The Clock Struck Ten
Before Adam arrived at the Westcott Mansion to pick up Becca, she was in her bedroom packing her suitcase. At the last minute she threw in the diaries she'd found on the front porch days ago. The box had been wrapped in brown paper and was addressed specifically to her. When Becca spotted the package, she'd grabbed it and hurried up the stairs without anyone seeing her. Since that day, Becca had been secretly reading the diaries that were written by her great-grandmother, Rebecca Westcott. From the novel we know that Becca slipped out the front door that night and settled into a lawn chair to wait for Adam. At that point she was fully resolved to run away with him. She didn't know how long she'd been waiting, but at some point, she'd opened the suitcase and pulled out the second volume of Rebecca's diary. The floodlight, positioned to illuminate the live oak, shone on the journal while Becca remained hidden within the remaining darkness under the tree. A light breeze rustled the leaves and set the moss swinging lazily overhead. Cicadas hummed in the air that had been washed clean with the rain.
Becca was immersed in the diary when a pair of headlights flashed onto the driveway. She saw Adam's purple van pull in and park under the portico. Instead of jumping up and grabbing her suitcase, she leaned back into the darkness and drew the diary close to her chest. Beneath the portico lights, Becca could see Adam rap his fingers on the steering wheel to the beat of Hendrix's "Cross Town Traffic." She clutched the diary and sensed a strange vibration pulsing from the journal into her hands. She couldn't move. Something had riveted her to the chair. She was held captive in its force. She even tried to call to Adam as he jumped down from the van and ran up the steps to slip a piece of paper beneath the front doormat. But not a sound passed her lips. It wasn't until he climbed back into the driver's seat and started to leave that something snapped inside her.
"No! Wait for me!" But the words came out a whimper, barely audible, and Adam disappeared down the Bayshore.
What was it that held Becca captive in the lawn chair that night? Why didn't she run away with Adam as she'd planned? Share your thoughts here.