SCARS, p.1Jaimie Roberts
Copyright © 2016 Jaimie Roberts
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This book is a work of fiction, all names, characters, places, and events are the products of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locations is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Notes & Acknowledgements
Coming Soon... Tethered
Coming Soon... Siren
Other Books by Jaimie Roberts
No amount of physical or emotional scars left behind could ever actually reveal true heartache. The evil from which they were formed cuts so deeply into your bones that it seeps into your bloodstream and pumps through your veins until it’s ringing in your ears. The scars never truly show themselves… Never reveal the brunt of their true force. While they are a symbol of survival, they are also reminders of things we would much rather forget—of pain that cannot be shed.
I have become an orphan … left to pick up the pieces of a broken heart which can never be fixed. I am incurably and irreparably hopeless.
Time stood still the day my family was ripped away from me. I lost myself—my very identity. I was chosen to live. I was chosen to carry with me the burden of being the one who survived. I was left with the question which haunts me endlessly:
And now, I lie in a small room. Four walls are what welcome me day after day. No sharp objects, no ropes… Not a thing I could use if I wanted to end it all. He took me. That’s why I’m here. He will never let me decide my own fate. He will never let me choose my own destiny.
He will never let me go.
It was he who chose me. It was he who had been stalking me for the last nine months. And it was he who pulled me from the car on that fateful day—two, maybe three weeks ago. He won’t leave me in peace… He will never leave me in peace.
He is forever waiting in the wings, watching me. I am his, he tells me. As long as I have breath in my lungs, I will always be his. He rules my head, my body, and my heart. But the most frightening thought of all is that … pretty soon … he will rule my soul as well.
With that last thought, I clutch the duvet to my chest.
I would have expected to be alone with my family gone, but he’s certainly made sure that my situation could have been worse.
I get fed three times a day, provided with refreshments on a regular basis, and a little later, I get treated to hearing his voice over a speaker in the corner of my room. He talks to me. He wants me to tell him about my life, my fears, my longings, and my dreams.
He has not once entered my room, but now, I long for it. I long for the contact so much that my insides burn. I am relieved to hear his voice, but now his voice alone is not enough.
I want more.
I need to see him. Need to be with him… I need to touch him. I crave the contact. To feel skin on skin.
He has started to invade my dreams so much that I cry out during the night. He knows they’re about him; he tells me so. I talk in my sleep, apparently, and he likes that. He also tells me that he likes the sound of my voice. For some reason, that makes me smile. I have no idea why.
He abducted me and is holding me prisoner against my will. I didn’t ask for this. He forced me. So, why do I long for him the way that I do? Why do I seek out his company? It wouldn’t make any sense to a normal person… I guess that means I’m not normal.
Despite it all, I still feel that frisson of excitement every time I hear his voice. I still smile the minute I hear the thumping of the speaker. And my heart still beats a million miles an hour every time I hear the sound of his velvety voice.
Six days ago, I began asking him to come visit me, and I’ve repeated my request every day thereafter. All I hear from him is the same response: “It isn’t time yet.”
“Why isn’t it time yet?” I would ask.
“For now, I can’t say. I just need you to trust me… To realize that this is for your own good.”
His response both frustrates and angers me. It’s been that way for days, but today things suddenly changed. I have become desperate for his contact, so I altered my request.
“I want you to come to my room… I need you to come to my room… I’m desperate for you to touch me… To hold me like you did that night in the little house… Please make it happen, J. Please?” All has been silent from that moment on. I have been sitting here, feeling my heart beating erratically for the last hour—ever since I pleaded with him.
My heart aches.
My body quivers.
My mind races.
My pulse speeds up more when I hear a noise coming from my door. Maybe he is just coming to feed me, but I know from the patterns to which I’ve grown accustomed that it’s too early for that. He has taken my watch from me, so I have no concept of actual time, but I have gotten used to relying upon my internal clock. And my clock is telling me that it is too early to be fed, so what could it be?
I gasp when I hear the tapping. That sound—the sound of footsteps—taunts me.
I clutch the sheets even more tightly to me once I realize the noise is getting louder. There is nothing I can do but sit and wait to see what will happen next.
Silence falls, and I watch the door like a hawk. I stare at the handle, which, for now, remains still. I swear that it, too, is taunting me. I swear it knows of my trepidation and is deliberately staying still just to tease me.
I hold my breath—biding my time—as I sit here, rigidly clutching the bedclothes. It feels like hours, but it’s only been mere seconds since the total silence began.
