*****CONTENT WARNING – The first few chapters contains contents like miscarriage and suicidal thoughts that can be triggering for some. Read under your own discretion.*****
The golden leaves on the road blew aside by the wind displaced by the rushing car. The squirrel, who was burying his acorn by the dirt road, scampered away to the nearest tree.
"Ah… There is the road, baby… Don't panic, mom will drive safely. Are you growing well, baby? Is that why my back hurts? It's good. Momma can bear it."
Speaking in a hushed tone, not knowing whether she was comforting the twelve week old fetus in her belly or herself, Jerlina Hopkins gripped the steering wheel as she took a sharp right turn. Her slightly trembling hands caressed her lower abdomen as she looked at the rear view mirror.
Good! No one's following us!
She increased the speed and the silver Camry sped through the dirt road lined with trees on both side.
I have to get out of here… The wedding... Baby… If I tell your dad about you, will he stop the wedding..? Ugh! I know he would. He's a good man. He might have been coerced by the Harrison family for this wedding…
There is more an hour for the wedding... should we go there?
Jerlina talked to herself, while checking the rear view mirror occasionally. As she adjusted the mirror, even she was surprised to see the reflection of the dirty woman with the messy hair; someone a stranger to her. She averted her eyes to look at the road knowing this is not the time for self-pity. She pushed back the tears formed in her eyes.
Harrison… I despise you for doing this to me.
She saw the highway at the distance amidst the thick rows of trees and her heart skipped a beat seeing the fork at the end.
"If I go right, we can go to my place. If I go left, we can meet your father… Baby, what should I do?" She sighed. She really couldn't decide.
She slowed down the car and after making sure there is no one following her, stopped the car. Running her fingers through her shoulder-length hair, she fixed it the best she can. She got the wet tissue from the glove box and wiped her face, while contemplating her next move.
Just when she had a chance, she escaped without thinking twice.
"Before I could tell your father that I was pregnant, that monster kidnapped me. Should I just leave like this, baby? Doesn't he deserve to know that I am pregnant with you?"
What should I do?
She closed her eyes and the smiling face of the man in her heart came to her smile.
'Jer, I love you. I know there are troubles around, but I will find a way for us to be together. For now let's be apart. Just… trust me.'
Remembering the words he said the day before he broke up with her, tears started rolling down from her eyes.
Looking at the mirror, her amber eyes twinkled as she reached to a decision.
"Yes! That's it… Now we can go. Let's sneak in somehow and have a chat with dad." she shifted the gear and accelerated the car. She never was a confrontational person and she doesn't appreciate creating scenes and she decided to handle it all, amicably.
If only I can sneak in without alerting that Jeremy Joel Harrison a.k.a. 'Triple Jay' or 'TJ' the notorious delinquent in this county and probably this state, and also my kidnapper, I can meet my Gerry.
She knows the man she loved. He is her first love and she is his first love too. They are… They were in a relationship for seven years and she knows him like the back of her hand. If not for the Harrison family, they'd still be together.
Even if he had changed his mind and really wanted to marry Emma Harrison, he should know I'm carrying his child, shouldn't he? It is only fair.
She checked the time in the dashboard clock.
3: 23 p.m.
Yeah, let's do it!
As Jerlina got closer to the road to take a left turn, she felt darkness at her side and reflexively, she turned to look.
Her blood curded up seeing that six wheeled truck – Velociraptor or whatever, dark as a moonless night just like the heart of the owner, hiding behind thick shrubs. The dark gold circles around the headlights, made it seem like a big cat with sharp eyes that had marked its prey. Like a jaguar lying in wait for its prey, it had waited for her arrival this long.
Jerlina felt a chill pass through her spine and she froze. In this county, there is only one who could afford to own such an expensive truck.
How long was he here? Why is he here and not with his sister? He knows I escaped?
Jerlina's hands shook and maybe out of fear, she felt a sharp cramp in her stomach.
"Don't be scared, baby…" She caressed her belly, while thinking how to escape that monster looming by her side.
Perspiration formed in her forehead as she felt pain all over her body seeping through her bones, but her will to escape the monster enabled her to step on the pedal. She knew even that monster would be limited in his ability to hurt her once she gets on the road where there will be cops patrolling and gritting her teeth, she pushed through.
As she moved just a meter, she felt the clash by her passenger seat side. Her throat dried, her eyes widened, her heartbeat quickened making her adrenaline shoot up. She knew she cannot fight that monster and her instinct told her to flee - she pedalled the accelerator.
But her puny car could do nothing to outrun that monster of a car with 600HP. He was skilful in stopping her car from moving forward and started pushing her car away from the road towards a boulder by the side.
Is he going to crush me to death? Am I going to die here? My baby… I'm sorry… I'm sorry I didn't protect you.
Her head felt dizzy immediately after a popping sound as the airbags deployed. She heard a loud sound of horn or it could be her ear ringing. Her heart was racing… Her car's engine had stopped and she couldn't hear the other car. She looked to her side and the glass was cracked hard and she couldn't see anything clearly.
What is happening..? Did he leave? Did I hit my head? Why is everything blurry? No… Not this!
She in her half-conscious state clutched her stomach as the shooting pain wanted her to faint and stay awake at the same time. She never went through pregnancy before, but at that time, she knew what was going on.
I'm losing my baby!
Hospital… I need to get to the hospital… I need to escape that monster first…
She tried to unbuckle her seatbelt, but her hands were trembling so hard she couldn't even do that simple task.
No… be strong Jerlina… You have to get out of here to save your baby.
She gritted her teeth and tried once more and the belt unbuckled. She sighed in relief and not minding the pain that spread to her legs, she opened the car door. But it only opened a few inches and it seemed like her car was stuck against the boulder.
Oh no! What can I do?
"Going somewhere, honey buns?"
That eerie voice laced with mockery, made her skin crawl and she yelped.
He's still here?
"Come on, let's get out…" He grabbed her arm. Upon contact with his rough, big hands, she flinched and tried to escape, but at the same time she felt another cramp in her abdomen and she stopped struggling as she was pulled out through the passenger door.
He pulled her out so easily like a mother picking up her toddler from the sandbox.