Thursday, January 19, 2012

You Kept Me Captivated (Part 5)

  I was in a deep sleep, because last night, I was lacking of energy. I mean, I encountered a bear and fought with it. I wasn't dreaming, but I could hear the birds were chirping outside of the cabin. I was too lazy to open my eyes, because I knew it was too early to wake up. Somehow, I was feeling comfortable with my sleep. The temperature had decreased by a few Celsius and it was relaxing. I fell asleep again and had this peculiar dream. In my dream, I was at a field and was chasing a rabbit. The rabbit was too fast and I couldn't catch up with it, so I stopped and watched it ran away. It reminded me of my childhood when I was at my grandma's house. There was a field and I loved to chase the rabbits there. Then, a bright light was blazing in front of my face and I was blinded by it. I squinted as I saw a figure in front of me with a rabbit in his embrace. I couldn't make out who it was and eventually he had done me a favor.

  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-

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You Kept Me Captivated (Part 4)

  We were definitely in the woods. There was a path leading to somewhere in it, and I was suspecting that Scott was taking me to the deepest part of it. In my mind, he could easily kill me without being heard. That moment, I was trembling. Could this be the end of my life? I was so scared until my tears were soaking my cheeks. And I could see Mum and Dad, Andrew, Annabelle and Marcia in my head. Somehow, I missed them so much and I was scared that I wouldn't have the chance to see them again. I loved them so much. The road was bumpy so I accidentally hit the bruised part of my forehead on the window. It was painful, so I held my head and moaned.
  "Are you okay?" asked Scott.
  "What do you care?" I grunted.
  Ahead, I saw a building, a cabin actually, an abandoned one. I was guessing he was bringing me to the cabin. But what for? The sky has already darken. and I could see the moon already. I guessed he wanted to stay for a night here. Was he crazy? Of course. He stopped his car not far from the cabin. He went out from the car and examined the place. There was a well, and a boat rack and also a sign board which the writing had faded. It must be an old camping site. The cabin was entirely made of strong woods and it had fireplace too.

  Scott returned to the car and opened the door for me. "Here we are," he said to me. And yes, of course, my right hand was still cuffed on the grab handle. I didn't respond to him. I was scared. Maybe this would be the end of me. He would kill me and dumped me into the well like they used to do on TV. Okay, Annette, be positive. "I'm feeling sticky. Don't you?" he asked me. What did he mean by that? He released me from the cuff and warned me "This place is dangerous. Wild animals are wandering in the dark, so running away won't be a wise act," he maybe had a point there. And yet, I was feeling like running away from him right now. Either being killed by him, or the animals. Okay, I was trapped. I had no choice but to follow him.

  He was holding my hand while walking through the bushes and the dark. How could he see in the dark? Suddenly, I heard something, and it wasn't an animal. It was soothing and calming. Waves. Maybe there was a lake ahead of us. And I was right, there was a lake. A huge lake to be exact. It wasn't dark there as the moonlight was so bright and beautiful. It was as if dawn. I saw a boat, roped by the jetty. We were approaching the boat. "You're not going for a swim, are you?" I said in fear. He looked at me and grinned "Better," he said.

  He untied the rope and asked me to get on the boat. "No, no! Of course not! I won't do such a thing!" I yelled at him. He glared at me once more, and I was feeling intimidated by his glare. "I said, get on the boat," he demanded. I had nothing to lose, so I took my first step into the boat, and then I sat down quietly, but terrified. He went on the boat and started rowing. I looked up in the sky, and I saw millions of stars glimmering in the galaxy. Too bad that was my final chance to enjoy such a beautiful panorama. We were now in the middle of the lake, and Scott had stopped rowing. Scott was staring at the stars too and he was amazed by them. I looked at him and he was totally mesmerized by the stars.
  "What do you have in mind?" asked Scott.
  "I don't know," I said. "My family. My best friends. Death, eventually"
  "You think that I'm going to kill you?" said Scott.
  "What else do you want from me then?"
  He silenced and stared at me. I could see that he had loneliness in his eyes. I turned my head away because I didn't like seeing him stared at me. My heart was pumping really fast at the moment. I was feeling so terrified. He kept staring at me, and I felt strange about it. "What are you staring at?" I asked. He didn't reply, but this time he looked into the water. Oh God, what was he going to do?
  "Stand up," he requested while standing up.
  "Stand up. A simple order," he said.
  I was hesitating but I did what he asked me to do. I was balancing myself because the boat was moving and shaking while I was standing up. "Take my hand," offered Scott. I took his hand and tried to balance myself again. And it worked. The boat didn't shake anymore. It was  balanced now. "Okay?" he said. I nodded while looking down. I didn't like him to look at me. "Take off your shoes, now," he ordered again. I didn't feel good about this. I didn't bend over to take off my shoes, instead, I was using my foot to do so. What was he going to do now? He kept on giving weird orders.

