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In the small room at the end of the hallway, he held my gaze. His light brown eyes never leaving mine as his hands reached down towards his trousers. Slowly, he pulled down his zipper. I couldn't tear my eyes away from his glare yet I was so curious. What was he doing? It surprised me when he pulled something out of his pants. 

He showed me a part of himself that I had never seen before. How amazing it appeared to me. This appendage standing so tall and proud. His smile spread wide as he watched my eyes fall from his and onto the part of him that stood at attention. What was that look in his eye? I couldn't understand what was happening. 

I'm brought back from my memories. Tom is angry now. Frustration steady rising in his face. Behind it, I sensed a glimmer of hurt. It wasn't possible. Tom couldn't be hurt by me. Men didn't feel. Men only took. I dismissed the look and I returned it with a look of my own...disdain.

Tom never knew this but he held some kind of power over me that he didn't deserve. He made me feel both safe and unsafe at the same time. I could not let this person steal my power. I had worked so hard to cultivate this strength. I couldn't allow any sign of weakness even if he did make me grow weak in the knees. 

Even if I had grown feelings for him, I would never let him see them. No, today I would tear down dear Tom and remind him why he shouldn't have chosen me. To remind him that I am better than he is and that I always will be. To remind him. I don't need you. 

"You just couldn't be quiet, could you?" I spat. I poured as much venom into those words as I could muster. 

"You like me just admit it." he retorted. He sounded frustrated, flustered, and sad but he tried to hide it with an air of cockiness that he simply didn't possess. 

At this moment, Tom was an open book to me. He was raw and open. I saw his pain clearly and I felt the better for it. A small part of me felt sorrow for what I was about to do. A small part of me wanted to run into his arms and kiss him. To let him hold me and tell him that it would be OK. 

Frustration growing inside of me. I would NEVER admit that I liked him. I couldn't run into his arms. I couldn't pretend that when he spoke my mind didn't take me to the dark place. I could never allow it. He would never be allowed to have that kind of power over me. He was beneath me and he needed to learn his place. It was decided and so it shall be.

"I could never like you," I said. I lied. 

His eyes shone a glimmer of sadness, it was a flash, but I caught it. I saw it and it made me sad. He liked me. Maybe. Just maybe...he wanted me to like him in return. I wished that I could give him that. I wanted to give him that but I couldn't. 

My mind flashed back to that moment in the room at the end of the hall. His appendage standing so tall and proud. I had never seen anything quite like it. 

"Do you want to touch it?" he asked, a smile spread across his face. 

Did I want to touch it? I didn't know what 'it' was. I felt apprehensive. Confused. This felt like it might be wrong but I didn't understand why. I stood frozen.  Silence echoing loudly between us.

"It's Ok," he said in a soothing voice. "This will be our little secret. You can keep a secret right?" his words melted deep into my mind. Consuming me with tranquility. 

Of course, I could keep a secret. Did I want to keep a secret? Should I keep a secret? His voice, so soothing. I can trust this voice. I can trust him.  He wouldn't hurt me...right?

I nodded my head in acceptance of his words. 

"Your mommy would be sad if she found out that I let you touch it. You don't want your mommy to be sad right? She would blame you...and your papa, what would he say about this? Child, can you promise me to keep this secret?" I hadn't recognized the poison in his words. I hadn't understood the fear that it invoked within me. 

All I knew were the words that resonated in my head. 'Keep this secret.' I've kept secrets before. Secrets that no one should talk about. I can keep this secret. I don't want mommy to be angry with me. 

Why would he show me something that would get me into trouble? Why would he make me keep this secret? Families keep secrets. It's what they do. I can keep this secret. It's fine. I nodded my acceptance. 

"No, promise me." his tone firmer. The harshness of his tone sent a shiver through my spine. The sound of his voice ran over me with such fierceness that for a moment I was frozen. I shook myself out of that of that paralysis, the words getting caught in my throat.

"I promise," I said, the tremor in my voice did not go unnoticed. He nodded his acceptance of my promise, a glimmer of something else shimmered through his eyes. I didn't understand it so I let it fall off of me like drops of rain. 

"Good girl, now you can touch it," he said as his gaze bore into me. I reached out my right hand. My hand moved slowly as I went to touch the appendage that stood tall at attention with a slight angle towards the center and filled with veins that seem to protrude with excitement. 

"Use both hands," he said sharply. With both hands outstretched I gripped him. He let out a moan of pleasure and his eyes flashed something I had not been able to identify at the time...Lust.  

I'm brought back from this memory. Returning to this moment here with Tom. He's standing now and pacing back and forth. I sense an internal struggle with him. He is trying to decide if he should shut up and come to have his way with me or stand firm in his resolve that I should accept all of him, not just his body. 

He chose to fight me. Secretly I applaud him. I am proud of his strength, encouraged by it even. It made me like him even more but I couldn't tell him that. Sadly, he and I fought for the rest of the time that we were there. Each word I uttered was like poison. I wanted to watch his will crumble. I wanted to break him.

Each counterattack he made was meant to be a wound. He hadn't realized that he couldn't wound me, not with words. Words had broken my spirit long before him. There was nothing that he could say to me that hadn't already been said. He couldn't reach me but I could reach him. 

I saw it in the way his body rolled into itself. I saw it in the way his eyes welled with tears, the tears sitting on the brim but never quite escaping. My words cut into him so deeply I could see when they hit their target. I wanted to stop. 

I wanted to save him from me. I wanted to stand up from that couch and grab him and kiss him. I wanted to tell him that I lied and that every word from my mouth was a lie. 

Would he return my kiss? Would he accept my love? No, I've bruised him too deeply. He wouldn't accept me now. It was better to part ways. It was better to break him on the way out. Maybe next time he will do a better job of guarding his heart.

We only stopped fighting when our friends walked out of the bedroom. We would never let them know that we hated each other. It was our little secret. He hated me now and I hated him (liar)...it was better that way. We would never share another moment like that one. 

I would never again be kind to him and he would never let me treat him poorly. The two of us were destined to walk this dance. Always on the cusp of something special but never quite getting there. We played this game for a long time too. All the way until I was recruited to join a cult.

Yup.

You heard me.

A cult. 

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Author's Note: I know that there is a lot of flashback in this scene. I hope that it flows well. Comments are welcome. If you enjoyed it please like it and thank you for reading. Updated: 2 February 2019.

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