Well, I intend to find a way.

I walk tirelessly for hours in the hot sun, until the flip-flops I’m wearing give me a blister. I stick close to the beach, hoping to find a boat tied somewhere, maybe in a cave or a lagoon.

How did I get here? Was it by plane or helicopter? Julian did mention yesterday that he had originally discovered this place while flying a plane. Maybe that’s how he brought me here, via a private plane?

That would not be good. Even if I found the plane sitting somewhere, how would I fly it? I imagine it must be at least somewhat complicated.

Then again, with sufficient incentive, I might be able to figure it out. I’m not stupid, and flying a plane is not rocket science.

But I don’t find the plane either. There is a flat grassy area on the other side of the island with a structure at the end of it, but there’s nothing inside the structure. It’s completely empty.

Tired, thirsty, and with the blister beginning to bother me more with each step, I head back to the house.

“Julian left a couple of hours ago,” Beth tells me as soon as I walk in.

Stunned, I stare at her. “What do you mean, he left?”

“He had some urgent business to take care of. If all goes well, he should be back within a week.”

I nod, trying to keep a neutral expression, and go upstairs to my room.

He’s gone! My tormentor is gone!

It’s just Beth and me on this island. No one else.

My mind is whirling with possibilities. I can steal one of the kitchen knives and threaten Beth until she shows me a way off the island. There’s probably internet here, and I might be able to reach out to the outside world.

Do they truly think I’m that harmless? Did my meek behavior thus far lull them into thinking I would continue to be a nice, obedient captive?

Well, they couldn’t be more mistaken.

Julian is the one I’m afraid of, not Beth. With the two of them on this island, attacking Beth would’ve been pointless and dangerous.

An hour later, I quietly sneak into the kitchen. As I had expected, Beth is not there. It’s too early to prepare dinner and too late for lunch.

My feet are bare, to minimize any sound. Cautiously looking around, I slide open one of the drawers and take out a large butcher knife. Testing it with my finger, I determine that it’s sharp.

The sundress that I’m wearing has a slim belt at the waist, and I use it to tie the knife to myself at the back. It’s a very crude holster, but it holds the knife in place. I hope I don’t cut my butt with the naked blade, but even if I do, it’s a risk worth taking.

A large ceramic vase is my next acquisition. It’s heavy enough that I can barely lift it over my head with two arms. I can’t imagine a human skull would be a match for something like this.

Once I have those two things, I go look for Beth.

I find her on the porch, curled up with a book on a long, comfy-looking outdoor couch, enjoying the fresh air and the beautiful ocean view. She doesn’t look when I poke my head outside through the open door, and I quickly go back in, trying to figure out what to do next.

My plan is simple. I need to catch Beth off-guard and bash her over the head with the vase. Maybe tie her up with something. Then I could use the knife to threaten her into letting me contact the outside world. This way, by the time Julian returns, I could already be rescued and pressing charges.

All I need now is a good spot for my ambush.

Looking around, I notice a little nook near the kitchen entrance. If you’re coming in off the porch—like I think Beth will be—then you don’t really see anything in that nook. It’s not the best place to conceal oneself, but it’s better than attacking her openly. I go there and press myself flat against the wall, the vase standing on the floor next to me where I can easily grab it.

Taking a deep breath, I try to still the fine trembling in my hands. I’m not a violent person, yet here I am, about to smash this vase into Beth’s head. I don’t want to think about it, but I can’t help picturing her skull split open, blood and gore everywhere, like in some horror movie. The image makes me ill. I tell myself that it won’t be like that, that she’ll most likely end up with a nasty bruise or a mild concussion.

The wait seems interminable. It goes on and on, each second stretching like an hour. My heart is pounding and I’m sweating, even though the temperature in the house is much cooler than the heat outside.

Finally, after what feels like several hours, I hear Beth’s footsteps. Grabbing the vase, I carefully lift it over my head and hold my breath as Beth steps through the open door leading from the porch.

As she walks by me, I grip the vase tightly and bring it down on her head.

And somehow I miss. At the last moment, Beth must’ve heard me move because the vase hits her on the shoulder instead.

She cries out in pain, clutching her shoulder. “You fucking bitch!”

I gasp and try to lift the vase again, but it’s too late. She grabs for the vase, and it falls down, breaking into a dozen pieces between us.

I jump back, my right hand frantically scrambling for the knife. Shit, shit, shit. I manage to grab the handle and pull it out, but before I can do anything, she grabs my arm, moving as quickly as a snake. Her grip is like a steel band around my right wrist.

Her face is flushed and her eyes are glittering as she twists my arm painfully backward. “Drop the knife, Nora,” she orders harshly, her voice filled with fury.