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“Tell me what happened,” he pleaded. I knew every grueling detail, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell. “You have to trust me,” Detective Romano said. Detective Romano was a tall man he had a voice like thunder. His head was very similar to a new spoon.
“You have to tell him what they did to you guys Kendall,” my mom cried.
John, Grace and I were walking to my house from the party. “Where are Grace and John?” I asked my mom.
“John went to get me coffee and Grace is in recovery,” Mom answered sweetly.
Can we get back to it ma’am?” Detective Romano interrupted.
It was about 11:00 p.m. Grace and I were almost to the corner. John was walking behind us. Suddenly a white van pulled onto the sidewalk in front of us. Four girls jumped out of the back. A man jumped out of the front seat and yelled, “Hurry!” He grabbed John. Two girls grabbed me and the other two grabbed Grace. They tied our hands and covered our eyes. They did the same to Grace and John. They dragged us into the back of the van. There weren’t any seats, the floor was cold and the van wreaked of cigarettes and alcohol. We drove for a very long time. I nudged the person next to me because I assumed it was one of my friends. Suddenly I felt a thrash to my stomach. I fell over in pain. One of the girls yelled, “Do that again and there is more where that came from!”
I started to cry and the guy driving yelled for me to shut up. We came to a quick stop. I had no idea where we were. They took off our blindfolds. Grace and I looked at each other in shock. We noticed that John wasn’t around.
“Where is my brother!?” Grace yelled.
One of the girls pushed Grace to the ground. I whispered to Grace to relax, and they told us to go inside. We went into a shabby lake house where the stairs creaked, the windows were poorly boarded, and you could still see inside the house. There was tons of trash in the front yard, beer cans and cigarette cartons everywhere. It smelled like swamp water, or a landfill.
There was a really old front door that gave a horrible screech when you pushed it opened. I looked around. I’d lived in this town my entire life and I never knew this place existed. There was a rusty car in the front yard, and one street light that flickered; I was praying that it didn’t stop working. We were pushed into a room and my purse was thrown in. They took our cell phones. I couldn’t really see, the only light was the street light that shone through the dirty window. The door slammed.
Grace said, “We need to find John and get out of here.” I told her that I was just as worried as she was, but we weren’t going to get out of here by yelling and screaming.
Suddenly the door opened, John was pushed into the room. We couldn’t see what happened to him; we pulled him over to the window. His face was bleeding his left eye was blood shot.
“That guy did this to me!” he murmured. Grace began to cry.
255“This is my fault, we shouldn’t have gone to that party,” she said
Then the door whipped opened.
“Come here now,” a voice yelled from the darkness.
We didn’t move, two of them grabbed Grace. She kicked and screamed. I ran to help her, but the guy stood in front of me and pushed me back. The door shut behind them. I crawled all over the floor searching for my purse. I found it and I put it next to the window and searched for my first-aid kit, I found a few anti-bacterial wipes. I wiped John’s face, his hand was bleeding and I wrapped it with gauzes and held his head. I kept talking to him but he wasn’t answering. I kept my hand on his chest. I wish we knew where our phones were. I laid my head against the wall.
“What was your relationship with Grace and John Kendall?” Detective Romano asked.
Umm, Grace has been my best friend since pre-school, and John and I are dating.
“Okay continue,” he declared.
The door slung opened Grace staggered in, she groaned.
“Grace are you okay?” I asked.
“You’re next,” a woman’s voice said from the darkness.
I froze in shock then she grabbed me. They took me into the only room that had light. She pushed me against the wall and told me to sit down. I fell to the floor.
“Your other friends didn’t talk, did you see what happened to them!?” She said, “Answer me!” She yelled.
I didn’t know what to do I just put my head in my hands and mumbled, “Yes.” She walked up to me, my heart started to jump out of my chest. She grabbed my neck I started to panic. She squeezed tighter and tighter I tried to yell but I couldn’t get out a sound.
“I cannot take this,” my mom cried.
“Can you continue Kendall?” Detective Romano pleaded.
John interrupted and was ecstatic to see me awake.
“Are you okay?” I asked John.
“Well I’m not the one with all the needles in my arms, if that’s what you mean,” John laughed.
“How do you feel?” I asked.
“Well my eye is in bad shape, I have a few broken ribs, stiches in my hand, and leg, but it’s better than being in that hospital bed,” he laughed.
“Where is Grace, I’m so worried about her?”
“She is in the Intensive Care Unit,” he said.
“I have to go see her,” I declared.
“Well you can’t because you don’t need to see her when she’s in such a critical state, she can’t talk anyway,” he said
“I don’t need her to talk; I just need her to listen!” I cried.
“Well that will be enough for today Kendall, I will just see you tomorrow,” Detective Romano interrupted.
John told me that he would ask my nurse if I could see Grace, but she said no. My hospital room reminded me of a hospital that you see in the movies, nothing but white walls with a few posters reminding people to cover their coughs and wash their hands. Soon my mother came in and told me she was going home.
Detective Romano came in the next morning and told me he had a lot of questions for me, and if I ever needed a break that I just needed to speak up. He asked me if I remember what the girls looked like. I told him I couldn’t really tell, it was very dark inside the house and whenever there was light in a room they blind folded me.
“Okay, do you know about what age they were?” he asked.
“They were about maybe three or four years older than me, so about 21,” I answered.
“Good, good do you remember their names?” he asked.
“They never once said their names, they called each other by numbers,” I answered.
“Do you remember how long you were there?”
“We were there for three days,” I answered.
