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The wind blows hard through the summer grass. The high city buildings and rushing traffic begin making their sounds of the day. Loud honks of impatient cars, shouts of people trying to catch the buses and ringing church bells echo through the small apartment Gina Mills calls home. Her mother bangs pans against each other on the stove as she rushes to create some mystery breakfast from whatever was in the fridge.
“Gina! Hurry up!” Her mother yells as she stirs what resembles an egg in the now sticky pan.
The apartment is small but quaint. The decor is modern but mixed with country knick-knacks that resemble the low-income Gina’s mother currently earns. Gina lifts her head off her pillow and yawns … She rolls out of the bed and runs her fingers through her hair. She hears a soft giggle and looks through the haze to see her mother standing at her door with a bowl.
“Not as glamorous as the commercials, is it?” She chuckles.
Gina smiles, “Let’s see how you look when you wake up!” She teases. She wanders into the hall past her mother and into the bathroom.
Her mom sets the bowl down on the dresser and grabs her purse.
“I’m taking off! Don’t be late to school, please?” She says in a pleading tone.
“Yeah, alright!” Gina yells from the bathroom.
A few minutes of peace later and Gina sighs contently as she takes a warm shower, gets dressed and ready for the day. She throws away the mystery breakfast in the bowl and grabs the Fruity Pebbles cereal out of the cabinet. Her cell phone rings with Justin Bieber’s latest hit.
She snags a quick bite then grabs her phone, “Kelly? Hey, what’s up?” She says with a smile.
“Oh my God, are you ready for the best party ever!” Kelly screeches on the other end.
Gina sighs, she tugs on her ripped shorts and ACDC T-shirt, “I’m not a big party person, you know this Kel. Why do you want to go to this party anyway?” She whines.
Kelly’s disappointment travels through the phone receiver, it’s silence; sheer and utter silence.
“Gina … You cannot spend your whole life living like a wallflower. You have to get out, experience stuff and have some fun! This party will be great. Trust me, you’ll see.”
Gina shakes her head, “I’m not sure, Kel. It’s being hosted by someone we don’t even know.”
Kelly laughs, “We know the person who’s going, a ton of our classmates are gonna be there. Jessie will be too, and we both know how you feel about him.”
Gina blushes, “He’s Greek god hot, isn’t he!”
Kelly laughs, “Yeah if you like tall, brooding and moody!” She teases.
“You’ve got Scott, your blonde ambition Kelly. I need someone ... and Jessie ... he’s cool.”
Kelly sighs, “I know. Listen, it’s gonna be a blast and you’re coming. So stop fussing and hurry up and get to school!”
Gina hangs up the phone defeated. She rushes to get ready and hurries to school.
Later that night Gina’s mom calls to say she’s working late. Perfect. No one will be home and Gina can slip out unnoticed. She puts a pair of black jeans, a band t-shirt with rips and ties hanging off of it. She looks at herself in the mirror. Her black hair is curled, messily but still curled. She’s managed to achieve some kind of basic makeup look with the few makeup items she owns. She rushes out the door and down the street to Kelly’s house. It’s a 30-minute drive to the party location, and Kelly who’s 17 drives her mom’s station wagon like it’s a race car. They pull into a driveway in front of what looks like an old, run-down mansion.
“I don’t like the look of this place…” Gina says nervously.
Kelly whips her blonde hair and sighs, “It’s just a house, Gina, come on.”
They get out of the car and walk up the concrete sidewalk. The door is wide open and there’s dance music blasting. It’s so loud the windowpanes shake every time the bass kicks in.
The house is packed full of people, there’s guys sucking booze through a tube, girls dancing and downers in the corner relaxed and chill. Kelly hands Gina a drink and the two dance to a bunch of songs for a while before Gina starts feeling strange. The room begins to spin and she starts feeling really tired. She looks around to see everyone else starting to fall over. Gina’s world goes dark. She opens her eyes and finds herself in a dark room, there is a small light in the corner only enough to show a door made of bars. Her stomach sinks, “Am I in jail?” She whispers to herself. She walks to the door to see an empty cell across from her. The walls are dark brick and it doesn’t look like any police station she had ever been in.
“Hello!” She says loudly.
There is no answer, just the jangle of chains every now and again. Gina feels her stomach drop even deeper, bordering on vomit level.
“Is anyone there?” She says a little louder, “Listen! Let me out of here! Right now!” She yells loudly.
“Quiet…” A deep voice, says softly.
“Hello?” Gina says desperately. “Please let me out?”
“You have to stay calm or you’ll get knocked out again. You have to control your emotions, okay?” The deep voice says sternly.
Gina feels tears coming; she’s getting scared and starts to panic. “I don’t understand? Where am I? Who are you? I just want to go home!” Tears start streaming down her face.
A tall man steps in front of the barred door. His hair is shoulder length and dark. His eyes are piercing gray, and his face is smooth.
“Listen…” He whispers, “No harm will come to you. However, I need you to stay calm just a little while. Then all will be explained to you, okay?”
Gina shakes her head, “No. It’s not okay!” She sits down on the small cot and breaks down and cries. She feels cold suddenly and her teeth begin to chatter. She looks up to see a blizzard swarming around her. The man steps inside the small room, snow rushing from his hand.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t let your emotions get out of control.”
With a wave of his hand Gina falls back into a deep sleep. The young man lifts her up and sets her gently on the small bed.
“All will be made clear tomorrow.” He whispers before kissing her forehead.