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Hanging By a Thread

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Pain shoots up and down my arms. I’ve been tied to this rock for hours, and the tide is starting to creep its way in. Every so often an unexpected wave comes crashing into the little cave, submersing me in salty sea water and thrashing me around, my arms crying out in agony. My throat was sore for calling for help for the past two hours with no prevail, and my eyes and nose burned from the sea salt. My dress was tattered, and hung onto me like a potato sack, and I was bruised and broken. I was ready to die, and I didn’t care. Then again, this was what I got for being the President’s daughter.
Another wave hit the rock and thrashed me again. The wave died, and I hung there, coughing and sputtering. Two men had kidnapped me two nights ago when I was with my boyfriend, Chance. I had left the movie theatre to go the bathroom when they tackled me. No matter how much I struggled and screamed and kicked, they were too strong, and they tied my hands together and gagged me. It was so hard to breathe. They had carried me out the back door, leaving Chance wondering where the hell I was.
The worst part was when we were in the truck. They took my cell phone and called Chance. After a few rings I heard Chance pick up. I heard his concerned voice.
“Ally, where are you?” I heard him ask, and the two men snickered and Chance asked, “Who’s there?”
“Chance! Help!” I let out a muffled cry, but one of the men swung his fist at my cheek and made contact—hard. I cried out in pain.
“Ally!” Chance had cried. Tears had begun to spill down my face. This couldn’t be happening. But it was. I was living a nightmare.
They had told Chance that unless my father met them at Padre Island in Texas at 3:45 in the afternoon and gave them fifty million dollars, I was going to die.
But they tricked my father. One of them went for the money, and the other took me to the cave. They didn’t care if I died. They wanted to see my father in pain in some way.
Reality roped me back in when another wave hit, and I waited for the wave to die, but it took longer for it to this time, and that’s when I noticed.
The tide was coming in, and it was rising above my chest.
“Help!” I shouted, desperate for anyone to hear my echoed calls, “Help!”
“Ally!” I heard a distant call, and hope sparked inside me.
It was Chance, but it was from so far away.
“Chance!” I screamed, “In here!” I began taking deep breaths. Wherever Chance was, he was going to be too late. The water was already at my chin. My heart was pounding. I was going to die. The water had already crept its way past my mouth now, and I took a few deep breaths through my nose.
Chance, I love you, I thought, just as the water went over my head. I floated there, my lungs already beginning to ask for air. I tried staying still, my eyes closed, waiting to see a light or to fall into an eternal sleep. But I heard a splash, and my eyes snapped back open.
It was Chance.
He was frantically swimming towards me, and he couldn’t have looked more beautiful. I wanted to reach out and kiss him, I was so happy, but my hands were bound, and I was only vaguely aware of him. The outline of him was blurred and only getting blurrier, and I dipped in and out of conciousness.
He swam right up to me, and I felt his mouth crush on mine. Oxygen filled my lungs, but I knew it wouldn’t be enough. He yanked at the ropes chaining me to the rock, and after a few precious seconds was able to get them loose enough for me to slide out of them. My arms were so numb, and when I tried moving upward with them, they were stiff and were in indescribable pain. Chance grabbed me by the waist and started kicking upward, and I followed suit. The surface looked so far away, and I knew that both of us were fading fast.
But it was when I broke the surface with Chance when I finally realized that I was not going to die. For a few seconds, Chance and I sat on the top of the rock, puking up saltwater and trying to catch our breath, but when I was sure I had enough oxygen in me so that I could do mobile activity, I crushed Chance to me, and he hugged me back just as tightly. I started sobbing onto his soaked, bare shoulder, and he stroked my hair like he couldn’t believe I was alive. Trust me, I couldn’t either.
“Ally,” my name was barely audible on his lips as he stared at me in bewilderment. He took his thumb and wiped away a tear that was making its way down my cheek.
I began, “How did you--”
He interrupted, laying a finger on my lips. He whispered, “Let’s get you out of here.” He stood up, with his soaked cargo shorts and charcoal black hair that was plastered to his forehead, and then bent down. He swept me up, carrying me effortlessly, through twists and turns before arriving at the mouth of the cave. I could hear a helicopter in the distance. I buried my face in Chance’s chest, breathing in his sweet scent. And right then, even in the middle of a cave on a lonely island, I was home.




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