Unbound the pentagon gro.., p.19

Unbound: The Pentagon Group, Book 2, page 19

 

Unbound: The Pentagon Group, Book 2
 



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  “So what, Carson. Maybe, I want him to paw me. At least I know he only wants me for my body. I’m all out of other things to take.” I responded. Carson shook his head.

  “You’re not going to degrade yourself like this because you’re heartbroken. This is not you.”

  “I don’t know who I am anymore. I thought I knew.” I said.

  “I think it’s time to go home.”

  “No. I can’t do that to my friends. Get me some food and water. I’ll be good.” Carson left me to go to the buffet line to get me something to eat. A plate filled with finger foods and cut veggies hit the spot. I drank water for the rest of the night and danced more reservedly with my friends.

  When the party started to dwindle before midnight, I bid my goodbyes to my guests. I thanked Chelsea and Keta for their friendship and support. Carson walked me outside and stayed with me while I hailed a cab.

  “Are you okay to go home?”

  “Yep. I’m better.” He looked at me with concern.

  “Really, I’m good.”

  “You can always stay at my place.”

  I shook my head aggressively. I refused to stay at his place. I was there more these past few weeks than I had been prior to dating Matt. I love Carson and Turner, but they were a couple, and needed their space. “No. Go home to your fiancé. He’s been working tirelessly for me, and he needs some love and attention from you.” I hugged Carson, and entered the cab which stopped to take my fare.

  As hard as I tried to stay awake, my lids closed as I watched the passing landscape. I startled awake when the cab hit a bump in the road. Peering around to determine where I was, I slowly realized I wasn’t anywhere near home. I pulled the cell phone from my purse and checked the time. It was after one in the morning. I should’ve been home twenty minutes ago. I looked at the meter. The meter was running at over fifty dollars, which was not the normal fare. I tapped on the glass partition.

  “Hey, where are we?” I yelled out to the driver. He didn’t respond. I could see him look at me through his rear view mirror. Even through the darkness within the cab and the night sky partially illuminated by the street lights, I could see the darkness of his sunken eyes. I started to panic. Looking around for a sign of my location, I determined we were on the highway going north. We didn’t need to travel the highway to get home. It wasn’t a faster route for him to take me to Charlestown from the Pub. I didn’t want to panic. I didn’t want to think the cabbie had made an intentional detour.

  “Are you lost? I gave you a Charlestown address. We didn’t need the highway. Please get out at the next exit.” I pleaded. I looked around to the other lanes. There were few cars around on a Friday night going away from Boston, but plenty of cars were driving south into Boston. There was no acknowledgment from the cabbie. No turning of his head to look me directly in the face. He kept still, driving forward on the highway.

  He was going the speed limit on the highway, and I couldn’t open the door and jump out. I put my hand on the handle to see if I could exit the vehicle through the door, if we’d ever reached a stop. I pulled on the handle and the lock didn’t open or budge. I wondered if it was child locked, or if it was a mechanical, safety component of the car while the car was in drive. I pressed the button to lower the window. I couldn’t lower the window on the right side, nor on the left. No matter what the reason for the mechanical failures in the backseat, I needed to find a way to escape the cab.

  I dialed Carson’s phone number. After pressing ‘send’, I expected my phone to dial his line. There was no dial tone. I turned the phone off, knowing precious seconds were being wasted by turning off and turning on my phone. I turned the phone on, and dialed ‘911’. As I pressed ‘send’, I made a silent prayer to a higher power to protect me and bring me home safely. I waited to hear the dial tone, but yet again there wasn’t one. Despite having basic service, my phone would’ve at least provided me the opportunity to make an emergency response call. This was no out of the ordinary event. I knew in that moment I was being kidnapped.

  *****

  For a split second, I felt there was no hope. I was done for. I tried another call to the police. My phone was as good as dead despite having enough battery power. I tried to send a text to Carson telling him I was being held captive in the cab and didn’t know where I was going. I received a message my text was ‘undeliverable’.

