“I missed you,” David said as he kissed me.
“I missed you too,” I responded after we pulled away from the kiss and sat down, “So? Was it that bad without me?”
“No, you were right,” he answered as he rested his hand on his cheek but pulled it away once he remembered he had a cut there.
“What happened to your face?” I asked as I gently turned his head to get a better look.
“I just fell, it’s nothing,” he said as he moved his head away from me.
“You must’ve fell hard to get a cut on your cheek and your forehead. Were you pushed?” I asked.
“No, I just fell okay.” he snapped as tears formed in his eyes, “I have to get to work. I’ll talk to you later.”
Before I could say anything else, David got up and left without another word.
----- Later that Night -----
“What was up with you this morning? You left this morning with tears in your eyes.” I asked as we laid down in bed.
“Nothing, okay? It’s over with anyway and I doubt that will happen again.” he told me as he turned towards me.
“What happened David?” I asked as I put my hand on his chest, “Did someone hurt you? Is that why the van is missing?”
“Those two things are connected, yes.” He told me as he took a deep breath, “It’s over now. It’s okay, I’m okay. We’re looking for a car to use for the time being, hopefully we’ll get one tomorrow.”
“Someone did hurt you? Someone hurt you and took the car?” I asked as he nodded slightly, “Did you call the police and file a report?”
“Why would I do that? He would have been long gone once they arrived.” he said, “I don’t want to file a report just in case I have to identify him. I don’t want to see him again, he scared the crap out of me.”
“I can go with you to fill out the report and I can be there when you identify him,” I said, “You don’t have to do this alone.”
He just looked at me and hugged me, “I don’t want to talk about this right now. I just want you to hold me.”
“Okay,” I said as I wrapped my arms around him, “I’m right here. I got you David.”
----- The Next Day (Relaxing After Breakfast) -----
I was cleaning up after breakfast while David waited for me in the living room. We both had a couple hours before we had to go to work so we were going to use them to our advantage.
As I was putting the last plate away I heard a faint “Keith” come from the living room.
“I’ll be right there David,” I called out.
“I…. can’t…. Keith…..,” I heard David respond.
“David?” I yelled as I ran to the living room to see him struggling to breath on the couch.
“Keith,” he gasped as he clawed at his shirt, “I can’t breathe.”
“You’re going to be okay,” I told him as I unbutton his shirt a little so he could breathe better, “Did you have any pains this morning?”
“I….I….” David choked out as tears ran down his face.
“Okay, it’s alright,” I interrupted, “Just shake your head yes or no. Were you having any pains this morning? In your chest? Arms?”
He shook his head “no” and waited for the next question while he tried to catch his breath.
“This is probably a panic attack David,” I told him as I cupped his face in my hands, “Did this happen suddenly? No warning?”
He nodded “yes” and pointed to the TV.
“TV?” I asked as I saw it was a true crime show about a kidnapping victim, “You were watching this? Did this scare you?”
“Okay, honey,” I said as I wiped some tears away, “You are having a panic attack and I need you to try and calm down and take some deep breaths.”
He shook his head “no” as he tried to speak again but could only gasp for air.
“Shhh. Shhh.” I told him, “I need you to touch 4 things and tell me what there are, okay? What are 4 things you can touch right now?”
He reached down and touched the couch, “Couch,” he whispered.
“Good, another one.” I told him.
“You,” he gasped as he reached out to touch me.
“Great, two more David.”
He touched the table and the lamp while he still gasped for breath. He looked at me with panic all over his face, trying to tell me he still couldn’t breathe.
“David, now tell me 3 things you hear,” I told him as I grabbed his hand, “Can you do that?”
“I hear,” he breathed, “Your voice.”
“Two more David,” I said as I kissed his hand.
“TV,” he mumbled, “And a really annoying bird.”
“Good,” I said as I smiled at him while he still tried to catch his breath, “You’re doing great baby. Now tell me two things you smell.”
“Pancakes from breakfast,” he answered as he wiped his face.
“One more,” I said.
“Your cologne,” he answered as he took a deep breath.
“Good, now one thing you taste.” I told him.
“Fear,” he sighed as he looked me in the eyes, “I taste fear.”
