figuring out life
| it was cold, it was wet, and it was saturday night
becky stood on the bridge facing the water.
she was planning to jump, to end her life forever.
she was only 19, but had all ready experienced more than her fair share of problems.
her family had been abusive towards her all her life, then at the last minit decided to disown her and vanish from the country.
at school, she was constantly teased and bullied, often being left out of playground games, or excluded in classes.
her financial situation was terrible, and at this current moment, she couldn't even aford a loaf of bread.
becky was depressed, and as she stood their on the bridge getting ready to jump, she wondered how it had come to this
how, at only 19 years old, she felt forced to end it. forced to jump in to the water below.
becky had no one, or nothing. she felt hopeless.
meanwhile, somewhere out on the road, a green car was driving quickly towards the bridge.
the driver, who seemed to be in his early 30's, looked intently out of the window, watching the falling rain.
when he got to the bridge, he stopped. from his window, he could see becky on the bridge getting ready to jump
it was late, and he just wanted to get home, however something told him to stop and help this woman.
it was still raining heavily, and the driver of the car knew that becky could be in danger, should she slip and fall from the bridge.
quickly, he got out of the car and aproached the bridge.
he didn't move on to the bridge, not yet, rather called up to becky, and hoped he would get an answer, an answer that would convince him she was okay.
"hey is anyone up their?" he called. "I thought I saw a shadow on the bridge".
"go away," called becky. "go away. I don't need the police here."
"i'm not the police," replied the stranger. "actually my name is rob, and I was just driving home. I saw you and thought you might need some help. what is your name?"
"never mind what my name is," screamed becky. " go away!"
rob looked up to see that becky was very close to the edge of the bridge. he knew if things continued like this, she'd have no chance.
"why are you on that bridge?" asked rob. "it's cold, it's wet, and it's late on saturday night."
"I'm going to jump if you must know" said becky. "I've had this planned now for a few months, and no one, not even you, will stop me from doing it."
rob thought about this. he didn't want to agrivate her, but at the same time he did want to help her.
"I'm not here to stop you", he finally said. "I just... want some fresh air."
"you want to stand out in the rain?" becky asked him. "you have a weird hobby."
"so do you," said rob. " standing on high bridges in dangerous weather."
rob stepped on to the bridge. he didn't aproach becky, not yet.
becky saw him though, and asked
"why are you stepping on to the bridge?. what's for you up here.".
rob thought for a long while before answering
"I have a good view of the road from up here," he said. "so if their's any traffic jams or accidents, I know not to drive off."
"makes sense," she said
rob moved a little closer to becky.
"I thought i'd keep you company on the bridge," he said. "it's a dark rainy night, and if you slip, I can easily catch you."
he was desperate to get back to the subject of the jump, but did not know how to approach it. for now, he thought, she was trusting him and he didn't want to anger her or make her afraid of him.
taking his chances, he said..
"how long have you been standing on this bridge?"
"oh, only for about an hour" becky said. " not that long."
"you must be hungry," rob ventured. "I know a burger bar that's open this time of night, would you like to have a burger with me?."
"I don't have money," came back the reply. "plus i'm meant to be jumping from a bridge. going to a burger bar is hardly going to help that is it?"
"well," said rob slowly, "probably not. but it will give us a chance to talk somewhere warm, and somewhere safe. maybe you can tell me about your reasons for wanting to jump, and maybe I can help you."
"you're just a stranger," rebecca said. "you can't help me."
"I can help you" he said. "actually, i've helped a lot of people like you before."
becky's face darkened, and before rob could say anything more, she screamed "police!. police!. you're a liar!"
"i'm not involved with the police," said rob gently. "honestly, i'm not. you saw my car drive up. does it look like a police car to you?."
becky stared at him
"well," she started. " if you're not involved with the police, then who are you."
rob took this oppotunity to make a bargain with her.
