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What would you do if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Walking on the scorching hot sand beneath my feet on a beautiful sunlit day, the atmosphere couldn't be better. My older brother and his wife walking down the beach on a mission to find ice cream and refreshments. Aunt Sarah sunbathing, although revealing a little too much. Her 2 kids: Lauren and Aaron, playing with their dog, down near the rock pools. And then me.
My brother and his wife came back with refreshments, which was a much-welcomed return. Twisters and ice-cold lemonade. Just that moment of pure delight when you're dangerously dehydrated and the first drink is like finding shelter in the desert. Happy mood soon turns sour as the kids start getting tired and moody. Being a reclusive no drama type of person, I decide it's my time to leave, so I take a walk along the pier. Strolling along, enjoying that little moment of peace. Listening to the seagulls and the sea, I begin to close my eyes, only to be startled by a loud scream from what seemed like a female's voice. I look around and notice a man and a woman at the edge of the pier. He's holding her over the side gripping on to her only by her hair and left shoulder. I see no one around except me and them. With the sun still gleaming down, I notice something shiny in his back pocket. A gun. Not knowing what to do, I run. Not towards them, but as far away as possible. Then I just blacked out.
Damp. The smell surrounds me. I feel cold. The Instinctive thought rushing through my head 'Am I dead?' My eyes begin to flicker and open just slightly. Darkness. Not a thing is recognisable nor visible, for that matter. As the lids of my eyes widen, I realise just how sore they feel, like I've been out of consciousness for years. In the distance there is a vague burst of light from a small crack at the top of a wall. Moving slightly to investigate further, something tugs at my arm. Looking down, I see wires attached to my hand, one or two or...confusion starts to set in motion. The wires are leading up to a bag, like the ones you get in a hospital. An intravenous drip I think. Continuing to move my body upwards, a sharp numbing pain comes from my leg. My hand instinctively shoots straight to the area and grabs on to it. Doing this only makes the pain worse, but with almost everything being blurry and dark, the sense of touch is a kind of comfort. What has happened to me? Am I having some sort of nightmare? Only the pain is far too real for it not to be true. A fluid of some type starts to drip down my forehead, so I raise my arm up – which feels like the equivalent amount of work to climbing a mountain – I realize it's sweat. The consistency feels different; having a keen interest in science may not always be helpful, but it does have its perks. How can you sweat when your body feels ice cold to the touch, unless there's an infection? My leg, the drip, bit by bit things are starting to tie together.
I can hear the kids in the distance laughing and splashing in the pool. I may not be a massive fan of family vacations, but something in this moment made me feel a warmth from within. Many think I have a stone-cold heart (which I wouldn’t deny) but my softer side is lying there underneath somewhere. As much as I don’t like to admit it. The plain and simple fact is it's easier in this world to be disconnected. Aunt Sarah; who isn't at all in fact our aunt, more so a girl my mother once took a shining too, and has been in our lives ever since. My brother stumbled out of the patio doors to the private villa. 'I think he's still half drunk,' exclaimed his wife, Maria. All in a chorus of laughter, I thought about how lucky I was too have all this surrounding me.
Judging by the condition I can see and feel my body in, I've been here quite some time. It's tearing me apart, laying in this rusty old damp bed, with no civilization, not knowing where I am or how I got here. I've been conscious for a few weeks now at least, so surely someone's been here, taking care of me; if you can even say that. The dressing on my intensely painful bullet wound has been changed and there's still plenty of fluid in the intravenous drip, so I'm hoping, praying that there is someone else here. That I'm not just going to rot in this bewildered dark hobbit hole.
A loud rickety sound comes from the corner of the room. The jingling of keys starts to bang around in a struggle to unlock the door. As the heavy door pushes away from its frame, a dark shadow appears in the center. Tall, slim build and a strong stance, their presence is overwhelming. Both locked in time, we stare at each other. I suddenly feel as though I can't move. I'm petrified. There's a small glimmer of reflection from what looks to be a watch? The light from behind him (although minimal) feels sharp, and my eyes tightly shut until they adjust to the light. With the sound of scuffling shoes, they're moving towards me. Still unable to move myself, I am forced to bare whatever is going to come next. A strong hint of musk wafts towards me as they stand beside the bed. They lean forward to check all the wires attached to me. As they move to the side ever so slightly, the minuscule crack in the wall leaves a little streak of light on their face, revealing to me the deepest green eyes.
Now the identity had been revealed of the mystery capturer, I could begin to try and figure out what I'm doing here. Not needing to wonder if I was ever going to be in the presence of another living breathing human again was a major relief. The man towered over me as I slowly peered up like a lost dog. Cowardly, I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t speak to him, even when he muttered the words, in a deep yet soft voice, 'Hello.' He was wearing dark clothing and some sort of hat seemingly molded to the shape of his head. As he slowly did a final check of the surrounding medical attachments, he slowly turned and headed for the door. Before leaving, he reached into his trouser pocket, and pulled out a small bottle of clear liquid. Water. He placed it on a little ledge, just by the door. And with that, it was almost complete darkness again.
Running across the road, fretting about missing my morning coffee, I hardly realize the heavily packed lanes of traffic. Thinking about my first interview of the jam-packed day, it seems very fitting that it is about congestion in the city and reducing our carbon footprint. Being a journalist does have a few downsides, especially when having to dart across town several times a day. Out of breath, I reach my destination with coffee in hand.
