The Swallow Sorrow Doll

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Chapter Seven

Swallow Depression



            My life was in shambles.

            I realized that I never was completely happy as Little Daddy came to pick me up. I entered his car and sat in the passenger seat silently. My eyes didn't meet his. They met the floor. God...what was I getting myself into this time?
            "You look horrible. What is this! We are going to have to clean you up...get you back to being the Tatum St. Clair from before."

            I didn't answer him.

            I looked down. The Tatum St. Clair from before wasn't happy either. From childhood...I had always been...unlucky. I'd been unlucky that my parents both were killed for being rebels in South Africa. I was unlucky because my orphanage doubled a brothel. I was unlucky when everyone killed themselves, freeing their spirits except me. I was unlucky that I lived out my teenage years completely alone.

            When I finally found Mauricio, I finally had a shot of love, I was unlucky because I didn't love him. I loved his best friend Caprio. I was unlucky because it took years for me and Caprio to finally tell Mauricio how we felt. And when I told Mauricio, I was unlucky because one of my closest friends, Wednesday Montageu set me up. She set me up to take the fall for killing her mother...a feat she wanted to do herself. Now she had the inheritance and I had the street smell of southeast Cali.





            Little Daddy's home was what I had expected. A villa in the perfect part of California. There were palm trees everywhere. There was a clean smell that filled the air. It didn't smell like drugs, murder and prostitution.

            "Listen up. Ok?"

            "I'm listening."

            "We going to get you in this house. Listen the fuck up!"
            "I'm listening..."
            "You going to go right up stairs. You have to stay ass in the attic. You hear me? You will bathe in a damn bucket and shit in one too. You are to be completely quiet. My parents can't find out you are in the house."
            His parents?

            This was ridiculous. I had forgotten that this guy was a damn kid. How come he had already been so corrupted. He already knew how to manipulate people who didn't have the same power as him. He was already a fucking mess.

            We had snuck into the house through the back and busily made our way up the stairs. I looked around. They were a happy looking white family from the pictures that were hanging up on the wall. The father looked very wealthy and the mother was very beautiful. He had a slew of brothers and sisters...

            We went into the attic.

            It was up about four flight up stairs and he opened it. The attic was dusty and seemed to be unkempt for such a rich household.

            "No one comes up here."


            "Don't ask any questions. Just all the bedding and whatever you need is by the closet.  I'll sneak food up to you several times a day. Get your self cleaned up. The bucket is over there. Make sure you are clean too. I don't like touching nasty things."

            "Can you take the mirror out of here? Please..."

            "NO! Don't touch anything."
            He walked out of the attic immediately, slamming the door behind him.  I looked over at the room more clearly. How long would I be able to stay here?

            There was a small washsink.  I went to it and washed my face.  I looked at the bucket next to it.  I wasn't going to take a shower.  I wasn't stupid. I didn't know what that boy had planned for me but if he was going to do what I sure he wanted to do then I wasn't going to make it easy for him. I smell like garbage and I knew it.

            I kicked the bucket over and started walking around the room. There was all these cobwebs and shit. seemed like this place had been completely forgotten. No one had been up her for ages.

            That was good. No cops would find me. Wednesday wouldn't find me up here.

            "You better pray it's the cops that find you..."

            I looked back. Fuck...I had forgotten about the mirror devil. He was in the mirror looking at me with these conquering eyes.

            "I am beginning not to care."

            "You do care. Because if she finds you she'll kill you. Then Caprio is going to get real upset. He's going to do something stupid and she's going to end up getting rid of him too."

            "NO! Shut the hell up."
            "You know I'm telling the truth. Unless you do it yourself. If you kill yourself, Caprio won't have anyone to be upset with...but you. He'll just move on with his life, if he hasn't already. Most likely him and Manhattan are already a couple. You saw how Caprio looked at Manhattan. Are you denying it."

   I saw it.

            Caprio looked at Manhattan the way he looked at me when we had first met.  I knew it. I knew that look anywhere.

            I fell on the floor and I started to cry.  That was when I saw them. There were flowers in the attic. They weren't untended to either...this was weird. Why would there be flowers in the attic if no one came up here?   


            It was the next morning.   I'd cried all night. I didn't have anything else to do but cry and scratch poetry into the wood with a sharp letter opener I'd found on a garbage heap of stuff on the other side of the wall. The poetry wasn't really full poems. They were just words, random thoughts and expressions of my state. It was as if crying would bring my parents back.  It was as if writing this poetry would erase my past. It would clear me of all the lies that Wednesday set me up for. It would make sure that Wednesday Montageu never existed.