"well," he said, "if you step down from this bridge, and come with me to the burger bar, I'll tell you about me, and maybe you can tell me about you as well."
becky thought about this.
"and you're not going to take me to the station, or hurt me, or..." she brroke off
"no, none of that" said rob. "i just want to help you. remember I said I've helped people like you before?."
rob ventured closer to becky. he could now reach out his hand to touch her shoulder.
but he didn't yet. he stood their looking at her.
"so have you decided?" he asked. " are you coming with me?"
becky looked at the water and shivered.
"it is cold," she said. "it wouldn't surprise me if that water is frozen solid."
rob grinned and lightly touched her shoulder.
"and you could be in a nice warm bar talking to me" he ventured
becky didn't try to push him away, rather just stood their on the bridge.
" you look really cold," he said
"you look wet," he added
becky nodded again
"and hunry?" he asked
"and fritened" he said
she nodded again
reaching forward to take her arm, he said "well, come with me. let us talk about things."
slowly, she turned away from the water and smiled.
she leaned in to rob, and together they walked off the bridge, to his car, and to safety.
the car ride
| "so," said rob, as he started the engine of the car, " now i've got your trust, do I get to know your name?." he smiled
"well," said becky, " my actual name's rebecca, but I answer to becky, in fact I prefer becky. it sounds nicer."
"well then becky it is," said rob. " it is nice to meet you, and as I said, my name is rob. i'm a...."
"policeman," becky cut in. "and don't tell me you're not. who else would be out on a rainy night like this?. the police will, to help keep people safe, but no one else." she was sure that rob was a policeman.
" no, i'm certainly not a policeman," said rob. " I know it's dark, so you can't really see me, but I can asure you I don't even have a policeman's uniform on." he paused and smiled again. "now," he asked, " would you like to know who I am?"
"well," said rob, " i'm a doctor. I actually work for the local hospital, and at my hospital their are, well," he paused while he thought of the right words. "their are a lot of people like you, who have attempted suicide, or have thought about it, and I, well, help them get better, and help them live. does that make sense?."
"maybe," rob ventured, "I can take you their, and we can talk in my office.".
"maybe," becky said. "maybe we can."
the rain outside was getting even heavier now. rob was so glad he'd managed to rescue becky, before they got caught up in it really bad.
"here we are," he finally said. " the burger bar. let's go in and get a burger."
inside the bar
| the bar was absolutely deserted, and becky couldn't help wondering why it was open.
"it's so quiet" she said to rob.
rob was just about to reply, when the waitress, justine, came over and put her arms around rob.
" rob, rob!. it's so good to see you my love!. oh and who do we have here?." she glanced at becky.
"becky," rob said. " just the latest person finding herself at the top of the bridge."
" yes, yes. " said justine. " I don't know why so many people use that beridge in the first place. it's not the most stable bridge in the city."
" probably why they use it" said rob. " especially if they plan to end their lives. anyway justine, the usual please. we're going to sit down."
justine smiled and headed for the kitchen
" oh you know her then?" asked becky. " she seemed awefully friendly with you."
" well," laughed rob. " I come here all the time, with all these..." he paused to think of the words " all these people I find getting ready to jump off bridges." he laughed again.
they enjoyed their meal, a hamburger and fries, and a drink of juice.
since it was quiet in the bar, justine came over to talk with them.
she didn't eat though, just talked.
" so rob," justine asked. " are you taking becky back to your house afterwards?. I don't suppose she's anywhere else to go."
"I'll take her back with me," said rob. " at least for tonight. tomorrow we'll work something out."
" actually rob," becky began, " I don't need to come back to yours. I'll just go back to my place. it's not far."
rob's face frew dark
" you're coming back to mine!" he growled, and justine also wore a dark expression as she said, " yeah becky, you're going to do what he says."
" no, no i'm not." becky screamed.
and with that, she dropped her half eaten burger on the table, got up from her chair, and headed for the door.
rob and hjustine were quick on their heels to follow.
while justine blocked the door so becky couldn't get out, rob tackled her to the ground and punched her square in the face.
becky shreeked in agony and tried desperately to get out of his reach.
