By: M.C. Brightly
For my mom,
Who never gave up on me,
And for T.J. Link,
Who believed in me and encouraged me to start writing,
For S.G. who supported me 100%
Great thanks to my family and friends who supported me especially my mother who helped me write this and kept me on track and motivated me to finish through the many times I wanted to give up.
I was walking home from school when it happened. I was wearing my favorite sweater, a pair of black leggings and my favorite pair of Converse’s that I got for my birthday, about a month and half ago, I was freezing, angry and crying I can’t believe this would happen to me I trusted him he was one of father’s best friends I never expected him to do this now I’m sitting in this dark prison like basement wondering what was going to happen next… wondering if anyone even notices I am gone
October 5^th^ 2016
I shut my locker and walk outside to go meet Dex at football practice, as I approach the field I get a text from my twin brother Kingston that say’s “I saw Gigi hanging around the bleachers at practice today and like 5 min ago I noticed that Gigi disappeared and so did Dex.”
“Okay I’m heading there right now I’ll try to find him.” I text back and start running to the field.
When I get there I head straight over to the bleachers and what do I see when I get there? Gigi and Dex pressed against the bleachers making out. “Oh my god!” I scream, scaring Dex making him jump away from Gigi.
Dex stares blankly at me as fear flashes across his face knowing he’s been caught.
“Westlynn! I’m sorry, it’s not what it looks like… she means nothing to me.”
Swallowing, I try to force down the lump forming in my throat as I fight the tears stinging my eyes, threatening to start falling at any moment.
Not wanting him to see me cry, I start walking away when Kingston jogs over to me and grabs my shoulder turning my body to look at him.
The second he asks, “Where is he!?” through gritted teeth, the tears I’ve been fighting to hold back slowly begin to slide down my cheeks that are red from anger and embarrassment.
I don’t say anything instead I just wipe my tears away when I see Dex running towards us.
I expect to see Gigi tagging along behind him to rub dirt in my broken heart…but instead I spot her stalking away towards the school parking lot.
Kingston notices that Dex is now right next to him and out of know were tackles Dex and starts punching him.
Now, Dex, may be big but Kingston is twice his size, so it’s easy for him to beat Dex up.
the fight stops after a few seconds, Kingston only has a bruised eye but Dex’s nose is bleeding, both eyes are bruised and his lip is split, but that doesn’t stop him from leaping at Kingston, before he can get ahold of him he’s back down on the ground and the coach Hammington is standing over the top of him.
After a couple minutes of screaming they both get hauled off to the coach Hammington’s office, but I don’t feel like waiting around and although I’m good friends with everyone on the team, I’m too embarrassed to ask for a ride after what happened so I decide to just walk home.
October 5^th^ 2016
Putting my headphones in my ears and starting my playlist I start singing ‘I Don’t Love You’ by My Chemical Romance, I stuff my hands in my pockets and start walking home.
Still crying I look up and notice that it has started to rain, so I pick up my pace but notice a familiar car coming towards me.
It slows down almost to a stop and the person inside rolls down their window so I take out my phone and pause my music.
I notice it’s our neighbor Victor his jet black hair slicked back with gel and his Tom Selleck looking mustache that’s perfectly trimmed as it spreads across his face as he smiled at me from the driver’s side window.
“Hey Westlynn, what are you doing walking in the rain?” He asks staring at me.
“Something happened at school so I didn’t have a ride.” I say looking down at my feet,
“Well if you would like I could give you a ride.” he says smiling,
Not wanting to get any more wet than I already am, I say yes…going against everything that my parents’ have ever said about ‘not getting in people’s cars’ and walk over and climb inside.
He starts driving down the street we start to approach the turn for my street, but he drives right by.
“You just drove by my street…” I stutter out with worry in my voice, and a nervous knot forms in the pit of my stomach.
He innocently looks at me from the driver’s seat, with a reassuring smile, and tells me, “I thought I would take you for ice cream because you’ve been having a bad day.”
“Oh.” I feel my nervousness slowly fade away.
With laughter in his voice he says, “nothing brightens someone’s day more than a hot fudge sundae.”
I look at him and giggle and sit with a smile on my face for the rest of the ride to the Ophelia’s ice cream stand.
After ordering our ice cream Victor tells me to go wait in the car so I don’t catch a cold and that he’ll be over in a minute with them.
I sit in the car looking out the window and a few seconds later see Victor approaching the car with our two dishes, so I get out to take mine telling him thank you before climbing back into the passenger seat.
Once we’re settled, I take a bite of my ice cream noticing that it doesn’t taste right, but I don’t want to be rude or bother him so I just finish it and get up to throw away my bowl, but as I step out of the car everything starts spinning and so I sit back down, figuring that it was just from everything that happened today.
