I went over to the hotel and informed Lucia of my egress. Lucia said she’d also found a place for herself to live in.
I immediately grabbed my suitcase, hugged Lucia and evacuated after settling everything.
In no time, I was sitting in the airplane enjoying my leftover orange juice. I had never forgotten about my lavish meal before reaching the destination. I really don’t know why I even survived after all what happened. I started looking like a psychopath. I would often walk and portray myself as a maniac. And yet, now I want to write a book about my abduction, my life, my light and my goals.
The goal is to end up betraying the world and ignore people who betray and use things to delate people.
And my book would have a name ‘Cloe : Kidnapped. Or perhaps, Cloe : Blacked out.. Or why not BLACKED OUT?’
When I say Blacked Out, I mean to explain the moment when the light in my eyes turned to a never ending maze of friendship versus betrayal and everything in between them. Since I was mature enough to discriminate against people, I understood Teresa’s tragedy and my abduction was connected after all. And what about other things?
Like Indigo’s request for a coffee cup, the man and the black van with another suspicious superstar and even my weird habits of paranoia. Everything led to one thing. And then my chapter wasn’t closed. I had to know more about it. I had to go deep into this case so that nobody would be left without justice.
I had reached Mom and Dad’s place within a couple of hours. I saw Dad from the window and he was reading his usual newspaper. I came inside when Mom opened the door. I saw everything wasn’t the same. Mom and Dad had changed the furniture in the living room. Even the piggy bank was missing.
I was in the middle of my hypothesis when Mom said ‘Cloe? Hello? You’re here now. No need to go through the same journey all over again’
I snapped out of the wild dreams and sat on the rocking chair nearby. My posture was so crooked that I couldn’t even sit on the rocking chair properly. After I sat down, I told Mom and Dad about everything. Of Course, they were more than worried. I couldn’t believe I was kidnapped in the world of complete tenebrosity. When Dad heard about his friend, he was shocked and outrageous. So much so that he was going to call him to teach him a lesson but I told him that Stephanie and Indigo were prisoned for a year or so.
The sinister group of Teenductors had been cleaved forever. There was nothing left.
That night, I decided to call Teresa and ask about her condition. I may also tell her uncle about the crimes that had been sheathing my life. I built up some courage and picked up my phone to talk.
Teresa.. Teresa.. Teresa I spoke as I was finding her contact. There!
‘Hello? Who is it?’ spoke Teresa in a lower voice.
‘Oh hi, Teresa. It’s me, Cloe!’ I answered back.
‘Oh! Cloe, So good to talk to you after an unforgettable past. How are you?’
‘I’m good. I’m good. I thought you’d forgotten about me.’
‘Oh no, How could I forget the person whose name was always on my tongue, even in the last moments when I lost consciousness and whom I had been calling to help me and…’
‘Teresa, are you upset with me for not being there to protect you? I’m very sorry if you feel that way. And I’m also sorry for not asking about you in the past couple of months. I was very busy with myself and my tragedies.’
‘Tragedies? What happened?’
‘I got kidnapped. By someone whom I trusted more than myself. Anyways, Is Uncle Peter here? I wanted to talk to him about some very urgent details.’
‘Sure. I’ll hand him the phone.’
I could hear faint voices of the famous Television program ( I wouldn’t prefer mentioning the name ) and I was sure Uncle Peter was watching it. As soon as he took the phone, our meticulous conversation began :
Me : ‘Hi, Uncle Peter. Cloe here. Recently, I was kidnapped by some group of people. After I had been released, Head Officer Andrea Ryan told me that you’d closed the case about Teresa being targeted. And, she further told me that my abduction and Teresa’s case were somehow related to each other. Upon further scrutiny, the police found a perfect clean clue. It was leading to my ex-colleague, Stephanie and my neighbor, Indigo Junes. They were a part of the group named Teenductors and it was their plan ( more like a mission which had been made impossible ) to abduct kids, especially Teenagers as the name suggests. Their errand was to kill Teresa but somehow she survived, so they decided to get me kidnapped by my own personal mates, so I couldn’t blame them for a reason. I know it’s paradoxical but it’s the truth.’
Uncle Peter : ‘Thank you so much for your company, Cloe. I really liked the way you’d been settling things all alone. And I was too cowardly to re-open the case even though I knew they couldn’t do anything to my property since it was completely illegal. But, still.. I am thankful for the generosity. And I’m also sorry for your loss.’
Saying this and more other words, I ended the call. After talking to Teresa, I felt convinced that she was happy there and I had made everything right.
***AFTER FIVE YEARS***
‘Dad! Dad! Dad! Where are you?’ I said as I walked upstairs rapidly.
And then I stopped.
I stopped where I had been running so hurriedly. Everything came to a stop.. My shoes...my feet… my legs… my BREATH!
And now, even my life.
Feelings of bereavement and misery had filled my heart by then. When I saw my dad’s blood spattered corpse, I knew it was the end. I saw my mom crying and shouting to a person who had retreated to the other world. There was nothing left.
The reason for my happiness, my silly laughter and haste giggles of celebration for my new job had just vanished into thin air.
Later on, I saw a couple of people come inside and they took my dad away from me.
They took my MAN away from me.
But it wasn’t them who took him. It was just how the world is. Divergent. Imperturbable and much more. Loud nuisance of sirens and my mom’s constant inquiries from me about my happiness were of no use.
