Chapter 4 : A CallI drifted in and out of sleep, as if my mind couldn’t decide if it wanted me unconscious or not. I finally did dose off a few hours later and dreamt vividly.
* * *
“Wake up hon, you're late for school. Again.”
“Baby...”, the owner of the voice shook my shoulder.
I pulled my pillow over my head.
“Leah Mortel, so help me God, I will not break the law speeding to get you there on time. Now get up !”
As if you ever
This was a daily routine in the Mortel household. Each morning, every single day, threats of icy water buckets and “I'm leaving without you” comments were made.
A moment later, my shutters were wide open and blinding sunlight came flooding into my childhood room.
I swung my legs over the bed, eyes still shut tight from the previous hostile action, and when I finally opened them I sat, looking around my room. I examined my powder blue walls and yellow lace curtains that did absolutely nothing to help shield me from the offensive sun. My two windows looked out into the back yard, one was obstructed by the old oak tree that had been there since the house was built, in the late nineteen hundreds. My wood floor, with various clothing items scattered around. I liked how all the furniture pieces didn't match. All made in the same material but in different shades from white to dark brown. The alarm clock on my night stand beeped rudely, interrupting my daze. I leaned over and silenced the vulgar object. It didn't stop emitting the distracting sound.
* * *
An alarm wakes me up. No, it's a telephone. Mine ! I sit up quickly, my head spinning from my hasty movement, and am disoriented for a moment before I remember where I am. It was my cell that was vibrating in my pocket. I hadn't even thought about using it. Adrian seemed to have forgotten to take it away, a big mistake coming from the hands of a criminal. I was still alone, so took a chance and answered, not bothering to check the caller ID. From the sharp intake of breath I could already tell it was my brother, Darik.
“Help !” I whisper in my most pressing and urgent tone.
“Leah ? Where the hell are you ? Mom and Dad are going crazy. They called the police,” I had never heard him so worried.
It takes all my strength not to burst into tears again, “He kidnapped me. I don't know where I am. Save me, send help, please, Darik ! Help..” I trail off, my mind can't seem to deal with reality anymore. I'm shaking so badly, the phone almost slips out of my clammy fingers.
“Calm down. Leah, tell me what happened.” His voice is soothing but doesn't clear up the panic.
I explain everything, how the bus was late, how he said he was new to the area, his eyes (at this point I think Darik is doubting my sanity but, he doesn't interrupt). I tell him everything I can think of that might help. Help how though ? Because I have no freaking clue as to where I am.
“I'm scared, Darik.”
He doesn't answer at first. He's a good guy, my brother. Not great when it comes to handling this kind of stuff however. Not kidnapping in particular, just your average stressful situation. I still remember a few years back, our cat Lucifer ran away. Darik went crazy, ran around our block, shouting the poor beast's name until it grew dark. The neighbors told my parents that if they didn't shut him up they would call the cops. We never did find Lucifer in the end. So I can only imagine the degree of angst he fells at this instant.
“I'm going to call the officer in charge of your file, they can trace your phone. They'll find you, I'm sure they will, they have to...” he rambles.
“I Love you and tell Mom and Dad tha-” Darik cuts me off.
“Sis, you are not going to die, I'll find you. It's not time for goodbyes.”
That was Darik, loving, strong, an emotional snow ball, with dozens of feelings mashed into one.
“I won't let that freak touch you. He won't hurt you, I swear.” Brave words, “And if- when I find this loony, I'm going to beat the crap out of him.”
“You are such a -” but I couldn't finish because the next second, Adrian was standing next to me, as if he'd appeared out of fine air. How much had he heard ?
“What in the world ?” He didn't even have to finish his thought. He knew perfectly well what was going on. He grabbed my phone but not before I screamed into the receiver. My last warning to my sibling.
He crushed my cell in his hand, like a knife through butter and I swear, I could see flames in his empty eyes.
“Who. Was. That.” he pronounced each word as if it was painful, and it felt like I was being repeatedly stabbed.
“My brother and the police will be here soon too. I would run if I were you,” I said with all the confidence I could muster up.
He laughed coldly, “I doubt that very seriously.”
I flinched at his matter a fact tone of voice. I couldn't just stand there saying nothing, so out of all the things I could say, I chose the first that came to mind.
“If you did this for money, sorry to disappoint you but I come from a middle class family. We don't roll on dough exactly.”
He doesn't answer and I am overcome by this horrible feeling, deep in my gut, that he didn't kidnap me for money.