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Ten years ago
The first attack happened when poor Celeste was merely seven years old. She was outside with her friends, enjoying the hot weather, and dancing to their favorite song.
Celeste’s light brown hair bounced on her back as she twirled around and giggled. She didn’t have a care in the world. Everything was just...right.
Her friends danced along with her, squealing in delight. They were at Georgia’s house. Georgia was Celeste’s best friend.
Georgia lived in a large, extravagant house on the outskirts of the small town they all resided in. The fields they owned stretched out for miles. It was no secret Georgia’s family was rich.
Their parents were all sat around a garden table, sipping on their glasses of lemonade whilst making most of the sun. They chatted about what they had been doing over the week whilst watching their happy children play by a large willow tree.
None of them noticed the black SUV ahead.
It all happened so fast.
A buff, scarred man appeared out of nowhere and grabbed Celeste’s thin arm. The girls around them screamed in horror, drawing the attention of their parents.
“Don’t struggle,” The man demanded, tightening his hold on her arm. Celeste whimpered in pain and attempted to fight.
As the young girls around them scattered in fear, the man started to drag Celeste backward, towards the car.
Her mother leaped to her feet in shock and scrambled towards her precious daughter.
"Celeste!” She cried, pushing her body to speed up. She could feel her heart thundering in her chest. “Let go of my daughter now, you monster!”
The man glanced over his shoulder to see the small woman running over to him. He grinned cynically and picked up his pace.
“Please let me go,” Celeste begged. Tears streamed down her flushed face. She was terrified. “Please, sir, please let me go.”
"Shut up, little girl,” He hissed, jerking her closer to him.
Her mother - Franchesca O’Connor - was getting close to her daughter. She could see the tall stranger was dragging Celeste to the car where there was another man behind the wheel, waiting for them.
She would not let this man take her precious daughter away from her. Celeste was the only person she had left.
“Celeste!” Franchesca hollered again, determination filling her veins.
Franchesca failed to notice Georgia’s father rapidly running towards Celeste as well. He used to be the running back in the school’s football team.
The scarred man must have sensed another’s presence because he turned back around. Georgia’s father had caught up to them. He swung his left fist and hit the man on the cheek. The man barely flinched. Instead, the let out a dark laugh.
“You think that’s enough to stop me?” He questioned, cockily.
Georgia’s father - Robert Stem - grabbed hold of Celeste’s free arm and tried to tug her away. At this point, Franchesca arrived.
The scarred man reluctantly let go of Celeste’s bruised arm and sneered at them, furiously. “This isn’t the end. You can count on me coming back.”
He then rushed to the car and drove off, leaving poor Celeste distressed.
Franchesca knelt down on her knees so that she was Celeste’s short height and wrapped her arms around her daughter frantically. She was hugging her as if her life depended on it. Franchesca buried her face into Celeste’s light brown hair, breathing in her coconut smell.
“Oh, my Celeste,” She whispered, more to herself than Celeste.
“W - Who was that, mommy?” Celeste asked, her voice wobbling.
Franchesca pulled back slightly and stared at her adorable daughter. “I don’t know, baby. I - I don’t know.”
They wouldn’t see the man again until three years later.
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