A couple of days have passed, and I have been testing my leg. It’s getting better, but I still feel weak. I have been spitting out Kiri’s pills, but make out I was sleeping most of the day. He is still locking me in, and carrying me to the bathroom. As far as he knows, I’m still unable to stand up.
The days drag on forever. All I have is my head, and thinking hurts.
’There’s a party tonight at White Sands, shame you can’t come. I won’t be too long. Will you be all right on your own?’
I fake drowsiness and nod to him.
‘Have fun.’ I slur, and give him my best smile.
It’s now or never. I know it’s late and he’s still in the house. I can’t move, I can’t risk him knowing I’m awake. My heart is racing. This is my only chance to survive.
I hear the front door being locked and the tuk-tuk leaving. I wait a few minutes. I want to make sure he’s not coming back just to catch me out. When I think he is safely away, I drag myself out of bed. I leave the light off, just in case, and I hobble to my rucksack. Luckily, it’s not heavy. My bag is on my shoulder. I pull the chair next to the window and open it. I look out on the road. All is quiet. As I’m climbing on the chair, I hear an engine. It is coming to the house. He’s coming back!
I scramble back down the chair and am about to close the window as gently as I can when I hear a whisper.
‘Maddy. Are you here?’
I recognise that voice.
’Maddy, it’s Sanka. Are you in here? It’s safe. Kiri’s at White Sands. Maddy?’
I’m not sure about him, but right now he’s the only way out I have. I open the window and climb back on the chair.
He picks me up and lowers me out on the grass.
‘We have to go quickly, we don’t have much time.’
As I’m struggling to walk, he picks me up again, carries me and puts me down on the back seat of the tuk-tuk. Then we are off, away from my prison, onto the main road and pass the village going north. Then he stops abruptly at the side of the road.
‘Why are you doing this? Why are you helping me to get away?’
‘I’m sorry about the other night. I came over a couple of times since, but I didn’t see you. I noticed the bedroom door was locked and Kiri put the music on loud. I asked him where you were and he said you’d left. I wasn’t convinced. I just wanted to make sure you were okay. I felt guilty for leaving that night.’
‘Why did you leave? Why did you leave me to get hurt?’
I can’t hide the accusation in my tone.
He looks at me and his voice changes, his whole attitude changes.
‘I got involved once in the past. There was a girl I cared for very much, but she chose Kiri. When I tried to help her, I got into a lot of trouble. With the police, with Kiri, with her. I don’t want to get involved anymore. I tried to show you what kind of person he was right from the beginning. You should’ve left him when you first saw what he was really like. But you chose not to see. If you decide to be with him, you have to pay the consequences. You’re all the same. You come here thinking you know all about life, then leave without a thought.’ His tone is harsh.
‘What do you mean?’
But his phone rings. A few brief exchanges and I know it’s trouble.
‘It was Ishan. Kiri’s looking for me, and he’s about to leave the party. He will be looking for you and for me, and it will be trouble. Wait here on the beach, I’ll be back for you. Don’t go anywhere.’
This is a command, and my inner voice is telling me to do exactly the opposite.
I get off the tuk-tuk, and he leaves at the speed of light. I look at the barren beach. There is nowhere I can hide. I keep hearing the little voice in my head telling me it’s not safe, I need to hide somewhere. I feel so alone, and I can’t move very well. If I walk on the road at night time, I will be a sitting target. I don’t know if I can trust Sanka, but I have no other alternative.
But the voice in my head urges me to be cautious... I look around and am at a loss. The catamarans on the beach can offer some shelter, but I will be too easy to find. I need a vantage point. So I drag myself back down the road. There is a small Buddha statue on the side of the road, five steps up. I can just climb up there and wait until daybreak and then move on when people are around.
I climb up the stairs with immense effort and find a dark corner to hide in. I sit tight. Time is slow, and I need to understand how to move on from here. My body is not responding well, and I can’t do anything until the shops open. If Sanka comes back, I’ll ask him to use his phone to message Cindy. I need to leave this island.