I had seen many stories on the news or in newspapers. Young girls being snatched away by men in black, carried away in dark vans with tinted glass, driven away from their families and from their innocence. It was one of those things, something that I had never thought could happen to me. Other young girls get kidnapped, not me. I had always pushed it to the back of my mind, along with things such a serial killers and cancer, and continued about my life and all my naivety.
I was fourteen, young and inexperienced in this long complicated life, I had been tall and developed with long bronze curls. Of course I was still just a child, but many had believed me to be a near adult, from my appearance and intelligence. There were many things I had not experienced, and I am sure that the list will continue to grow, and one of which is love. I had never been in love, or had I ever had a boyfriend, I was completely oblivious to the overwhelming spell.
I went to school like any other teenager. I sat in lessons in a room full of people the same age as me. Some of them I had known as a child. Others I had met three years before at the start of high school. Yet all of them seemed a world away from me. I knew very well that I was nothing special, I had been told that so often the words had become tedious, yet every other child my age seemed totally ignorant. I'm still not entirely sure what of, perhaps everything, but perhaps nothing. I was clearly just different.
The day had been going on as any school day would have. It was a Wednesday afternoon and I had just finished my last painful lesson of double math and was walking from the main building to the G block where the school gates were. I was half-heartedly listening to Jess witter on about her dog and his flu. She had just gotten to the part about his coughing fits when I remembered that Mum was working late tonight and Dad was out of town on business. I patted the house keys in my pocket and said goodbye to my dear friend, turning toward Woodland lane, deciding it was time to try a shortcut home.
A small voice from the deepest corners of my mind warned me of the risk, I ignored it stubbornly, I knew how to defend myself.
Woodland lane was a narrow tarmac road framed by tall arched trees. The sun glows through the leaves creating dappled light on the cracked road. I smiled happily at the field of daffodils to my right, the yellow wax petals shone like the sun in the late afternoon light. It was a beautiful spring afternoon, my heart ached to soak up the soft rays, to lie close to nature and pretend I were a blade of grass. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, the maple tree that rested beside the river, out in the middle of a long forgotten field. My sanctuary was my aim.