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I was sixteen on the day I was taken. My friend Kaylee and I went out for an early dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Alejandro’s Tacos. It is a small restaurant with bright blue walls and is on G Street in downtown Terrance. Kaylee and I both knew downtown Terrance is not the best place to be. Especially at night, but my friend, Kaylee, wanted to go to Alejandro’s.
While we were in Alejandro’s I sat in my seat facing the front door. Every time I go to that restaurant I sit facing the door. I want to make sure nothing happens.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw two Mexican men staring at Kaylee and me. The older looking one was wearing yellow and the younger looking man was wearing red. They did not nice me a good feeling. I looked at Kaylee and motioned my head toward the two guys.
“What do you think they are talking about?” Kaylee asked me.
“Us” I replied
“Why would they be?”
“I have no idea. I think that is what scares me the most.”
“Me too” my friend started to shiver.
The two men who gave Kaylee and me a terrible feeling had left Alejandro’s. While they walked out of the door my eyes stared at them viciously.
“Man I hope neither of us ever sees those two creeps again.” I whispered to my shaking friend.
“Agreed” she nodded
Our dinner was over and delicious. Kaylee and I walked out the door into the dark cold night. Walking out to the car, my friend and I were only five feet away from the car when I heard a scream: “Tanya!” It was Kaylee.
“Kay…” I tried to yell out to her.
All of a sudden, I went blind. No matter how loud I screamed no one around me could hear. My screams were muffled.
The brown potato bag used to cover my face was taken off of my face when I sat in a small blue car with brown leather seats. In the driver’s seat I saw the man in yellow. To the right of me was his companion in red. When I looked to my left I saw my best friend, who I thought I lost forever. Our eyes met and started to swell up with tears. We were both very scared for our lives.
The little blue car started moving. Neither my friend nor I wanted to know where our next destination was.
After about ten minutes the car came to a stop. I looked out the window over the big man to my right. We were parked in a dark alley. The more scary man in yellow opened the door on the left side. I sniffed the air and was disgusted from the scent of urine.
Grabbing her by the pony tail, he dragged my friend out of the car.
“Ouch! Where are you taking us? Why did you kidnap us?” Kaylee interrogated the big one.
“Shut up, stop asking questions, and walk.” The man in yellow began to pull her hair harder.
My body was pulled out next by the shorter man in red. I yelled for Kaylee and the man covered my mouth.
“Yo! Alonzo” The man in yellow called.
“What Johnny?” Alonzo answered.
“Come over here!”
“I need to talk to you!”
“About?” Alonzo’s face started to turn pink.
“Just come over here.”
“Oh, and bring the stupid girl”
“I have a name!” I shouted
“Whatever.” Alonzo whispered under his breath.
My arm was jerked over to Johnny.
“What do you want to tell me?” Alonzo said with an annoyed expression.
“I need to let you know that if these girls try to run away or escape to hold this knife to their throats.” Johnny said throwing a large pocket knife into Alonzo’s hand. I gulped really loudly.
The knife met my stare. It was black with three fold able four- inch blades. My brown eyes grew wide. “Oh, one more thing…” Johnny remembered. “Girls I have some friends I want you to meet.” Kaylee looked straight at me with worried eyes. “C’mon out guys” two bodies emerged from the shadows.'
“My young, sweet hostages, this…” Johnny’s hand pointed to the man. “Is Julio and this…” Johnny’s other hand motioned to the woman. “Is Alexandria”
Julio was very tall and skinny. He had short cropped hair and was wearing a large dark blue sweat shirt that blended into the dark. Alexandria was a short dark skinned woman who had wavy black hair that went down to her mid-back. Her lips were a bright cherry red. For her size, Alexandria was very intimidating. The way she looked at me with an evil gaze… It pierced right through me.
“Johnny, should we take them to the bridge?” Julio questioned
“That sounds like a nice idea.” Replied Johnny
“Let’s start walking over there then.” Alexandria noted.
The bridge? I thought. Why would they want to take us there? OH NO! The gang wants to dump Kaylee and me over the walls of the bridge into the running rapids! My face went hot.
Alonzo grabbed my forearm and tugged on it with a great amount of power.
“HEY WATCH IT!” I exclaimed at him.
“Tanya! What do I do?” Kaylee asked. “Why are we going to the bridge?”
I looked up at Alonzo. “Walk me over to my friend. I’m tired of yelling across the way.” I struggled to keep my voice strong. That was my failed attempt of sounding demanding. It worked. Alonzo grabbed me by the hair and dragged me over to my scared friend. The pain from the pulling on my head was excruciating, but it was worth it. Kaylee’s eyes were filled with tears; just like they were in the car.
“Okay.” I started to speak. “I think this gang wants to take us to the bridge, kill us, and throw our bodies over the wall into the water.” Kaylee’s eyes widened.
Why? Kaylee mouthed.
“So we can never turn them into them into the police.”
Looking up at Alonzo I felt the need to ask him, “so um… What do you really want with my friend and me?”
“It has nothing to do with you two really, well, it kind of does. Johnny only told me that there was something on you that was very valuable to him.”
“What about me would be valuable to him? I’ve never met him before in my life.” It was hard to control my voice and keep it calm.
“I know, but he is the boss and I do whatever he orders me to.” His grip on my arm was beginning to lighten.
“I can see you don’t like to do what he says. Do you?” I looked at his eyes.
It took him a few seconds to answer. Closing his eyes the short answer came out. “No.”
“Then why do you listen to him and let him tell you what to do?” The large hand on my arm began to shake.
