1. Two Years

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Start the song. It's Jan 3 by dandelion hands.

I lie awake some nights thinking what it would've been like if I hadn't been rescued.

All of the tears from my mother, Pete's mother, any friends I had left back in Detroit and the friends I had made in New Jersey. I never thought I'd be saved. Never thought I'd see anything except for that basement for the rest of my life.

Never thought I'd live.

These scars on my cheeks, my arms, my legs, my back, my mind, are all just tantalizing reminders that I should have never walked out of that concrete prison. Part of me didn't want to.

Part of me wanted to see exactly what he could do to me. What creative way he could think of to have me endure the exact same fate as every single man he ever abducted.

And Ashley.

The thought still gives me night terrors. She wouldn't have died if it hadn't been for me. She trusted him to rescue me. Trusted him enough to enter his home under false pretenses. It was that trust that got her killed. Right in front of me.

Another reason as to why I should've died down there.

When I saw on the news that the "New Jersey Dahmer Copycat" had been murdered, remains found somewhere in the outskirts of a Colorado suburb, I couldn't believe it. My mom cried a lot, mostly in praise that the man who had hurt her son was dead. I cried a lot, too. Some of it was relief in knowing he couldn't hurt me again.

Some of it, though? Some of it was pure sadness.

As much as he did cause me pain; grief and indescribable torment, wishing that I was dead most of the days, I had cared about him in the beginning. Before I knew who he actually was, he was a man who I saw myself caring deeply for in some alternate universe than the one that we lived in.

Or, well, that he lived in.

Sometimes I think he could've loved me. Like, actually loved me. I could've loved him. I told him that. I wonder if it meant anything to him.


Brendon stops on the middle of the steps, head hung in a way resembling a scolded child as he turned to me, eyes filled with some semblance of hope as he waited for me to speak.

Suddenly, there was a lump in my throat. I knew what to say. I knew what I wanted to say. I swallowed the lump, and softly spoke to him, "I could have loved you if you had let me."

Brendon's eyes clouded over with something in that moment. Maybe it was relief? Knowing that someone could've loved him in the same way that he loved them. Maybe it was sadness? Knowing that, given the right circumstances, things wouldn't have resulted into.. this. He just nods, doesn't say anything back to me, and ascends up the stairs, exiting through the door and locking it behind him.

That would be the last time I ever saw him, and the last words I would ever speak to him.

I sigh as I take a drag on the third cigarette I had had in the last twenty minutes. So, maybe I did miss him. In a weird, twisted, seemingly Stockholm Syndrome kind of way, I missed him.

He loved me. In his own way, he really did.

I think that's what I missed more than anything.

As I stub out the cigarette, I look back to my room piled with boxes of my things and think about what it's going to be like living on my own again. After all, two years is a long time to come to your senses about the trauma you've experienced. I'm not completely healed, probably never will be, but I can't start unless I try to be by myself again.

Hopefully, this time, I've got less to be afraid of.

Hedonism - [ryan ross] {Sequel to Misanthropy}Read this story for FREE!