A story/prose based on the lyric 'In Your Care' by Tasmin Archer.
Laying there in the gloom Tasmin looked to the window, and with the curtains open and the daylight fading beyond, she longed for those summer evenings, when the night would come later, when she was asleep. Those had been safer nights, happier nights, fairy-tale dreams nights, but then that was before it all began. Now she lay there in fear, afraid of what was to come, afraid of the darkness and the monster who lived and prowled within it. And her swollen eyes revealed her pain, as the tears of apprehension, the panic and the possible terror that haunted her mind like a restless ghost, began to trickle like stream of shattered innocence. And as the darkness gradually fell, enveloping her like a blanket, she lay there in her wetness, and she lay there alone.
It had been going on for two weeks now, and night after night he had come to her, emerging from the darkness with a hunger for her that she didn't understand. She would pull the duvet up, burying herself within it, trying to protect herself, and as he leant in and got close, she would smell his breath, his alcohol and tobacco stained breath, and she would close her eyes. And with her eyes closed she would pray to God, pray to her guardian angel, pray to whoever it was that was suppose to protect her, and she would ask him, what had she done to deserve this treatment? What had she done to lose the love of the one who was suppose to care and comfort her, provide and shelter her, cherish her/ Was she to blame? Was it her fault? Did she do something wrong, something bad, something so unforgivable that she needed to be punished this way? She wanted to ask, she wanted to scream it in his face, but the fear always choked and silenced her, and all she could do was endure, hoping it would be over soon, but every occasion got longer as he got braver.
She remembered a dream she had had a few nights before, a dream that felt so realistic that when she awoke, she wondered if it had been true, if it had actually happened. She had dreamt that they; her mother, him and herself; had been out picnicking in the local park, sharing a happy family afternoon together, something they hadn't done in a long time. The sun was out, high in the sky and peaking through the branches of a nearby tree, and the park was full of other families, with joyful and excited voices all around. Then the dark clouds gathered and when she looked around the park was empty, as if those that were there before had been no more than part of her imagination. Then the rain began to fall, but still they sat there, and he looked at her, he looked deep into her eyes, and he winked, he winked he smiled, and then he reached forward to touch her face. She said 'Leave me alone, don't touch me.' but still he reached forward. She pulled back from him, trying to avoid his advancing hand, but he just shuffled forwards and continued to reach. She looked to her mother, who looked almost oblvious to everything, the dark clouds gathering above, the emptiness of the park and the falling rain. She had a smile on her face as if this was the most pleasant afternoon she had ever had. Tasmin screamed at her, told her what 'he' had been doing, his nightly visits, the touching, the caressing, the inappropriateness, but she didn't react, she stayed silent, the smile still there upon her face, serene and untroubled. Tasmin looked back to 'him', his arm still there stretching out towards her, his fingers closing in upon her face, and as the rain soaked her features, it hid the tears of frustration that welled and fell, slowly becoming a constant river of lost love, respect and hope.
As much as she hated to admit to it, she was kinda jealous of the first time it had happened. She wasn't jealous of the act, of what he had done, but she was jealous of the innocence she had felt just before it happened. He had come to her room under the impression she had been screaming in her sleep, and woke her up asking if she was okay. Confused and with eyes blurred by the remains of sleep, she had nodded yes. However she had failed to reassure him, and he insisted on sitting on her bed, and singing her a lullaby, stroking her head with a tenderness to show he cared for her, wanted to comfort her. But as he sung his face got closer to hers, his tainted breath warm upon her cheek, and his unseen other hand straying beneath the duvet, touching her in places he had never touched her before.
And when he was done he kissed her on the forehead, and placed a finger on her lips. He told her that it was their secret, that she was to tell no one, or she would be taken away and locked up in hospital where she would be shut away from the rest of the world, alone and forgotten. And he told her he did this because he loved her, loved her more than anyone else in the world, more than anyone would ever love her, but did he? Was this a show of love, or was it a show of hate? All she knew for certain was that from that night onwards she would lay her in fear.
'Daddy you broke my heart.' she whispered to the darkness. 'It wasn't my fault that mother left us,' she continued, 'and I needed you to give me a little loving , some tender care, to take away the loss I felt just as much as you did.' Tasmin dabbed her eyes with the damp tear soaked tissue, she had taken to bed with her, 'How could you let me down, how could you treat me this way?' she asked, 'how could you do this to me, when I was, when I am, when I continue to be, in your care?'
Tasmin looked to the window again, the daylight had now gone, and the moon rode high in the sky. She listened to the silence and hoped it would stay that way, and stifling her tears, she put her hands together and closed her eyes.
That was when she heard it, interrupting her moment to pray for safety. That was when she heard the creak of the old and strained floorboard outside her bedroom door.