December 11, 2010
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Jade gazed out of her window, her bright emerald eyes attentively examining the busy street at the end of her apartment building. Every now and then she heard a creek or a drip of water from the bathroom tap and that completely startled her. Jade absolutely hated being alone in her apartment. Any stray noise brought out goose bumps on her creamy vanilla skin. She nervously twirled her jet black hair around her slender fingers and slowly paced away from the cold window sill. Impatiently, she paced back and forth in her cozy bedroom and tried to dismiss all of the negative thoughts that kept entering her mind and irritating her. “Where the heck is Farah? She should’ve been home by now” Jade pondered as she reached for her cell phone. She put the cell phone back down on her maroon blanket and remembered how frustrated her younger sister Farah would get if she kept calling her. Farah was twenty one years old, and even though Jade was only older by four years, she always saw Farah as a little girl that she must protect and take care of. She was always a parent to Farah, ever since their mother passed away in a plane crash four years ago. The girls were never close to their father. As of now they didn’t even know who he was, or where he was.
Jade decided to sit down on her bed and relax. She told herself to calm down, as she took a deep breath. New York City was so unsafe now with that maniac kidnapper roaming the streets. Usually when Jade was alone in the apartment on dark and quiet nights like this one, she would turn on the television to escape from the silence. Now she was too afraid to even switch the television on, because every time it’s on she hears something about that kidnapped who’s on the loose attacking vulnerable women and even girls. Recently two college roommates were drugged and kidnapped. A week later their bodies were found hacked into pieces stuffed in a black garbage bag, thrown into an alleyway in Canal Street. Jade’s heart began to pick up its pace as she thought about how horrid and disgusting that man is. Suddenly she was hit with a pang of fear as she heard an extremely loud knock on the door. Her heart almost stopped when the knocking turned into continuous banging. Each loud thud touched the depths of her soul and planted fear in her.

Slowly, with unsteady posture and trembling lips she inched to her door and silently made her way to the long dark hallway. Someone kept banging on the door and the volume increased rapidly, as if the person was angry, impatient even. She quickly switched on the dim hallway light and tip toed to see through the peak hole on the door. She saw a pair of gleaming honey brown eyes streaked with red. Jade’s heart let out a sigh of relief as she unlocked the door and opened it. It was Farah, finally home and drenched from the rain outside. “Are you gonna let me in or what?” Farah said as she bustled in through the door and dropped her bag on the hallway floor. Her dark brown hair was soaked. Little sparkling rain drops clung to the bottom of the tresses. Unlike Jade, her skin was a smooth tan color, resembling her Indian mother. Her cheeks were flushed from the cold outside air. “Well what the heck is wrong with you Jade? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost!” Farah said as she headed to her room and kicked off her boots. Jade threw a fresh warm towel and Farah and sighed. “You know I get worried when you’re not home. It’s not safe around here and …” before she could finish, Farah cut her off with her silly giggle. “Oh please sis. I’ll scare off that weirdo and cut his hands off if I get a hold of him.” She said playfully as she smiled her cute crooked smile. “Just be careful Farah, and don’t come home so late!” Jade admonished. Farah sighed and hugged her sister. “Let’s get some sleep she said”. She said.

Jade was awakened in the midst of night by a tapping noise against her window. She heard the low and discreet whistling of the wind as something went “tap tap tap”. She pulled the covers more tightly around her body and glanced out of her window. It was only the branches of the bare tree hitting against the window sill. A smirk formed on her lips as she thought about no matter how old she gets, that tree branch tapping on the window still scares her somehow. Jade thought she heard her door creak open, and her eyes immediately made their way to that direction. She saw a shadow of a figure, it looked like it could be a man. The shadow grew long and cascaded into the floors of her bedroom. Jade froze completely trying to cry out, but her voice was trapped in fear. She closed her eyes and after what seemed like a very long time, she slowly opened them and the shadow was gone. Still paralyzed in fear, Jade managed to pull the blanket over her and shrink into it, closing her eyes and breathing steadily until she drifted off to sleep.

Streaks of bright and warm sunlight fell into the room through the white and maroon drapes. Jade rose from her sleep realizing that she was cuddled in her blanket that was damp with her sweat. The air inside the blanket was hot and stuffy. She slowly got out of bed and savored the fresh air and light. She was glad that it was Saturday, a day to relax and hang out with her sister. As she got out of bed she couldn’t tell whether last night’s shadow was a dream or a figment of her imagination. She decided it was probably both.

