Art by Rachel Facultad (contributor)
“Your nape looks sexy,” he said. So you ripped some cloth from a pile of unwashed clothes, and patched it to the back of your neck. “Your hair is so long,” he said as he gently traced its length with his fingers from your head, passing through your shoulders, and down to your waist. So you trimmed your hair short then shaved it off completely. “They’re so soft,” he said as he moved his hands over your bosom. So you took a piece of cardboard and wrapped it around your chest—binding it tight even if it was hard for you to breathe. “I love your face,” he said under his breath. So you wore a mask which scared even you. “Your skin is so smooth,” he said. So you sewed pieces of an old and dusty carpet onto your skin, using the biggest needle and the thickest thread. Blood leaked out with every stitch, but you don’t mind. The pain is nothing compared to all those nights he visited you—admiring your beauty but invading it too. “You smell so good,” he said. But not anymore, now that you’ve bathed in your own blood, sweat, and tears.
When it was all done, you laid in your bed and waited for night to creep in. “Let’s see if you still love me, Papa,” you said.