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"Education as a Lifestyle"
I looked at the clock that hung on the wall at the restaurant where I worked at, 8:58pm. Work has been really hard lately since my mom passed, but the days have been busy so I've had distractions. My coworkers always ask me questions about how my dad and I are holding up, but I'd rather not think about it. I looked back at the clock, watching it hit 9:00pm. I walked into the back room of the restaurant, and I signed out. I grabbed my phone and opened it up, finding a text from my boyfriend, Sam. "Stargazing tonight?" It read. I texted him back: "Just off work, I'm coming over."
I said bye to the coworkers that were still there and walked out. Sam didn't live far from where I worked, like a few blocks, so I decided to walk. I put my phone in my pocket and headed toward his house, walking slowly. This was the first time in a few days that I haven't been completely overrun by responsibilities, so I let myself think about my mom. It all happened so fast, she was diagnosed with stage five breast cancer. My mom was told she only had a few months to live. I was devastated, and felt broken. We had a great mother daughter bond. She was like my best friend I told her everything. To be told that in a few months she would be gone was a similar feeling to being stabbed in the heart. The doctors said chemotherapy or radiation would do no good at this point because the cancer had already consumed her entire body. I begged the doctors to look for an experimental trial or something to give her a chance, but there were no other options. My mom didn’t want to be in the hospital even if it meant being in pain. We hired a home health aide to make sure she was comfortable when dad and I couldn’t be there. My dad and I both spent a lot of time with her. She couldn’t do much because she was so weak so we did things like watched movies or played board games. She told us we weren’t allowed to sit around and cry, she said we were going to make the best of the time she had left. How a person who had been told they only could have a couple of months to live be so strong? I’ve never seen two people in love like my parents. He was strong for her but when he wasn’t around her he would break down like me. Everyday I watched her become weaker and weaker. Sometimes just looking at her made me want to cry. Exactly tow months after she was diagnosed I woke up to the screaming of my mom, she was in so much pain. Her body was shutting down, dad and I took her to the hospital but they gave her pain medicine. A couple of hours later she died, peacefully just like she wanted. She had told my dad and I how much she loved us and that she will forever be with us.
He talked to a lady at work about it, her name was Lisa. Dad said she was a little weird about it, he said her reaction was less dismal and more of a neutral emotion. She didn’t seem very bothered by it.
I looked up to check for cars, I was coming to a new block. A small black van stop next to me, and I narrowed my eyes. Was that there earlier? I decided to ignore the strange vehicle and keep walking. I was only a few blocks away from Sam’s house. I looked over my shoulder to see if the van moved, but it hadn’t. It was still in the same spot, so I signed gratefully and kept walking. After another block, I looked again for the van, and sure enough, it was behind me again. I started to feel a little anxious, so I started walking faster. I was almost a block away.
I heard the door to the vehicle open, and I looked to see a middle-aged woman running at me. She grabbed me by the arms and dragged me to the van, slamming me inside the open door and jumping in the front seat. I felt useless because this woman was so much bigger than me, and I rubbed my arms from where she grabbed me.
“Try anything and I’ll shoot you.” The woman said, pointing a gun in my direction. I stiffened, not knowing what to say or what to do. She looked in the rear view mirror, studying me for a moment. “You’re going to listen to everything I say, and anything different will all result the same. If you don’t listen to me, I’ll hurt Keith and Sam.” My eyes widened. Keith was my father. She threatened the people I loved, and there was nothing I could do about it. I tried to take a deep breath, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t breathe. “Sit tight and keep quiet. Got it?” She barked, and I nodded, looking down. I tried to feel for my phone that had been in my pocket, it wasn’t there. It must have fallen out when she grabbed me and put her car.
The woman took a turn down a long gravel road, and we stayed on it for a long time. The next turn she took lead us to a small house. She parked the van, turned around in the driver seat. She then pointed the gun at me. “You’re going to get out. If you try to run, I’ll shoot. Nobody will notice because, as you can tell, this is the middle of nowhere. So get out, don’t try to fight me, and listen.” she said. I nodded slowly and watched her get out the van and open the door for me. I dipped my head out and she grabbed my arms again, forcefully pushing me in front of her all the way into her house. It was a dark, small place. It smelled of mildew and dust, and I coughed. “Shut up.” She said, pushing me harder to a door. She ordered me to open it, revealing a staircase. “Go.” She pushed me towards the steps, and I stumbled down them, making my way to the bottom. The door shut, and for a moment I thought I was alone in the dark room until I felt something cold on my neck. “You’re going to cooperate, aren’t you, Amy?” I had chills, but I didn’t know what else to do. “How do you know my name?” I sounded like a mouse compared to her big, loud voice. She laughed shortly and pressed the cold object harder on my neck. I flinched.
“I work with your father.” She said, saying the words as if they were taunting me. She pushed me down, and I landed on what felt like a wooden chair. “Stop asking questions. Now, I’m going to tie you up, and we’ll see where we can go from there.” In less than five seconds, I felt rope being tied around my feet and my arms; I lost my range of motion. “Open your mouth.” I shook my head, as if she could see it, and suddenly, there was a cloth in my mouth. “Cooperate, or they die.” She said hastily. She put the gun to my neck again, “If you try to escape, I’ll kill you threatened. Don’t even think you can leave.” She pulled the gun off of my neck and headed up the stairs, saying to herself, “When you’re gone, I can have Keith. There’ll be nothing in my way.” She closed the door, and I listened closely, hearing a soft click of the door locking. I put my head down, and I cried quietly to myself. How did this happen? How do I leave? How do I keep her from hurting my family?
I didn’t know how long I had been down there, but she didn’t come back down. I haven’t heard any sounds, not even of a floor moving above me. I had started to feel myself falling asleep, as I fought to keep my eyes open.
When I came to, I heard a door open. I was confused; I didn’t know where I was. My wrists were on fire, and the room I was in was dark. There was someone in my face, asking if I was okay, and I nodded slowly, not realizing who was asking me or what was happening. I didn’t recognize who it was but saw the police uniform. I felt the pressure release off of my arms, and I automatically reached to rub them. “Amy, can you walk?” My feet weren’t tied any more, and I tilted my head, “Where am I?” I asked, feeling myself being pulled up slowly. “What’s happening?” I asked a little louder. Slowly, everything came back to me: Then I saw the woman who worked with my father, being tied up, her threatening to kill me. “How did you guys find me?” I asked. I wasn’t getting answers, and this was frustrating me. I felt myself being pushed towards the stairs, lifting my feet to go up each one. With every step I took, I felt more uneasy and more petrified. Was she up there? Did she get to Sam and my dad?
“Amy, you’re going to be okay. We tracked your cell phone to this house. When we got here, there was a woman named Lisa was cleaning a gun, she almost shot one of our officers. Right now she is being brought in to be questioned. We are very lucky to have found you alive.” I furrowed my eyebrow while listening to all of this.
The police asked me many questions about what all happened. But some questions I didn’t even know, “Why would Katie kidnap you and threaten to kill you” I wish I knew the answer. Was Katie that obsessed with my dad that she wanted to get rid of me?
The police escorted me outside and there I seen my dad. He ran up to me and gave me a hug, holding me for a long time. “I’m so happy you’re alive.” He repeated. “I thought you were gone.”