It was the first day of the best day of my life. Well, at least I thought. It was finally the end of senior year, and in a couple of hours, I was going to graduate. I got home and the first thing I heard was my mom crying. I couldn't believe this was happening. Just when the day was going uphill, it rolled back down.
“What's the matter mom? Where’s dad?” I asked hoping this wasn't going to be terrible news.
“I’m so sorry sweetheart, but there has been an accident,” my mom said like they do in the movies.
“What happened?” I asked as my heart was pounding out of my chest.
“Your dad has passed away,” she said in a gentle voice trying not to cry. I sat there for a minute trying to take in all of this awful information. After a few minutes of sitting there, I couldn’t help it. I started bawling until I ran out of tears. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to still go to my graduation, or stay at home and curl up in a ball in my room. I decided nothing was going to stop me from going to my graduation. I started to get ready.
The first thing I did was get my dress all perfect and ready for me to put it on. I had never seen such a beautiful dress in the world. You might be wondering why I am not wearing the normal clothes to graduate in. But, my school is very unique and they don't do many things other school to. After everyone graduates, we have a big dance celebration party. Anyways, after I got my dress ready, I curled my hair, did my makeup, and found the perfect shoes to match. I couldn’t wait to graduate! I just wish that there wasn’t anything dragging me down. An hour later, it was finally time for me to get in the car and drive into my new future.
My mom and I got to the high school after fifteen minutes of sitting there eagerly in the car. There was a really nice set up for the dance area, and for the graduation ceremony. It had finally started! Everyone was dressed so nicely, and it was nice to see my friends, for what might be the last time. All the parents were crying as their kids went up to say their speeches and finally graduate. It was my turn. I got up on the stage proud and ready.
“Hi everyone, my name is Aubrey Parker. It’s nice to see everyone today. I’m so thankful for such a great four years here at this wonderful school. It couldn’t have been a better experience. I want to thank all of my friends, my teachers, my mom, and my dad. Even though my dad passed away earlier today, I know he is still with me and cheering me on. I love you dad. I love you too mom don’t worry,” I said with a smile on my face, finally noticing I’m growing up faster than I thought I was. Everyone clapped, and of course my mom had an alligator tear running down her face. It took a while for everyone to go up and say what they needed to say, but it was finally time for the what I was waiting for all night, the dance.
Everyone gathered in the gym, where it was nicely decorated with balloons, streamers the colors of our school. I found my friends and we started having the time of our lives. The music was great, and our feet were sore after 5 minutes of jumping up and down and dancing with all of our energy. I went to go get everyone some punch, but it was already enjoyed by everyone else in the room. There wasn't anything left. So I went to go get everyone some water instead. Nobody was over by the water which was interesting to me. I couldn't figure out why, but it was sort of nice to go into a quieter section of the room. I heard someone walking up behind me, but I figured it was just someone else finally figuring out that there was something other than the punch to drink I feel something touching my shoulder, I couldn't figure out who it was. It was so dark in the corner I couldn't even see what they were wearing. I quickly turn around, and the person grabs me and pulls me into the men's restroom. I didn't know what to think. He was covering my mouth with his hand, and had a really tight grip on me, I could barely move. I could feel the hair on his fingers moving across my face as the wind blew in our faces.
“Somebody help me! Where am I?” I tried screamed as he gripped my mouth even tighter. I try looking around but all I see if a dark room surrounding me. I don’t see any windows or any light shining in. I look up at the man who was still holding his hand over my mouth with all his might. I can’t even see where his face would be. I just start staring at a black wall, hoping something good would actually happen. Then, all of the sudden, the black wall I was staring at, an opening starts to show. A door swings open. There is a small figure there wondering what is going on. The man lets go but is still holding on. The person starts talking but I can't understand what they are talking about. I never found out who it was, or what they wanted, but I had a feeling that person was going to come back sooner or later.
The man starts walking faster and faster, just dragging me along. My knees are scraping against the concrete, and I can't feel my feet. I can feel pain shooting up my leg like a needle. I can feel blood running down my leg, then all of the sudden, he comes to a complete stop, and I fall to the ground. I feel like someone had caught him again, but I realize he was where he wanted to be. We were in another dark room, there was one light, but it was flickering, and it wasn't going to last for long. He lets me free of his hands and he walks out of the room without even looking back at me to see my reaction to what was happening. .
