Of Human BondageAuthor:
This is just a short piece exploring Kristen's mindset while she was held captive on the island. This isn't graphic, but given that there are references to rape, abuse, and sexual slavery, please be aware that this could be triggering.Characters:
Kristen DiMeraAuthor's Notes: The show doesn't belong to me.
Summary: Upon returning to Salem, Kristen reflects on her time in captivity.
She would have done anything. She would have tried any plan, risked everything for the remotest possibility of escape. In the first few weeks of her imprisonment, she had done just that. She had tried everything. She’d clawed at the door, the walls, the hands that had always, always retaliated with overwhelming force. She had bit at the gags and restraints, at the men.
It had made no difference.
Then it had made things worse.
Kristen had known Stefano would never come for her. John wouldn’t forgive her, wouldn’t rescue her from this Hell. Occasionally, the idea would cross her mind, a tiny ember of the past igniting itself out of desperation, stamped out with reality the second the burn had become noticeable. She’d wanted to believe otherwise, that John – the man she’d worked so hard to keep – would save her. But she had known she was alone.
For a brief moment, resentment for Marlena and every sanctimonious idiot in Salem had provided a nice distraction. Kristen could get lost twisting in her anger, digging around for the precise method of revenge. Each day though, she could see the opportunity to get even slipping further and further away. She had tried to be patient. She had pushed back her plans and waited. And waited until she’d realized with unsettling clarity that she would never return to Salem. This was her life; being the play toy for her captors was her life. Anyone who might have cared about her suffering had forgotten about her now.
So she had forgotten them in return.
Outwardly she’d learned to do what she was told. Inwardly she had longed for the day she would earn their trust long enough to slit all their throats – or her own. In time, the latter had faded away. They were never going to trust her. They were never going to be kind. Without any other options, Kristen had learned to behave. Now she could give them what they wanted without feeling anything.
By the time her father came to buy her freedom, she barely had any concept of what that was. Stefano seemed pleased by her obedience; the daughter who had so failed him had been punished sufficiently. She didn’t see it at the time, but afterward, she could tell that he had reveled in the knowledge that she would never be a problem again. He had purchased her in every way possible. How could she ever tell him no after what he’d done to save her?
She waited in Paris for him to collect his dues. He sent a therapist to see her, but she found it difficult to discuss what she’d been through with anyone on Stefano’s payroll. He wouldn’t hesitate to use it against her if need be. Talking became easier when she realized he would wield her time on the island like a weapon regardless. She would need to be strong when that happened, so she forced herself to talk. She was used to discomfort and shame, making confession an easy act. Some days it helped.
At night, she dreamed in torment, waking up, choking as though John and Marlena and their presumed happiness were pressing down on her throat. In the morning, Kristen longed for it to be over, for it to feel over.
She no longer thought about true love. What man would want her after so many had used her on a whim for years? She didn’t think about the baby she’d lost or the children she would never have but had always wanted. A husband, a family – those were extravagances she would never be afforded.
Maybe that was okay.
There were times where she’d step out onto her balcony and breathe in the Parisian air; the city would be lit up brightly, the night sky dyed a tan-gray, traffic and tourists thrumming with joy below her. In those moments, her anonymity was comforting. She wasn’t a DiMera. She wasn’t the slave they never had to beat pregnancy out of. She was nobody here.
If only for a moment, it felt as though she were free.
But her father’s shackles were still there, and as predicted, he called on her to do his bidding when the time was right.
She could barely breathe those first few weeks in Salem. To have every awful moment in the past thrown back in her face, to know that they would all love to know what she’d been subjected to for years – it was almost enough to have Kristen betray her father all over again. She wanted to leave (and to destroy Marlena cell by cell, of course, but Kristen would have settled for her freedom). But she had learned to be a good girl. She had the scars to prove it, so she would follow through with her father’s wishes.
She’d always believed she would have done anything to escape her imprisonment.
Now she would have to.