I was closing from my last job for the day, I slipped the padlock through the iron bar and pinned it firmly. When I was sure it was locked, I slipped the keys into my bag. I stared down at the pieces of dollar notes, clasped in my right hand. I sighed and began to count them, note after note.
I wrapped the money in my fist and slipped it into the pocket of my dress. The last person I wanted to see in the universe, Mykel, my cousin, staggered his way from his side of the road to the front of the place I worked.
I cleared my throat and kept a strict stance as I glared at him. He smiled at me, the sight caused my stomach to revolt against me. I cringed hard. The strong smell of tobacco and weed, with a mix of brandy never seized to follow him, it was his signature scent.
"Hey cous! Good to see ya..."
Oh! Goddess. I wanted nothing more than to just disappear from his presence.
"I wanted to see you, I could not wait for you to get home."
I said nothing and allowed him stare at me. He stretched out his right hand, pointing a finger at the tip of my nose.
"I saw you counting some wad of cash at the other end of the road yeah? Hand it over. I need the money now and if you'll be a good girl, I'll take only half of it."
An obvious frown formed on his red face. He seized hold of my hand and dragged me away from the front of the restaurant, into the back street and flung me to his front. I staggered shortly, before I regained my stance.
"You're stubborn, ain't ya? I was only trying to be generous but your big head wouldn't listen. If you let me have half of it, you can keep the other half and I won't let my mother know."
He enclosed on the space between us and grabbed hold of my right wrist.
"But, if you choose not to listen, I would make sure that I make a sorry excuse of you. I know that you are numb to beatings, but..." He paused and cupped my chin with his rough fingers. I felt my skin crawl.
"...you would not want poor little Valerie to get a taste of what I can do, would you?"
"Please Mykel, you can do anything you want, but do not touch Valerie." The cold of the dark night swept through my skin, along with the sudden breeze. I could not let him have the money, it's life-saving money.
A wry smile formed on Mykel's face as he looked down at me. Before I knew it, he attacked me with one swift move and threatened to reach for my side pocket.
I fell to my knees in front of him immediately, fighting hard to keep my tears at bay.
He chuckled, it was a bitter one.
"You know you're shit. You and your little sister, you are disgusting little beggars. Is this how you treat your benefactors? If my mother hadn't taken you in, you'd still want to stand here? This body of yours is still worth some interest. Let me see Who can save you from me? Huh? Your dying mother, or your domestic violence father?"
For a second, just a second, my heart seized to beat. Pain's angry clwas clutched my chest and I groaned in agony.
Flashes of the past occupied my mind. I crumbled down to my knees - just like my mother did eight years ago.
A hint of mockery flashed across his face.
"You see Jojo, I'm really high right now yeah? And I...I can let you go on one condition."
He placed his hands on the waistline of his cargo shorts and pushed his back forward, as though he were pushing his crotch to my face.
"Suck me off ,Jojo, and I'll let you go and forget this ever happened. Fuck! You look damn good on your knees."
"Mykel, let us be reasonable..."
"I tried to be, now fuck this." He spat out. In one swift move, he gripped me by my neck and pulled me closer to himself. He spun me around and pinned by back against his chest, while holding both my hands captive at my back, with his one hand. Bile rose up in my stomach, out of anger and spite, but I swallowed it back.
His dirty free hand rummaged through my body. He touched the front pocket of my blue and white striped gown, and dug his hand into it. The bastard found that oppurtunity and squeezed my right breast hard. I closed my eyes and shuddered, fighting to shake off and wriggle free of his hold.
"Where's the money Jo?" His hands reached for my side pocket, the one by the left with the money in it. Immediately I felt his skin graze my waist, I sent the back of my head hurling towards his nose. I must have hit his nose hard, cause he screamed and freed me. I wriggled free of his grasp and stood straight to straighten my dress.
That was my only mistake. I should have ran at the slightest chance that I got, because the next thing I knew, I had my back against the ground and he was on top of me. I screamed with agonizing pain, I felt the skin at the back of my head split open.
"Bloody bitch!" He yelled, buts of saliva dropped from his mouth and landed on my face. I tilted my face to the right, before his palm came crashing down, hard against my right cheek.
He clasped his right hand around my throat and tore the upper part of my dress open with little or no effort.
"Mykel, stop!" I trued to punch him hard with my fists, but it did nothing, except excite him.
"Damn Jo! You know I love it when you get feisty."
My screams and cries became inaudible, even to me. I was growing weary, my knuckles had already weakened. His laughter began to grow distant and his image slowly blurred away from my vision.
A slap fell hard on my face.
My eyes went black, and I thought I couldn't escape today....
I was going to close my eyes and resign to fate, give it all up for once, Suddenly, the hands pulling at the clothes on the body stopped. I tried to raise my head up, just to get a closer look.
I struggled to open my eyes, but all I heard was the sound of my body hitting the wall.
All sounds were fade away.