“Wait! What am I-” Bam! The door slammed shut. I run up to the door he just walked out of and it was too late. I could tell he had done this before. The door was locked within two seconds of him leaving, and there was no way for me to get out. I heard talking in the distance. There was a man’s voice and a woman’s voice. I tried listening as much as I could.
“What are you doing with that girl? She's innocent,” the woman said almost as curious as I was.
“I’m not going to do anything with her. I just don’t want her to find me anywhere and then tell Shannon,” he answered. I couldn't believe this, Shannon is my mom’s name. What did she have anything to do with this? I tuned back in.
“Shannon, your wife? What does she have anything to do with this?” she questioned, confused on what he was saying.
“Sh, she’s going to hear us,” he whispered. “Well, Shannon is her mom. That is my daughter in there. And for all they know, I am dead.”
“What? Why did you fake your death? I don’t understand,” she said still very confused.
“I faked my death because I was done living that life I was. I didn't want to be married to Shannon, I didn't want to live in that house, and I didn't want Audrey.”
“Well, you still have her. She's in your basement. What are you going to do with her? You can't just have her suffer and end her life forever. Do you really want that to happen to her?”
“No, but I don't have a choice, I’m not going to let her suffer and die. I can't watch her do that. I just didn't need anyone in that family finding out that I am still up and moving.” he said walking away to end the conversation. I felt loved in some way that he didn’t want me to die in this dark room, but most of me felt miserable and upset thinking that my dad would do this to me. The dad that I have lived with my whole life, and now I didn’t know what to do.
I just sat in the room waiting for my dad to come down and give me some water, or food. I couldn’t wait until he came downstairs, because then I could identify him as who he truly is. I waited and waited and waited and I didn’t hear a single sound. A few hours went by and my stomach was growling. I finally heard people up stairs. They start arguing again.
“What took you so long? That’s your daughter down there. She’s hungry and thirsty. Now go downstairs and give her something to eat and drink. You told me you weren’t going to let her suffer. So far, you have failed at doing that part,” the woman said angrily.
“I’m sorry. I had work. Give me a break, I’m doing the best I can to make sure she doesn’t suffer,” he said hoping that was enough to say to save him from getting yelled at more.
“Well excuse me. You aren’t doing enough. Now go make her something filling and good. I don’t want to see you going down there with leftovers in your hand, or a can of food,” she yelled.
“Ok, I’ll go make something for her. I’m not sure what she likes though.”
“How can you not know what your daughter likes? You have lived with her for a while haven’t you?”
“Well, yeah, but I haven’t cooked her anything. That was for Shannon to do.”
“I like mac and cheese!” I screamed up the stairwell.
“What was that? She can hear us? Oh great!” My dad said sounding worried I had heard everything, which I did. I heard the woman laughing really hard. I knew I that my dad was probably freaking out now about me hearing everything, but I still wanted my mac and cheese, and I wanted it now.
He finally came walking down the stair slowly and quietly. I could smell the mac and cheese in his hands. I wanted to see if he was still completely covered, or if he was actually exposing himself. But of course, he was completely covered from head to toe, with a nice warm bowl of mac and cheese. I was going to complain that I was also really cold and thirsty, but this was more than I expected to start with. I scooped eat noodle individually into my mouth hoping that it would last longer, and it worked. My dad waited down there with me until I was done with my dinner. I finished it, and pretended I still had a few noodles left. I got up quickly and kicked him right in his nose. I had knocked him out for good. I started going up the stairs as something stops me. Something strong. I look back, it was my dad holding my ankle as hard as he could. I walked back to where I had been sitting before I tried to escape, and I waited until he got right back up to continue on with his life outside this room. When he got up to the top of the stairs, I peeked up the stairwell and listened to him locking the door, trying to find another way to get out of this room without attacking someone. I heard three different “click” noises, on the very top of the door, on the very bottom of the door, and one on the hinges of the door. I was trying to figure out why he needed a lock on the hinges, but I was more interested in trying to get out and unlocking it, then figuring out why it was there.
