It is a cloudy and rainy day as I walk past the empty classrooms and lecture halls. My white all star shoes are muddy and my feet are cold. Despite the weather I am feeling warm and cozy inside. I can't believe I am graduating! I'm done with all the final examinations and what was left was to submit my final project paper. I worked so hard on that, I m aiming for an A. I just submit my paper and I had to wait untill the grades are out. After that it's graduation. We all have about two months to relax as we wait impatiently for graduation. My plan is to spend the next two days in campus and head off to my parents and look for promising jobs. If I'm lucky I will land an enternship untill I get my degree and then apply for a permanent position. I went to the library to pick up some books to read for the next two days. That's the only way how I plan to spend my last days here. There's no way I'm getting any business books. No thanks! I've read enough of them to last me a life time. So I went to the fiction section and start to look for something interesting and sat at the corner reading quietly. I occasionally look outside of the window to the amazing sunset and the green chain mountains. I can't believe I'm saying this but I think I'm going to miss this place. As much as I am relieved to leave and start another new chapter of my life, this place is magical. It's almost always cloudy and rainy, unlike my hometown, sunny and humid. But this place is enchanting! There's Something about gloomy weather that got me feeling dreamy. I looked up and realized it's getting dark. So I collect my books and head to the dorm.
Our dorm is the first row from all the dormitory buildings. I can see the library and most lecture halls from our window. I ve been living with my dorm mate Lucy for the last three years. We get along pretty well,though we have our differences. She's the type that 'lives life to the fullest'. Living life to fullest for Lucy is getting drunk, hooking up with random guys and cheating on her exams. I remember a day when I had to push out a random drunk guy trying to 'make love' to an unconscious Lucy in our dorm and literally throw him out on the hall way. I've heard Lucy boast about getting drunk so hard that she couldn't recall anything happening for almost 24 hours after that. I once went to one of their sorority parties,it was awful, dancing is now exchanged for the term 'grinding' and social drinking is now replaced with 'let's get wasted'. They drink to a point where they black out. It was horrible! There are times when I felt left out from their conversations and hang out places. But that's fine with me as long as they don't keep pushing it in my face. I got a feeling that Lucy feels she's stuck with me. Now it's all in the past, I'm getting out of here! I reached at our dorm, Lucy was not there, so I took out my cheese and tomato sandwich I bought earlier from the takeaway bag and made coffee. I sat on my bed nibbling on my sandwich, sipping coffee and daydreaming about my future. I will look for the perfect job, work hard, save money, have my own apartment and voila.. Perfect life!
I read untill I feel sleepy and tired. I yawned and check the time. It's 1 am, I don't think Lucy will show up tonite, so I locked the door and changed to my pj and drifted off. I wasn't fully awake and I wasn't fully a sleep as well. Drifting somewhere in between when the door knob turns slowly. I thought, oh here comes Lucy!i don't want to get up and open for her, I'm too tired to get up, besides she has the key. So I closed my eyes and tried to fallback to sleep. Second time the door knob turns, it souds like it will break. I sat up and listened quietly. Lucy is usually noisy and loud, specially if she's drunk. But now i can only hear hushed whispers. What the heck is going on? I got closer to the door and listened as two guys whisper to each other.
"she's not here man, I told you!" I thought they are looking for Lucy. I was about to shout 'Lucy is not here!' but they pound the door and the other guy calls out my name
"Annnnna.. Open up I know you are in there!" my heart sank. They are here for me! What do I do? Think Anna! I thought about screaming for help but there's no one around my dorm. Most girls have already left or they are partying at one of the graduating class parties. So I took out my phone and texted Lucy. ' Lucy come over with some friends at dorm now! Pls? There are guys trying to break in!' incase they break in I have two options, one I can hide in the closet, which they will probably easily find me. Two I can open the window and stand still at the extended wall next to the flowers. The second option sounds appealing but if I get cought or I slipped, I'm falling off from the 6th floor of our dormitory. I will die. My phone buzzed, a text from Lucy
" open the door for them, I promise it will be fun. laughing emoj. ' oh my goodness, something told me she has something to do with them being here.
By now they are pounding and pushing at the door I start to panic. The door is about to give in. I opened the window and looked down. I asked my self, would you rather be raped by two stupid frat boys or die falling from 6th floor 2 months prior to your graduation? This is getting tricky, I was praying for a miracle. I breathed in and decided to take my chance at the window sill. So I start to slowly climb out of the window and stand on the sill. I had nothing to hold on to so I kept my hand at my back trying to hold on to any brick. A flashlight from the ground flashed on my face and "you alright ma'am?" that was the campus security . Now is my time to scream
"help" I couldn't even hear that, my voice is horse and I am unable to shout. I collected my energy and cried out
"help me please!" he heard me now because he said
"I am on my way." and start to head for the entrance. I sighed in relief and slowly make my way to the window. I slipped in very quietly, every step was a torture as I risk falling. Falling is not an option now,i have my miracle and he's on his way for the rescue. The door is actually stronger than I thought or the guys on the other side are drunk because they still didn't break the door. So I sat on the edge of my bed and waited. I heard the campus police shout
"hey, what the hell are you doing?" and I heard running foot steps. They must have run off. I sighed. Who ever they are, what ever they have planned.. It would have been horrible. I kept thinking why me? Of all the willing drunk girls looking for a fling, why would they chose a girl who wants to spend the night quietly in her dorm room reading. I know I'm boring to them, so why? I pushed that question at the back of my head and pushed Lucy's bed and blocked the door. I checked my time on my cellphone its 4:45 am. I know I'm not gonna sleep untill it's morning. So I sat at the edge of my bed staring at nothing. My door knocks softly this time. I jerked out of my numbness and listened.
"ma'am you okay?" it was the campus security.
"Im okay" I replied
"do you want me to call a female security officer so she could ask you some questions?"
"no! really I am fine. I will contact security in the morning. Thanks for the help"
"okay, I will be just in front of the building, if you need anything okay. And oh we got the guys who were trying to break in. So you can go back to sleep now."
"thank you!" but I know I won't sleep, may be for the next two days. I'm not staying here any longer. I'm gonna head out to my parents tomorrow and come back on graduation day. Who ever planned this is good at this. They think it's probably my last day here so I might not want to get back here to press charges and who would want to be labeled as a rape victim on the daily local news. The whole town will have something to gossip about for a while. So they know for sure I will keep quiet and walk away scarred for life. Bastards!
The next couple of hours I was lost deep in thought weather I should tell my parents and let them have their revenge by pressing charges for attempted rape or just walk out of here like nothing happened. My dad is a lawyer, he specializes in divorce and custody but I'm sure he has friends he could turn to. When the first light start to shine over the horizon, I start to pack everything and curse Lucy. I have a gut feeling that she's well involved in this. I got her text to prove that. But then again she might be drunk and don't know what shes texting about. By now she might be assuming that I lie on my dorm room floor socked in blood and seamen. Probably unconscious. The thought itself gives me a shiver and I felt cold all the way down to my bone. My mind kept saying 'you gotta get outta here' over and over like a broken record and that's exactly what I am doing. At exactly 6am I was done packing. All that's left is to return the books I got yesterday to the library and go to the airport to drop off my luggage. I stood at the far corner of the room scanning with my eyes if I forgot something and the door softly knocks. It must be Lucy to check up on me. Well your plan didn't work you phsyco! I was shaking with anger when I approached the door. I know I am out of danger, now that some girls are back in the dorm and I could always call on the security. I listened before I opened the door just incase.
"ma'am it's the security." a female voice. " my partner told me about last night. I just have a couple of questions to ask."
I was relieved to hear that. The last person I want to see is Lucy . I peeked before I opened. The security was dressed in her usual uniform, she tipped her hat and walked in as I held the door open to her. She scanned the room and looked at me.
" so it's Anna right" she smiled.
"yeah." i smiled back. I felt at ease. Something about that smile. Maybe they are trained to earn trust by their smile.
Security 101,how to make people trust you with a simple smile!
"let's have a seat and talk." she sat at Lucy's bed and I sat on my now bare bed, white old matress showing signes of aging everywhere.
"so tell me from the very beginning what happened last night?" she said and opened her notebook to write.
"okay, so yesterday I submitted my project and stayed late at the library reading books."
"at the library, on your last day?"
"yeah, I thought I might spend my last days at the dorm reading this" I pointed to the books on the table.
"I see, go on."
"so I head to my dorm when it got dark, ate dinner and went to bed at about 1 am. I heard a knock later while I was drifting off to sleep. I'm not sure what time it was. I thought it was Lucy, my dorm mate and I was about to open up when I heard male voices whispering. Then they said my name out loud and ask me to open up. They also said they know I was here. I cant help but feel like one of the guy's voice sound very familiar. Anyways, they start to pound and push the door and if they break in they will... You know, rape me. "I blurted out. She just nods and encourage me to continue.
" I texted my room mate for help, she... She texted to open the door and I might have fun. So I had only one option, to open the window and stand on the sill and risk falling of course. " she looked up from her writing and raised her eyebrow in question.
" you do realize that you might have died ."
"I know, but I preferred that."
"have you ever had suicidal thoughts before?"
"no." what does she take me for?
"OK, please go on?"
"i was on the window sill when the security noticed me and came to my rescue." she took her time writing and closed the note book with a thud.
"you are a very lucky girl, my partner Barry was the night shift. He took a stroll just to keep himself awake when he noticed a movement at your window. He thought you were going to commit suicide. But you asked for help. He knew something was wrong so he came. "she inhaled and got up.
" he got a hold of one of the boys, the drunk frat boy who got captured told everything to Berry at his office. He got the full confession taped. Apparently, your roommate, she was involved too. They have been planning this for weeks. He said it was your graduation present. " I shudder and felt as cold as steel. I got to get out of here!
" if the case had been two random drunk guys looking to get laid, they might be off with some bail and some months of community service. But this whole thing was planned. Barry communicated with the local. Police and all three of them are now in jail. You can press charges, but I suggest you consult your parents or family on how to proceed. "
" okay. "I nodded.
" I assume that you are leaving for home? "
" yes. "
She nodded" that's a good idea, although I think you are safe now. " she got up to leave.
"one more thing, who are the guys that tried to break in?"
"she looked up at her note and said" Andrew Gallagher and Howard Brady. Ever heard of them? "
" I tried to swallow, suddenly my throat becoming dry and unable to do so. I struggle to speak.
" I know Andrew, he was a friend of Lucy's. He came here several times. I actually thought he was... Nicer than the ones she brought over. Polite and all. "I smiled bitterly and nodded.
" are you going to be okay? "
" yes I am fine. "
She took out her card and extended it to me" if you need anything you can call me or Berry okay?"
"okay,thank you for everything." I forced a smile.
"anytime." she smiled back and left.
I sat there not moving a muscle. They planned it for weeks!my graduation present? Oh my goodness. How did I not see this coming? I have to get out of here!
I head to the library with my luggage and returned the books and head out of the campus without looking back. I actually thought I was going to miss this place, how stupid! I told the Uber driver to take me to the airport.
Once at the airport I went to the ticket counter to change my ticket and dropped my luggage at the early check-in counter. I got out of the airport and walked for about ten minutes and spotted a café. I sat at the corner and ordered breakfast. My flight departs at 3pm in the afternoon and it's now 7:45am . I have no idea what I am going to do for the next few hours. So I took my time eating my pancakes and sipping coffee. By 8:30 I was sitting there cold and fidgiting. I can't stop myself from relieving last night over and over. Changing the outcome again and again.
The first one is Berry never came and they broke in,they tried to pull me from the window, I fought back and lost my balance and fall from 6th floor 2 months before graduation.
The second option, still Berry was nowhere to be found, they broke in, pulled me in and took turns with me. Making me wish I should've jumped off the window. Leave me there, probably unconscious. Lucy might come in the morning and smile viciously while looking down at my unconscious body. Called the security or police and pretend to be shocked. They might never catch them or suspect her. I might be at the hospital for weeks and not have a sane mind to tell anyone what happened or recall some of it. And when I do, I might not want to talk about it. It might take weeks or months of therapy to get back to what they call 'normal '.
I am lucky, I confirm to my self but a flicker of thought crossed my mind for a second, my luck is not going to last long. I dismissed the idea. I'm off to my parents now, safe and sound. I'm just stressed out about last night, so my dad always says I should walk my stess off. So I yawned, stretched , left the Cafe and walked mindlessly. The sun was unusually bright this morning. I start to feel warm and relaxed. See, I assured my self, everything is going to be alright. I could take a stroll for sometime and if I get bored I will head back to the airport and hang around, use Wi-Fi, do some last minute duty free shopping and grab luch at one of the fast food vendors. That will kill some time. I was lost deep in my thoughts and realized I walked for over half an hour.
I looked around and noticed a huge graffiti wall and over grown dry grass all over the place, kind of like a deserted place. I must have walked to what typically is called a'bad neighborhood '. My heart start to race and the voice inside my head said' this is it! ' I brush that thought off and start to head back as fast as I could. I keep telling my self, it's morning, a broad day light. You are just panicking. Stop this. But I kept walking so fast to a point where I am now jogging. I'm not even sure I know my way back. As soon as I felt I am at a safe neighborhood, I will ask someone the way. I kept jogging untill I reach what looked like a deserted railway and the only way out was under a bridge. I don't recall going under a dark bridge when I came here. I'm losing it. My whole body is telling me to run wild and flee. But I resisted the urge and stood there with my hands on my head trying to calm myself. Just then I realized I should've turned back and run. A man appeared from under the bridge. My heart sank. I thought I was about to faint. He was dressed in black from top to bottom. He was sharp and handsome, he smirked when he noticed me. My non stop mind kept thinking, how could a guy look this handsome and evil at the same time. It's like staring at the devil himself. And to my surprise, other two men walked behind him and joined. They both stared at me. Is it me or do they all look very similar. I searched all three faces one by one,looking for anything.. Any sign of humanity maybe. But they all had the same expression. Oh here comes the fourth one... And he's dragging... A dead body! I cover my mouth with both hands and start to shake my head. I tried to run but my legs suddenly feel like they are tied together. I must have looked demented with both of my hands on my mouth shaking my head. Their leader, I assume, is now walking straight to me holding his finger to his mouth signaling me to be quiet. He is now close to my face with an evil smirk on his face. I managed to say a few words, even though my mind gave up on me after shooting warning after warning. I felt like my mind is another part of me now. Sitting back and saying 'I told you, dummy.'
"please, I won't say anything." I whispered.
"I know you won't, you know why?"
I shook my head and plead with my eyes.
"because I will make sure you won't." he said and raised his hand to signal one of them to come while still staring at my eyes.
"hey Eric, take care of this one will ya, what can I say, beautiful girls keep coming on my way. They just can't help it." he smirked and turned his back. Now my legs suddenly become obedient and I start to run like I ve never run before,but it feels like I have done it several times...yeah I had this kind of nightmare all the time. Frantic and scared, trying to run as fast as I could but failing. Something terrible getting closer and closer by seconds this is a nightmare and my mind reminded me once again 'this is it'. A strong hand got hold of my sweater and I was on the ground. I can't stop my self from squeezing my eyes shut and chant "please, please" over and over. Like that's going to help. I felt a tap on my face, not a slap.
"hey look at me." I slowly opened my eyes and saw an ocean of big dilated black eyes staring at me. The mind works even in a distreessful situation such as this. I thought I saw a flicker of kindness in his eyes or maybe that's what I want to see to keep my self sane.
" it's going to be okay, trust me." he smiled. The same smile as the female security officer has, assuring and relaxing. Besides I don't have any choice but to nodd. Just then I felt a sharp pain on my thigh and realized he drugged me. Disappointment washed over me in flicker of seconds and the last thing I remember was the smell of strong coffee and cologne as I drifted off, my ever so hard working mind said 'at least you won't remember a thing' yeah thanks for the tip!