I wanted to turn back time and take the shock away. I wished I was better able to control my reaction to his vicious scars. I already knew Silas wasn’t what society perceived as beautiful, those graphic scars had made sure of that. Most people couldn’t see past them, either that or they made them so uncomfortable they stopped looking and judged the man on the surface. I just didn’t know to what extent they went; the scars covered nearly all of Silas’s body.
But Silas was so much more than his skin, he was gentle and loyal and more considerate toward me than anyone else had ever been. He’d proven himself to be dependable, and trustworthy in the years he’d watched over me. Those qualities made him a prince charming for a girl like me. But I didn’t want Silas out of guilt, obligation or debt, I wanted Silas because he turned me on. When I thought of him, my mind would roam to how he’d touch me, where he’d put his hands and how that sinful mouth would torture me. The scars weren’t ugly to me, they couldn’t be because they were a part of who Silas was, and I thought he was a masterpiece—a perfect work of art.
I got up off the bed and walked completely naked into the shadows where Silas stood. I wrapped my arms around him from behind and allowed the warmth of my skin to engulf him, wishing my body could take away all the pain that those scars must have caused him. But he rejected my touch, moving deeper into the shadows of the room, trying to put as much distance as he could between me and his disfigured skin.
“Silas, I don’t care about these scars,” I said firmly. I willed him to believe me with all of my might. His silence was deafening and as each moment passed, so did a little bit of my resolve. I doubted whether I would be able to heal this man or if he even wanted my help. When I gently reached out and touched his scars, it caused him to flinch, and it broke my heart.
“Your scars aren’t ugly, Silas. They’re a part of you. They make you who you are: a handsome, strong, and amazing man. They’re a map of your past, the past of a man who I think is pretty spectacular.”
I waited for what seemed like an eternity until he finally he spoke. His words left me shaken and completely horrified.
“These are the marks of a monster, someone not worthy of love,” he muttered.
Then he walked out leaving me alone in the dark.
I left her. Again. I was a real piece of shit and I hated myself. I should have never brought her here, Kyle was right. By doing so I was exposing her to more of my secrets and I would just end up hurting her, maybe not physically, but I would crush her sweet spirit.
I was so fucked up and she didn’t even know the half of it. How could she really accept a man who wasn’t even accepted by his own mother? I was ugly on the inside too, that was why she did this to me. I was the reason that my father left her. I was the reason no one wanted to be with her because she was saddled with a useless snot-nosed kid. How many times in my life had she told me I was useless, ugly, nothing but a waste of breath? I believed her. I’d always believed her.
I was seven years old when it started, not really old enough to remember fond moments before the drugs took over her life, slowly turning her into a junkie and me into her favorite punching bag.
When my father left, she started to party again. She was desperate to fit in and she surrounded herself with men who didn’t have good intentions to begin with. At first she dabbled in cocaine, a drug she wasn’t able to afford for long. Then she discovered crack; a drug that gave her a bigger, more intense high, at only a fraction of the cost. That soon led her to try meth and that drug was the beginning of the end. My mother was gone and all that was left in her place was a husk of the woman she’d been, riddled with paranoia and hallucinations. The meth was the worst of it all. I watched as it caused my mother to decay inside and out, eventually making her see me as a vile creature she couldn’t shake off her back, just one more nuisance to check off on her long list of problems.
I walked toward my room not wanting to scare Annie in case she stumbled upon me. She knew about the scars, she was the one who helped me heal. After coasting in and out of foster care for years, I finally aged out when I was eighteen. I took off and didn’t look back. I was living on the streets making a name for myself as the beast. Hard knocks were my life so the brutality of the street was nothing new to me. I let the stories about my looks run wild. Kids would say that I did it to myself when someone threatened to set me on fire. Rumor had it I was crazy and wouldn’t back down from anything, violent and deranged so that no one dared to mess with me. Everyone was too frightened to even approach me. Until that all changed one cold Friday night.