My vision started blurring and I started losing all my hopes inside me. All I could visualize was my dad trying to teach me good lessons about friendship and this cruel humankind. Soon, I had passed out just like I had blacked out when I was kidnapped.
I woke up in the hospital. My mom was beside me. Crying perpetually. I opened my eyes and saw the light. There were some files and medicines and more prescriptions beside my hospital bed. I felt something hard under my legs. There was a bandage. On my leg? I revived consciousness and tried speaking something.
I asked my mom in slow words as to why my leg was bandaged.
She couldn’t speak anything, so my Aunt Veronika told me that I had fallen down on the floor and hurt my leg. The bruise didn’t seem to affect the leg as much as it had affected me on the heart. The bruise of my dad’s absence.
Aunt Veronika was a miracle. She never met us in months but when she heard about dad, of course she had to come. I had been fully healed. And then it was time for my dad’s funeral. My mom was whimpering and sobbing continuously and she had lost all her hopes. I couldn’t see her faint pale face. I had lost one block of my heart but I wasn’t going to lose another one. But how did this all happen? What happened to dad? These were the questions that had been driving my mind crazy.
My dad’s funeral went by in a dull time. I couldn’t stop staring and crying as people started sharing his memories with them.
From a far angle, I spotted Henry Williams. I wanted to slap him so hard. He looked obesed and was gazing at my dad’s coffin like a predator.
I couldn't stop looking at him with wicked intentions. After returning back home from the cemetery, the house felt so vacant. I could feel dad reading the newspaper.. Or drinking his favorite apple juice and talking to someone on the phone. Every single corner in the house reminded me of him.
Sooner, I asked mom what had occurred.
I couldn’t swallow the truth
‘Me and your dad were.. Talking about normal things… and we heard a loud noise coming from inside. I got scared. At first, your dad ignored it but then it started getting nearer and nearer. I went into the kitchen to check. And your dad went upstairs. I shouted to tell him everything was safe. Then I heard a gunshot followed by a loud scream. My legs were shaking and I went upstairs, running like a person who had lost everything. There he was. Your dad, lying dead and his eyes looking in pain, his hands were rough from all the hard work he’d done in his life.’ mom explained.
My tears were spontaneously falling down like drops of water in a glass. Suddenly, I remembered about Teresa and the materialization that had occurred with her.
The following week, me and my mom decided to shift the place since it was no longer safe. I didn’t want the police to get indulged so I just kept quiet. At first, Mom insisted I let Officer Andrea Ryan know about it but the truth was, she would get the rising criminal cases to be the culprit behind my father’s tragic demise. And I honestly didn’t want that to happen. After about a couple of weeks, we escaped from the petrifying residence.
Chicago was the place where my Aunt Veronika lived. Of course, we couldn’t just stay there for our entire life but having a normal day with her being a random cat lady sounded sophisticated.
Yes, she was a cat lady.
Aunt Veronika owned more than a 100 cats and she loved her depressing, disquieted and boring life. I was at the nearby gas station, trying to grab something from the vending machine which was kept a mile away from the gas station. My mom was sitting in the car. I wanted to remind myself of the vending machine locus back from my abduction but I somehow resigned from the fact that I’d got only a couple of years to live before I met with my dad back in heaven or hell, who knows?
Just as I turned around to sit in the car, I spotted a group of teenagers making selfies and short videos of themselves having fun and I spotted Jennifer in between them. I wanted to get rid of her so I sat in the car as soon as possible.
Then, I saw Jennifer coming towards me. In an action of desperation and care. My mom’s smile was enough for me to know that she had spotted her before me and had called her towards the car so I could speak to her. For a moment, I pretended as if I didn’t know who that pale faced girl was.
‘Cloe! So nice to see you here.’ said Jennifer eventually.
‘Oh hey, Yeah’ I replied with all the bitterness inside my soul.
‘So.. How’s it going? I was with a group of friends for a vacation here in Chicago but seeing you here is like a miracle’
‘Yes, I think it’s because a very tragic synopsis might be the thing you would want to hear as a reason for my presence in Chicago’
‘Tragic? What happened? Mrs. Langston, please tell me if you need anything.’
‘Oh, Jennifer. You’ve done so much for us. It’s just that my husband passed away this month. And Cloe’s a little upset after that. After all, she should be. And I am too.’
‘Oh. I’m so sorry to hear about Mr. Langston. He was a good man, not only by words but also by heart. I’m sorry, Cloe. Anyways, please call me if you need some kind of assistance. Bye’
Saying this in a haste, Jennifer left with her group of friends. I didn’t have much curiosity after her departure but somehow, I turned around to see from the rear view of the car to check her activities. And she looked so happy and full of life. Her friends were laughing, giggling like maniacs and turning their hand side to side with happiness and joy. They were singing a song in the video. I couldn’t hear anything because of the nuisance outside so I got away from the scene.
‘You shouldn’t be so rude to her,’ said Mom.
‘Rude? What have I done now mom?’
‘If it wasn’t rude then why didn’t you tell her about your father’s death yourself?’
‘That’s because you had already begun story telling.’
‘Look, Cloe. Jennifer is the only friend of yours who has never betrayed at least not in a way as Stephanie and the others have. I need you to think about it once more before you act rudely with her.’
I knew that Mom was wrong but her words were so spiritual. They hit me really hard. She was right but in the wrong way. I knew Jennifer never wanted to embarrass me after all what had occurred that night at the party.
I was just desperate to meet her and her little joke had shattered my dreams into a million pieces as to why I never talked to her furthermore.