“I’ll be back later, Dad,” I shouted out the front door as I left our apartment. I had decided against taking the lift as I had claustrophobia and had some rather unpleasant memories in there. Okay, extremely horrific memories. My mother had died in there when I was thirteen. I’m sixteen now and I still can’t believe she’s gone.
As I walked down the stairs, I passed a window; I stopped to glance at my reflection. My raven black hair was not common, neither were my eyes. They were a deep blue with hints of violet tones. When I was younger people had laughed at my strange eyes, calling me “Witch,” because I stood out. I used to go home crying and my Mam told me they were just jealous because I was unique. Yeah, sure they were. It made me feel better though, that my Mam had looked exactly like me. Had.
As I had paused at the window, I could see the nerves starting to cross my face. I wasn’t sure what I was nervous about, but it was the same nerves I had the day my mother died. No. Not died. Murdered. Brutally murdered. I shook my head, as if to rid myself of the thought and continued down the stairs. I was meeting my best friends, Jenny and Suzie. We were going shopping. The perfect way to rid myself of horrible memories. At least for now.
I was walking around the back of the complex, when a hand wrapped around my mouth. “Don’t scream,” a harsh voice hissed in my ear, “if you want to live, Maria.”
I froze at my mother’s name. It was him. The man I saw leave the lift before my mother’s body was discovered. He had come for me. I felt the tip of a gun grind into my temple. I swallowed.
“Come along now, Maria,” he whispered pushing me to a black car.
“It’s Bex,” I whispered, walking towards the car, trying not to trip.
“Get in,” he said pushing me into the back seat. He got in the front and I heard a click. I was locked in. The car started and he sped away.
“Go to sleep,” he ordered. I did as he asked. I was terrified for my life. This man had killed my mother and now I had a feeling I was going to get the same treatment. I closed my eyes and tried to think of the happiest memory I had of my mother. When she finally married my father. They had been partners for years, but when I was seven, I begged them to get married. She had looked so happy that day, her face shining with joy. Thinking of it made my heart ache, but sent me to sleep.
I was roughly woken up later by him. I sat up straight, not sure whether I was to leave the car or not.
“Get a move on it,” he snarled. It was the first time I had gotten a good look at his face. Greying brown hair and green eyes. His long pointed nose looked as sharp as a knife. The shape of his face was familiar. I couldn’t remember where I had seen it before.
“What are you going to do to me?” I whispered, fearing the worst.
“I’m not sure yet, Maria,” he said.
“What’s your name?” I asked him.
“My name is Paul. You should remember that, Maria”, and he grabbed me from the car and shoved me into an apartment on the bottom floor of a complex.
He locked me in a room designed for a little girl. It was all pink and fairy princesses. I looked at it in disgust. I walked around before sitting on the bed. Jenny and Suzie are bound to notice I’m missing soon enough, I thought to myself. Its Dublin city, though, they probably think you just got lost, that annoying small voice in the back of my head said. Jenny and Suzie know me. They know that I know Dublin City like the back of my hand.
He will not get away with this, I thought. Paul. I shuddered at the name. He even sounded like a psycho-murderer. There were so many questions in my head. The main one was why did he keep calling me Maria. There was a knock at the door.
“C-come in,” I said, trying not to sound scared. It came out as a strangled cry. Paul walked in, and it took all my strength not to cower.
“Maria, it’s so nice to see you again. I don’t know how you survived that attack three years ago. I must raise my hat to you as not many can survive an attack like that,” he praised me. What was wrong with this guy? “I must try and kill you again. You never should have left me sixteen years ago with our little girl, Rebecca. I was a good father to her and I did not mean to attack you when she was a baby,” this man was my Father. The thought sickened my stomach. He attacked my mother when I was a baby. Maybe Dad wasn’t right about judging a book by its cover. My first impression of Paul was spot on. He was a psycho.
I decided to play along as it was my only way to get out of here alive. “You’re right, Paul. I’m sorry,” I gave him a hug and snagged the keys from his belt, without him looking, “Can you forgive me?” he looked at me and walked out, but before closing the door told me to get some sleep.
I did as he said again so that he wouldn’t kill me as quickly. I hid the keys under the pale pink pillow and closed my eyes. When I woke up it was morning and there was a tray of breakfast on the bed. I panicked as it meant that Paul had been in this room. What if he found the car keys? I checked under the pillow.
Yes! I thought. Now to find a way out. I sat down on the bed, trying to block the previous night’s disturbing conversation from my mind. It was no use. I was going to be sick. That’s it!
I walked to the door. “Paul, I feel kinda sick. Can you show me to the bathroom?” he opened the door and led me to the bathroom.
“I’ll wait outside,” he said. My stomach dropped. I had to stop him.
“No, no. I don’t want you to hear me getting sick,” I said quickly. He gave me a strange look but walked away. I closed the bathroom door and looked around. There was a key on a hook. I grabbed it and locked the door quietly.
I walked over to the window and started to open it. “Maria? Are you all right?” Paul asked through the door.
“Yeah, just getting sick in here. Now go away!” I shouted through the door, pretending to retch. He walked away mumbling. I opened the window and climbed out. Once I was out. I saw the black car
I climbed in and drove as fast as I could. My dad had taught me to drive and I knew I only had a few minutes before he realised I was gone. I reached a Garda Station pretty quickly.
“I need your help! This guy kidnapped me, thinking I was my mother, whom he killed three years ago,” I said in a rush.
“Whoa, slow down! Now tell me the full story,” the garda said to me. So I told him everything and he called my Dad. I sat in the station with my Dad until Paul was brought in. I shrank away from him as he glowered at me.
“How could you do this to me, Maria,” he asked me.
“I told you before; my name is Bex, not Maria. I’m her daughter,” I said, standing tall.
“Rebecca? My little girl,” he stumbled towards me.
“I’m not your “Little Girl”! Far from it. I will never be your daughter! I will never be the daughter of a psycho!” It felt good to say that.
His eyes turned to slits as he broke free from the gardaí and came at me. I ran to one side and my Dad ran to the other. Paul crashed headfirst into the wall.
The gardaí picked him up and he was pushed into a cell. I was safe again. The garda I had spoken to earlier, came over to tell me that he would be put away for a long time because of how drastic his actions were.
I went home with Dad, not minding that he lied to me about not being my biological father. He had been trying to keep me safe and I was extremely grateful for that. I was glad he was my father even if it was by marriage; he cared for me and that was all I could ask.
Paul got a life sentence and I had to attend the court case. I was called upon to give my account of the story. When I mentioned that I had seen him leave the lift before I found Mam’s body, his eyes bulged out of his head. I loved watching him get sent down. After that I was the main topic of interest all over Ireland for a while before I got my life back. I sleep soundly knowing that no harm will ever come to me again. Thankfully!!