“Take the purple pill,” he said. It will make you feel higher than a kite at the top of Mt. Everest. Bennett was cute and he had also been my closest friend for the last two years. I trusted him, and I wanted him secretly, so I listened. My mistake.
It was my 21st birthday and I was ready to come alive and introduce myself to the world, or at least Bennett. He was the funniest guy in the room and that sandy blonde hair did wonders for my imagination. His eyes were as light as the sky and his toned body was begging me to hold onto it. I didn’t tell him any of this.
I knew I was beautiful but Bennett was a lady’s man anyway. He got any girl he wanted and I thought it was best if we just remained friends, for this reason. I didn’t want to get my heart, broken, and lose my friend.
The car pulled up and a stern, strong voice demanded, “Get in.” Bennett was laughing hysterically and grabbed my hand, “Come on Lanie. It’ll be fun!” he insisted. Anything for you Bennett, I thought. The purple pill must be working.
I don’t remember anything after that, except waking up in Hong Kong. I was sitting in a chair in a dark room and Bennett was passed out next to me. “Bennett wake up!” I couldn’t stop laughing.
“What man?!” he grumbled.
Laughing, I shook him violently, “Look at this.”
Bennett opened his eyes and started laughing too. “Trippy man, we’re prisoners!”
Laughing uncontrollably, I managed to stand up and then fell back down immediately. An unfamiliar man walked into the room, “Hey, you two, are you ready for your 2nd pill?” He asked.
“What the fuc...man…” Bennett stood and fell to the ground too. The man approached us with a tray of medication.
Bennett, still laughing, got back on his feet, and decided it would be a good idea to punch the man, hard. “Come on Lanie, let’s blow this garbage dump!” Bennett laughed and started running zigzag.
I burst out laughing too and followed Bennett, barely, out of the building, and into the noisy, vibrant streets of Hong Kong. We only knew it was Hong Kong because we stumbled into a taxi, no literally, Bennett ran out into the road and straight into the parked taxi. The man yelled at us in Chinese and Bennett opened the door and we plopped in, still seeing double.
“What’s good man?” Bennett asked laughing.
“Americans.” The man mumbled under his breath.
“Where areeee we?” I asked.
“Hong Kong.” The taxi-driver sounded annoyed.
Just then the man from the building came out running towards us. “Go, go!” I yelled.
“Where you go?”
“Airport, now!!! NOW!!!”
The taxi driver took off and pretty soon we had a black van on our tail. We jumped out of the taxi and ran into the foreign airport, still feeling out of our minds. Two men jumped out of the van and ran after us inside. We somehow managed to jump through lines of people and run for our lives. We looked like we were getting away until suddenly I saw a man hit Bennett on the side of his head and he went down and then, BOOM, I got hit too.
I woke up again, feeling like I wanted to go back to sleep for a very long time, and looked over at Bennett. We were in the airport detainee room and Bennett was staring off into space with a giant smile on his face. “Bennett!” I pushed his arm but he just stared straight ahead.
“He won’t answer you.” A Chinese man in black walked into the room.
“Who are you and what the hell do you want?!” I demanded.
“Oh, I’m just the doctor.” The evil man grimaced.
“Well, I’m not sick.”
“Not yet,” he chuckled.
“This isn’t funny!” But I was actually laughing.
“Oh but your face says otherwise. What’s your name dear?”
“Like I would tell you.”
“Oh well, it doesn’t matter to me anyway. Today, you are patient 100789.”
“It’s for a good cause, I promise,” his creepy smile got bigger. “Now, we can do this the hard way or easy.”
I kicked my legs to try and knock the chair over but then I realized I wasn’t even tied up.
“I can just run out of this room, you psycho!” I yelled.
“Yes, but what then about your dear friend?”
“Bennett!” I screamed again and then laughed. “Bennett!”
“I told you, my dear, he’s not available right now.”
“Why are you doing this?” I asked.
“In the name of Science and Worldwide Peace.”
“You have two choices. Take the 2nd purple pill and you will feel no pain, I don’t think. Just look at your friend Bennett.”
I looked at Bennett, “What’s my second choice?”
“You are free to leave right now, as all participants of this study are required to be voluntary.”
“Okay, I choose that one.”
“Just know your friend stays.”
“No! He’s coming with me.” I stumbled to my feet and tried to lift Bennett up, but he was too heavy and I was too weak.
“I’m sorry I can’t let you do that.” The man grabbed my arm and pulled me off Bennett.
“The boy has chosen to take the 2nd pill, of his own free-will.”
“And why would he do that?”
“Never mind that. Now, leave...and leave him behind too. Or stay...and volunteer for this urm, drug trial.”
“I don’t think so! Help! Help! Somebody help!”
“They can’t hear you. It’s soundproof in here.”
I ran over to the door and started beating on it.
“It’s unlocked my dear, but just know if you leave now, you will never EVER see your dear Bennett again!”
“Argh!” I charged towards the man as hard and fast as I could and knocked him down. Then, I picked up his medical tray and hit him hard in the head with it.
“Bennett! Please!” But he was out. “You’re really going to make me do this, aren’t you?!”