I try to tell Victor that I don’t feel well and that he needs to take me home as soon as possible but my words come out slurred and I can only get out noises, my whole body feels like it’s not even here, everything is echoing, everything starts to go black.
I fight to try and keep my eyes from closing but I can’t the last thing I remember is hearing Victor’s voice saying, “you’re finally mine.”
October 5^th^ 2016
I start waking up hoping everything was just a bad dream and I was lying in bed, but that wasn’t the case when I opened my eyes I was laying on a cement floor my worst nightmare has come true.
I tried to stand but I was chained to the floor.
I started to scream smashing the chain off the ground but the only thing I ended up doing was bruising my ankle.
I hear the creak of a door and then light floods into the room but closes quickly before I can get a better look at the person coming down the stairs.
“Hello, Westlynn.” The voice says, and I immediately recognize who it is.
“Why would you do this to me?!” I scream, and before I can do anything he slaps me across the face,
“Shut up!!” he yells “I had to do this Westlynn we are meant to be together but I knew your parents would never let that happen so I had to take matters into my own hands.”
I stare at him in disbelief I can’t believe this is happening to me.
“Where am I?” I ask trying not to seem mad, he looks at me with a smirk on his face and just walks away from me and back up the stairs, leaving me down hear my only company are my thoughts.
I lay down and curl up in ball and I start to cry, and I think about what I could have done to change this but I came up with nothing because if he wanted me this bad he would have found another way to take me away from everything I loved.
October 5^th^ 2016
After a half hour of listening to coach yell at me and Dex about how we both could have gotten injured and “wouldn’t have been able to play in Fridays game…”
He finally let us leave and when I walked to the parking lot and saw that Westlynn wasn’t there I suspected that she got a ride or walked home so I just left.
When I arrived home I walked inside the house to find my parents were still at work,
“Hayslee, Westlynn I’m home!” I yell up to them, when I get no answer I run upstairs into Hayslee’s room and notice she has head phones in turned up as loud as they can go, so you can her ‘Hallelujah’ by Panic! At The Disco playing. I walk over to her and rip the headphones out of her ears.
“What do you want?!” she saps at me.
“I just wanted to let you know that I’m home and also it’s your turn to do dishes.” I say with a smile on my face as I turn away and start walking out the door. I feel something hit me in the back and I whip around as Hayslee starts laughing hysterically.
“You think that’s funny?” I ask running towards her and swooping her up into my arms then throwing her onto her bed.
“Kingston!” She shrieks, glaring up at me as her hair flies around her head into a tangled mess across her brightly colored mandala comforter.
“Sorry.” I tell her, only half meaning it, before plopping down onto her bed beside her and try to catch my breath. I’m fucking exhausted after an ass kicking football practice, fighting with best friend. Tossing my little sister around is too much exertion for me this afternoon.
Hayslee narrows her eyes at me as she shifts her body so that she’s sitting beside me, propped up against her bedroom wall. “Did that happen in practice?” she asks pointing towards my left eye.
I was in such a hurry to get my butt home and away from coach and Dex, that I didn’t even think to see what damage was done from that right handed hook, Dex, gave me.
“What are you talking about?” I ask, climbing off of her bed and talking quick strides over to her floor length mirror to inspect my face.
Immediately I notice my black eye, “It must be from when I got in that fight with Dex earlier.” Its red and bruising under my left eye. Thankfully it doesn’t hurt too much, but it’ll definitely be a conversation starter the next few days. I can’t wait to hear what my parents’ will have to say one they see it.
“You got in a fight with Dex!?” She balks wide eyed.
“Gigi was hanging around the bleachers at practice and like five minutes before practice ended, Dex disappeared, so I texted Westlynn and told her. I guess she found them making out behind the bleachers, got really upset and started crying, so when, Dex, came over to try and apologize, I attacked him. He’s lucky coach Hammington broke up the fight when he did or Dex would be sitting in the damn ER right about now. He’s my best friend, but how the hell could he do this to her?”
“He kissed Gigi?! Eww! I can’t even imagine how hurt Westlynn is…speaking of Westlynn, where is she? I didn’t see her walk by to go to her room,” she says starting to look worried.
“I thought she found a ride or walked home maybe she went to Remy’s but I’ll text him to make sure I’ll let you know later if he replies.” Walking over to her bedroom door, I yell to her before she can put her headphones back in, “Don’t forget the dishes. Mom and dad will have my ass if they come home and the dish washer wasn’t run.”
I hear her groan with frustration before the sound of her feet hitting the floor and stomping out of the bedroom behind me. I turn left walking towards my bedroom and glance down the hall to make sure she turns right and heads downstairs to the kitchen.
As soon as she disappears out of my sight, I walk down the hall but pop my head inside Westlynn’s room checking to see if maybe, Hayslee, wasn’t paying attention and Westlynn actually is here and just chilling in her room maybe ranting to Remy about Dex and Gigi.
