Images 1

f l o r a

United States

lady madonna
children at your feet
I wonder how you manage to
make ends meet

Message to Readers

This is a really heavy piece might I warn you.
Mentions of blood, abuse are especially prominent of this.
I do advise you to read at your own discretion, I really don't mean to make anyone uncomfortable.

One Step, Second Plunge (5)

December 4, 2018



I stayed with Belle through the entire night, marveling over the tiny wonder that lay in her arms, bundled up in a soft blue blanket. He was pretty cute, I had to admit, with those big round cheeks and green eyes. He had a tuft of black hair that sat on his head, silky and smooth.
“Why’d you want to name him after me?” I asked, running a hand through my hair, working my way through a knotted curl, similar to my fathers’. “I didn’t fix world hunger or find a cure to cancer.”
Belle’s raven locks, wavy and shiny were pulled back into a loose ponytail as it grazed her breastbone.
She looked up at me, exhaustion glazed over her hazel irises, that were flicked with accents of gold.
“You’re my best friend, and you have been for the past ten years.” She said plainly. “You’ve been by my side the entire time.”
I felt a blush rise to my cheeks. “Well, who wouldn’t want to be by your side? You’re great.”
Her smile turned down at a corner. “I made mistakes, Kilo. Ones that I can’t turn around even if I tried.”
“You got pregnant when you were sixteen. It wasn’t your fault. That deadbeat guy forced himself on you.”
“I made my parents help me,” She said softly. “They didn’t need more stress added on to what they had.”
“Belley, please.” I stroked her hand. “It’s not always your fault. Stop blaming yourself for everything.” Her knuckles were bruised, I noticed this right away. She must have known I was staring, because she drew away from my grasp instantly.
“You graduated at the top of our class with honors, along with caring for a baby.” I said. “That’s amazing, Belle, just amazing.”
Belle laughed, a sad sorrowful laugh, I’d heard it many times before. “Let’s not dwell on the past, okay?”
I was about to retort, when the baby began to fuss. Belle’s attention was quickly diverted to his needs. She undid the buttons of the loose cotton shirt she wore and brought the child up to her bare chest, preparing to feed him.
I quickly got up, clearing my throat awkwardly. “I’ll go check on Alex, ‘kay?”
Belle just blushed, giving me that look. “Alex is fine, you checked on him fifteen minutes ago.” She supported Francisco’s head with her forearm. “You can stay.”
I sat back down, easing back comfortably in my chair. Her soft, sweet voice always calmed me, eased my nerves. “If you insist.”
I just watched. Mother and son, as they lay there. Son lay nestled in his mother’s warm grasp, and mother, gazed down wondrously at the tiny miracle she had such a hard time with.
It was beautiful. The first ties of their bond were being formed, just in that simple moment.
“Knock, knock,” Came a rough, but deep voice from the doorway. My head snapped up to see a guy.
He was huge, with broad shoulders and a body sculpted better than any greek statue I ever saw. He had tanned skin, hair that seemed blue in the light, and striking emerald green eyes.
“Danny,” Belle’s voice became meek, she quickly covered herself up. “Hi,”
“Hey, treasure,” He grinned at her, leaning over her bedside to kiss her atop her head. “I see we have a new member of the family.” He peered down at the tiny boy in Belle’s arms, but something wasn’t right. His thin lips were set in a grim line, as if he was unhappy. With his own child.
“Yeah,” Belle’s gaze flicked to the blue quilted comforter that covered her. She fingered the stitching. “We do,”
“I’m Kilo,” I said suddenly, sticking out my hand. “Belle’s best friend.”
Danny’s gaze flicked to me, and he smiled again. “Hey, man.” His hand swallowed up mine. ‘Belle’s told me a lot about you, since y’all were highschool pals.” He was from the South, Belle had told me, and they had met through a mutual friend, while still new to London.
“Aw, really?” I caught a glance of Belle, who still fingered the stitching. “Cool. It’s nice to meet you, too.”
Danny nodded and looked back down at Belle, his frown replacing the friendly grin he’d given me only moments ago.
“Do you want to hold him?” Belle held Francisco in the crook of her arm, where he now lay content and full.
“Yeah,” Danny held his arms out as Belle placed the child in his grasp. I could sense that there was something off about the way they interacted. Standoffish, in a way.
He lifted the child out to see his features better, but still he frowned. I could see Belle’s anxiety flare up, by the way she gripped the comforter, the fabric smushed in her clutch.
“Cute.” He mumbled. “Real cute.” He passed Francisco back to Belle, who took him carefully.
“I gotta go.” He pulled his jacket back on, and headed out the door.
What was that? What the fuck was that?
The real trouble started a few days later, but I tried not to think about what could lie beneath the surface, it was too painful for me to bear.
I stayed in the guest room, right next to the master bedroom that Danny and Belle shared.
I heard Francisco’s wailing, and Belle’s attempts to soothe him, and I heard Danny’s groans of exhaustion.
But I heard something strange on the third night there that confirmed my worst fears.
Screams, pleas for someone to stop.
‘I’m bleeding, oh, please, stop, oh, please.”
There was rhythmic, harsh grunting, deep and throaty.
“Not until you get what you asked for.”

Another scream.
‘Good. It’s what you deserve.”
Then it stopped.
There was soft sobbing, and a groan of a bed shifting.
I threw back my covers and ran out the door. There stood Danny, lazily leaned up against the wall, zipping up his jeans.
“What did you do to her, you slimy asshole?” I grabbed him by his collar and brought his gaze down to mine.
“Gave her what she needed.” He said plainly.
I rushed in the door, slamming it wide open. I saw Belle curled up in the corner of the bed, her back faced to me.
The crotch of the white boy shorts she wore were stained with crimson.
“Belle,” I felt tears burn at the corners of my eyes. “Belle, can you get up for me?”
She slumped over before shakily getting up, like a newborn fawn.
I reached out to steady her, but she waved me off.
She stumbled out to the hall, where Danny stood triumphantly, his arms crossed over his chest.
“What are you gonna do?” He taunted. “You can’t do anything.”
“Yes, I can,” Her eyes were vacant.
There was a dull thud and a crack, Danny yelped.
“Jesus Christ, what did you do?” He cried.
‘What does it look like, you filthy pig?” She spat, her voice rose. “Twisted your arm like the Devil’s scythe.”
“You’re nuts, you know?”
“I could say the same for you.”
I pressed the buzzer that was built into the wall. Security would be coming up soon.
Danny was taken away in handcuffs, Belle and I watched in the lobby, clad in our robes.
We didn’t look away until the last police siren had gone dim.
It was that moment when Belle rushed out into the cold, winter air, bent over and vomited violently on the pavement.
I swore under my breath and ran out after her, rubbing her back in gentle circles.
“He abused me,” She said finally. “And I let him do it.”
“You stood up for yourself, preciosia.” I said gently, still rubbing. “That’s what matters.”
“Kilo, please stay here,” She cried, burying her face into my chest. “I need you more than you can ever know,”
I hugged back, holding her as close as possible. “Of course, amiga. I promise.”
I let her lean on my shoulder as we trudged upstairs, I made her wash out her mouth with Listerine, and take an Advil.
I tucked her into bed, speaking sweet nothings in Spanish to soothe her frayed nerves.
She needed me, I was her soul brother, I thought to myself.
Yeah, I was her soul brother.
That wasn’t gonna change for the world.



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  • December 4, 2018 - 5:34pm (Now Viewing)

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1 Comment
  • janice

    Contest winners are up!

    10 months ago