And then, it’s happening. I gasp again, clutching the sheets more tightly still as the handle on the door moves down, and the door pushes forward. For a fraction of a second, nothing happens. Total silence fills the room again as the creaking door comes to a stop. My heart starts hammering in my chest, and my body trembles as anxiety ripples through my insides and prickles my skin.
Nothing is there apart from the door—which is
I remain seated, waiting in earnest to see what will happen next. Involuntarily, a sharp intake of breath floods my lungs and pains my chest when I see the shadow of one foot moving forward … then two. My eyes widen as I tighten my grip with both hands this time. My breath escapes in little wisps as the shadow increases its density. I gasp as I see a foot … followed by a hand.
Three months earlier.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 – Diary Entry
I was followed again today. I never see his face, but I know he’s there. Call it a sixth sense of some kind, but I know he’s watching me. It first began when I returned home from school one day and noticed a lily waiting for me on my doorstep. That was my first clue that someone was watching me. There was also the subtle hint that he knew my name. After all, why else would he give lilies to someone named “Lily” every day?
My second clue is that he’s careful never to do anything when my parents are around. Normally, they’re both still at work when I come home from school. He seems to know their patterns, my patterns … everything.
That’s what led me here originally. When I found the sixteenth lily a little after two weeks, I started researching stalkers. If this guy turned out to be dangerous, then I needed to be prepared. One site suggested that I keep a diary of all the incidents that take place, so I’ll have evidence if I need it to show to the police.
Why haven’t I gone to the police yet?
I don’t know. I haven’t told my parents or my older sister either. I’m so close to my sister, so this is a little unprecedented for me. I know it’s stupid to keep him a secret. At first, I thought it was someone at school playing a silly game. But then, after a few days, I realized something was off, and I started getting that feeling that I was being watched. I hoped he was just a secret admirer, but it’s been six months since the lilies started to appear, and yet my “admirer” still hasn’t come forward. That’s a long time to wait for a person who has a secret crush on someone… Unless he’s painfully shy of course. That could be it, I suppose…
In any case, I think it’s important to mention:
If you’re reading this—then, most likely—something has happened to me.
“What are you doing?” The sound of my sister’s voice makes me jump. “Sorry,” she utters with a smile. “I didn’t mean to scare you.” She frowns again at the open diary on my bed. I shut it abruptly and turn to speak with Elle.
“You’re back early.”
“Don’t change the subject, Lily. What are you doing?”
I shrug my shoulders in an attempt to look imperturbable. “Everyone keeps telling me they have a diary… You know, so they can look back when they’re older and reminisce about fond memories from their time in school? I just thought it would be a good idea to start one myself. Besides,” I replied with a telling smirk, “you had one when you were my age. Do you still have it?” She doesn’t know this yet, but I secretly opened her diary once. She had been dating her boyfriend, Art, for a while and decided she wanted to move to third base. I never got to find out if she did for sure, but she dated him for at least another six months, so I kind of figure they must have at some point.
I watch as Elle quickly grabs a band from her bag and ties her hair before she sits down at my computer desk. She looks tired, but then she has been working hard this week on her exams. She is studying for a degree in architecture, and I know how many hours she has spent awake, drawing late into the night. Sometimes, I see her light on when I get up to grab a glass of water at ridiculous o’clock in the morning. She says she loves the idea of designing something new and seeing it come to fruition. Last year, we went to Barcelona to see all the famous buildings. Elle was in her element when she saw the Casa Batlló and the Torre Agbar.
“I still have it, but haven’t written anything in a while; these exams are killing me.” She let out a frustrated sigh before running her hands over her face.
“Do you want me to get something for you? A drink? Something to eat, perhaps?” Elle is obviously suffering, so if there is anything I can do to alleviate her discomfort, then I’m all for it.
She sighs a little, but shakes her head. “No, that’s okay. Thanks, though, little sis.” Elle gets up and grabs her bag before squeezing my shoulder. “I think I may take a nap for thirty minutes.”
I watch as she lazily strolls toward my door. “Okay. I’ll see you for dinner then.”
“See you then,” she shouts as she waves her hand behind her head.
All is silent once I hear her door click shut. Sometimes, this house is just too silent. I look around at my room. I first take in the soothing lilac hue which accents my bedroom walls. I then glance at two of my photographs—one of my parents and one of my sister and me—which are perched on my dresser. Then, I come to the old posters of Mark Wahlberg from his “Marky Mark” days. I’m almost eighteen, so I figure it’s time to take them down. The only problem is that every time I look up at his cocky grin, dark, spiky hair, and broad, muscular chest, I just don’t have the heart to remove them.
