Thanks to the Hip and Knee doctor for editing assistance.
The Taco Bell was within walking distance from my house. Not too many people live beside a shopping center, but the rent was cheap. Every night I made the trip and every night I ordered the same thing; a burrito and a large drink. It was my excuse for a diet. I was always satisfied with it, because it cost less than three dollars, and that meant I could put more money away.
I have been saving all the money that I could for the last six years. I had one goal; that was to buy a wife. I didn't care where she came from or what she looked like. The important thing was that she would live with me and share my life. If I was lucky, she might even learn to like me. I never considered love as an option.
I always liked children and I always wanted to have my own. That was the only requirement that I was planning on putting on my application. The woman that I ended up with must be willing and able to have children.
I unwrapped my bean and beef burrito. My hands were enormous, gnarly, and rough. They were ideal for handling the hot, gushy delicacy that was my supper. I spent all day operating heavy equipment and even when I wore gloves, my mitts still looked like big chunks of meat at the end of the day. It was my job. I loved it and I got paid well.
Two tables across from me sat a boy who was about six years old. His family was all busy chatting and eating their Mexican delights, but he was just taking nibbles and staring at me. He watched as I lifted the monstrosity to my mouth and crunched down. Bean juice oozed out the side and ran down my chin. To him I was fascinating. I wiped off my chin and smiled at him. When he smiled back, I felt happy.
I finished my supper and walked toward the door. The boy never took his eyes off of me. I smiled again as I walked out. Children liked me, but adults, especially of the female gender, seemed to find me repulsive.
I glanced at my reflection in the windows, as I walked past the building. I was truly a sight. I stood well over six feet tall and my hair was in a burr cut. If it had been any shorter, I would have been bald. My face was broad and flat with a wide mouth. I was not the guy that girls fantasize about when they go to bed at night.
I finished high school and never had a date; not even for the prom. I guess it was partly my fault, because I never asked a girl to go out with me. I had been conditioned by the preconceived rejections that I constantly carried with me. It was sad but I was comfortable with it.
In two more years I would have enough to buy my wife. Tonight, I could sit by my computer and do some more shopping. I had enough now to get a girl from some of the places, but I was hoping that if I spent more I would get a better product. That was a sad way to think about a wife, but a guy like me didn't have many options.
It was only a five minute walk back to the house. It was a small, two-bedroom bungalow, that didn't look like much, but it came furnished and the utilities were cheap. The house had a kitchen, but I never used it. I didn't even own any dishes or kitchen equipment. I did have a refrigerator with cold drinks.
The back of the mall stores was empty and deserted at night. It was a little creepy, but sort of cool at the same time. Every once in a while, I would scare up a cat or loose dog when I passed through. Tonight it was a little different.
There were three of them and they seemed to be having a hell of a good time kicking the shit out of somebody on the ground. I didn't know if the guy deserved the beating or not, but I didn't like the odds. All I said when I walked towards them was "Hey!"
The three of them stopped and turned towards me. I got the distinct feeling that I had just screwed up big time. I was big, but I wasn't bad. I always avoided fights, but looking back there never were too many to avoid. Nobody messed with me, just because of my size and mean appearance.
These guys, however, were not impressed. I quickly decided that this was not the time to be a nice guy. The first one didn't get a chance. I swung at him with a straight-armed right, roundhouse. Surprisingly, he just fell to the ground. The other two got close enough to get a few punches in which didn't seem to phase me at all. I felt them, but there was no great pain or discomfort. I gave thug number two a backhand with the same right arm and then picked up the third guy and threw him into the side of a nearby dumpster.
The poor guy getting the crap kicked out of him was sitting up and watching. He didn't look too good, but he was still paying attention. I helped him to his feet and into the Mercedes parked in the middle of the alley. I never drove one before, but he had better get to a hospital.
It took about ten minutes to find an all night clinic. He never said a word, but just stared at me, with weasel eyes. I might have been ugly, but this guy was sleazy. His olive complexion glistened from the sweat and blood running down his face. One cheek seemed to be swelling up as well as his lower lip. His lips were thin and tight looking. I stayed with him just long enough to see that he was being taken care of, and then caught a cab back to my house. My first experience as a Good Samaritan ended up costing me fifteen bucks.