  Suddenly, he swung my hand to the left, bringing my body into the water! I was struggling to breathe and to keep myself floating on the surface of the water! I was gasping for air and tried to swim away, but which way should I swim to? He was laughing, and was making fun of me. Did he think that was fun? I almost drowned!
  "Are you having fun?" he asked while giggling.
  "Fun? Fun!? Do you think this is fun!? I almost drowned and you can still have a good laugh about it!?" I yelled at him.
  "I would save you if you were drowning you know?" he said.
  "Please bring me on the boat again. It's freezing in here!"
  "No can't do! I'm planning to join you in there"
  He stripped his singlet off and his jeans, leaving him in a pair of boxer. As soon as he did that, he dived into the lake and swam around. I held on the hull of the boat to keep myself floating and watched Scott swam in the lake. He was a good swimmer. And then he approached me, and suddenly went underneath, leaving me in suspense. There was no sound of him and it made me feel scared. Suddenly, I felt his hands were grabbing my legs and pulled me underwater. The shimmering light helped me to see Scott's face in the water. The scenery under the lake was so beautiful. I could see the weeds, and fishes and the glimmering stones. It was so amazing! Then, Scott pulled me up again to the surface, and both of us were gasping for air.
  "Having a good time now?" said Scott.
  "Yeah... Kind of..." I replied.
  Then, we went back on the boat, and was still panting. He took the paddles and rowed to the bank. As soon as we reached the bank, he picked up his clothes and my shoes. He left the boat untied and watched the boat being taken away by the waves. "Well, that's it for now. Bye bye boat," he said. He offered his hand again. And this time, without any fear or doubt, I grabbed it and we walked back to the cabin.

  He searched in the car for his bag, and he found it, he gave it to me. "There are some clothes I bought earlier this afternoon. Why don't you try it on? Since your clothes are wet now," he said. I took it and searched for clothes in the bag. And there was a long sleeved T-shirt and a tracksuit in it. It wasn't fashionable but at least I had something to wear.
  "This is all your fault you know? If you hadn't thrown me into the water, I wouldn't be this wet," I exclaimed.
  "Stop whining. We had fun back there right? Admit it!"
  "Well... True, but it was still weird. I was swimming with my kidnapper," I replied.
  "So then, we had created history. Now go at the back of the car and change. Promise that I won't look"
  Liar. He would take a peep if he had the chance. But, where else should I change? I went to the back of the car, and changed. Wait a minute. My hand wasn't cuffed and Scott wasn't looking. I thought this would be a right time for me to run away. However, I was scared because of the wandering wild animals. If I'd be more careful, I wouldn't encounter them. "Done?" yelled Scott. "Not yet!" I replied. Okay, this would be the brightest chance for me. Scott was such an idiot. I peeped at him and he was still looking away.

  I ran. I ran as fast as I could into the woods. I was searching for the road which we used to come here. "Hey! Come back!" shouted Scott as soon as he found out that I was running away from him. I ignored him and kept on running away. However, I couldn't find the road. So I just ran without looking back. If he got me again, I would be killed. I was running for five minutes, and I still couldn't find any road. And I was in the middle of the dark and couldn't see anything. So I rested my back on a tree and panted for air. I was tired, but I must kept on going before I got caught again. The woods was pitch dark, and was creepy. I could hear the sound of bats and wolves. I didn't have to worry about it because they sounded from afar.

  Suddenly, there was an entity in front of me. And I knew it was Scott. I was scared that he would kill me on the spot. I was crying because I felt like I was losing hope of living. "Oh Scott, please don't hurt me. I just want to live my life happily and I want to be with my family. Please don't kill me here! I just want to go home," I begged him. He was approaching me and I couldn't stop crying. However, his movement was strange, as if he was crawling or tottering or something, as if he was drunk. And I knew right that instance that that wasn't Scott, right after it stood up gallantly and roared. It was a bear! I couldn't believe my eyes and I was petrified by the roar. My body collapsed on the ground but I didn't fall unconscious. I was still looking at it! It was huge and seemed starving! Oh God, I was actually going to be killed by a bear!

  It was approaching me slowly, step by step and roared again. The roaring made me feel so horrified! Out of the blue, there was a fireball hurled to the bear. No, it wasn't a fireball. It was a torch. It seemed like a fireball because I was in the dark. It was Scott. He waved the torch to cast the bear away from there. However, the bear wasn't in the mood to surrender. It swung it paws to attack Scott, but Scott managed to dodge every single strike from the bear and performed a counter attack by pressing the torch against the bear's skin. The bear moaned in pain but it didn't mean that it had been defeated. It swept Scott's legs and forced him to drop himself on the ground. The bear was standing proudly in front of defeated Scott as if it was saying "I owned you humans". The bear had raised its paw to give Scott the fatal blow on his head. Suddenly, my brain and my body worked by itself. I picked up the torch which Scott accidentally dropped it from the fall and threw it directly on the bear's nose. It was moaning painfully and tried to extinguish the fire from its nose. It ran away afterwards, leaving us unhurt.
  "You saved me!" said Scott.
  "You did the same favor for me too! So we're even!" I replied.
  We walked to the cabin and I regretted for running away, unarmed, in the dark woods. I brought the torch too because Scott asked me to. Scott was mad. I could feel his anger. I was mad too because I couldn't find the way out. "After this, I'll cuff your hand to mine. So you won't run away again," said Scott. I was angry but I was too tired to fight back. So I shut myself up and kept on walking.