            "What the's a rag! Use the shit!"  Little Daddy said storming into the room. He threw a towel at me.     

            "I am."

            "Well use it better. I know what you're doing. You're trying to make me not like you huh? Well be careful boy, because if I don't like you...I'll have no reason to protect you. I might as well just call the cops right now."

"No! No, wait, ok...ok I'll use it. I just need a toothbrush and some shower gel."
"This isn't he fucking Hilton."

"Please... I want to look nice...for you."
He gave me a look and then nodded his head.  A half an hour later he had given

me own personal shower kit and disappeared down the stairs.

            "I'll be back in a few clean and ready for me."

            Ready for him to do what?

            He walked away.

            I looked at the rag. God...what the hell had I gotten myself into. I couldn't imagine having sex with anyone but Caprio. Even if it did mean survival. I would hate myself for this if I ended up doing it.

            That was when I did something that I didn't do for a long time.

            I got on my knees and I prayed.

            I prayed long and hard and by the time I was done, I felt some sort of peace of mind. That was what I wanted. I had to find a peace of mind.            


            I started to wash myself. I'd gotten naked and bent over the bucket. I was afraid. I wasn't going to lie. It felt like fear would destroy me for a minute, but I realized that I was hiding who I was under dirt. This beauty had gotten me no where but trouble...over and over again. But it was something that I would have to deal with.

            That was when something came to me.    

            He had walked into the room and was staring at my body in complete surprise that a naked man was there. He had dropped something...a watering cub.

            "What the...!"

            "Shh...shh..." I said.

            I tried to approach this guy. He looked young...not as young as Little Daddy but probably around the same age. He was more attractive as well. He had dark hair and dark features. He looked like innocent however with this huge eyes that definitely seemed surprised to see a naked black African in the attic bathing in a bucket. He was a cute plain looking boy. He reminded me a lot of Peter Parker from Spiderman or something. I don't know...he just seemed humble.

            "You're...oh're Tatum St. Clair!" he said.

            He was taking a step away from me. He was afraid. Shit...he had known about me being a fugitive as well. This was a fucking mess.

            I put my hands out, "Wait...please. Please...I...I'm not a killer. You don't know me. I know you should run. I know you should call the cops, but I didn't kill anyone. I swear to you. You shouldn't believe me. I know you shouldn't. It doesn't make sense...but Little Daddy?"

            "Little Daddy? What? Dimitri?"

            I shrugged my shoulders, "He told me to call him Little Daddy."

            "Dimitri tells everyone to call him that. You actually do it?"

            He still seemed on edge, but the mention of the name seemed to stop him from running out of the room. Or maybe it was something else...

            Maybe it was the fact that he was staring into my face with such focus. He hadn't seen someone that looked like me before. My body was a lot more built then his was. It wasn't anywhere near Caprio's but he still seemed enthralled by it.  He may have not known it...but he had gay tendencies. I could tell by his stare. Why else would someone not run for help? He was moved by me.

            "Please don't say anything!"

            "Are you serious? You are a fugitive in my fucking home!"


            "Listen I don't know what kind of fucked up bullshit you and Dimitri are involved in, but its not happening in these walls. I can tell you that much."

            "I am lost and confused," I said and before I knew it tears were rolling down my eyes, "I am trying to cope with misery.  But you have to believe me no matter what you decide after this moment. I am not a killer."
            I fell to my knees and started to cry.

            I wanted to cover my naked body but my willpower right now was all gone. All I could do was cry once again. God...why was I so fucking weak?

            "I...I won't tell anyone. Stop crying..."

            I picked my head up. I was completely surprised. He was actually looking down on me with some type of concern.

            "Thank you."

            "What is Dimitri holding you up here for? Why are you involved with someone like Dimitri?"

            Someone like Dimitri?

            "He saved me. I have no where to go. How do you know him?"
            "He's my fucked up little brother," the boy said and took a step back, "Look, you don't have to stay in the attic. You can stay in the guest room...I'll go tell my parents..."


            "What? Listen, Dimitri is a brat for hiding someone in the attic. What is that? You aren't a slave."

            "I know," I stated and stopped, "I think this is best. I am a fugitive. I didn't do anything, but I am hiding. There are a lot of dangerous people after me as well. I don't want to get you and your family more involved then you already are."

            The boy was putting down his guard. I could tell as he took a step forward and grabbed a towel. He handed me the towel and I covered myself up. he definitely wasn't like his brother.

