I once read a story about a man who said survival skills could be learned quickly under intense periods of stress. Like being left alone in the wilderness and trying to survive. You would learn how to catch and cook birds faster than your Average Joe.
I wondered if this applied to my situation, lingually.
In order to survive, I was going to need to find out what the men ahead of me were saying. I needed to know what they were planning for me. I needed to know if I was safe.
The little boy in charge of keeping an eye on me tugged at the leg of my pants again. There was no point in tying me up: we were too far from anything for me to run.
I didn’t know this place, I couldn’t run back the way we had come. I didn’t know which way that was. The wind was covering our tracks as we made them, our feet sinking in the sand.
We couldn’t be too far from where we needed to be, because we were going on foot.
I thought about running, again, but I knew it was a useless thought. I didn’t know where I was going, or how I would survive if I were on our own.
At least if I mimed drinking out of a cup to to the little boy he would pass me a canteen and let me drink bitter, harsh water.
I thought about O’Dwyer, but I was too tired to hate him. I hoped he would come back for me after he saved his dig site. I hoped he would find out what happened. I thought about his fists, and hoped he would show up in time to use them. The way his cheekbones carved the rest of his face out.
I wondered if he would leave me.
I hoped he wouldn’t.
I thought about my poor mother, waiting for a phone call.
How long would it be before she started to realize something had gone wrong? I could only hope that it was sooner, rather than later.
The little boy tugged at my pants again, and when I looked down, he smiled at me. A big, wide grin. At least one of us was happy I was here.
How much money had I even cost? Surely it had to be some giant, abstract amount. I was American. Didn’t Americans cost a lot of money?
Maybe that meant my captor was rich…maybe he really just needed a new maid…
My legs, aching and hot under the sun, trembled. I tried not to let on: what would he do if I fell down? In all the movies, the punishments for falling down were severe.
“Come on, O’Dwyer.” I whispered to myself. I looked up at the sky, trying to ask God to intervene on my behalf. To send O’Dwyer. To send anyone.
….to be continued…