  “Hey.” I punched the partition. “Where are you taking me?” He didn’t respond. I knew he wouldn’t. I finally lost my shit and started flaying wildly, hitting the windows. I composed myself for a moment when I hurt the side of my hand by pounding on the thick, glass. My breath was ragged. I was getting tired. The anxiety coursed through my body. I noted he was signaling to exit the highway, I had no idea where he was taking me, but I knew I had to get out of the car before it was too late.

  I looked in my purse for something I could use as a weapon. Once he slowed down enough, I would run and having the weapon in hand would protect me, in case he attacked me. I dug through pockets, cursing myself for having a large disorganized purse. In one of the small compartments, I found the small multi-tool compact knife my father had bought me and my sisters one Christmas. He told me as a young single woman, I needed to have protection and an all-in-one hand tool fit the bill. I remembered I read the instructions cover to cover because I’d had a hard time closing the tools after I’d opened them. This one also had a metallic hammer on the corner of the tool.

  As the daughter of a mechanic, my father taught us all how to drive. He also taught us ‘safe driving’ tips in all sorts of conditions. One of the conditions was being trapped in a car after a crash or when submerging in water. He taught us to hit the inside corner of the window where the pane was weakest. Once shattered, he told us to kick hard to release the window from the window frame of the door.

  I took my tool and started hitting furiously at the corner. After many hits, the window cracked. I turned my body and started kicking the window with both feet. The window hadn’t completely broken or released from the frame. Because my captor hit the brakes, I swayed off the seat, falling into the well of the car. I readjusted myself on the seat and gave one last kick, breaking the window and pushing it out. I tried to steady myself as the cab accelerated again. I couldn’t jump out of a moving vehicle. I stayed on my hands and knees, at the ready to jump out whenever the car slowed down enough to reduce the damage to my body.

  I looked around to see if there was a car near us. There was a black car riding behind us. I stuck my hand out and waved furiously, hoping the driver of the car would interpret my waving as a cry for help. The cabbie accelerated even faster. The momentum of the acceleration rammed me to the side of the window frame, hurting my ribs in the process. The blow was horrible. I pulled myself into the backseat, trying to regain my breath. I was winded. I felt the car slow down slightly. I looked up and saw the signal light had turned yellow and was about to turn red. I thought if he stopped, I could jump out. However, the cabbie slowed down enough to see if other cars were moving in the opposite direction. When he ascertained there were no other cars, he accelerated and ran through the red light. ‘I’m fucked’, I cried.

  *****

  I felt a blow from behind. The force propelled me forward and my body slammed into the partition of the cab. I hit my head and blacked out for a split second. ‘I can’t pass out.’ I warned myself. I took deep breaths despite the hard pounding of my heart. I looked around, trying to sit up onto the bench seating. I was wedged in between the partition and the seat. I turned my body and pulled myself out of the flooring, realizing I had very little room to move. Glass was everywhere in the backseat. The force of the impact shattered the back window and fragments of the tempered glass littered the backseat.

  Slowly, I moved my arm toward the door, pulling the handle. It wouldn’t budge, as I confirmed before. I didn’t realize someone was talking to me. I would never know if it was the blow and crash into the partitions which temporarily deafened me
or the fact my brain was focused on getting my physical body out of the car and I ignored the person.

  I saw a very tall, muscular, African American male standing before me. “Miss, are you okay?” He asked in a loud deep voice.

  “What?” I asked when I collected myself.

  “Are you alright?” He repeated.

  “I don’t know.” I said.

  I looked ahead of me and didn’t see the cabbie in his seat. I didn’t know if he exited the car or was laying injured.

  “Did we crash?” I needed to confirm.

  “I saw you waving in distress. I crashed into you to stop him. He kept accelerating even though I was signaling for him to stop. Are you hurt?” He asked loudly.

  “Maybe, I really can’t tell you.” At the moment, my thoughts went to Matt. If we were together, I could call him and he could pick me up and examine me. I shook my head, trying to put the pieces into place.

