“Why are you doing this, Jim?” Anna asked. “You know nothing more than what Dave told you, please, just give me a chance to explain,” she pleaded with him.
“I don’t need to know anything, Anna. Dave is my buddy and I am sure he has a very good reason for whatever he is doing!” Jim retorted.
“Ninnie…. what… what’s going on? Why is Dave after you?” Liz asked
“Shut up! And hand me all your cell phones” Jim barked at them. He collected 3 cell phones and pocketed them.
“OK, how many rooms in this house? Hmm let’s see,” he said as he let his eyes wander around the house.
“Come on, now! Move it!” he pointed the gun at them and ordered them to walk. John put one of his arms around Liz and the other around Anna and coerced them to listen to Jim and move.
“He has a gun, Ninnie…we don’t want to provoke him into using it, just listen to him for now, we can figure something out,” he whispered into Anna’s ears as they started to move.
Jim pushed them into the powder room that was situated by the hall and locked the door from outside. Anna banged on the door asking for Josh. When Jim did not answer, she fell onto the floor and started sobbing. John and Liz hugged their daughter and rocked her in an attempt to calm her trembling body.
“Ninnie…you need to be strong, you cannot give up, not at this moment! We don’t know what has gone wrong, but now we know enough to understand that this is what you were running from. You have come this far; you cannot give up now. Do you hear me, Ninnie? You cannot give up now, you need to be strong!” Liz said to a broken Anna.
“How mom? What can I do now? Dave will be here any minute! And Josh, Josh is out there, how can I even get to him?”
Just then they heard Josh crying from the other room, Anna rushed to the door and started banging on it calling out to Jim.
“Jim…. Jim… my baby is awake, he is on the bed… he’s hungry… please please please open the door! I need to feed him, Jim, open the door!” she yelled.
Anna heard the sound of the key being pushed into the lock, Jim opened the door just enough for Anna to come out and quickly closed it shut. He pointed the gun at her and asked her to walk towards the room where the baby’s cries were coming from. He entered the room first and made sure there were no landline phones she could use, after he ensured that there was no way for her to escape he allowed Anna to pick up the baby.
“He needs a diaper change and feeding,” Anna said picking up Josh.
“OK, do whatever and keep that baby quiet. It’s starting to annoy me now!”
“All his things are in the baby bag that I left on the kitchen counter, I will have to go get it”
“No! You stay here, I will bring the bag,” Jim said as he closed the door on Anna and Josh before heading to the kitchen. He returned to the bedroom with the baby’s bag. Anna took the bag from him and got to work changing Josh’s diaper. Jim, once again, left the bedroom and closed the door on them.
Dave picked up his sole suitcase from the baggage of Chicago’s O’Hare airport. He dialed Jim’s number as he walked out.
“Dave, my man! Everything’s per plan,” replied Jim
“Good! Where are we meeting?”
“The old warehouse at the end of the street near my place. I will text you the address. Do you want delivery of both items or only the smaller one now?”
“Both! Deliver both items at the same time, I am heading to the warehouse,” Dave said before ending the call.
Dave let a grin play on his face, he was starting to feel better, his sense of betrayal being replaced with the feeling of being closer to his conquest. In a while, Anna would be in front of him, helpless, begging for Josh’s and her life. Once again, he would have the power over her, to make her do everything he wanted!
Anna listened to Jim’s end of the conversation from behind the door. She froze as she figured it was Dave that Jim was talking to, and by ‘delivering the items’ he probably meant delivering Josh and her to Dave. She could not hear Dave’s end of the conversation, so she did not know if Jim was planning to take both Josh and her or just her or worse only Josh, to Dave! She felt her body go cold and she started to tremble. She did not know what to do, how was she going to get away from this?
As Anna was coming out of the powder room to attend to Josh, her father had whispered something into her ears. She realized that now, but in her panic, she hadn’t paid attention to what it was that he was telling her. She desperately tried to remember what he had told her. She knew it would have to be a vital piece of information if her father had taken the risk of telling her that while Jim held them at gunpoint. But try as she might, she was unable to recall it. Her fear had paralyzed her and it was blocking any rational thought from entering her mind. She would have to calm down and recall it before Jim comes back.
Anna tried to calm herself down, she looked at Josh who was busy sucking from his bottle. Watching her son gave Anna the tenacity she needed. She continued to concentrate and replayed the scene in her mind. Just as she started to comprehend the words her father had whispered into her ears, she heard Jim walking towards the room calling out to her.
“It’s time to go, sister!”
[This story is the 8th part of the One Summer Day Novelette. Click HERE to find the Parts 1 – 7 of this tale].
[Photo – Caleb Ekeroth – Unsplash.com]