She approached the unfamiliar door and nervously took the key from her pocket. She waited unsure whether to go ahead and open the door at once. A cold sweat ran down her palms. Some moments earlier, she had found, uncharacteristically placed, a key with a small paper wound around it in her path as if someone had known that she would take that route and had decided to surprise her. The note on the paper read, “Help!” and on the bottom of the page was a description and direction to a house up north from where she herself lived. She decided to go back home and to show the paper to her mother and ask what should be done. By nature, Isabel was a timid and introverted person, though hidden is a well of a strong will that pours out under pressure. On second thought, she calculated that since the note was a cry for help, the most prudent thing to do was get the police. However, the curious part got the better of her and she delicately pocketed the note and instead of continuing on her daily walk around the park, she headed straight for the house secluded in the heart of the wood. It was almost evening. The adrenaline rush and suspense of the note got her jogging and before long, she found herself in the front porch of the solitary house.
She took a deep breath, unlocked the door, paused, then opened it. To her horror, she saw a boy about her age tied up and gagged propped on his side. She flew immediately to his side not caring if by her actions she placed herself at risk. She saw the relief that registered across his face as she quickly worked away at the cords that were used to bind him. So many question whisked through her head. When his hands were free, he sat up and facing her, took her hands into his and said, “Thank you, I knew you’d come.”
“You knew?” she quizzed, surprised that unbeknownst to herself, someone had been spying on her. She did not know whether to be angry or glad.
He went on, “each day, in this solitary place with my schizophrenic mother, I take my binocular to watch the happenings in the town since my mother would not let me out of her sight on days she is not suffering from one of her vicious attacks. Everyday, around this time, I watch you take a stroll around the park and I just knew from the first time this was someone like me. We would not venture out to do something outside our comfort zones. We love the undisturbed and unruffled life. Therefore, I took the time to sneak out earlier this afternoon before my mother could wake up from her nap to drop you the note with the key.
“You mean all this is a set up?” she bawled, angry at herself for nearly killing herself with fright and concern for him, angry at him for the truth in his words and utterly confused at the turn of events. She looked around, now conscious of her surroundings. She managed only to inquire amidst the seething rage boiling within her “where is your mother then?”
“She has decided to see the doctor about her condition.” He replied smiling up in her face, still clutching her hand in his and still in the kneeling position they had since assumed. “I am glad that on my account you have ventured for once into the unknown.”