Jessica lives pretty far away but she has come to visit me a few times. I have been hesitant to visit her, mostly because I’m allergic to cats and refuse to spend nights at her place, unable to breathe. “If I’m going to suffocate,” I’d say defiantly, “It isn’t going to be because of your cats. It is going to be because my face is smothered by your pussy.”
We love to role play, in person, over text, and over the phone. Just yesterday, I hadn’t heard from her all day. I sent her a text that might look crazy to some. I said, “I know you’re cheating on me you disgusting whore. When I find you I’m going to make you pay.” (Crazy jealous boyfriend is one of her favorites.) When you care about someone far away, you can only text, “I’m thinking of you,” so many times before it gets redundant. To change it up, sometimes it’s fun to say, “I’m thinking about killing you.”
And without needing any explanation she responded, “You’re right. I am cheating on you. I can’t help it. How are you going to make me pay?”
During the day, Jessica worked as an environmental instructor, taking kids out into nature, on the mountains and along trails. She taught them about the plants and the wildlife, especially the birds. Anytime we went hiking she carried with her (and by her, I mean me) this giant fucking encyclopedia of birds so she could mark off any new ones she came across. I loved thinking that when she got my “crazy jealous boyfriend” text, she was about to embark on that day’s journey. That was part of the fun. It was like being an exhibitionist without the risk of getting caught.
About a year ago, this was how our game of abduction chicken started. I sent a message like, “I hate how far away you are. You could be doing anything with anyone. One of these days I’m going to come find you and spy on you. So help me god, if you are even talking to another guy I’ll kill you both.”
“I swear I’m not. What do I need to do to prove it?”
“Text me your address. Even though I live like twelve hours away, you’ll know I could always be watching you.”
Jessica waited a while to respond. I like to think it was because she felt a little pain of nervousness inside her chest. She had already visited me once. We spent about nine days together. There was no fear that I was some kind of predator who had aims to really hurt her. Still, demanding her address made it real. She swore some kid had just puked all over himself, thus explaining the delay. I was a little skeptical.
After she texted the address she followed up with, “But you won’t come. I already know.”
“You’re so wrong. I’m already Googling driving directions.”
“Go ahead. Doubt me. I want you to.”
“I’ll even tell you where I keep the spare key hidden.”
“Good. That will probably come in handy.”
This continued on and off for a month. Jessica would say something like, I thought I saw your truck in my rearview mirror, today. And I would say, “You did.” I might say something like, I really just want to wrap my hands around your throat and rape you. And Jessica would respond with, “You have my address.”
When we finally figured out when she could visit again, it was about four months out. Neither one of us wanted to wait that long, but if her 2nd visit was going to be anything as amazing as her first it would be well worth the wait. At the midway point, things were getting a little mundane and routine. I wouldn’t say we were drifting apart, but the time until we saw each other again wasn’t coming quick enough. Even our game of abduction chicken was getting a little stale. “My roommate is going to be gone all next week, and my next class doesn’t begin until the end of the month. I’m going to be so bored,” Jessica texted to me.
“I’m sorry. I wish I wasn’t busy that week. I might have just come to abduct you, finally.”
“:)” was all I got back in response. No banter. No egging me on. I wonder if she knew how much that would bother me. Nothing she could have said or done would have motivated me more. Fine, alright, be that way. Act like you think I won’t do it. I set it up by spending a half hour on the phone with Jessica, talking about how I just found out the plumbing needed to be redone on the house I was remodeling, and the contractor was trying to raise the cost on the kitchen flooring. At one point she even sighed, “I guess there’s no chance of you coming to take me. I secretly hoped you were going to find a way.”
“I wish. There is nothing I’d want more than to do that.” Muhahahahaha.
