KIDNAPPED- based on a true story

My story, though fiction, is based partly on a true story that happened many long years ago.

46 years ago, a 15 yr old senior high school student of an exclusive Catholic girls school in Quezon City, Philippines, was kidnapped while she was doing her lessons at home. She came from a very rich family.

It was so sensational that for weeks, the newspapers carried it as their headline news.

The nuns and the students of the College incessantly prayed for her safety everyday and they begged the people to pray for her too. Many responded, I was one, I prayed for her safety too.

I remember thinking how hard and traumatic must it be to be in her shoes. We are almost of the same age, she was 15 and I was 14, I could almost feel her fear.

Her eventual rescue after spending almost 3 months in a dugout, was almost entirely fortuitous; the police raided the house of the mastermind of a counterfeit ring and in the process found the girl in the dugout, a dugout that was hidden under a pigpen.

This fortuitous event which I credited to God's intervention put "if's" on my mind. What if the men were killed before they can show where they held the girl, would she be found? and I created a scenario that little by little became a story on my mind.

I never forgot that story of;

                                ---------- The Kidnapped girl -------------

Many years ago, the daughter of a very rich man was kidnapped by a syndicate, a syndicate that is not only engaged on kidnapping for ransom, but in other crimes as well.

While negotiating for the ransom money, the kidnappers hid the girl in their hideout, an underground cave. This underground cave however, does not only serve as a hideaway for their kidnap victims but is also a printing press.

One day, the police raided this hideout because of a tip that a group prints fake dollars here. And so just like in the movies, there was fighting and gunfire. And just like in the movies too, all the members of the kidnap gang lay dead, including the mastermind.

But the girl was never found.

The girl was kept in a wooden cage in a chamber in the remotest part of the cave and entrance to this chamber was blocked with a big stone.

When she heard the fighting and the gunfire, she was so frightened, she just coiled in her cage.

And so the girl stayed in the cage for many more days even if her captors were dead.
Food was no problem, her captors left food good for 30 days on her cage.

One day an earthquake jostled the stone door to her chamber and she saw a little light. The wooden planks of her cage are now rotten and could easily be pushed but still the girl was too frightened to leave her cage and follow the light. She just waited and waited in her cage.

Then one day a rat, lured by the smell of food entered her cage; she was so frightened that she tore out her prison walls and run out. Then she sat down and waited for the rat to leave.

How she wanted for the rat to leave her cage. But the rat would not leave, there was plenty of food.

For many days, she waited and waited. She wanted to return to her cage but she was very afraid of the rat, until one day, hunger within her, she decided to follow the light. The light lead her to the outside world again.

The girl that came out of the cave was thin, filthy, and insane. Gone is the young girl's mind.

And so she wandered and wandered and came to the barrio. She is rich and her parents had offered reward for her whereabouts but no one recognized her. People saw her as a wandering mad woman. Vendors gave her food and restaurants gave her leftovers and beggars let her sleep alongside them.

And so the girl stayed alive for many more years until one day, she died.

The people of the barrio pitied the girl that they gave her a decent burial. They even made her a coffin made of plywood and because no one can afford paint, they pasted her coffin with colored pages of an old magazine.

The magazine carried her pictures and her kidnapping story but nobody noticed it. The dead girl does not have any resemblance to the rich girl in the picture. The girl in the magazine has long glossy black hair, smooth skin and laughing eyes, while the girl they pity and bury has long coarse hair and skin full of blisters and bites and her eyes are that of a mad woman, scared and mistrusting.

And so the girl was buried in an unmarked grave, for no one knows her name.

All they could get from her when she was asked her name was ‘Mommy’.

Nowadays, when people of the barrio talk about the girl, all they ever remember was " the mad woman who likes beautiful red cars ". For whenever she came across a parked red car, she would look inside the window and would never leave the car until the driver shoves her away.

No one ever knew the reason why.