“Get in”, he said. It was dark and wet. Cold. He had the heater on full and smoked constantly, talked on the phone while he drove. He shouted a lot. I didn’t know where we were going. I get driven around a lot but I never actually do the driving. I’m too young.
“I’ll split it with you, Kenny,” he said into the phone; glanced across at me, cigarette dangling from his mouth. I sank into the chair, tried to pull my jumper over my bare legs.
“Yeah, Stretford, by the church,” he said, then flipped his phone shut. The cigarette had died in his mouth while he was talking; he threw it into a bag on the floor by my feet and pulled another one from the packet on the dash.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked him, trying not to sound scared. He puffed his cigarette and laughed, turned to look at me, a glint of gold in his mouth.
“Where do you want to go?” he asked. I thought for a second. Was this a test? I didn’t know what to say.
“You’re not going to hurt me, are you?” I asked. I’ve been hit before but nothing too serious. I’ve got pretty strong nails and I can use them if I have to. He smiled, gold glinting again.
“Why would I hurt a sweet little thing like you?”
There was a car in the car park, one person in the driver’s seat. We parked directly behind it.
“Wait here,” he said, then got out and walked up to the other car, bent over to talk to the driver. I opened the door and ran as fast as I could across the tarmac, heading for the safety of darkness. I tried to be quiet but a rustling sound followed me, attracting his attention. The bag of cigarette ends had caught on my shoe. He came after me.