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My Darkest Hour
The smell of rust and water mixed with dirt surrounded me. Now in what seemed would be my darkest hour all I could think was: how did I end up here?
It was a hot summer day and we were home alone. I could hear the birds chirping and the sun was shining through my window. I was up early that day a movie was coming out in a few days and with nothing better to do I woke up early and watched the interviews and sneak peaks on the morning shows. After that I was dressed and doing my nails. My TV was on and my music blaring, when I heard a noise coming from the kitchen.
Mom and dad were at work, my younger brother was still asleep, I was surprise because he normally woke up early to watch morning cartoons. So I walked down stairs to investigate. It was a scratching kind of noise, kind of like metal on metal; walking into the kitchen I saw a hand sticking through the back window. It was a few moments before my mind registered what was happening.
I didn’t know what to do except to get whoever it was away from the house. A burglar wouldn’t rob a house if he knew that someone was in it. I climbed back up the creaky wooden staircase and yelled: “Dad” really loud. I let my voice echo through the house and then made as much noise as possible walking back toward the kitchen. I arrived just in time to see the hand pull out of the back window, our egg shell colored window frame landed with a thud in the sink.
I was right at the sinks edge right about to look out of the window when a pair of eyes met mine. He looked like he was no older than I was, eighteen at the most, his piercing green eyes are what shocked me the most. They looked as if they had aged beyond there years. Just like that as quick as lightening he jumped the fence and he was gone.
My heart was still pounding and my pulse was racing. I didn’t know what I should do because there was no immediate threat, so I didn’t think calling 911 now would do anything good. Instead I called my dad and told him what had happened. He said he didn’t feel safe with us there alone and after I hung up he called the police and told them what happened and that his two kids were home alone. They released a squad car and in twenty minutes there were police officers checking out the house.
I spoke to a female officer and she asked me some basic questions. I can still hear the conversation.
“Can you tell me your name?” She asked with a leather bound notepad at the ready.
“April Darson.” I had said still debating with myself on what exactly I would tell her.
“How old are you?’
“I’ll be Sixteen next month.” After all that boy that I saw could only have been that much older than me. If it were me I wouldn’t want to be sent to a Juvenile detention center.
“And you saw a hand trying to break through the back window.”
“Is that all you saw? Did you see a face or anything we can use to describe this person?” I had made up my mind.
“No, I didn’t see anything else.” After all everyone deserves another chance.
I waited patiently as officers can and went. In that time my brother had woken up when he heard all of the voices and my mom had came home all frantic. Honestly why would you tell her anything at all!
One of the male officers approached us and said that they had found finger prints on the metal rod the held to jump the fence. They said they were going to check their data bases for any matches and that they would get back to us.
Shortly after everyone cleared out and my mom stayed home with us. From my bedroom window I could see police cars cruising by every so often.
The next day, when I came home from school the police station called and they asked to speak with my father. I was a bit anxious, why else would they call unless they found someone? They talked for a few minutes and then they hung up.
“So?” I said as my mind wrapped around the possibilities.
“They said that they traced the figure print to someone that was recently let out of JV.” So I guess not everyone takes that second chance huh.
“They searched the apartment, but they didn’t find anyone, but they believe that he and others have been responsible for other break-ins around Queens. They said they would be on the case though and if we have any information it would help.” Yeah I though I could have been a big help if I wasn’t so optimistic.
“They don’t think we are in any immediate danger because they don’t think they would strike here twice and because none of us saw him.”
But one of us did. If only I had been more observant. If I had spoken up when I had the chance I would be safely at home. Now I only had darkness, not knowing what was going to happen, complete darkness.
After that the next few days passed filled with school work. We were all stressing over finals , the early college program was no joke, but we all seemed to manage.
I would always get dropped off to school by my mom and then I would take three trains to get home. I started to feel paranoid whenever I saw things that always seem to look the same those words would always echo in my head: because none of us saw him.
It was the Tuesday that I had to travel home alone because everyone wanted to go to the physics tutorial after school. I walked down the stone gray path that lead out of school and was about to go up the neon blue over pass when a black, van pulled up right on the sidewalk in front of me.
At first I was bewildered and then I thought that someone could have gotten hurt. That was until a bald man that reminded me of Mr. Clean stepped out.
“Get in.” what, I thought. I looked around, but the streets were already deserted no one to call for help.
