I sat in the interrogation room quietly as I listened to the officers repeat what they had told me.
"You have to tell us everything you know first. If you answer our questions then you'll be allowed to see your family." One of the two officers said. I turned my pleading eyes to the detective that had saved me. Detective Min. He shook his head with the same serious face he always had on and he spoke quietly so that only I could hear.
"It's best if you just tell them what they want to know quickly and then you can meet your family."I frowned but I did what he said and turned to one of the officers.
"Name?" He asked.
I sat quietly at first because I knew that I should just recite what I used to write, but I didn't want to. I took a deep breath and said it for what I hoped to be the very last time. "My name is Jessica Smith. I'm twenty-four, turning twenty-five this year. I was kidnapped when I was twelve by a nineteen-year-old man named Michael Strauss. He is now thirty-one, turning thirty-two in September. We lived in a large house in the forest. He hasn't ever hurt me and he treats me like a princess. I don't think he would've ever hurt me." I had slightly modified it but it was nearly the same as every time I wrote it down in the last three years. The cops looked at me, clearly pretty surprised. Detective Min was the one who spoke up first.
"If you could tell us who was in charge of you and how Michael got you, that would be very helpful."
"I lived with my mom and dad. Well, I guess just mom. Dad was sick and in the hospital. I was walking home from school one day and this nice guy parked his car across the street and asked if I wanted a ride. He looked so nice and he couldn't have been much older than me so I hopped in. He did take me home. He continued to do so until one day I realized something and asked on our way to my house. "How did you know I lived here the first time we came?" That's what I said. I remember him smiling at me through the rearview mirror and telling me it was because he loved me. He drove me somewhere different that day and then he blindfolded me and when he took it off, we were at a house in the middle of the forest." The cops nodded.
"Thank you. If we need anymore information you can call me." Detective mean handed me a piece of paper with an phone number on it. I took it and then looked back at the two cops.
"Can I see my family now?" I asked. They nodded and left the room. Detective Min left after making one more remark.
"Just take a seat at the table. They'll be in in a moment." I nodded and sat at the interrogation table. Just as he had said, a minute or two later a boy and a girl barged into the room. I could only assume that they were my big brother and little sister but they looked so... grown up now.
"Jessica!" My older brother said as he crushed me in a hug that my little sister quickly joined.
"Christopher, Emily, you're crushing me!" I choked out. They both let go and apologized. I invited them to sit down and, though they were reluctant to do so, they did. Although we had sat down, I noticed how my brother never once let go of my hand.
"Are you okay?!" Emily said as she wiped tears from her eyes.
"I'm okay, but where's mom?" Both of my siblings looked down. "Where is she? Is she talking to the police or something? Why didn't she come in and at least say hi to me?" They were still completely silent. "Chris. Where. Is. Mom." Christopher finally looked up into my eyes.
"Gone. She's gone, Jess." Christopher said.
"What?" I said quietly as I tried to keep my voice even.
"She looked everywhere for you and after people started to forget about you she tried one more time to get news coverage and they told the world on LIVE NEWS that you were as good as dead. It must have gotten to mom because she died a few weeks later. She tried so hard for you." Christopher said.
I sat there with my hands in Christopher's as tears rolled down my face. Half the reason I even stayed sane in that huge, beautifully disgusting prison was thinking about when I would get to see my dad again.
"Are we allowed to go home? I think we should if we can. We kept your room just the way it was when you left." Emily finally spoke up.
"We can go." I said. We all stood up - Christopher still holding tight to my hand - and left the room.
I'm not sure how things will be from now on. If I'm being honest, it all feels a little weird. As much as I love my siblings I feel like I still need time to be away from them. I know, it seems weird, I haven't seen them for twelve years and, after seeing them, the first thing I want to do is get away. I just feel like it's all too much. I need time to adjust. I'm just not sure what I'll do. I feel like I need to live away from them and just meet them every once in a while until I'm a little more adjusted to all this. Everything's so different now too. Snapchat and Instagram weren't even a thing! Most computers couldn't just be carried around and phone weren't paper thin. I just .... want some time to ease into things. I guess I'm just adjusting. I think I need this.