I did not manage to get much sleep during the night. My mind raced with the thoughts of this Dr. Alexander, being sold, and being stuck on an island for the rest of my life.
I was awake when there was a knock on the door. The person didn’t wait for a response before walking in. I rolled over to see Ben. He was changed out of his pajamas and into jeans and a T-shirt. He had the scarf loose around his neck, but not tied.
“I wasn’t expecting you to be awake,” he said. “We’re leaving in an hour.”
I yawned and stretched my arms up over my head. Ben opened up the closet and pulled out a duffel bag. He set the bag down on the dresser and filled it with my clothes. My heart sank as he packed every dress in the closet. I may never be coming back.
Ben grabbed the remaining clothes and tossed them on the end of the bed.
“Go shower,” he said. “Oliver will be down here soon.”
I grabbed the clothes and hurried down the hallway. I took a quick shower before putting on the dress Ben gave me. I dried my hair before tying it back into a ponytail.
When I got back to the room, Ben was zipping up the bag and placed it on the bed. I sat down next to the bag. I looked up at Ben, but he turned around to look at the empty closet. He pulled out the empty drawers and looked like he was double-checking that he packed everything. He was trying to avoid having to talk to me.
I was about to ask him a question, but the door on top of the stairs opened. I listened as the footsteps echoed as the person walked down the hallway. Oliver came into the room. For once, he did not have his lab coat on and instead was wearing a suit. Ben turned when he heard Oliver enter.
“You kids ready?” Oliver asked.
“Yes, sir,” Ben said. “Both of our bags are packed.”
“Good. Put them in the car. I need to talk to Diana.”
Ben nodded, grabbed my bag, and left. Oliver took a few steps forward and held up his hand showing a pair of shoes.
“I think you’ll be needing these,” he said.
I took the shoes out of his hand. I gasped when I saw the mismatched laces. These were my shoes. These were the shoes that I was wearing when I was walking home from practice. He kept the shoes I was wearing when I was kidnapped.
Oliver chuckled when I looked at him with my jaw hanging open. I slipped the shoes onto my feet. I did not need to undo the laces. The soles were worn down to mold the bottom of my feet. It was a piece of my life that I would be able to hold onto.
“Diana, I need you to be on your best behaviour,” he said. “As soon as you step out of this door I don’t want to hear a peep out of you.”
“What if someone asks me a question?” I asked.
“No one will ask you anything. I want you to stay next to Ben and be quiet.”
“What about at the airport? They always ask you questions at customs.”
“We’re not going to the airport.”
I tried my best not to show the disappointment on my face. Oliver’s smirk grew wider, and I knew that I was not doing a good job. All night I was holding onto a piece of hope that I would be able to cause a scene and get help in a busy airport.
Oliver reached into his pocket and pulled out a large pair of sunglasses. The lenses were darker than any pair I have ever owned.
“Keep these on,” Oliver said as he slid them onto my face. “Do not take them off until I tell you to. I want you to be looking down the whole time we’re outside too. I don’t know yet how your eyes will handle the sunlight.”
I grabbed the frame of the glasses and shifted them so that they rested better on my nose. The darkness blocked me from seeing the odd hue of colours. The glasses made it more difficult to see, and I could only see a few inches in front of me clearly.
Oliver pulled the elastic out of my hair. I gritted my teeth as he ripped out a couple of my hairs. He ran his fingers through my hair and pulled it down to hide more of my face.
“Let’s go,” Oliver said.
I stood, and Oliver snaked his arm around my waist. I pushed him away, but he curled his fingers into my side. He pulled me tighter against his body. I squirmed under his grip.
“Behave,” he said.
I took in a deep breath and stopped moving. Once we started walking, I was oddly relieved to have Oliver guiding me. My limited vision would have caused me to stumble and bump into walls. There was a blob of a person standing at the bottom of the stairs.
“I assumed she would need a jacket, sir,” Ben said.
“Thank you,” Oliver said.
He let go of me and shoved something into my hands. I slipped it on and I realized that it was my denim jacket. It was another piece of my old life. Like my shoes, the hours of wear provided extra comfort. I put my hands into my pockets hoping to find my phone or wallet, but all I had was a pack of gum.
Oliver grabbed my elbow and pulled me up the stairs. I stumbled on a few steps, and I felt another hand rest against my back. I glanced behind me to see Ben.
At the top of the steps, I looked around to see we were in a narrow hallway. Oliver grabbed a fistful of my hair and forced my head down. I was stuck looking at my feet as he pulled me through the house. My glasses were sliding down my nose, but I did not touch it. I could see better over the top of the dark lenses. I took a mental note of the bottom of the furniture we passed to try and make a map.
Sunlight poured onto the tiles below my feet when he opened the front door. He tightened his grip on my hair as he pushed me outside. We walked down a wooden deck and across his driveway. He opened the car door and pushed me inside.
