And so, as I said, I woke up after my horrific nightmare, safe and sound in the pens. It took a while for my poor little confused mind to process all this and I was groggy for quite a while after waking up. I had thought that it was all real and it wasn’t until I started to really think about it that I realized it must have at least in part been a bad dream.
Then I saw Taun standing, looking at me, and for a second I was worried that maybe I was still asleep and dreaming! But we talked, things started to make more sense and his kindness was just what I needed at that moment. He suggested we take a short walk and find somewhere a little private so that we could talk about my dream. Of course I was a tiny bit worried that he just wanted to take me somewhere and do horrible things to me but I desperately wanted and needed to trust him and so I followed him.
He lead me to the little hill top and we watched the water fall for a while. It was wonderful! Such a beautiful scene and the smells were glorious. I have often been to that spot by myself to watch the water cascading and to listen to the birds singing but it was even more lovely to be there with someone kind. We talked for a while before making our way to the little hut nearby.
I told Taun why I didn’t really like that hut (I can’t remember if I’ve told you, dear diary, but I used to sleep there all the time when I first came to the Retreat. I had thought I was being clever and had found somewhere private where the men couldn’t find me. One night a man did find me. And it was not good. And I hadn’t been back since.) Taun explained that the hut was a place and my memory was connected to a person, not that place and if I were to have nice memories there they would erase the bad ones. I was more than happy to make new, pleasant memories!
Once inside, we sat on the old, tattered mattress that is lying on the floor in the middle of the room. Taun even apologized that there wasn’t anywhere nicer to sit and said we could sit on the floor if I preferred! The mattress was fine though and his pleasant company soon made me forget the less than attractive surroundings.
He asked me about my dream last night and I told him what had happened and how it didn’t make any sense. He confirmed that he hadn’t been there that night although he didn’t know how I got back from the bedroom in the Mansion to the pens outside. If I see Sir Jeff again (and I dearly hope I will) I’ll ask him if he actually did untie me. Maybe he was the only real part of my dream and the others said they couldn’t see him because my subconscious knew I was dreaming and knew that they wouldn’t be able to see someone who wasn’t in the dream with them. It also makes sense that he would simply untie me while the others hadn’t done so because, in reality, he was there alone and he could untie me but in my dream the others couldn’t do so because they weren’t, of course, real. Or something like that! don’t know and it doesn’t really matter I suppose. I just like to think that Sir Jeff actually was that kind to me.
I was telling all this to Taun and then, suddenly, the bubble burst and I thought things were going to go horribly wrong. He told me to take my bra off. I remember I moved away from him a little and felt such a wave of sadness. I wasn’t scared and I knew I wouldn’t refuse or fight him. I was just so very disappointed and upset that he had turned out to be one of the mean guys after all.
I took my bra off and dropped it to the ground. I didn’t care what happened to it. None of the clothes I wear are mine, of course, and although I love wearing and do take care of some of the pretty outfits, I was in no mood at that moment to care what happened to a piece of cloth. Taun held his hand out and asked me to hand him the bra. I think I started to cry a little as I handed it to him as I thought he was taking it away from me so I couldn’t get dressed again. It is bad enough that Mr. Negulesco has forbidden me to wear anything other than underwear but if I was now told to walk around topless I don’t know how I would cope.
Taun explained to me that he was a man and he derived great pleasure in looking at a beautiful woman’s body. He reassured me that he was not intending on hurting me and that I was completely safe with him; he just wanted to be able to see me while we talked. He spoke in such a kind and gentle voice and I so desperately wanted to feel happy again that I believed him. I relaxed a little and moved slightly closer to him again. We weren’t touching though and he didn’t try and do so.
We talked for ages! If he really is bad then he’s also extremely patient because he didn’t lay a finger on me! He listened to me talk and even shared some emotions and stories of his own and I think I actually had a really very pleasant evening! It was really late and I was trying desperately not to yawn or show any signs of the fatigue I felt but he was too kind and too observant not to notice. He was also probably tired as well and he said that it was time for him to go and that I should sleep. He handed my bra back to me and suggested I sleep there on the mattress. I watched him leave and wanted to get up so I could see him for as long as possible but I was so incredibly tired that I just laid down onto the mattress, closed my eyes, and I think I was asleep before my head hit the non-existent pillow!See More of Charlotte & Clara: