It was a late Saturday night and I had just gotten home from a long day of babysitting. I hung up the keys to my car and kicked off my shoes. Pulling my hair out of its ponytail, I headed to my room to get a clean pair of pajamas so I could shower.
When I was done, I headed back to my room and switched on the lights around my vanity, plopping down in the seat. Suddenly, while I was brushing my wet hair, I heard a noise coming from outside my house.
Was it… footsteps? Yes, someone was running, I think. It was almost 10:30 at night, who would go on a run at this time?
I brushed it off, as there was really no reason to worry.
That was until the footsteps got closer. My room is on the first floor of my house, so I heard them clearly outside. I paused to listen, and that’s when I heard something more than footsteps, I heard voices.
It was a man and a woman’s. They were calling for something, like it was lost and they needed to find it… but with hushed voices. I assumed it was because they didn’t want to wake the whole neighborhood.
I listened closer, and heard the male voice saying, “Boy!? Where the hell did you go? You’re going to get a real beating when we bring you home!”
Beating?! I thought.
I made my way over to my window to peek outside when I heard a quiet, but urgent knocking noise against the glass sent me jerking backwards.
Someone was banging on my window, and they called out in a hushed voice with a thick british accent, “Help! Please, someone help me! Hello? Is anyone there! Please, please help me, I’m begging you!”
Oh my gosh, what is happening? I thought to myself. I ran to the window and peeled open the blinds just enough to see a boy, crouching behind the bushes in front of my window. He had a black eye, knotted and tangled hair, and his clothes were filthy.
The boy stopped banging as suddenly as he had started. I looked back to the street and saw the man and woman were passing my house. I noticed the boy outside shrunk down behind the bushes as much as he could. Once they were one or two houses down the block, he went back to knocking on my window.
He was obviously trying to get away from those people… but why? Had they given him that black eye?
Questions flew through my mind and everything was happening so fast, but without even thinking I opened the window slightly. The boy was startled to see me.
“Who are you, and why are you at my window at such a late hour?” I asked him, quietly.
“Oh my gosh, thank goodness you’re here! Please, help me. Please, my parents, that- that man and woman, will kill me if they catch me! I know, I look like a crazy person, but please, you have to-”
The boy went on and on. He was hysterical. I don’t know why, but I trusted him, like we had been friends for a long time. He looked about my age, and he was clearly hurt and in distress. I had a gut feeling that I had to help this boy.
“Okay, okay, relax. Grab my hand,” I told him as I opened my window all the way up.
He looked up at me and smiled. His bright blue eyes filled with hope and thankfulness.
The boy pulled himself up to the ledge as his so-called parents’ voices became louder, and soon their figures became visible again in the dark of the night.
They were making their way back down the block.
“Quick, get inside!” I exclaimed as I pulled him through the window.
He fell onto my carpet with a loud thump! as I slammed the window shut and closed the blinds in a hurry. The man and woman didn’t notice, as they continued their way back down the hill.
“What was that bang?” Mom called out as I heard her footsteps making her way over to my room.
“Nothing, Mom, I just dropped something!” I responded.
I hurriedly motioned for the boy to go into my closet. He ran over and slid inside just as Mom opened my door. She looked at me with suspicion, but I smiled and assured her everything was okay. I waited until I heard her go back into her bedroom and close the door before I opened my closet.
The boy and I looked at each other for a few seconds in silence. He had tangled dark hair that went all the way down to his crystal blue eyes.
He smiled at me, out of breath, and quietly said, “Hi.”
I had so many questions, I didn’t know where to begin. But this boy was covered in bruises and cuts, and I knew he needed help tending to those.
“Um… hi. I’m Everleigh. Mind explaining yourself while I clean your cuts?” I asked as I grabbed the first aid kit l I kept in my closet for emergencies.
“Right. Sorry. I’m… Boy,” he told me.
“Your name is ‘Boy’?” I questioned, as I wet some gauze with rubbing alcohol to clean his cuts.
“That’s always what my parents called me. I don’t have an actual name, I don’t think.”
“So… what happened?” I anxiously asked after a short pause.
“I escaped. My parents kept me in the basement of our house all 17 years of my life. I was only sometimes allowed outside for some fresh air while being closely monitored. Today, my dad got too drunk, and when he passed out while watching- ow!” he yelped.
“Shh! Keep your voice down, and it’ll only burn a little, it’s just to clean your cuts,” I assured him.
He frowned. “Anyway, when my dad passed out while watching me earlier, I ran as fast as I could and ended up here.”
I stopped cleaning his cuts and looked at him in the eyes. Was he mentally insane and just making this up? Because this sounded unreal.
“Uh-huh…” I nodded my head slowly.
He saw that I didn’t really believe him. “Look, I know how crazy it sounds. How else do you think I got these bruises and cuts? My parents did this to me.”
His voice broke at that last part.
I don’t know why… but I had a gut feeling this boy was telling the truth. I honestly wished I didn’t, because of how crazy it sounds, but maybe, just maybe, he did live in that man and woman’s basement. And maybe they really did hurt him.
I finished cleaning up his cuts and put a few band-aids on the ones that were open. “It’s okay. Whatever did happen, it doesn’t matter anymore. You’re safe now.”
He gave me a small smile, so I could tell he needed to hear that.
“Okay, let’s get the rest of you cleaned up. Let’s start with getting you a clean pair of clothes, those are filthy,” I said as I made a disgusted face at his clothes.
I turned to my dresser and pulled out a large t-shirt and a pair of my brother’s shorts I happened to have. When I turned back to Boy to give him the clothes, he was mindlessly pulling off his faded blue shirt and shorts.
“Oh my-” I gasped and covered my eyes.
He laughed. “What?”
“Nothing, just hurry up,” I giggled.
I tried not to look, but something caught my eye, and I peeked at his chest and abdomen.
“Oh my gosh, you’re covered in even more bruises?!” I quietly yelled as I dropped the clean clothes in shock.
Boy looked at his abdomen and tried to cover them with his hands.
“It’s nothing, don’t worry. I’m fine,” he assured me.
“No, you’re not,” I denied as I pushed his hands out of the way.
I examined the bruises. He had 4 reddish-ones.
“These are fresh; the blood is still collecting under your skin. They must’ve happened… today. The 2 purple ones must be from a few days ago, and that yellowish-green one is from…” I looked up at the boy and paused.
“A week ago,” we said at the same time.
“How do you know so much about this stuff?” The boy questioned.
“My mom is a nurse, and I’ve known that I want to work in the medical field since I was little,” I explained. “I guessed though, you can’t accurately determine when a bruise formed just by color… but these are all from your parents?”
“I- I don’t want to talk about it,” he whispered as he turned away.
“I’m sorry,” I told him. “you don’t have to talk about it.”
After a short pause, I cleared my throat and picked up the clean clothes.
He handed me his clothes, and I gave him the clean ones.
“I’m gonna go put these in the wash, I’ll be right back.”
When I came back into my room, Boy was sitting on my bed. He quickly wiped away tears on his face.
When he looked up and saw me, he gave me a quick smile, as if saying he was okay.
He wasn’t okay, though, and we both knew that.
So, I simply walked over to him and wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling him in a tight hug. After a second or two, he hugged me back, and rested his head down on my shoulder.
Sometimes, it’s better to let people know it’s going to be okay with actions, instead of words.
When I pulled away, I went over to my vanity and handed him one of my combs so he could brush his hair. While he was busy getting the knots out, I opened up my laptop and google was on my screen. I clicked on the news feed that I’m subscribed to and read the post about the annual festival coming up in England.
Boy looked over to my laptop screen and curiously asked, “What are you reading about?”
“Just the big festival coming up in England, it’s a really big deal,” I explained.
“Well, 17 years ago the Queen of England had a son named Damon. A few weeks after he was born, someone broke into the castle and kidnapped him. His story is almost exactly like Rapunzel’s story, from the movie Tangled,”
He furrowed his eyebrows with confusion.
“Never mind, you probably haven’t seen it.”
“Yeah, I haven’t,” he laughed.
“Anyway, every year England has a big festival on the prince’s birthday, in 3 days, and this year the prince will turn 18, wherever he is. It's a big deal because it's the final festival; since he's turning 18, he can do what he wants and doesn't have to come home. It’s all for Damon, hoping that he’s safe and that he’ll return home,” I finished.
“Wow, that’s funny. I’m turning 18 in 3 days, too!” Boy exclaimed.
“Huh. Funny coincidence.” I continued scrolling, and stopped over a picture posted on the news feed and pointed. “That’s a picture of a prince. It was taken a day before he was kidnapped. The queen gave him that necklace he’s wearing, which she made herself, and it has a locket with that exact picture inside it.”
I looked over at Boy. His face was white as a ghost, and he was frozen, staring at the picture on my laptop.
“Um, are you okay?” I worriedly asked.
“Everleigh…” his voice trailed off. He pulled out a necklace that hung around his neck from under his shirt..
My heart skipped a beat.
I went over to him and looked at the chain. There was a small locket on it, and he held it out for me to open.
When I opened it, a photo of a blue-eyed baby stared back at me, the same baby from the news article. The same british, blue-eyed boy… that was in my bedroom.
My veins ran cold. I looked up to his face to see those crystal blue eyes meet mine.
“Damon…” I whispered. “You’re the lost prince of England.”
Suddenly, an alert blared from my computer. It was an amber alert.
I rushed over and saw a blurry picture of Damon on the screen. It must be blurry so no one would make the connection...
“Missing.” It read
“What is it?” Damon worriedly asked as he followed me to my laptop.
“Your parents sent out a nationwide amber alert for you… everyone in the country will be looking for you. What are we going to do?” I frantically said.
“It’s okay, you- you’re going to help me get back to England. We’ll show everyone the picture in my locket and we’ll be able to go back-“
“Wait,” I interrupted. “They added a description of you to the alert.” I quickly skimmed over it. “It says that you have a serious mental illness and have an obsession…” My voice trailed off.
“Everleigh?” Damon snapped me back to reality.
“...with the lost prince.” I whispered.
Then it hit me. What if he is crazy? What if he really does just have an obsession? What if-
Wait, no, he didn’t even know what the festival was, or who Damon was. There’s no way he could’ve gotten that same locket and photo as the prince was wearing, unless... it really is Damon.
I stopped debating with myself. It has to be him, right? There’s physically no way he could’ve faked it.
“No one would believe you because now everyone thinks you’re sick. If anyone recognizes you, you’ll go back to your parents, and I don’t think they’ll be too happy,” I told him.
Damon took a deep breath. “Well, Everleigh, I have 3 days to get to England before the festival ends with all of America looking intensively for me…”
I turned back to him and we locked eyes.
“...and I can’t do it alone.”
I swallowed hard.
“Are you in?”
Are you enjoying my ongoing story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, annapaganWrite a Review