Episode 12: A Nighttime Drive
Delilah’s mind went blank. There was no time to think. She instinctively threw her car door open and ran around to the other side. “Dad!” she yelled.
(Did you miss Episode 11?)
Her father, Tom, looked at her, bewildered. “Delilah? I thought you were…”
“Get in the car, now!” she told him. She grabbed the handle of the crushed back car door and pulled. Thankfully it opened. Then she jumped in and felt her dad follow after.
As her dad climbed into the car, Frank grabbed his arm, trying to pull him free of the car. As the two men struggled, Mark put the car into drive and slammed his foot on the accelerator. Frank grunted and pulled himself further into the car, keeping the door open next to him.
“Close the door!” Mark yelled.
Tom reached out and pulled it shut. They all breathed a sigh of relief. Other than Frank, who seemed to suddenly realize what had just happened.
The five of them sat silently for a few moments, everyone too shocked to speak. Then Tom spoke up.
“Delilah, I thought you had been kidnapped!”
“I was. But then -
“Shut up!” Frank yelled. “I’m going to kill Cassandra. I can’t believe she freed you guys. Where is she?”
“Is that the ornery redhead?” Mark asked. “She’s at my place getting drunk and playing games with my friends.” The statement seemed so strange, so out of place, that Delilah started laughing. She tried stopping herself, and the laugh turned into a snort.
Barely breathing, Delilah struggled to get control of herself. When she finally did, she realized something: they had their kidnapper in the car, and this time, they wouldn’t have to get pulled over to figure out where the police station was.
She grabbed Mark’s phone and looked for the nearest police station. She wordlessly handed it back to him. He looked at the phone and nodded. They didn’t want Frank to figure out where they were going.
Everyone sat in stunned silence, too tired to make conversation.
Delilah could feel Mark next to her in the car, his presence solid and reassuring. Their relationship had been one of the best of her life, which is why it came as such a painful shock when he abruptly told her he was gay and broke up with her. He’d wanted to remain friends, to talk it out, but Delilah had pushed him away, telling him she needed to move on. Now she thought that maybe they could be friends. Or at least they could talk every once in awhile. She smiled when she thought about going over to his apartment to hang out with him and his friends. That wouldn’t be weird, would it?
Then she thought about Richard, sitting in the back seat, Richard with the ice blue eyes and the smile that made her feel like she was melting. She’d just met him the night before, but she already felt like she knew him, like she could rely on him. He’d freed her from Frank and Cassandra, stayed by her side for the entire worst day of her life. When she met him last night, she’d thought he might be good for a rebound fling, but now she thought that maybe they could be more.
Looking out the window at the dark Miami night, Delilah mentally rehearsed what she would tell the cops about Frank. This guy kidnapped us and tied us up. Oh, and he destroyed our phones, too. She worried that since they’d gotten free so quickly, the cops wouldn’t take them seriously.
They finally pulled up to the station 15 minutes later. At first, Delilah thought that Frank would run away, but when Mark stopped the car, he walked on his own to the doors of the station. In fact, he was the first one to go up to the desk in the front of the room.
“Officer,” he said, “I’ve broken my parole. I need to be taken in.”
Shocked, Delilah stood there with her jaw hanging open. When she finally recovered, she added, “And he tried to kidnap me and extort $50 thousand dollars from my dad.”
The officer on duty rubbed his eyes, looking tired. It was nearly 2 in the morning, and he’d probably hoped it would be a quiet night. He nodded to some other cops standing nearby, who took Frank and put him in handcuffs.
Delilah started for the door, but the officer stopped her. “Not so fast,” he said. “You need to stay here to provide a statement. All of you,” he added, looking at Mark, Richard, and Tom. They nodded glumly, taking a seat in the uncomfortable plastic chairs near the front of the office.
When they left the station hours later, the sun was rising, painting the morning sky in shades of pink and blue. They wearily climbed into the car and headed back to the library to get Tom’s mustang, where $50 thousand cash was stashed in the trunk.
They finally got to the library at 7 AM. Just in time to see a tow truck driving away with Tom’s car hitched to the back.
(Did you miss Episode 11?)