“I said get in.” That time he didn’t wait for an answer he grabbed my arm and pushed me inside. From then on I was blind folded and not a word was said. When the car pulled to a stop they tugged me along and I could hear hinges creaking and then I was told to climb down.
“How am I suppose to climb down if I can’t see anything.” There was no way they were going to shut me up some place with out me being able to see where I was.
“Take off the blind fold.” It was a voice coming from my right. It couldn’t have been Mr. Clean because he was cutting off the blood circulation in my left arm. I was allowed to see for a second, but it was enough time for me to see the green central park sign.
I am I what I can only describe as a hole. I’ve scene the sun set twice since I’ve been here. Mr. Clean comes in at night while the Kid, the same one that attempted the break, in stays with me during the day.
That next night when I was brought here they made me make a phone call. It was to my parents they were holding me for ransom. Mr. clean looked like he enjoyed to watch people in agony. The kid was nicer and he wouldn’t speak much, but from what he did say, the plan was that as soon as they had their money they would let me go. That fact made me feel a little bit better until I heard them arguing from the corners of the darkness.
I had pretended to go to sleep a while ago, but normally they never talked around me, I assumed that they always went over the hole because I could never hear them. Tonight there was a third guy and I strained to hear what they were saying.
“I’m saying that the police are going to be on us soon and we haven’t gotten any money.” It had to be the new guy, I had never heard his voice before.
“What do you want us to do?” Mr. Clean, I learned he as the more violent of the group and I struggled to keep my breathing at an even pace.
“Drop her off in a ditch someplace and we are getting out of here.” I could feel myself blacking out. Whenever I pictured my death I always thought it would be peacefully in my sleep.
I could feel the sun warm on my face and I thought maybe this was all a dream. I opened my eyes t find that it wasn’t. The kid was back and he had place some food beside me. I had never made an effort to speak to anyone of then because two against me just wouldn’t be fare.
“So this is it. My last meal, break and cheese, before I’m dropped off into the ditches.” He stayed quiet, but he looked at me as if he was analyzing me, so I kept going.
“You know I heard you just got out of JV, I would think that you would want a clean start. That’s why I didn’t say anything to the police. I think I actually wanted you to get away.”
“Wait You wanted me to get away.”
“Yeah I’m a big believer in the whole everyone has got good in there somewhere.”
We were silent for a while.
“I wanted to ask you something I know your not pretty big on favors or anything, but when this is over, I know it won’t be right away…but could you one day find my parents and just tell them how much I love them. And my brother to. He’ll be a little older, but just let him know that when I was mean to him it’s because…well that’s what big sisters are for and well I love him to.” I could feel the tears running down my face as I tried not to let my voice break.
I heard the chair by the door move and I could see his body outline in front of me.
“Take it.” He said. I could hear him climbing back up the ladder when the door opened I could see a small cell in my hands. Was he really giving me a way out? I didn’t want to be risk being heard do I sent a text to my dad’s cell: Under central park, think I can get away.
There was light once more as I scrambled to hide the phone. Until I saw that it was only the kid.
“Ok now listen to me, I want you to climb up right behind me, they are preparing to move you. When I say go I want you to run. Right and it will lead you to a part exit, try to get as far away as possible.”
“Thank you.” was all I could manage to say. I was right behind him as we ascended up the ladder.
“Go.” his order was in such as whisper that if I had been breathing any harder I would have missed it. Just like that I sprinted out of there.
I could hear Mr. Clean and I hear a sickening thud. Glancing over my shoulder I saw the kid’s body lying on the floor. I didn’t stop running, but the thudding vibrations behind me told me that Mr. Clean must have been catching up. Nothing else mattered except me reaching the exit and then I would scream for help if I had to.
I could see the gate and just like that something grabbed me. The force knocked the wind out of me. But I had never been so happy to see an officer in my life. I struggled to get the words out.
“….name….April…you… have to…help me…kidnapped…”
“I know, I know calm down. We got your text it’s all going to be okay.”
Just like that it ended and I was back home. Just in time for finals Wahoo. Mr. Clean was arrested and not to soon after he ratted the third man out. The kid’s ending wasn’t as happy when the doctors tried to save him. I was going to the funeral and so was my family after I told them what he had done for me. His name was Paul and as it turned out he didn’t have any family of his own. I don’t know why he did it, but he save my life. Maybe it just goes to show that their is good in everyone.