Breakfast was prepared. The aroma of fresh chocolate chip waffles, coffee, and butter filled the entire apartment. Jade decided that she would throw the garbage out, come back, wake up Farah, and they would start the day off feasting on the delicious spread that she put together. She slipped on her flats and grabbed the over filled garbage bags. As she reached towards the door knob and began to turn it, the door creaked open on it’s own. Jade took a step back. “What? Why is the door open? I’m positive that I locked it last night.” Jade thought to herself. Puzzled, and a bit nervous, Jade stepped out and shut her door quietly. She locked the top door knob. Then she double checked that the door was secure and made her way to the staircase. She held on to the smooth polished wood banister as she dragged the heavy bags down the flight of steps. All sorts of thoughts proliferated in Jade’s head. “Why was the door open? Did Farah sneak out while I was asleep? But she’s so loud I would’ve known even if she attempted such a thing. Hmm … maybe she snuck her boyfriend in again and forgot to close the door. This girl drives me insane. I better not find Dante in her room, unless they’re fully clothed and snuggling.” Jade contemplated all of these ideas in her mind and the thought of the shadow from last night lingered behind every other thought. She forced herself to push that idea away. She was determined to start off on a good note today.

Jade reached the door leading to the garbage alley and kicked it open with her foot. She dragged the trash inside. “Okay I’ll leave all of my dumb thoughts here with the trash. I’m sure there is a completely logical explanation for why the door was open, and I’ll go home and talk to Farah about it over breakfast, and maybe we’ll go shopping and then …” Her thoughts were interrupted as she felt strong sturdy arms wrapping around her body like a crushing anaconda. She opened her mouth to gasp, but she immediately felt a soft cloth pressing against her mouth and nose. Panic stricken, confused and short of breath, her lungs yearned for air and naturally she inhaled nervously. Everything began to look like hazy grayness, as if she was in a water color painting of a stormy day. The sky seemed to get darker and darker until Jade faded into a world of black.

Farah caught herself before she almost tumbled off her bed and on to the floor. Grabbing her pink bed sheets she pulled her entire body back on the bed and crawled to the center. She sighed enjoying the pleasant streaks of sunlight entering from the window and hitting her skin. She stretched and glanced at her digital clock sitting on top of her white bed stand. The glowing neon numbers said 3:36 pm. “Three thirty six! Oh my goodness I slept for half the day! This is a new record.” Farah mumbled to herself. She hopped out of bed and made her way to the kitchen. “Jade! You bum! Why didn’t you wake me up huh? Did you go somewhere without me?” Farah hollered at the top of her lungs. To her surprise Jade wasn’t in the kitchen. Farah lifted the top off of a dish and found the chocolate waffles there. She ripped a piece off and began munching on it. With a sigh of pleasure she said “ Mmmm this is so good! JADE! Come in the kitchen!” There was no response. Farah tip toed to Jade’s room and busted the door open noisily. “There you are!” She yelled as she jumped into the room with a huge devilish grin. Her grin quickly disappeared as she realized that Jade wasn’t there.

The room smelled musty like too much cologne, aftershave, and cigars. The scent was streaked with sweat and it simply had the aroma of a man. Chills ran down Jade’s spine, and her heart throbbed as if it would burst right out of her chest. She felt around with her little hands because she couldn’t see. Her eyes were held prisoner under a thick, itchy blindfold. She felt cool smoothness on her hand, like it was leather. “Where am I? Is this a car seat? Maybe I should scream for help! But what if this is not a car seat and I’m somewhere else? This feels like it could be a couch too. Wow I didn’t think I’d die like this. At least it’s happening to me and not Farah. I wish I could just see her one more time. Oh God help me…” Jade thought as she slowly extended her leg until she felt the ground beneath her feet. She sighed. “Wow I’m really stupid.” She mumbled as her hands reached to the back of her head to untie the blindfold. “Why on Earth didn’t I think of this before?” She thought.

Her conscience replied “Because your life is in danger. Duh!”

“Good evening beautiful.” Said a deep husky voice. He was so close; she could feel his warm breath on her neck. She froze so perfectly, she could’ve been mistaken for a magnificent statue. Her throat grew dry and thoughts swarmed around in her mind. “I should swing at him really hard. If I get lucky I’ll hit him and he’ll knock out. But if I miss, he’ll probably hurt me. Well hurt me more than he’s planning to anyway.” She thought.

