It is dark. I look up but see nothing, only blackness.

“Help!” I scream. It echoes in a small space.

I put my hands up and hit something. A surface. My hands run along it. It’s wooden. I feel all around me.

I’m trapped.

“Somebody, please!” I begin to panic.

I hit the wood. It doesn’t budge.

I breathe heavily and cry. I’m buried. Alive.

“Like, does she even matter?” I say to Brian.

“I don’t know,” he responds sadly. “But I care about her.”

I sip my frozen coffee and lean back in my chair. “You just need to move on.”

“Katilyn, you’re so cold,” he says.

“I’ve always been cold. Everyone leaves anyways, what does it matter?” I say rudely.

“Whatever, I’ve got to get going.” he gets up.

I turn to look out the window.

“Hello,” a deep voice says.

I turn around, “What?”

“I just saw you and thought I needed to tell you how pretty you were,” a man with thin round glasses and a stylish man bun says.

“Ok,” I say and turn back to the window.

“Can I sit with you?” he asked.

“I don’t care.”

“You know, you should be nicer to people,” he says seriously.

“Or what?” I chuckle.

“Someone might put you in an early grave,” he grins big.

I stop and look at him. “Yeah, I need to be going.”

He grabs me by my arm, “I’ll be seeing you.”

I pull away and jump out of my seat. “Screw off, weirdo!”

“What? I just want to feel your skin,” He looks dead in my eyes. I stop breathing and the blood runs from my face.

“Be safe Katilyn,” he says in a smooth evil voice.

My eyes widen in horror. How does he know my name? I step back and run out of the coffee shop. I don’t stop running until I reach my apartment and lock the door. “No way he followed me,” I think. I put a chair in front of the door to barricade it shut. “But you can’t be too safe.”

I go to grab my phone to tell Brian. I feel in my pocket. Nothing. I pat my sides and back. Nothing. I must have left it at the shop. “It’s okay, I’ll get it tomorrow,” I say to myself.

I walk over to the couch. I feel different. I feel drunk. The room is spinning. I fall onto the cushions. I close my eyes and feel the rotation. What is wrong with me? Did that guy slip something in my drink?

“No.” I hear.

My eyes swing open. Him. I see him. “How..” That’s all I can say.

He laughs. “I put something in your apartment earlier. Something to make you sick.”

I start to see black spots and roll onto the floor. My body doesn’t hurt when I hit the ground. I am numb.

“Don’t fight it, sweetie. It only makes it worse,” He brushes my hair back.

“Honey, are you ready to apologize?” I hear in the darkness.

I open my eyes. I dozed off. I’m still in the box.

“Have you learned your lesson?” The voice talks again. It’s choppy and full of static. “I can hear you breathe, I know you’re scared.”

Where is it coming from? I feel around the box again. There it is, under my leg, a walkie-talkie made into the wall of the box. I can feel the outline with the tips of my fingers.

“Let me out!” I cry. I feel the hot tears run down the sides of my face.

“Apologize to me,” he says.

“I hate you!” I scream in frustration.

“Now you’ve hurt my feelings for the last time.”

I hit the wood in front of me. It’s solid.

“You can’t leave me here!”

I furiously pick at the wood. Picking turns into scratching. My fingers hurt and I think they are bleeding. I feel a piece of the wood lodge itself under my fingernail. I keep scratching and the nail pops off.

“Rise and shine!” He sings. His voice melds with the crying and carries through the rooms.

I remember. I was taken. It’s been weeks. There is more than just me. He has several other girls down here in our cells. Most of the girls are either crying or silent. Weakened by the horrors that have happened to them.

I can hear him coming down the stairs. He is bringing out our only meal for the next few days. Mostly scrapes from his dinners. He pours the slop in the trough in the center of the cells and we eat like animals.

“Isn’t it a beautiful day?” he says to all of us.

“I wouldn’t know. There are no windows in my cell,” I say back.

“I told you to be nice,” he grits his teeth.

“Fuck you,” I yell.

He comes into my cell and grabs me by the face. He squishes my jaw as hard as he can. I feel like it might break. “Keep talking and I’ll cut your tongue out, precious.”

I spit on him. “Do it.”

He lets me go and says, “Why can’t you be like the others?” He bends down and kisses a girl that is sitting next to me. She doesn’t move. Her eyes are glazed, her mind gone.

You are my sunshine!” A lady’s voice is butchered by the poor signal. He has been playing this song for a long time now. I don’t know how long exactly.

“How long have I been in here?” I mumble to myself.

My mind is starting to go. I think of all the things I could have done differently. Should I have been nicer? Should I have been a better person? Do I belong here?

“I’m sorry,” I say the bitter words weakly.

“It’s too late darling. Goodbye,” he says back.

I think of the other girls I met in captivity. Their fates are sealed. I hope their deaths are better than mine.