" you're not a doctor!" she screamed. " you're not. you're not you're not you're not!. I don't know what you are, but you're not a doctor."
" you'll be right their love," justine said, an evil smile creeping across her face. " rob isn't a doctor at all. now becky love, if you go with rob back to his house, he won't hurt you again will you rob?. darling?"
" no, not at all." rob had an evil smile on his face too. " I won't hurt an inch of her body."
" you will!" becky screamed. " and I am not coming with you!".
the secret files
| "I don't feel well" becky was saying as rob was driving them both home
she was gasping, and her throat felt tight. she tried to vomit, but nothing came out, though she felt their was something inside that was meant to.
" don't worry" said rob. " you just need to rest. you've had a long night."
becky continued to gasp and she continued to gag.
"rob...... do something" she said. " I feel terrible."
" deep breaths becky, you'll be fine." rob said. " anyway, we're almost home."
by the time they did arive at rob's house, becky was motionless. she lay on the passenger seat, her eyes closed, her breathing weak.
rob smiled, stopped the car, and ever so carefully picked becky up (like you would a new born baby), and carried her in to the house.
he laied her down, said, " good night, love, " and left quietly..
rob went back to his car where his mobile was resting on the drivers seat. he dialed justine's number.
" I have her with me now" said rob. " little angel's out like a light. I'm going to have fun with this one."
" very good my love" said justine. " you contact me if she tries to escape."
becky opened her eyes. she didn't know where she was or how she got their.
she knew one thing though. she could feel a drip, drip, drip.
as her eyes adjusted, she looked down at her arm.
it was wet and bleeding.
" blood" she said aloud. " I must have banged it or something last night."
her head was throbbing. she had no idea what was happening to her.
time passed and her eyes became more adjusted, and as they did she could make out things about the room she was in.
it was a tiny room. she was lying spread out on a ccold stone floor. in one corner of the room was a tiny sink for washing, and in the other sat a bucket- which becky asumed was the toilet
she shuddered at the thought of having to go to toilet in a bucket.
the door was big, with a black handle. becky wondered if the door was locked or unlocked.
she thought to herself that she was in prison. the room looked the right size to be a cell.
slowly, becky got to her feet. she realised she needed the toilet, but one glance at the bucket and she went off the idea, and decided to hold it.
the first thing she did was walk over to the sink so she could stop her arm from bleeding.
the sink looked extremely dirty and uninviting, but becky had to stop the bleeding in her arm.
she turned on the tap, and held her arm under the cold, merky water.
after a while she removed it, and pulled down her shirt slieve so that it covered her arm
she looked down and smiled. the bleeding had stopped.
next, she tried the door with the big black handle.
to her surprise, the door opened and becky stepped out in to a coridor.
their were 2 other doors outside
one was the main door leading back to the main road.
the other looked like it was half open, and becky decided to investigate.
with a small push, the door opened fully and in she stepped to what seemed to be a study.
it was a small study, with 2 shelves.
the top shelf contained various sized bottles with weirdly shaped lids. becky examined them, but had no idea what was inside. she tried smelling them, but they didn't smell, or rather they did- but she couldn't identify what it was.
the other shelf contained 2 files.
becky removed one of the files from the shelf, and started to look through it.
it was a photo album, and all the pictures seemed to be of women.
women who, becky imagined, had been taken to this place by rob, and murdered.
the other file was slightly smaller.
becky looked through it, only to find it was full of strange writing.
not just any writing either. it seemed that the writing in this file was all written in code.
no complete sentences, no complete words. just... code.
becky put the file back and turned to the door again.
she was about to leave when she spotted a drawer next to the door
on opening the drawer, becky discovered it was full of items.
their were rings, hair peaces, clothes, stuffed toys, perfume bottles, she wondered if this was a collection of things that rob had taken from his previous victims.
in an ideal world, she really needed a longer look at those files. but she didn't know how long rob would be out, and she really needed the toilet.
she returned to the dungeon, and looked at the bucket.
havingn o other choice, becky aproached theb ucket and did what she had to do.