It was summer, and my truck drank gas like it needed to be in AA. Half way through the ride my AC stopped working. After twelve hours on the road, a churning stomach from fast food, and smelling like I went to the gym two weeks ago, and forgot to take a shower every day since, I finally got off on Jessica’s exit. I checked into the hotel that was closest to her apartment, took a shower, and brushed my teeth. One of the most surreal experiences in my life was packing my backpack before heading over to Jessica’s apartment: zip ties, duct tape, a black pillowcase, a rag, and a knife.
“Hey, what’s up?” I texted her when I was parked outside of her apartment.
“Not much. I’m about to look for something on Netflix.”
“What would you do if I was outside your apartment right now?”
“I’d tell the guy going down on me he has to leave ;)”
“No, really! What would you do if I was outside your apartment right now?”
This was followed by a long pause, and though I didn’t see her, she must have been peeking through the blinds. “Wait… are you?”
“I don’t know. But, maybe it’s time for you to bring your trash out to the dumpster?”
“Are you fucking with me? Because my heart is racing right now.”
Jessica was small, half Asian, with long wavy dark hair. She wore short khaki shorts and a white tank top. I watched her as she slowly closed her apartment door and locked it. Before she started down the stairs her head swiveled back and forth, scanning the parking lot. Almost every spot was filled. Picking out my truck, in the dark, with her heart beating out of her chest was not an easy task.
I carefully opened the door of my truck, my heart also thudding against my sternum. Fuck! The cab light switched on. I punched the ceiling to turn it off. Slinking down in my seat, Jessica didn’t seem to notice. Even though it was late, and clearly no cars were coming, for some reason Jessica looked both ways before crossing the street about a half dozen times. With zip-ties in my pocket and a hunting knife in hand, I slipped out of my seat and put my feet on the asphalt. I had to pull myself up and hold onto the door to steady myself. It was all just a role play, but still seemed real. I had driven 800 miles, and had all that time to think about everything that was about to play out, trying to anticipate the things could go wrong, playing it through my head over and over. I wondered if my preparation was so different from an actual predator’s.
I walked along the grass, crouched down behind the row of cars. When I reached the cinderblock wall that housed the dumpster, I leaned against it. I had only walked about twenty feet from my truck, but I might as well have been running sprits back and forth for the last five minutes. It seemed so loud, my breathing, like people inside their homes could have heard me. I tried to control it, but that made it worse. Then I heard a rustling of a bag, and footsteps approaching. I slid along the wall, now holding my breath. When the dumpster lid squeaked open, my feet scrapped along the gravel and dirt as I shoot around the corner. Jessica looked back over her shoulder and dropped the lid. It crashed down with a thud. The beginning of a scream formed in her stomach, but my free hand wrapped around her head and covered her mouth, while the other hand brought the hunting knife to her throat. Out of instinct she squirmed and fought, but I yanked her hard into my body, and pressed the knife against her throat, showing her the blade was real, and it was sharp.
Not yelling but not whispering either, somewhere in between a grunt and a growl, I said “Do you feel that? Don’t fucking fight.” I took in a deep breath, and smelled Jessica for the first time in so long. Even with the cold sharp blade against her she continued trying to wiggle free. Something primal took over me. I opened my mouth and pressed my teeth into her flesh, biting down hard on the spot where her neck met her shoulder. She screamed into my hand but her body went limp allowing me to drag/guide her back to my truck.
Pressing her against the tailgate, I used the weight of my body to hold in place. “I’m going to take my hand off your mouth, but do you feel that?” Once again pushing the knife into her skin. “The knife is staying right there. Do. Not. Make. A sound.”
I grabbed her wrist and pulled it behind her back. “Give me your other hand. Now.”
Jessica was practically hyperventilating. I felt her body heaving up and down. I wasn’t even sure if she heard my command. So I took my hand off her wrist and pulled her hair back off her shoulder. Leaning in, I pressed my lips to her ear. I didn’t break character, but I used a voice she could recognize. “Shhhh,” I said, and this had an immediate effect on her breathing. “I don’t want to hurt you. OK?” Jessica nodded. “I am going to take what I want from you, and then it will be all over. Just do what I tell you and you’ll be fine. Understand?” Jessica nodded again. “Good. Now give me your other hand.”
