By now, my dad knows I’m missing.
I don’t know where I am. I’m lying in sand. I was running, running through a park. Someone came up behind me — I thought it was another runner — and then a sharp pain, on the back of my head. Blackness, shot through with stars, then a binding over my wrists. Something over my mouth next.
Pain. A lot of pain.
There’s a smell. I can’t open my eyes, and there’s a metallic, coppery taste in my mouth. I want to scream but I can’t. I don’t know why.
Now my back is wet. My hair is sticking to my scalp and pulls when I move my head the wrong way. I try not to move because the throbbing — the God-awful throbbing! I can’t move. I can’t speak. I can’t see. Black, that’s all I see. I smell something though, and the smell’s familiar.
Water. Salt water.
I can feel his hands, doing something … I don’t know what, but his hands move over my legs, my breasts, my arms. My jaw aches, burns with soreness, and I can’t move it. My joints are screaming. I try to roll over but there’s a weight on me, I’m pinned down.
I remember waking for a moment and hearing the roar of surf.
The beach! I must be at the beach! But that’s … what? Twenty, thirty miles away? The park — the big trees, the soft fronds of the undergrowth ferns, the wet pine needle scent, scattered pine cones and the sounds of birds. That’s where I was. Now I’m on the beach, and my head hops and bumps over the sand, rocks, shells. But I barely feel it. I can’t focus my eyes. My vision’s bleary, muddied, like I’m staring through water.
But my dad must know I’m gone by now.