They watch me. Through their lenses they snap pictures of every move that I make. Suffocation. It’s a real feeling—it’s something that I deal with every damn day. Two-weeks. That’s what I’ve been repeating to myself over and over, throughout this entire day.
The party I’m attending is for lack of better words, boring. I know it’s because I don’t have an escort, not like my best friends. They’re all coupled up now, and ridiculously happy. All with their women, bought and paid for wives. I want that. I want a woman who will love me and be with me, not because of who I am, but because I own her.
Do I give much of a shit?
Leaving my group of friends to their happiness, I walk out of the party. Naturally, I drop my head, the flashing lights surround me as soon as I step out of the building. Walking over to my Ferrari, I open the door and slide inside. Starting the engine, I shift into drive and head home.
In two-weeks everything will change.
Rising to my toes, I stretch my leg out behind me, my gaze finding my reflection in the mirror. My form is perfect, my body small and light. My eyes, that’s where the problem lies. They’re tired. Dead. Lifeless.
I shake my head, wondering how this happened to me. How did I become so hopeless at the age of nineteen? I feel exhausted, my body completely worn out, my mind unable to cope.
There’s a knock on the doorframe and I turn around to see who is here.
“Daddy,” I breathe.
I didn’t want to see him, not today, not ever.
“Your time has come, Stassia,” he rumbles.
My eyes lift to his. Horror assuredly crossing my features. “I said, no. I meant it,” I say in an attempt to be strong.
He crosses the empty studio. “You have two-weeks. If you are not at the club by noon, then I will send a man to come and retrieve you. You don’t want that, trust me. Come prepared and groomed as well.”
“I have a life,” I meekly point out.
My father chuckles, his black eyes twinkling when they meet mine. “Be prepared, Stassia. You are mine and soon you will belong to this new man. You have two weeks to get your affairs in order. You’ll find that I’m not as harsh a man as you think me to be. This is all for your own benefit. Trust your old man.”
Lowering my gaze, I look at my pointe shoes. It’s going to kill me to put them aside, to hang them up forever. That is, if whoever my father is giving me to, doesn’t kill me first.
“You’re still a virgin?” he asks.
My eyes snap to his. Frowning, I nod. “I am,” I admit.
“Good. Would be hard to sell you to this man otherwise.”
I hate him. This man who is supposed to be my father. This man who is supposed to love me above all else, especially money. He doesn’t, never has. I’ve been a pawn in his sick games my entire life. He walks up to me, slowly, his eyes glittering and then his hand wraps around my throat.
Leaning forward he rasps. “Do not disappoint me, Stassia. I’ve made sure you have the best education available. I’ve paid for the best dance teachers, and afforded you your every whim. You’ve known this would be your fate. He is young, handsome, rich and famous. You will make him happy.”
My eyes water at his words. He isn’t wrong. I knew this was to always be my fate, yet, being faced with it now feels like nothing I ever imagined. I nod, keeping my mouth shut. Not wishing to anger him further.
“Your mother will prepare you the day of,” he announces releasing my neck. “One step out of line and you’ll regret it, Stassia. Do not make me sell you to someone who will hurt you,” he states.
Turning away from me, he walks toward the door. I watch him. I wait until I hear it close behind him as he leaves the building, then I sink to the wood floor of the studio, and I cry. I’ve known this was going to be my destiny. My father has told me since I was old enough to understand.
My mother does the makeup and dresses the women he sells. She’s just a whore herself, his whore. My life has been mapped out since the day I was born. I somehow hoped that it would never come to fruition. I was living in a dreamland.
My life is now over.
My life has never been my own.
My life will never be my own.