Coughing deeply, the bacteria in here is having an effect on my lungs, probably reducing my oxygen intake more and more every second. I must have lost consciousness because the water is still in the distance on the ledge. I'm gasping for the feel of the liquid gliding down my throat. How am I going to retrieve it whilst attached to all these wires? Conducting a plan, that had been well thought out in my head for the past few hours, was harder than anticipated. Reaching one leg off the edge of the bed, I shuffle the other to do the same. All my energy was used up just by doing that. However, I pushed on, determined. I slowly placed my fingers over the cannula in my hand, and gently pulled. Teeth-gritting pain pulsed through me and for a moment I had to stop and think 'Is this even worth it?' I reevaluated things before continuing. Then I found myself at the jackpot. Reaching out for that little bottle of clear liquid, felt like freedom. And it was over in seconds. Throwing the bottle on the floor in a rage, it bounced of a rock and I realised there was a hole in the wall, big enough for the pupil of your eye to just peer through. I approached it and gazed.
Little flakes of pure white fell from the sky, it dusted the ground like sugar icing on a cake. An array of deep piercing green drew your eyes instantly in. Wild flowers, of every dark color you could imagine, it's breathtaking. However, I know this is too good to be true. There has to be something else behind this. Perhaps the beauty is just for show, like a mind game. Or that nature has adapted to the goings on around them. On the ground there is long grass that looks like twine and stretches as far as my eyes can see. Roots of old trees are bursting through the cold hard floor, grasping for freedom. In the distance a little hare is sat wrapped up in the foliage. Looking around so intently and calm, I longed to touch its soft fur.
A few weeks have passed and in that time, the green-eyed male had appeared every few days to give me supplies. Not once had we spoke a sentence to each other. I can feel something changing though. On a day he doesn’t show I pine for him, whether that’s just simply because he's the only person I have contact with, I'm unsure. The noise of keys began and in he came, standing strongly, but seemingly more relaxed. Staring at him, I spoke without realising what I was doing. 'How long have I been here?' He gave me a disapproving look, and a shocked one at that. 'As long as you’ve needed to be,' he said nervously.
As he placed his hand on the side of the bed, he checked the wound on my leg, the bandage, pulled at the irritated skin around it and before I knew it, my hand was grasped onto his arm. We looked at each other with weary eyes and I let go. 'Oh... Erm.' He grinned. Nothing more was said and he left the room. What was happening to me? Who in their sane mind would start to fall for their capturer. Intensely in my thoughts, he entered the room again. Some time had passed, but I was sure it was the same day. He wandered over and sat beside the decrepit bed, with a brown paper bag in his hands. He reached in and produced a warm sandwich. Out of all the food I would like to have right now, this would not be my first choice, however the length I've been here is still unknown and I'll take whatever I can. Bacon, egg, and sausage. Now would not be the best time to mention I'm a vegetarian (well I like to try as best I can to not eat meat, although sometimes I cave in) Starving, the sandwich is gone in seconds, which instantly made my stomach cramp in knots like vines tangled around a tree. Washed down with cold water, I didn't know what had happened for me to be given all of this luxury. I mean it was hardly outstanding quality, but I was grateful. 'Thanks' I spoke in a tender manner. 'Same time tomorrow?' He said as he jumped up spritely and disappeared again.
Every day for the next few weeks the green-eyed guy came in at the same time and we ate the same food. We chatted occasionally, just about the wonders of the world. There were things I wanted to know desperately about the events that occurred, but I was afraid too, and when we talked, I imagined myself to be somewhere else. He stayed for longer and longer every time, and his personality started to appear, he was gentle, and very outspoken. He seemed confused, like he didn't know who he was or his purpose. On this occasion, I could see a twinkle in his eye while we sat and stared at the blank wall in front of us. The look he gave me was different to any look I've ever been given before. It felt strange, though I feel I was precipitating the same look back to him. He leaned in towards me and took hold of me by the hand. 'I want to show you something more beautiful then you could ever imagine.' Admittedly, I have watched too many crime dramas, so I'm more inclined to think I'm being lured to my death. We headed towards the door and I couldn't quite believe I was leaving this room. We clambered up some slippery steps and reached another door — the exit. As the flash of sunlight hit me, I squinted. The warmth of it felt spectacular, I embraced every second and just wanted to stand there for a while. I stepped out onto the cold ground, the grass in between my toes sent my whole body's senses into overdrive. Slowly, we walked through a wooded area (the white dusting of snow had long passed), I could hear birds tweeting a bewildered tweet. In the distance I was sure I could hear the trickling of water. A waterfall maybe? Or a stream? I was willing to consider anything because on this day, miraculous things had already happened. To my utter surprise I was right, almost. We slowed down and facing me was a shallow pool filled with crystal clear water, most likely the same water I've been drinking everyday (I'm not quite sure it's entirely safe) and on the surface, there was a crisp thin lining, like a coating to protect its purity. It portrayed as though I was in a completely different place, and this nightmare was never real, but who would I be kidding if I really believed that. In the peace and tranquility of where I was, my mind switched to thinking about running, as fast and as far as I could. Surely there would be a road not too far from here, maybe civilization was just beyond the trees.
Back in the dark, I asked him why? Why he wasn’t letting me go. I thought if I found out the reason and tried to understand him then I stood a better chance. He didn’t tell me. I pleaded on my hands and knees, crying with shame and embarrassment, but I didn’t care. I needed answers and I knew I wasn't just in here whilst my leg healed. He headed for the door, but I was no longer afraid, so I stood strongly and firmly in front of him. His head dropped and sunk into his hands, I could see the desperation in him. Whatever the reason was, as too why I ended up in this reclusive cave, is having an impact.
I couldn't bear to see him stand their limp, so I placed my arms around him, in a comforting embrace. After all, for months and months all I've known is him. We both flopped to the floor and he began explaining.