Pushing her bedroom door open, I peek my head inside and call out to her, “Hey, Westlynn, you in here?” But as I glance around her room, I see she’s most definitely not here and it doesn’t look like she’s been here since this morning.
Pulling my phone out of my jeans, I click on Westlynn’s name and send her a quick text,
I just got home. Where r u? Coach reamed our asses out but thankfully he’s only making us sit out the first quarter of the game this Friday. I’m sorry Dex was such a douchebag to you. R U okay?
I wait a few minutes, starting my homework while I wait to see if she responds. After fifteen minutes and nothing back from her, I decide to send her best friend, Remy a text. Maybe she has her phone off because of Dex? It’s the only explanation I have for my sister who’s glued to her phone at all times, is not responding to my texts.
Hey! Is Westlynn w/u? I can’t seem to reach her…
Immediately I see the gray bubble bouncing across my phone screen alerting me that Remy is texting back.
At least someone is fricking answering me. Mom and dad will kill me if they find out not only did I get caught fighting today and got benched for an entire quarter, but that I didn’t check up on Westlynn and see how she’s doing after having her heart crushed.
Haven’t seen her since 8^th^ period. I’m grounded thanks to flunking that stupid science test Monday. Is everything OK?
I text back giving him the short version of what happened today after practice and tell him if he hears from her to tell her she is to text me ASAP and let me know she’s alright.
As the clock ticks by and the sun begins to set, I feel worry weigh heavily on my chest. I’ve done my homework, went for a run with our dog, Kammie, to try and blow off steam. Still, three hours later, there’s no word from Westlynn. I’ve texted all of her friends and none of them have heard or seen her either.
Our parents’ are going to be home any minute, I find myself slowly begin to panic and I start checking my phone every few seconds hoping she’ll finally text me back. Mom and dad are going to kill her for taking off like this and not checking in with anyone. The only positive of her taking off like this but maybe mom and dad will go easy on me for fighting in school and for getting benched for the first quarter of the game because they’ll be too preoccupied punishing Westlynn after she finally decides to come home, for making us all worry like this.
Running out of options for people to contact, I decide to run over to my dad’s friend and our neighbor, Victor. Maybe he seen her today when he was leaving school. He’s our math teacher and usually does tutoring after school. Maybe he saw her when he was heading home this afternoon.
So, throwing back on my sneakers, I jog down the stairs, and out the door, running a couple feet to his house. His car is parked in the driveway, so I know he’s home. I sprint up his porch stairs two steps at a time, and press the doorbell.
Within seconds he’s opening the front door and smiling down at me, “Kingston. To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit tonight?” He asks, stepping out onto the porch and shutting the door behind him,
Running my hand over my head, I let out a loud sigh, and ask, “did you by chance see Westlynn walking home from school today? She was supposed to ride home with me after school today, but left without me. I’ve texted all of her friends and no one has seen her since school earlier today.”
My voice cracks slightly as I find myself growing more anxious as I wait for Victors answer. Our parents’ are going to kill me if Westlynn isn’t there when they get home.
This is going to be my fault somehow…I just know it.
Shaking his head, no, Victor gives me a sympathetic look as his brows furrow together and the lines on his forehead deepen. “Sorry, I can’t be of more help, but I haven’t seen her. Hopefully she’ll come home soon. If you need help looking for her just let me know, I’ll gladly help any way that I can.” He says sympathetically turning is body and grabbing the door handle,
“Thanks, Victor…well I better get back home, I’ll have my dad call you if we need any help driving around looking for her. Hopefully she shows up soon, because if she doesn’t, dad will be grounding her for the rest of the school year if not the rest of her life.” I laugh, before waving goodbye, and jogging back down to the house but as I pass his car I notice something glimmering against the gravel and bend down to pick it up and I notice it’s a The Amity Affliction pin that Westlynn kept on her backpack but I just shrug it off it probably fell of one day when she went over for tutoring.
October 6^th^ 2016
My eyes have finally adjusted to the darkness that surrounds me when I hear the door creak open and a light is turned on.
I take in my surroundings; I’m in his basement that is now empty compared to when I would come over to help him decorate and it would be filled with boxes and boxes of decorations and other stuff.
“Hello Westlynn” Victor says smiling, he has something in his hand and I notice that it’s my backpack. He walks over to me and sets it down, “I thought you could use this,” he says looking down at me,
“Thanks.” I say sarcastically.
He just frowns at me and pulls a key out of his pocket.
“I thought since the door locks from the outside I would unchain you as long as you’re good and do as I say.
I’ll also bring you down a rollaway bed.” He says staring down at me
“Can you please let me go? I won’t tell anyone that you did this…if you just let me go…” I plead looking up at him,
He just sighs and shakes his head, bending down and unlocking my chain. Every time I’ve seen similar situations like this in movies or on T.V., I’d always yell at the person, “run! Run you idiot!”
