I never forget to look up at the sky and just be thankful for surviving. You never think you'd find yourself in such a situation until that first strike happens. It started with hitting the wall when he's angry, then he degrades you to his friends and they laugh at your embarrassment. Then it finally happens, fist to face contact and you're seeing stars. The next day he apologizes and promises not to do it again, but you don't believe him. He thinks all is forgiven and puts on his nice mask. He still likes your hair straight and will pay seventy-five dollars to get it chemically straightened and styled so later he can praise its beauty as if you wanted your hair done. He likes you slim and in shape. You got to his gym and you work out. At least you can stay healthy and fit for when you have to escape. He thinks he's your whole world. Your parents are dead and you're an only child. He knows your routine and he knows where you work so he can keep an eye on you. He thinks you're all his. But you swear to yourself to get out and so you plan. He doesn't know you have money inherited from your parents insurance policy and it's pretty big money stashed away in an account he knows nothing about.
After that fist to face contact again you have to go to the doctor to make sure you can still see out of your right eye. He's waiting in the car because he thinks you won't tell the nurses what happen and you don't but you ask them what's a good medication for sleep that won't kill a two-hundred-and-fifty-pound man but will definitely make him sleep hard. The nurses' know they shouldn't offer any information, but they don't want to see you in a body bag, so they give you something from their personal stashes. Most nurses have all kinds of medication.
"If he's a drinker and you mix this with his alcohol he'll be knocked out. Won't hear a thing, won't feel a thing."
You know you could go to jail for this, but you've planned and so it's now or nothing really. You make him his favorite meal and he appreciates you even if he says it with a tone of skepticism. You sit down and watch TV hoping he doesn't taste the crushed-up pills in his drink. You pet the six-month-old black cat, he gives you as a random gift for not blinding you. The cat is scared of him, but finds immense comfort in you. You name her Pandora. After thirty minutes, he's out like a light. You call his name, you scream, you kick him and hit him in the face and he does not stir. You could slit his throat right here, but you don't. You look at Pandora who just watches innocently from the chair meowing sweetly at you. If you go to jail what would happen to her. You move fast and do what most be done. You hurry to the bedroom, pack your clothes, just what you need. Pack the cat up, her basic necessities and you leave with your car keys. It's the only responsibility he will allow you to have. You leave your phone and any other decides he can possibly find you with and drive to the other side of town and stay at a hotel, sneaking the cat in. You're scared because you've never been alone for this.
The other time was when he allowed you to go your parent's funeral by yourself as long as you were back the next day. You stare at yourself in the mirror and wonder what your next move is. You hate your hair and everything about it and so you take the kitchen scissors you brought from the house for protection and you just butcher your locks. You cut it all the way off until it's a small uneven mess. But you laugh during it and cry as well, because you're free. The woman next door hears you crying and comes to check on you. She's someone's grandmother with dark cocoa skin and white locs. She is beautiful and is a reminder that our black does not crack. She helps you fix your hair and she doesn't even know you, but she helps. You sit in silence on the floor between her legs while she snips and cuts to fix the mess you've made. You are two strangers who will never see each other again after tonight. In the silence of it all she speaks.
"I'm so very proud of you." she responds and you nod in agreement finally breaking down again because someone sees you. She gives you money even though you deny, but she insists so you take it. "Disappear girl. Go far away and make something of yourself…"
I was twenty- two then. Now it's been five years and to this day I still look up at the sky and wonder if he's thinking of me. I wonder if he gets angry at the fact that I beat him. I survived him. My name is Nyssa Garrett. I worked as a receptionist for a district attorney's office in New York. It was a big jump, but something you have to jump big to get to freedom. I used some of the money I inherited to find a condo on the upper side of New York. I made sure to keep a budget and with the job I managed to snag, it kept me afloat. Whenever I got really board, I would babysit for some families who desperately needed child care. Even if they couldn't pay me much, I didn't mind. I didn't need the money, but I wanted to help those who just needed help, like those nurses did for me. I was a college educated woman who had a nice and trusting smile, some said.
Friday was always crazy in New York, and it meant busy streets and so I would be a little late to the Thompsons house. But once I arrived, they were still grateful.
"Oh Nyssa thank you so much for coming on such short notice." Kelly Thompson said. She's a single mother of three and worked late at one of the diners in town. Her husband, Mitch, left her when their third child was born. But her construction boyfriend Lou was nice, but he had to work all the time. I shook my head.
"It's no trouble at all." I replied setting my bag down. She smiled.
"There's been so much going on lately with the upcoming heat wave going up and talk of a gang war happening, I've just been filled with so much anxiety. I fear for my girls." she said truthfully as she tied her white apron to her yellow uniform. I've heard there has been tension rising in the slums of New York between some of the rivaling gangs.
"You'd think with this heat they'd be more focused on keeping themselves cool." I replied and she nodded.
"Thank you! Lord and if that's not enough, the sewers below us are driving me crazy." she said her eyes moving about as if looking for something. I tilted my head.
"The sewers?" I asked and she nodded finally finding her hoop earrings and putting them in her ears.
"Yes, for the past two weeks, there's been rumbling coming from down there. It's quick, but I hear it. I ask Lou if they're doing construction, but he says they aren't. Who knows, hell the earth may be tired of New York and trying to fall out from under us. Purse…. purse, purse." she said frantically and I just smiled at her.
