Despite her frantic search, Tobi could find nothing with which to unleash her demons. Each individual second spent with her own lies burrowed itself savagely into her skin like a bloodthirsty parasite. She prayed to thin air that she wasn’t being watched. She knew she was beginning to tic and if she was going to get through this night, she would have to find some way to get herself under control.
Tobi’s breath caught in her throat at the sound of Miss Antonina’s voice. Instantly, she saw every scowl, heard every dictum that had been issued by this woman since she had arrived. She had never felt as dissected by anyone as when Miss Antonina looked at her. The woman’s eyes caused Tobi to question herself so thoroughly that she found fault with herself in nooks and crannies that she never even knew existed.
“The other girls are about to begin taking their showers. I need you to go first so that you remain segregated. Bring that chair up to the top of the stairs, keep your eyes to the floor, then move into the hallway and wait for me. Do you understand?”
“Yes ma’am, Miss Antonina.” Tobi straightened her legs, pushing her body from her chair. A grimace forced its way onto her face as her stiff muscles complained about her sudden movement after such a long, stationary period. She was meticulous when it came to keeping her gaze downcast. Still, she could see the feet and legs of the others as she approached the top of the stairs. Her loneliness taunted her. If she had the willpower to hold her breath until it was all over, she could make this hell end. She didn’t. Instead, she silently damned her will to live and squinted against the light.
To be continued…