|Kayla hesitated at the doors of the Art Gallery. She had not been to one since she had been with Rosa. She took a deep breath and entered.
Walking around the room she took it all in. The walls were filled with paintings of dark seductive women. It felt like she was walking through a room of heartbreak and betrayal. Jealousy and manipulation. Except for one painting. Kayla glanced up to see a naked painting of herself. Curled into a ball with a puddle of tears beside her.
She turned around to see Rosa facing her. The woman who controlled her for nearly two years. The woman who brought so much pain and suffering to her life. Until the day Kayla vanished.
A couple of years ago Kayla had met Rosa at a Burlesque dance class. When Kayla entered the room, her eyes locked on Rosa. Tall, slim with dark long curls and freckles. She was beautiful.
And Kayla was just Rosa`s type. Tall with long blonde hair and big hazel eyes. She carried a shyness about her. A sadness in those big green eyes.
Rosa had taken Kayla out for dinner that night. They talked for hours about anything and everything. Even though they came from different worlds with Rosa coming from a wealthy family she spent her days painting and Kayla being a struggling student studying to become a teacher they had connected so well. They were made for each other. Ever since that night they became inseparable.
Everything had seemed so perfect. Kayla moved into Rosas home. Rosa had really brought Kayla out of her shell. Kayla was a very shy girl who was still not completely comfortable with announcing her sexuality to the world. Whereas Rosa was a very confident, proud woman.
She was a lot closer to her college now and she spent her nights with Rosa and her friends. They started to plan their future. They spoke about travelling and starting a family.
A few months in things started to change. Rosa started getting bossy and bossy turned into controlling.
One evening they arrived for their Friday dance class. Kayla could feel the tension between her and Rosa, but she didn’t know what she had done wrong. Suddenly she heard a loud voice which made her jump. ‘Who are you texting!’ Rosa exclaimed at her. Everyone stopped and looked as Rosa continued to yell at her. Kayla could feel herself going bright red. She hurried for the exit and slammed open the doors gasping for air. She was so angry and upset and confused all at the same time. She started to cry. She knew deep down that she had to leave Rosa. She knew she was no good for her. But she couldn’t. She was her soulmate.
Within another couple of months things had gotten even worse. Kayla couldn’t go anywhere without Rosa and she had banned her from going to dance class because she did not like Kayla being around other young attractive women. She could hardly leave the house.
Rosas seduction and manipulation had spiralled Kayla down a hole that she couldn’t see the light out of. She wanted to leave. But she was scared. She had become so reliant on Rosa. She was her whole world.
Then the day came. Kayla had been organising her escape. She had an apartment to rent across town ready to move into. The place looked like it was falling apart and It would mean a long commute to work every day. But she didn’t care. She needs to get as far as she could from Rosa right now. Kayla decided to leave work early that day. She knew she only had about an hour window before Rosa would be home. She hurried to pack her things and grab her tabby Koko. As she opened the door to leave she took one last look at her life. What had been. And then she never looked back.
Until now 2 years later when she was attending an art gallery opening that was owned by Rosa. Little did she know at the time.
When Rosa got home that day to realise Kayla had left her…. She was devastated. And so angry. Her keys were left on the bench…but not even a note “How could she do this to me?!” I loved her I took care of her every day. How could she leave me? and although she was feeling so angry her sadness overcame that and she crawled into a ball sobbing all night. The pain she felt was unbearable. She didn’t even try to contact Kayla. She knew she wasn’t coming back.
The next morning there was a knock at the door. Rosas eyes widened as she heard the knock and jumped up off the floor where she had passed out. Answering the door with hope in her step it all too quickly came to a stop. It was the police. They handed her a restraining order informing her that it was from Kayla. Hands trembling as she held the envelope she began to cry.
The thing was Rosa was really unwell. She was in denial that she was controlling over Kayla. She simply did not see it that way. She thought she took good care of her. In her eyes she didn’t see the obsession and anger.
Now 2 years later Kayla couldn’t believe the painting she was seeing. She just wanted to get out of there. She swung around quickly to leave and then she was suddenly face to face with Rosa.
Kayla felt like it was taking her so long to process what was happening. She felt her heart racing and her cheeks flush. To her Rosa was still as beautiful as ever. “I`m so glad you came” Rosa said as she beamed and winked at her. It gave Kayla a slight chill, the hairs on her arm raising as Rosa leaned in and whispered, ‘I hope you like the painting’. Kayla took a step back and cleared her throat. What are you doing?? She whispered. ‘well it was my opening night darling and I wanted you here with me’.
Rosa smiling turned around and walked up to the stage. She introduced herself and started her speech. Kayla could have easily left but she didn’t. And she didn’t know why but she just felt like she wanted to stay. Seeing Rosa again it was like all her feelings for her came rushing back. Even though she knew she had treated her so badly and her life had been a misery with her. But she always held onto those first couple of months she had with Rosa when everything was perfect.
Kayla waited until Rosa finished her speech her mind still racing. ‘How does she know where I live?’ she felt that chill again.
Kayla quietly left the gallery and went home. Hoping she would never see Rosa again.
4.01 am. Kayla heard a loud bang and a knock on her balcony door. She hoped it was the overgrown tree branch again. But then another knock. And another. Kayla jumped out of bed grabbing her gown and her phone across the room. Suddenly a light shone into the room. “Kayla!” It was her.
“Kayla the rains getting heavy let me in please!” Kayla hesitated but walked towards the sliding door and opened it for Rosa.
Rosa leant into hug her, but Kayla stepped back. ‘I`m calling you a cab’ Kayla reached for her phone and searched for the taxi service. She turned around wondering why Rosa was so quiet. Rosa was standing there naked. ‘Actually I`m going to go have a shower’.
Kayla could feel her cheeks burning. She gulped and said no you need to leave. Rosa smirked and walked over to the bathroom. ‘Oh, have you checked your accounts recently’? ‘Huh?’ Kayla responded confused. She opened her Instagram. 92 notifications. Kayla pressed onto her page and her stomach dropped. There were several pictures of her uploaded. Naked paintings and private photos that were taken when they were together.
‘what the fuck Rosa?! Kayla felt a sudden rage come over here. ‘Get the fuck out of my apartment!’ She stormed to the bathroom grabbing at Rosa. Rosa fought back. Kayla had never been that strong, but this sudden adrenaline kick was taking over her body and mind.
Kayla pushed Rosa to the ground. She grabbed Rosas clothes, opened the door and threw them out onto the balcony. Rosa jumped up and grabbed Kayla. She carried her to the balcony and tried to kiss her. Kayla kicked her in the stomach and freed herself from her grip. And that’s when it happened. Rosa lost her balance and fell over the balcony. Kayla screamed. Suddenly the rain became so heavy that she couldn’t even see Rosa down below.
Kayla ran back inside Grabbing her phone, she frantically called the police and ran out of her apartment terrified.
When the police arrived, Rosa was gone. She had vanished. And two years on she has still never been seen.
Kayla moved to a new town, but she still feels like she is being watched. She is never alone.