I have no idea where he is. I don’t know whether he is alive or dead but I cannot believe he is dead. He is such a survivor; so strong, so intelligent, so impressive in every way that I just can’t believe someone could have outsmarted him and killed him. Or maybe it was an accident.
But I do know that Bren is either dead or doesn’t care that I am here because if he is alive and he wants me, he’ll take me and there’s nothing that Mr. Negulesco – as strong and impressive as he himself is – could do about it. Bren gets what he wants. The thought that Bren wants me to be here or at least doesn’t care that I am is almost as painful as the idea that he is dead. But there’s just no way he’d let so many men do so many things to his girl.
His girl? Well no, not really, my dear diary. Not in that way, anyway. His love’s name is Flame and I’ll tell you about her too one day. But right now I need to talk about Bren because I dreamt about him last night and it was so wonderful to see him again. But then I woke up and realized it was just a dream. He is not here; he is gone. I need someone to talk to about him and you are such a great listener, sweet diary.
I met Bren a few years ago when I was on the run from Utopia (I’ll tell you about him too one day, of course). I was in a little coffee shop and a man was kind to me, so very kind, and before I knew it I was at his house.
It was scary at first, I’ll admit. I had thought that this kind man was either just being nice or maybe liked me and wanted me as his girlfriend. In any case, I wasn’t expecting to be locked into a little attic room in his house! But Bren soon explained everything and told me that Utopia would surely come looking for me and it would be much safer if I’m in the attic and the door is locked. It made sense, so I happily agreed.
The room was so charming. There was even a fireplace! Bren brought me delicious food three tines a day and new clothes to wear. The clothing was a little small for me but he said he didn’t have much experience buying women’s stuff (and why should he!) and it was too dangerous for me to come to the stores with him so these clothes would have to do for now.
Bren had some strange habits and suggestions. Well, not really suggestions because I had to do what he said, at least, I was never really able to refuse somehow. He had a way of putting things that made so much sense and just couldn’t be refused. At first, he said I was to sleep on the rug on the floor and I would be chained. Naturally this was for my safety because should Utopia or one of his men find me they could burst in through the door and take me away unless I was chained up. I know I did ask why I couldn’t sleep on the little bed in the corner which looked so comfortable, but I don’t remember his answer. Just that doing exactly what he said made the most sense and that is what I did. He did promise that if I behaved and if he was pleased with me I would be rewarded by being allowed to sleep on the bed and I would be given other treats such as chocolate and ice-cream and nice clothes. I didn’t really understand how I could be more well-behaved than I was already being but I promised to try and pay back his generosity in any way I could. I had, of course, told Bren before I’d even accepted to come to his house that I had no money and I couldn’t pay for anything but he had reassured me that he was quite well off and money was not an issue.
One day, I got really scared and thought that maybe I had made a huge mistake in trusting a complete stranger. I hadn’t really had time to think it through because I had needed shelter immediately. I had had enough of Utopia and had to get away from his house but I knew he’d be furious that I had run away. Bren told me that he could help but that I had to decide there and then because he’d be going away soon. So I had made a quick decision. Too quick?
That scary day, I woke up to find Bren in my little attic room, watching me sleeping. He had a strange look on his face and it frightened me but he told me not to be afraid; he wouldn’t hurt me. He reached towards me and slowly pulled the bed covers down (I had recently been granted permission to sleep in the comfortable little bed although Bren still insisted on chaining one ankle to the wall, for my safety). I remember the chill air touching my skin as I looked into his eyes, searching for answers and, as always, finding none.
Oh, I can hear someone coming. I’d better sign off, dear diary, or I’ll get in trouble. But I promise I’ll continue my account very soon!