Knock… knock knock… knock.
patterned echoed throughout my room. The
man doesn’t seem like a monster. I took a step closer to the door. Or a demon. I took another step. Or anything unholy. The space between
myself and the door no longer existed.
My eyes dropped
to the wiggling door handle. The man said something in Spanish—I think—when the
door wouldn’t open.
“It’s locked…” My
voice was tiny.
mystery man’s voice was thick and full of another world outside of the mansion,
New York, or America.
the void between us until he cleared his throat. “You can open the door. I
don’t bite.” His voice was cunning as if he had a smile on his face. Or at
least, I hoped.
nervously. “No, I can’t. But you can.”
“What?” He was
confused until he noticed the three locks on his side of the door. Click. He unlocked the first. “Why… why
are you locked inside?” he questioned, his words close to one another.
you, I bite,” I joked. Probably not the best time, but he laughed. A sound so
rich and thrilling it made my head rush.
This man didn’t
sound dangerous, not even the slightest.
plummeted to the ground.
name, gorgeous?” he asked before turning the last lock.
crimsoned, and I introduce myself. “Bianca.”
I nodded wildly,
and I took a step back, preparing for him to open the door. “What’s yours?”
“Antonio. Why are
you locked inside?” he asked again, this time hoping for a straight answer.
“I’m sick,” I
confessed, playing with the drawstring of my baby pink plaid pajama pants which
were far too large for me even in the smallest size they came in. “But it’s not
contagious,” I reassured.
“I’m drunk,” he
confessed. “And it’s contagious… when you have a bottle.”
I smiled so hard
I thought my face was going to split in two. No wonder his words were a little
“Are you going to
open the door?”
He let out a
long, heavy sigh I wished so badly I could feel against my face.
shouldn’t I, Bianca?”
My heart skipped.
“Say it again,” I
“My name. Say my
name again.” It came out bratty.
“Sorry, sorry. I
guess that was weird. Sorry.” I cringed at my behavior.
That’s what I got
for my little to no people skills. I never thought before I spoke or acted. I
took another step back from the door, from the man behind it, feeling like we
needed space. Because apparently, the door between us wasn’t enough.
“No, it wasn’t… Bianca.” He spoke my name like it was
made for his lips, leaving my cheeks rosy and red.
I bit the tip of
my tongue and glared at the doorknob.
Just one more click, I thought.
“Why are you
locked inside?” Antonio asked, again.
I was going to
give him the same answer as before until I thought about the question.
“Because I try to
forgetting he couldn’t see me. “I try to leave my room. A lot.”
shouldn’t be caged, but I have to be.”
“Where do you escape?”
It’s the blue door, in front of the stairs.”
“So, if I were to
open the door, you would try to run?”
I let out one
single nervous giggle, “I won’t get far.”
a soulful laugh I immediately recorded in my head for one of my bad days when I
needed a pick me up.
“So, you would
try to escape,” he said while laughing.
Not if you come inside.
“Are you going to
unlock the door?” I asked again, impatiently.
comes from anything that’s locked,” he hesitated, contemplating his decision to
The truth was, he
shouldn’t have been here. I should’ve told him to leave, but I was selfish and
wanted the faceless man behind the locked door.
lie behind locked doors and cages, Bianca,” his tone, dark.
I heard Antonio
take a step back, and I quickly moved forward. I didn’t want him to leave. I
wanted the last click, the turn of
the handle, and the eyes of a man my father claimed to be evil.
“Our hearts are
behind a cage. Does that make them dangerous?”
If it was
possible to hear a smirk, I heard it.
wouldn’t believe. The heart is the most dangerous part of a human, Bianca.” He
took another step back. “Talvez você seja
ingênuo e jovem demais para entender.”
“What did you
“Perhaps you’re too naive and too young to
His words hit me,
hard. I was too much of everything that proved I’d grown up in a cage.
Too naive and
Too young and
Too caged and
dangerous, Antonio. I promise you.”