However, that guy seemed to know me. He started calling my name. His voice echoed as if we were in a hall. I kept squinting my eyes to see who was that man and it wasn't helping at all. The light was scorching. "Annette..." he called me again. "Annette...! Annette! It's time... Annette! Wake up!" It was Scott who was waking me up. I opened my eyes slowly and my eyes and my thoughts were still blurry. And then, I realized. I realized where I was sleeping on at that time. My head was on Scott's lap.
"Uh? Good morning?" said Scott.
"Oh crap!" I quickly sat and covered my mouth. "Uh? Um? I didn't mean to..."
"Don't go too hard on yourself. I'm good with it," said Scott. "Had a nice sleep?"
"Yeah," I replied while nodding.
"We're leaving now," explained Scott.
Again? And I was worried if he brought me too far away from home. I didn't want to have another road trip anymore. I wondered if the waitress had made a call to the police. There might be a road block on the way to the place that Scott wanted to bring me. Fingers crossed. "Where are we going next?" I asked. If he would answer that. We stood up and I was still waiting for his answer, but he didn't even whisper a thing.
He brought me outside of the cabin and unlocked the cuff on his hand. He was going to cuff me again in the car. He dragged me by pulling the handcuff along with me and opened the car's door. That day, he seemed emotionless, his face didn't show any emotion. Not even angry. I was about to ask him for his behavior on that day, but it would be awfully weird. As if I was his sister, and as if I was being caring for him. Click! The sound of the handcuff as soon as he locked it. "I'm sorry that I have to do this," he said. "Now get inside". I did what he asked me to do. Soon after that, we were moving again, and I was being haunted by millions of questions in my mind.
We were on the road again. The sky was dark blue and the air was a bit damp. It was a little foggy because the weather was getting colder than the day before. Not much of cars were seen on the road. It wasn't a busy day at all. I assumed, there would be no road block. I guessed I had to be with him for a little longer. I wasn't feeling afraid any longer, I was just confused. We could only listen to the sound of the car's engine. We didn't talk much that day, and believe it or not, it was killing me. I knew that Scott had something on his mind but I couldn't figure out what it was. "Annette, can you turn on the radio for me?" asked Scott. "... Sure..." I replied. And I turned on the radio and it was playing an unknown (well for me it was) song from the 90's. Scott didn't enjoy it. However, he didn't ask me to turn it off. Instead, he let it be.
Suddenly, the song stopped.
We interrupt this program to deliver a news about a young lady who had been kidnapped yesterday evening. Her name is Annette Frederick and she is 19-year-old with dark hair and estimated 5'7'' tall. The kidnapper is described to be tall and blonde and Caucasian and is driving a 1996 Volvo. Any information, please contact the authority. Your cooperation might help this helpless girl to return to her family. Thank you and God bless Annette Frederick. Back to you DJ.
I was excited to know that the police was looking for me already. And I would be saved in no time. I was about to smile but I was afraid that Scott would see me. I looked at him and he didn't even feel bothered by the news.
"Looks like they are looking for you," said Scott.
"... Yeah. Looks like they are," I replied.
"Are you happy about it?"
"... Um? Yes... I am happy about it"
He smiled. Was I suppose to be worried by his smile? He put his hand on his head and drove the car single-handed. Why was he doing that?
"I'm going to take you to a place where it all ended," said Scott grimly.
"And... Where is... Where is that place?"
He looked at me, with a frightful look. He grinned and said "Soon, you'll know". Earlier when I met him, I was terrified that he would kill me, and we were in the woods, I saw another person who was lonely and needed attention and I was no longer afraid to be with him. However, at that time, I saw another person who would do horrible things to me, and the fear had crept back into my mind. This person could not be trusted and I had made the biggest mistake of my life, which was trusting him even for a bit. My heart beat quickly, and as if it was digging out of my chest.
I was praying hard to God so He would help me in this situation. I was desperate to escape and I missed my family a lot. Maybe soon I would meet my Fate. Scott was sending chill down my spine. I imagined Scott was holding a knife and stabbed me to death, and how he scooped the ground and buried me inside it. I could see his dark smile when he had killed me. He made a turn and the road was leading us to a hill. I tried to be positive but thinking of "another summer camp" didn't help me at all. There wouldn't be another camp on top of the hill. It was a perfect murdering spot.