Now that I’m actually in this situation, I realize it’s not as simple as just running away and getting free. I could push him away, and try to run up the stairs, and out of the house, but there’s no guarantee I’d make it out. I don’t even want to begin to imagine what he would do to me if I disobeyed him and was caught before I could escape.
So, I decide to just stay sitting on the ground, which seems to please him, because he smirks and walks away from me and I feel my lungs slowly release the breath I’ve been holding in as I waited to see what would happen next.
I’m relieved he at least seems to be leaving, even if it is for only a short time. It’ll give me a chance to try and plot a way to get out of here. A way that will be successful.
He begins to ascend the stairs slowly, but suddenly stops, turns around, and locks his gaze back onto me as I sit curled up in a ball on the cool cement floor, “Oh by the way your brother came by earlier looking for you he’s very worried about you…”
I could feel all the color from my face start to drain as he walked back up those stairs and locked the door. I suddenly feel nauseous, as vomit burns my throat and threatens to come up.
If only they knew, I was right next door and the person they trust the most, is lying right to their faces.
After a few minutes’ pass, I finally find the strength to move. My muscles ache, my head has a dull pounding behind my eyes from the hours I’ve spent crying, and my stomach is slowly beginning to rumble. You’d think after everything I’ve been through, the last thing I’d be thinking about is food. But I find myself growing hungry as I watch the sun start to disappear from the sky.
Reaching for my backpack, I pull it onto my now crossed legs, and quickly begin digging through it, hoping that Victor possibly forgot to look for my phone…but he didn’t. The only thing in my bag is a notebook a couple pens.
I decide that to help me pass the time I could write in my notebook. I have no idea what to write, so just decide to jot down what I’m feeling right now. I can’t talk to anyone, so I guess I can at least try to distract myself by writing what has happened to me down. Hopefully Victor won’t read it and tear it up on me. So I can at least save this for proof, for when I finally break out of here.
Journal entry #1
It has been a little less than 24 hours since Victor picked me up on the side of the road.
I can’t believe that a man I’ve known almost my whole life could be capable of something so cruel, and to think that he lied to Kingston about everything that’s gone on today. If only I would have not trusted him enough to get in that car…
October 5^th^ 2016
I start walking up the porch steps when I hear a car pulling into the driveway.
Praying that it’s Westlynn and she was just gone somewhere with a friend, that I may have forgotten to text, but it’s not her, it’s my mom.
She beckons for me to come to the car,
“Hey honey, can you help me bring in the groceries please?” She says with a smile on her face
“Sure thing.” I say kissing her cheek then walking around to the trunk, grabbing everything I can until both arms have bags hanging off of them. Mom sees me struggling to close the trunk, so she walks around and slams it shut laughing at me she says,
“I don’t understand why you just don’t make trips out and grab a couple bags at a time instead of trying to bringing them all in at once.”
“Because that would be too easy…I need to challenge myself.” I smirk, making her just shake her head and laugh more.
I hobble up the driveway onto the porch and inside to the house, barely making it to the kitchen.
Once everything is set down I look at my fingers which are gaining back their original color from the bags that where cutting of my blood flow.
I look over at my mom wondering if right now would be a good time to tell her about Westlynn not coming after school, but I think I should wait for my dad to get home. That’ll give Westlynn some more time to try and get home before I worry my parents’ over probably nothing.
I run upstairs to my room only stopping at Hayslee’s room to let her know that mom’s home and that she should go down and help put groceries away.
It’s been a half hour since mom got home, but dad still hasn’t shown up, so I decide to go downstairs and just tell her about Westlynn before she notices that she hasn’t come down to see her. I don’t want to get into any more trouble than I’m already going to be in once coach contacts mom and dad tomorrow.
As I enter the kitchen I see my mom sitting at the table with Hayslee. I slowly make my way into the kitchen and towards the table, slipping into the open seat beside mom.
“Hey, mom, I have something to tell you…” I say nervously, not taking my eyes off of a dent in the kitchen table that I made when I was younger.
“Yes, dear, what is it?” she asks, with slight worry in her voice.
“Well… umm Westlynn kinda never came home from school today…”
“What do you mean she never came home? Why didn’t you or Dex give her a ride?!” She snaps with worry flashing in her eyes.
My stomach instantly knots up as I find my palms beginning to sweat. I feel myself beginning to panic as I meet my mother’s intense stare.
I stutter slightly, as I start to explain myself, “Well today at practice I noticed that girl Gigi hanging around the bleachers and like five minutes before practice ended Dex disappeared around the same time, so I texted Westlynn to tell her about it and I guess she found them making out behind the bleachers.
