From Bad To Worse

Liz’s point of view

“So did you decide how you’re going to tell him?” asked Kevin.
I shook my head. “Nope, I have no idea how to tell him something like this,” I confessed. “What if he thinks that I’m nuts?” I asked.
“He won’t think you’re nuts,” said Kevin comfortingly.
“You don’t know that,” I told him. “How many people do you know that have done something like I did?” I asked.
“Um, well, okay none,” admitted Kevin. “But still, that doesn’t mean that Nick will think that you’re nuts,” he said.
“Maybe I just shouldn’t tell him at all,” I said sighing.
“Liz, you have to,” said Kevin sternly.
“Why? It’s all in the past, I don’t see any reason for why I should bring it up,” I said shrugging.
“He deserves to know,” said Kevin softly. “Besides, you need Nick and you know it,” he stated.
“Yeah I know,” I said. “How am I going to stay away from Brad though? It seems like he’s everywhere!”
“Don’t worry, I don’t have to go back to Florida for another few days, and by then, I’m sure you and Nick will have everything worked out so he’ll be here for you,” replied Kevin. At that moment we heard the door open and close.
“Liz, I’m home!” called out Lana. She walked into the living room and looked quizzically at Kevin and me.
“Hey Lana,” said Kevin.
“Hey,” I said.
“Hi guys,” said Lana, confused slightly about Kevin’s presence. “Is something wrong?” she asked.
“No, why would you think that something is wrong?” I asked, trying to keep my voice lighthearted.
“Because Kev is here,” replied Lana and pointed at Kevin.
He pointed at himself with an innocent expression and raised his eyebrows. “Me?” he asked. “What does this have to do with me?”
“Well, last time I checked, all of you guys went back to Florida a couple of days ago,” replied Lana.
“I came back to do some stuff,” said Kevin hastily.
“Sure you did,” said Lana nodding. “Now will you please tell me what’s going on?” she asked.
“Nothing is,” I insisted.
“Something is,” argued Lana.
“No, nothing is going on,” I repeated.
“Liz, I’m not going anywhere until you tell me,” said Lana and sat down on a chair in front of Kevin and me.
“Maybe you should tell her,” suggested Kevin.
I sighed as I considered telling Lana. I thought for a few minutes and then came to a decision. “Okay, but you have to promise not to tell anyone, especially Nick,” I told her.
“Of course,” said Lana nodding.
“Okay, it happened about four years ago, before me and my family moved here…”

Nick’s point of view

Where was Kevin? He had gone to Liz’s house almost five hours ago and he was still not back. I paced nervously in my room as I considered all the possibilities of what Liz might have told him. All the things I thought about sounded too crazy and I told myself to just stop thinking about them. But I knew that I had to get to the bottom of it. I couldn’t just stand by and do nothing while Liz dated that creep Brad.
Finally, about two hours later, I heard Kevin come back.
“Well?” I asked.
“Well, you and Liz really need to talk,” replied Kevin taking off his jacket.
“THAT’S ALL??” I exploded.
“Sorry Nicky, but Liz wants to tell you this herself, and besides, I promised her that I wouldn’t tell anyone,” he said.
“And how, might I ask, does this little talk that you had with her help me?” I exclaimed.
“Well, at least Liz is actually calm now,” responded Kevin. “And Brad, I hope, will stay far away from her,” he added and I saw him tense up.
“Did something happen between her and Brad?” I asked.
Kevin then proceeded to tell me what had happened when Brad stopped by and what happened he day before.
“I’m gonna kill him,” I said after Kevin was finished.
“No need to kill anyone Nick, just be there for Liz,” said Kevin calmly.
“But how can I be there for her when she keeps pushing me away?” I asked.
“She won’t anymore,” promised Kevin. “She really does want to tell you, she just doesn’t how you’ll react,” he added.
“I’ll react fine to whatever it is,” I said. “I just want her to tell me.”
“I can’t comment on the fact that you’ll react fine,” said Kevin shrugging.
“Easy for you to say,” I retorted. “You already know everything.”
“And you will too, soon,” responded Kevin.
“I hope so, I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this,” I said. Kevin nodded sympathetically.

