Chapter 15

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We ate until our bodies could take no more food. While I was eating I thought to myself that if this was any other situation and a stranger offered me food I would not even have considered it. Though being here, deserted in a forest, having not eaten for days has affected my brain. I needed to eat, and eat, until my stomach could not take any more.

After we finished all three of us sat down, leaning up to a tree, waiting for out bodies tp process our full stomachs.

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I woke up, still leaning on the tree. I must have fallen asleep, though I was not really tired when I went to lay down. The afternoon sun was beating down on my untanned skin. Sweat was running down my face and I suddenly had the biggest thirst. Looking around me I realised that Hayley and Jake were asleep as well.

I tried to get up, but my legs would not move. At first I thought it was just because I had been walking so much, but I realised that my legs won't move at all. Panic filled every part of my body. Am I paralysed? What's going on? Was there some drug in that food? I knew in the back of my mind that I should not have eaten that food, but my senses were stronger than my brain.

I had to make sure Hayley is okay. "Hayley?" I said as loud as my dry throat could manage.

She stirred but did not open her eyes. "Hayley!" I said again.

Her eyes flicked open and she tried to sit up. I could see the panic filling her eyes as she realised she was weak as well.

"No!" She yelled, "Why did you make me eat that food?!"

"Me? I didn't make you do anything!" I said defending myself.

"You're the one that brought me here in the first place! If it wasn't for you, I'd probably be home sweet home right now! And not in this forest; having my every move watched by Big Brother! Megan is somewhere out there, probably fighting for her life!" Hayley yelled with tears making their way down her sun-burnt cheeks.

"I-I'm sorry, Hayley. I didn't mean to get you guys into this." I said softly.

She mumbled something under her breath that sounded like "You should be."

"Can you girls keep it down? Some of us are trying to sleep over here!" Jake's voice cutting through the sudden silence between me and Hayley. Jake tried to get up and froze suddenly. "Uh, very funny guys. Are you playing some sort of a practical joke on me? What did you do to my legs?" Jake said flatly.

I pointed at my legs and raised my eyebrows at him. "Neither can we, Einstein."

He grunted.

Meanwhile Hayley had been trying to get up. Standing in an upright position she leaned her hands on the tree for support and tried to move her legs. After a few attempts she slightly moved her left leg. "Pins and needles." She mumbled as she got feeling back in her legs.

Jake and I followed her idea and after about ten minutes we were able to move our legs again. Still falling over every now and we managed to walk around the clearing, getting strength back in our legs.

"Wait." Hayley said suddenly. "There was a food table right here," she said pointing to a spot in front of her, "where did it go?"

I hadn't realised that before she said it. I tried not to think of the only possible reason as to where the table had gone. They were here. They were here when we were asleep. They were here.

The realisation came to me at the same time as it did to Jake and Hayley. They both looked shocked as all three of us said at the same time, "They were here."

The thought of kidnappers being there and us playing right into their hands by eating the food made me cringe.

I noticed something different about Hayley's hair. It looked shorter. "Hayley, did you do something different to your hair?"

She gave me an angry look. "Nice try. But complimenting my hair isn't going to make me feel better."

"I wasn't complimenting your hair. It literally looks different; shorter." I replied with a laugh.

She frowned and reached her hand up and touched her hair. Running her hand through her hair she realised that it was shorter as well. It looked like someone hand taken scissors and cut some hair off of her pony tail. "It is shorter!" She yelled out. "Where did my hair go??" She said with fear covering her face.

Then my phone buzzed in my pocket.

HOPEFULLY THIS PROVES TO YOU THAT WE DO NOT WANT TO HURT YOU JUST YET. WE HAVE HER HAIR. IF YOU ARE GOOD YOU MIGHT GET IT BACK.

I read it  out loud and Hayley nearly fainted, but snorted a laugh at the last sentence. "Tell them they can keep it, I really don't want it back if they've contaminated it with their evilness." Hayley snapped.

I never thought that Hayley would react like this under so much pressure. Then again, it's not humanly normal for someone to be under this much pressure. It's sick. I felt the same as Hayley, though. I wanted to find someone to blame everything that has happened on, but I knew I could only blame myself. I got myself, and everyone else into this mess. I felt terrible for getting Hayley that mad at me, if I could just leave everyone behind and find Pete and Megan on my own, I would do that. But I knew that even though Hayley is so mad at me, she would never let me do this on my own. And also, there is no way I could think of that would get them out of here safely.

"Well I don't know about you two, but I'm going to follow our trail back and try and find that stupid lake house." I could sense the tiredness and anger in his voice as well. Everyone was getting mad at me, which made feel even worse.

I felt sorry for Jake. He got sucked into this whole thing for saving my life. He had nothing to do with any of it, and he still got stuck with me in this forest.

We started walking back the way we came. Hayley's face went pale and she bolted for the nearest bush. Jake and I stopped walking for a second to wait for her. "I shouldn't have eaten all that food." She said as she joined us again.

We walked, and walked and walked until we finally reached the same spot where we had spent the previous night, using the same technique to make our way southwards.

We made another camp fire on the same spot as we did the night before and sat around it to warm up. After a while Hayley went down to the lake to wash her arms and legs. I followed her and tried to talk to her.

"I'm sorry for what I said this afternoon, about you. It's not your fault. I was out of line and upset." Hayley said as we reached the lake and she knew I was behind her.

"It's understandable. And it is my fault. I shouldn't have dragged you into this, I'm really sorry, Hayley. I'll try my best to get you guys home safely." I said, grabbing her hand.

I love our friendship. Hayley fully understands me and she always knows what to say. I didn't blame her for what she had said earlier that day. It would have been expected from anyone under so much pressure. I knew if it was anyone else they would have snapped so much earlier. Hayley is one of the strongest girls I know.

Hayley smiled at me and gave me a hug. "We'll get through this together, and we will find Megan." she said quietly.

 

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