  “I need to get home. He was supposed to take me home.” I said.

  “Where’s home?”

  “Charlestown?”

  “Wow, you’re far from there. We’re in Topsfield.”

  My brain couldn’t register the distance the cabbie drove me away from my home. “Do you know him?” The big man asked.

  “No. I just took his cab.”

  “I’ve called the police, and because we’ve crashed they’ll probably send an ambulance.” He informed. Just as he finished, a siren blared in the background. One of the two emergency response services was arriving at the scene.

  “I’ve got to get out of here.” I pleaded.

  “I tried the handle and it won’t budge. I don’t want you to climb out. You may be more hurt than we know and I don’t want you to suffer any more damage. You stay right there.” He warned.

  “Please don’t leave me alone here. Please.”

  “I won’t I’m going to stay close, but I want them to see us, okay?”

  “I nodded.” I closed my eyes to get some rest. Suddenly I was drained of all remaining energy. I was physically crashing from the adrenalin wearing off. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I felt myself fading into oblivion.

  *****

  Once again, I heard a voice asking me questions. A lot of activity was around me. I caught some mumbled conversations, sounds of white noise and radio banter, and then I felt the poking and prodding. I forced myself to wake up.

  My body was held down by heavy blankets. I felt my arm being squeezed, I squinted to regain focus in my vision and distinguish an image. I saw a female paramedic tending to my vitals. She was taking my blood pressure. “Perla, we’re taking you to the hospital. You were in a crash, and you passed out. You’re okay, but we need to have a doctor check you out.” She informed loudly. I nodded.

  My mouth was dry, but I asked, “There was a man who saved me. A big man. Is he okay?”

  “Yes. He said he will go to the hospital to make sure you’re okay.” The EMT informed.

  I smiled knowing he was safe. We arrived at the emergency room. I didn’t know what town or which hospital. My head ached. My entire body hurt, and I was exhausted. A female voice asked me questions, and I tried to answer, but I couldn’t respond; only grunts and moans.

  The poking and prodding continued. I knew I was still alive because of the incessant touching and conversations, but my eyes were closed. I was so tired and the headache caused me to drift in and out of consciousness. I woke up hours later, hooked up to monitors and an IV. After years of hospital visits and stays with my mother, I instantly sought out the call button for the nurse. With one eye open, I saw where to press for the nurse and pushed down.

  The nurse came in almost instantly. “You’re awake.” She chirped. “I’m Leslie. I’ll be your nurse for the next few hours.” I sighed; thankful I would be released in a few hours.

  “Your doctor will be in to check on you soon. How are you feeling?” She asked. I cleared my throat by coughing and trying to swallow the little saliva I could manage to create. My throat was hoarse and dry. She held a cup of water with a straw to my lips and I dragged several sips.

  “Are you in pain?” She asked.

  “Yes. My head hurts and my side.” I pointed to my ribcage where I hit against the window frame of the car door.

  “You’re not due for another dose of medication for an hour, but I will check with the doctor and get his permission to push it up. Okay?” I nodded.

  “Won’t I be discharged in a few hours?” I asked.

  “I’ll let the doctor talk to you. I’ll send him in as soon as I page him.” She smiled. “You rest and I’ll check on you soon.” She walked out of the room. I looked around. It appeared I was in a private room, and no longer in the emergency room bed. I sighed. The hospital bed was uncomfortable. I didn’t have the strength to turn. Pressing the button, I rose up the head of the bed and adjusted the foot to bend at my knees. I was able to sit and adjust myself until I was comfortable. My clothes were removed and a hospital gown replaced my dress. I knew my bra and underwear were off too.

  Turning on the television would give me something to focus on, or I would’ve had a panic attack waiting for the doctor to give me an update on my medical status. The ticker on the news channel said the time was a little after seven in the morning. I calculated I’d been at the hospital over five hours.

