By now, I’m beginning to think that it wasn’t by chance I was taken, and that I was targeted, though my only proof is the size of the dress and the constant indications that they knew I was a dancer. I sit down on the bed and try hard not to think about food. It’s not working. Images of dishes and meals Mum used to cook for me keep drifting through my mind.
This van, the van I’ve been in for eleven hours, was the van that hit her. Of that I am absolutely certain. If she dies, I have been sitting inside the murder weapon. My panic had almost made me forget her, but now it all returns with a horrible feeling of guilt. Without a phone, I can’t even find out if she’s alive or dead, and the thought makes me feel sick. I’m suddenly not hungry at all.
I dump my bag on the bed and rummage through until I find my phone, now reunited with the rest of my possessions. Hold down the power button, praying. Feel it vibrate slightly and see the screen light up, hardly daring to breathe in case it’s just a false hope. And watching the screen go black again and dropping it to the floor and knowing that I don’t have any contact with the world any more.
It is a feeling I believe is known as despair.
I have never felt this way before. Never been in a situation with absolutely nobody to turn to for help. Though anyone I asked might not have been very helpful, they were there. I didn’t want their advice, I wanted them to listen to me. I wanted to know that they knew and that I wasn’t going to have to cope with this alone.
But now I don’t know why I’m here. I don’t even know where I am. The only people that could help me are far away and I have absolutely no way of contacting them. I could be here for days – weeks – months – and they wouldn’t know anything. To them, I’ve just vanished off the face of the Earth.
I lie face down and try to cry, but the tears that have been hiding all this time won’t come out, and I’m dry-eyed. After a few moments I roll over so that I can breathe and so that I’m not putting all my weight on my front and I look up at the ceiling. It’s patterned, old fashioned.
In five minutes I have made up my mind and strengthened my resolve – when they come for me, I will make them tell me where I am and what they want with me. Then I’ll start making my plans to get out of here.
But I’m shattered from my disrupted night. I take off my belt and crawl under the thick quilt in my jeans and t-shirt, removing anything from the pockets that might be uncomfortable, and close my eyes. It’s morning, but the curtains are thick enough to block out the light.
Thick enough that I can’t see out to find out where I am.
I consider getting up and looking, but now that I’m lying down I’m far too tired for that, and it’s not long before I’m asleep.
I’m woken two hours later by the door opening.