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Number 3: Time in the cold

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The warm sun was shining that day. My best friend and I were playing basketball at our small-town basketball court. That was a normal thing for us to do. My best friend was very athletic, so that was one of the ways she stayed active during the summer. I threw the ball at the hoop, and it bounced off the backboard. My best friend and I both went for it, and one of us hit it out of bounds.

My best friend said, “You hit the ball out of bounds. It hit your hand last.”

“How do you know that? We hit it at the same time.” I said back.

“No, you hit it last.”

“No.”

“Yeah.”

“No!”

“Yes, you did! I’m right and you’re wrong.”

“I forgot that you are always right. I’m going home. Have fun by yourself.”

“Fine. Be a big baby and go cry to your mommy.”

That comment really hurt me. She knows that my mom died from breast cancer about three years ago.

I started waking home, and about halfway there, it started pouring rain. I didn’t think that day could get any worse. I was wrong. As I walked around the last bend in the road before my driveway, a light blue car came down the road. It started slowing down when it got close to me, but I didn’t think anything of it. Nothing bad ever happens in my small town. Which I know is not true. The car came to a stop next to me. A woman reached out of the car with a needle in her hand. She jabbed it into my arm really hard. My body started to go numb, and I had no control over my body. The woman got out of the car and came over to me. She picked me up and put me in the backseat of the car. There was nothing I could have done to stop her. Soon I fell asleep in the backseat of that car.

When I woke up, I was no longer in the car. I was in a dark cold room. The walls were made out of stone, and there was only one small window. The window was about the size of a computer tower. As I sat there wondering how I was going to escape I heard footsteps coming towards me. When I turned to look at who it is, I recognized the woman. She was holding a candle in one hand and I knife in the other. The knife scared me. I had a feeling the woman was going to kill me with the knife. The woman came and sat by me. I leaned away from her. I didn’t trust her, and I never would.

“I’m sorry I frightened you. I only do this so my husband will stay with me. It is awfully cold down here. I’ll make a deal with you. If you let me carve the number 3 into your arm, I will give you a space heater and blankets,” the women said to me in a sweet, kind voice.

“Is it going to hurt?”

“A little, but if you sit still, I won’t hurt as much.”

“Okay it’s a deal.

The woman grabbed my right arm and started carving the number 3 into it. She went really gently and tried not to hurt me. When she was finished, she turned to me so I was facing her and said “you have earned a space heater and blankets. I will go get them.”

She walked away from me, and I was left alone in the dark again. I could see a spider spinning a web in the corner of the window from where I was sitting on the cold floor. I wonder if I could fit through the window. I walked over to the wall that the window was on. The surface of the wall was rough, and the ledges were just big enough for my toes to fit on. I climbed the wall and squeezed through the window.

I heard the women shout somewhere in the house, “the girl is escaping.”

I ignored her and kept running. Across the street, I saw my high school. I knew that if I could get there, I would be safe. The man was now coming out of the door of the house, but I could outrun him. I ran fast and hard, not caring if I couldn’t breathe. I needed to get to that school. From the parking lot, I could see my principal opening the front door to the school. I reached the door and stepped inside the school. My principal locked the door behind me. She told me, “come with me, and I’ll keep you safe.” I followed her as she walked into the office and called a lock down; then she called the police and my dad. I wondered how long I was going to be here.

The beginning of my senior year was amazing, but the ending wasn’t that great. I still have the scar from where the lady carved the number 3 into my right arm. I wouldn’t walk anywhere by myself anymore, not even down my driveway. I was terrified of the man and woman. They were still out there somewhere. There was a new boy in school. He was really attractive, but he really only talked to me. One day in gym class, I saw he had a scar on his right arm shaped like the number one. It made me curious if the same thing that happened to me happened to him. When I asked him where he got the scar, he told me it wasn’t my business. I became really good friends with him, but he wouldn’t talk about his childhood. He said all he remembered was pain and torture. I felt bad for him; that is a horrible childhood.

I was home alone, and I was scared. I felt like someone was watching my every move. I lay down in my bed and fell asleep hoping the feeling would go away.

I woke up feeling like I couldn’t breathe. I was in the dark cold room again. I couldn’t tell if it was a dream or not, but it felt like it was real. I saw the boy over the corner. As I looked at him, he woke up.

“Well it looks like I’m here again,” the boy said to me.

“Wait. You’ve been here before?” I asked

“Yes. A lot of times. The woman is my mother, and the man is my step-father.”

“Wow. That must be why you don’t talk about your childhood.”

“Yeah. I know how to get out of here, but you have to listen to me.”

I knew the plan. At the same time, the boy and I ran up the stairs. The man was at the top of them waiting. The boy wrestled him to the ground and yelled to me, “run! Get out of here!”

“No. I’m not leaving without you.”

“Okay, fine. Be stupid.”

He punched the man in the head, which knocked him unconscious. We ran out the door and escaped to the school. The police, my dad, and the boys’ grandma were called. Later on in the day, the man and woman were arrested.

The boy and I are now happily married with a baby girl on the way. We haven’t seen the man and woman since they were put in jail for our kidnappings. Before I go to bed, I turn on the TV to watch the news. The last thing I hear before I fall asleep is “A man and woman have escaped from prison today. They were in jail for the kidnappings of a couple of teenagers. They are extremely dangerous, so if you spot them, stay away, and call the police right away.”



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