I almost gasped aloud, then quickly covered my mouth, preventing me from making any sounds that would give away me waking up. Why was Ollie here?
The memory flooded back to me, hitting me like a tsunami. The man had seen him calling the police and he held a knife to me, telling him to get in. He did and when he wasn’t going fast enough, the man pushed Ollie, making him stumble in. He must’ve hit his head because there was blood on him. I noticed his leg was bleeding a bit too. Then I realized something; there was a rope next to him with a ripped piece of duct tape.
I took the bag off his head and shook him. “Te-” he began, but I covered his mouth with my hand. I had already broken free and taken the cloth from my mouth and was frantically looking around, hoping the two hadn’t heard us.
I noticed the man on the passenger side was tall and had a white bandage around his nose. He was the one holding me, the one I punched. I punched him so hard, I must have broken his nose. And I wasn’t sorry.
I had heard them talking before, but I wasn’t really listening. But now I realized; they were talking about me. “That blasted girl punched me! ’Bout broke my nose!” He yelled.
The driver rolled his eyes and laughed. “Beat up by a little girl!” He yelled, continuing to laugh.
The other man replied, “Hey, why don’t you try and kidnap the girl. She’s on the soccer team and has a brown belt in karate. That’s only one level off from a black belt! All she does in soccer is kick shins and punch people out of the way. You try it, see how well it works for you!” Then it hit me. They didn’t kidnap me because they saw a little, alone, and vulnerable, girl. They meant to kidnap me. They knew exactly who I was. They only took Ollie because he would have called the cops otherwise. Why would they want to kidnap me? And why me specifically?
I took an old receipt off the ground and after quietly looking some, found a worn-out pen. I wrote, “Don’t talk! I’m trying to escape. Follow my lead, BE QUIET!” I handed it to him and bent down low, making sure they couldn’t see me. Ollie took it and when he finished reading, scribbled something down and handed it back to me.
'What’s going on?' he wrote. I mouthed to him, “I’ll explain later.” He didn’t understand at first because I was mouthing it, but there wasn’t any room left on the receipt. We had both learned sign language together, though we only knew a few words and the alphabet. We invented a symbol that stood for ‘space’ so we could separate the words. It takes a bit longer, but it gets the point across. I sighed and signed it instead of mouthing it this time. He nodded in response as I reached over to the door to try and unlock it, but the driver turned to roll his window. My heart raced as my hand darted back and I laid down and out of sight, hoping he didn’t see me.
I looked at Ollie and in sign language said, “knock on his window,” and pointed at the man with the broken nose in the passenger seat. Ollie nodded and waited for me. I got in position and counted down on my fingers. Three, two, one! On one, he tapped on the window and quickly put his bag back on. I dropped mine over my eyes and we both lay still, trying not to breathe too much. They both looked at Ollie’s side, but not at him. When they looked away again, I nodded for Ollie to do it again. By the third time, they were both staring at the window in rage. I could practically see the steam coming from their ears. Under different circumstances, I would have even laughed. But nothing was funny right now.
Adrenaline filled my veins and I manually unlocked my door, swiftly opening it and grabbing Ollie’s hand. They were too distracted by the window to notice, and I opened the door quietly. I threw the rope at the tallest tree branch I could find and it wrapped around the branch. The knot kept the rope sturdy. I gave it a few tugs to make sure, then turned and looked at Ollie. We were at a red light, but the car wouldn’t be stopped for long.
He nodded and I grabbed his hand and held the rope in my other. He grabbed the rope, too, in his spare hand. Earlier I had tied his rope to mine to make it longer. I pushed off with my feet and swung like a monkey on a vine. Suddenly being jerked back, I stopped mid-air, holding on to the rope for dear life. The person on the passenger’s side was holding Ollie, trying to pull us back inside the van.
“Tesla!” He cried out, fear in his eyes.
“Ollie!” I screamed, my voice hoarse from not talking for so long. The last time I talked was when I first got kidnaped, and who knows how long ago that was.
“Ollie,” I whispered. I squeezed my eyes shut and pulled his arm towards me, hard, and he went flying towards me. I felt a tug on his other arm, pulling him away. It was like we were playing tug-of-war with him as the rope. I made eye contact with him and nodded at him, motioning at the man's hand with my eyes.
We rehearsed being kidnapped a lot when we were bored back at home. Since my family was gone a lot, I was worried someone might break in and no one would notice so Ollie and I would practice getting out of situations and scenarios. I never could have imagined it really happening though, and never like this. I always said to him to bite them but when we were pretending not to actually bite me.
He knew what I meant and turned to bite the man’s hand. It was just in time too, the tree doesn’t move so now that the van was going, I almost had to drop the rope. If it had gone any farther, I wouldn’t be able to hold on to the rope any longer. I would have gone flying and maybe even died. That, or been pulled back into the van by him. When Ollie bit his hand, the man let go cursing at us.
The rope flew across as I pulled Ollie towards me. He gripped the rope and smiled- actually smiled. I couldn’t believe it. After everything that just happened; being kidnapped, being held mid-air while being the rope in a tug-of-war fight, almost dying many times, and he’s smiling? I just stared at him blankly. I couldn’t help but laugh. I laughed a little, then got louder and louder, until eventually, I was almost crying.
“What’s so funny?” He asked, confusion plastered on his face as we swung, holding onto the rope.
“After everything we just did, everything we’ve been through, you’re smiling. How?” I replied.
“Because we just escaped,” He stated, simply, a goofy grin on his face, too. His light blue, almost gray eyes sparkling in the sunlight.
“Okay, why are you happy about it? We almost died!” I replied, shaking my head slightly.
“Because I knew you were there for me. You always would be.” He smiled, small dimples forming in his cheeks. “That’s why.”
I returned the smile, but it vanished when I realized we were about to hit the tree, forgetting we were still swinging. I let go of the rope just in time yelling, “LET GO!” to Ollie. He dropped shortly after me and we stumbled and rolled. It was a rough landing. He landed on the side of a hill, beginning to roll down it, but stopped by a tree. His body slammed into it as he groaned, no longer rolling down though. I, on the other hand, wasn’t so fortunate. I kept on rolling. I couldn’t stop. I tried grabbing things but I started picking up speed, going faster and faster. It’s like when you lay at the top of a hill and roll down it for fun; you go so fast, you can’t even see anything. You eventually stop at the bottom and run up to do it again, laughing. Though this hill was bigger. I was going faster and wasn’t able to stop myself. Everything around me was blurry, like looking out a window in a speeding car.
I didn’t see Ollie get up, but he was running towards me. I think it was him anyway. Everything around me disappeared as I gasped for air. I had rolled all the way down to the bottom of the hill and into a river, the icy cold liquid stabbing my skin. It was hard to keep my head above the water because since it was moving so fast, it kept pulling me under. I felt paralyzed from the shock of the sudden freezing water. Death was pulling me closer and as the river was pulling me under, I finally poked my head up. That’s when I noticed the steep waterfall ahead. I was getting too weak. I couldn’t swim. I couldn’t resist. There was no way out. I was going to die.