Noli’s head hurt. She was still very disoriented, but knew she was in the trunk of a car. She could hear a radio playing music. Her hands were tied behind her and she had a gag in her mouth that tasted like mold. She was blindfolded and hyperventilating. She was trying hard not to throw up from the gag’s taste. Her hair was tangled around her face and neck. She was hot and sweaty, her head hitting the roof of the trunk every time the car drove over something. She was so scared, petrified. With her free legs, she prodded on the trunk, lightly at first, then with more determination. Her muffled screams hurt her throat, but she continued until her throat was raw.
The car stopped suddenly and she could hear a door open. Someone lifted the trunk and punched her in the stomach.
“You shut up now,” said a male voice. He closed the trunk, got back in the car, and resumed driving.
Noli cried into the blindfold and brought her knees up to her chest. For the first time, she knew she was going to die. She thought about her dad, and the sorrow he’d feel finding out his only child was dead. Her heart ached for him.
She must’ve passed out again, but wasn’t sure for how long. She could hear the man speaking to someone. A one-sided conversation. He was on a cell phone.
“She was giving me some trouble, had to hit her….I know, but…..Yes…..Okay, fine.” He slammed the phone down on the dash.
Noli wondered what that was all about. Who was the man driving, and who was on the phone? What did they want from her?
She smelled something pungent. She could hear the man talking to himself, but she couldn’t make out the words. Then it hit her. He was smoking marijuana. He turned up the radio, a song she had never heard, and he was singing along. She could feel the car drifting one way, then another. She was getting dizzy from the drug. She tried to cough, but the gag felt like it was going further down her mouth.
The car stopped again, and the man opened the trunk a crack. “You keep still in there. Don’t make any noise or I’ll kill you and everyone else in this gas station.” He closed the trunk agai...