Four days later, I saw in the newspaper that three men had been found dead in the same alley. They had all been shot once in the back of the head. For some reason, I did not think that this was a coincidence.
While Taco Bell was my choice for supper, I always went to the Waffle House for breakfast. I was a creature of habit and had the same plate of pancakes and fried eggs every day. I never had to order, unless there was a new waitress. The girls would usually slip a piece of bacon or sausage on my plate, because they knew it would get them a good tip. It was a joke between us, and one of the few real interactions that I had with any people at all. I had once thought about possibly asking one of them to go out with me, but chickened out.
My life went back to normal for three months, and then it changed again. The weasel from the alley came back into my life.
"Mister Trent? Robert Trent?" He was standing on the front landing with a smile on his face. I guessed that he was trying to look pleasant, but it came across as sinister.
"Yeah. Most people call me Bobby."
"Can I come in? We need to talk for a few moments."
He wasn't alone. Behind him was a small, creepy, little Goth girl. She wasn't even five feet tall and looked sickly. I stepped aside and they both entered. He sat on the sofa and she stood beside him and slightly behind.
"You know who I am, don't you Bobby?"
"Yeah. You are the guy that I drove to the hospital a few months back."
"My name is Maurice. Maurice Franklin."
"What can I do for you Mister Franklin?"
"I need a favor Bobby. I have to go out of the county for a few years and I would like you to take care of Topaz for me."
"What is a Topaz?"
Maurice looked over his right shoulder and nodded. "This is Topaz. She is my favorite sub. I will be in Amsterdam for about seven years and I cannot trust leaving her with anybody else."
"You don't even know me. I only met you one time, and that was under some pretty unusual circumstances."
"I had you very carefully investigated and feel that Topaz will be safe with you."
"I don't think so."
"While I am gone, I will pay you two thousand dollars a month for her keep. All that I ask for you to do is to keep her safe."
"I have to work Mister Franklin. I can't watch her every minute. What will keep her from just wandering off when I am not at home?"
"She is a sub, Mister Trent. She will obey your every word. If you tell her to stay, she will stay and ask no questions."
He called me by my last name. I guess that was to emphasize what he was trying to say.
"You mean like a Stepford wife?"
"Not exactly, but close."
"What do you mean when you say that she will obey my every word?"
"Topaz will cook for you and clean your house. If it is your desire, she will also share your bed. She has been programmed since she was very young and cannot refuse anything."
"From you, maybe, but not from me."
"She will if I tell her to."
Mister Franklin and I talked for another half hour. Topaz stood quietly and did not speak or make any kind of expression for the entire time. Before leaving, he stood in front of the small girl and spoke quite clearly and emphatically.
"Mister Trent is your new master. You will do everything that he asks you to do without question. Do you understand me?"
"Yes." It was the first and only word out of her mouth.
As he left, I noticed a small bag sitting by the front door. I could only assume that it contained everything that she owned in the world. The only thing more pathetic was the girl herself.
I took her bag and started down the small hallway to the extra bedroom. She followed me like a puppy dog. When I showed her where the bathroom was, she gave me a small smile and immediately went in and started to pee. It was as if she had not gotten to use a bathroom all day. I assumed that when I showed it to her, she took it as permission to use it.
Mister Franklin left me with a check for two thousand dollars, but no phone number or contact address. It looked like I was committed.
There was no food in the house. In order to feed her I had to take her out with me. I had my lunch while I was at work, so that was a meal that she would have to miss. This was not going to work. I had to make some adjustments.
It was time for supper and she walked just behind me to the Taco Bell. I asked her what she wanted and she just looked at me. I got my usual and got her two soft chicken tacos with a small drink. It was an interesting meal because for the first time, there were more people staring at her than at me. It was easy to understand why.
Topaz had straight black hair with a pink strip down the side. The dark eye shadow and purple lipstick made her look super freaky. I guess to some, she would be attractive, but not to most. In addition to multiple ear piercings, she had silver or metal studs in her eye brows, nose, and lower lip. The one on her tongue was not as apparent. Although, I understood why, I found the whispered comments that many of the patrons were making annoying. For some strange reason I starting to feel a little protective and defensive about my new ward.
