Zoe’s story

To my dear friends far and wide,

I am turning over the pages of my blog to my niece Zoe (you can read more about the most awesome Zoe here). She wrote this elegant little story, on her phone. about the night she ran away to live the life that SHE wanted, in Hamburg. It’s beautiful. Just like her, and I am honored and humbled to share her words on my blog. Love you Zo xo

“I’ll talk to you soon!” Then, a black screen. I have to think of a strategy, a way out. Right now. My fingers hastily dial a phone number. “I can’t leave, he’s still awake downstairs.”
-”Then pretend you want to drink a glass of water. When he’s not looking, make a run for it. I”ll meet you at the school parking lot in ten minutes.” The connection breaks. Now I’m on my own. It’s up to me. My whole future depends on it. I can’t take the bag I’ve prepared with my computer. I can’t even get dressed. I have to wear my pyjamas, so I don’t seem suspicious. At least my phone fits into my pants pocket. I stuff my backpack in my closet. I don’t know why, sort of as a final goodbye, I guess. One last look and then… oh, wait. A note. I quickly scribble a few sentences on a small paper. “Don’t worry about me. I’m there where I want to be. This is the only thing I could think of to make you understand.” I slowly open my bedroom door. I jump a little as it squeaks. I’m on the third floor. I have to go all the way down to the first. From there, two doors provide my means of escape: one in the back shed and the front door (if it’s not locked). I listen for footsteps, any signs of life coming from the building. I hear none, but that doesn’t relieve me at all. I know I have to move, though I’m almost paralyzed by the endless outcomes. I could get caught and then what? Awkward conversations (or rather he talks, I listen) and even more horrible silences. I cautiously begin my descend towards whatever awaits me. I flinch every time a floorboard makes noise. Miraculously, I make it down to the first floor. So far, so good. But where is he? Slowly, I enter the kitchen in the next room where I find nothing. I’m glad I don’t have to use the glass-of-water-technique then. I’m not so sure I could have pulled that of anyway. I wonder how he would react if I tried to run in front of him. Try to grab me? Chase after me? Or just let me go? No use thinking about it, I’m not sure how much time I have until he comes back. The flush of the downstairs toilet. Oh shit! I quickly place my note on the kitchen counter and dash towards the back door situated straight through a small corridor leading from the kitchen. The front door may already be locked since it’s about 9 pm. I pray that the back door is still open. Otherwise it’ll all have been for nothing. Is he already following me? Has he seen the note? Faster, faster! I fling myself towards the door and pry open the rusty old handle. And yes, it opens to reveal a patch of muddy grass. Without hesitating I sprint across the lawn, while stretching my hand out, ready to open the front gate. I can feel my heart beating wildly through my whole body. The whole neighborhood must be able to hear it. I can only form one thought, feel the adrenaline pulsing it in my veins: run, run, run! Once I’ve passed the gate, I almost immediately turn the corner onto the school parking lot. The school is conveniently situated right next to the house (or not, whatever way you see it). I scan the space for Jessy’s dark blue volvo, which isn’t hard to find, it’s the only car there. The fresh dew on the grass soaks through my socks. It’s uncomfortable, feeling the soft squish as I run. I’ve reached the car now. I can see her scared face through the window. I open the door and jump in. I thought I could relax a little when I got there, but I’m still as tense as before. There is an ambiance of fright and confusion. We don’t talk much, it’s all just a blur. I can’t concentrate on anything she’s saying. I listen to the engine coming to life and the sound of tires running over asphalt. We start to make our way to the autobahn, where she will be driving me to. We’ve arranged to meet up with two women, later referred to as “the kidnappers” by him, at a small gas station halfway between here and my destination. The heater has been turned on now, but I can’t get warm. The thoughts forming in my head are threatening to crush me under their weight. Is he following me? Or has he even called the police? I may be paranoid but I keep hearing sirens. I hate to have dragged Jessy into my mess. What if this will come back to get her later? What about her children? Have I driven him to a point of rage where he will use any means possible to get me back? Fear is not a word to describe how I feel. I have never been so petrified in all my life. I sit stiff in my seat, frozen in place. I look around for police cars, expecting them to be here any second. The phone rings. A quick conversation with the kidnappers. They’re one their way to the meeting place now. After what seems like a lifetime, we arrive at the gas station. It’s in the middle of nowhere, a perfect place for a crime.

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