  A knock on the door pulled me from my thoughts. Without responding, the door opened and the doctor entered. I held my breath, hoping it wouldn’t be another extremely gorgeous man tending to my medical issues. I was safe when I saw an older doctor surrounded by two younger people wearing scrubs.

  “Ms. Mercurio. I’m Dr. Baylis. These are my interns. This is a teaching hospital and they’re observing. You came in after a car crash. How are you feeling?” Dr. Baylis asked. I explained about my head and rib pain.

  “You didn’t break anything. The emergency room doctor had you x-rayed after we observed you had a bruise on your rib. You were quite out of it and couldn’t answer any questions. We did a CT scan, and you have a concussion, but nothing too serious. We want to keep you overnight for observation because of the way you’ve been going in and out of consciousness. We’ll monitor you to make sure there is nothing more. Do you have any questions?” He asked. I was still reeling from the fact I would have to stay another day. However, he was the expert and knew best.

  “No questions. I do need to contact my friends and let them know I’m here.”

  “Of course. I will have the nurse help you with your things. She will also bring you some pain medicine, which I’ve approved for her to give you sooner than later.” He smiled, and patted my hand. I winced at the touch of my hand where the intravenous drip was inserted.

  I thanked him and all three exited the room. Despite the pain in my head, I wanted to slam my head against the mattress, but it wouldn’t help with my healing. I pressed the call button for the nurse.

  “Can I help you?” A voice sounded over the intercom.

  “I need help retrieving my phone. I need to call family and friends to tell them I’m here.”

  “Someone will be right in.” The voice crackled over the speaker.

  Minutes later, Leslie returned to my room. “I have your medicine, Perla.” She handed me a cup containing pills and my cup of water. I took the pills and washed it down with a large sip of water.

  “Can you get me my phone? It may be in my purse. I don’t know where my things are.”

  “Yes. It’s in this closet.” She walked to the closet and retrieved my purse. I dug inside the large bag and found my phone. I prayed I had enough power to at least retrieve a few numbers, so I could use the landline.

  “What hospital am I in?” I asked. She informed me I was at North Shore Hospital. She handed me a document and pointed out the address. My head swirled, looking at all the words. I was in a fog. I mustered through it, and I found Chelsea’s phone number. I would’ve called Carson, but I was starting to feel like I’d replaced Matt with Carson and Turner. They
d become my surrogate boyfriends without the benefits.

  I dialed Chelsea’s number, restraining the sobs threatening to burst forth. When Chelsea answered, I blew out a sigh of relief.

  “Hi sweetie. What’s up?”

  “I’m sorry to call you this early. I’m at North Shore Hospital. I was in a car accident last night. I just wanted to tell you I was here and I should be going home tomorrow. I’m wondering if you could pick me up tomorrow. I don’t want to take a cab home.” I lightly sobbed. Thinking of the cab ride I took which left me in this predicament.

  “Oh my God, Perla. I’m on my way.”

  “No. No. I’m fine . . .”

  “Give me an hour, and I’ll be there. Is there anyone you want me to call?” Chelsea asked. I sobbed.

  “No.” I said with a quivering voice. I gave her the address, and hung up the phone.

  Just the act of calling Chelz exhausted me. I lowered the bed to take a nap. I turned onto the side that wasn’t in immense pain and fell asleep. I woke up to soothing strokes on my blanketed arm.

  “Perla, I’m here, sweetie.” Chelsea said softly. I squinted until my eyes adjusted to the light.

  “Hi, lovey.” I croaked. Tears welled in her eyes. “Don’t cry.” I gently scolded.

  “You hate hospitals and doctors, and look at you here. You’re bruised and scratched.”

  “Thanks for the reminder.” I readjusted, pain shooting in my side. I yelped.

  “Stop moving.”

  “I have to. I’m uncomfortable anywhere I turn. I was thrown around in the car.”

  “What happened? How did you turn up here, so far from home?” She asked. I explained everything in great detail. She gasped at the appropriate moments; cheered at my ingenuity; and cried at the details of my physical pain.

 

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