She was starting to walk away, heading back towards the school, when I jogged over to her and asked what happened. As soon as the words left my mouth her eyes started to tear up and without warning she burst out crying…right there in the middle of the football field. So immediately I knew something bad had to have happened, so when Dex came running up behind her apologizing for acting the total douchebag he was today…”
Narrowing her eyes, my mother lectures me hastily, “Language, Kingston.”
Rolling my eyes and trying to hold back my frustration with this entire situation, I continue, “I instantly saw red and just attacked him. I wasn’t thinking and coach along with the entire team were all right there. That’s how I got the black eye, but anyways, I guess when I turned around he tried to jump me, but coach stopped him and ended up dragging us both into his office so he could spend the next thirty minutes yelling at us. When I came outside to the parking lot after we finished up with coach Hammington, she was gone, so I thought maybe she got sick of waiting for me so decided to walk home or went to a friends.” She just stares at me as she tries to process everything I just told her,
“Maybe she went to Remy’s…did you text him to ask?” She asks me and you can see a small glimmer of hope in her eyes,
“Yeah I texted him and every other friend she has and no one has seen her other than at school.” I tell her and it kills me when I see the little hope she had disappear as she drops her head into her hands,
“Did you ask Victor if he saw her on his way home?” she asks with her face still buried in her hands,
“Yeah but he said he didn’t see her but would keep an eye out for her.”
An hour and a half passes by and there’s still no sign of Westlynn. With each passing minute my mother grows more worried. Finally, around 7:30 p.m., my dad finally comes home. My mother has me once again retell the events that unfolded today to my dad in hopes that he maybe has an idea as to where she could be.
After exhausting every single person, we can think to contact, and driving around town for the next hour searching anywhere we think she could be, my parents’ finally give up and call 911 to report her missing.
It’s not like her to just not tell us who she’s with or where she’s going. It definitely is unlike her to not even attempt to get in touch with myself, Hayslee or my parents’ after this many hours.
I can’t shake this feeling weighing over me that something is seriously wrong.
October 7^th^ 2016
I can’t take this.
I should’ve tried to escape when I had the chance, because who knows when I’ll get another one.
I stand up and walk to the window it’s too small to climb out of and it’s too high off of the ground for me to reach, seeing that I’m only 5’1. So I give up on that plan and walk to the stair case and notice that underneath it there’s a tool box with just a screw driver and a hammer that he must have forgot about, I decide I should take one and put it near me to use as a defense mechanism so I choose the screw driver because its small and light so he won’t see it coming when I use it.
As I bend over to grab the screw driver I see a cement block is loose in the wall but before I can pull it out I hear the lock to the door clicking as he sticks the key in so I quickly grab the screw driver and run back over to my backpack and sit down.
He strides down the stairs over to me with the white bucket he so kindly gave me last night to use when I need to go to the bathroom, before setting it down beside me. In his other hand is a small paper plate with what looks like a thick slice of bread, but could be meat loaf and a cup of water.
I just stare blankly up at them, trying to avoid eye contact with him at all costs,
“The polite thing to do would be to say ‘thank you’.” He says patronizingly, before leaning down and kissing my forehead.
I wince slightly, but then force a smile; I need him to start trusting me more so I can get more freedom from him.
Glancing up at him shyly, I murmur a soft, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome, my dear.” He tells me sweetly, before walking back over to the stairs and once again disappearing back up into his house.
A part of me wanted to yell out and ask how my parents, brother and sister are doing but I don’t want to make him angry so instead I decide to stay quiet and let him leave.
I wait a few minutes while forcing myself to eat a few bites of the dinner he brought me. I’m going to need my strength so no matter how badly I want to chuck this plate right back at him when he comes down to collect it later, I know if I’m going to survive this and get back to my family, I need to do anything I can to conserve my energy and stay strong.
After eating a few bites and washing it down with the water, I wait to see if I’ll have any of the similar side effects from whatever it is he gave me before. I’m so hungry that I need to risk it. I can only hope if I pace myself and only eat small portions that if he is sneaking anything into it, it won’t have as strong of a reaction on me.
I sit on the small bed he brought down for me and cover up with, a raggedy blanket in the middle of the cool, damp cement basement, straining to listen to any sounds I can hear coming from upstairs. After a few moments, I believe it’s safe to move from my spot and return back to the staircase so I can inspect the loose cement block.
Climbing to my feet, I quietly run back over to the cement block under the stairs and using my somewhat long fingernails I have and the tips of my fingers, I try pulling it out.
My arms feel heavy and my fingers weak from the side effects of whatever it was he gave me and the fact that I’ve barely eaten in two days.
I almost drop the block as I finally get it to wiggle free and slide out of the wall, but luckily I’m able to steady myself and set it down gently enough to not draw attention to myself. I’m stunned with what I find.
Inside the small rectangle space is a stack of old papers and a pencil. With shaky fingers I reach inside retrieving the stack of papers and pencil, before quickly picking back up the cement block and pushing it back into place. I leave it hanging out only a small bit just so that it’ll be easy to remove again later.
