“I was ghosting you last night because I was with someone else.” I said as I frowned, looking up at the hidden face hovering over me. I didn’t want to say it. I felt so bad, but Kayla knows I love her and that I’d never say such a thing… unless I was held against my will to do so. I couldn’t hear her voice through the speaker of my phone very clearly as my hand wouldn’t stop shaking. The dark, cold environment of the room wasn’t helping my terrified feeling either. I couldn’t steady my hand, considering the other one was tied to the back of my seat, so I brought the phone as close to my ear as I could, in hopes of hearing my girlfriend’s words. The only sound I could make out was her quiet sobbing. “I’m sorry, Kayla” I told her.

“Whatever, Joey. Just go have fun with your new side he.”

She cried as she ended the call. My phone was snatched from me the second she hung up, while my free arm was immediately forced back behind my chair. The unidentifiable person took it to the window and tossed it out. The faint splash made me realize that my phone must now be under water. Great. I kept trying and trying to wiggle myself free from the tight ropes around my body, but they were tied so tight that my squirming only formed painful rope burns on my arms and legs. “Stay still!” The person shouted. “Or else I’ll tie those ropes tighter.” This made me lose hope even more. The voice sounded sharp, snappy, and high-pitched. Almost recognizable, but not quite because of the thick mask covering their entire face. I watched their shadow come closer to me, analyzing the way they carry themselves. They then turned and went into the corner of the room to flick on the lights. First time I had seen light in about 15 hours! I continued to examine them to see if I could find any sign of familiarity. I watched the beat of their steps and the sway of their arms as they walked back toward me. I knew that walk. I knew that body and I knew that voice. Standing before me was a short, skinny girl with straight black hair sticking out from under her disguise. As soon as I saw her pointed, dark red acrylic nails, I immediately knew it was Audrey. She ripped her mask off of her head and looked into my eyes with anger. “Are you insane!?” I shouted at her. “Obviously, Joey,” She snapped back. “You should know that by now.” She stomped towards me and stopped in between my legs, taking her small hand and gripping my jaw so that we’re now face to face. “Why did you make me say that to Kayla? You know she’s the love of my life now.” Her grip on my face only got tighter after I said that. That pissed her off like I knew it would. “Because I was supposed to be the love of your life! Until you left me for that btch two years ago.”

She shoved my head backwards as she let go of my jaw, tipping the chair slightly and almost knocking me over. I looked at her as she started to pace the room. It almost looked like she was looking for something. Something to hurt me with. She wouldn’t stop mumbling to herself as her head was scanning every inch of the area. “Dammit!” She shouted. “I swear to god if you move a muscle.” Staring me down, she walked backwards down the stairs into a lower level of the house. My assumption was that she went down there to find the perfect torture tool for me, so I ignored her words and took the opportunity to try and free myself.

I didn’t care how severe the rope burns were going to be; getting back to Kayla mattered more than my health in the moment. After Audrey shut the door to the room, which I assumed was an attic by looking around, I fought with all my energy to get my right hand to my pocket where my Swiss Army Knife was because I knew it was my only hope. After five minutes of pain, blood, and heavy breathing, I was finally able to get a hold of my knife. More pain shot through my arm as I bent my wrist in an unnatural direction to start sawing through the thick rope. It didn’t take too much longer before I was finally free, so I stood up and immediately went to the only window in the room. Once I was able to break the lock, I opened up the window and looked down the house to scope out how bad the jump would be. I actually got quite lucky considering there was a small pond at the bottom I could land in. If there wasn’t, I’d either be dead by murder from Audrey or dead by suicide from attempting to escape out this window. I was able to fit just enough on the windowsill for me to squat on it with all of my body weight. From there I let myself fall forward, praying that I calculated the angles right and that I’m actually going to land in the water.

My body hit the water hard. It didn’t take me long to realize that the water was only about four feet deep when my legs folded between my body and the hard rocks. So much adrenalin was running through me that I couldn’t feel the pain, so I stood up and made my way out of the water. I kept running without slowing down a bit. Audrey only lives about 20 minutes by car away from where Kayla and I live, which gave me hope that I could make it.

Finally, after however long it had been, I saw our small, gray house that I had been away from for too long. My legs were basically numb at this point, but I didn’t slow down to walk when I got up to the door. I burst through it, immediately yelling for Kayla. I needed to see her badly. I checked every part of the downstairs and couldn’t find her, so I figured she must be up in her room. Looking down at my heavy legs as I attempt to run up the stairs, I notice something on my ankle. Something black, heavy, and flashing that wrapped around it, also making a faint beeping noise. There wasn’t enough time to worry about what this was, so I ignored it and kept going. “Kayla?” I yelled out. “I’m home. Are you in your room?” Once I made it up the stairs, I walked up to her bedroom door, which was shut. “I’m sorry if you don’t want to talk to me, but I need to see you. What I said wasn’t true.” I said in a comforting tone. As I turned the handle, I could hear faint laughing coming from inside her room. “Why would she be laughing in a moment like this?” I thought.

My heart stopped when I opened the door. Kayla was laying on her bed like I thought she would be, but she was covered in blood. It was pooling out of her torso in about four different spots, drenching her entire shirt in a dark read. I was in so much shock that I couldn’t move. My eyes were glued to her dead body even though I couldn’t stand the sight anymore. The laughter kept playing in my head over and over again as I started to cry, until eventually, I realized it wasn’t in my head. It was coming from the other end of the room. Audrey stood in front of the window, with a kitchen knife in her hand and a big smile on her face.