I pulled the zip-tie tight around Jessica’s wrists and then dragged her over to the passenger door. Scanning the parking lot, I didn’t see anyone on their cell phones calling the police. I was almost in the clear. I turned Jessica until we were face to face. Her eyes were so wide I thought she might not ever blink again. Thin strips down her cheeks from fresh tears shined in the faint light, and for an instant I wanted to tell her that I loved her. I wanted to tell her how beautiful she looked. We held eye contact as I tightened the zip tie around her ankles. “Please let me go,” came out her mouth, the words broken up by the trembling of her body.
“I can’t,” I answered, reaching into my backpack and pulling out the duct tape and the rag. “I’ve been watching you for so long. I need you to know how I feel.” I held the rag up to her mouth, but she refused to open it. Then I held the knife up as if to say, which would you rather deal with? Jessica opened her mouth and I stuffed the rag to the back of her throat, before securing it with three strips of tape.
“Look at me!” I demanded, even though she was already looking right at me. “Can you breathe? Nod yes or no.” Jessica nodded yes.
“I really don’t want to hurt you. But I can’t be driving while you’re screaming at the top of your lungs, you understand?” Jessica nodded yes.
Reaching into my backpack I pulled out the black pillowcase. “Here is the deal I’m going to make with you. Are you listening?” Jessica nodded yes.
“If at any point you can’t breathe and it feels like this is too much for you, scream into the rag.”
Even though this was probably an unlikely statement from a real kidnaper/rapist. I wanted her to be able to communicate to me if something was wrong. Jessica nodded yes one more time. And then I slapped her hard across her face. “No fucking games. You understand?” She nodded yes. I slapped her again. “None!” Jessica nodded yes more emphatically, and then I covered her head with the pillowcase.
In all my planning I don’t think I realized how close the hotel was to Jessica’s apartment. It was literally less than two minutes away. So I drove around listening to death metal on really low volume. I don’t even like death metal, but it seemed like the right soundtrack for the evening. I wanted the music low, so I could spend that time talking to my victim. “You have any idea how long I have been watching you? The first time I saw you I was up in the mountains for a hike. You and your class got there the same time I did. Do you remember me? Probably fucking not. I said to you, ‘it’s a great morning for a hike, isn’t it?’ You nodded and smiled. Do you know what you said back? ‘It would be if I didn’t have a dozen little brats to babysit.’ I know what you were trying to tell me. It was so clear. You wanted to go hiking with me, that morning. Just me and you. I know that’s how you felt. I followed you and your class. You couldn’t have seen me, I was just off the trails, but couple of times I felt like you were looking into the bush, right where I was standing. It was like you knew I was there. It was like we were communicating.”
I reached over and pressed my hand against the pillowcase, touching Jessica’s head. She yanked hard, but there was no room for her to get away. “That was over a month ago,” I continued. “I followed you home and tried to learn everything I could about you. I wanted you to be mine so badly. I just wanted you to be able to get to know me. I felt like if you did you’d love me, too. A week ago, you stopped for gas, and I pulled into the pump across from you. I had finally worked up the courage to talk to you. Do you have any idea how hard that shit is?” I screamed and punched the seat next to her face for good measure. “Do you?”
“Look how beautiful you are. For a guy like me to just come up and talk to you is fucking hard. All I said was, ‘The air in your tire looks a little low. Do you want me to help you fill it?’ I could see that you were uncomfortable, Jessica. Yeah, that’s right I know your name. I could see how uneasy my polite gesture seemed to you. All you said was, ‘I got it. Don’t worry.’ Why would you reject me like that, Jessica? Why? WHY!” And then I punched my dashboard, so hard the glovebox opened, hitting Jessica in the head. The unexpected shock sent her body squirming and fighting, like the overreaction that comes from realizing a bee is buzzing around your head.