With a sigh, I stand up to place my diary back in the drawer by my computer desk when something outside catches my eye. I pause to look out the window where I swear I can see a figure standing by one of my neighbor’s trees. It’s hard to see, so I squint, trying to make out who it could be, but the branches are hastily swinging back and forth in the breeze. It’s spring here, so everything is flourishing, further obscuring my view.
A movement makes me gasp. Placing a hand over my heart, I run around my bed and scoot down by the window. My heart accelerates as—little by little—I inch up to peek outside my window. I’m almost there when my phone abruptly plays “Talk Dirty to Me” by Jason Derulo.
I jump and scream out, but I manage to cover my mouth to stop the ear-piercing yelp which almost escapes as well. My sister is just down the hall, and she’s probably asleep by now.
I run to the phone quickly and see that it’s my best friend, Christine. With a deep breath, I answer. “Christine,” I sigh as I turn to look out the window once more. Strangely enough, the mysterious figure is gone.
Am I just going crazy?
“Have you been running?”
I pull my curtain aside and take another good look. All I can see is one of my neighbor’s cats, Tabitha, chasing another neighbor’s dog down the road. Ritchie, the dog’s owner, is now chasing both the dog and the cat. I start chuckling at the hilarity of it.
“Are you still there? Lily!”
“Yes, I’m here. Sorry. I was just about to jump in the shower when you called. My sister’s sleeping, and I didn’t want to disturb her.”
“I’m sorry I called now in that case.”
I smile. “You didn’t know.” I put the curtain back into place, calm my erratic heartbeat, and sit down on my bed. “Anyway, what’s up?”
“I just wanted to ask you about tonight. What time should I pick you up for the party?”
I roll my eyes. I have never been a big fan of partying, but Christine loves it. We are unalike in so many ways, but yet we seem to jell together nevertheless. We met over a year ago when she moved from Arkansas to Utah. She said her father had been offered an Accounting job here in Logan that he couldn’t possibly turn down. That was what caused her to suddenly turn up at my school. Christine is a bright blonde girl with amazing green eyes and a contagious smile. She’s the kind of girl destined to belong in the popular crowd. That’s why I was so surprised when—on her very first day—she just walked up to me and introduced herself. We’ve been friends ever since. She is, however, still the party-animal who loves making out with boys and getting drunk. I’m more of the reserved type who likes to stay home and read romance novels. Despite the fact that I have never had a real relationship before, I can’t help but nurture the hopeless romantic in me who still wants to be swept off her feet.
I hear her sigh. “Come on, virginal. It’ll be fun. I have it on high authority that Max will be there. You know how much of a crush he has on you. Why don’t you let your hair down a little and give in to him for a change?”
I scoot up on my bed, grabbing my cushion. Ever since I was little, I have played with the edges of them with my fingers; that always helps me relax.
“I don’t see why I should. I’m not into him in the way he wants me to be. Sure, he’s good looking, but I don’t find him attractive in that way. We have always gotten along well just as friends, and I don’t want to spoil that.”
“Okay, but at least try to make an effort tonight? You’re my best friend, and I need you with me.”
“What—as your wingwoman?” I joke.
I hear her chuckle. “It’s not just that, and you know it.”
I smile, recounting the time we were at a party three months back. Jerry, the quarterback for our school’s football team was there, and Christine was seriously crushing on him. The boys were playing a drinking game, so I decided to help Christine out by challenging Jerry that he couldn’t drink a pint of beer as quickly as Christine could. I placed a ten dollar bill on the table, and with an amused smirk, Jerry accepted the challenge. Suffice it to say, Christine and Jerry got on like a house on fire that night, and I left that party ten dollars richer than when I’d gone in.
“So, will eight work?”
“Sure, but I will have to be back by midnight as usual.”
“Can’t your parents give you a little leeway on the weekends?”
I sigh, standing up and peeking out of my window again. The shadow is still gone, and it looks as though the cat-chasing-the-dog crisis is over. Everything is quiet.
“Don’t you know my secret identity yet? I was sure you would have figured it out by now.” I place the curtain back and start pacing the floor with a smile.
“Don’t give me that Cinderella crap. You’re abnormal. My parents let me stay out till one on the weekends. I would throw a hissy fit if I was told I had to be home by midnight!”
I shrug my shoulders as I stare longingly at Marky Mark.
SCARS by Jaimie Roberts / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes