Date 1 ~ Drinks.
Date 2 ~ Dinner. Drinks.
Date 3 ~ Dinner. Drinks. Lots of them. Invitation to her place.
I was shocked when Sonya had me follow her car out to the suburbs to her mansion at the end of a cul-de-sac surrounded by houses that looked all the same. The girl wasn’t even 20, but she lived in a three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom house a good 30 minutes outside of the city? It’s funny how much less you vocalize questions you have about people before you have had sex with them for the first time.
I had a distinct feeling that wall was coming down that particular night. There was no way Sonya had me drive a half hour each way, already somewhere between buzzed and drunk, just to have one more drink.
Once inside the house, Sonya explained that both of her parents died fairly young and left her the house. It was a heavy dose of negative emotion to throw into the heavy petting and making out we were doing on the couch, but I was relieved to find out she wasn’t actually married to a 30-year-old guy who was going to burst through the door in the morning with a shotgun or something.
The conversation melted away faster than I thought it would. It was only a matter of time before I was in Sonya’s pink bedroom which looked like it hadn’t been redecorated since her high school years. Even more morbid than hearing about her parents dying as I had my hands all over her was taking things to the next level next to a poster of The Jonas Brothers.
Things unfolded the way I hoped they would. Actually, even better than I thought they would. Had I been the kind of guy who had a list written out of the best sexual partners I have had in my life, Sonya would have been number one with a bullet.
I laid back on Sonya’s bed at peace. I was excited to sleep in with her and wake up to cool off in the pool the next morning. I thought there was a good chance I might actually end up spending the whole weekend with Sonya at her place. I could get used to the burbs.
Sonya interrupted my daydreaming when she returned from a post-coital trip to the bathroom. I sat up when I felt wet tears wipe off her cheeks and onto my shoulder as she snuggled up next to me.
“I need your help with something. I hope it doesn’t freak you out,” Sonya said into my naked chest.
Sonya led me over to the closet in the corner of her room. She opened the doors and revealed a wooden rack adorned with metal shackles and chains. It looked like a torture rack you would see in Game of Thrones.
“I need you to chain me up,” Sonya said.
“It’s not funny.”
Sonya walked in front of me, still naked and put her back up against the rack.
Okay. So the girl was into some serious S&M. It was probably going to keep me from bringing her home to mom and dad, but I could roll with it for a while.
I helped Sonya put her wrists and ankles in the shackles and latched them shut.
I reached down and took my boxers off and took a step towards Sonya, poised for a kiss. She turned her head away.
“It’s not like that,” Sonya said, her eyes on the floor. “You should put your clothes back on. The key is in the nightstand by my bed. You have to use it to lock these up and then unlock me in the morning. You can sleep in my bed. Close the door when you’re done.”
I pulled my boxers back up.
Sonya looked me in the eyes, fresh tears dripping down her cheeks.
“I can explain more eventually, but this is just how it is right now.”
“Just do it!” Sonya said.
I locked the shackles, closed the door on Sonya and walked back downstairs to the kitchen to make a drink. It was going to take a lot more booze to get me to fall asleep after that.
I woke up on the couch. My head ached. I polished off four glasses of straight whiskey to force myself to go to sleep and it took me well into the night to accomplish that. I must have only got about three hours of restless sleep on the couch before the morning sun blazed through the large window in the living room and shoved me back awake.
I climbed the stairs up to Sonya’s room. I pushed through her door and was greeted by peaceful silence. I looked at her closed closet door. My body shivered, even though we had forgot to turn the air conditioning on and the temperature in the room had to be above 80 degrees.
“Sonya,” I said in the direction of the closet from the doorway.
“Good morning,” I heard Sonya’s groggy voice through the door of the closet.
I walked over to the closet and opened it up. I recoiled a bit when I saw Sonya laying back against the wooden board, her body naked and sweaty, her eyes barely open. She gave me a little smile.
“You can let me out now,” Sonya said.
Sonya and I caught up about the night over iced coffee next to the pool to the soundtrack of singing birds. It would have been bliss had the topic not been about tying her up in a closet so she could sleep at night.
“I’ll save you the awkwardness of even having to ask,” Sonya broached the subject before I had to. “I don’t know exactly what it is, but I have horrible blackouts at night, but only after I have sex.”
I thought Sonya was making this up. I thought this was the world’s most-elaborate prank. I almost laughed.
“What do you mean, blackouts?”
“I don’t really even know. It started happening once I started having sex when I was in college. I would go to sleep and then wake up somewhere completely different with a path of destruction in my wake. One time I woke up with my car covered in debris in a creek-bed. Once I woke up in my Kindergarten classroom, covered in blood from punching a window out to get in, one time I woke up in downtown LA on skid row sleeping with a bunch of bums. I eventually had to install the rack thing in there to keep me from running away in the night. I tried just having the door sealed from the outside or getting tied to the bed, but it never worked. I would always find a way to get out.”
“Do you hurt people?” I asked.
“Physically, I don’t know. Emotionally, yes. I understand if it is too much, and I’m sorry for throwing you into this without a real choice, but I got drunk last night and I needed some company. It had been a long, long time. Since before my parents passed. Thank you. Now, I understand if this is too much to deal with.”
“I mean…yeah. That’s pretty crazy.”
“You’ve been to specialists and stuff for this?”
“Yeah, stupid question.”
“I’ve done everything someone could do in this situation except get themselves committed. Which I’m sure could happen at some point.”
“Only if you have sex.”
“So you just don’t usually have it?”
“So we will be fine and you won’t have to sleep in a closet as long as we don’t have sex?”
“Precisely, but I doubt that will work in the long run.”
“I know I’m probably not supposed to say this, and you’ll probably run to the Tinder hills because I did, but I really like you,” I said (nervous laugh).
“We can try.”
Sonya and I tried. We dated seriously for a couple of months without doing the deed.
I came up to her house in the suburbs on the weekends for sleep overs, she came over to my place in the city on weeknights. It was bliss. My endless nights of swiping right only to find damaged goods that didn’t have time, energy or the heart for a real relationship were over. Strange enough, the girl who needed to be shackled at night to make sure she didn’t burn the city down was the least-damaged girl I had found in years of dating in LA.
Sonya and I made it work. There were ways around sex and I think avoiding it for a couple of months helped us build a better bond in a day and age when a lot of people start relationships on a one-night stand.
I have to say the issue was the elephant in the room of our relationship which grew larger each day. Well, more like a hideous monster. I felt that monster might grow so large that it pushed us out of our cubby hole of comfort if we didn’t confront it, but I said nothing. I didn’t want to sabotage what we had.
Sabotage ended up being something we didn’t discuss, we just did it one night, when two drinks with dinner turned into seven drinks and a late-night skinny dip in the pool. I interrupted our make out session when the REO Speedwagon song “Can’t Fight This Feeling” popped into my head. There was no getting away from it this time.
Sonya and I made love in her bed. We soaked the sheets with the chlorine water which still clung to us. We were so drunk, I don’t think either of us thought about the consequences until we were lying with our eyes to the ceiling, catching our breath with that post-coital urge of sleep filling our bodies.
“Well…at least it was worth it,” Sonya said.
Sonya got up and went into the bathroom. I almost feel asleep by the time she came back a few minutes later. She didn’t even come back to the bed, she just walked over to the closet and started locking herself in.
“Just come lock it and we can go to sleep,” Sonya said.
I walked over and locked up the closet. Sonya and I avoided eye contact when the door closed.
“Good night,” we said at the same time just before the door closed all the way.
I retreated to the bed. I was so drunk and tired, it didn’t take me long to drift away into sleep.
I woke to the sound of heavy pounding on the closet door. I slowly opened my eyes. The room was still lit by a dying candle next to the bed I forgot to put out before going to sleep.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
Methodical pounds rapped against the inside of the closet door. I looked over and saw its white doors shuddering with each hit. The pace of my heart started to pick up like the engine of a car that just pulled onto the on ramp of a freeway and started to accelerate.
I waited about 10 seconds for an answer. None came.
“Sonya?” I said again.
I got up from the bed and walked over towards the closet. The pounding stopped. The sound was replaced by the sound of heavy breathing.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
I slowly walked away and went back to bed. I laid there for hours, never falling back asleep, listening to those steady pounds hit the inside of the closet door until morning came.
I was shocked how normal Sonya looked when I let her out just after sunrise. You could have never imagined the girl was up the entire night before attacking a door. She pulled me in for a long, sweet hug as soon as she was free.
“We messed up, but it’s okay,” Sonya whispered into my ear during our embrace.
We promised again to not get too drunk and let our desires get the best of us. It was a nice short-term promise, but I still had my doubts about the long-term plausibility of how this would all work. Were we going to spend our whole lives sober and celibate? We might as well have become Mormons. Neither of us seemed to have a solution.
I would prod Sonya with questions whenever the time felt right. She swore up and down that all doctors had no idea what it was. Night terrors or something, was about the best explanation I ever got. She showed me official documentation from physicians. Confirmed that she had tried a bunch of medications, but none of them ever worked. I saw the half-empty pill bottles.
We went on with life. Every day together was a joy. We went Facebook official. I knew we were only a few months away from having to decide if we want to move in together full-time. The obvious choice would be to move into her already paid-off house with the pool, but I had my hesitations, for obvious reasons.
Those hesitations picked up some momentum when Sonya and I slipped up again on Halloween. We had too much to drink. Had incredible sex (it’s amazing how good it is when you let it linger for months at a time) and I locked my love in a god damn closet with iron clasps around her limbs.
The sounds from the closet started before I could fall asleep this time. A low growl, like the one a mean dog gives when you start to get to close to its food dish. I stared up at the ceiling and listened to it drone on for minutes before it was replaced by soft crying in Sonya’s usual soft feminine tone. It took everything I had to not run over to the closet, throw it open and pull out Sonya, but she promised that addressing her once it all started was the worst thing to do.
I listened to those growls and cries for hours. I felt like each minute that I had to listen sucked my soul out of me a little bit more and more.
Those pieces of my soul still floated out in the ether even with my relationship with Sonya flourishing. I couldn’t help but feel hollow each night when we said goodnight, kissed and I laid there with a throbbing erection (sorry, but it’s the truth) and a wonder if my girlfriend who was sleeping next to me was telling the truth about everything.
I soldiered on. Everything in my life seemed to take shape once I started things with Sonya. My mental imbalances appeared to mostly just be the stress and anguish of being a hopelessly single young person. Going to a spacious home with an actual kitchen and a backyard conducive to zen on the weekends helped me fight off the troubles of each work week and come back in on Monday refreshed and not drinking more than a couple of drinks on any given night was probably the best thing for me, mentally and physically.
So…I compromised…I let slide…whatever you want to call it. I was happy. We were happy. That was all that mattered.
Until…there’s always an until, isn’t there? Even in the happiest of stories.
This one didn’t start with booze. It started with a very sober, very thought-out and very-calm conversation with Sonya.
Sonya met me as soon as I walked in the front door of her house on a Friday night. I at first thought this was going to be one of those “talks” where I ended up driving back home in tears, but it was much the opposite. Sonya wanted to start scheduling sex on a regular basis. She was worried we were going to eventually have a problem, if we didn’t already, unless we did something. She could live with being locked up for a night every other week, she decided. I agreed. We set the next night as a lift off night.
Lift off came and went. It was amazing. Making love with someone you have been with for just the fourth time well over a year into your relationship causes you to release some unbelievable passion when you finally lock horns. I could barely walk by the time we were done.
Our lack of intoxication finally let us cuddle and bond after the deed. We laid there in bed for about an hour. I asked Sonya what would happen if she just didn’t go to sleep, but she said she didn’t want to risk it. What if she dozed off for a minute and then took off on a tear? Fair. I locked her up. I gave her a long kiss before I shut the door.
I was able to go to sleep peacefully that night. The formality of the whole thing seemed to give me security. It felt like a well-planned vacation or work activity.
I woke up to silence. I gave it a few minutes – listened for pounding from the closet. I listened for crying, growling, plead for help. I heard nothing. Just the hum of the air conditioning.
My bladder was what nudged me from my slumber. We pre-gamed our intimacy with virgin daiquiris in the pool and my body was ready to expel the fruity goodness at 5:30 in the morning.
I sat up in bed and instantly forgot about having to go to the bathroom. From the bed, I saw the doors to the closet resting open.
I got out of the bed and walked to the closet.
I looked in the open closet. The shackles were empty.
“Sonya?” I whispered.
I checked the bathroom. No Sonya.
Had I forgotten to lock the shackles? I couldn’t remember.
The door to the bedroom was closed. I walked over and put my ear to it. I didn’t hear anything.
I opened the bedroom door and peered out. The rest of the house seemed still, silent, dead. I left the bedroom and took off exploring.
My first destination was Sonya’s parents’ room at the end of the hall. It seems crazy to say now, but more than a year into half living at Sonya’s place, I had never been in her parents’ room.
The room let out a musty scent the second I cracked open the door. I peeked inside and saw a room that looked lived-in, but clearly had not been touched in quite some time. It reminded me of the re-staged historical rooms you commonly see in museums which try to capture how a place may have looked 100 years ago.
Everything about the room was unnerving. There was a pair of white boxer briefs on the floor to the side of the bed, an uncapped pen rested on a calendar on a desk, half-empty glasses of water rested on each nightstand. What looked like a red wine stain at the foot of the bed which trickled burgundy splatters into the bathroom.
I took my investigation to the rest of the house. No luck. I even checked the garage and backyard and saw no sign of Sonya, or her potential exit. All the doors were still locked. Her car was still in the garage.
I went back to Sonya’s room. I checked her bathroom and closet again. Nothing. I gave a look under the bed. Just dust bunnies and old shoeboxes.
I stood back up and noticed something I must have missed earlier out of the corner of my eye. There was a space created behind the door when left opened the way I left it. The light was low and it appeared there was a shadow hiding behind the cover of the door.
“Fuck,” I muttered to myself.
I took a few steps towards the door.
I took a few steps closer. I thought I saw the shadow behind the door move closer to the wall.
That was it. I had enough. I was a 6’2 205-pound guy in his late-20s afraid of his girlfriend. I stomped up to the door and pulled it shut.
Nothing was behind the door. Something was on top of it.
Perched on the top of the door like a frightened housecat was Sonya. She had maneuvered her barely over five feet and 100-pound frame onto the thing and squatted above me, naked and coated with sweat.
Sonya jumped down at me. She pinned me to the floor. She held me down with a strength I never could have imagined could come from her tiny body.
I looked at Sonya’s face. Her eyes were red and bloodshot, opened wide and set on me like those of a rabid dog, her usual full and voluminous hair was slicked back, her teeth clenched in her mouth which was clenched in a snarl.
Sonya’s hand came down and her nails ripped across my lip, immediately drawing blood. I screamed out and tried to squirm away from her, but could only make it a few inches on the hardwood floors.
Sonya’s nails went from my lips right to my back where they dug in like razors. I tried to swing her off of me. She wouldn’t budge. I felt her teeth dig into my back and chomp down on my soft flesh.
I screamed like a baby.
“PLEASE! SONYA! PLEASE!”
I found that superhuman strength people always say they find deep within themselves when faced with death. I was able to do a push-up and shake Sonya from me for a second. I scrambled to my feet and ran for the bathroom.
I slammed the door behind me as soon as I crashed into the bathroom. I twisted the lock in the door handle. I prayed the bolt lock and the flimsy wood of the door would hold up under the stress Sonya started to put it under like she was a female Jack Torrance.
Pounds harder than the ones from when I could hear Sonya going at the closet door months before blasted the bathroom door. I watched the door shake on its hinges. I feared it would only hold up for about a dozen of those powerful strikes before it came down.
A few more strikes shook the door, but then stopped. Maybe the sun came up, sunrise was approaching? No. The power on the other side of the door turned its attention to the door handle. I watched the gold handle rattle like a toy in front of my face.
The door handle seemed much more vulnerable than the door. Good thinking psycho Sonya.
A few twists of that handle had the thing spinning around in the door, no longer attached to the wood. I saw the handle scrape out of its hole and fall to the hard tile of the bathroom at my feet.
A single crazy eye appeared in the hole.
“Sonya…it’s Dhaval,” I said as calm as I possibly could at that moment. “I know something is really wrong with you right now, but I just need you to know that I love you and I only mean you good. Please, I just want to get that through to you,” I said.
A few crazed scrapes ripped on the other side of the door, but the eye remained. I stared at the eye with tears forming in mine.
The scrapes stopped. The eye vanished from the hole in the door. I let out a deep breath and then turned around. There was a little window above the shower/tub behind me and I saw a sliver of gray light coming out of it. Sunrise must have come.
I gave myself a few minutes to catch my breath. Just focused on breathing in and out at a steady pace. I wiped heavy sweat off of my face with my t-shirt.
I heard Sonya’s voice through the door.
“I’m sorry,” Sonya went on.
Sonya eventually talked me out of the bathroom. She wrapped me in a huge hug and leaked tears all over my body. She quivered in my arms for minutes before we went outside and we caught our breath and lowered our temperatures.
Sonya and I talked through things. She didn’t know how she got out of the shackles and the closet, but I admitted that I thought that I may have not actually locked them. She had no idea why she didn’t just go right at me when she got out, but how the hell were you going to try and attach reason to the madness that was her condition?
Our relationship went on, but it was never the same. It was like one of those colossal fights, or little pieces of information that is a sharp knife to a relationship, but not a kill shot. It’s almost worse than a blow up, because it didn’t submarine the relationship, but instead poked enough holes in it to where it would never be the same and it would eventually sink.
I internally delayed plans to move in with Sonya full-time. I stepped our relationship back a little bit. Took some nights off, even poked around on Tinder to see the lay of the land. I created a little bit of a distance. I was pretty sure Sonya noticed.
We drifted. It happens. Like everyone in the modern dating scene, we let things linger for as long as humanly possible, even though we knew it was bound to fail and it was going to create more problems.
I still spent weekends at Sonya’s. My visits felt a little hollow, but I still hit the freeway every Friday afternoon and slogged through traffic until I was in her cul-de-sac and ready for an awkward weekend.
We were about two months into this when things got strange. I got off work a little early and made it to Sonya’s house a little over an hour before I usually got there. She wasn’t there.
Sonya worked from home and knew I was coming so her absence was fairly strange. I had texted her a couple hours before that I was going to be early, so she knew I was coming.
I waited for her for nearly 30 minutes on the front steps of her house. She showed up hot and bothered and excused her tardiness from getting stuck at the store buying wild shrimp instead of the farmed shrimp at Ralph’s or something. I didn’t really think anything of it at the time. I just wanted to move on and get the night over with.
Our night went according to plan. Sonya was a bit standoffish and I was a bit distant, but that had become our M.O. We went in the pool and jacuzzi, had a couple of drinks and headed off to bed for sleep without sex.
The last thing I remember thinking about before I fell asleep was what my excuse was going to be to say I had to go back to my apartment in the city the next day.
I woke up in the bed alone in the middle of the night. I couldn’t feel Sonya’s form next to me the second I opened my eyes.
I scrambled around the bed as if she may have been hiding in the fold of the blanket or something. I looked to the bathroom, the door was open, it was dark inside. The closet door was closed as well.
I figured there was a good chance Sonya was just down in the kitchen or something getting water. We hadn’t had sex, so she shouldn’t have been rabid.
