The Game of Secrets
I was trapped. There was no way out. I had bruises up my arms, around my neck and on both knees. When I finally tried to escape, I ended up on the cold, damp, concrete. I still wonder what happened after that.
It was a brisk day on Christmas Eve and the city was full of scrambling parents, trying to finish some last minute shopping. I entered my building and the doorman, Derek, was happier than normal today. I just assumed it was because of the holiday spirit. I smiled at him and walked inside.
I woke up. Drenched in sweat, I was tied to a chair. The tough black tape over my mouth restricted my breathing and the rope scratched my wrists so much they bled. It was so cold, my body stopped shaking and my hands went blue. I tried to move, slowly, without making a noise. I rocked the chair, back and forth, as to move the slightest bit to the door. One rock, ended me up on the floor, and was followed with a loud slam as my helpless body hit the surface. He heard me.
I sat at my desk, like any other day at the office, but today felt longer than normal. I was constantly turning my phone on and off, checking the time and counting down the minutes I could be at my home with my husband and kids.
He stood up hastily, slammed his fist on the desk in front of him and yelled: “I told you not to move!” My body trembled in the chair as his hand reached for the doorknob and he walked through the door. He ripped off the tape. My lips now numb. I screamed. He put the tape back on and untied me, as I struggled to escape his arms.
After a long day, it was finally time for me to see my family. I packed up my belongings, said “Happy holidays!” to those I liked and disliked and took the elevator to the lobby. It was past the usual time at work and the building seemed empty as I got to the bottom, so quiet, except for the sounds of honking cars and angry drives who wanted to return home for Christmas.
As I approached the doorway, Doorman Derek immediately shut the door, which he was supposed to hold open for me. He wouldn’t let me leave because “It was after hours” and he should have been locked up already. I got angry and argued with him that I had to leave and make it home for Christmas. He rolled his eyes and opened the door. I walked out and went to my car, I rummaged through my purse to find my keys. As I shifted through my bag, I heard a heavy breathing behind me. I turned around ever so slowly. Then I fell to the icy ground.
I soon awoke to the harsh smell of cigarettes and hard liquor. Once my eyesight cleared up it was obvious that I was trapped in a trunk. I panicked. I began searching through the trunk to find anything I could use for help. I found a baseball bat and began hitting the tail lights to see if I could get the attention of another driver. I went to grab my phone from my purse, but it wasn’t there. My children probably think I’m out to dinner with my friends. My husband Mark probably thinks I took the midnight shift at work. No one bothered to call, I guess they are asleep right now and the kids are waiting for santa. I hope Mark remembers to put the gifts under the tree, for I usually do that around this time.
After five straight minutes of beating the tail light it finally popped out. I began waving my hand out but it was useless. No one was out at this time of night, nor could anyone see my hand. I began screaming, kicking, punching, trying to let out all my anger. The car stopped. We parked somewhere and then I heard his door slam shut.
I was unsure if I should have jumped out or made a run for it. I unsure of what I was going to do. My heart beated faster than normal and I heard his feet hit the gravel. I clenched the bat tight. Wiped the sweat off my palms and braced myself for whatever outcome.
I heard him enter the key into the slot and twist it. He raised the hatch and lifted it all the way. I held the bat high and began swinging. I shut my eyes. He grabbed it from my hands, without any struggle. He told me to “Shut the f*ck up” and slammed the trunk shut, as tears rolled down my cheek.
I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I kept repeating that phrase, fearing I would never see my family again and I would most definitely not make it home for christmas. I checked my phone, still no connection but the time read “ 2:00 am”. I still had time before the kids woke up and before breakfast time. I was now determined to get to them. I stuck my hand outside the tail light again.
I heard a horn beep. I smiled. Someone had saw me and is beeping at the car. Derek pulled over. My heart raced. This was it, I’m free, but that wasn’t the case. The man from the other vehicle told Derek he had a flat tire and kept on driving. My heart stopped and Derek continued driving with his flat.
We’re going to stop, and get the tire fixed. There I will shout, and try to get someone’s attention. I tried to plan it all out. I was nervous. If this didn’t work would I be trapped forever? The slower the car got, the more nervous I was, because once the car stopped I either had to act or remain silent.
The car stopped. It jerked back causing me to bump my head against the ceiling. It was time. Derek got out of the car and reared his way to the trunk. I trembled but knew I had to stay calm. He opened the truck. He quickly put a piece of tape over my mouth, turned me around and tied a heavy knot around my wrists. I didn’t struggle. Once I began to scream he shut the trunk.
I heard him talking to a worker. I tried to piece words together to figure out what they were talking about. All I got from listening was this phrase: “She’s perfect everyone loves blonde chicks.” I stopped listening. Was I being sold for money? The thought raced back and forth in my mind. I wanted to shut my eyes and never wake up.
As the car leveled out, I knew he was going to get back into the car and drive more. I had no clue as to where we were going nor did I want to, I just wanted to get out. I could tell we were on a street road because of the way the car glided across the flat surface and a slow pace. His phone started to ring. He picked it up and i heard him mumbling some words. They were hard to make out but I did pick up on the word “one million”.
Was he driving to a house? Is he giving me to someone for money? Is he going to kill me?
The car rocked right and left and then the car stopped. I assumed we stopped in a driveway. I didn’t know what to do at this point. He opened the trunk and stared at me as I wept for help. He had no slightest bit of sympathy and dragged me out of the car, carrying me by the legs over his shoulder. He grabbed the keys from his pocket, put them in the slot and twisted. We entered the house.
The blood was rushing to my head. My thoughts weren’t processing. I felt faint and needed water. I shut my eyes.
Bright lights were directly over head and my eyes took a minute to adjust before I could see clearly. It was freezing. My clothes were gone, I looked around for them but saw nothing besides the white bed I was strapped to and the series of operating tools on the table beside me. I struggled to undo the straps. Once I broke one he walked in.
I held my breath, clenched my hands around the table and closed my eyes so tightly that he would have needed a plier to get them open. I didn’t move.
I awoke to the bitter smell of black coffee, the rings of telephones and police officers scurrying around their office. I was in a gown. Like the ones doctors give you at a hospital. I look around confused, as I sat like a statue in my chair. Eventually an officer comes up to me. He sits down next to me, with a worried look. “Do you remember what happened?” he said.