I slid onto the leather seat. Oliver reached across me and fastened my seatbelt. I kept my hands to my chest and tilted my head to see out of the windshield. The driveway ended at a large iron gate. The gate was connected to a tall fence surrounding his house. Beyond the gate, all I could see were trees. There were no other houses nearby.
Oliver pushed the sunglasses back up my nose and rearranged my hair so that it was covering my face. The passenger side door opened, and I watched Ben climb in. Oliver slammed the door shut and got into the driver’s seat. He fiddled with the radio before settling on a station and beginning to drive. When he approached the gate it opened and he pulled onto the road.
The drive was about an hour long and I did not recognize anything around us. Neither Oliver nor Ben said a word during the ride. Halfway through the trip, we were in a busy town. The car was stopped at a red light, and I reached for the door handle. I slowly pulled it and pushed my weight into the door.
It didn’t budge. He must have the child safety lock on.
Ben looked at me and gave his head a slight shake. Oliver didn’t see it, but I got the message. I kept my hands folded in my lap for the rest of the ride.
He pulled into what looked like a large field with a few small buildings. As we got closer, I noticed a small airplane. He stopped beside the plane. A few men in overalls came running over to the car. Oliver turned his body so that he could see behind his seat at me.
“Do not say anything, Diana,” Oliver said. “I want you to stay next to Ben, and look down the entire time.”
Ben hurried to my door and opened it. He held out his hand. I took it so that I didn’t fall while getting out of the car. Ben wrapped his arm around me, and curled me into his body. He put his other hand on my shoulder so that he was blocking my body.
“Dr. Sweeney!” a man exclaimed.
I turned to see who it was, but Ben kept my head against his chest.
“Stay still,” Ben whispered. “Just follow me.”
Ben pulled me around to the front of the car. Between the glasses and Ben’s arm, I could only see a small patch of grass at our feet.
“Good morning, Chester,” Oliver said. “It’s nice to see you again.”
“Likewise, sir,” the other man said. “We weren’t expecting to see you until next week.”
“Thank you for fitting us in earlier. My nephew managed to get an extra week off of work, so why waste any time? He’s bringing his girlfriend down with us. You’ll have to excuse Gina, she’s a nervous flyer.”
He was calling Ben his nephew? Chester must not know about the experiments. I started to pull away, but Ben quickly had me back against his chest.
“Do you mind if we board?” Ben asked. “I think she will feel better once she’s on the plane.”
“Good idea,” the man said. “We’ll get your bags out of the car.”
“Thank you very much,” Ben said and then started pulling me forward. “Come on, sweetheart.”
Ben’s grip tightened as we got to a flight of stairs. My knees wobbled as I struggled to see each step. The floor turned flat, and we were walking on carpet. I pulled away from Ben, and this time he let me go. I spun around to face him.
“Ben, we have to go now,” I said.
“We can’t,” he said. “You know that.”
“Once I get to the Caribbean it’s all over. I’m not coming back to Canada again.”
“Nobody said you’re not coming back. Gregory may not want to buy you.”
I could only see Ben’s silhouette through these dark glasses. I reached up to remove them, but Ben grabbed my wrists. He pushed me down into one of the seats. He slid across the seat, cornering me against the window.
“Listen, Diana.” Ben tightened his grip. “You need to take a deep breath and calm down. I will do all I can to talk Oliver into not selling you. You’re going to come back with us, okay? I told you I need you with me here. I’m not going to settle with only seeing you once a year.”
“The wind is looking good, Dr. Sweeney,” a man said. I could see two figures enter the plane. “I don’t think you’ll have turbulence.”
“That’s good,” Oliver said. “How is she feeling?”
“She’s still nervous,” Ben said. “She’ll feel better once we’re in the air. It’s her first time flying.”
“I’m sure she will.”
The man walked up and down the aisle of the small plane before leaving. Oliver walked into the back and returned with a bottle of water. Ben let go of my wrists, and I rubbed the sore skin. Oliver reached into his pocket and handed me a small cup of pills.
I slid my glasses down a bit to look past the dark lenses. Four pills were in the cup. Oliver always gives me three. There was a small orange pill that I have never seen before.
“What’s this extra pill?” I asked.
“It’s to help you sleep,” Oliver said.
“It’s the morning. I don’t need help to sleep.”
“It’s a long flight, and I don’t need you throwing a tantrum.”
I picked out my normal three pills and swallowed them with the water.
“Take the other one,” Oliver said.
“I don’t need it,” I said.
“Diana,” Ben said.
I let out a deep breath and looked down at the pill. If I didn’t take it voluntarily I knew they would force it down my throat. I wouldn’t miss much being asleep. It would make the flight go by faster and Oliver would be happy.
“I’m sorry for being difficult,” I said.
I swallowed the fourth pill and took an extra drink of water. I could see Oliver smile as I pushed my glasses up my nose. I kept a fake smile on my face.