I tried going to sleep, but I knew it was never going to happen, and my head kept spinning with ideas on how to escape. How in the world am I supposed to get out of here? I have to think of something to get back to my mom. I decided I wasn't going to waste my time trying to do something that was never going to happen, I wanted to use the time to do something that could happen. I look around the dark room with my hands spread out just in case there is a wall or something in my way. I slide my feet on the floor just in case there is something I could trip on and make a loud noise. I’m trying to look for something to write on, and something to write with, but I can’t find anything, so I have to keep my ideas fresh in my mind. I walk up the stairs slowly, making sure the wood doesn't creak. I get to the door and the see that the screws were screwed in from where I was standing. I walk back down the stairs to find something to unscrew the screws. I find a penny with the tails side up. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to pick it up since it was supposedly back luck, but I would do anything to get out of this basement. I picked up the penny, and quietly went back up the stairs. I put the penny in the screw and twisted it. I kept twisting it hoping something would happen, and something did happen, just not what I expected. All of the sudden the door swings opened and I couldn't believe that I was actually out of this basement, but I wasn't. I start stepping up into the house and all of the sudden, my dad swings around the corner and catches me and doesn't let go. He's holding me as tight as he was the night he took me.
I go unconscious. I don't wake up until it was night again. I couldn't sleep again, but I also couldn't try to escape because my dad knew I was going to try harder each time. When I finally feel awake, I try to get up but something is stopping me. I try again, but it still doesn't work. I look back at me legs where I felt something holding me back. There are chains around my ankles, and the chains are anchored to the wall. I couldn't believe that my dad did this to me. I mean I guess it meant that he truly believed that I was determined to get out, and I was going to get out. There wasn't anything I could reach from where I was, so I didn't know how I was going to get out now. I stood up and in the smallest beam of light shining in, I could see my dad standing there, still all covered from head to toe.
“What are you doing Aubrey? Are you trying to get out again?” he said in a creepy voice.
“No, I’m just trying to get off of the wall. I thought you weren't trying to make me suffer? You are not doing a very good job I would say,” I said hoping he would take me off of the wall.
“If you think I’m going to free you with that attitude, think again. I’m not making you suffer, I’m being cautious, because I know you know who I am, and you'll run back home to mommy and tell her all what I did. Then I'll get arrested. That's not what you want, is it?”
“I'll have to think about answering that question after you take these things off of my ankles. But as of right now, I would absolutely love for that to happen.”
“Well then, I'll take those things off of you. If you promise to stop trying to get out. And, I'll make you a deal. If you don't try to escape in the next two weeks, then I’ll let you go, but if you try a little bit to get out, you will stay in here until you can escape or if I get caught.”
“Deal,” I said nervously.
“Ok then, I'll see you soon for dinner.” He went back upstairs after he unattached me from the wall. I heard him locking the door, and I only heard two clicks. I had actually broken the middle lock. I was waiting for him to scream at me, but he didn't notice one bit. Now, all I needed to do was break the other two locks without getting caught.
He came down the stairs thirty minutes after we talked. He came down with glass of water and a nice big bowl of mac and cheese again. I was really hungry and thirsty by this point, so I was pretty happy he didn't come down any later. I was still trying to figure out why he was still covered from head to toe, even after he said he knew I knew who he was. I really wanted to know, so I asked him.
“Um, why do you still cover yourself from head to toe, even though I already know who you are, dad,” I said adding some excitement to the conversation.
“You don't know who I am. There is no way you would have been able to figure out who I was,” he said concerned.
“Well, I have my ways to figuring out everything, you should know that by now. Afterall, I still got some of your characteristics anyways,” I said with some sass.
“Don’t talk to me that way missy. I’m your father.”
“So you finally slipped huh. I’m not stupid. Now, explain what you are going to do with me.”
“Well, I can’t let your mom knowing I’m still alive.”
“What’s so bad about that?”
“I can't stand her. I needed to leave, but I couldn't just let you suffer of me “dying” on the day of your graduation. I still want to be your dad but I know once you get out, you're going to run right to her and tell her everything, then I could get arrested and I can't go back there again. I never told anyone this, but I got arrested for stealing a couple years ago. We needed the money to raise you, but I didn't want your mom getting all worried, so I went to the bank and got money that way. And, I got out by my mom the day before she passes away,” he said trying not to shed a tear.
“Oh, I’m sorry I caused so much trouble. I understand now why you're doing this, but you don't need to, your secret is safe with me.”
“I can’t risk anything at all, I trust you, but I just can’t.” he says disappointed in himself.
“Ok, just try to be nicer and more lenient.”
“Ok, I’ll try my best.” He got up and walked up the stairs. I was waiting to hear all the locks, but I only heard one this time. I couldn't tell which lock it was, but I knew I could figure it out. It was almost dark, and I heard everyone upstairs going into their rooms. I had no idea how many people were up there. I had heard so many different voices I don't even know who is staying in this house and who isn't. I waited thirty minutes until I moved from where I was sitting to go up the stairs, and try to unlock the door. It was finally time.
