William was a workaholic who had begun to neglect his wife and ailing child. Everything changes after he logs into a business meeting to see his daughter on the screen tied to a chair.
“William, you promised you’d be here for her… For me! We need you. I can’t do this alone.”
Alice said over the phone as her husband, William, sat in his palatial office. He fixed his spectacles in frustration as he and his wife had the same fight for the millionth time.
“I know, Alice. But I can’t make it now. Sally and I are so close to getting this contract. It’ll decide the fate of our company, Alice. I can’t just drop it and leave,” William explained.
“Oh! But you can leave me to travel with our sick 7-year-old daughter alone?!” Alice snapped.
“You know it’s not that simple. If I don’t work, I can’t support my family. I love Kim with all my heart, you know that,” William exclaimed.
“Your first question is insignificant, William. But the second is detrimental to your child’s safety. Do you understand?
“Money isn’t the only form of support. You say you love her?! Then start acting like it, William!” Alice concluded, cutting the call.
William dejectedly looked at the photo of his daughter on his desk. He knew his wife was right. He had barely been home, working tirelessly with his business partner, Sally, to secure this contract for his company. However, this meant his wife was left to watch over their daughter alone.
“The wife again?” asked Sally, walking into William’s office with his laptop in hand. Sally was a confident, charming man with a cool exterior. His persuasiveness was unmatched, and he could easily sell ice to an Eskimo.
“Yeah… We are supposed to move my daughter to a new place outside the city. The doctors said it would be best for her recovery. But with the workload with this new contract… I simply can’t make it,” a stressed-out William confessed..
“I hear you, man. Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate. But it’ll all be good. You just focus on this contract, and by the time we’re done, you’ll be able to get your daughter the best treatment the world has to offer,” Sally said, reassuringly grabbing William’s shoulder.
“I keep telling myself the same thing. But what if I’m wrong, and medical or financial support is not everything she needs right now? I don’t want to lose my family, Sally,” William exclaimed.
“Nonsense! You just focus on the contract. Your family loves you. They’ll understand that all the work you’ve been putting in is for them,” Sally insisted..
“I really hope you’re right.”
“Of course I am. You can trust me. When have I ever let you down, partner?” Sally said with a sly smirk, grabbing a seat beside William. “Now, let’s work on this pitch.”
William’s marriage to Alice was already on the rocks as a result of his decisions. She had started threatening to divorce him, and with everything happening with Kim’s health, that was the last thing their family needed.
Several weeks later, William was working as usual. He was scheduled for a virtual meeting on a video call with his business partner, Sally. However, when he logged into the meeting, his heart sunk to his stomach at the site before him.
“KIM?! Oh, no! What’s happening? KIM, sweetie!” William yelled, trembling.
On his laptop screen, he saw his daughter gagged and tied to a chair with a blindfold in an indiscernible background. She appeared to be in a warehouse of sorts. Her muffled cries threw William into a state of panic.
“Kim?! What’s happening? Who’s there?! What do you want with my daughter?!” William yelled on the brink of tears.
“Calm down, William. All you have to do is follow my orders precisely, and you’ll be back with your daughter in no time,” a voice said from behind the camera.
“Who are you? What do you want?” William cried.
“Your first question is insignificant, William. But the second is detrimental to your child’s safety. Do you understand?” the voice said calmly.
“Please, just don’t hurt her. I beg you!” William cried.
“Your secretary brought you a brown envelope this morning. You’re a very busy man, so you probably haven’t read it yet. I would like you to kindly open it,” the voice demanded.
William searched his desk drawers and finally came across the envelope. He opened it and found documents inside. “What are these documents?” he asked.
“I know that you own half a stake in your company. The other half is owned by your partner, Sally,” the voice said, turning the camera to reveal Sally tied up beside Kim.
“Sally?” a bewildered William cried. “Please don’t hurt them. I’ll give you whatever you want!” said William.
“I know you will. Sally has already kindly signed off his half of the company. I will need you to take those documents and kindly sign off the rest,” the voice instructed him.
William followed his instructions and immediately signed the papers. His hand trembled with each sway of the pen.
“I… I’ve… I’ve signed them,” said William in a panic.
“Good. Now send them to the address on the envelope and await further instructions. I’m pretty sure this goes without saying. But, just for clarity, if you contact the police, things won’t work out smoothly for your dear daughter and partner here,” the voice said
“Her safety is in your hands, William. You’ve got 2 hours to get those documents to the designated location. Not a second longer. After you’ve sent them, wait for me to give you further instructions,” the voice concluded, hanging up.
William, trembling and in tears, took a moment to gather his thoughts. He then immediately sent the documents and then called his wife in a panic. She didn’t answer any of his calls. A day passed, and William still hadn’t heard anything from the kidnappers. To make matters worse, he still hadn’t heard anything from his wife either.
“Don’t worry, my baby. Daddy’s coming to get you! Okay?! Daddy’s coming!”
He decided to go against the kidnapper’s instructions and called the police. They immediately searched and investigated his daughter and Sally’s whereabouts. The police also concluded that his wife may have also been a target. William was devastated.
Three days later, William was at home with one of the detectives assigned to their case. He was staying with him, waiting for the kidnappers to make their next move.
In the last few days, they kept their eyes glued on William’s laptop and phone, waiting for word from the kidnappers.
William still watchfully kept his eyes glued to the laptop while the detective made himself coffee after a long night of keeping guard.
Suddenly, William received a call from the kidnappers under the guise of another video call from Sally’s account. William answered the call as the detective took notes on the sidelines.
“We have received the documents. We will forward you the address where you will find your daughter and partner after this call,” the kidnapper said, still concealed behind the camera. The lens was covered, and William couldn’t see anything.