"hello!" called a voice, " becky!"
becky froze. rob was back, and she wondered what he was going to make her do next.
| "ah," rob said with a smile. " I see you've regained conciousness"
" yep," said becky flatly. she had a lot to say, but she knew she couldn't, not yet.
" good, good. " said rob quietly. " now you're awake, let me go through the rules."
" rules?" becky asked.
rob sat down on the stone floor, and patted the floor beside him indicating becky should sit down too.
" so," said rob. " as you've probably figured out by now, this isn't a doctor's surgerry, or indeed a hospital."
"I figured." becky said.
"good, good. " said rob, in his soft patronizing voice. " if you do what I say, you won't be hurt."
becky thought she'd be hurt anyway, this place was grim, and her own outlook not that much better.
" it's a dungeon" rob said. becky was astonished he had admitted that to her. " it's a dungeon, where you will work for me, and in return" rob started to grin " I will use you for my experiments."
"experiments?" becky asked. " what experiments?"
in sted of answering, rob took out a sharp knife and held it to becky's chest
" don't ask questions" he said, his voice now a feerce growl.
" in the mornings, justine will deliver our breakfast. we will eat, and then I will go off to work. you will empty the bucket in the corner, and then " he stopped so he could take out a big leatherbound book " you will work through this book, and you will write down anything that could help me out."
" but.." becky didn't get far.
rob put the knife back on becky's chest
" you will work, through, the, book" he said slowly and crossly. " their is to be no escape, their is to be no breaks, their is to be no showers..."
" no showers?" becky asked. " but the only clothes I have are the ones I'm wearing. I'll smell after a few days."
rob pointed to the sink
" use that" he said angrily.
becky would have continued to argue with him, by pointing out that their was nothing to wash with, but she didn't. she just sat their
part of her wondered if it even mattered.
the room smelled terrible. dry blood, dirty water, the toilet in the corner, it was all ready quite grim.
" ah yes!" aded rob in a sudden moment of recognition. "justine might come here from time to time, and you are to do what she says, tooo. got it?"
becky nodded, though she imagined rob wasn't quite as smart as he thought.
after all, she had broken out the dungeon once because he'd left the door unlocked, she imagined escaping this place would be easy.
" I will come home each night at 10, and when I come home, I expect you to be asleep."
" where will I sleep?" becky dared to ask.
" where do you think?" rob growled. " the stone floor of course. now, excuse me."
rob got up, opened the big door with the black handle, rushed through it, then locked it from the other side, leaving becky alone in the dungeon
a life not worth the living
| " I can't do this!" becky screamed aloud. " I can't do this!". she imagined sitting in the dungeon for days on end, and eventually being killed here.
she wondered now why she didn't jump from the bridge. she wondered why she trusted rob.
she thought about her abusive mother, unaware that becky was now going through even more abused- and pictured her laughing and hugging rob if she ever found out.
becky stood up, and made hjer way over to the door.
it was locked- of course it was, rob had locked it when he left
becky grabbed on to the handle, picked up her foot, and gave the door an all mighty kick.
of course, the door didn't unlock, rather just looked a little more dented than before.
" help me!" becky screamed, kicking the door again. " someone please, help me!". she turned herself around, so she could use her other foot to kick
but it made no diffrence. the door remained locked
" blast you rob!" becky screamed, as she went back to her corner of the stone floor and sat down.
she wanted to cry, she wanted to break down. she couldn't though, just in case justine made one of her visits and saw her, and perhaps gave the information to rob.
becky put her arms on the cold floor beside her and felt the sharp knife next to her, and next to that the leather book
slowly, she picked up the book, and opened it.
she gasped at what she saw inside.
the book seemed to be a map of the city.
when she opened it, the front page showed the road. the road that led to the bridge, the bridge which she wished she'd jumped from
other pages contained pictures of her house, her old school, the shops, the movie theater, the park, everywhere in the city.
becky, who before was angry and frustrated, now sat smiling at the book. she realised this could help her, she didn't know how it could help her, but she knew it could
| that night when rob came back to the dungeon, he saw becky studying the book.
he smiled, and his face softened.