I got up, ready to escape and live my normal life again. I didn't hear anything upstairs, so I knew everyone was sleeping. I was hoping this was going to be my last time trying to escape. I really didn't want to stay on more second in this dark room. I crept up the stairs, and when I got to the door, I waited a minute to make sure I didn't hear any mouths talking. There was nothing. I pulled out my spoon from dinner, since my dad never brought up my dishes. I put the end of it into the screw to act as a screwdriver, just as the last time I did this. I kept twisting, and twisting. It can undone and the door swung open. I was scared my dad was going to be standing there like he was last time, but the coast was clear. I had finally done it! I escaped and never got caught! I started looking through the house. It was really pretty, and full of many expensive things. I tiptoed through the house, around every corner. I wanted to stay longer, but I had a feeling someone would catch me. I went to the basement door really quickly, but still trying to be as quiet as possible. On my last step on the way to the door, the wood on the floor creaked. I had never had hardwood floors before, so I had no idea they could be so noisy. I looked around, hoping the coast was still clear. Thankfully it was, and I was walking to the front door where I was going to escape. Well, at least where I was hoping to escape. I open the door, and this really loud buzzer start going off. My initial thought sadly wasn't to run out the door, it was to go back down in the basement. I left the front door and the basement door open, so my dad was going to know it was me that caused all this noise. He was never going to be able to trust me ever again. I didn't hear anything upstairs, and the noise had already stopped after a minute of non stop beeping and what sounded like sirens. I peeked up the stairs and the door was shut, and I could tell all the locks were shut, including the one I had unscrewed in the first place.
I didn't want morning to come. I didn't want my dad coming down here and yelling are me. I knew he was going to no matter what I tried to do, so I just waited. I didn't get any sleep that night so I was really tired. I was walking around thinking about what I was going to say to my dad, but then I just fell down and fell right to sleep. When I woke up I knew it was later in the day, so I had missed my dad coming down and screaming his head off at me. He came down for dinner a few minutes after I woke up. There was a bowl of soup in his hands for me. I took it from his and started eating as fast as I could. He didn't say a word about what happened, but I knew he wasn't going to be as lenient anymore. I was never going to get out, not anymore. I could only think of one way, but it was risky. Before it got completely dark outside, I unscrew all the screws quickly and unlocked it. It creaked open and I started walking towards the front door. I didn't see anyone at the house which was really surprising. I opened the front door just a hare and started to go back towards the basement. There was still no one in plain sight. I got to the basement, twisted all the screws back in, and went back down. I did it! Now I was actually going to get out once and for all.
Hours and hours went by and I could still hear people upstairs walking and talking. I decided to go check out what was happening. I went up to the top of the stairs and I didn't hear any people walking, and the talking kept repeating over and over and over again. It was a recording playing making me think that I would never get the chance to escape. It was time for me to do it! Time for me to get back home and have a normal life again. I unscrewed the screws for the last time and walked out the door to my life ahead of me. All I had to do was hope that the front door was still cracked. I slowly went up to the door and peeked out the opening. It was still open! I opened it wider and went out into the fresh air and the nice breeze blowing my hair around. I was scared someone was going to see me walking around and starts asking me questions, but everyone was sleeping, there wasn't a single light on in the whole neighborhood. I kept walking and walking, each time a little faster. I was trying to remember where my mom lives but I couldn't seem to remember. I found a gas station nearby, and surprisingly I remember my mom’s phone number. I went up to the cashier standing there hoping someone would make his ngit interesting.
“Do you happen to have a phone here I can borrow? I need to call my mom. I have been missing for a couple days. What day does it happen to be?” I said waiting to get an answer.
“Um yeah sure. It’s Thursday the 22th by the way,” he said reaching into his pocket and pulling out his phone.
“Ok, thank you so much! You have no idea how much you just helped me out.” I started typing my mom’s phone number, and I kept messing up since I was shaking so much. I pressed the button to call her, and it started ringing really loud. I missed that sound. I forgot what everything sounded like I was down there for a week, but it seemed a lot longer. My mom finally picked up.
“Who is this? How did you get my number? This better be someone important,” my mom said so fast it was hard to understand her.
“Mom,, it’s me Aubrey. I got out. It was dad who took me. I’m not supposed to say anything but I needed to,” I told her crying so hard.
