A life of misery lies beyond this window. He knows this.

The day began early, now it is late afternoon – we have travelled far. Much preparation has gone into this journey and now we are here, in this country, in this unfamiliar city. He has planned well, meticulously, as is his custom.

I am tired, but I pace the carpeted floor. Three paces take me across the room. I look out the window once again. Grey engulfs me. The sky is grey; the buildings are grey, and the weak light reflecting off their expanses of glass is grey. The shapeless embodiment of despair threatens to push its way through the window and smother me.

I turn away.

This room is expensive; I know that much. His activities – the exclusive, almost secretive events he will attend – are expensive. I know what they hold in store. I know. He brought his tools. I thought he would take me with him – he has paid my way. He knows I would accompany him, would like to. But I am here, in this room.

The walls are hard. The double bed is well appointed.

I pace next to the window. I sit on the sofa and look at the ceiling – it is white. I close my eyes and think of him, see him in my head. I will not disappoint him; I cannot contemplate that world beyond the window without his strong hand, without his firm word.

“I am yours,” I said, all those years ago.