            "Listen, everyone needs help and I can tell a liar a mile away. I know you're not lying. If you aren't a criminal, you don't have to stay in a dirty attic like one."

            I nodded, "It's better this way."

            "Well I'll clean up...that's the least I can do."



            The boy's name was Jordan. He asked me a million questions as he cleaned up. I told him how I had gotten into this predicament. I told him about Wednesday. I told him about Caprio. I told him about Dimitri's manipulation as well. He seemed so interested and so open. Had he been sent from God? It seemed like it.

            "I'll keep Dimitri away from the attic," he said, "I'll make sure he doesn't have enough time what he wants to do to you. That'll be best. He won't even know I know of your existence."   

            "Thank you so much."
            He had cleaned up the attic, made it almost livable. Then he brought me up something to eat. It was real cooked meal. I hadn't had a good one since I left Maya's house.

            He sat across from me and watched me eat.  At first I didn't care he was watching.  I was way too hungry. I was eating like I was an animal. Tears came to my eyes from how good the food was.

            "Slow down," he said, "You'll choke."


            It was kind of embarrassing. He'd seen ME on television most likely. Who would have known I would have been reduced to this if they saw me just a few years ago?

            "It's look handsome eating slow," he said and smiled at me, "You look handsome period. Don't you think your boyfriend misses you?"

            I thought about it.

            I didn't know how Caprio felt. I assumed he may have been worried. Then again he had Manhattan to keep him company. Manhattan would probably convince him that it was best that I was gone. I missed Caprio though. I missed him more then anything.

            "He's safe this way," I replied.

            "Aiding and abetting a fugitive is a punishable crime.  I guess we are all in it now huh?"

"I'm sorry."

"For someone who is's worth the risk. I know the system is sometimes corrupt. I understand why you want to run."
            "Well it's more then that. You know the girl Wednesday. I think she'd hurt me if she knew where I was. Even if the cops caught me. She just may hire someone to kill me in jail or something."

" said she is the leader of the Dollhouse?"


"That's crazy. The Dollhouse is a rumor. It doesn't exist. The shadowy power behind the throne? Come on now.  I just don't believe they REALLY exist.  I don't believe in some great conspiracy theory."

Dimitri was half right.  Everyone in high society knew about the Dollhouse, but he was wrong because they obviously must not have believed that it existed.

"Jordan...she has power. Wednesday exists. If the Dollhouse is what she represents then there is a huge problem."



            A week had passed and then two weeks had passed.  Soon an entire month had passed. Jordan had kept his promise. He was somehow making it that Dimitri never really had time to be around. Every time Dimitri did come up and had plans on having sex with me, Jordan would call his phone or have Dimitri's parents call or something. Jordan did what he said he did...he saved me.

            Meanwhile, he was the one actually spending a whole lot more time with me.   He had taken the mirror out of the attic and the mirror devil had disappeared for the time being.

One day he came down with I hadn't even realized what the day was. It was Christmas...

            "You didn't even know did you?"

            "No I had no idea."

            It made me miss Caprio even more. I struggled not to cry. Life seemed so incomplete without him.

            I realized Jordan had brought up a boombox. He put some music in and started to play a song on it.

            He held up the mixed cd case, "It's Lauryn Hill."
            "Lauryn Hill? What the hell does a white surfer boy from south Cali know about Lauryn Hill?" I asked and laughed.

            He nudged me and whined, "You'd be surprised.  You aren't the only one who has a soul damn it."

            A song came on. It was a song that I hadn't heard in a while. Everything was everything. Wasn't that the truth? I took a deep breath. All I could think about was Caprio. All I could think about was what he was doing right now.

            "You miss him don't you?" Jordan asked me.

            "Like hell."

            Jordan handed me something, "Here. Hopefully this cheers you up."

            I was surprised. I was a little embarrassed too. I hadn't had any contact with anyone but Jordan and Dimitri for a month. I would figure the two of us would get close, but still I was surprised he would get me a gift and embarrassed that I couldn't get him one.

            I opened it and it read `Just so you know you aren't alone'. It was collection of inspirational quotes to lift one's spirit.

            "I realize you don't smile too much," he told me.

            He put his hand on my shoulder. I didn't smile too often. I didn't know what to say to thank him. It meant so much. A tear started to fall down my cheek. It felt for the moment that I wasn't alone. I was cursed...I was, but I hadn't been completely abandoned. Jordan being here with seemed like hope.

            "I'll miss you when I leave."