“Oh my gosh sweetheart! It’s really you!”
“Yes mom! Did you hear what I said though? Dad is the one who took me.”
“Dad never got in a car accident. He didn’t want to be with you anymore and he didn’t want me thinking he was actually dead. That’s why he took me.”
“That’s such a terrible excuse! I can’t believe he would do that just so he wouldn't have to see me anymore. He won't get away with this, but for now, I’m glad you're safe. Why don't we go get some food to eat. I’m sure you haven't eaten, drank, or slept much this past week. I’ll pick you up in five minutes.”
“Thanks mom. I’ve missed you so much! I'm so glad I actually got to see you again! I tried so many different ways to get out and I always got caught. I’m in this creepy neighbor hood somewhere outside of town. Do you know what I’m talking about?”
“Yes sweetheart. I'm leaving now. I'll see you in a little while. I love you!”
“Love you too!” I hung up and thanked the man for using his phone. I looked around the gas station just to waste some time before my mom got here. After a minute of browsing, the bell hanging above the door rings. I look up, it's my dad standing glancing around the whole store. I duck down before he can see that I'm here.
“Have you seen a girl pass by here? She has brown hair, brown eyes, and is about 5’6,” my dad says looking around the gas station for me. The man running the cashier looks over at me and I start shaking my head trying to tell him not to give my presence away.
“Um, no I haven't seen anyone here all night and day. This place is usually pretty empty all the time,” the cashier says looking my way. I give him a thumbs up and mouth the words “thank you.” I hear my leave the store stomping mad he couldn't find me. I get up from hiding behind the shelf and look for some food. I didn't have any money on me, but I could probably find a way to get it. I grabbed a bag of chips and went up to the cashier. I see headlights from a car coming up the road. I assume it's my mom, so I try to hurry up.
“Excuse me, can I please have these? I don't have any money and I haven't eaten real food in a while,” I say in an innocent sounding voice.
“Sure go for it. I'm glad I could help you!” he says as I see my mom getting out of her car.
“Thank you so much!” I say with as much enthusiasm as I could as I run out the door. I run to my mom, and she's standing there with her arms wide open waiting for me to hug her. I hug her for five minutes straight. We were making up for all the days we had lost being together. We got in the car and drove up to my favorite restaurant of all times. I was surprised it was still open since it was almost 1:00 in the morning
It took a while to get to the restaurant but it was worth it in the end. One, because there was amazing food included, and two because my mom and I got to talk for almost an hour for all the catching up we needed to do. We kept talking about my dad which wasn't my favorite subject to talk about, but I would do anything for my mom.
“What was it like down there? Did he ever feed you? Did he given provide you water? I need to make sure that I get all the information possible before I call the police and get him arrested so he never gets the chance to do this again to you or anybody else in this world,” my mom said acting like she was ready to take on the world.
“It was dark, and extremely scary down there. There were always different shadows, and I always felt like someone was watching me. But that ok, because I’m free now and I’m all safe. He mostly only fed me lunch and only gave me water when he gave me food to eat. I was overly hungry the entire time I was down there, so it's good to get back to eating real food again. I know you were really worried about me, but I’m fine now and he told me not to say anything to you about him because he didn't want to get arrested again. You can't tell the police!” I said losing my breath within each sentence.
“I don't care what your dad wants and doesn't want. He did something completely wrong to someone so innocent as you. You didn't deserve any second down there in that basement. He needs to be punished for what he did. Nobody wants to get arrested, but it's a consequence they have to take for their actions. So, I’m calling the police when we get home. While I’m talking to them, I need you to be right by my side. They need all the information they can get, and it all needs to be accurate,” she said hoping I wouldn't get mad at her.
“Ok mom. I’ll be there to answer any questions they have. Once it gets too overwhelming of me, I have to go upstairs, because I haven't had a good night sleep in a really long time, so I’m not exactly me right now.”
“Ok sweetheart. That’s ok with me. I know it's been tough for you and you have been through so much. I just can't believe that he did that to you on one of the most special days of your life. I mean seriously you were at your graduation dance getting really to have the best time of your life!”
“I know mom. He just didn't know what to do with his life I guess.” We both started laughing and we had finished our delicious food. We waited for the check and then headed on the way home. I couldn't wait to get to my room and flop down on my comfortable bed!
We got home and my mom let me get situation before we started talking to the police. I didn't know what was going to end up happening, but I had a feeling it wasn't going to end well.