Interview with Sam for Jami’s blog at YA Addict J –
J – Hi, Sam. Thanks for stopping by!
Sam – Hey, Jami, thanks for asking me.
J – Describe yourself in one sentence.
Sam – In one sentence? Okay, um, I’m fourteen and I’m five foot seven, and I’ve got an iPhone, which I think I was the first to predict it was gonna be the next big thing, and I’m a bit nervous being here.
J – Your family moved around a lot before you moved back to England. Where was one of your favourite places you’ve lived?
Sam – We didn’t go and live abroad until I was about one, My sister Tab was four then. I think my favourite place has got to be Barcelona. We had a house just outside the city, which meant the drive to school was a pain, but it also meant we got to spend a lot of time on the beach and swimming in the sea. We lived in a big estate where there were lots of villas and we had our own pool out back. A lot of our friends lived there too, so it was brilliant having all that. Wished we’d stayed there longer, but we were only there for a year! I was nine then, but I picked up the language really fast, plus I had some Spanish friends who couldn’t speak English. When I started at my senior school, a year ago, I picked it as one of my options.
J – How well do you get along with your sister Tab?
Sam – Considering Tab’s my older sister, we don’t actually get on too badly. I wouldn’t say we’re best friends, but she is all right to talk to if, you know, you’ve got a problem. She can be REALLY annoying when her friends are over though, that’s when she ignores me, or talks down to me, or bosses me about. But I think she puts that on for the benefit of her friends. I mean, no one would admit to getting on okay with their younger brother, would they? There’s only three years between us, but she acts like a mum sometimes, especially after that, you know, weekend. She tries to look out for me. Underneath it all, Tab’s pretty cool.
J – What are some of your favourite bands?
Sam – I know I used to like Usher, Busted and Christine Aguillera, but I was younger then. Now I’m into The Black Eye Peas, Tinie Tempah, and stuff like that.
J – Do you have any hidden talents?
Sam – I’m really good at abseiling now! No, just joking, but I did almost enrol on an outdoor pursuit course where you learnt stuff like that and about surviving in the wild. I didn’t do it in the end because what happened to me and Lloyd was a one-off thing. We’re lucky to be alive, and that’s what I’m trying to focus on. So I’m not going to force myself to learn how to do things just in case I need those skills in case I get kidnapped again! I’m not going to get kidnapped again! I do Karate – I’m a Brown Belt. Is that a hidden talent? I’m still trying, but I can’t run a hundred metres in less than 13 seconds, but I’m happy enough with 13! It’s not an unlucky number for me.
J – What do you plan on doing after school?
Sam – That’s too far away. I guess, I’d like to go to College, but I’m not sure what I’ll do there yet. I think I’d like to go back to Spain, so I might take a year out for that and go and live there, travel around a bit.
J – After your horrific incident over that long weekend, what are some things you do to move on from it?
Sam – I try not to think about that weekend for a start! Gradually, it’s got better, but for a long time it was impossible to think of anything else. Sometimes it doesn’t feel real – like it didn’t really happen, like it’s just a bad recurring nightmare, other times I might wake up and hear that psycho’s keys going jingle-jangle, or hear his footsteps approaching my room. The worst thing is when his voice makes his way into one of my dreams – he’s saying something that if you didn’t know him you might think was nice or kind, but I did know him, and I know it’s anything but nice, or kind. I wake up and I can’t breathe and…and that’s one of the worst things. So not sleeping was one of things that I did in the beginning! But you can only do that for so long before you start falling apart. I did it for a while, as you can see from the bags under my eyes, and then I started locking my room and barricading the door at night. My parents didn’t find that out for a while because I’d make sure they were asleep before I did it and that I woke up first and removed it. I got a bit more sleep doing that, and then they found out and sent me back to see the shrink.
J – How hard was it for you to see your story out there for the world to know?
Sam – It wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be, and it wasn’t me that I was worried about so much. I know it’s got to be worse for Lloyd. And you know the worst thing about it is that it could so easily have been a special treat arranged by his dad – his dad did something like that before, although that time Lloyd did know who he was going to be picked up by. The surprise was getting to sit in on a recording session with a band that he thought were brilliant. So…we were just unlucky that a random monster was cruising past our school.
J – What advise what you give for preventing being kidnapped?
Sam – It’s simple – look before you leap! Just don’t get in anyone’s car unless you know them personally, and even then I’d be really suspicious of them. After that weekend, I only got in a car if it was my mum or dad driving, or I’d just take the bus or walk and I didn’t mind that it might put an extra hour on the journey. Later, when Tab passes her driving test, and I know she’ll always give me a lift, or pick me up. (See – I might moan about her, but she is cool) Guess it’s hard for me to trust anyone anymore.
J – Is there anything else you would like to add?
Sam – Yeah – be aware, very aware, and you’ll be fine. There’s no need for anyone to walk around in constant fear, but you’d feel like a total idiot if you ended up doing something like me and Lloyd did after I’ve warned you. Oh, and the other thing – I wish Lloyd and me could still be friends, but after what happened, I guess I understand why he couldn’t face seeing me. I’m a reminder of what happened. But I miss him, and that’s pretty gutting.
J – Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us, Sam!
Sam – No problem, Jami.
Interview with Lloyd for Corrine at Lost for Words
Lloyd – Hi Corinne. It’s pretty brave of you to ask me here – most people avoid me!
C – What drew you to become friends with Sam?
Lloyd – He was the new kid and I guessed from the way that he hung around the edge of our football game that he wanted in on it. We could always do with a few extra players, so it started from there, I suppose. He was in my class, he didn’t know anyone, and he was a good laugh.
C – What did you and Sam have planned for the weekend before you were abducted?
Lloyd – Nothing life-shattering! We were going to hang out and play on the Xbox – it was the new thing in those days, wasn’t it, so Dad had already got one for me. But Sam thought we were going to his house. It was a massive blunder really.
C – What is your favourite pastime? Do you play any sports?
Lloyd – Yeah, I’m into every sport going except maybe hockey and snooker. Cricket’s my game though.
C – What did you think of the mansion and the games room?
Lloyd – Pretty sick, except three years I would have said sick and meant cool or totally legend by it. Can you imagine walking into a room like that? It had everything you could possibly want in it, you name it and it was all there in that room. You could spend a week in there and not get bored. When I first saw it, I thought yes! I’m gonna ask my dad for a room like this, and I know he’d have got it for me. Maybe not all of it, but definitely some of it. We’ve got a big house and there’s tons of spare rooms. Yeah, I was spoilt a bit, all right – a lot. Now it just means sick, as in psycho-sick. I’ve never played any of those games ever again. I never go into a games arcade, or a snooker hall. I never even played on the Xbox again, and I didn’t bother getting a Play Station, although the new one is supposed to be totally cool. I just can’t play games like that. I go out and play a sport instead – half the time it doesn’t even matter what sport it is. It could be football, or cricket, a run, biking, or even golf with my dad. As long as it’s outdoors and in a wide open spaces. You see, I know what that room was all about. Not why that band, XX, had it put in, but what that sicko was using it for…to soften up his prey… I found out about the other kids later. You know, the ones that didn’t make it? Talk about deterrence therapy.
C – When did you realize you were being abducted?
Lloyd – I guess it was in the car when Sam asked me that question. But then later, it all seemed to be okay and I thought my Dad had organised it all. It made sense. I wanted it to make sense, so I completely deluded myself into believing it. I did such a good job of tricking myself that the guy really didn’t have to do much at all. It was only after I got shown to my room that it really truly hit me. I was too shocked to do anything then, and I wasn’t strong enough to-
C – What was going through your head when you and Sam were first separated?
Lloyd – I’m not sure I was really thinking straight. I know I wasn’t. I’d got carried away with the band story, which I’d fallen for hook, line, and sinker like a complete idiot. Sam hadn’t, and if I’d realised that maybe things would have come out differently.
C – How did you cope with what happened?
Lloyd – Cope? I’m not sure I did. At the time, I couldn’t handle it, not one bit. Lucky Sam was there, or else I think I… Hey, Sam, if you’re reading this then, well, cheers. I never could thank you properly then, but I’m glad I asked you to join our football game in the first week of school! And you weren’t a bad player either. Afterwards, well, much later, I took all that anger and pain out on to that assault course I had my dad build for me. It was a killer. I was so shattered at night that I could finally manage a few hours of sleep. I hadn’t slept for months. It helps to get help, if you know what I mean. It doesn’t feel like it at the time, and so many times I wanted to give up on it and refused to go, but my mum and dad forced me to go. They literally bundled me into the car. Once I locked myself in my room so I wouldn’t have to go, but it didn’t work. You can’t keep your door locked forever. It took me a while, but I kind of dealt with it. You never want them, those monsters out there, to beat you, so you think that’ll be enough to move on from it, but it’s not quite enough. I guess in the end you either deal with it or you don’t, and sometimes you just can’t do it alone.
C – If you could have said anything to your parents during the ordeal, what would you have said?
Lloyd – Get me the hell out of here! Please, please get me out of here.
C – How did that weekend affect your friendship with Sam?
Lloyd – The funny thing is that I haven’t seen Sam since then, which was three years ago. Oh, apart from once. He came over, but it wasn’t like old times. There was too much of the wrong type of history between us and not enough of the right type. Not enough good memories to cancel out the bad. When he came over he brought something with him, something I didn’t know he had, didn’t even realise existed, and that was bad. He thought he’d been looking out for me by taking it, and he was, but it brought it all back. I couldn’t see him again after that. Yeah, so in terms of friendship there isn’t one now, but I still see him as my best mate. If I picked up the phone now, oh by the way I make sure it’s always charged these days, I know he’d come over right away. We’ve got this bond that ties us to this thing in our past. It’ll always be there no matter how hard we try to shake it off. Sam missed the worst of it, and maybe I might have as well if I’d listened to him. It doesn’t matter now. He knows what went on better than anyone else. He was there, which is why I might never see him again and why he’ll always be my friend.