By Karmen Judd
Once, there were 7 19-year-olds. Their names were Judah, Katie, Haygan, Claire, Elli, Mooska, and Caleb. They were the best of friends and were about to go on their senior trip. They were going to fly up to the Maldives for a week or two. So, they got packed and bought plane tickets.
A few days before they left, however, There was a knock on Claire and Katie’s apartment door. Katie answered it only to see a basket on the ground. It was addressed to Claire. “Claire!” Katie called. Claire walked up to her. “What’s up?” She asked. “You got a basket from an anonymous sender.” “Oh! Really?” “Yeah here open it I’m curious to see what it is.” “Ok. Hang on.” Claire grabbed the basket and brought it inside. “Wow! It’s pretty heavy whatever it is.” “Huh.” Claire opened the basket and to her and Katie’s shock inside was a puppy and a kitten curled up sleeping together. “Awwwwwww!” Both girls squealed in unison. “They’re sooooo cute!” Katie said. “Do you want one of them?” Claire asked Katie. “I can’t take care of them both, plus we live together so it will just be like we’re sharing custody.” “Yes of course! Can I have the kitten?” “Of course you can Katie. I wanted the puppy anyways.” Claire said honestly.
Just then there was a knock at the door. “This time I’ll get it.” Said Claire. She opened the door and was surprised to see no one there. “What?!” She said feeling ridiculous. As she was about to close the door Haygan jumped out from behind a bush and yelled, “Rahhhh!” “AHHHHHH!!” Screamed Claire. “Did you like the present?” Haygan asked impishly. “Until you did that!” Claire replied. Haygan laughed. After a second Claire started laughing as well. “Who is it, Claire?” Katie yelled from inside. “Oh just Haygan being Haygan.” She responded. “Oh makes sense.” “Yeah.” “I got to get back home and finish packing.” Said Haygan. “Ok, I love you,” Claire replied. They kissed and then he walked off.
“Well, are they from him?” Katie asked when Claire closed the door. “Who?” Katie gestured to the kitten and the puppy. “Oh yeah, they are.” “Aww! That’s so sweet.” “Yeah, it is.” There was a pause in the conversation and then: “We should finish packing as well.” “Alright.”
The next day the 7 boarded their plane and prepared for the 19-hour trip. Claire laid her head against Haygan’s shoulder and he kissed her forehead. “Awwwww! So cute!” Katie teased Claire. “You’re no better than I am,” Claire said nonchalantly without raising her head. It was true. Katie and Caleb were just as snuggled up. Claire soon fell asleep, it was however very early in the morning so it wasn’t surprising. Haygan stayed up for a little while longer then he too passed out. About 3 hours later turbulence woke both of them up. Claire looked up at Haygan and him down at her and smiled. They looked over to see Katie and Caleb fast asleep with Katie’s head on his chest. “Hang on,” Claire whispered. She took out her phone and took a photo of the adorable couple. “Perfect!”
When they arrived at the airport they got their luggage and then ordered an Uber to the hotel they were staying at. When they got checked in and went up to their rooms, they split up. They had four rooms. The first room was Elli and Judah’s connected by a bathroom to Mooska’s room. The next room was for Katie and Caleb connected to Claire and Haygan’s. They were all so exhausted that they immediately went to bed. The next day the jetlag kicked in and a bottle of Ibuprofen was passed around all 7 of them.
“Are we just going to stay in today?” Claire asked them all at breakfast. “I honestly want to. I’m so exhausted and I do not feel good.” Judah replied. The rest agreed. “Ok. So, what should we do?” “We could play board games?” Suggested Katie. “Alright. That works.” So they all started voting on what to play first and agreed to play Risk then Catan then The Resistance and then Clue. When they all finished all of the games and more, it had still only been under 5 hours. “Ughhhh!” Exclaimed Mooska. “It’s barely been any time.” “Yeah.” agreed Elli and Haygan. “Well, I’m open to ideas,” Claire said. They were all silent. “Well, it’s only 4:00 pm, so it’s not too late or too early to play Truth or Truth,” Elli stated. “Alright, I’m down,” Caleb responded. “Yeah, me too.” Said Judah. “Alright let’s do it.” Said Haygan. For a while, the 7 took turns playing Truth or Truth. A game like Truth or Dare but only truths. It is an intimidating game however since you have to answer the answer every time in front of everyone that you are playing with. Neither do you have the choice to chicken out and do a dare instead.
