Theresa sat on her bed and looked out the window through the tiny gap that she had managed to make by removing a large splinter of wood from the boards that covered it. That small gap was her lifeline, her only contact with the outside world. She just hoped that he never found out what she had done; she always made sure that she replaced the splinter before he came home from work.
It was autumn; she could tell that by the leaves that have left the tree’s and by the cold that was beginning to creep into her tiny, bony frame. Time was her enemy. Each passing day was another that she lived alone in this room; the only person she ever saw was him in the evenings when he got home from work. She was then allowed out of her bedroom, but only to cook his dinner and to clean the house.
She used to dream about freedom; she wondered what it felt like to have the wind hit her face, to feel the sun kiss her skin, she even longed to know what it felt like to get drenched to the skin in a downpouring of rain.
But not anymore. Not since the day he had killed her beloved sister Zoe. Thinking of her, Theresa looked to the corner of her room. There was no carpet in her room, and just under those bare boards in the corner lay her sister. He had buried her there as a reminder for what would happen if she tried to rebel as Zoe had. He hadn’t needed to place her there, watching Zoe’s last moments was enough of a deterrent.
Theresa had been tied to their bed and forced to watch; she could have closed her eyes or looked away, but she didn’t want the last thing that her sister to see was her looking away in fear. Instead, as he had squeezed the life out her sister, and her body had gone limp, all fight lost, Theresa had held eye contact and tried to convey all her love that she could in that look. As the life had finally left Zoe, a piece of Theresa had died too.