I was running, running for my life.
The sound of my rubber soled shoes stung my ears juxtapose to the silent snowfall. The first few strides sounded rough, I could hear the salt rocks being kicked back as I tried to catch my footing. I heard Sarah’s frantic gasps for air as she tried to get away and the man behind us grunt and groan as he tried to catch up.
Those sounds still bang around in my head to this day, although it wasn’t long until it was all drowned out by the thumping of my desperate heart.
– thum thud, thum thud, thum –
My eardrums were hit with a blood curdling scream. Sarah. I looked back, she was on the ground and a big burly olive skinned man was coming in close. Sarah. He grabbed her by the leg and our eyes met. He was drunk. I knew that look all too well, it’s the look my mother gave me when I came home from school and I saw the empty bottle in hand, glossy unfocused eyes.
I had to shake the thought of my mother. I looked to sarah. The snow below her was freckled in blood, he was dragging her exposed limbs through the gravel.
I ran, I ran as fast as I possibly could. I could hear muffled screams, I can’t look back I can’t look back I cant- I looked back. Her spare hand was pressed to the glass of the car window while the other one was being restrained with the rest of her body. We locked eyes and I could feel the tears start to swell. Do I keep running or do I give up? I paused, I paused for too long. My eyes shifted away from hers to met with the driver of the car taking me down full force. Thats where my memory of that day stops.
Earlier that day
“No way my parents will let me go, they never let me go”
“What? No, Sarah you can’t let me go to her party alone!
I can talk to your parents and convince them,
atleast give me that.”
“Knock yourself out Tee, promise it won’t go over well”
I was a notorious persuader, ten minutes and I convinced Sarah’s parents that Elizabeth’s’ party was no big deal and we were on our way with only a slight warning to be careful and be back by tomorrow night, 7pm the latest.
Elizabeth’s was just down the block, we all lived in the same grove so we decided to walk. It was snowing out and snow gear was not exactly party dress code so we sucked it up and bared the cold in our party clothes.
“Do you think I’ll be fine without tights? My legs are completely exposed”
“Ya I mean the walk isn’t too far.
Besides, my rubber soled booties are going
to fail miserably in the snow.
We are in this together”
“Alright, if you say so! Lets just go before my mom tells me to change”
There we were, short dresses and light coats walking down Sarah’s long driveway avoiding the slushy snow left from the past snow storm. Half way down the driveway we looked up into the white sky to see cotton ball sized pieces of snow floating toward us so we picked up the pace.
The sound of an engine revving behind us was met with the sound of skidding tires. We push over to the side of the road and look back, a blue mustang convertible was coming full speed. Sarah pushed me back into the towers of cattails behind us “Watch it ass hole!” she yelled. We laughed to each other and climbed out of clusters of cattail and then, the car stopped. The red brake lights glowed in the snow and the smoke from the muffler blurred them out.
That’s when it started.
Then it was morning, my head throbbed and I could assume I hit it when I was taken out. I looked over to see Sarahs absence along with the driver of the car. I looked to the passenger seat to see the guy who had originally caught Sarah rolling tobacco. I hadn’t realized it at the time but I began hyperventilating, it was only brought to my attention when the guy turned around and gave me a large smile. He managed to cough out a “Good morning beautiful” through his drunken state. I could smell the alcohol on his breath even from the back seat. He saw me looking frantically around when he said “ Don’t worry, they’ll be back in a jiffy”
And that they were, I saw Sarah with her bloodied knees limping back to the car with the help of a tall skinny man with dark features, the one who knocked me out. The hair on the back of my neck stood up once he opened the rear door and threw her in. We immediately embraced, I tried to hold back sobs, searching for words when she shut me up with the whispering line “He’s got a gun” I pulled back and looked in her eyes for more, an explanation of what just happened, of what was going to happen next, but she looked as blank as I did.
At some point I dazed off, we’d been driving for what felt like forever. I woke up to the sound of desperation, they were starting to sober up and come to realization that they now had two young girls in the back seat of their car.
“W-what do we do with them?”
“We have to ditch em’, we gotta man”
“We will never get away with it if we let ‘em go…
I think we need to go to 505”
An abandoned warehouse.
I couldn’t tell what time it was once we got there, I couldn’t tell where we were or what exactly it was. The deadly smell penetrated my nose when we reached the back doors to the brick building covered in moss and chipped brick. It was dark, cold, maybe even empty…. Or maybe the people there were just dead. Once we got in they escorted us to the wall and called out for someone
“Johnny, buddy get out here we need your help” He then averted his eyes to us “Don’t you fucking move… hear me?”
He hacked up a loogie and spit it in our direction then turned to walk away
“We gotta run ok? We gotta try”
I hadn’t heard sarah’s voice since the day before, we’d been too afraid to make a sound. Her voice calmed my nerves and reminded me I wasn’t alone, it was going to be ok… right? We linked our pinkies and hugged each other. I could feel her heart thumping and I knew she could feel mine, we made one last eye contact and then stood up.
It was pitch black and the only sounds I heard were the men in the distance, where the hell was I even running?
“Run” She whispered
Again I was running for my life. The only thing I could think was run. Run run run run run. I heard yelling, banging, a gunshot and sounds of struggling. Run. We were so caught up in running that we lost each other in the darkness. My heart was pounding making all other sounds around me disappeared, I knew I couldn’t call out for her, I couldn’t turn around and look, I just had to run. When the sounds stopped I paused. I waited, eyeing the sliver of light that I knew was my exit. I waited, I waited for a sign, I waited for Sarah. There was just so much going on when we started running I don’t know what happened I couldn’t make sense of it, I couldn’t think straight.
I waited, crouched down darting my eyes around the dark room trying to make out what was around me, I waited until I heard a struggling, desperate voice yell
Sarah. My throat tightened and my tears were hot on my cold face.
I ran as fast as I could.