Hugging the contents against my chest, I tip toe quietly back towards the small bed on the floor. Shoving the stack of folded up papers under my blanket to hide them, I use what little lighting I have in here from the sun shining through the window to investigate what exactly they are.
One is a printed missing flier with a picture of what looks like a young girl around my age. It’s wrinkled and stained from what looks like water causing some of the writing on the flier to fade away. Judging by her clothes and crimped hair style, I’d guess it has to be a flier from the 80’s or early 90’s. Flipping it over, I notice faded writing on the back of it, but I decide to read the letters first and try to figure out what is written on the flier after.
Picking up the first page of paper in the stack, I slowly open it being careful not to destroy what looks to be a letter.
I’ve been here for almost a month now. He tells me every day how people are slowly starting to give up hope on ever finding me but my parents are still looking for me.
who knew that my own teacher would do this to me I was always quiet and good in his class I kept to myself got good grades my parents were good people I don’t understand why he would do this to me and my family… I’ve tried escaping so many times but nothing works.
A few nights ago after he brought me down my supper, I smashed the glass plate over his head and ran up the stairs and into his living room, but he caught me before I made it to the door. I felt so defeated and screamed as tears of frustration fell down my cheeks. I was kicking and clawing at his arms, trying to leave any kind of marks to draw attention to him when he’s out in public be he moved so quickly it made it almost impossible for me to have time to do anything to him.
He dragged me back down to the basement, seething with anger, beating me until every inch of my body felt bruised and battered. It was almost impossible to move—even breathe in a deep breath without it my body aching.
I had bruises all over my body. He didn’t feed me for days as punishment, but I was kind of grateful he didn’t, because when he did bring me food, and I tried to refuse to eat it, he’d force feed it to me. After about two weeks, I figured out he must’ve been sneaking things into my food or my drinks because I almost every time he’d bring me something to eat, I’d find myself waking up and not remembering anything that happened for several hours after that…
I cannot believe this I remember my parents using this story to try and show me what happens to little girls and boys who trust strangers when I was younger, but I guess they should have been using it to teach me not to trust people you’ve known your whole life.
With the information that I get from these notes I could possibly escape. I mean although she was found dead in some pond miles from Ophelia, West Virginia months after she went missing, but there has to be some more clues in these letters and when I escape people will finally have an answer to the Fern Wright case. Thank god I read these letters now instead of later or who knows what he would be doing to me.
All I have to do is find a way to get rid of this food and water so he doesn’t try to force feed me like he did to Fern, I decide to dump the food into the hole in the wall and dump a little water at a time into the cracks of the floor, once I read more of the letters maybe I’ll find out if he is just drugging the food or the water hopefully not both because if I don’t have strength I won’t be able to win this fight and get out alive.
October 12, 2016
It’s been a week since I got in Victors car, he’s started to trust me more and promised to let me shower so that will give me a chance to plan my escape out of this hell hole. After reading more of the letters I decide to look at the Missing Person flier of Fern from under my small mattress.
It says all the normal stuff like: who to contact, where she was last seen, and her description. So I turn it over deciding to try and make out the faded writing that I noticed on the back of it the first night I discovered her letters. I immediately notice that the words make out Layout of Mr. Price’s house.
It was a small drawing that kinda looked like a map of the inside of his house. It was just what I needed. We’ve been inside here a few times over the years when we’ve come over for parties he’s thrown with our other neighbors’ and tutoring sessions he’s held before tests and finals at the end of the year so I’ve been inside enough to know the layout of the downstairs. But I never paid much attention to details of spaces in the home that could be useful to me now for my escape.
I need to find a way to get out of here before it’s too late and I end up like Fern—I’m trying so hard to stay strong and just keep reminding myself that my family is out there looking for me. I need to get back to them…it’s the only thing keeping me from completely falling apart and giving up.
As I started to fold the paper back up I heard footsteps above me and I know he’s coming down here so I quickly stuffed it under the bed and made sure everything looked like it did before and sat up straight with my back against the cold, hard cement wall.
I stared at my feet as he approached me but as soon as he was an arm’s length away I lifted my head and stared him in the eyes. He took a step closer and lightly put his hand on my shoulder, I just sat there wondering if anything more was going to happen, so I inhale a deep breath and hold it as I wait for the worst—I’ve had nightmares every night of him hurting me ever since I started reading Fern’s letters…but thankfully he hasn’t—yet.
“Come on.” He says tilting his head towards the stairs, and I’m able to release a shaky breath before climbing to my feet. I don’t say anything, I just stand and he starts walking towards the stairs it surprises me that he doesn’t grab my arms or tie up my hands so that I won’t try to escape.
He leads me up into his house and then up the stairs to his master bathroom, telling me to stay there while he gets me a change of clothes and if I did move or try anything I’d go right back down to the basement and never come back out.
