Amelia tries to control her trembling limbs and sits up straight. Even though words fail her, she glares at Leona from the backseat, seething with anger. When her mind finally starts to work again, she musters up the strength to reason with her aunt.
“You…you can’t just kidnap me. They’ll be looking for me. My father is still alive, and my mother is out there somewhere!”
“Let’s face it, Cash is never going to wake up again. As for your mother, the police will eventually find her and put her in jail where she belongs.”
Amelia’s body has transitioned back to spaghetti. She feels like she’s carrying the weight of a ten-story building. How the hell am I going to get out of this? She could tolerate the idea of staying with Leona in the same city, but they’re not even going to be in the same state. Her whole life is here. Her mother is never going to find her now, and has no idea where they’re going. She starts to cry uncontrollably. Leona can do whatever she wants now, with no one around to stop her. I want to die. Panic consumes her. She refuses to live with these people so that they can do whatever their hearts desire. This is the end. She’s going to die on her own terms.
She squints at the speedometer. Seventy miles an hour. Fast enough to get the job done. She abruptly opens the car door and tries to jump out, but Navid grabs her arm. The car skids out of control and the door flies all the way open, beckoning her to leap out. With all her strength she tries to break free from Navid’s grip, but he won’t let her go. Eli and Leona are screaming obscenities and trying to get control of the car. Beep! Beep! Honk! Other cars on the road are swerving to keep from getting hit. Amelia continues to pull away and can finally feel herself breaking free when the car swerves onto the side of the road and comes to a devastating halt.
Everyone is in shock. Eli’s hands are still glued to the wheel as he hyperventilates, and Leona’s chest is moving up and down in a rhythm of its own. They’re lucky to be alive, but the disappointment brings tears to Amelia’s eyes.
Leona reaches back and grabs Amelia’s hair with trembling hands. “You could have killed us all! If you ever pull a stunt like that again or try to escape, I will personally take joy in killing your grandparents. Do you see this?” Leona shouts while holding up her phone. Amelia’s eyes almost bug out of her head when she sees a live video of her grandparents’ house. “That’s right! I’ve been watching their every move so I’ll know if you contact them. All I have to do is make one phone call and their lives will be over. If you think I’m bluffing, TRY ME!” she growls.