  Back at the cabin, he had cuffed my left hand to his right hand. So both of us were stuck together, and I couldn't run away any longer. I threw the torch into the fireplace as soon as Scott had put the kerosene and some firewood in it. The flame engulfed the woods in seconds. And the heat could be felt too. Both of us sat in front of the fireplace while leaning against the wall. I was tired, and so was Scott. He was no longer feeling angry. We could hear the snapping sound of the woods from the fireplace. Both of us didn't talk for a moment there.
  "Scott" I wanted to start a conversation.
  "Hmm?" he moaned.
  "Why are you bringing me here?" I asked with a low voice.
  "...Why are you so interested to know?" he replied.
  "Because you are kidnapping me"
  "I love it here..."
  "Why? What does it have to do with me?"
  "Because I want to share it with you"
  "But why?" I was looking directly into his eyes.
  He didn't answer and he looked away. I was expecting that too. He wasn't talkative. He talked when he wanted to. I gave up and sat quietly while looking at the fireplace. Somehow, the fire amused me.

  "Such a great memory..." suddenly he spoke.
  "I'm sorry?"
  "I'm an orphan. This place made me feel like I had a family," he said.
  "Oh... So you were lonely?"
  He nodded and continued but he didn't look at me. "I lived in an orphanage when I was little, and one day, Sister sent me here during Summer"
  "You have a sister?" I asked him.
  "No. She's my guardian. I called her Sister. She sent me here to meet more friends. I was ten years old back then. It was fun here. I loved my friends and the wardens. They were my family here. We ate together, swam together in the lake, played together, and slept together. For a month and a half Annette, I couldn't be more happier," he moved his head and looked at me. His hazel green eyes were shimmering and I could see my reflection in it. "I learned many things here. To cook, to swim, to paddle the boat, everything. Until one day, all of us had to leave the camp. The session had ended. We cried, yeah... But there was nothing we could do right?"
  "... Yeah... So what happened next?" suddenly I was interested to know more about Scott.
  "We said goodbye and from that day, we'd never seen each other again. We were kids and we had no cell phones or emails. Nothing. I miss them, a lot. That's why I brought you here with me. I want to relive the memories which I had with them here," he said. Once again, he turned his head away.

  I felt his loneliness at that moment. I thought, that was why he had kidnapped me. Not for money or sex. He just wanted to be accompanied. But why he had to do it wrongly? It didn't mean that I was feeling comfortable with him, I was still thinking a way to escape. I felt sorry for him, but at the same time, I was furious because he separated me with my family. I looked at the fire again, trying to calm myself down. I was too tired to be mad. "Scott? You can't do this okay? You can't force me to be with you. If you do it correctly, I'll understand but you're doing it wrongly, and it's against the law!" He didn't move at all. "Scott?" I shook his body slowly. He had fallen into a deep sleep already. I smiled. I had no explanation why did I smile. Suddenly, I just did. "Goodnight, Scott"

                                                            -TO BE CONTINUED-

You Kept Me Captivated (Part 3 - Marcia's Diary)

  I couldn't figure out on what to do. All I could do was screaming and crying. I knew that it wouldn't help my best friend, Annette, who was being dragged by a thug into his car. I was panicking and I couldn't think straight. People in the mall were just staring at me and thought that I was going mad. I felt like the ground was spinning underneath my feet, making me confused. Tears were soaking my face. And seriously, I looked like a crazy girl. Until a noble man came across me and asked me what was going on and asked me to calm down.
  "Miss! Miss! Please calm down and tell me what happen!" said the man.
  "Please! Please, someone help Annette!" I shouted.
  "Who's Annette. And what had happened to her?" He asked me.
  "Annette is being kidnapped by a man! Please you gotta help her!"
  The man's eyes were bulging as soon as he found out what was going on. He took out his phone and dialed '911'. He put his hand around me, just to calm me down. However, it wasn't helping at all. He spoke to the operator and briefly explained what had happened. "Calm down okay miss? The policemen are on their way here," said the man as soon as he hung up. He caressed my hair and waited for the policemen with me.

  Ten or fifteen minutes later, the policemen had arrived and interrogated me on the spot. They asked me for the man's appearances and what kind of car that he was using. I couldn't remember a thing about the man. What I'd seen that he was tall and was Caucasian. About the car, maybe it was Volvo or Toyota? Obviously, I was being useless at the moment.
  "We're wasting time here! I need to tell her mother about this!" I exclaimed.
  "Okay, do you have a vehicle? Can you take us there?" asked one of the policemen.
  I went to my car and started the engine and drove away from the mall. In my mind, I was scared to see her mother, wondering what to tell her about this, or would she be mad, or my relationship with the family would be ruined. Anything could happen. I didn't care. As long as Annette returns safely to her family. The policemen were following me from behind. I needed to be more helpful than I was earlier. What I remembered that the guy was tall and had scruffy hair. And I was quite sure that he was driving a Volvo.

  We had arrived to the Frederick's residence and I saw Annette's mother was watering the flowers in her yard. She seemed amused and happy with her flowers. However, I would deliver an unpleasant message to her. I went out of the car and called her name. She turned around and smiled at me. I couldn't help it, I cried as soon as she looked at me. Her expression had changed. I went closer to her and gave her a hug and she was confused, plus worried too. "What's wrong Marcia? Is everything alright? Where's Annette?" she asked me a question that I could barely answer. The policemen were approaching us and Anneliese were getting more concerned about the situation.
  "What is going on officer? Where's my daughter?" asked Anneliese.
  "Ma'am, we believe that your daughter has been kidnapped," explained one of the officers.
  I held on to Anneliese as strong as I could. I could feel that she was collapsing. Her knees went weak and suddenly, she was embracing me tightly and cried. "Oh my God, Annette!" she was whimpering. Her heart was totally fragmented.