The questions had been answered. A cemetery. I saw white and sturdy tombstones in a bright green field. "...a place where it all ended" I thought about Scott's line. From that moment, I knew he was talking about Death. Whose death!? Was it going to be mine!? I shook my head in disbelief and cried and begged for freedom at him.
"Please Scott! Don't kill me!" I begged.
"... Why? Are you afraid of Death?" he said. "You can't be afraid of Death. Sooner it will find you and take you. You can't escape it," he explained. From that moment, I knew that he was being serious.
"No, please! I need my family! I'm not ready to die yet!"
"When Death has come to you, you are all alone"
He parked his car near a sign board which had rusted and hadn't been repaired for a long time. The grasses were already tall and bushy. People hadn't come to this place recently. He went out of the car and went to the graveyard. It seemed like he was looking for someone's grave. I was in the car alone, struggling to break the cuff off from the grab handle. "Somebody help me! Help!" I cried in the car, but it seemed impossible for someone to hear me. I knocked the window with my hand but ended having bruises on my fist. I was crying devastatingly. It was hopeless to escape. It was hopeless to live too.
He had returned and opened up the door for me. "Where are you taking me!?" I demanded. I fought back when he was trying to pull me out of the car. I slapped him and I kicked him, but didn't work at all. Once again, he cuffed me on his hand. He dragged me to one of the graves and I was kneeing weakly on the ground. There was a black tombstone in front of me, and there was a name transcribed on it. "Theresa Harding. Daughter. Sister. Friend."
"Say 'Hi' to her," said Scott.
"What do you want from me!?" I cried.
"Give her some respect"
I didn't even say 'Hi' to that dead girl. It would be weird because I didn't know her at all. I assumed that she was one of his victim too. He crouched and stared blankly at the tombstone, and he took a quick glance at me and continued to stare at the tombstone again. He giggled and looked down on the ground. My eyes were red and soaked, and I felt strange for him to do that. What exactly did he want from me? Money? Pleasure of killing an innocent girl? "This was where it all ended," Scott finally spoke.
There was a huge maple tree, just beside the road, and Scott brought me under it. From there, I could see Theresa's grave clearly. "Sit," ordered Scott. Slowly and fearfully, I sat down and leaned over the big tree. My hand was still hanging up because Scott didn't sit down. He was still standing, and suddenly, he took out a key from his back pocket and he showed it to me.
"You see this?" said Scott.
"... It's.. A key..." I said while stuttering.
I didn't know what was he going to do with the key, but suddenly he kneeled in front of me and took the handcuff and unlocked it, releasing my hand. I was shocked! I was totally confused, I didn't even know what was his intention towards me anymore, and the feeling was worse than death. He sat down and leaned just like I did. From there, he looked at Theresa's grave devastatingly.
From the moment he released me, I was feeling like running away. Damn! I didn't know what kept me sitting there by his side. I didn't even making a budge to escape.
"You can run if you want to," Scott made a very peculiar order.
"Why... Why are you letting me go?" I asked.
"This place was where it all ended, and once again, history will repeat itself," said Scott while looking down.
Hesitatingly, I stood up and stared at him for the last time. He was giving me freedom, weird but true. I couldn't believe that I was finally free. However, was there any agenda? I walked backward slowly, just to make sure that he didn't follow me. I thought I was far enough, and I sprinted along the road. For seconds. I turned around and looked at the maple tree, and I could see him from there. His eyes and his body language, made it hard for me to leave. He didn't hurt me or threatened to kill me, he did, but once and he didn't do it. I wanted to know his story.
I remembered what my counselor had always said, "First impression is a foolish act if you don't know the person yet". Maybe he wasn't a person that I thought he was. However, he did kidnap me and that was a crime. If I went back to him, and God knows where he would take me next. I turned around and tried to run again, but my feet were kind of glued to the road, and once again I looked at Scott. "I hate you, Annette! I really do," I whispered to myself. I walked back to Scott. I saw him sitting peacefully under the tree, and the scenario was noiseless. He kept staring at the grave, which probably he knew the deceased very much. I was standing a foot away from him, and suddenly he turned his head at me.
"Why didn't you run?" he asked.
"I'm not really sure why. Maybe because of you?" I explained.
"Because of me? Why?"
"Stupid isn't it? But yeah, I think that's the main reason why I didn't leave"
I approached him and sat beside him. I was wondering what to ask and what to talk about with him. I wasn't a really good talker, but I was a very good listener. "Can you tell me more about yourself, Scott?" I asked. So he did tell me his life story.
