His Captive

By: Cassandra Dee

Not sparing me a glance, Ann-Marie suddenly stops and reaches for something near the back of the closet. When I see the glint of rhinestones and purple fabric in her arms, I shake my head silently to myself and turn to leave.

There’s no sense in lingering. I know there won’t be an apology for her tirade or nasty remarks. There’s never any remorse for her hotheaded actions.

She’s gotten what she was looking for and now she’ll move on as if it never happened. Until the next thing goes missing, that is. I can only imagine what it’ll be next. Maybe she’ll accuse me of stealing her favorite mini-skirt.

I can see it now.

Well, yes Ann-Marie. I was planning to use it as a scarf. It’s cold outside, I thought this would be perfect.

Yes, Ann-Marie. This is a handkerchief right? A pretty one, for blowing my nose?

Thoroughly amused by my silly musings, I begin preparing my tea, resigned again. As I’m pouring the hot water into my ceramic mug a few minutes later, my sister waltzes by in sky high heels and a purple dress that molds to her body perfectly.

She looks stunning. But what else is new?

The redhead ignores me completely, only pausing at the entrance to the apartment to fasten a string of pearls around her neck. A necklace that my grandmother specifically left to me, but my sister acts as if it’s entirely normal. What the hell? She must have gone into my room, dug through my jewelry box, and taken the pearls, knowing full well that they’re mine. And yet, she’s acting like nothing’s wrong, like all’s well in the world.

God, what did I do to deserve this? Save me, I pray in my head. Please just let her leave. I just want this to be over, please just let her go.

And finally, the redhead acknowledges my existence.

“I’m going to a cocktail party at the Grand,” she says, emphasizing the name of the fancy venue.

“Have fun,” I tell her, wiping down the already pristine counter. I’m pretty anal when it comes to the cleanliness of the place. Something about cleaning is just therapeutic. Scrubbing away the grit and dirt and revealing something pure and whole is gratifying in a way I can’t explain.

“What are you up to tonight?” Ann-Marie asks randomly.

She never asks me about my plans so I can’t help being caught off guard.

“The usual,” I answer slowly. “Nothing you’d be interested in.”

She pauses to look at me closely and it seems like she wants to say something else. But her mouth snaps shut, and I’m thankful because I don’t think I could take another one of her insults tonight.

“Don’t wait up,” she mentions as an afterthought before breezing out and slamming the door.

Sighing, I walk into my room and strip down to nothing. In my full length mirror, I examine my plump curves and the peaks and valleys of my anatomy. My boobs are full and the pink nipples are distended and hard from the chill of the air. My hands land on my thick waist and my head tilts to take in the roundness of my belly below traveling lower. I bypass my neatly trimmed mound and instead focus on the swell of my hips and thighs.

I may not be a stick thin model like Ann-Marie. But sometimes when I’m not being too hard on myself I think my curves are sassy, and someone will appreciate them. Someday. Even if it feels like it’ll never happen.

Patience, Anna, the voice in my head speaks. Prince Charming is coming soon enough.

I snort. Yeah, right. There are no guys in white horses. More like my book boyfriends will be keeping me company again tonight.

Grabbing my robe, I head to the only bathroom in the apartment. After a long, steamy shower, my muscles have relaxed quite nicely, and I change into my favorite comfy pajamas. In the mirror above my dresser, I pull my dark red hair into a messy bun atop my head.

My full cheeks are flushed and blotchy from the long day, eyes decidedly dull.

Okay, the voice in my head says. So you’re not a model. But you know what? You have a nice smile, even if you’re a little tired right now. So take it easy, tomorrow is another day.

Because working as a secretary for the town’s top CPA firm is no easy feat, but somebody’s got to pay the bills.

Of course, I’d love nothing more than to leave the crappy desk job but the truth is that it’s not possible, not by a long shot. I’m paying all of our expenses, Ann-Marie doesn’t contribute, and who knows when I’d find another job? The economy sucks, and a paycheck is nothing to scorn.

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