  Three hours of disappointment, I couldn't help them. We were in the living room and a sketch artist was sitting in front of me while holding a sketch book and a pencil. And currently, the book was clear as if it was untouched, because I couldn't give any description on the man. Anneliese and Harrison were standing beside the fireplace and Anneliese was biting her nail impatiently. She must be disappointed in me. "This seems useless," I said to the sketch artist. I knew that I wasn't doing any help. Anneliese was covering her eyes and sighed in distress. "Okay, it's alright. We can figure out another way to help your friend. My team is working on the posters, so you have nothing to worry about it. We'll find her soon," explained the sketch artist. Anneliese was glaring at the sketch artist in disbelief. She was about to explode. I could see that from her eyes.
  "'You have nothing to worry about it'? What are you talking about? My daughter is with a psychopath and you're telling us there is nothing to worry about? How could you say that?" said Anneliese irritatingly.
  "Ma'am, we're doing our best to help your daughter. We are doing posters and examining the CCTV of the mall. We are also searching for her outside of the town. So all you have to do is calmly wait for the results," he explained.
  "No, I cannot be calmed until my daughter returns to me! Right now, you better make sure that every members of your team are doing their jobs perfectly!" shouted Anneliese.
  The sketch artist was staring at Anneliese, he couldn't say anything by now. "Yes ma'am. I'll make sure of that," he said approvingly.

  Suddenly, I remembered something. Annette had her phone with her. What if we made the call and negotiated with the kidnapper to let Annette go?
  "... She has a phone..." I whispered to myself.
  "I beg your pardon?" the sketch artist responded.
  "She has her phone with her! Maybe we could talk to the kidnapper and negotiate with him?"
  "So that the kidnapper will state the ransom and we'll pay him and he'll let Annette go!" said Anneliese in excitement.
  "No we can't do that! You will alert the kidnapper and force him to do something that you don't want him to do!" debated the sketch artist.
  "Like your team has done something that can be proud of! I'll call her this instance!" said Anneliese.
  "No! Don't do that! Stop her!" But it was too late. Anneliese had already dialed Annette's number and waited impatiently for the kidnapper to answer the phone. Suddenly, the call had been terminated and Anneliese wanted to try again, but this time, her phone had already been switched off. "No! No! No! Please don't do this!" yelled Anneliese. She was calling Annette over and over again which probably seemed impossible for the kidnapper to answer it. She was devastated. Harrison went closer to her and hugged her. He knew that they must rely on the authority from now on. There was nothing much they could do.

  Not long after that, Annette's brother and sister, Andrew and Annabelle, had arrived home. Andrew was anxious to know the progress of the investigation, and was disappointed when the policemen said they hadn't found anything yet. And suddenly, someone knocked the door. Annabelle opened the door and found two detectives and they flashed their FBI badges at her. "Good evening. I'm Detective Wong and this is my partner Detective Butler. We are here to help you with the finding. And hopefully you'll cooperate with us," explained Detective Wong. She was a detective with red-blood leather jacket and was Chinese oriented with short hair, and the other one was tall and muscular with a canvas coat.
  "Oh yes, we'll cooperate with you. Any information about my sister yet?" said Annabelle patiently.
  "We are still investigating..." suddenly, Detective Wong's phone rang and she picked it up. "Detective Wong," she said. She was nodding and focusing on the caller. Her eyes squinted and obviously she was having a good news. "Okay. Thanks for the information," she said and hung up "Good news, there was a call from a diner outside of town which is probably an hour and a half away from here and they mentioned that they have seen your sister with a man. They were having their meal there," explained Detective Wong. Annabelle's eyes were bulging in excitement. Finally we had received a news which we were waiting for a long time.

                                                             -TO BE CONTINUED-

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

You Kept Me Captivated (Part 2)

  I knew that I was in a moving vehicle. However, my head was spinning around and I felt like I had just been hit by a car. I felt so dizzy, and my eyes were blurry. I swore to God that I could smell a roasted chicken. And God I was starving to death! Then, I realized that my right hand was cuffed on the grab handle. Slowly, I regained my consciousness and looked at the road outside the window. I was at a highway but I couldn't figure which one was it. I slowly turned my head to the driver, the one who kidnapped me. He was pale blonde and had scruffy hair with hazel green eyes and hadn't shaved. He was wearing a stained white singlet and a pair of thorny jeans. He seemed like a homeless guy who had been in the streets for the rest of his life.

  "You have awaken," he said to me without even looking at me. His voice was manly but young, and seemed like he was twenty or above. "Who are you? And what do you want from me?" I spoke with a weak voice because I was hungry and had no energy for talking. He silenced and didn't respond to my question. He kept on driving without saying any word. I smelled the stench of a roasted chicken and my stomach was grumbling because of it. Maybe the guy had lunch while I was unconscious. He took a quick glance at me and touched my tummy. I was scared that he would do something painful to me, but I had no strength to fight back or even to cry. "Are you hungry?" he asked me with a low voice. Of course I was.