An hour later, bored, they stopped playing. “Let’s go get dinner.” Said Judah. “I could eat.” Replied Caleb. A chorus of “Me too!” rang out. They went down to the restaurant, The Bistro, which was connected to their hotel. After they ate they went back to their hotel rooms to settle down for the night. That night Caleb, Katie, Claire, and Haygan were watching T.V. in Katie and Caleb’s room. Claire and Haygan decided to turn in early. When they said goodnight Katie caught Claire’s attention and raised a single eyebrow. Claire smiled mischievously and nodded her head once. Katie’s mouth opened wide and her eyes widened. Claire laughed and then followed Haygan into their shared room and closed the door. There was a click as Claire locked it. Caleb looked at Katie and from her expression and where she was staring realized what was going on. “Let’s go Haygan!” He shouted silently. “Thanks, man!” Came the response. Katie playfully swatted Caleb’s arm. “Caleb!” She exclaimed. He just laughed and she soon joined in.
The next day all of them decided to look around town. While the girls were looking around in shops Haygan and Caleb dropped back and went into a jewelry store. They didn’t come out empty-handed. “What is that?” Judah asked Haygan suspiciously. “Oh, nothing. You’ll find out soon.” “Hmmph.” Haygan quickly put what he bought in his back pocket then caught up to Claire and grabbed her hand. She smiled at him then lead him into a new shop.
That night when they went to bed Claire heard scratching at the door that led to the hallway. She tried to ignore it and go back to sleep. She turned over to face Haygan and smiled. He was fast asleep. I’m completely fine it’s nothing but my imagination. She thought to herself. Then she sighed. As she did however she was suddenly gagged with a piece of fabric from someone behind her. She screamed through her gag and kicked at her attacker fighting against him. Haygan woke up to Claire being dragged out of the door by a man garbed in black. “Claire!!” Haygan shouted he dashed into Caleb and Katie’s room and grabbed Caleb. “What is it?!” Caleb asked him. “What happened Haygan?!” “They took Claire we have to go get her back!” “You guys go,” Katie said. “I’ll wake up the others and tell them what’s going on.” “Ok,” said Caleb and kissed her. Then he addressed Haygan. “Let’s go!”
The two boys got outside only to see a shiny black car pull out of the parking lot and drive off as fast as possible. They got into their rental car and raced after the car that Claire was captured in. They chased the car down to the side of a ravine where they saw a man and a woman. The woman was dragging Claire out of the car while the man was securing a harness so that they could climb down the cliff. (It always has to have a cliff doesn’t it?) “STOP!” Yelled Haygan. Both turned around and were first shocked, then they became angry. The man that had been securing the harness ran at Caleb. With a savage yell, they seized each other and tumbled to the ground shouting.
Meanwhile, Haygan went after the woman holding Claire. She held Claire in a deadly embrace. “If you come any closer, I’ll kill her!” She shouted. Haygan replied in a calm voice: “Just hang on. Don’t kill her just breathe. Give her back to me and we’ll forget that this happened.” “I don’t believe you! You’ll just call the police or kill me!” “No, I won’t I swear. Just give her to me and no one gets hurt.” She then paused to consider this and her grip loosened ever so slightly. That was enough for Claire. She punched her in the nose and at the same time, she elbowed her in her ribs. The woman staggered back clutching at her side and her nose and howling in pain. Two of her ribs were broken as was her nose from which blood was now streaming.
They all turned as they heard a crow of victory. Behind them was Caleb standing over the body of the man. He then called 119 (the 911 number in the Maldives.) and told them where they were and what was going on. Haygan took the gag out of Claire’s mouth and then untied her. They embraced and he kissed her fiercely upon the mouth. “I’m so glad that you’re alright.” He said. “Of course I am just a little shaken up is all.” She replied. Then Caleb spoke up. “Let’s get out of here.” “Alright.” Said Claire. “You stay right there until the authorities get here,” Haygan said to the woman who was still kneeling on the ground clutching at her wounds and growling like a feral dog. “Although, I doubt you could get far in your condition.” He added.