During the walk back home, I tried to find out a little more about her. "How old are you?"
"I have a birth certificate that says that I am eighteen, but I am not sure if it is true."
"Why is that?"
"It says that my name is Madison; Madison Harte. I don't know that name."
"How long have you been with Mister Franklin?"
"I am not sure. Four or five years, I guess."
"How did you meet him?"
"I didn't meet him. He bought me."
Now, I had all sorts of questions. Maurice Franklin bought this young girl the same way that I was planning to buy a wife. All of a sudden, I felt as sleazy as he was. I didn't ask her any more questions.
When I got home, I called my boss at work and took a week off. I had plenty of vacation time coming and I had a lot to do.
Topaz seemed to be extremely happy when I told her that she had the use of the toilet and bathroom facilities at anytime that she wanted. Apparently, it was a customary policy to control such things. I told her that she could take a shower and she immediately started to undress in front of me. Normally I would have turned and walked away, but in this case, the image grabbed my attention. She had scars and bruises on her entire body. Many of the scars were from cigarette or cigar burns. Her back was covered with lash marks. I was confused by the entire situation. I realized that it involved a culture that I was unfamiliar with. There were more metal adornments. In addition to the two nipple rings, there was one in her navel and I caught a flash from one that had to be attached to her most private area. She was not my property, but she was going to be with me for seven years. I had a decision to make and I did it.
Topaz came out of the shower and joined me in the living room. She had nothing on. The initial shock of the condition of her body was wearing off and now I was faced with the realization that I was alone with a naked girl. She was young and small, and she had a beautiful body, despite the flaws. I quickly realized that she was naked on purpose, probably because that was what she felt that I wanted. She was not ashamed of her body and seemed comfortable in front of me.
I left the room and came back with a large beach towel. She seemed confused when I insisted that she cover her self up. Hell, I confused myself. I could have watched her all night, except I felt dirty and guilty for some reason.
It was still early in the evening, but I needed a break. I walked her to the bedroom and then closed the door. She looked disappointed, but I couldn't tell if she was afraid that she had done something wrong or that she unhappy because I didn't want to have sex with her. I did want to sleep with her, but not under the present circumstances.
I was not looking forward to the first morning with my new guest. If she was going to be with me for seven years there were a few changes that would have to be made. I went into the kitchen and she was standing by the table waiting. I didn't know how long she had been there. There was nothing we could do in the kitchen because it was an empty room. I started walking out the door and Topaz immediately followed.
She followed me all the way to the Waffle House. No words were spoken. Today, I took a booth rather than my usual counter seat. Glenda was working the booth area today and brought water and coffee for both of us. She gave me a quizzical look and seemed to be waiting for some type of answer or explanation. I didn't know what to say.
"I'll have my usual breakfast and bring a Western omelet for the lady." Glenda made a weird face when I used the word 'lady' to refer to Topaz. There was a lot of chit-chat behind the counter and we got a lot of looks from the employees and other customers.
My breakfast was just as I had ordered it, but today there was no extra meat on the plate. Topaz ate everything without saying a word. When we left, I put a bigger tip on the table than normal. Glenda and the other girls might have been a little uncomfortable with my guest, but the bigger tip should tell them that I understood.
I didn't mind that people stared at me and made quiet comments, but I didn't like when they did the same thing to Topaz. On the way back to the house I made my first major decision.
Topaz never sat down, unless she was told to, even at the restaurant. She never spoke unless she was asked to, or needed clarification.
I told her to sit at the kitchen table and I sat across from her.
"I am your master; is that correct?"
"You must do everything that I tell you to do; is that correct?"
"From now on your name will be Madison. Do you understand?"
"Yes, master. My name is Madison."
I didn't like this game, but I didn't know how else to do what I wanted to do. I didn't have any grand plans for her, but something had to be done. Now that the name problem had been clarified, I presented her with her first task.
I pushed a pair of needle nosed pliers, a tube of Neosporin, and a small Tupper Ware container across the table. She looked at them and looked up at me.
"Madison, go to your room and take off all of your clothing. I want you to remove every one of the metal studs and piercings that you have; all of them. Put them into the plastic container and then take a shower. After you are clean, put a small dab of the salve in this tube on each of the empty holes. You don't have to do that to the one on your tongue. When you are done, get dressed and come back. Oh, yes. Madison. No make-up, please." I don't know why I added the 'please'? I guess it was out of habit.