  There was a bag underneath his legs. He took out a plastic bag which flashed 'K-Mart' on it. He had been shopping too. Inside, there were three vanilla creamed bun which covers were colorful and had a picture of an animated elephant on it. I didn't care about the cuteness of the cover. I tore off the cover with my teeth since I didn't have enough hand to use. I wolfed down a bun in seconds because I was so hungry. Once more he searched into his bag and took out a bottle of water. I didn't really need it until the second bun. I coughed in pain because I was choking on it. "Whoa. Slow down there. Eat it slowly," he spoke again while I was drinking. I continued on eating the bun except this time, I took his advice on eating it slowly.
  "Please send me home. I don't want to be with you. I just got a job and my life is almost starting and I don't want you to end it. Please just let me go and I swear to God that I won't tell," I begged while having a mouth full.
  "No. I can't do that," for the first time, he replied. "I'm taking you with me"
  "I don't even know you! Sooner or later, the police will find you and take you to jail! Is that what you want, huh!?" I exclaimed.
  Once again, he silenced himself and kept on driving. That was the first time I yelled on a criminal and didn't get punched or slapped. Usually on TV, they do that to the victim if she's pissing him off. I was angry and scared at the same time. I was thinking a way of escaping which was almost impossible because I didn't know where to go. I wasn't familiar with this highway. He might had brought me away from the town.

  "Please let me go. I won't tell. I promise," I begged to him again. I knew that it would be the same answer, but I couldn't give up on this.
  "I'm sorry?" might be his name. I knew that he was trying to change the subject.
  "I'm Scott. How about you?"
  "What? Do you think that this is Dr.Phil's show? You're kidnapping me! Don't you realize that!? This is not Barney and Friends!"
  Once again I'd yelled at him, but it seemed like he was a calm man. He didn't even try to get me mad, but I was feeling furious at him for taking me away. He tried to touch my hair and I slapped his hand away. "Don't touch me!" I exclaimed. He looked at me in disappointment and continued on driving.
  "I don't know what difference does it make or whether it will please you or not, but I'm Annette," I introduced myself.
  "Annette," he said. He was starting to be more creepier than before.
  "Scott? Why are you doing this to me?"
  "You will find out soon," he said. Suddenly, I got goosebumps all over my body. Was he trying to kill me? Or trying to rape me?
  "Where are we going then? May I know?"
  "Not now. Not yet"
  Suddenly, my phone rang. It was inside my pocket all the time. Scott looked at me as if he was worried about it. And I looked at him and my pocket, trying to figure out on how to answer the call. He shockingly stopped the car and pulled over at the sideways. Quickly, I took out my phone (thankfully he didn't cuff my left hand, and the phone was inside my left pocket), and he swiftly snatched my hand, and both of us were struggling to have the phone. "Let go off me!" I yelled at him, and continued to fight for the phone. "Give me the phone!" he yelled back at me. I'd seen a chance of punching him and I took it before I lost it. I punched him right in the face and he recovered so quickly and grabbed my hand again. Unfortunately, he won the fight and snatched my phone from my hand. I was panting and glared at him in anger.

  He looked at my phone and read the name of the person who was calling me. It was from my house. Someone, whether Dad or Mum had found out that I was being kidnapped. Marcia, you did a really good job! "Home," he said to me. "Maybe it is your mother, Annette," he continued. I didn't say a thing, hopefully he wouldn't throw my phone out of the window. He switched off the phone and squeezed it, unpleasantly. He threw my phone into his bag and started to drive again. "Fuck you, Scott!" I couldn't withstand my anger any longer. "You're going to the fucking Hell, and I will be fucking happy! Son of a bitch like you don't deserve to live in happiness! You fucking bastard!" And suddenly, I made a wrong decision which was pulling his hair. "Aaarrggh!" I screamed and shouted furiously. The car was going out of control as if it was being driven by a drunk man. Scott was screaming in pain and was trying to take control of his car again. The vehicles behind us were honking madly at us and the situation was completely chaotic. The car hit the steel divider and produced sparkling embers as the car was scratched by the divider.

  He managed to escape from my grasp and I tried to do it again. However, I didn't have the chance as he slapped me right in my left cheek and my head spun and landed hard on the window. It was painful but I didn't pass out. That was the most strongest slap I've ever had.
  "Stay there! If you do it again, I'll do something that will hurt you even more!" he threatened me.
  "Oh yeah? You are going to kill me either so what do I care? Huh! I'll fight 'til my last breath!" I was being stubborn.
  "Who said that I'm going to kill you!? Now stay!"
  "Sooner or later, you will! I don't trust you at all!"
  I was about to strike again, but suddenly, he took out his gun and pointed directly at my forehead. "STAY THERE!" he exclaimed. I could see that his hand was shivering. Maybe from the fear of killing me, or the fear of losing control of his car earlier. I was scared too. I mean, I didn't want him to plant a bullet in my brain, so that time, I surrendered. I sat quietly and was still glaring at him furiously. He put his gun down and focused on his driving again while panting for air.

  The sky was getting dark, and the sun was almost set. And I was still wondering where he would take me to. I was feeling a little bit exhausted from the fight, and a bit hungry. I ate only three pieces of bun and it wasn't enough. I needed a whole set of lunch. "I'm sorry for what I did earlier," he apologized to me. I was stunned by his words. He was a kidnapper, he shouldn't be apologizing to his victim? Should he? "I had too okay? You forced me to do it," he continued. Was he having a mental breakdown or something? He was actually apologizing to me! I looked at his face, and I saw a regretful look. Maybe he was regretting for what he did to me. I was confused. I didn't know how to tell him, but I had to before I passed out from hunger.
  "Scott?" he didn't answer me. "Scott, I'm... I'm hungry," I didn't care. He wasn't deaf anyway.
  "Hungry?" he paused. "There's a diner just a couple of miles from here.  But I don't know if I can trust you on this. You might scream for help in that diner"
  Okay, that was I would do too. But I needed to convince him that I wouldn't do such a thing. "Scott, I promise to you that I won't scream. Okay? I'm hungry. And it's killing me. Please?" I said. He looked at me and I made a sympathetic expression so that he could stop for a meal. "Okay. But if you scream, I will kill everyone in that diner. Including you, if I have to," he stated. I was pretty sure that I wouldn't be more care less about the people there. As far as I concerned, I wanted to escape.