Liz’s point of view

“How are you going to tell him?” asked Lana.
“I don’t know,” I said frustratingly. I was getting sick and tired of hearing that question. “I’ll find a way.”
“Do you have work on Monday?”
“Yeah.”
“Does Nick?”
“Yep.”
“So you can talk to him then,” said Lana.
“I can’t talk to him while we’re at work, we’re there to work, not stand around and have serious conversations,” I told her. “And this is going to be a very serious conversation,” I added.
“I can see why,” said Lana nodding.
“Uh huh, and I am so not looking forward to having it with him,” I said frowning.
“Liz, what are you so afraid of?” asked Lana.
“I’m afraid of losing Nick,” I replied.
“You’re not gonna lose him,” said Lana softly.
“Yeah, so everyone says,” I commented. “But I really won’t know if I’ll lose him or not until I tell him this huge thing and then see his reaction.” I turned to face Lana. “I just can’t help but think that his reaction will be very bad, like the kind where he’ll never speak to me again cause he’ll think that I’m a total nutcase,” I confessed.
“You’re not a nutcase,” assured Lana. “Maybe a bit on the weird side, but definitely not a nutcase,” she added with a smile.
I didn’t smile back; I didn’t have the strength. “I really hope you’re right,” I said.
“I am, you’ll see,” said Lana smiling encouragingly. I wished that I could’ve believed her.

MONDAY MORNING

I was dragging myself to work. I really didn’t feel like going but it wasn’t like I had a choice in the matter. I had almost reached the set when I heard footsteps behind me. I only had to turn one more corner and I would see the building, so I sped up. The person behind me sped up too. Then I heard the person start to run. Before I had a chance to reach the corner, I felt a handkerchief on my mouth and I smelled an odor. ‘Chloroform,’ was my last thought before I slipped into unconsciousness.