            "You are in no rush. I know you have to leave, but you are so...fragile. All beautiful thing are fragile. If you stay here...I can keep you safe."

            For the first time since the first time we met, I could see a glitter in his eye again. He was still hugging me. Our eyes had that connection. How could two brothers be so different. I just kept looking at him, stuck in his beautiful soul.

            I felt so comfortable with him holding me like this. It was familiar. Why were we still in this position? Why was his hand steadily stroking my back?

            We were pressed up against each other so hard that I could feel his heart beating. It was getting faster and faster.

            I pulled away.

            "I do have to leave though. I can't stay here forever you know?

            "Yeah I guess not."

            He looked disappointed. He turned around and pushed another button. Another Lauryn Hill song came on.  This one I hadn't heard before.

"I mean its just not reasonable, Jordan. This was just until I came up with a better



            He was speaking as though he was fine, but I knew he wasn't. I could see a little bit of worry in his eye. Just like Caprio used to look at me all the time. Why was he worried about me. And why was I so upset that I was making him worried?

"I'll be fine. I promise."

I needed to assure him. I needed to assure him the same way that I should have            assured Caprio. Only he wasn't Caprio. Caprio didn't know where I was.

He nodded and then changed the subject quickly, "This's called Selah.

Lauryn named her daughter Selah. She was going through struggle and then she got pregnant. She realized what life was...what it meant. You know. It's beautiful."

            The radio strummed with a heavy guitar. I could hear the beautiful singer clearing her throat as she begun to sing it.

            Nothing can be done against the truth
No matter how we remain in denial, yeah
Wasting time
Replacing time
With each empty excuse
But that'll only work a little while
Coping with despair
Knowing you're not there
Ashamed to just admit
I've been a fool
So I blame it on the Sun
Run away from everyone
Hoping to escape this ridicule
Trapped in misery
Wrapped so miserably
In this deception that im wearing like a skin

Dying to mantain
Oh I keep trying to explain
A heart that never loved me to begin
Oh I'm such a mess
I have no choice but to confess
That I've been desperately trying to belong
Lying to myself
And everybody else
Refusing to admit my right was wrong

And then He came
And it means
Praise and meditation
And then He came
And it means
Did you think about that?
And then He came
Oh and it means
Praise and meditation
And then He came
Oh and it means
That it is seen

            "You are never truly alone," Jordan told me after the words of the song repeated over and over again.


            I hadn't realized I had been crying throughout the entire song, "I'm so fucking weak. Look at me. I'm crying again."

            "You should cry," he explained and he pointed to my heart, "You got to let go of your mind sometimes and get in touch with your heart. Don't spend so much time wondering why you are crying, but think about how it feels to cry. That release...your only weakness is within yourself."

            "Jordan, its easy for you to have everything. You don't know what I been through!"

            He didn't know the pain I've been through.

            "You're right, I don't," he continued, "But I'm here.  And I want to share in all your pains, in all your misery. I believe in you. You are strong, powerful and beautiful. You're life isn't in ruins, because if it was you'd be dead by now. Caprio is a lucky guy..."

            That was when he lifted my head and he leaned in close to me. And my heart stopped because his lips were puckered. I didn't stop him. I should have but I didn't. I was ready to explain to him once more about Caprio however. I was ready to tell him what Caprio meant to me. 

            I didn't have to.

            He kissed me on my forehead.


            "You know what it means," he asked me, "Selah?  Selah means stop and listen."

            I hadn't even realized there was someone watching us the entire time. My heart felt like for the first time in a while, someone was giving me spiritual advice and all I needed really was to get in touch with my soul. I know I had one.  That would be the most beautiful thing in the world if I could just learn to embrace it.

            We hadn't realized the two dark eyes that had crept into the darkness. We hadn't realized Dimitri standing there. Little Daddy looked mad as well. He looked like he was steaming.

            "Hello," he said causing us to both turn around.

            He wasn't talking to either of us. All of a sudden I realized he was on the phone. Jordan took a step away from me and toward Dimitri.

            "Dimitri I know about Tatum..."

            "You think I'll let you steal him away from me?" Dimitri asked him.

            "Don't do anything stupid Dimitri..."

            "Too late," Dimitri told him and returned to his phone call, "Hello is this Wednesday Montageu's secretary. Well this is Dimitri Romanov, son of Yousef Romanov. Yeah of the same Romanov that is in the UN. Well, tell her that I have Tatum St. Clair here and I'll hold him for her if I can get inducted into her Dollhouse..."