  We had arrived at the diner, at the parking lot. "Remember, don't scream. Okay?" he mentioned. I nodded. He took off the cuff with a key and I held my right hand as it felt stiff. He got out from the car and took me with him afterwards. I was thinking a way of escaping before we entered the diner. Maybe I should run for it now. After I took my first step into the diner, I saw a mother with her child, and an old man with his old wife. I remembered what Scott said if I escaped, he would kill everyone in the diner. At that moment, I didn't have the heart to let the people in that diner die because of me. I would carry the guilt for my entire life. We sat quietly and waited for the waiter to come and take our orders.

  There was an African-American woman who strode towards us, with pink clothes and white apron. She seemed nice. As soon as she reached us, she took out her pen and her notebook. "Now, what would you like to have?" she asked us. Scott was looking at me, waiting for my order. "I'm not eating," said Scott. Both Scott and the waitress were staring at me.
  "But please bring the newspaper for me," continued Scott.
  "Sure do. Anything you like honey?" the waitress asked me again.
  "I'll have... Um? A cheese burger and a cup of soda please?" finally, I'd ordered.
  The waitress was writing my order while staring confusingly at me. "Are you okay honey?" all of a sudden, she asked me as if she knew what was happening to me. Scott was glaring at me, expecting my answers. I swore to God that I could hear his heart was beating fast, and the sound of him squeezing his hands really tight.
  "Yeah, I'm okay. I'm just starving!" I said with a smile.
  "Really? Are you sure? What's with the bruise on your forehead?" she replied. Damn, she noticed my bruise from the blow earlier.
  "Oh! Silly me. I had an accident in the bathroom. I slipped and knocked my head on the wall. Accident happens you know?" I answered while giggling.
  "Okay, but be careful next time honey. Beautiful face like that doesn't deserve a bruise on it," she said and went to the kitchen to deliver my orders.

  Ten minutes later, my burger had arrived along with the newspaper that Scott asked for earlier. "Um? Can I have some ketchup please?" I ordered again. The waitress smiled at me and went to the cashier and took two sachets of ketchup for me. That gave me a bright idea, but I must be careful around Scott. I ate the burger slowly and only God knows how good it tasted like. And I was enjoying the food as if I had nothing to worry about. I took a sip of the soda and the cold sensation of the drink rejuvenated me. I'd gained a lot of energy from eating the burger. "You really like burger, don't you?" suddenly Scott talked to me. I nodded slowly while engulfing it. He grinned as soon as I'd nodded. Weird. He continued on reading the newspaper.

  I'd finished eating the burger but I didn't tell Scott about it. I had a plan. Hopefully it would work. I tore off the cover of the ketchup and slowly, I transcribed the word 'HELP' on the plate. Scott didn't notice it since he was focusing on reading the news. I covered the plate with a napkin, but carefully so it wouldn't ruin it.
  "Scott?" I called him. He stopped reading and looked at me. "I've finished. So we can go now"
  "Okay. Wait for me here. I'll go pay for the food," he said and stood up and walked to the cashier.
  After that, he returned to me and picked me up by my hand. The waitress went to our table as soon as we walked away from it. Hopefully she would get the message that I wrote on the plate. Outside, I kept on observing at the waitress through the window and suddenly, she looked at me with an unpleasant face, meaning she had read the message. I could read her lips and she was saying "Oh my God". And then she nodded agreeably. She would help me. Help would come soon.

                                                          -TO BE CONTINUED-

Monday, January 16, 2012

You Kept Me Captivated (Part 1)

  It was not typical for a teenage girl like me to stay at home and did nothing after graduated from high school. I wasn't lazy, it was just that, no one would ever want to employ me. I went to the local restaurant, bar, library, and even computer center to look for a job. They didn't even want to interview me. What they said was "I'll call you later". But they never did. So there I was, listening to my iPod while going on Facebook. I did this for like over 3 months, and I felt bored like Hell 'cause nothing interesting happened on Facebook. I mean, yeah, I got like 60-80 notifications and 20 and above friend requests for a day. It wasn't that intriguing because I was used to it. It was tiring, you know? People were flooding my wall by posting "Hey, how are you?" and "Hey, I miss you" and even "OMG! You're so pretty!", but it wasn't worth it at all because I didn't gain money from it. I got bored and annoyed by those people so I replied them by saying "LOL".

