Rebecca gasped as broken glass sunk into her flesh.
In her bid to hide before her captors, drawn by the sound coming from the bathroom, swarm the place like bees, she had been careless about the pieces of broken glass strewn all over the floor.
The plan was already in progress.
And anything was better than this death she was living.
She would take her chances.
But this pain — this sinking of several pieces of broken glass into her feet as she ran from the window she had just broken — she had not factored into this equation she was still working out for her freedom.
From her place behind the door where she waited for the men to burst in with drunken fury, she stood on tiptoes, biting her fingers to keep from screaming in pain. She hadn’t realized how bad her wounds were until she saw the bloodstains on the tile she had just cleaned earlier that evening — stains that led right back to her.
The plan was simple — leave the bathroom as soon as the three men come in, and run for your life.
She could count on them coming because she had baited them properly.
All day, she had given them reasons for increasing concern—
She had been too nice to them.
She had her bags packed.
She left money all over the house where they could be found.
She had set them at odds with each other….
And she had gone on with her schemes until they said they’d had enough. What was she up to?
Now she had them where she wanted them.
She’d lived with these men long enough to know that just a bit more glasses, and extra helpings of their favourite substance would undo them long enough for her to steal back her life.
So why had she waited this long?
“Rebecca”, she flinched at the rage laden voice, “Rebecca”, M barked as he flung the door open.
She didn’t even know their names.
There was M — M for Marcus, Matthew, Mauritius… and whatever else he could think of.
And there was T — for Thomas, Titus, Tonia….
And W — for workforce, weapon, winner, William….
As the men rushed to the broken window, Rebecca hurried out from behind the door and fled the bathroom, the pieces of broken glass claiming more space in her flesh with every step, and her own blood giving her away and leading the men she was trying to get away from, right back to her.
She bounded down the steps, the men hot on her heels, to the kitchen, where she had already tampered with the locks.
As she reached for the door, she hesitated briefly because — where would she go?
She took one last look at this place that had been her prison for the last seven years. At least she knew her way around this house.
But the world — she had been out of circulation that long. Where would she go? What would she do?
The men were talking on their cellphones. She knew what that meant. They were calling for help.
As her pursuers came down the stairs, she turned to find M pointing a gun at her. His brothers were urging him to shoot.
But he just stood, frozen, as though willing her to leave, until W took the gun from his hand.