AN HOUR LATER
Nick’s point of view

“Nick, have you seen Liz?” asked Jake.
I looked at the director. “Nope,” I said shaking my head.
“This is so strange, she’s never late,” he commented and then went off in the other direction to look for Liz.
I was beginning to get worried too. Jake was right, Liz was never late, and if I wasn’t mistaken, I had seen her car parked about a block away from the set that morning and I couldn’t figure out where she was. I tried telling myself that nothing happened, but my heart told me otherwise.
“We can’t shoot this scene without Liz!” I heard Todd call out. Him and Jake had no success in finding her.
Jake looked at his watch. “Okay, we’ll have to move some things around then,” he announced and all the actors moved closer to listen to what he had to say. “Since Liz is not here, we cannot shoot the scene between her and Nick, so this is what we’re going to do,” he said while looking through the script. “We’re going to shoot the scene between Tanya and Jeff and a few of the other extras. So Nick, that means you’re free to go, but please, as soon as you see Liz, tell her to get over here immediately,” he told me and I nodded in understanding. I quickly went to my trailer and changed back into my regular clothes. I went outside and began to look for any signs that gave a hint as to whether or not Liz really was there this morning. I found none. I then walked one block and went to see if I had really seen her car or if I was mistaken. When I got to the place where I thought her car was parked, I found nothing. The space was empty. ‘I guess I was mistaken,’ I thought as I took out my cell phone and dialed Liz’s home phone number.
“Hello?” came Lana’s voice.
“Hey Lana, it’s Nick,” I said identifying myself. “Can you call Liz to the phone?” I asked.
I heard Lana laugh. “Are you like not awake or something yet? Liz is at work,” she said.
“No she’s not,” I contradicted. “I was just at work and Liz didn’t show up,” I told her.
“WHAT?” exclaimed Lana. “But I saw her leave for work this morning, she got into her car and drove away,” she said.
The gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach that told me something was wrong returned stronger than ever. “Okay, this is not good, but it doesn’t mean that anything happened,” I said quickly. “Maybe she got a flat tire or something,” I suggested, but I didn’t believe it. “Do you have to work today?” I asked.
“No.”
“Okay good, stay home and Kevin and me will come by your house in about a half an hour, then we’ll all go look for Liz.”
“Good idea.”
“Alright, I’ll see you then.”
“Okay, bye,” said Lana and we both hung up. I then quickly went over to my own car and drove home. It was quiet when I stepped into my house because it was only 8:30 and Kevin was still asleep. On any other day, I would’ve let him sleep, but this day was different. I wasted no time in going upstairs and to his room.
“Kev, wake up,” I said loudly. Kevin didn’t stir. “WAKE UP!” I yelled. This time Kevin rolled over and opened his eyes.
“Aren’t you supposed to be at work?” he asked sleepily.
“Something happened to Liz,” I told him and Kevin instantly bolted up in bed.
“What?” he asked.
“I don’t know what happened, I just know something bad did,” I replied. “She didn’t show up for work,” I explained.
Kevin relaxed slightly. “Maybe she didn’t feel well,” he suggested while climbing out of bed.
“Lana saw her leave for work,” I informed him.
“Oh, well maybe she had a flat tire,” he said.
I looked at him. “Do you really believe that?” I asked.
Kevin hesitated for a second and then shook his head. “Give me ten minutes,” he said.
I nodded and left the room. Once downstairs, I sat down on a chair in the kitchen and tried to come up with any reasonable explanations for why Liz was not at work. I came up with a lot; unfortunately, I didn’t believe any of them.
“Okay, I’m done, let’s go,” announced Kevin as he came down the stairs. Well, actually, as he ran down the stairs.
“Good, let’s go get Lana and then go look for Liz,” I said getting up and grabbing my car keys.
“You want me to drive?” offered Kevin. I nodded and handed him the keys, I knew that I was in no condition to drive; I was too worried about Liz. With me behind the wheel, we would probably crash into the first tree, or any other still standing object, that was in our way. Kevin started the car as I ran over to get Lana. She was already standing near the front door waiting for me.
“She didn’t call?” I asked, looking for a silver lining.
“No,” said Lana shaking her head.
“Then let’s go,” I said and we both headed over to Kevin, who had already pulled out of the driveway and was waiting for us. We drove by the route that we knew Liz had taken that morning. Searching for any signs of her car got us nowhere. We then finally wound up a block away from the set where I had originally thought that I had seen her car. We all got out and went over to that parking space. Still nothing. Then all three of us, slowly walked the block towards the set. Nothing. We were about to turn the corner when I noticed something glimmer near the edge of the sidewalk.
“Guys, hang on,” I said and went over to see what it was. It was Liz’s silver bracelet. “No,” I whispered softly as I sank down to the ground.
“Nick what is it?” yelled Lana as her and Kevin rushed towards me.
“It’s Liz’s bracelet,” I replied showing them the piece of jewelry. “She was here,” I added.
“So where is she now?” asked Kevin looking around.
“She’s gone, it happened again,” I said and felt tears run down my cheeks.
Lana looked confused. “What happened again?” she asked.
“Don’t you know what happened during the summer?” asked Kevin.
“No,” said Lana shaking her head.
“How can you not? It was all over the newspapers,” I told her.
“I was in Europe this summer,” replied Lana.
“Oh, that explains it,” I said and wiped away some of my tears.
“So what happened?” asked Lana again.
“Liz was kidnapped,” said Kevin.
“WHAT?” yelled Lana. Kevin and me then proceeded to tell her what happened.
“That’s why I said ‘again’,” I told her after we were done with the story.
“You think Liz was kidnapped?” asked Kevin.
“Yeah, there’s no other explanation,” I replied.
“But by whom?” asked Lana.
“It can’t be the guy that kidnapped her during the summer, he’s still in jail and will be for the rest of his life with no parole,” said Kevin.
“I think it was Brad,” I told them. “It makes perfect sense,” I added.
“But she’s his girlfriend,” said Kevin, but I could see he was holding something back.
“Drop the act Kev, I know that Liz didn’t want to be with Brad and that he was using something against her to get her to be with him,” I snapped.
“Okay, so what if it was Brad?” asked Lana. “How do we find Liz?”
“I don’t know,” I said shaking my head. “Wait,” I said holding up my hand. “Do you smell something?” I asked. Both Kevin and Lana shook their hands. “It’s coming from over there,” I said and walked a few feet to my right. There I found a handkerchief. I carefully picked it up by the corner and smelled it. I then immediately brought it away from my face. “Chloroform,” I said identifying the smell.
“Chloro-what?” asked Lana.
“Chloroform,” I repeated. “It’s like an anesthetic, but if you bring it close to the person’s nose and mouth, it knocks them out,” I explained. “It was probably used on Liz,” I added.
“I’m pretty sure you’re right,” agreed Kevin. “We have to call the police,” he said.
“Don’t you have to wait twenty four hours before you can file a missing persons report?” asked Lana.
“I think so, but this is different, Liz may be in real danger if we don’t do something,” I said.
“Okay, then let’s go,” said Kevin. We all then piled back into the car and headed to the police station.


chapter 8 chapter 10