  God! It was so boring that day and I was wishing for something fascinating to happen on that day! So it did. My best friend called me. Her name is Marcia, and she has been my best friend since I was in 3rd Grade.
  "Hey Annette!" she said to me.
  "Hey, what's up?" I said. "And don't even think of asking me if I manage to get a job or something, 'cause I swear to God I'll rip off your hair if you do"
  "No I won't ask you that," she continued "Do you have that kind of strength to pull my hair off?"
  "No, but I will use a lawnmower if I have to. So why are you calling me?"
  "Hear this out, there is a new toy shop in the mall looking for employees. So do you think you want to go there and apply for it?"
  "What's the catch?" I asked her. I was being choosy for a moment there.
  "They said that they are willing to pay you four dollars per hour. Look, if you want to go there, you ring me okay? I'll join you too. I hate my current job right now. My boss is a pervert"
  "You've got to tell me everything that you've been through. And about that job, how about if we apply it today at noon?"
  "Sure, I'll be happy to. See you at 12 then"
  "Okay, bye"
  I hung up and felt so relieved, knowing that there was hope for me to get a job. But what I was worried that they would do the same thing too. Hopefully not because I was dying to turn over a new leaf. First, I needed to tell my parents about this job so that they could give me their support. My parents were the only people that I could talk to, other than Marcia. This would sound weird, but they are also my best friends.

  I saw my mother in the kitchen. She was flicking every pages in her cook book, wondering what to cook for lunch. She was a brunette, long hair and a thin body, and she didn't even look like in her forties. Well, maybe a bit but it wasn't that obvious. Her name is Anneliese Frederick. She didn't realize that I was standing stationary in front of her. Her thoughts were preoccupied from thinking about the recipe. "Mum?" I broke the silence. She looked at me and smiled and pushed her book away. It was weird but she told me before that she had to focus on the people who were about to speak to her. It would be very rude if she wasn't paying any attention on the speaker, that was what she told me.
  "Yes, Annette?" she spoke to me.
  "What are you doing?" I asked as if I didn't know what she was doing.
  "Oh, I was just thinking on what to cook next. Is there any problem?"
  "Marcia just called..." and I paused.
  "Oh, and?"
  "She asked me if I want to get a job at the new toy store at the mall today. So I was thinking, is this a good job for me?"
  "Well that's great! It's great for you. I mean, you've been looking all over the place to get one right? So why don't you give it a try and see how it turns out"
  I looked outside the windows, there was a mother and a child. She was holding her child's hand while walking down the pavement. They reminded me of my parents, my brother and my sister, and myself when I was a little girl. Somehow, I felt sad about it. And I suddenly produced a sad expression on my face. My mother noticed it and she was curious. "What's wrong honey? Don't you feel happy about this job opportunity?" she gently laid her hand on top of mine. I looked at her hand, which was still a young hand, but the aging process was obvious, and I held hers.
  "Mum? I'm starting a new life. And after I have some money to get myself to college, I'll be leaving you alone with dad. Won't you be lonely when I'm gone?" I said it calmly.
  She looked into my eyes with a happy-but-sad face. "Oh Annette. You've been a good daughter for us. Yes, I'll feel lonely. But at the same time, I'm feeling proud of you, and myself for doing a good job as a mother"
  I tried to smile but this was a bit painful for me. I mean, I would leave her for living a new life of my own. Was this how it felt to be a grown up?

  I was waiting for her to continue with her speeches. Suddenly, she stood up from her seat and went to the refrigerator and took off one of the pictures that she put on its door before. She looked at the pictures and she strolled towards me. She sat in front of me again, and showed me the picture. It was a picture of me with Andrew and Annabelle, my brother and my sister.
  "See this picture? See how little you were? The moment I took that picture, I imagined myself looking at three of you as adults. Having families of your own, being successful with your dream job. I saw all that in a second. And now, I can't believe myself that it is coming true. Andrew is a step away from being a lecturer, and Annabelle is now a wife of a great man. And now it's your turn. You are taking your steps towards all that. And I can't be more proud than I am now.
  "I know that it will be hard to live without you Annette, but it is something that I must face for your own sake. You must live your life to the fullest! The night you were born, I was praying to God, so that He will make you a better person in the future. And now He has answered my prayers. One day, when you've met your true love, the man of your life, you will feel the same way too. Remember what I said to you Annette. I want you to feel the same way for your children too," she ended her speech with tears.
  I looked at her, smiling weakly while looking back at me. I couldn't hold my tears too but I didn't want her to see me crying. So I smiled at her and said "I love you, mum"

  Suddenly, my father burst into the house by the front door while mumbling about his broken wrench. "Bah! Such a pain in the neck! You know that one of the sprinklers is busted, and I was about to fix it and suddenly my wrench is busted too!" His name is Harrison and he was a bit muscular and hadn't shaved for a while. After seeing my mother was in tears, he asked "Did I miss something?" Mum swept her face and shook her head. I stood up to avoid any sudden questions and told him about the job.
  "Dad! This afternoon, I'll apply for a job at the new toy store. And I can't wait to be an employee right now!" I exclaimed.
  "What? That's great for you! Good luck then! I'm wishing you for the best, Annette"
  I strode towards him and hugged him happily. Oh wow, it had been a while since the last time I hugged him. I was getting taller I guess because I could put my chin on his shoulder now. He was a tall man. That explained the height of my brother, Andrew. Truly, it was a very happy moment, but at the same time, it was sad because I was taking my steps towards adulthood.

  That afternoon, I was preparing myself to go to the shopping mall and apply for that job. I was getting my lipstick on, and did my hair neatly, and wore smartly for the walk-in interview. I wore my favorite gray knitted dress which was made by Mum during my sixteenth Thanksgiving. Suddenly, I heard honks outside of the house. Must be Marcia, she had arrived in time. So I went down the stairs and saw Mum in the living room. So I gave her a quick hug and kiss on the cheek and went outside. It was very exciting! I couldn't believe that I would finally get a job! I entered Marcia's car with a sweet smile on my face.
  "So, are you ready to go?" asked Marcia.
  "Hell yeah. Let's do it! Can't wait for it. Is my dress okay to you?" I said.
  "Yeah, it looks cute on you. So let's go. Don't wanna waste any time now"
  The car was moving. On the way to the mall, I talked to Marcia about what happened earlier. And she said her mother did the same thing the morning before graduation. I think that's what every mother will do when her children are taking their first steps towards adulthood. I guessed so.

