My body sagged in exhaustion as the stifled moans filled our room. I closed my eyes and hoped merciful sleep would take me away, if only for a momentary escape from reality. In addition to the tragic moments we endured, the psychosis brought on by the lack of sleep was a crucial factor in our abuse. We became more pliable, more susceptible to their advances, not that they needed our compliance. The men in the compound did what they wanted, to whom they wanted, any damn time they chose.
My eyes burned, not only in exhaustion but from the dirt and fluids that were often discharged onto my face. My body sank even further into the filthy floor, and all I wanted was a short reprieve from having to listen to others’ suffering. I squeezed my eyes shut and accepted whatever form of relaxation I would be granted. Everything happened for a reason.
Sebastian curled into a ball nearby, and his soft snoring brought a smile to my face. The poor boy suffered more than most of the others in that godforsaken room. He was one of their favorites. We both were. The thought sickened me. It was one thing to be raped and tortured by those brutes, but it was entirely different to be forced to watch Sebastian being taken by multiple pedophilic asshats.
I crawled to him, wrapping my skeletal body around his lanky frame. His body shook as he slept, and I wondered if he was cold or if nightmares plagued him once again. One possibility wasn’t necessarily better than the other. I held him close to me, trying to shelter him from the horrific fate that consumed us, even if it was only for a little while.
I loved Sebastian. Whenever I would recall how lively his spirit was when he first arrived, my chest ached so fiercely at times that I couldn’t breathe. Sebastian spoke of gleeful memories and adventures he had taken near his home. He often mentioned his parents, displaying a deep sense of affection and devotion. I was uncertain as to what happened or where they were, but I knew he was alone in this world, and I wanted to be everything he needed. Who was I kidding? I needed him just as much as he needed me.