The entire time he was gone I was just thinking that this could be my chance even though he specifically told me not to move but he’s still probably expecting that and I knew that trying and failing would only make me getting free that much more impossible. I need a solid plan first. So I do as I’m told and stay put in his bathroom. Walking over to the small sink, I stare at my reflection in the mirror. My eyes are bloodshot from getting hardly no sleep, my mascara and eyeliner are smudged and streaked to my face from the continuous nights of crying, my lips are chapped from not drinking anything, my face looks skinnier from not eating anything and my hair is dirty and knotted into a messy bun on top of my head at a poor attempt to keep it up and out of my face. I glance towards the window which overlooks my house and as I peek through the space between the curtains, I notice that the window points directly towards my bedroom.
It makes me wonder how many times did he stare out this very window and watch me…study me…and plan to take me.
A few minute’s pass and I sit on top of the toilet seat, picking at my nail polish—well what’s left of it waiting for him to return. Moments later he appears in the doorway with a small paper bag, setting it on the sink before turning around to shut the bathroom door and slowly turning the small lock.
“What are you doing?!” I ask looking at him wide eyed
“You don’t think I’m stupid enough to leave you by yourself in here to take a shower. Who’s to say the second I shut this door and you turn on that shower that you won’t try to climb out the window or yell for help?” he states looking at me like I’m stupid.
When I don’t respond and only stand there blinking at him with panic coursing through my body, his eyes turn dark as he barks at me, “hurry up.” Waving his hand towards me and then the shower. “I don’t have all day; I need to be at the school within the next hour because I have a meeting.” He leans back against the door, crossing his arms and keeps the same stern look on his face letting me know he’s not going anywhere.
With shaky fingers, I reach into the bag and start to take the items out of the bag. It’s a bottle of shampoo, conditioner and body wash along with then I pull out clothing. As soon as I pull out the t-shirt and sweat pants my stomach drops.
These are not just some clothes he went and bought for me. These are my clothes. Clothes that I thought were stolen out of my gym locker last month from another student. But now I know it wasn’t a student who took my clothes—it was Victor.
The only question is how? How did he get into the girls’ locker room and how the hell did he get into my locker?
“How were you even able to get these during school hours? I’m pretty sure someone would have seen you walking into the girls’ locker room and coming out with clothes.” I ask staring straight into his eyes and not allowing him to intimidate me.
“One day after my tutoring session ended, everyone had left the school besides the janitors, so I slipped into the girls’ locker room and got into your locker taking the items. Since you keep all your locker numbers and combinations written inside your daily planner, I was able to one day sneak a peek at it, snapping a picture with my cell phone when we had that fire drill in the beginning of the year. Jacob’s one on one aide had walked you guys out, while I pretended to double check the room before following you all out.” He tells me smugly looking proud of himself. “No more talking. Get in the shower now before I change my mind and make you go back down to the basement in the filth you’re wearing.” The sternness in his voice causes me to flinch and gets me moving quickly doing as he asks.
I start to undress but then look at him, “Can you please turn around?” I ask before dropping my gaze down to my feet. He doesn’t respond nor does he move as I glance up at him. Letting out a frustrated groan, I decide to get this over with as quickly as possible. Leaning into the shower, I turn on the water and adjust the temperature so that I can get in as soon as I’ve stripped out of my clothes and set the shampoo, conditioner and body wash inside the shower.
Pretending that he isn’t standing in here with me, I slip off my shirt followed by my pants, followed by my bra and then my underwear, the entire time keeping my back to him.
The second the last of my clothes hit the floor, I jump into the shower, slamming the frosted glass door behind me.
At first I just sit under the water and let the warm water wash over my head, my face and my body. Warming me and washing away the dirty filth that I’ve had to live with on my skin for the last week. Tears sting my eyes as the reality of everything crashes down on me. This is really my life right now. I’m a prisoner, being kept from my family. I begin to feel guilt tear through me as I think of all the times I told me sister she was annoying or bothering me, or the times I was mean to Kingston or my parents’. I took them and my life for granted thinking that I was untouchable and taking my life and everyone in it for granted. Squeezing my eyes shut, I mentally tell myself to stay strong. My parents are out there looking for me. Someone had to of seen something that day. It’s only a matter of time until they find me. I just need to stay strong and not give up hope.
I will be back with my family—and this piece of crap standing outside this shower will rot in prison for the rest of his life, never again doing this to anyone else. I will make sure Fern gets justice. I need to stay focused and find a way to get out of here and stay positive that if I can’t escape, someone will save me.
He can’t see me weak. I won’t let him have that power over me. So I will myself to stop crying and get to work washing my hair and my body.
Turning off the water, I slide the door open a crack and stick my hand out, “Can you give me a towel please?”
