Then six months passed by with no particularly out of the ordinary experiences. I went to my job and he never knew I was gone. I didn’t see Jay, Jade or any of my other acquaintances in all my adventures outside of my apartment. I even went to the square to look there but no one was to be found. Everything seemed to be back to normal like nothing ever happened. The only new thing was I constantly felt like I was being watched. I got the eerie eyes on the back of my head feeling that made the hairs on my neck stand on end. I couldn’t shake that feeling since the day I last saw that thug. It made me feel uneasy but I was sure I was just being paranoid.
I even went out at least biweekly to try and follow the roads that Jay told me about. I did my usual routine of roaming with my iPod in, not thinking about where I was going. But still, nothing new came up. The only thing that made me think it was real is I saw that symbol done in graffiti on several walls. I also saw several other symbols that seemed to be the same type of symbol, just with different shapes. It drove my mind crazy trying to think about what these symbols could be.
I then remembered that many gangs use graffiti to mark their territory. I thought that might be what the symbols were for. It did seem like Jay was a drug dealer so maybe the triangular symbol marked where he and his “crew” sold their drugs. Then again maybe I was over thinking it. Or under thinking it. Turns out the latter is true.
About six months and some odd days was the next time I got any word from the strange group of individuals that I almost forgot about. It was Jade who came again to my door but she waited until I was about to leave to make contact. I was going to go to the store to grab some things when I opened my door and Jade almost appeared inside my room. She pushed me back and closed the door behind her. I was in such shock that I didn’t realize who it was until she spoke.
“You can’t leave Io,” the stern look in her eyes made me know she was serious. I had no idea what was going on. I pleaded with her for more information but all she would give me was “You can’t leave, it isn’t safe.”
I wasn’t going to stay in again that easy. I had just gotten used my to normal life yet again and was not letting her ruin that for me. I protested saying I wasn’t involved in her nonsense. She was nuts and I could handle myself. “Either I’ll kill you right now myself or you can stay here and save your life for another day.” Before I could protest she was out the door and I heard the locks sliding shut. But they weren’t any of my locks. She must have put some sort of lock on the outside before she came in. I was stuck whether I wanted to be or not.
I had no idea what to think of any of this. Nothing had happened for 6 months and now all of the sudden she was threatening to kill me. I don’t know what I did to deserve this. I don’t know who else would want to kill me. Was it those thugs that beat up Jay? Or was it more of those Africans that Dani had protected me from? I was just so confused and had a whole new level of feeling helpless. I almost had no control over my life. There were people who actually wanted to kill me. Me, the girl that no one pays attention to.
I kept trying my door hoping that someone may have undone the lock for the next 3 days. Anytime I heard someone outside I pounded on my door, but no one came by. I was stuck and running out of food. I hadn’t planned on having to survive for an extended period of time on what food I had here.
Then I heard a quick three knocks on my door and the latch turning. I quickly grabbed a knife to arm myself remembering that last time Jade was here, she told me she would kill me. It wasn’t Jade that entered though, it was Jay. Carrying what seemed like 10 grocery bags. He flashed that charming smile at me and diffused any tension I felt. He placed the groceries on the counter and began putting everything away. He then began talking to me over his shoulder as he moved across the kitchen “So how has it been I haven’t seen you lately?”
How has it been? Just like that? It’s been six months and you want to know how it’s going? I could not believe his nerve. I had so many unanswered questions. I asked him if it was safe for me to leave. I figured that was a good place to start.
“Not yet it isn’t. I’m sorry but it really is for your safety.”
So why isn’t it safe? And what were those packets and papers that you took from me?
“I can’t talk about that. I have to go but if you need anything call this number,” he put a piece of paper down on the counter and walked out the door and I heard the lock slide shut again.
Another thousand thoughts ran through my mind. The visit had only given me more questions than answers. I wanted to know what sort of trouble was on the outside. What that trouble had to do with me. I read the number that Jay had left and I didn’t recognize it at all. I tried to look it up on my computer but it didn’t say it was registered anywhere. I then committed the number to memory and began looking through the groceries that Jay brought. I had enough food to last me for awhile. I guess I was stuck here yet again.
Then two weeks passed until the next noise I heard at my door. It was a faint knock on my door and I heard someone struggle to unlock the door. I went and opened my door and saw a body slumped against the wall. The face was disfigured with lacerations and bruises. Both eyes were swollen up and one ear was ripped off. There was a huge open wound right at the top of their abdomen and his intestines were partially hanging out. I heard him give a slow moan that sounded like Io and I realized that it was Jay.
I brought him into my room and grabbed the first aid pack and the phone. I guess it was time to call that number.