"It's on your shoulder." I pointed and she looked at her shoulder and groaned in relief.
"Thank you again for coming. I should be back in time to kiss them good night, but if I'm not…?" she trailed off and I smiled.
"I'll stay until Lou comes." I replied and she smiled and gave me a hug. She thanked me again and turned.
"Girls, behave for Nyssa!" she called out down the hall as she moved to the door. "There's money for pizza on the counter by the stove!" That's usually how it goes. Junk food and movies to immobilize them. I moved down the hall and already saw them in front of the TV. Eliza, Camille, and Tory. Seven, eight, and nine.
"Hey girlies!" I said happily, and they turned to me and smiled with wide eyes.
"Nyssa!" they called out and ran to me. I smiled and dropped to my knees and hugged them as they jumped on me. It was already past six and so I helped the girls with their homework, promising pizza and a movie of their choice if they finished it correctly. As they worked, I watched the news.
"The crime rate is sky rocketing after two of New York's most dangerous drugs, the Hilltop Slashers, an African gang formed in 1982 and the Hu Mongols, a Mongolian gang formed in 1996, declared a turf war against each other. There have been multiple street fights and shootings of which police have been involved-"
"Nyssa can we watch Moana tonight!" I hear Eliza yell as she runs back into the living room with a CD cover in her hands. I immediately switch the channel and look at her with a warm smile and nod. That's their favorite movie.
"Sure. Are you finished with your homework?" I asked.
"Almost. I've been helping Camille and Tory too!" she said with pride and I nodded showing pride myself.
"Good girl, always help your sisters." I told her and she nodded and ran back into the room she shared with them. I smiled and got up and moved into the kitchen pulling out my phone for a bit. It was already hot in the house so I opened the window. The air was hot and I hated it.
By nine, the girls were in their beds, with their stuffed animals under their arms. I moved to close the door.
"Nyssa, will you sing to us while you're out there?" Tory asked. I chuckled. I wasn't the best singer, but it kept them quiet while I tidied up the place after they ran through it all day. I sat my phone down by their bed room door and proceeded to clean the room while Moana's An Innocent Warrior played.
"Sure." I replied leaving the door open. "Ou mata e matagi. Ou loto mamaina toa. Manatu atu. Taku pelepele."
Normal POV POV
The only noise Scorpion wanted to hear was the water beneath the sewers as he sat against the sewer walls drain opening above him that hid him due to the moon being out. The three bad bloods he had successfully killed, were worthy opponents. He had gashes and cuts all over his body, scars he would wear with pride. While I waited for the medicine he applied to work, he sent out a transmission through his wrist gauntlet to the ancient who sent him, letting him know the traitors had been dealt with. The three bad bloods broke the honor code and fled without facing the consequences. Cowards. They should have just killed themselves and saved the enforcer some time. But now it was over. He cackled lowly and kept his body still listening to the rats squeaking around him as they clawed and nipped at the sides of his armor. He wasn't bothered by them enough to any of them. The sewers were perfect for getting around without being seen. Now that his goal was complete he had a choice to hunt himself here or take his ship and return to his yautja prime.
However, he heard something coming from deep inside the sewers which made his icy white eyes open. Only a rare few yautja had this eye color and it made him extremely popular amongst their females, but it also made other clans ridicule him as well, but that was before he moved up the ranks and became an enforcer.
The noise he was hearing made it hard for him to rest. He tried his best to block it out. But it just kept on coming, echoing through the sewers. Scorpion shrilled heavily with annoyance, his mandibles clicking together in annoyance. He couldn't rest until he found out what that annoying sound was. So he got onto his feet, the bleeding from his wounds had stopped and he hissed lowly before moving down the dark sewers. His biomask allowed him to see the different forms of vision, but for now used the thermal setting.
As he walked he raised his gauntlet and used the sewer map setting to show him the nearest drain opening. It was in the streets between a neighborhood he had been through. The noise grew a little louder as he was nearing the next drain opening.
Pa mai to mafanafanaga. Saolotoga tenei Manatunatu. Ki tamafine."
Scorpion had heard the noise before and he concluded it was singing. The voice patterns were high and light and dainty to him. It was no male, he had heard both the sexes singing from being on this planet for many years. No this was a female. He cackled as he looked up at the sound tilting his head some. A female was singing and it was distracting him from healing peacefully that much he knew. He growled some at this fact, but as he heard further harmonizing the music moved through his mask and sounded quite odd to him. Slowly he removed the air tubes from his mask and removed it from his face and once he did, he could hear the singing differently. There were no words now and whoever this female was, was just harmonizing now. Scorpion shrilled gently as he examined the entrance above that was not covered with a manhole cover.
Scorpion suddenly felt a strange tingle over his body and he hissed and raised his arm. The tiny muscles in his arms had contracted. This made the enforcer yautja hiss in confusion. The female's voice was obviously doing something to his body and he didn't know what and he didn't like it. So he knew he'd have to go investigate further. He placed his mask back on, his body cloaking itself. With little effort he jumped up and gripped the open man hole with one arm before moving from it and once again was out in the city. With no obvious threats around he jumped on the nearest car causing its alarm to go off before attaching himself into the nearest building and moving up to the rooftops with intent to follow the harmonizing trail that would lead him to the female.