As they got closer to the light they saw that it wasn’t a store, it was a church. The light was on the front porch, making the place look inviting. They were praying that someone was there, that there was some late service or janitor or something, anything that would have at least one adult on the property. If that were not the case, then please please let the door be unlocked! The closer they got more they realized that the chances that someone was there were pretty slim. That light that they had seen from down the road was the only light on in the entire building. That was ok, that wouldn’t be a problem, lights or no lights if the door was unlocked then they would have access to a phone and could call the police. They held tightly to this thought as they ran the final yards to that door.
They pounded up the steps to the door and Harv hit that door hard as he grabbed the knob and twisted it. IT WAS LOCKED!! “CRAP!!! Crap crap crap” he shouted. “Now what are we supposed to do? We have come this far and we can’t get in!” Shelia said “Calm down Harv, let’s think this thru” Joanna slumped down on the steps and started to cry quietly into her hands, hopelessly, a sad sad sound that was very upsetting to the others. Jennie looked at Harv and Shelia and said “the only choice we have at this point is to break in.” She said it in a flat, matter of fact voice that left no room for doubt. But doubt sprang unbidden into the minds of the others. “This is a CHURCH Jennie!! You can’t break in to a church. That would be a sin!” Exclaimed Joanna jumping up. While Harv and Shelia looked at her shaking their heads slightly. Jennie continued “we have Got to get to a phone and there are no other buildings within sight, we don’t know how far the next place is and we cannot take the time to go running again. We need help and we need it now.” Shelia slowly said “she’s right you know, we do have to do this, we really do not have any choice at this point.” She looked up at Harv and waited for him to make a decision. Harv stood there looking at the girls, all waiting for HIM to decide. He didn’t think that was fair, but he knew it was just the way it was and he had to do it. He said “I think that we do have to, but we don’t have to make a mess or cause undo damage. If we are careful to not break anything valuable, then I say we do it!” After a moment of just looking, the girls came over and the four of them started looking at the door and the windows trying to figure out the best way to get in without causing any damage.
It was a mind numbing activity. Gently flutter kick and slowly, with great effort, stroke, first with one arm, then with the other. Kick, stroke. Kick, stroke. Again and again she forced her exhausted body to kick and then stroke. Amy knew that if she didn’t get to shore soon she would never make it. She knew she was going in the right direction because she could feel the little waves on the top of the water and she was using them to help her move in to shore. But it was taking SO long! She had to keep reminding herself that she was a survivor and she could not, under ANY circumstances let those horrible men win this! She swam with her eyes closed and concentrated as hard as she could. She had never dreamed, in all her years of enjoying the water and the competition of the swim team and just playing in the ocean, that a time would come when the water would not be her friend. That it could very quickly and easily take the very life that it had enhanced for so long. But now she knew, and she was getting scared that that was exactly what was about to happen.
She couldn’t swim another stroke, she had to rest. But if she stopped, would she ever manage to get started again? She had to take that chance, she had to rest! So once again she flipped over and started to float. Taking deep breaths to calm her troubled mind, she opened her eyes to stare at the stars, and couldn’t see them!! The sky was lightening and she had not even noticed because she was so busy swimming and keeping herself going! “Wonderful,” she thought flipping back over to tread water, “Now I can see the shore, or at least the direction I should be going in!” As she looked around her she saw that she was not really that far out anymore, but the sea was calm and the waves had not given away just how close she was. She carefully looked up and down the section of beach that she could see and when she was sure that no one was there waiting for her, she started swimming in that direction.
When Amy finally made it to the shallow water, it was all she could do to drag herself up on the sand. She was SO tired. And Every part of her body hurt, both from what had happened to her, but also from swimming in the ocean for so long. She pulled herself a little higher onto the shore and then collapsed face down. After a few minutes, how many she didn’t know, she rolled over and looked up at the sky. “Thank you.” She said. She was not a really spiritual person, but she had been taken to church for most of her life and she knew that God had to have been the reason she was still alive, so she felt that He needed to hear her say those two very important words. And then she closed her eyes again and started to cry.
Carol and Valerie waited with pounding hearts as the car continued to come closer. It was slowing down!!! Was it someone who would be willing to help? Or was it the men they so feared? What if it was a police officer? Would he believe them? There were so many thoughts going thru their minds as they watched the headlights draw ever closer. And then the car was right there and it WAS NOT STOPPING!! It wasn’t going all that fast, but it wasn’t going to stop for the two girls, it swerved into the other lane and just drove on by! Carol yelled after it “Hey!! Come back! We need your help! Please!” Nothing happened, Valerie started yelling too, hoping against hope that they could convince whoever was in the car to return and help them. But the car just kept going. They slumped against each other in disappointment, but also in relief because they had not been sure that they really wanted the car to stop. If it were the criminals they would have had to make a difficult decision, to fight or to run, but it had not stopped, so it was a moot point.
After the car had passed them by, the boys all came out onto the road and started after it, like they could will it to return and help. They didn’t know what to do now. They were totally out of ideas. The only thing left to them at this point was to sit back down and wait. Wait for Someone to come to their rescue. That did not sit very well with any of them, but they had no other ideas. Maybe Harv and the girls had had some luck by now, and were just waiting for the police to come pick them up. Maybe Amy had managed to escape on her own and was, even now, sitting in the police station trying to explain how to find her friends so that they could come pick them up. They didn’t hold out much hope for any of the scenarios, but they were trying to hold onto their hope because the alternative was unthinkable. Carol threw herself down in the sand and made disgusted noises then said “I have Got to do Something, I’m going Crazy here!” She sat up again and stated “I’m going to start walking in the same direction the others were going in. Maybe I will meet them coming back with good news. Anyone going with me?” Fred said “I will, but we can’t all go, we have to leave at least four here. Bret is staying because he is still not up to that kind of exertion. Carol, how bout if you, me and Jason go?” “I think it’s a good idea” Alex agreed. “there is no point in all of us sitting here twiddling our thumbs. Erin, Val and I will stay and keep an eye on things here. Please be careful!”
And so, once again the group split up. As Jason, Fred and Carol walked out of sight down the road, Erin said “I hope to God they can find someone soon. I need to know if everyone is ok.” Valerie patted his hand and agreed with him. “This is so hard, just not knowing. How can we just sit here? I know we have to, but it’s so difficult”
Bret just sat there, not saying anything, doing his best not to think anything. He just wanted this to be over. He had never lived thru a night as long as this one in his life, and he never wanted to do it again, never. “Where was Amy? What had they done to her? When would they find help? When would they find Amy? Would she be ok? Was she even still alive?” These thoughts, and more, where whirling round and round in his head and he needed them to stop before they drove him crazy. He didn’t know the answers and he wasn’t sure he could handle them if he Did know them. His head was pounding, as it had been from the time he had awakened and he couldn’t think straight all the time. He didn’t know if there was more damage then they thought, or if he should have received immediate medical care. He didn’t feel like he was dying, but he knew that getting hit that hard on the head could cause some really strange things to happen inside the skull. It didn’t feel like his brain was growing bigger or anything, but he was just not sure if he was ok or not. He could not concentrate, his thoughts were scattered, he couldn’t remember all the things that had happened this night, it was scaring him. He wished it would all just stop. He wanted to be home safe in his house with his parents taking care of everything. He knew that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, but he still wished for it.