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I shut the door and quietly clicked the lock into place, covertly listening for little voices as I moved closer to his bed. He sat upright running his hands over the stubble that marked his balding head. A heavy sigh exited his mouth, he managed a sideways grin as if to say he understood that crazy was now where we resided. He didn’t know how much more he could take of my insolence and rebellion, how to rectify the situation or how to fix my broken and deteriorating condition. I stood before him in a shambles, picking nervously at the jagged skin that now marked my face and hands. I felt that I could no longer remain erect, waves of sick and debilitating weakness made my legs sway and twitch.

Giggles and nervous footsteps made their way past the door, stopping momentarily before moving forward.  I gathered myself together once again and placed my feet firmly on the marble floor. I had struggled for several years now, fighting off rebellion that had been fueled by ugly realization and awareness. My existence had become a regimen of locking, checking, monitoring and daily inquisitions.  I questioned each and every movement, making sure that a small pan had not been placed on a large burner, all legs of the couch were either on the rug or off, curtains were drawn and secured at nightfall and that I was always at the ready, waiting to serve. Old worn work pants hung around my waist, laced with blotches of bleach and cleaners, a tattered shirt that served as pajamas and day time attire was stained with sweat and grime, no frills allowed. I inched my way closer to him as tears fell, at first softly and then in waves of indignant humiliation, hoping to purchase another day of peace and freedom.

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