I walked the aisles of the video store recently, in search of a movie to pass away another evening with low level television offerings. As I scanned the titles, one in particular caught my attention. It was about the kidnapping of a young girl, who is held captive for nefarious purposes. I shivered when I recalled the time I was held captive.
I wasn’t too frightened when my ordeal began, but soon it became apparent my life was on the line. Although my captors had promised I would be released in a short period of time, I still did not trust them to keep their word. All I could think of was death at their hands. Sweat broke out on my forehead and stung my armpits. The edges of my stomach cramped as each new jolt of adrenaline hit.
No matter how much my captors tried to smile and make me feel comfortable, I remained rigid. They didn’t fool me, and I let them know it. After two hours into my ordeal, I was still certain I faced death. The seat they’d given me was hot, cramped, confining. The strap around my body cut into my flesh and limited the amount of air my hysterical lungs let in.
They had tried to feed me, but my body rejected any offer of friendship. If I was going to die at their hands, it would be a hungry death. Let them live with that thought!
Strange sounds assaulted my ears continuously, making my heart jump and sending waves of panic through my already exhausted body. Each wave left me shaken, wet and limp. I checked my watch. How slowly the minutes ticked by! When would I be released?
I tried everything to divert my thoughts. I concentrated on relaxing my body, letting my muscles go—it didn’t work. One of my captors came toward me, a smiling, contorted face, reminiscent of funny house mirrors. I knew she sensed my fear, so I turned and looked out the window.
Familiar, comforting sights greeted me. Blue sky, white clouds, brilliant sunshine. I imagined myself a little girl again. “Watch me, mommy, I can climb the biggest tree!” Wood scratched my feet and scraped my arms, but I continued to climb higher. A small, green leaf tickled my nose and made me sneeze. I no longer held onto the tree, but falling, falling, falling…
My thoughts came back abruptly as I felt a thud. The blood rushing to my head caused an excruciating roar in my ears. A smile teased my lips as relief flooded my body like a welcome rain on a hot, dusty day.
It was over. I had made it. I turned and smiled at my captor, but she didn’t see. Her mind was busily occupied with other problems. I was no longer her concern. But it was okay. I loved her, I loved everyone. Even the man next to me who took up half my seat.
The relief was enormous. I stood and stretched. My first plane flight had come to an end.