I bolted from the house, leaving the door wide open behind me as I fled without looking back. I ran down the road without direction at first and then I made a decision and began to head for the hospital thinking that Charlotte needed medical attention. I was almost half way there when I suddenly faltered and stopped. “We can’t go the hospital;” I scolded myself out loud, “Mark works there so he will find us!”
Charlotte stirred in my arms as I spoke and started in shock to find herself outside. She looked up at me, her eyes wide and green. “You... You got us out!” Her voice sounded cracked and hoarse as she spoke. She looked about her to get her bearings, “Simon we should go to... to the police.”
I was torn then because I knew that Charlotte was right but at the end of the day I would be reporting my brother. To me that just felt wrong because despite all he had done Mark had looked after me. He made sure I had enough food, water, clothing and medical supplies. He had even been down to give me care on a personal level. I was still struggling with the Mark is all bad argument despite what I had just witnessed.
Mind you, he definitely deserved reporting for what he had just done to Charlotte. I knew that somewhere along the line it was going to be my fault but today he had gone too far. Everyone has their limits I suppose and he just pushed me over mine by raping Charlotte; my Charlotte. Yes, he needed reporting for that and I knew that I didn’t have to press charges for anything he had done to me.
So I squared my shoulders and nodded at Charlotte. I went to go and then faltered again. “Ah... I can’t remember where it is,” I said apologetically, “can you tell me?”
“Of course and I understand that you don’t know the way. You have known nothing but that basement for months now you know.” She moved her arms so that she could lock hers around my neck without exposing her body more than she could avoid and she left her head resting on my shoulder. “Thank you for getting me out of there baby.”
“I only wish I had been quick enough to stop it from happening,” I replied as I kissed the top of her head. I started walking then, following her directions until we reached the large building. I just stood outside looking at the doors which seemed opposing to me as they loomed in front of me.
“Are you sure about this?” Charlotte asked me. “I mean, I am but you... I don’t want you to do something that you are not ready for.”
“I am sure about what needs to be done,” I said looking down at her. “I just... Can’t do this on a personal level but what he did to you was too much. Sugar, you need to do this and I fully support it and will be a witness if you need one. But I can’t hold what he did to me as a bad thing. It feels like it was justified in a way and my fault.”
“Oh baby, Mark did a real number on you emotionally.” Charlotte put her hand on my cheek. “It has nothing to do with you and I am sure a part of you knows that but I am not going to make you press charges.”
“Thank you,” I murmured and then I carried her inside and up to the front desk. “Hi, I am here to report a rape.” I was surprised at the confidence in my voice as I spoke because inside I was terrified.
The girl behind the desk looked at me and then at Charlotte. Even her professional manner didn’t hide the shock in those dark eyes at Charlotte’s appearance. Probably mine too I mused, glad there were no mirrors in the cool reception area. I was also glad that there were only a few people milling about; any more and I probably would have bolted. “Um... This way please Mr…?”
“Harris and this is Miss. Acker,” I said as I followed her through to an interview room. I sat down and held Charlotte gently in my lap, holding the blanket around her.
“I also want to report kidnap, incarceration, and torture.” Charlotte piped up, her hand finding mine and squeezing it reassuringly.
“Please wait here and I will send someone in as soon as I can,” The young woman told us. “Do you want a drink or anything?” We both accepted a glass of water and then we just waited quietly.