Cat got your tongue? The voice said as he laughed and grabbed Jade’s arms. Jade felt his rough hands on her skin, and felt her arms being pinned behind her back. Though her thoughts increased rapidly, she didn’t dare to speak a word. “I’ve been looking for you all my life sweetie. She tried to keep me away from you. The world tried to keep me away from both of you. But I love you. And every time I thought I found you, it wasn’t really you! So that upset me and well I don’t know how to deal with my anger. Now tell me baby didn’t you miss me? The voice asked as he held Jade and crushed her against his broad chest. There was a brief moment of silence but to Jade it felt like it took forever. She stood there like a blind, lifeless sculpture. Then she couldn’t breathe. Her lungs begged for air. The man’s large hand was wrapped around Jade’s neck and it was squeezing every ounce of life out of her. She chocked and kicked and punched, but it was all in vein. “This is it. God please forgive me …” Jade prayed.

“Didn’t you miss me? Speak to me!” The voice thundered, but Jade heard it faintly because she was losing air. His hand abruptly released her neck, and Jade immediately drank up the air to feed her dehydrated lungs. She gasped and inhaled and coughed. The man was boiling with rage. He raised his hand to slap her, but stopped when he realized how hurt and helpless Jade had become. “I’m positive that I’ve found you this time.” He said as he grabbed her jaw and slightly squeezed it. You’re my Jade. Now tell me that you are my Jade.” He demanded. Not wanting to be choked again, Jade gathered up every ounce of courage in her and whispered “Yes, I’m your Jade.” Her conscience raged inside her head. “Who the h*** is this freak? How does he know my name! I’m really destined to die in the hands of a delusional psychopath! She thought and she wished she could yell out loud at the top of her lungs.

You finally spoke, my love. You are my Jade, my sweet little baby. I’ll let you see me now.” The man said in an abnormally cheerful voice. He untied Jade’s blindfold and let it fall to the floor. Jade was frightened to witness the monster standing in front of her. She wished she was in her soft bed, buried under her thick blanket all night until all of her fears melted away. She hesitantly opened her eyes and looked at the man. Her lips slightly parted open in surprise. She was astonished. The man in front of her did not resemble the monster she envisioned. He didn’t have bulging eyes, tattered clothes, crusty lips, and broken teeth. This man looked completely sane. He had dark hair streaked with a few white hairs showing that he’s aging. He had gleaming hazel eyes that reminded me of Farah, and he had a scruffy beard that made him look warm and welcoming. His complexion was similar to Jade’s. He was tall and had a muscular build. For some strange reason he seemed so familiar yet so strange. If Jade sat near him on the subway, she would’ve never guessed that this man was crazy. “You’re staring at me sweetie.” The man said with a crooked grin. “Yes! You love me! I found my Jade and she loves me!” The man yelled and laughed hysterically. Jade continued to stare in awe. His laughter, the crooked face he made when he laughed made him look like a true mad man. Fear crawled into her once again. “Who are you?” She asked abruptly, cutting off his laughter. The hysterical laughing ceased and a fire blazed in the man’s eye.

“Who am I? How can you ask such a question? How dare you disrespect me like that?” The man said as he looked at Jade in disbelief.

“Um sorry I meant to say what should I call you? How should I address you when I speak to you?” Jade blurted out quickly to calm the man down. The man’s face softened and he seemed like he was deep in thought for a brief minute. While scratching the side of his head lightly he muttered “Hmm I guess she’s too young to call me that anymore.” He looked at Jade and sighed. “I guess you can call me Zane now.” Jade almost smirked because in her head she thought about how Zane rhymed with sane, and thought about how this mad isn’t sane at all. “Okay, Zane.” She said with a smile as she began to plan a way out of this mess. Zane smiled back at her and grabbed her arm. “But sweetie, I have a little favor to ask of you.” He said. “Please call me daddy one more time. Just so I can remember how it used to be when we were all a happy family.” Jade’s heart skipped a beat. She looked at Zane’s eyes, and his whole appearance. “Dad? Those really do look like Farah’s eyes, and his lips … they remind me of my own lips. Is this man really my dad? This b****rd is my dad? Kidnapping me after all these years after he left me, and Farah and my mother wouldn’t even speak of him.” Jade thought in her head and her body began to shake in anger. She balled up her fists and tears welled up in her eyes. “Get me out of here!” She yelled as she ran full speed towards a door and started to bang on it and tried in vain to tackle it down. Zane caught up to her and grabbed her wrists. He tried to shake her out of her fit. Too many thoughts were swarming through Jade’s head. She was out of control and as soon as she felt his grip, she bit his forearm as hard as her teeth would let her. Immediately, Zane smacked her across the face so hard that she collapsed to the floor, whimpering. He scooped her up in his arms and walked into another room. “Let me go you idiot!” Jade yelled as she banged her fists against his chest in fury.

