“Good morning! I am Anita Mann and today on Wake Up Call we have a very special guest. If you recall about a year ago, a team of bank robbers dubbed The Masked Bandits were recking havoc on the banking industry here in California. In one of these jobs our guest today was taken as their hostage and was forced to remain with them for two months. She has never spoken about her time as their hostage until now. Please welcome Chloe Martin to our show.”
As I heard those words being spoken my hands were shaking with nerves, okay calm down Chloe deep breaths, deep breaths I repeated over and over in my head. Okay I am ready I can do this I told myself as I slowly started walking towards the stage. I knew it was time, that now was the time everyone should learn the truth. After a year of whispers, lies and accusations, I knew I had to set the record straight not just for me, but for my son and the memory of his father. It was time for the world to know what really happened.
Once I reached the stage I stuck out my hand to shake Ms. Mann’s hand. Slowly I sat down in the chair across from where Ms. Mann had been sitting.
“Welcome to the show Ms. Martin.” I heard her say in her soothing yet friendly voice.
“Thanks for having me.” I said very confidently. Although confident is far from what I was really feeling.
“Do you mind if I call you Chloe?” Ms. Mann proceeded to ask me.
“No not at all, Chloe is fine.” I responded automatically. After all Chloe is my name.
“Great, now Chloe you were held as a hostage for two months. Tell us what that was like.”
“Oh I don’t know really. I mean its hard to say, I went through so many different emotions at the time. I still find it hard to talk about.” As I said the words I knew nothing could be further from the truth. It was still hard to talk about, but not because of the reasons most believe.
“Yes, we can understand that. It must have been a very difficult time.” Ms. Mann stated in a tone so compassionate I wondered if she would still feel that way after she found out the truth.
“Yes” was all I replied I mean after all what could I possibly respond with.
“Now, as we all know The Masked Bandits were known to take hostages, but they would always be released shortly thereafter. Why did they keep you?” As she said the words, I knew that was the million dollar question, one that even now, a year later, I wondered what the answer is. But I knew that it was an answer I would never receive for the one person able to answer it was dead.
“To be honest, I really don’t know the answer to that. But I wish I did.” I replied almost apologetically.
“Yes, I am sure you do. No one really knows what happened to you during that time although many have speculated. All we do know is that you were found locked in a closet and after a medical examination you were six weeks pregnant.”
“Yes that is true.” It was all I could say.
“You decided to keep the baby even though the horror you must have went through at the hands of those men.” I almost flinched for she made it sound so horrible. If she only knew the truth, it would be completely different.
“Yes, my son is an innocent in this and I love him more than anything in this world.” That is the truth, but he is also the only thing I have left of his father I thought to myself.
“It’s unusual that you can feel that way, as many rape victims typically don’t. I think everyone is surprised that you kept the child which could only be a daily reminder of what happened to you.”
“Like I said my son is an innocent.” Really, I just wanted to slap her. But I knew she was only stating what everyone else believed. For it was an obvious assumption since I refused to speak about it up until now.
“Other than becoming a mother, how has your life changed since the day you were found?”