I’m shocked when he actually does as I ask and hands me two towels. I slide the door shut and dry off inside the shower before wrapping one around my body and the other around my hair. Stepping out of the shower, I retrieve my clean clothes from the bathroom sink and begin to step back into the shower to hide and get dressed, but the feeling of his hand grabbing my arm stops me. Instantly my body begins to shake and my stomach knots with fear as I feel his body suddenly close to mine and his breath, hot against my neck.
A chill shoots down my spine as his lips press against my shoulder and he whispers, “You have no idea how long I’ve waited for this moment…waited to have you.”
My head begins to spin and I feel myself growing faint as his hands yank my towel free from my body. I know sadly now what’s about to happen and know that there’s absolutely nothing I can do to stop it.
The second I hear the basement door shut and then hear the sound of Victor’s car pulling out of his driveway and disappearing down the road, I allow myself to cry the tears I’ve been holding in.
I feel the acid rising in my throat as flashes of what just happened fill my mind. Jumping to my feet, ignoring the pain that shoots through my body, I grab the bucket sitting on the floor and lean over it as I violently throw up the little contents that I have in my stomach.
Tears burn my face as they stream down my face one by one and my body shakes as I cry uncontrollably. Every inch of me hurts and no matter how strong I want and need to be, at this moment there’s no way I can be strong. My worst nightmare has become a sick and horrifying reality.
As I move to my bed and climb onto it into a ball, pulling the thin, ragged blanket over my head, images of Victor shoving me to the wet tiled floor and forcing himself onto me flood through my mind.
Every girl thinks about how her first time will be. Will it be with her high school crush? Will it be romantic and like in the movies or the romance books we read?
Never do we imagine that the moment that should be memorable and special to us be ripped from us and stolen. I feel bruises forming on my arms from where he gripped them, pinning me to the floor, and bruises on my legs from where I thrashed them around trying to fight him off of me and in the process hit them off of the bathroom sink and shower.
I really need to get out of here I can’t have that happen to me again. I stand up suffering through the pain I feel shoot through every inch of my body grabbing my backpack and stuffing the letters in it I start to walk up the stairs to the basement door.
After giving up hope of fighting him off, I laid there staring at the ceiling wait for it to be over. As I laid there trying to block out what was happening, my eyes were drawn to a box of Band-Aids sitting on the sink beside his toothbrush holder. Immediately an episode of The Blacklist popped into my head I watched a few weeks ago. I knew then how I was going to escape.
After he was finished with me, I had proceeded to get dressed, and noticed blood on my elbow from banging it off of the floor. I knew it’d be a good excuse to get a Band-Aid from the box on the sink. So I asked Victor if I could grab one from the box for my elbow, which he gruffly told me yes, but to hurry with putting it on because he needed to get going.
As I took one out and put it on my arm, I slyly took out a second one with it, slipping it into my pocket while he collected my wet towels from the floor and set them in the hamper in the corner of the room.
He then leads me back downstairs and towards the basement, when I knew I’d need a way to distract him once again in order to put my plan into motion. So as we approached the door, I moved slowly emphasizing the pain I was in from having my virginity taken from me. I softly asked if he’d be willing to get me some aspirin to take for the pain.
Shockingly he agreed to get me some and told me to stay put by the door and not to move. As soon as I watched him disappear into his kitchen I quickly moved into action, tearing open the Band-Aid and sticking it inside the door so that it’ll stay unlocked.
Now standing in front of the door with the chance to finally be free, I find my body frozen with fear momentarily as I try to work up the strength to open the door. Closing my eyes briefly, I strain to listen and be sure that he hasn’t decided to return home. With his meeting I should be in the clear but the fear of him showing up before I can escape hangs over me.
Reaching for the door handle, I pray silently to myself that my plan worked, a rush of adrenalin courses through me as I grab the doorknob and turn and feel it twist in my hand and the door slowly creek open.
Popping my head out, I look around and then step out, shutting the door behind me and silently thanking God as I take fast steps towards the living room. I can see my freedom in front of me only a few steps away.
I break out into a run as I sprint through the living room towards the front door, with pictures of my parents, brother and sister flashing before my eyes as I near the front door.
But the sudden sound of car tires crunching over the gravel driveway outside the door makes my blood turn to ice in my veins and my heart to seize in my chest and panic to freeze my feet beneath me.
The end…For now
Part two coming soon
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If Only part 1: All our lives we're taught not to talk to strangers and never to go anywhere with someone we don't know or trust. But what happens when that line between stranger and trusted adult is blurred? In one day I had my heart broken and my entire life turned upside down all because I was naive enough to think this would never happen to me. Now I lay here in this prison he's created for me and find myself saying, If only he had never kissed her...if only I had never decided to walk home...if only I never trusted him...I wouldn't be locked in this cold dark basement completely alone and wondering if this will be how my story ends?