“I” Alonzo swallowed “I listen to him because he is my older brother. Growing up, whenever I didn’t listen to him, Johnny would beat me. My parents were never around to stop him.” A tear fell from his eye. “I covered up my bruises. Johnny would beat me even more when people found out. Even to this day he beats me. I don’t know why I still live with him. Living on my own is no option right now. There is just no money for me to spend.”
My cheek felt wet. “Alonzo, I’m sorry. But you can’t just live your life getting hurt by your own brother.”
“I know.” His head hung down now.
“Hey man its going to be okay. Now, hold your head up. You might walk into a pole.” A small chuckle came from his chest. A smile formed on my face when I heard that.
That long talk took us all the way to the bridge. Johnny looked at Alonzo. “Have you been crying bro?” Johnny squinted and asked.
“No.” Alonzo was able to keep his voice strong. It surprised me.
“Whatever”, Johnny said while hitting Alonzo on the back of his head.
That slap hurt Alonzo so bad it hurt me.
“Here we are.” Johnny told us with his arms spread out. Showing Kaylee and me the bridge he planned to throw us over. “Now, who wants to go first?” Johnny asked us.
“You’ll never get away with this!” Kaylee yelled at the gang.
“Kaylee calm down! It’s all going to be fine.” I assured her.
“How do you know?” Kaylee sounded like she was going to explode now.
“Trust me. Just. Trust me” I talked slow and then smiled so she knew I was serious about what I said.
“Sorry to burst your bubble honey, but you’re never getting out of this one.” Alexandria disagreed. My eyes shot an annoyed look at her.
“Julio, please take Miss Kaylee here over to the other side of the bridge so she doesn’t have to see her friend die.” Johnny told him.
“Bye Kaylee” I whispered. I couldn’t watch my friend walk away. More tears fell from my face.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a man in green walking with his wife across the street. Thinking quickly I screamed, “HELP!”
“Alonzo, do it!” someone yelled. As soon as those words were spoken I felt a sharp pain in my lower back. I was speechless for a moment. The lower part of my shirt felt wet. My hand felt the wetness. When my eyes found my red hand dripping, my body started shaking. The legs holding me up collapsed. Breathing became hard. The couple walking saw me fall.
“Run.” The man said to his wife. She nodded and ran around the corner. The man ran over to my shaking body. Johnny walked over and held a knife to the man’s body.
“Leave the girl.” He ordered.
“Fine” My not-so hero fell to his knees.
I groaned from the pain of the knife stuck in my back. While staring me down Alonzo’s eyes filled with tears. I couldn’t tell if he was sorry for what he did or scared because he didn’t want to get caught. Either way he can do nothing to make up for hurting me this bad. The adrenaline that was pumping before from my drive to get away began to drain. Never in my life have I ever felt a pain this bad. I finally started to cry. I’m so glad Kaylee is not here to see me like this. I have always been the strongest person she knows.
The young man who came to help grabbed my attention. I’m sorry. He mouthed to me.
“Please, please don’t let me die.” It was extremely hard to speak. My voice was weak coming out. He nodded.
Johnny walked up to the man, held the knife to my attempted hero, and whispered words that I couldn’t make out.
As soon as Johnny left, the man leaped up to his feet and came running toward me, but before he could reach me Johnny snatched him by his shirt.
“I told you to leave her alone.” Johnny told him.
My eyes watched in horror as Johnny’s sharp blade sliced the man’s back. Unlike me he was able to stay on his feet and also did not have a knife stuck to him.
Even though the man’s attempt failed I appreciated the kind gesture.
“Thank- you friend” I said weakly. It became even harder to breath. All of a sudden I was out.
Finally my eyes started to open. The room smelled like cleaning supplies. Surrounding me were wires of many colors, and familiar faces. My mother, my father, and Kaylee – who I have not seen since she was taken away from me by Julio - all started to cry when I opened my eyes. Also in the room with me were a few doctors and my newest friend, Matt, who was the man trying to save my life from the danger. His wife, who called the police, was there too, waiting for me to wake up.
“How are you feeling?” Matt asked me.
“Well I… Oh.” When I moved my back hurt. “I feel good when I don’t move. Why do I have blood going into my arm?”
“You lost a lot of blood while you were on the ground last night. You need quite a bit now.” Matt told me.
“How much did I lose?”
“As much blood you need to pass out. I think if we come five minutes later you would be dead.” A paramedic, who rode with me in the ambulance, told me.
My eyes grew wide. “I think I might go into shock…”
“Oh no please don’t.” Kaylee said in a panic reaching out to me.
“Ha-ha” I smiled a painful smile. “So doctor when will I be able to go home?”
“I’m afraid it won’t be for another week or so. You came in pretty messed up.”
“Wow. So how bad was I?”
“Let’s see. We found you not breathing and your pulse was extremely low.”
My jaw dropped. I looked over at the police officer to my left.
“What happened to the four people who took my friend and me Officer Bird? Did they get arrested? Did they get away?”
“Um, no we got them. They got arrested.” He told me
“Good. I hope they never get out of their cells.”
“Ditto,” Kaylee added.
“Well it’s a relief to know that they are off the streets now.” I sighed.
“Yes” Officer Bird said.
“Mom what time is it?” I asked
“It’s about 8:00 p.m. Why?” She wondered.
“I’m going to get some more sleep now. If you guys don’t mind, I’m still pretty beat.” My mouth was able to force a little smile.
“Sure honey. See you in the morning.” My mom kissed my forehead.
Everyone walked out, and my mom turned off the lights.
“Good night” I whispered then waved. I drifted off into a land of dreams where no one can get hurt the way I did.