I am about to lose consciousness. I can feel it coming, much like the familiar calm before the storm, but I am helpless to stop it from taking me. My eyes are as heavy as a whale being dropped into the ocean; they are closing quickly. Part of me wants to let them. The other part of me wants to stay awake, if I possibly can.
Suddenly, I see something. It gives me hope, but also energy, to stay alert, from fear of what is coming. There is a dark blue vehicle heading directly towards me. I can see it passing over a hill in the distance. Headlights shimmer into my eyes, so I can’t make out the driver. I fight desperately to stay awake now, as whoever it is approached, aware even in my exhausted state that the car might have someone unfriendly in it. I have to be ready for absolutely anything.
Of course, I reason within that I can not protect myself currently, hungry and thirsty as I am. But I am hoping against hope that I won’t need to defend myself. I am praying to God, that someone is coming to save me.
I can hear the tires crunching the gravel as the car speeds closer. I almost think it is going to collide with me. I brace myself for the surely pain-filled impact, but at the last second, the car skids to an abrupt stop, mere inches away from me.
I release a held breath as the driver’s door smoothly opens, and someone steps out. My eyes are now widely open as the person walks towards me. My worry lessens when I see that it is a woman, but I still don’t drop my guard. After all, it was a woman who took me the first time. I know with a surety that this is not the same female.
“Shalynn Meyers?” She asks in a kind voice, and I don’t know if she is honestly kind, or just pretending to be.
My throat is severely parched, so I simply nod my head, unable to speak yet. I am shocked that someone knows me, is actually looking for me. Who is she, though? I don’t know her at all.
She has straight, long brown hair spilling over both of her small shoulders, her petite frame covered with a violet-colored pants suit, attire which is too hot for this harsh climate. Despite that, she appears calm and comfortable. Her eyes are a bright, penetrating green, very serious. Her lips are not too thin, but not too thick, and she has a fairly tan complexion. Her skin is clear, and her cheekbones are full, but not chubby.
“Hello,” she says, leaning down, as she holds her hand out to me.
I reach to shake it, trying to be polite, but have to drop my hand, as I am still weary from hunger.
She moves her hand until it is holding mine, and she squeezes it gently. The gesture is comforting, but my tired mind stays cautious, just in case.
“I’ve been searching for you, Shalynn. We knew you were taken away, but no witnesses came forward to assist us in our search, so we were looking blindly, but we never gave up hope that we’d find you. I was assigned to your case the afternoon you were abducted.”
Questions swim rapidly through my mind, making me dizzy, as I try to comprehend my situation and her words. Why would someone be looking for me? The girl that no one notices suddenly has multiple people looking for her? And how did they find me? Not that I wasn’t grateful that she’d found me, but it’s not like there’s a trail of clues leading to where I’m at. None of this makes any sense to me.
She has a medium-sized, black leather bag slung over her right shoulder, and as she helps me to my feet, and leads me to the car, I wonder what was in it. I move with her, and when she opens the passenger side door, I sit down on a soft, blue velvet seat.
From the bag, she withdraws a clear canteen of water and several sandwiches, individually wrapped in plastic.
“Please eat, and get your strength back. Then we can talk.”
I immediately think she is working with the woman who’d taken me. It had to be laced with poison. One bite, and I’d drop dead. She’d come to finish me off, make sure I could never save those people. My distrust seems to show on my face, because she places a comforting hand on my shoulder.
After unwrapping a sandwich, she breaks a piece off and eats it, which does make me feel better about eating the food she’s providing.
“I’m here to help you,” she says solemnly, flashing a badge that she lets me examine closely.
She is an official. I’d once studied the differences between fake badges and the real ones. Hers is legit.
I nod, and she puts it away, leaving me to eat. The thirst is bothering me more right now, so I take a few swallows of water first, then finish the first sandwich, eating it carefully, not letting any crumbs fall. It is delicious, and I eat three more, letting her gather her thoughts, curiously wondering how’d she managed to find me…in the middle of nowhere.