“Fine I’ll let you go.” Zane said and he dropped her right onto the hardwood floor. She landed with a loud thud, and moaned in pain. He walked towards the door and at the doorway he looked at Jade sympathetically and said “I’m your father. Accept the fact that I’m your father. And you’ll love me and live here with me. Until you accept that, you’ll stay here in this room.” He banged the door shut and Jade heard the click as he locked the door with a key. Jade crawled to the door, too hurt and exhausted to get up. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she grabbed the doorknob and twisted it this way and that, with all of her remaining strength. “Let me out of here!” She yelled at the top of her lungs and banged at the door. After a while, she grew silent and sat on the floor hugging her knees and shuddering in fear and anger.

Farah stared out of the window. It was dark but New York never sleeps. Lights lit up the city like stars lighting up the black canvas of the night sky. Farah was worried, and of all the feelings that Farah ever has, worry is usually not one of them. She held Jade’s cell phone in her hand and stared at it. “Where’s Jade… I miss her.” She thought. Earlier on in the day a detective called the house. He said he was coming to meet her at 10 pm after he finished some business. Ever since that phone call, Farah grew restless. She tried her best not to think so she kept herself occupied throughout the day. It was 10:05 pm now, and the apartment was spotless. Everything was perfectly organized; even the DVDS were organized alphabetically on the shelf. Now that there was nothing left to do, Farah awaited the detective’s arrival impatiently and nervously.

Farah was abruptly woken up by the sound of the doorbell. She realized that she fell asleep while waiting for the detective. “He’s finally here.” Farah mumbled as she rushed to the door and opened it. The detective smiled at her and said “Sorry I ran a little late. I had to take care of some things.” He held out his hand. “I’m detective Cooper. You can call me Zeke.” He was clearly tired. There was a deep darkness underneath his blue eyes. Farah looked at him and tried to smile, but she couldn’t. She was too anxious to find out what on earth happened, and why the detective was here. She put her hand in his, and shook it firmly. “I’m Farah. Please come in and have a seat. Would you like anything to drink? Maybe some Coffee or tea?” She asked. It was all formalities. In her mind she begged to God that he wouldn’t want anything, and that he would go straight to telling her the news. To her relief, he sat down and replied “No thanks.” She took a seat across from him and looked at him intently. Her eyes asked the question. He cleared his throat and sat up straight. “Farah your family was notified that your mother passed away in a plane crash last year on November 6, am I right?” The detective asked.

Farah nodded. “Yes, that’s true.” She said. She wondered why on earth Zeke was speaking about her mother. She thought this probably would’ve been something about Jade. Zeke looked at her solemnly. “Well, Farah I’m sorry to say but we’ve just found out that your mother really didn’t pass away in that plane crash. She was one of the survivors, but her body wasn’t found there, so she was reported dead. The truth is that someone kidnapped her. Her body was found today inside an abandoned apartment. She was locked inside a barren room curled up next to the door. The neighbors on that floor complained about too much noise from that apartment, and a couple of days later they complained again about a rotting smell. The apartment and the room are still under investigation. Your mother’s body has been transferred to Lincoln Hospital. So far it seems like someone has kidnapped her on the day of the crash, and locked her in that room. I am really sorry about this Farah; we’ll get the b****rd who’s behind all of this.” Zeke said as he got up and put her arm on Farah’s shoulder. Farah stared at the carpet beneath her feet. Tears slid down her cheeks and fell to the carpet, leaving tiny round wet stains.

Jade curled up near the door in the barren room. She closed her eyes and repeatedly whispered to herself “I’ll be out of here soon. Very soon, very soon, very soon.” As she slowly rocked her body back and forth.

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Cheshirekat said...
Jul. 11, 2014 at 2:32 pm
Wow that was unexpected.. I liked it. It was well written. I loved all the detail and description..
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