Pulling into the parking space about five feet from the front door to my room, I got out, leaving Jessica in the truck. I used the roll of duct tape to hold the door open and then went back to get Jessica. I put one arm behind her neck and the other under her knees. She resisted at first trying to keep me from getting a good grip on her. “The more you fight, the more you put your life at risk,” I calmly reminded her, and I think for the first time that notion really set it. She realized that I was in control. I had all the power. She gave it up the moment she handed me her other wrist. She finally understood everything that was going to happen from here on out was up to me. It was my will. The best she could hope for was to not make things worse for herself.
Her wrists and ankles bound, a rag stuffed in her mouth, duct tape securing the rag, and a pillow case over her head, it still felt a little romantic, carrying Jessica over three threshold and tossing her on the bed. It was like the most fucked up wedding night in history. Ripping the pillowcase off her head, Jessica’s eyes fluttered, adjusting to the light. “I want to take off the duct tape. Can you imagine what will happen to you if you start to scream?” Jessica nodded yes.
Long strands of dark hair covered her face as I ripped the tape in one pull. Right away, Jessica spit out the rag and sucked in all the air she could. I walked over to the sink and unwrapped one of the little plastic cups, and filled it with water. Returning to Jessica, I held it to her lips. “Here, drink up.” Tilting the cup back, water spilled out of the corners of her mouth and onto her white tank-top, making her shirt more transparent, and giving hints to what lay underneath. When it was empty, I returned to the sink and filled up the cup again.
“I’m sorry,” she said to me while my back was turned. “I’m sorry I didn’t realize how hard it was for you to talk to me at the gas station.”
“It’s a little late for that now, isn’t it?” I laid down beside Jessica on the bed and held the cup back to her lips.
After drinking half of it she pulled he head away, more water spilling onto her chest, “It doesn’t have to be too late. I swear I was in a bad mood that day. I wasn’t in my right mind. I should have been more polite.”
I examined her eyes, looking for a hint of dishonesty. “How can I trust you? You’d say anything right now to keep me from hurting you,” I said, my voice very calm
“But, maybe I mean it. If I felt bad for what I had done I would be saying the same thing.”
“I don’t believe you,” raising my voice.
“I swear I am telling you the truth.”
“Fucking, liar!” This time yelling and slapping her square across her cheek. “All women do is lie. They tell you they feel one way, only to leave you without so much as a hint it’s coming. All of you play games with men’s hearts. And I am fucking sick and tired of it. I won’t be played with anymore.
I raised my hand to hit Jessica again, but this time she buried her head in the pillow, crying out, over and over, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I really am sorry.”
“Then prove it to me. If you really want me then show me.”
“Tell me how and I will. I will do anything.”
“Kiss me. If you care about me, kiss me like you love me.”
“I’m not sure I can.”
“See, exactly. You don’t give a fuck about me. I know it.”
“No, wait. That’s not what I mean. I don’t think I can show you without my hands. If I kiss you like I want to then I need to be able to touch your face. Otherwise it won’t feel right to me. If it doesn’t feel right to me how can it feel right to you?”
“Bullshit!” And then I grabbed her by her throat. “You think I am fucking stupid. Seriously? How dumb do you think I am?”
Cutting off the air to her lungs, could Jessica remember her trip to visit me? How we became so close, and how we got to the point she trusted me without question. Or was she so lost in her role, was she actually wondering if she’d ever see her parents again? Over text, hundreds of times, I have told her I was going to kill her for one reason or another. And over text, hundreds of times, she had begged me not to. But here and now, what was the difference between play and actually trying to kill her? Could she feel the difference? Was there any?
I squeezed her throat so hard my hands melted into her. I had choked Jessica before, but nothing like that. In that moment I was no longer Jay, a guy who cared for and loved the girl in front of me. I was a broken person, my logic twisted beyond anything that could be recognized as logic. I truly believed she had wronged me; she had somehow wounded my ego. And maybe it wasn’t even her I was trying to kill. Jessica was a stand in for all the times I had been hurt- all the times family, friends, and relationships had turned their backs on me, leaving me alone, to fend for myself. How different was I than the monster who could do this for real, when the hurt I was trying to atone was no different than that of the monster’s?