“Oh baby,” I said as I took him into my arms, “You’re okay. I’m here now.”
Once he was safe in my arms he just broke down and clung to me as he cried.
“You’re safe here David. Just let it go, I’m right here,” I whispered in his hair as I rubbed his back.
He cried in my arms for a couple of minutes before pulling away and saying, “He took me.”
“Who took you?” I asked, hoping he would tell me everything without shutting me out.
“I don’t know who he was. I just pulled over to give him a ride, he looked like a nice guy,” he answered.
“Did he make you drive him somewhere?” I asked.
“We were looking for his dog, we went to an ATM, and we stopped in an alley when we saw a dog that looked like his.” he explained.
“Is that when he hit you? In the alley?” I asked as I wiped more tears away.
“He hit me with a gun when I didn’t do what he said and then put the gun in my mouth. He was going to shoot me but he thought of a different idea,” he said as he shuddered.
“What did he do David?” I asked as I pushed down the feeling of anger and protectiveness so I could be supportive instead.
“He poured gasoline on me. He was going to shoot me but instead he took the van with the body in it,” he said, “Why did this happen to me? Did I do something wrong?”
“No, you did nothing wrong.” I told him as I took him in my arms again, “None of this is your fault.”
“I feel like it is,” he mumbled in my chest.
“It isn’t. It’s the bastard who hurt you.” I told him, “It is his fault.”
He continued to cry in my arms until he fell asleep. I carried him to bed and kept him close as he slept. When he woke up, it took him a little but I finally got him to agree to fill out a report.
We got ready and went down to the station together and I was with him the whole time.
-----At the Station-----
“Okay, anything else that you can remember?” my co-worker Susan asked David.
“No,” he said as he crossed his arms, “That’s all of it.”
“Okay,” she said, “I will get this processed, take a couple pictures of your wounds, and you can be on your way. Keith, I’m guessing you want to be with him when they take the pictures?”
“Yeah Susan, that’ll be great. Thanks,” I told her, knowing she was bending the rules a bit.
The three of us went into a private room where I coaxed David into taking off just his shirt so we could get some pictures. I could tell he was uncomfortable with the whole thing but I also knew that he knew it had to be done.
“Can we go home now?” he asked once he got his shirt back on.
“Yes,” I told him as I moved to open the door.
“I’ll call you if we find anything Keith,” Susan said as we left the room.
“Thank you,” I told her before walking with David out to the car and driving home.
-----Few Days Later-----
We spent the next few days just relaxing. I tried to get him to open up a little more about this traumatic event but he was refusing to. He said he wasn’t going to talk about it until he knew the man was caught and in jail where he couldn’t hurt him anymore.
“Hello,” I said into the phone as I leaned away from David to listen to the other end.
“Keith, it’s Susan. We think we found the guy. Can you and David come down to ID him?” she asked.
“Sure, we’ll be right there,” I told her before hanging up and turning to David, “That was Susan. She thinks they found the guy and would like you to ID him.”
“Are they sure it’s him?” he asked.
“Only you can answer that baby,” I told him, “They’ll either give you a piece of paper with faces on it to pick from, or they’ll have you stand in front of glass at a lineup to pick from.”
“Will he see me?” he asked as he played with the buttons on his shirt.
“No,” I said, “He will not see you, and probably never will again.”
With that answer, he felt okay enough to go to the station and take a look at the man the police had in custody.
I have to remember to give Susan a present because she had a piece of paper with pictures on it for David to look at rather than the glass. She figured David would rather do that than look through the glass that the other men can’t see through even though it seems like it.
David took less than 30 seconds to look at the paper before circling one man out of the eight given.
“Are you sure? Do you want to look again?” Susan asked.
“No, that’s him. He stole the van and kidnapped me. I know it’s him,” David answered with certainty.
“Okay, I just need you to sign and date it and then we can start to charge him,” she explained.
“Done,” he said after he signed and dated it, “Please take him away and throw his ass in jail.”
“Will do David,” she said, “Take care of him Keith.”
“I will Susan. Thank you,” I told her before taking him back to the car, “It’s over David. You did good.”