" you did what I said," said rob. " well done, as a reward, here's some water."
he put down a bigb ottle of water in the corner of the dungeon by the sink
becky smiled. she didn't dare talk, because she wasn't sure what rob would do. she was greatful though that rob had been mercifull and at least braught her some water to drink.
" I just need to be kind to him," she thought. " I just need to do what he says. who knows, he may be even nicer to me."
as if he could read minds, rob glared at becky
" don't expect me to be nice to you again," he growled. " this is a one off. make the most of it."
justine baught their food and they sat their in silence while they ate it.
it was disgusting and none of them particuarly enjoyed it
then rob told becky to sleep.
as she lay down on the floor, rob got up and left the dungeon
becky tossed and turned all night
she knew tomorrow one of the first things she was going to do was study the map again and look to see if it contained any helpful information she could use to make her escape
freedom but for how long?
| the next day, when becky went to try the door, she was in for a shock- a shock of the good kind
as she went to pull on the door, it swung open, revealing a coridor.
becky's heart raced. rob had forgotten to lock the door, though she didn't know where he was, she figured that this could be her only chance.
she turned round and grabbed the map of the city from the floor, and rushed through the door- closing it behind her.
but now what?. she was in an unfamiliar coridor, and she didn't have much time before rob got back, or maybe a visit from justine.
she smelled the air. all she could smell was herself, though
" I need a shower," she said. " but that's going to have to wait for the moment, as I need to get out of this house."
she started randomly running down the coridor. the dungeon behind her, ahead of her she didn't know what she would find.
" I'll be back later," came a voice from behind her. " see you tonight justine."
it was rob
becky looked around quickly for a hiding place, and spotted a storage cupboard.
it wasn't that big, but she managed to squeeze herself in to the cupboard, closing the door behind her.
" becky?", came rob's voice from the dungeon doors. " becky?."
" he's found me out," becky thought. her heart raced faster than ever before. " I need to get out of here. somehow. I need to get out of here."
she started to pray
" god, I know I've been a fool with my life lately," she said. " I know I don't even believe in you. please though, if you can help me out of this situation, I will do anything. I will do anything!" she was close to tears.
rob had started back down the coridor and he was heading directly for the cupboard, the cupboard where becky was hiding.
she stayed as quiet as a mouse, and it seemed to work- as rob went straight past without a second glance.
she didn't know what to do. she grasped the book as tight as she could while she thought.
she had it.
one of the pages of the book suddenly fell out, landing in becky's hand.
she studdied it.
it was the map of the place she was in.
their was the dungeon, their was the cupboard, and their, right at the other end of the coridor, was a door with the number 13 on it
the door that led outside, and to freedom.
after checking the coast was clear, becky opened her cupboard door and ran as fast as she could to the door with the number 13 on it.
" please," she gasped. " don't be locked. please don't be locked."
as she tried the handle, her gasps turned to tears of joy, as the door gave way and revealed streams of sunlight.
" screw you rob," becky said as she rushed out, slamming the door behind her
she was out of that place, but where was she going to go?
she had no money, no clothes, and worst of all- she really needed that shower.
she thought briefly about going back to the bridge, and going on with her original plan of just ending it.
" and this time," she said. " I won't trust anyone who says they want to save me."
but then she sighed.
" come on bhecky," she said. " you've made it this far, you got out of that horrible place, you can restore your life."
she wanted to lie down on the ground at that moment and cry
she didn't know what to do
she really didn't know