I might not have let go – I can’t say for sure – if it hadn’t been for Jessica saying with her last breath, “I love you.” It flipped a switch inside of me, softening me up. My grip loosened and I wondered if it even mattered if she was faking it to save her life or she actually meant it. I wondered if it even mattered if this was a role play or this was real. It all felt the same to me. So I whispered back, “I love you too.”
Still gasping for air Jessica lifted her head. She began to kiss me like she was dying and the cure she needed was somewhere on my face. She kissed my nose, my cheeks, my eyes, my chin and my lips, each one of them further entombing me within my self-created paradox. All I wanted was her love me. Now that she was giving it to me I didn’t see how I trust it.
“I still don’t know if I can believe you. What if this is all a lie to get me to drop my guard.”
“I am willing to let go. Do whatever you want to me. I won’t fight it.”
“What do you think you are trying to do? I’m in charge here,” I grunted at her as I grabbed the knife from the nightstand and held it to her throat.
“I’m sorry. You’re right. You are in charge here.” I pressed the blade deeper into her skin. “You are in charge! OK! You are in charge! You have all the power.”
“That’s fucking right. I do.” I reached down with my free hand and pushed down Jessica’s shorts and panties to her knees. I used the knife to cut open her tank top, and yanked her bra down below her breasts.
“You’re in charge! You have all the power. I won’t fight you. I swear, I love you. I want you to get everything you want.”
Jessica’s pussy was dripping wet when I forced my cock into her. We were both looking right into one another, me grunting and groaning, just using her pussy as a hole. No matter what my intentions had been before, if my character had followed her and obsessed about her, if I had loved her, once my cock was inside, she was nothing more than a piece of flesh. She was a warm hole. I wanted to strip away everything, her persona; the things she loved about herself: gone. All that remained was the ugliness, leaving her with nothing. I hated myself. The character I was playing wouldn’t be satisfied until Jessica was as unlovable as he was, until she was unlovable as I was. Seeing Jessica so clearly, reflected that hate back up at me. I wasn’t raping this beautiful, half Asian girl with long dark hair. I was raping myself.
Jessica kept saying over and over, sobbing out the words as I raped her, “I promise you I love you. Please believe me. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. This is all my fault”
It had all become way too real for either one of us to be playing a roll anymore. Her whole life, Jessica felt unworthy of anyone’s love. Growing up a home surrounded by violence, she walked on egg shells, desperate to not upset anyone, knowing that if she did it could end with her father beating her mother or her mother beating her. Was she apologizing to me or was she apologizing to them? I think maybe both. In my eyes I reflected back the ugliness she learned to accept at too young of an age, but here and now, with as intense as all of this was, she was safe. She could have stopped it if she wanted to. She chose to stay in character because this was what she wanted. It was what she needed.
I came inside of Jessica as tears streamed down her face. “Please. I need to touch your face. I have to. Please let me use my hands.”
And my mind turned to mush, in the midst of the orgasm. I forgot about the weeks of following her and stalking her. I forgot about grabbing her in the parking lot of her apartment complex. I forgot about driving her around in my truck, trying to fill her with fear. I rolled a little to my side and reached underneath, cutting the zip-tie around her wrist, and then setting the knife back down on the night stand. My cock still pulsing inside of her, Jessica reached up to touch my face, gently stroking my beard. “You see, everything is going to be OK. See how good this feels?”
Her lips kissed all over me and I collapsed on top of her, sobbing into her neck. “Shhh, it’s OK. I’m here for you now. I love you and everything will be OK.”
I lost myself in her smell, in her words, in all the self-hatred I never expected to feel, totally forgetting about the knife on the nightstand, at the edge of Jessica’s reach.