I had packed the rest of my things from the office, which I needed for the trip to Africa. Our company was sending me to our offices there to set up a meeting with the local government. I was to set up contracts for mineral rights in certain regions of the country. I checked the office one more time to see if there was anything else I needed, seeing that there wasn't, I saw myself in the mirror. Oh God! what a bad hair day I thought. I'm not a natural blonde but I like to think that others believe that I am. I do not look too bad for thirty-nine, a hundred twenty five pounds and I still have somewhat perky breast, I feel good about myself. I shut and locked the door, turned to meet Tony.
"Hey Donna, so you are headed out?" Tony was in his mid forties, married with kids, very friendly and a wonderful boss. I could not imagine working for anyone else, especially with the strong will I have. I should have been fired long ago with some of the fights I have put up.
"Yeah, looks like I've got everything." I was a rushed trying to get everything together. Now I had to run pick my daughter Brianna up. She decided she wanted to go with me at the last minute. She was a newly wed; only twenty-two just out of college, but this was a trip that we would have some quality time together in a foreign land. Her husband was so busy working that he understood and supported her going.
"So what time you leaving out?" Tony said.
"Seven in the morning, I am on my way to pick Brianna up now, she decided to go with me at the last minute."
"Oh, I didn't know anyone was going with you." The look of surprise that Tony gave was a little uncomfortable.
"Her expense is coming out of mine and Randy's pocket; her father wanted her to go too." I sounded somewhat defensive, for, I had a reputation for an argumentative personality.
"Oh I know, that's ok, I didn't mean anything by it."
"Have a safe trip."
"Ok, thanks Tony, Bye." I moved swiftly down the hall and out the door, I did not needed any more interruptions.
I pulled up in Brianna's driveway and honked away. She came strolling out the door with bags in each hand, Her husband Mike had his hands full as well. I knew she would bring the house with her. I watched her stroll to the car, her blonde hair and gorgeous figure, her mannerisms and compassion for others, what a fine woman she had turned out to be. I had birthed her when I was only seventeen. Randy and I had raised her well.
Her bags loaded in the trunk, slid in the front, "Off we go Mom."
"Looks like you got a tan." I said.
"Yeah, been in the tanning bed all week, wanted to look good for our trip."
I looked into those blue eyes of hers, "Brianna, now you look good anyway, you don't have to alter yourself to be attractive; you are one of those naturals."
"Oh God Mom, flatter me some more." She giggled as she always did. She was always in a good mood, fun to be with. She was popular in school, active in many activities, friendly with everyone and had made many friends.
I smiled at her as we drove off.
The clock went off early; I sprung up exhilarated, filled with anticipation about our venture. Brianna was already up and ready. The excitement in her face was evident. My husband Steve got up with us; he walked us to the car and gave me a good kiss bye. We made our way to the airport in a timely manner, boarded and off we went.
We were to arrive at the airport in downtown, a limo was to pick us up and take us to a hotel about seventy-five miles from town. Everything happened, as it should, we arrived, were picked up and started down the highway in a nice limo.
We came to a stop an hour later in a remote place. I asked the driver what we were doing. He just looked at me without saying anything.
Suddenly, four black men opened the back doors to the limo and helped Brianna and me out. They put us in a jeep without saying anything, placing our bags in with us. Brianna looked at me puzzled.
"Where are we going?" I asked the driver.
Just a stare in the rearview is all I got. They locked the doors but from the outside. He drove off, eventually coming to a runway with a cargo plane running. I was still not sure what was going on. The same four men removed us from the jeep and escorted us to the plane.
"Hey where are we going?" I asked resisting as he grasped my arm squeezing harder as I tried to stop him.
Before I knew it we were in the back of the cargo plane by ourselves. A sense of panic overwhelmed me.
"Mom where are they taking us, was this what was supposed to happen?"
"I don't think so; I don't know what's going on." Bewildered, I could feel the plane barreling down the runway and then taking off. What was happening, why were these men so quiet, did we get in the wrong limo? I was now playing everything over in my mind. Yes we did get in the right limo, they had my name and my companies name on the card, they knew what they were doing. Then, what is the explanation?
I looked at my watch, four hours had passed, I could feel the plane descend. Brianna and I had made conversation the entire way with scenario's of what could be happening. Kidnapped? No, it couldn't be, who would know we were there, why would they have just taken us? Maybe this is just where we were going, I must have had the location wrong or something.
The plane came to a halt. Brianna and me were escorted off the plane and into the back seat of a car with soldiers inside who sat on either side of us. Night had fallen; the darkness invaded the car reeking fear in my bones about the unknown.
"Where exactly are we going?" I demanded. My questions were unanswered. I now began to worry. Brianna held my hand tightly. We drove about a half hour and entered what seemed to be some kind of military compound. "We are Americans!" I shouted.
"We know who you are." One of the soldiers responded in English speaking with an African accent.
We drove through this huge wooden gate attached to towering stone walls on either side, they stood at least fifteen feet. Guards staffed the top of the wall in intervals. Slowly entering the gate, I stared at what was up ahead; it looked like a small town, cobble stone streets, buildings on both sides. I saw what looked to be a club, inside was music and people dancing. All the men were dressed as soldiers. Something was not right. They were all black African men. Why were all the women white? What was this? This is strange I thought.
"What is this place?" Brianna asked reading my mind but looking for assurance that I knew.
"I just don't know, stay right with me Bri." I spoke nervously, she sensed it too, the only time I shortened her name was when something was wrong, she knew it. We both gazed through the windows into the street and buildings. The buildings were only one story, made of stone with thick wooden doors like something from medieval times.
We came to a deserted part of the town and stopped. The entire town had only been made up of about six blocks it seemed and was surrounded by these massive stone walls. The soldiers got and pulled us with them. We were ushered inside a building and escorted down a long dark hallway. We made so many turns that I became disoriented. The sounds of the soldier's boots echoes off the stone walls, for the floors were made of the same stone but smoother. We came to a wooden door which looked to be centuries old. The lead soldier took out a set of keys and unlocked it. We entered.
I gazed around the room. The smell of must from century old wood and stone dampened form leaky roof at times no doubt. I got a sick feeling in my stomach.
Two chairs in the corner, a sofa and coffee table placed strategically for a non-interrupted view of the bed. Present, in the middle of the room was a queen bed; red satin sheets lined the mattress. Three cameras were positioned in different places. The room was dark except for the soft lights glowing on the bed. The lights were positioned such that it looked like professionals were about to begin shooting..........They were.