  Thirty minutes later, I was standing in front of the toy store which had a 'Wanted' sign on the window. So I was guessing this job would be easy to get because they were lacking of employees. The toy store wasn't an ordinary toy store. It was a classic toy store with old but precious toys in it. Like an antique shop but for kids. So I went inside, looking for the manager of the store, and believe it or not, the cashier was also the manager. It was so sad to know that. That was why he was desperate. The manager was an old guy which probably in his late sixties with white hair and a bloated stomach  "Hello there! Looking for classic toys?" the old manager asked us. Better, we were trying to help you.
  "Um? Hello Mr...." I glanced at his name tag and it flashed the name Sanders. "...Sanders" I continued. "Both of us are looking for a job and we heard that this store needs employees. I was wondering maybe we could apply for a position at this store?"
  "Ah! Yes, yes! We need them very badly. Wait here," he said. He went into the office of the store and searched for files. I wondered that he was searching for application forms for us.
  I was wandering around the store. It was kind of amusing to see the toys were moving and making funny noises. There were stuff animals and dolls on the rack and they worth a fortune too. Old, but expensive. Suddenly Marcia called me and showed me a toy, which was very fun to play with. It was a miniature wind up Merry-Go-Round. I twisted the winder and the Merry-Go-Round started to spin and produce a beautiful melody with LED light on the horses's diamonds. I was enchanted by the toy. Seemed like I was a child who had fallen in love with a childish toy like that.

  "That is 1988's" the manager's voice startled both of us who were mesmerized by the toy. He was holding the forms. He was smiling and he looked like a kind old man with his smile.
  "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to..." he didn't let me finished.
  "No, no. It's fine. I haven't seen any adolescences like you which have interests in old toys these day. Even the children nowadays have no interest of playing with these old toys," he told both of us. Sad, wasn't it?
  He handed us the forms and asked us to fill it up. We sat on the small chairs with a small table. Seemed like they were meant for children, or dwarfs. After filling it up, we handed the form back to Mr.Sanders. He smiled at us and said "Thank you Annette and Marcia. You can start tomorrow at 9am," he smiled while speaking to us. Wait... What? No interview?
  "Are you sure you don't have to interview us?" Marcia said in curiosity.
  "Why should I? You seem like a nice girl, plus since I'm the only employee around here and someone needs to be pressing buttons on this cash register"
  "Oh my God! Thank you so much Mr.Sanders! I really appreciate it! I do!"
  "You're welcome. Now go home and spread the story and take a lot of rest for tomorrow"
  We exited the store and babbled in excitement. We were planning to go shopping on our payday and hang out together. We were really happy at the moment. I called Mum to deliver the news and she was so happy for me. All of the excitement made us feeling thirsty and hungry.

  We were at the parking lot when suddenly Marcia realized that she had left her phone in the toy store. Hopefully the manager would be nice enough to keep it for her. Of course he would, he seemed like a nice old man too.
  "Okay, I'll retrieve my phone and after that, we'll be stopping at Starbucks okay? Wait for me here," she said to me.
  "No problem. Be quick okay? I'm hungry," I replied.
  "Okay. I'll be back soon"
  She ran into the mall and went to the toy store. I was left alone outside of the mall. It wasn't that hot. It was cloudy on that day. Lucky me or I'd be burned by the sun. I had waited for Marcia for ten minutes and she hadn't showed up. Damn! I was starving! Where was she? Had some chit chat with the store manager? I searched into my handbag and produced my phone. I called her and she picked up and said that she would reach me soon.

  Obliviously, someone was standing right behind me while I was on the phone with Marcia! Suddenly, I felt something was being pressed on my backbone. "Don't scream" It was a man. He was pointing a gun at me! I was feeling so scared but I must not show my fear to him. I must calmly negotiate with him. "Okay, I will cooperate. I'll give you my money, my phone, just please don't kill me okay?" He silenced and was still pointing the gun at my back. I was trying not to scream because he had warned me. He had been quiet for awhile and I was wondering what he was waiting for. "I don't need your money. Don't scream" What did he want with me then!? I was terrified when he said that he didn't want my money. Tears were rolling down my cheeks and I was completely engulfed by my fear. "Please don't hurt me, please? I'm begging you. I'll do whatever you want me to, okay?" Suddenly, I heard someone was calling my name at the entrance of the mall. It was Marcia.
  "Annette? Annette!" she yelled.
  "Help me!! Marcia help me!!"
  Suddenly, the man produced a white cloth and put it on my face. It was chloroform. I was struggling to escape, but he was embracing me strongly. I could hear that Marcia was shouting my name over and over again and cried for help. She couldn't do much of everything because she was terrified too. Slowly, I lost my consciousness and passed out. Marcia's voice had faded away and I couldn't see anything. And after that, I couldn't remember a thing. What would happen to me? Would I die that day? Would I be raped by the man? God knows. All I could do was praying, even though I was unconscious. I was praying to God that he wouldn't hurt me.

                                                         -TO BE CONTINUED-