Footsteps pounded outside the closed bedroom door. They sounded swift. Hitting the ground at a pace between a fast walk and a jog.
A thought flashed into my mind. Sonya didn’t have sex with me, but she may have had sex with someone else. It explained why she showed up late and flustered.
The footsteps stopped right outside the door. The door opened slowly. I saw the outline of Sonya standing in the doorway. I couldn’t make out her face, her features, it was too dark, but her slack stance wasn’t as threatening as it had been the last time she had been creeping around in the night.
I started to walk backwards, towards the only window in the room. Luckily it was left open the night before. It had a screen, but I pictured myself ripping that thing off and jumping out of the second-story window. There was grass outside. I hopefully wouldn’t break anything.
“Did you fuck some other guy?” I asked Sonya.
Sonya stepped into the room without an answer. I saw blood in her eyes in the low light of the room.
I took off to the window. I heard Sonya’s feet slam on the hardwood on my tail. She was right behind me when I reached the chest-high window.
I punched an arm through the screen of the window as hard as I could. My arm tore through the hard mesh, but I felt the thing rip my flesh all the way down to the elbow before it stopped.
I pulled the screen backwards and felt something shred my back worse than the screen had my arm. I recognized the hot sting of Sonya’s long nails dig into the top of my naked back and then rip down to my lower back. I screamed and stumbled backwards with the screen stuck on my arm.
Sonya pulled me away from the window with the furious strength I recognized from her last attack. I was able to fight it and stand my ground, but getting out that window seemed like a bridge too far.
I started to plead, but I knew it was hopeless. I saw a clock which read 4:14 when I first woke up. I would not be saved by the rising sun this time. I was going to have to fight.
I turned around to face Sonya. She frothed at the mouth and slapped her hands at me. She locked eyes.
“You’re right. I fucked that guy. Then I came home and kissed you,” Sonya yelled at me, sounding a lot like the demon from The Exorcist.
“You’re fucking crazy,” I screamed back.
I used the little gap of space our interaction provided to spin around and make a mad dash at the window again. I dove out of the opening from a few feet away and felt myself soar in the air. I felt Sonya’s nails slash me on the calves as I flew through the window looking like a dolphin going through a hoop at SeaWorld.
Sonya’s cuts still hurt on the way down to the grass lawn on the side of Sonya’s house. I hit the ground with a hard thud. I didn’t even take a breath to examine the damage. I just took off to get around the front of the house. I had a Hide-A-Key underneath the bumper of my car. I prayed I could get to it before Sonya tore out of the front of the house.
I grabbed the keys with no presence of Sonya. I unlocked the door with no presence of Sonya. I started the engine with no presence of Sonya.
I thought I was going to get out of their scot-free until I started to back up and saw Sonya standing in the street completely naked, blocking my path.
I didn’t care anymore. I reversed the car as hard as I could.
Sonya must have dove out of the way of the car, because I lost sight of her before I whipped the car around and floor-boarded the hell out of her driveway. I made the long drive home in just my boxers, without a phone and was damn lucky to have roommates who let me into my place when I knocked because my main keys were still in Sonya’s bedroom.
I called the police in Sonya’s suburban town and told them what happened. They didn’t really seem to care. At best, my case was a domestic violence dust up between two people who went their separate ways. I was fine with letting it go.
Not an hour goes by where I don’t think about everything that happened. I assume it will stay that way till the day I die.
It has been nine months and the whole incident just zapped back into my mind full-time. My god-awful manager at work who I hate more than anyone I have ever met in my entire life showed me something very interesting on his phone while trying to brag at a lunch.
He showed me a “smokin-hot babe” he recently started dating off of Bumble. He had only “slayed” her one time so far, but he explained that he was closing in. He said she had a killer place outside of the city.
He showed me a picture of her on Facebook. Yep, it was Sonya.
I just smiled and said I thought she was hot. I decided I’m just going to let that one play itself out. Maybe he will forget to lock up Sonya one night too.
Next blog will be out soon.Desai Thoughts MEdia.
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