“Thank you so much Kendall you’re doing a fantastic job, can you continue telling me what happened to you while you were there?” he asked.
I don’t remember anything after I passed out except for waking up the next morning in the same room with Grace and John. John was sitting against the wall. He was sitting in front of a pile of blood soaked gauze. He just stared at Grace. It was a little brighter in the room thanks to the sun. John and I were really worried about Grace, she was curled into a ball and all she did was lay there restrained by her pain. Every so often she would let out a soft groan. Two girls opened the door and told John and me to come out of the room. We were very apprehensive about leaving Grace in the room alone. We knew the other girls were probably stirring up some kind of plan to separate us, but then the other girls came. They dragged John and me out of the room I kicked and screamed. Grace didn’t try to help, I was so livid. We were put into a different room. I think it was the living room. A voice broke the silence
“You have the choice to leave,” she said.
“I will go get Grace then,” John said.
“No!” The man yelled.
“You leave without her, or you can stay and suffer the consequences,” she said.
“Why are you doing this?!" I yelled. We were blindfolded so I didn’t know who I was yelling at. One of the girls told the guy to take John out of the room. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I didn’t want them to hurt John, but I was also afraid for my life. Suddenly all eyes were on me I tilted my head back to keep the tears from falling from my eyes. They all began to hit me. “What kind of person beats batters and bruises another human being without an iota of remorse?” I thought to myself. I couldn’t believe that it was happening. I fell to the floor after a minute of thrashes to my legs arms and face. I didn’t know what to do so I just covered my face and cried. Suddenly after what felt like hours they stopped. One girl dragged me to a room I took off the blind fold. Grace wasn’t there anymore. I yelled, cried, and banged on the walls.
“This was day two right Kendall?” detective Romano asked.
“Yes,” I answered.
“Okay, so can you go onto the last day you were there?” detective Romano said. “Why didn’t you take the blindfold off when they were dragging you somewhere?” he questioned.
“They threatened or lives,” I answered.
“Okay, continue,” he said.
John and I were really worried about Grace. The night before we escaped we planned to find Grace. That night I walked out of the room that we were in. I think they forgot to lock the door. I opened the door quickly so it wouldn’t squeak. John and I looked into the room across from ours and there she was. We whispered her name about five times. Finally we went into the room and John grabbed her. I grabbed the blanket she was laying on. We knew if we went out of the front door that it would wake up one of the girls.
“What about the man?” detective Romano asked.
“He didn’t stay overnight,” I said.
“That is key information Kendall, I’m glad I found that out,” he said.
Well we went back into the room, John lay Grace on the ground. When he tried to lift the window the wood just fell off. John and I looked at each other in surprise. “I cannot believe this!” John said. I told John to be quiet. John got out of the house first and grabbed Grace, and I threw him the blanket. I had one leg out of the window when my purse got stuck on a screw I whispered for John to help me, but he couldn’t. The bedroom door slung open, and I yelled for John. I ripped my bag and got out of the room. John and I just ran away we didn’t care which way we went, we just wanted to get out of there.
We ran until he couldn’t carry Grace I anymore. We walked to a few trees I laid the blanket on the ground. Grace started to cough and blood came out of her mouth. We put her on her side, Grace finally said something after not saying a word all day. “I think I need to go to a hospital. She laughed. We all laughed and agreed.
“Do you think you can walk?” John asked.
“I think,” she said.
“I’m sor-“ I was stopped by John yelling that there was a car coming.
We grabbed the blanket and lay down behind the trees. John pulled Grace behind the trees next to him. It was a little blue car with a dented bumper and a broken window. A very old woman was driving. We told her what happened and she gave me her cell phone, and rushed us to the nearest hospital. I called my mom and gave her a few details of what happened. She said that Grace and John’s mother was with her. When we arrived at the hospital Grace, John and I were all admitted to the hospital. I have a broken rib and a lot of bruises on my arms legs and face.
“What were you going to tell Grace before the car came?” Detective Romano asked
“I was going to tell her that I was sorry for being upset with her after she didn’t help us,” I said
“Okay I will ask your doctor if you can go see her. That is all that I will need, but when we find these people and they go to court I will need you John and Grace to testify. Well I’ll send John and your mom back in,” he said.
“Detective Romano, will you find these people?” I asked.
“Well it is hard to say,” he answered.
When Detective Romano left I went to the ICU. It was really hard to see Grace with all of those tubes coming out of her mouth. It hurt to see my best friend on life support. Then suddenly alarms started to go off, and the machines started beeping. The doctors and nurses started to scurry in. I was forced into the hallway by my mother, and we stood in front of the window I couldn’t keep my eyes off of the machines. Grace’s mother quickly ran into the room but was guided out by a nurse. We all watched outside the window. I listened in through the door. The line went flat. They used a defibrillator to get her back. I cried. Grace’s mom fell to the floor John knelt next to her. Then suddenly I heard the three words that I never wanted to hear.
“Time of death…
Grace’s mom was hysterical. I never got to tell my best friend that I forgave her. I felt even worse. The doctor told us that a broken rib punctured her lung and caused internal bleeding.
Grace’s funeral was the worst day of my life. I was in denial for years. Then the police caught the people who kidnapped us. John went to the jail they were being held at and confirmed that they were the right people, and today they are in jail for the rest of their lives for an array of charges, including murder. Grace’s mom did not come to the trial. John and I had to see that Grace got the justice that she deserved. Grace’s mom is still in mourning, I think we all are. Thankfully time heals all wounds.