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“I can’t believe you. You’re worthless.”
Veronica could practically hear her mother’s words from last night. She wasn’t ready for another day with her. Her mother knows best about how hard she tries in school. However, her mother would always push Veronica towards her limit. Today was like any other day; a one where the later she got home, the more work she was required to do. It didn’t matter if she had a test after school or a group project due - she still had to go home and study. Veronica couldn’t even remember the last time her and her friends hung out after school. “Ugh, I wish my mom disappears or something,” She sighed and sat down in her bus seat. The weight of her backpack on her lap felt heavier than usual.
“Mom? I’m home,” Veronica called through the kitchen with a worn-out voice. Oddly enough, she didn’t hear a response. “Mom?” she peeked at her mother's room. Nothing. Veronica knocked on the bathroom door to check, but also nothing.
Her fingers scrolled through the screen of her phone, but there wasn’t a single message left for her. She pulled out a homework packet from her bag and plopped down on her couch. No matter how hard she tried to focus on her questions, she couldn’t ignore the fact that her mother was missing. Even when she dialed her mom on the phone, there was no answer. Veronica thought this was odd situation to happen, considering that her mom rarely left the house without letting her know in advance.
After awhile of fidgeting on her phone, she decided that if her mother left so abruptly, it must be an emergency. Maybe she’s with my dad. She thought. Even after their divorce, Veronica’s parents would often meet to talk. Veronica decided that she should probably get to work at her desk, like she usually does. The desk was Veronica’s least favorite part of her room. It was huge; nearly the size of her bed. Not to mention it was very old--it smelled like musky perfume. She collected the pens off of the couch then thought to herself. If her mother isn’t here, does she have a need to move to her room? Veronica set down her writing utensils back on the couch and wiggled in her seat comfortably and started scribbling down equations in her notebook.
After her short amount of homework was finished, Veronica had been watching the television with a bowl of chocolate ice cream- which, her mother would have never let her do. Despite all the freedom, Veronica couldn’t ignore her mother’s absence. It was well past midnight when she heard her doorbell ring. Veronica jumped out of her seat and walked to the door. She stood rigidly by the door, wondering who would be visiting at such a late time. As she was wondering, the doorbell rang once again. She flinched. “Veronica! Open the door! It’s me!” a frantic voice called from outside the door.
“Mom? Is that you?” Veronica creaked the door open and her mother bust through, embracing Veronica in a huge hug.
“Oh, oh! Thank god you’re fine!” her mother looked at Veronica as if she just escaped a crime scene.
“Huh? What do you mean?” Veronica awkwardly pulled away from the hug, hoping her mom wouldn’t get mad at her for staying up so late. She tried to calm her mother by telling her that she’s fine and that they should probably go to bed right now; after all, tomorrow was a school day.
“School’s not the problem Veronica-- the people! We have to save them!” Her mother frantically gathered her things and ordered Veronica to grab her coat. “Now Veronica, now!”
Veronica couldn’t process anything that was happening. Her mother grabbed her car keys from the pocket of her coat. She held Veronica for a while then stared straight into her eyes. “Listen, Veronica. I know it’s going to be hard to believe me right now. But you have to trust me.” Veronica slowly nodded in agreement. “I was kidnapped. Th-there’s other people there. I escaped and promise to bring them help. We have to go back.”
“What? No! Mom, what are you thinking? Do you realize how dangerous this is?” Veronica frowned in disdain. She couldn’t believe her mother. “Why not just call Mr. Keith for help?” Veronica questioned her mother. Mr. Keith was the county’s sheriff, making him the most reliable person to ask for help.
“No, you don’t understand Veronica. It- it’s him” Her mother paused. “He’s the kidnapper.” Veronica gasped in shock. It was unbelievable. Mr. Keith, as everybody in the neighborhood would agree, was one of the nicest people they could meet in the county. Her mother started the car and drove as fast as she could to Mr. Keith’s place, which was down the road. “Now, when we get there, I’m going to park my car a block away from his place. Ring his door and grab his attention while I sneak in with you. When he’s not looking, I’ll get him.” Her mother pointed at the rope in her backseat.
“Or, we could call the police, you know.” Veronica said, trying to avoid the possible danger that could be heading towards her. Her mother shook her head in disapproval.
“If we do call the police and they don’t believe us, then what?” Her mother had a clear point.
Once her mother parked the car, there was no way to avoid what was coming. Veronica’s mother followed her steps up to his door, then hid silently in a bush. Veronica took a deep breath and rang the doorbell. Surprisingly, despite the late time, Mr. Keith opened the door after the first ring.
“Hey, Veronica,” He said as he rubbed his tired eyes. “Is there something I can help you with?”
Veronica had to come up with a good excuse. “M-my grandmother called, and apparently she’s very sick. I don’t know what to do!” Veronica burst into tears. Thankfully, Mr. Keith bought her lie. He told Veronica to come on in so they could talk. Veronica signaled to her mother behind her back to come in. While Mr. Keith headed to the kitchen to fix her a drink, Veronica hinged the door slightly open for her mother to sneak in. “Hey Mr. Keith?” Veronica’s voice caught Mr. Keith’s attention. He turned towards Veronica, his back facing her mother. “Thank you so much for letting me come in at a late time. I-I really didn’t know what to do.” Veronica wiped of a tear and nodded ever so slightly to her mother, creeping up Mr. Keith’s back.
“WHACK!” with one fluid swing, Mr. Keith was on the floor. “Quick! Grab the keys from his pocket!” Her mother shouted at Veronica as she started to tie his hands using the rope she had brought from the car.
“K-keys? What keys?” Veronica stuttered, trying to get over the fact that Mr. Keith was on the floor, practically paralyzed.
“The basement! It’s locked! He leaves his keys in his pocket! Hurry!” She nudged Veronica. Veronica bent down to investigate his pockets, hoping that she wouldn’t wake him. After rambling through his pockets, she found something in his pocket.
“I found it! The keys!” Veronica said, tossing the keys to her mother. Her mother caught the keys and ran down the stairs with Veronica. Down the stairs, they faced a huge door. Her mother fidgeted with the keys, and soon, the door creaked open. Veronica was shocked by what she saw. Mr. and Mrs.Harriet, the neighbor’s dog, Louis from school, you name it.
“You came!” Mrs. Harriet jumped up and ran to hug Veronica. “She told me she would bring help, oh how thankful I am!” Everyone that was held hostage in the basement rushed out, thanking Veronica and her mother on their way out.
Veronica and her mother soon left the house after dialing the police and explaining what had happened. The police came to the crime scene and counted the number of people that had been freed, and handcuffed Mr. Keith. After asking Veronica and her mother a series of questions, they told them that they would call back tomorrow, and advised that they take the week off to rest. The policeman offered to drive the two brave citizens home, but Veronica’s mother told him that it was fine.
On the way home, Veronica’s mother broke the silence “Honey, I’m really proud to be your mother.” Her hands carefully held Veronica’s. “I gave you such a hard time. I’m sorry.” Veronicas heart melted at her mother’s sincere apology. In a loss of words, Veronica decided to hold her mother in a hug; it was more than enough.