The smell of musk is the first thing I become aware of. The second is that I can’t move my hands or legs—they feel heavy. Wait, no, I think I’m bound. I shift around, seeing if I can free myself, but the soft, ribbon-like material holds tight. “Where am I?” I whisper to myself. My movements grow panicked as I try to free myself from the blindfold.
Bam! A door slams from a few rooms away.
Should I call out? A chill runs up my spine, and I suddenly become very aware that I’m naked, except for what feels like something drying on my chest. As my breathing picks up, the musky smell seems to grow stronger. What is that sound? Steps. Someone is coming. I hear the footsteps shuffling closer. Maybe, just maybe, if I’m quiet enough they’ll pass. The steps grow louder and louder and then stop. I hold my breath for what feels like forever. They start up again, this time moving away from me. Releasing the breath I was holding, I lay my head back down on the mattress. Think, Haley, how did you get here? What do you last remember?
* * *
-The night before-
“I’d like to thank everyone for coming here tonight to celebrate my little Haley graduating.”
I don’t think I’ve ever seen my father so happy. He keeps talking about how I’m a big girl now. It’s time for me to grow up, he says. “Enough living in that head of yours, Haley.” He even went as far as to clear out my room last week, removing all my stuffed animals, my baby dolls that I’ve had since before I can remember, hiring William’s construction company to paint over my beautiful pink walls. Now the room is an ugly blue that makes me stomp my feet every time I see it.
“She’s not my little girl anymore. She’s a young woman ready to enter the world, and I’m sure she will do great things. I love you, Haley. You’ve made me a very proud father. I wish your mother were here to see you now.” Cheers break out and I rush to hug my father.
I know he means well, but the thought of growing up and being a woman terrifies me to the core. I need to get some air. It’s too hot in this house, and I start to feel like I can’t breathe.
As I make my way down the hall, I see William leaning against the backdoor. William, the man who makes me tingle all over at just the sight of him. He has the broadest shoulders and the most thickly muscled thighs I’ve ever seen. He’s all man. I’ve had a crush on him for what seems like forever, although for the past year he’s avoided me like I developed leprosy.
He used to come around all the time. He was, after all, my father’s best friend. He’d pick me up from school when Father had to work late, or he’d stay over and put me to bed when Father couldn’t make it home. I remember curling up in his lap while he read me bedtime stories; I could always talk him into reading a second.
“Please, Daddy William, just one more.”
“One more, sweetheart, and that’s it. Do you understand me? I don’t want to have to turn that little bottom of yours cherry red.”
Back then that threat just made me giggle. Thinking about it now makes my panties wet.
William stands up from his position against the door as I move closer. His dark black hair is becoming increasingly peppered with gray, and it only adds to his appeal. Can men tell when a girl gets wet? Just the thought of William knowing this about me makes my face heat.
“God, Haley, you have the sweetest blush I’ve ever seen,” he says, running his finger down my cheek, and I can’t help but blush harder. He quickly drops his hand, as if remembering the leprosy. He continues to look at me with that same gaze he’s been giving me lately. I can’t quite figure out what it is. I miss his touches. He never touches me anymore. In fact, he hardly even looks at me, and when he does, his face is hard—no longer the Daddy William I used to know. He’s also made it very clear that I am to stop calling him that, correcting me every time I use the name.
“Daddy William, do you want to play checkers with me?” I had asked one night.
“It’s ‘William’, Haley. Now say it.” I just stared at him. I didn’t want it to be just ‘William’. He was my Daddy William. “Say it, Haley,” he pushed.
“Forget it, Williammm!” I said, drawing out his name in hopes of pushing him a little. “I don’t want to play checkers with you anyway.”
I’ll never forget him grabbing me by the arms and pulling me close, flush against his broad chest, dipping his head right down next to my ear, his stubble brushing against my soft skin.
“That’s good, little Haley. It’s best you don’t play with me at all.” His nose pressed to my neck, and it felt like he was breathing me in. Then he was gone. That was the last time William touched me…a year without his touch. Until this very moment.