I don't know what day it is, I haven't eaten for 3 days, and hands are starting to swell, I think it has something to do with all the stress I've experienced, and that fact that I haven't eaten for 3 days. The food is right there in front of me, I'm just too scared to reach for the food or else I might die. They might kill me, my fingers are cold from the stress I'm going through, and I just can't leave Zoodi (my nick for zayoodi) alone he still needs a lot of practice and backing, he already died 3 times so I know I can't trust him to be alone.
Somewhere inside I know I shouldn't be escaping from reality in a PS2 game, my life really is in danger, I actually could die of a bullet to the head if things go wrong with the ransom handover.
My new best friend is my kidnapper's son, and he can't speak my language, except
For shit which I keep muttering like a mantra when I'm playing a hard level.
It's funny how quickly you made friends with certain people given the right environment; close quarters, a common interest, and even though we couldn't communicate properly, and his dad kidnapped me at gun point, I still can't hold it against him, I mean it's not like he had a had in kidnapping me ! even though I still feel a bit eerie for him to still be tying the towel thingee around his head, but I guess his dad makes him wear so I wouldn’t recognize him later.
Then at one point where both me and Zoodi were deep into one of the final levels of the game, at that point we had entered a plane of reality where time and space lose all meaning, and the only dimension that mattered to us was the old television screen and the bad cowboys shooting at us and themselves getting shot into cyberspace hell, one disadvantage is that interrupting us while we're in this reality is like jumping off a very very speedy car.
So when zoodi's dad opened the door and came in while calling us all the way from the door to where we were sitting almost literally glued to the screen. All I saw and felt and sense was the bad guy, ducking his bullets, trying to headshot him with mine, zoodi similarly shooting at mr bad guy's little minion bad guys, I had to develop a successful pattern of ducking and shooting because my fatigue was catching up to him, this guy was very good, almost too good, already two of his bullets grazed me and I can feel the pain slowing me down, the ..
Mr kidnapper stood in front of the screen, suddenly and violently my reality exploded, my lightening fast lethal hands lost the comfortable feel of the sandalwood handles of my pistol, a pathetic dark plastic controller hung there limbless, lifeless. The shooting was still going on, the bullets were still whizzing past my head. I couldn't see past the thing (zoodi's dad), and for a second I just froze, I (or zoodi) let a sharp gasp escape.
One second was enough for us to draw enough breath to react, the next second was enough for both me and zood to scream with all our might, for both of us this was life-or-death, my stream of swearing English gibberish coupled with zoodi's high pitched gibbering screaming of his own
WHATHE THEHELL AREYOU DOIN' BABAWAKHHAAR HANMOOT MOVEWEGONNA DIE MOVEPLEASE MOVEI NEED TOSHOOT
Mr Kidnapper hadn't expected this emotional outburst (sounding even more chaotic with the game in the background), so instead of pulling out his own (very real) gun on me, or slapping me and his son like runaway slaves, he did actually jump out of our way, and plastic turned to sandalwood again, my eyes became like hawks, my hands like a wizard's staff, Zoodi's backing never faltered. I could not have wished for a better partner.
When we finally nailed the bad guy, we were able to pause the game and our own hearts, reality set in and we realized what he did, I just yelled at my captor ! I didn't want to turn around coz I knew he was standing there, sharpening his knife for all I knew.
Zoodi steals a glance at me, gives me a look that says do what I do and he turns around.
I do what he does, turn around slowly, Mr Kidnapper does look angry, but not as much as I thought, I repeat
He looks at us, doesn't say anything, his eyes moving from me to his son and back to me, his silence scares me, and now that the game is paused, there are no sounds at all, if I was standing I'd be shuffling my feet.
Finally, he looks at me,
You caan goa
I look at him, bewildered, has it already been two weeks ? I had lost track of time here because there was no watch or clock or normal television programming, my dad must be so worried about me, my mum must miss me like crazy, I could go back to Melbourne and get back to school there ! I wouldn't have to stay in Baghdad anymore ! No more kidnapping and stress and fear.
I just looked at him wide-eyed and quiet, as his son asked him what he was saying.
Com with me, I will teak you hoam
Zoodi was looking at me now, the son of my enemy, and my comrade.
Com , staand ub
I didn't know what to say, I looked at Zoodi, his eyes sparkled, or was that just my imagination ? he would be sad to see me leave.
"I can't go "
Mr Kidnapper gives me a look like he dind't understand what I said
Whaaat ? what you mean you caant goa ? I tell you go now.
"I can't, I have to finish the game, we're at the final few levels, I have to finish it !"
Silence, he's looking at me, his son is looking at him, and I'm looking at the game.