"I'm an orphan, and I barely had a friend. In the orphanage, I was the quiet one. I didn't talk, I didn't play. But somehow, during that summer camp, I felt free and I was forgetting that I had no family. After the summer camp, I returned to school and was broken, because they were my family and I got separated from them. It took me two years to get that thing off of my head and to move on with my life," he said. He regarded my eyes for some seconds. "You know what? I'm not suppose to tell you this. We'll stop here"
"No! No! I'm listening! Please, I just want to know something about you. Anything!" I said.
"What do you care? Huh? All of a sudden you are interested to know me. Before this you were dying to escape and now here you are, sitting beside me and listening to my life stories!"
"Scott, please! I'm thinking differently about you now. And it doesn't make any sense but I think I'm starting to trust you!"
"Tell that to the police! Whether I have you with me or not, I'll be going to jail soon! And my life will be miserable as it is now and you will be happy with your life so what difference does it make?" he was feeling furious. He glared at me with his angry look. "We're done here. And please go. I don't need you anymore. I wish you luck for returning home," he stood up and was about to leave me.
I was still on the ground, watching him leave. It was all my fault for not letting him to have a chance to talk about himself. I wasn't going to give up, that wasn't what my heart was telling me to do. I stood up and yelled his name. However he was ignoring me. "Scott!" I tried again. "Scott, look at me!" He didn't respond and kept on walking to his car.
"Theresa!" I yelled. He stopped. "Theresa! She would be so disappointed in you! Whoever she was to you, she would be downhearted to see you as a coward! You're a lonely guy who doesn't have anyone to talk to and when you do, you are backing off from me. She wanted you to live your life freely and now you're giving yourself up to the police and you have no idea how does it feel like to be imprisoned," I exclaimed. He turned his head to me and glared at me. I had pushed his button now and he almost reached his boiling point.
"Don't you dare saying something that you don't know. Especially about Theresa," he warned me.
"Yeah, yeah! Maybe I don't know you that well yet, but at least I know something now. You are a coward! A coward who is afraid to tell about his past and yet he is still kidnapping someone for no reason. I know what is your intention of kidnapping me! You're lonely and you need someone to talk to and when you do, you're thinking that you're making a big mistake. Well guess what? You are wrong!"
"Stop it! I swear I'll kill you for this," demanded Scott. He was stamping towards me and I knew that I wasn't making a good decision.
"Oh I'm tired of listening to your threat and I'm tired of you!" He was standing in front of me with his beastly look. I didn't feel afraid and yet, I was still continuing my speech. "You're keeping all your problem to yourself and it is killing you. I can see it in your eyes and I can feel it deep inside you! You're dying and you're giving up! If I were Theresa, I would be very devastated to see you in a situation like this. What a sad person you are"
"I'm warning you again, don't speak of Theresa!"
"Why? Why don't you want me to talk about Theresa? Does it bother you? We are standing in front of her grave and she might be seeing you like this in Heaven but does that bother you at all? And you are feeling irritated because I keep on mentioning her name? What kind of a sick joke are you? You are afraid to move on with your life without her. YOU ARE A COWARD!" I yelled.
Later, I realized that I was on the ground, holding my cheek. He slapped me and I was petrified on the ground. My lips were bleeding and I had a bruise on my cheek. He was a really strong man. He saw my bleeding mouth and suddenly, and slowly he took the weight of his feet on the ground. I didn't do anything, not even moving. "I'm... I'm sorry," he said. "I'm so sorry... I didn't... I didn't mean to hurt you,". He was doing his best to apologize to me. I knew that he was regretting it. His expression had changed. I couldn't believe my eyes, his eyes were watery and suddenly, a single drop of tear could be seen on his cheek. "She left me and... I'm all alone... My life... is Hell," he explained. I sympathized him. "I was such a control freak and I should have done something to stop her. And I will never get the chance to save her anymore. God! I have such guilt over her and I don't want to feel the same way to you," he explained. I crawled slowly to him and I put my hand on his shoulder. I had no idea on how to make him feel better. I knew that he regretted of hurting me earlier, and I thought he did the same thing to Theresa and he could never forgive himself for that. "It's okay. I'm okay. We are going to get through this. I promise," I told him. I wrapped my hands around him and I rested my head on his. It would sound insane, but this kidnapper wasn't bad. From deep inside of me, I knew that I would do him a favor for his future. I had my fingers crossed for it.
-TO BE CONTINUED-