Happy Valentine’s Day

Character diary entry: This one is fairly dark, and in my “Hamlet’s play” series, so if you wanted humor or lighthearted entries, I suggest something else. I am going to post something amusing in a short while to make up for it. -Liz

I woke up again thinking about the docks in Coal Harbor in Vancouver, or was it False Creek? I forget. I had been in Coal Harbor last thing I remembered, before the second attack.

I do not know where the first attack was. I was on Seymour Street, walking to the bus stop- it was late- a woman came up to me with a map, upside down (a tribute to Karla Homolka, perhaps) and she asked me for help finding something. And she said “We’ve all been waiting for you,” and that’s when someone grabbed me, the world went blank, and I felt a needle in my neck.

I did not quite wake up at first.

I was- not sure now where I was. My memories are disjointed. Did I wake up, escape the building I was in, and find myself in the Downtown East Side, or was it Robson Street? They are very different streets, but this was very early in the morning- all was fairly quiet.

The room I woke up in was dark. I managed to undo the knot tying me down, made my way to the door, I could see it because of light coming in under the bottom. I could hear voices. I think I was in a hotel, but what kind I did not know. I checked to see if the door was unlocked.

It was locked. From the outside.

I knocked and a woman answered. She was blonde, I think, but I do not recall a lot about her. It was 1997. This was an adult, not a teenager or child, and she said, “Don’t look at me” and then she said, “Get some rest, you’re up again in fifteen minutes.” My clothes were on the carpeted floor outside the room.

And she closed the door, almost all the way.

I had not looked at her, I was thinking about the door. I had held the door with my foot, just open enough that I could unlatch it again.

I waited until I heard her footsteps recede, and the hall was quiet. Then I left the room, grabbed my clothing, and made my way to the nearest exit.

I forget where I got dressed. Probably in a stairwell. I did not have time to put on the skirt, just the full length leotard. I remember going down a gray stairwell, as fast as I could, barefoot. My boots I had picked up at the end of the hall, outside another door. I held them in my hand. I dropped the skirt.

I put the rest of my clothing on just before leaving, and exited to the street through a fire door. I walked briskly away, not quite running, trying to get my bearings, but mostly trying to put as much distance between me and the building I had been in, the one that seemed like a hotel, a well-kept, clean hotel on a street that held many storefronts. Was it Robson Street?

Was that a bus? Buses were running! It was early, and quiet, but buses meant safety, so I grabbed one that was coming along the street and I took it. I did not care where it went. It was a number five, I think.

I left the bus when it seemed to be going to the wrong way, crossed into Mount Pleasant, walked home from there- a long way, and I ran sometimes, I went as fast as I could, and didn’t rest until I got home.

I knew I would not remember, as my memories kept slipping away as I walked, and by the time I got home, I only could recall being tired and cold, and frightened.

The second attack happened after Evelyn brought me to the people in the penthouse of the hotel. This was itself interesting. I did not know what was going on, who Evelyn was, what her name was… she told me that “you’ll be living here now” and I said I would rather not. I had no idea what was going on. I decided to leave once someone- a man- had mentioned “a boat to Riga” and how I’d “earn my keep”. I was told to “clean up” and was left in a very ugly bathroom, and instead of doing as told I left, again, only this time no one was watching me. My friend, who had come with me, was waiting outside the suite still, looking sadly out the window- he turned and was delighted that it was me coming out, not someone else.

I said, “We’re leaving.” We took an elevator down. My friend took charge. Once outside the hotel, my friend pushed me and yelled, “Run!” and I did. I do not know what he did but they did not follow me. And I did not see him again for some time. Not for a very long time, I am afraid.

The second attack I remember less. I was in Coal Harbor, at the marina, for “a wedding reception”. I had gotten a voicemail from someone- a woman- claiming to be my friend’s new girlfriend, and she told me they were going to this wedding, that there were not going to be a lot of people there and they wanted the bride to feel better about it, so would I come?

This was months later, months after the first attack, and the incident with the people in the hotel (whose names I did not even know, then). I suppose the timing of each event can be correlated with Evelyn’s flight patterns. She did not live anywhere near Vancouver.

In any case, I went to the “wedding reception” in Coal Harbor and found myself in an empty event hall- was it the marina members’ clubhouse?- with myself and a few other people, none of whom were female. People walked past me, looked at me. I would recognize them now. Several said, “it’s her”. I tried to leave.

The next thing I remember clearly is waking up on the dock in Coal Harbor with a plastic bag over my head. I was in a pile of trash bags. The breeze whipped the ropes and lines on the nearby yachts, making that distinctive ping-ping-ping noise. I heard seagulls. It was cold. I took off the bag, and saw my dropped skirt, from what must have been a hotel, lying on the dock nearby. Foolishly, I picked it up. It was a favourite skirt, and I was too poor to replace it.

As with the first time, by the time I got home, I had forgotten everything- and I think they knew this, for when I saw one of the family again, he gloated. I had no idea who he was or why he was gloating. And, guess what, Evelyn was there once again.

Evelyn, Evelyn, Evelyn… let me guess, you claimed to be “my manager” to these people, you claimed I was a sex worker, or exotic dancer, and you misrepresented me to the point where they wanted to kill me. Perhaps you tried blackmail? Pretty clever, blackmailing pretending to be me so you could profit or they’d kill me, and you’d win either way.

And you kept calling me “stupid” because I could not remember traumatic events where you reinforced the amnesia by hypnotic suggestion? I remember in the park, you scared me and then kept saying “you can only hear my voice, you trust only me, you trust only me, you will obey everything I say”- only it took me decades to remember. All the while you had my friend (the one who rescued me from them, and your stupid ugly scheme) tied up in your lies, and it wasn’t until I could talk to him without you around that I was able to start piecing together who he is, and who you were, and what you are. What you have done to me.

And I told him. He knows.

Tick. Tock.