I smile inside as I recall walking down the street with my family. My father and mother smiling and my sister is giggling and twirling her pig tails. Mom has on her cotton white sun dress that hangs to her calves, with large brown buttons down the middle. On her shoulder is the tan day purse she uses when we take family trips to the main street for dinner and ice cream. Dad has got on his brown trousers and white cotton button-down shirt, his hands calmly in his pockets as he smiles at my mother. Gigi, my little sister is twirling her hair and holding my hand telling me all about her stuffed animal adventure she had earlier today while I was at school. She’s wearing light blue overalls with a short sleeve white shirt underneath.
The four of us are walking down the sidewalk on the main street of town. We just finished a wonderful dinner of sandwiches and salads at the local diner and then got ice cream cones at Fred’s. Now we’re hand in hand, eating our ice cream and making our walk back towards home. Our small town is quiet and tranquil, especially on a spring night like this. Families line the sidewalks, parents chatting with other parents and the children running up and down the streets playing and laughing loudly. There are small white lights strung between the light poles lining the street and buck-some white oak trees providing a comfortable shade for everyone.
This is the happiest time in my life. Everyone is smiling and we’re together.
As the sounds begin to fade in the distance, I hear the water dripping from the pipes above my head. I smell the rank odors of the rotting floor beneath me and remember that I’m not in that beautiful place anymore. I cannot remember what day it is, or even what year it is for that matter. I’ve been shackled in this basement for longer than I can remember. I try to recall that beautiful day in town with my family again, but it’s gone. All I can see and hear are the creaking pipes and crumbling floor above me. This basement is cold. I have nothing to keep me dry or warm and my skin hurts. I don’t remember my name any longer and I wish he wouldn’t come and visit me any more. Just leave me down here to die.
It’s at that moment that I hear footsteps above me. They’re heading to the door again. The sound of keys jingling. The lock turns. The door opens. Light spills down the wooden stairs and I look up at through my greasy hair. The light always hurts my eyes now and I can’t keep my head up for long. Soon, he is walking down the stairs and heading towards me. Please, let this be the last time.