I am not a drinker, but I had myself a beer while I waited for her. I thought I heard her make some quiet little noises that sounded like 'ouch, ' but I was probably mistaken. She had to be more stoical than that. The beer got warm before I finished it. As I said, I am not much of a drinker.
When she came back to the kitchen, she looked the same, but different, if that makes sense. She handed me the pliers, Tupper Ware, and Neosporin. I gave her the salve back and told her to use it if she got any sore spots.
The trip to Wal-Mart was going to be expensive, but I really didn't care. We took two carts. In house wares we got dishes, silverware, pots and pans, a toaster, and a small microwave oven. In the health and beauty section, we got all of the grooming supplies that I thought would be necessary. She helped by picking out soap, toothpaste, and feminine products without my assistance. It was a relief that she had anticipated what I wanted her to do.
Things slowed down a little when we stopped at the hair dye section. I asked her which package was the closest to her natural color. She seemed a little confused, but eventually pointed to a box that had a picture of a girl with mousey brown hair. She looked at the box and smiled, before dropping it in the cart.
When we got to the women's department I found an associate and asked for her help. I told the lady that Madison needed six sport bras and a dozen pairs of cotton underwear. I wanted practical, not sexy, and felt that it was important to let my wishes be known. We also got socks, slacks, blouses and a light jacket, before heading for the shoe department. I was planning on getting her two pairs, but ended up with three. The first of the carts was full as we headed for the grocery section.
I was totally lost. Like a typical man, all I could think of was steaks and hot dogs. Madison noticed my hesitation and touched my hand.
I hadn't expected her to speak. "Yes?"
"Do you want to get a coffee pot?"
Of course I wanted to get a coffee pot, but I didn't think about it while I was in the appliance section. I just looked at her and nodded in the affirmative.
"You go get a coffee pot and I will get the food."
Wow. Was that a relief. I wasn't looking forward to food shopping. She took the empty cart and started for the meat department as I tried to find the coffeepots.
After fifteen minutes I stopped. What the hell was I doing? I left her alone and went wandering about the store. She could just walk off and I would never be able to find her again. Boy, I was as stupid as I looked. I grabbed the cheapest coffee maker they had, and rushed back to the grocery section. I couldn't see her. I went up and down the aisles, but she was not to be seen.
"Robert. I am ready. Did you get a coffee pot?"
She was right behind me. The cart was half-filled with food stuff. She smiled when she noticed that I was glad to see her. I guess she didn't realize why I was happy about it.
The total for everything came to over two hundred dollars. I had the money, but decided to use my credit card. I didn't have many opportunities to use it.
On the ride home, Madison was smiling. I thought I heard her hum to herself, but I might have been wrong. I tend to imagine good things because it brightens up my life.
We put the groceries away first. I made her pick out where she wanted things to go. She was a little hesitant at first, but quickly got into the swing of things. She watched me from the kitchen as I carried her new clothes to the bedroom. The bags covered most of the single bed.
There was a small, linen closet in the bathroom. I put all of the new bath and personal items on one shelf. I also cleared a shelf in the medicine cabinet for her. I left the box of hair dye on the sink.
She was standing in the kitchen when I returned. She wasn't doing anything, but just standing there. I found it to be annoying. I didn't get upset over too many things. I had to do something to keep her from being this subservient. I didn't mind having her as a companion, but I didn't want her as a zombie.
I told her to go to her bedroom and try on all of her new clothing to make sure that they fit. There was an empty dresser in the room and some hangers in the closet. She was smiling when she left to open her packages. She already knew what was there, but still seemed excited about looking at them again. I decided to figure out how to work the new coffee pot. I made a mess on my first attempt, but the second one was pretty good.
I was enjoying my culinary skills at making coffee when Madison came back to the kitchen. She had on a pair of jeans, an orange Tee shirt, and white tennis shoes. She was cute. She smiled when she saw that I was smiling.
I was still drinking my wonderful cup of brew, as she skipped back to the bedroom. Maybe it wasn't actually skipping, but she did have a bounce to her step.