“Please, can I see my daughter and talk to her? I just want to make sure she’s alive and safe,” William begged. The camera was suddenly unveiled, revealing an ungagged Kim, still blindfolded.
“Daddy! I’m scared!” Kim cried.
“Don’t worry, my baby. Daddy’s coming to get you! Okay?! Daddy’s coming!” William cried.
“Alright, that’s enough!” the kidnapper said, cutting the call. William let out a shrieking weep, falling to his knees in tears.
“Don’t worry, we’ll find her,” the detective assured them. “Here’s the location now,” the detective said, leaning in to better see the address on William’s laptop.
“Got it,” the detective continued, jotting it down. “Alright! Let’s bring your girl home!” he concluded before leaving with William.
William and the detective pulled up to an old abandoned house near a thick forest. “Don’t worry, I have a team on standby. You and I are going to go in and quickly retrieve your daughter and business partner,” the detective said..
“Won’t they hurt her if they see you with me?” a trembling William asked.
“No, sir. Chances are they are long gone by now. And if they’re stupid enough to still stick around, my team will be there to get them,” the detective explained.
The two jumped out of the car and entered the house, with the detective and his drawn pistol taking the lead as William followed behind.
“Kim? Alice?” William yelled as they entered the old house.
“Daddy!” Kim cried.
“William!” Alice followed.
“I’m coming! Daddy’s coming!” William said as he and the detective hastily followed their voices to the small underground basement of the abandoned house.
There they found Kim, Alice, and Sally all tied to chairs. William checked his daughter and wife for bruises as he untied them. They were unharmed. Meanwhile, the detective untied Sally, who had a bandage over his right hand..
“Oh, thank God!” William cried, kissing them both as he wept in relief.
They immediately drove Kim, Alice, and Sally to the hospital to be properly assessed and treated. While the doctors attended to Kim and Alice, William and Sally went outside for fresh air.
“I can’t believe this, Sally! I mean, I thank God you guys are okay! But someone just stole our company by kidnapping my family and you!” said William, still in shock and disbelief.
“I can’t believe it, either. I’m just happy we all made it out safely. Things could have been much worse,” Sally replied, wincing in pain as he held onto his injured hand.
“What happened there?” William said, pointing to his arm.
“Bloody kidnappers! They roughed me up a little,” Sully said with a shrug.
“But they didn’t touch Alice and Kim?” William asked.
“Nah! You saw them. They’re good. I guess there was a little honor among these thieves, huh?!” Sally said with a little chuckle.
“Yeah…I guess so,” William responded..
After the doctors had checked and cleared Alice and Kim, William and his family went home and rested. The next morning, William and his family discussed what happened during their kidnapping in the lounge.
“They grabbed us both from the house. I was so terrified, William. They put bags over our heads and the next thing we woke up in what I thought was a warehouse. It was definitely a large space,” Alice explained.
“So, when did they move you to the house?” William asked.
“What’s happening here? I’ve already told you everything. You have my statement. I didn’t see anything.”.
“The same day they sent you the address. We had been there for a couple of hours before you arrived. My little girl was so brave,” Alice said, kissing Kim on the forehead.
“I bet she was,” William said with a warm smile.
“Yeah! I even bit one of the guys!” Kim said, mimicking the bit.
“You bit them?” William asked, giving his daughter’s word some thought. “Where did you bite them?” he asked.
“I bit him right on his hand!” Kim said with a proud smile.
William immediately had a flashback of Sally’s bandaged hand as he recalled his business partners’ words.
“I guess there was a little honor among these thieves, huh?!” Sally’s words replayed in William’s head, along with the little cheeky chuckle that followed..
“Alice… Sally was with you the whole time?” William said.
“Yeah. I think so. He was awfully quiet most of the time. I think he was scared. My priority was Kim,” she explained.
“Hmm… Something doesn’t add up,” William said, taking out his phone.
William called the detective and expressed concern over Sally’s suspicious hand wound. The detective said he’d question Sally on it the next day. William asked that he be there when he did, and the detective agreed.
The next day William and the detective went to Sally’s house to ask him about his hand. Sally was surprised to see them at his doorstep and reluctantly welcomed them into his house..
“What’s happening here? I’ve already told you everything. You have my statement. I didn’t see anything. I couldn’t,” Sally said.
“Let me see your hand, Sally,” William said..
“What you wanna see my hand for, Will?” Sally said with an awkward chuckle. “Look at this guy, playing detective,” Sally scoffed.
“Well, I’m an actual detective and agree with him. Let’s see your hand,” the detective said.
“No! You can’t do that! I… I… I don’t care if you’re a detective. You ain’t my doctor!” Sally refused in panic. No longer asking questions, William suddenly pulled off the bandage, revealing the tiny bite marks.
“You know, I always thought it strange that the kidnappers decided to give you medical attention and wrapped your hand when we found you,” William said.
“Yes, that was awfully kind of them,” the detective added, pulling out his handcuffs.
“Wait! Wait! Wait! You have it wrong! I had nothing to do with this!” Sally yelled.
“You’ll have more than enough time to explain yourself at the station,” the detective said, handcuffing Sally.
Sally was taken to the police station for further questioning. He was later arrested after Kim’s jaw was compared with the man’s bite mark and was found to be a perfect match.
The police searched his house and found the documents the kidnappers had made William sign. Sally had planned to transfer the entire company to a client he managed.
Sally disagreed with William on the future of the company. He decided to take matters into his own hands and get rid of William on his own terms.
William regained ownership of his company but soon sold it. Seeing his daughter fear for her life like that was the most horrific experience for him, and he regretted not being there for her all along.
William apologized to his wife and moved to live with them outside the city. Moving out of the city and having both her parents around produced a better environment for Kim’s healing. In no time, she was back to health.