I stood there in the street, blankly staring at people I don’t recognise. Quietly watching as mothers shoo their kids along, shielding them from the spectacle that is me. I’m pretty sure if I was in their shoes I would do the same. I mean, I’m not wearing shoes, I’m dirty, covered in dried blood and dirt; I must look like a desperate homeless person.
It’s been a month since I’ve seen my family, my friends, and I don’t even know where I am right now. I think, judging from the accents, I’m somewhere in France, the architecture also lends itself to that theory. I’m shivering, wearing only a basic cotton summer dress in what feels like winter…the same dress I’ve worn since the day I was taken.
My mind isn’t even thinking straight. I need to think logically, so I tell myself to calm down. You’re in a foreign country, you’ve just escaped from an organisation that probably have people within law enforcement and are being funded by the government. You don’t know how to speak the language, and you have no money or documents, what do you do?
Well, for one thing you don’t stop and stand around like you’re doing right now, and you need to stop referring to yourself in the third person. God, why do I always do that?
I’m going to head to the consulate, I decide. Surely they will help me if I explain who I am…they could look me up on some national database. They can do that right? Take my prints or something? I need to find someone who can point me in the right direction.
I walk up to the first person who doesn’t head in the opposite direction at the site of me, “Please, do you speak English? Uhhh, s’il vous plaît? Anglais? S’il vous plaît?” The man just shakes his head, so I move on, I don’t have much time.
The next two are the same, but then I get to a fourth person, a man, and start to speak the same broken French, but he puts his hand up and says, “Whoa, calm down, calm down.” He’s young, probably around my age and from Texas I think, “Slow down and tell me what’s wrong. Are you alright?”
I audibly laughed a little and sighed, I can’t believe I found someone who speaks English and actually wants to help me, “Hi. Thank you so much for stopping and talking to me, you won’t believe how hard it is to find someone willing to talk to you when you look like I do right now. Anyway, a month ago I was abducted while I was on holiday in Las Vegas. They drugged me and strapped to a chair in a room…they did experiments on me. They’re well connected and powerful. I managed to get away but then I realised I wasn’t in America, and I ran for a few hours, ended up here, and now I need you to please, please, help me find the American consulate. Will you help me? God, please say yes.”
He stayed quiet for a moment, studying me, “Yeah, okay, I’ll help you,” He takes off his jacket and puts it over my shoulders before pulling out his phone, “I think the consulate is…yeah, see it’s not too far from here.” He looks up and at some street signs, to find a sense of direction I guess, he looks back at me, “I think it’s this way.”
I follow him a few steps, and then he says, “Not to be dramatic or anything, but you said the people that took you are powerful, right? Well then, how did you escape without them following you? Because there are about five guys back there watching from a safe distance.”
I look over my shoulder, and then I saw them, blending into the crowd.I turn my head back around, but make sure I don’t pick up the pace or make any sudden movements to make them realise I’ve noticed them.
I scald myself, “I shouldn’t have stopped there for so long, it wasn’t safe. Now they’ve caught up to me. Shit. That was a stupid move.”
He puts his arm around me, I guess to make us look less conspicuous, “After this corner, there’s a metro, we’ll be able to lose them in there, and then run through to the other exit that comes up right near the consulate.”
I nod, and as we turn the corner I ask, “Why are you helping me with pretty much no questions asked?”
“Because,” He starts, “My sister was taken by the same people. They killed her. I’m not going to let the same happen to you.”
Two guys come up the metro stairs, and the Texan pulls out a gun and shoots them both, he looks at me and says, “Run.”
By Naomi Eleanor