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It was really nice out that day. The sun was shining, and there wasn’t any wind and just by looking at your window, you would never guess it was December. So she decided that today was the day. She stepped outside of her empty house, and into the cold, still air. Her parents, of course were working all day, and had no idea of what she was doing. She knew they weren’t even worried. She began walking. She was hoping that the cold and the fact that she was outside and faced with hundreds of distractions would prevent her from thinking about the many problems of her life, but it didn’t. She began thinking. Thinking about every mistake she’d made in her life that had brought her to her current state of mind. What if she had never lied to her parents? What if she just let herself be everything they wanted her to be, instead of going and messing everything up? What if she knew how to just accept things and not fight back? What if trouble didn’t have a way of finding her? Suddenly a car pulled over to her, disrupting her thoughts. Two guys sitting in the front seat told her to get in the back. Forgetting about everything she had just regretted, she did yet again exactly what she knew she shouldn’t, and she got in the car. She told them her name, lied about her age, and said that she had no place to be. “Guess you’ll be hanging out with us!” The driver said. “Lucky me,” she thought. The guy in the passenger seat handed her a cigarette and not really wanting it, but trying to impress them, she took it, and lit it. Minutes later, with the window down, and music blaring, her mind was left alone again to think. What if her family could see her right now? Not even just her parents, her grandmother? Her aunt? It would break their hearts. Knowing that killed her inside. But she couldn’t do anything to stop it. She was too far into this kind of life.
Three cigarettes later she was wondering where they were going, but she decided not to care. She drifted off to sleep. When she woke up, she was in a room, alone. Her first thought was not what most people in this situation would have felt. Most girls waking up in a random room would be terrified. But she wasn’t. She didn’t care. She began observing the room itself, noticing how the bed sheets matched the curtains, and how there was pictures of flowers on the walls. To her, it was comforting.
She closed her eyes and tried to go back to sleep, having nothing else to do, but soon she was awoken by a sudden epiphany of the seriousness of this situation. She jumped out of the bed and realized she had no idea where she was, what she was doing, who she was with, or how long she’d been there. Her “I don’t care about anything” attitude had disappeared within seconds, and was replaced with that of a scared, helpless child. She had forgotten what that felt like. She realized she wanted her mother to be there. She more than wanted her, she craved her. She felt like crying, but then remembered who she was, and what she set out to do that morning. She shook off her apprehensive feelings, and decided that her only option was to open the door of the bedroom, and figure out where she was.
Outside the room, she found a staircase, which she, without even thinking about it, walked down. Sitting at a kitchen table at the bottom of the stairs were the two men that she was in the car with earlier. The man she recognized as the driver from before stood up while laughing, “Look who finally woke up!” He said. Instinctively, she took a step back; this was clearly not an ordinary situation.
“Where am I?” She tried to say as nonchalantly as she could, still trying to impress them, for reasons she couldn’t even explain.
“Aw, she’s scared.” Laughed the other guy
What was so funny? She thought while taking more steps back, and deeply regretting her choice to get out of the bed.
“You’re nowhere,” the driver began to explain; “we think you’re pretty, we want you to stay here.”
“Alright…” she said, still trying to sound as relaxed as possible. She turned and walked back up the stairs, trying to remember where the room they put her in was. Her mind began racing. First, she thought about how impressed she was with herself for remaining calm. She knew from her past experiences, with her parents or in other bad situations that freaking out would only make things worse. Next she thought about how she still was unsure of how she got there, where she was, or what they wanted. Her head began to fill with horror stories from her parents or the news of girls just waking up in random places, like the one she was in, and never coming back. She shook the thoughts from her head, and realized that this was her fault. She had literally put herself directly into this situation.
She knew that she had no time to waste. She put all of those thoughts in the back of her head, knowing that they would circulate to the front again eventually, and refuse to be forgotten, as everything put off always does. She wasn’t sure what to do now. A very large part of her wanted to stay, and try not to think, and let whatever was going to happen, happen. “I deserve it,” she said aloud. She might as well just go back downstairs and sit down at the table and surrender her life to the two men.
Then she remembered her grandmother, and her aunt, and the rest of her family. What if they saw her now?! Her smoking cigarettes would be nothing compared to this. She couldn’t help but imagine what the look on their faces would be when they heard what happened to her. Not that she even knew what that would be.
From this thought she realized that she actually did not know what had even happened to her so far. All she remembered was falling asleep in the car, and waking up in a bed. She had blacked out. The possibilities of what had happened in the time, however long it was, between her consciousnesses made her feel sick. She knew she had to get out. Regardless of what she had done to deserve this, she did not want to die this way. “I’m so selfish.” She said again, out loud. She decided to punish herself later. She remembered a door downstairs.
Clutching onto the cross on her neck, she asked God to please, please have the door be unlocked. All she had to do was run out. She was reminded again of her selfishness and hate for herself again after doing this though, seeing as she only talked to God when she needed something. She hoped he would forgive her.
She took a deep breath, and sprinted down the stairs. The door, which was right there, was wide open, and the two men were standing outside, about thirty feet away. She wasn’t sure if she should try to sneak by them, or just expose herself and run as fast as she could in any direction, just to get away. She decided to run. The noticed her almost immediately, but did not do much to stop her, and soon she was on a street that was familiar to her. She was a few towns away, and had no idea how to get back to where she was when the picked her up, but this still gave her an overwhelming sense of comfort. They must have been driving in circles to confuse her, she thought.
Although being slightly aware of her current location gave her an unexplainable sense of relief, she had undeniable feelings of hurt stirring inside of her. They did not care about her. She ran away and they just watched. She was nothing to them; they just thought she was pretty. They probably had dozens of beautiful girls lying unconscious in rooms just like the one she woke up in throughout the house. Why didn’t she look in the other rooms? She hated herself even more.
She stopped running, knowing she was finally safe. She walked slowly through the streets, until she reached a bridge. Cars rushed by her and she felt hundreds of eyes looking at her, wondering what she was doing, why she looked like such a mess. They were all judging her, she knew it. But as always, she decided not to care, she walked to the edge of the bridge and looked down. She thought about how many people have stood in the exact spot she was in, and decided to jump to their deaths. She thought about how easy it is to die, and how we spend our entire lives just trying to stay alive. “For what?” she said, wanting an answer, even though no one was around. She saw no purpose to her life. She was nothing; nothing to those men, nothing to the cars speeding by, nothing to herself. She remembered what her goal was when she had left her house last. She jumped. And for the first time in her short life, her mind was empty.
When her parents got the call later that day, that their only daughter, who was missing for two days, had been found, they were so relieved. “Where is she? I’m in the car now.” Her mother said eagerly. “She’s dead, we found her dead,” replied the voice on the other line. Her mother slammed on the breaks and her father didn’t even have to ask what had happened, he knew. They both became hysterical. Her mother swears she felt like her whole body had been shred to pieces.
Her funeral was three days later. Her aunt, her grandmother, everybody showed up with broken hearts and tears pouring from their eyes. They were all wondering if she could’ve seen the look on their faces now, if she still would’ve done it. Her reasons, what had happened between when she went missing and the time of her death, why she was at that bridge, will forever be mysteries in the minds of her family, who to them, she meant everything to.