Raina brought me back home. The place I feared now. The place that used to seem like the whole world to me a few years ago. I remembered that Raina never took us out of the house. She even let us stay home by ourselves when she needed to go shopping, which I knew was illegal. Of course, when we were young young, she did shopping online. We had a small, fenced in backyard that we used to get our vitamin D from the sun. Also, when either me or Amanda were acting up, she wouldn’t put us in our room, but in the yard. She would make us stand facing the corner of the fence. Luckily, we barely got into serious trouble like that. The main place we weren’t allowed to go into was Raina’s office. That would result in an even bigger discipline. I never dared to go near her office because of how bad the punishm- ent was. Amanda went in there by accident, once, and the punishment was not pretty. I was afraid I would get a big punishment for running away.
I once heard someone–on a video–say, “With bad things come bad punishments.” I believed that, but this wasn’t considered a wrong thing, it was considered the right thing. God was the one pushing me to believe Raina was lying, and for me to leave. I knew Raina wasn’t who she said she was. She’s never who she says she is. I decided to be brave and face the consequences that I didn’t deserve.
Raina put me in my old room. Me and Amanda’s old room. I cooperated. I decided to be the good girl I always am. That doesn’t mean I would be loyal to Raina, though. I was only being cooperative for now.
She didn’t just leave me there. She stayed in the room with me. “What do you want?” I asked.
“I want nothing from you,” she said. “I only want you to cooperate with me. You will listen to what I say and do as I say. I only want you to stay here. With me.”
I didn’t want to stay with her. I never wanted to see her again, but I still said, “Okay.”
Raina smiled a small smile. I hated when she smiled. That means that she got her way, which I didn’t want. She walked out of the room.
I followed her to, guess where? Her office. I still went, knowing it was the right thing to do. But I didn’t go into it, I stood quietly outside the door, watching Raina.
I heard her plans. I heard all of it. She was going to get me to tell her about Ian. How did she know about him? From that, she would give people 100 million dollars to bring us here.
After I heard that, I went back to my room. I couldn’t bel- ieve that. I was starting to like Ian, and I didn’t want to be separated. I already missed him. I tried to remember if I’d gotten his phone number. I checked my phone to see. I had! I called him. About 30 seconds later, he answered. “Hey, Ella!” Ian said. “Where are you? I’ve been searching for you for hours.”
“Oh,” I said. “Do you remember what I told you about Raina?”
“Is that the woman who kidnapped you?”
“Yeah. Uhm…she captured me, and now I’m at my old house.”
“Uh…that’s not good.”
“Yeah, and she wants to separate us, which she already did.” I sat on my bed. I remembered all the memories me and Amanda had made in the past. Some of them were good, some of them were bad. They were all bad now. Now since I knew that Raina had kidnapped us when we were babies, all of the memories that involved her were bad memories. But I always had one thing that gave me hope all the time during those times. I had drawn a drawing of a made up anime character named Haruto. Yes, he’s Japanese. But when I was a kid, before I started watching k-drama, I was into anime. One present I had asked for for my birthday was a book on how to draw anime. I used that book, and started to get really good at it until I became a natural.
Ian brought me back from my thoughts. “I hope we can get back together,” he said.
“Me, too. I lo-” I almost said it. I almost said, “I love you.” But I stopped myself and hung up. That embarrassed me. What if he knew what I was going to say? That would be awkward.
I left it alone for the moment and started drawing. I drew some pictures of Ian. I missed him already. I’ve never felt love before, but I knew it was. He was so adorable I just wanted to hug him. Ian kept texting me, making sure I was okay. I didn’t reply to the ones that were, “Why did you hang up?” or, “What were you gonna say?” I didn’t want to give it away this early. It was true. I <em style=
When you’re not reading books, read our newsletter.
Join the conversation