It had been years since she’d seen the sun, if she’d even seen it at all… really, she couldn’t remember.
They were good to her, clipping her nails once in a while. Brushing her hair every few days. They would even change her dress if she started to grow out of it, but it had been a long time since she had grown at all. Her ribs and hip bones protruded slightly, but she supposed that was just because she wasn’t fully grown yet. At least, she didn’t think she was.
Really, she had no idea how old she was. She still felt like a child.
They fed her well, too. She ate every day. Sometimes she even felt full after her meal. There were no complaints from her, because she was happy to be loved. It felt good to be kept safe and away from danger. Bad people were in the world, and they only wanted to keep her away from that.
Every so often she would think about before she came here. Before they brought her to her home. She would play in a park, her mother watching from a bench. She would run around in the sun, the light on her brown skin that had now faded so pale.
At first, she cried. All the time. And then she realized it wouldn’t help, to just cry, and it only made her sick to her stomach. One day, out of the blue, she asked why they had taken her.
The man said “Because we love you!”
And the woman said “Because I want to keep you safe, and give you everything I never had.”
She didn’t cry anymore after that. She understood. They only wanted to protect her, to take her away from harm. To keep her happy and nurtured and healthy.
Thank God they were keeping her safe.