I wrapped my whole body around Bennett, feeling his sexy muscles and everything, and pulled him up with every power in me. I managed to somehow drag him to the door. “Help, someone help!”
People just stared and whispered, and walked away quickly. Great, so much for doing this the easy way...
I managed to find a wheelchair and pushed Bennett down into it, nearly out of breath. “Bennett, are you in there?” I whispered into his ear. No response. Ugh...what is my life.
“Can somebody help? He needs medical attention!”
No one helped me, so I pushed him outside and waved down a taxi, still feeling like I was going to pass out. The driver and I managed to get him in. “Please sir, I need to go to the hospital.”
The man nodded and we were off. Bennett was still breathing but he was just staring off into space, still with a smile on his face. 20 minutes later, the man pulled down an alleyway.
“Hey! This is not the hospital!”
“Out, NOW!” The man yelled.
“NOW!” He pointed a gun at my face.
“Okay, okay…” I put my hands up and got out of the car.
Then, the taxi-driver took off with Bennett still in the car. “Hey, come back! You can’t do that! Hey!”
I sunk into the concrete and began to cry, while still feeling like I wanted to laugh. I was alone in a dark alleyway in a strange, HUGE city in the middle of the night, and my best friend and secret crush had just been drugged out of his mind and kidnapped.
Could this night get any worse? “Hey, American.” Three Chinese boys began to walk up to me. “What are you doing all alone out here?” one asked. “It’s not safe for a pretty girl like yourself to be here,” said another one. “We can help you,” the third one reached out and twirled my hair. Just as they were about to grab me, I kicked one in the nuts and spit in the other’s face before running away.
I ran and I ran and I ran, as fast as I could. All I wanted was a fun and fabulous 21st birthday with my hot friend and this had turned into a total nightmare! I kept running until I felt like I was going to throw up and suddenly another man turned the corner and I ran right into him. He grabbed me and pulled me into the shadows and covered my mouth with his hands. “Shhhh!” He insisted. “I’m here to help you. I’m not going to hurt you. Please, let me show you.”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a card that said: “British Secret Intelligence” on it. I squinted my eyes in the shadows to get a good look at the man. He was definitely not Asian and his British accent was clear.
“Who are you?!” I demanded.
“My name is Elliott Sanclaire and as you can see, I work for the British Government.”
“Why are you in China then?!”
“We’ve been following a case for months. And I believe you and your friend, what’s his name, Bennett? are two of the latest victims.”
“Bennett?! What do you know about him? Where is he?!”
“Calm down. Calm down. We don’t know who's watching.”
“Yes, please Miss. Let me take you back to my unit and we can talk safely there.”
“How should I trust you?”
“Here.” He handed me his wallet. “As collateral.”
“Now, please, my car is this way.”
I had nothing to lose at that point, so I followed Elliott back to his Beamer.
We arrived at some large van parked on the side of a dimly-lit street. “I don’t know about this.”
“You can trust me.” He looked serious enough.
I followed him into the van to see it had been transformed on the inside into what looked like a Secret Police, Spy-Unit.
I sat down and he pushed a bunch of buttons and turned on some monitoring screens. “We believe your friend is being taken to a secret location on the edge of the Island, where others may be being kept. We plan to invade there as soon as possible, but first I need to ask you some questions for verifying purposes.”
“Sure, anything. I just want to get Bennett back.”
“Can you describe the pill that you took?”
“It was a purple, long swallowable pill.”
“Great, did it have any writing on it?”
“I don’t think so.”
“What do you remember after that?”
I answered all of Elliott’s questions and then he radioed in some of his men. They were planning on seizing the place within the next hour. He talked me through the plan and apparently I could be used as bait to draw the men out as a Decoy, if I agreed. He convinced me it was the best play and they’d have my back, all eyes on me. He even gave me a small pocket knife to make me feel better.
Once more, what did I have to lose anyway? I was starting to sober up and everything was becoming less funny and more real. Now, I just felt mad and worried about Bennett. These suckers would pay.
45 minutes later, I was wired and ready to cause a distraction. Men with guns and loud voices came out at me and I put my hand on the knife. “Oh dear God, I’m sorry for all my sins,” I prayed out loud. They yelled in Chinese and were closing in on me with guns pointed at my head. I closed my eyes and prepared for the worst when I heard Elliott’s voice. “Get down!” I ducked and gunfire went off.
Next thing I knew, Elliott was down on the ground beside me. “Get back to the van NOW!” He yelled into my ear.
I must have passed out again from exhaustion, or stress, or panic but the next thing I knew, I was waking up again in a strange place. Or was it strange? I looked around to see a nurse in my room looking at some paperwork. She smiled at me, “Welcome home, Lanie. You’ve been through a lot.” Oh thank God, I was back in America.
“Bennett. Where’s Benne…?”
“Bennett is fine.” She opened the curtain to the next section of the double-room and there he was smiling at me; this time it was real. “Hi Lanie,” he said. “You saved my life.”
And this would be a story that neither one of us would ever forget. Bennett spent the next 3 years of his life trying to make it up to me until he finally asked me to be his wife. He said he didn’t want to live his life without me and I suppose, he never could.