They then got into their rental car and started it up. Caleb got into the back and allowed the couple to sit up front together. Before Haygan closed his door he saw something running towards the car in his review mirror. He then realized that the injured woman was going to push the car. He grabbed Claire and threw her out his open door seconds before the woman crashed into the side of the car. In the few seconds that followed Haygan smiled a sad smile at Claire and mouthed ‘I love you’ before the car went tumbling over the edge of the ravine. “NOOOOOO!!!!!!!” She screamed. It was such a loud shout that her voice broke. She held her hand against her neck as she coughed up fresh blood from her throat. She then burst into tears. Haygan was gone and she would never see him again. She was distraught beyond reason.
She looked over to her right only to see the woman laying on her stomach dead. Pushing the car had taken the rest of her strength and when she hit the car, one of her broken ribs punctured her lung killing her instantly. Good riddance! Claire thought. Then: It’s all my fault. If I had only looked behind myself instead of trying to convince myself that it was my imagination, then maybe Haygan would still be alive and well next to me right now! She started crying with renewed vigor.
Five minutes passed and then the authorities showed up. They questioned Claire until she couldn’t take it anymore and fell silent. They examined the two bodies first of the man and then of the woman. They then secured their own harness and started repelling down into the ravine. Claire finally pushed herself enough to look over the side of the cliff. Lying at the bottom of the ravine was the rental car broken and totaled far beyond fixing. Claire gasped and covered her mouth as she beheld the sight. The police looked around and wrote down some notes and then taped off the area. They walkie-talkied to an officer next to Claire. He then relayed to her what they had told him. The boys’ bodies are nowhere to be found. Claire’s eyes widened and she asked where they were. The officer was slow to respond but when he did he said: “They found blood in the car and around it, as well as footsteps leading away from the car. Two different tracks. Someone took them. According to our detective, the footsteps belong to two men who were stable and un-hurt. They couldn’t have belonged to the boys whose footsteps would have been blood-splattered and un-even like a drunken fool’s.” “Well, what are we supposed to do?! Just wait here?! Do something!!” “I can’t ma’am. We just have to hope for the best and hope that it was nice people who took your friends.” Claire didn’t say anything just walked away.
Another officer arranged for a car to bring her back to the hotel. When she got there everyone was wondering what was going on. So, she explained the whole story to them in mono-tone. She didn’t wish to feel the hurt right then as she recounted all of the details to her awaiting and curious friends. Katie started crying and there were gasps among the rest of them. Miserable as all of them were they arranged to go back home to Idaho. There was nothing that they could do there and the police had assured them that they would keep them up-to-date with the investigation.
The soonest time that they could get home was another week. So they waited for the time to come around. When the day finally came around for the five to go home they were so relieved. At this point, they had had a week to ponder all of the tragedies that had occurred and they were all a bit deranged. They flew home and all drove to their own houses. When Claire and Katie got home they immediately grabbed their pets and sat down on the couch. Then they both started to cry hystCalebally for the losses they had been dealt.
About 2 days after they left, Claire started feeling sick. She thought that it was just her depression over Haygan’s fate and the fact that she hadn’t been eating much for the same reason. When the pains continued, a thought came to her mind. She quickly rushed to the nearest pharmaceutical store and when she had gotten what she went there for went back to her house. When she got back she quickly rushed into the bathroom. Just as she had thought, it came back positive. She was pregnant! That explained why her monthly cycle had been late that month! She couldn’t believe it. She was going to be a mom! And Haygan’s going to be a father. Wherever he is. She thought to herself. She refused to believe that he was dead. She quickly rushed out of the bathroom to tell Katie what she had discovered. Katie was almost as happy as Claire was. “We could use a baby around the house to cheer us up,” Katie said her voice horse from crying. “Yes. We could.” Claire responded. Then the girls hugged each other and went to their rooms where they eventually cried themselves to sleep. Buuuuut, that is probably another story… Or is it….?!;)
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