Chapter 30

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I could not believe our latest realisations. No one is looking for us. It is so perfectly planned that no one would suspect anything about us being missing for atleast two weeks. All this time I was thinking that somehow the police would find us, but all hope was lost when we made the connections that we're on out own.

We walked in silence for a while.

"So where does this leave us?" Megan said suddenly, breaking the long, deafening silence.

"I'm not sure. The only way to get out of this is if we reach the end of this forest by tomorrow night. That's it. Other wise we're history." I said, dreading every word as it came out of my mouth, but it was the truth, and we needed to face that.

"Guys... we know the kidnappers." Hayley said suddenly.

I was shocked. How did she know this? Does she know who they are? Has super-aware brain figured it out already?

She saw the questioning looks on our faces and knew she had to explain herself.

"Think about it. We know all the poeple that they abducted, and we've worked out that one of us, most likely Tess, is the main person who the kidnappers want. These kidnaps are not random. So we are targeted, but why would a kidnapper target someone that they don't know? And most kidnaps in the world are by people that know the people they're kidnapping. So that leaves us that we know this person or persons. They are most likely people that have always envied us or never really got to know us but judged us by first impressions. These are a few things I've learnt in my course so far." Hayley explained.

I could not believe what I was hearing. I never thought that anyone ever hated me that much that they would kidnap me and kill my best friend. I could not speak. My mouth was dry and I needed to sit down for a while. I saw a tree branch that was lying on the ground and I sat down on it with my head in my hands. Hayley and Megan sat down beside me, also glad for a break, as we thought about who it could be.

"I know you don't want to answer this question to yourself, but can you think of anyone who might want to hurt you?" Hayley asked, in a real police-interrogational way.

"Yes, I remember a guy in pre-school whose crayon I stole. It's definitely him." I said sarcastically. I knew that Hayley knew that I didn't think anyone hated me that much.

Megan snorted and complained that she's hungry. We decided to rest for a while and I went into the lake to try and spear a fish to eat while Megan and Hayley prepared a fire.

It was late in the afternoon and we hadn't eaten since the snake incident. My stomach was screaming at me and I knew that we could not keep going without something to eat.

Megan and Hayley had gotten the fire going and Hayley was now cleaning the wound on Megan's leg with some of the lake water. My thoughts took me back to better times.

Me and Pete were sitting in class, drawing pictures of the lakehouse, it was right after we got back from the holiday, and Pete had his broken arm. He struggled to draw with one hand but he figured it out eventually. "What are you drawing?" I remembered the random voice coming from behind us, and the coldness hanging off his words. Pete had pretended like he was tough enough to take on the school bully with one arm, but that only got him a bruised eye and a couple of scratches on his better arm. He always had to prove to me that he was a real man. "One day I will show you who's the real man between me and you!" The bully used to intimidate him. Pete had always tried to challenge the bully, thinking that he is so strong, every time he picked on me, but I knew, and so did Pete, that he did not have the guts to really take a punch at him; Pete was not that kind of person.

When it came to friends, Pete was really protective. If anything or anyone ever hurt me, Pete would try to stand up for me; but he always lost the fight. I always teased him and told him that he should start to work out, but he always laughed and said he's strong enough already. A few years later he did start to work out, and he started getting pretty popular with the girls. I remember one year he ditched me because he was getting so much attention from the girls, but then he realised that that was not the person he wanted to be, so he stopped working out and he started to concentrate on his studies and our friendship.

"Have you found anything yet? Are you asleep??" Hayleys voice pierced through my thoughts. I realised that while I was lost in thought I had been staring at the same spot in the water the whole time. It must have looked pretty funny.

Just then I saw a big fish swimming around my feet. I quickly speared into the water and it hit the fish in the middle of its body. "We're eating well tonight, ladies!" I announced as I proudly walked out of the water with a really heavy fish on the end of my spear, I estimated it weighed about two kilos.

Hayley chucked the fish in the fire and we waited as the meat cooked.

"You're really upset about this whole thing, aren't you?" Megan asked me, realising that again I was deep in thought.

"Of course. How would you feel if you realised that you got two of your best friends kidnapped and three people killed?" I said, the question was rhetorical.

"So how do we find out who these psychos are?" I asked, trying to shift the focus from me.

"Well that we can only guess. Although I do have a few theories." Hayley said, but I knew her theories were only that; theories. And she hated that. She likes facts.

"What's your best theory?" Megan asked her.

"That they are after all three of us." She said.

"Why's that?" I asked.

"Everyone involved in this were not given a way out; except for us. If Tess really was the main focus of this then why are we still alive?" She said, pointing to Megan.

"True." Megan and I said at the same time.

"So I think that we should start looking at our backgrounds as a whole, and not individual backgrounds, and see which person or people pop up that might hate all three of us. That's all I've got." She said.

"Okay. What do you think about the kidnappers? Are there two? Or one? Or more?" I asked.

"I think that there are two. This is way too complicated and planned for one person to do alone. And three or more people generally don't work as well together, and also most kidnaps involve two kidnappers. There is the submissive one and the leader. The submissive one is the one that is usually the easiest to catch because they slip up easily. However the leader is a master mind and is usually the easier one to be sure that he is involved because he'll have a list of criminal records. So I'm thinking that we are the target of the leader, and not the submissive one. But we might know both of them." Hayley said.

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