It was my favorite time of the week, a Friday afternoon. A few friends and I were going out to see a movie. We weren’t entirely sure which, but it didn’t really matter. I had to get away. My family was starting to drive me crazy. My father, whose parents couldn’t think of anything more creative than “Rob” for his name, was constantly in his drunken stupor, and my mom, Beth, who never does anything to help the matter. And my older sister, Janessa, who’s the biggest whore I know. I swear she brings a new boyfriend home every night. And then there’s me, Daniel Roberts.
We’re obviously not the wealthiest family on the block. My mother works at the local grocery store and my father works at a bar. This might explain why he is such an alcoholic. My sister mooches off, and sometimes steals, from my parents. Or, if both those fail, she’ll just take money from one of her boyfriends. I, being 15 and most of the time hating my family just about always, had to get a job. I work at a diner making about $7 an hour. I saved up enough money for a few of the things I want, including a Nintendo Wii for when I’m bored at home. I have a couple hundred bucks set aside for a car, with a little bit of spending money. So basically I’m the only one with money. How that works, I have no idea.
But anyway, where were we? Oh yes, Friday night. I finally got a bunch of my friends at school together to go to a movie. We figured we’d find out what movie we wanted to watch when we got there. So not having a car yet, I had to walk. Luckily I live close enough to the movie theater that this isn’t such a big deal. And it was a nice sunny day outside. Summer is always a wonderful season. So anyway, after a few minutes of walking, I get there. I left early so I could take my time getting there, so nobody else was there yet. I walked into the theater and took a look at what movies are playing. All of them sounded pretty good. After looking through and thinking about what movie I want and figuring out that no matter what movie we get, I’ll watch, I started to walk around the theater. It has kind of an arcade attached to it, so I went and there and played a few games while I waited for someone else to show up.
While playing my third round of “Monsters of Doom” and achieving one of the high scores, Leana, a very nice girl my age who I had a crush on ( and intended to ask out after the movie), finally showed up.
“Hey! Took you long enough,” I said jokingly.
“Yeah, sorry about that. Had to do homework before I could come,” she responded.
“Nah, it’s ok. I’ve just been playin’ ‘Monsters of Doom’. You’re the first one to show up, so you’re not very late.”
“Oh, ok…. So doesn’t the movie start soon?” Leana asked.
“Um…yeah, actually,” I said after quickly checking my watch.
“You want to head in and find a decent seat?”
“Sure,” she said with that beautiful smile of hers (which is most of the reason I have a crush on her).
As we headed in to where the screen is, a pair of friends, Joey and Michelle, ran through the doors together.
“Did the movie start yet?” Joey asked.
“Nope,” Leana and I said at the same time. At this point Leana gave another one of her smiles, making me smile ear-to-ear as well. Joey and Michelle looked at each other. It was one of those “something’s going on here” looks.
So I said, “What?”
“Nothing,” they said simultaneously.
“Okay then… Should we head in?” I asked the group.
“Yeah we’d better before it starts… What movie were we going to watch now?” Joey asked.
“Um, I couldn’t really decide. I just figured one of you guys could pick,” I said.
After a few minutes of consideration, we concluded to watch What Lies Below.
What Lies Below is, according to previews, a movie about some kind of sewer monster that pops out of sewer holes, bends cars basically in half, and mercilessly consumes the car, and it’s occupant. So anyway, I’m getting a little bit off topic. We got to the room with the screen in it, whatever that’s called, and we found our seats. We decided to sit closer to the screen, but not so close that our necks are at a 90° angle. I was sitting at the end next to Leana, followed by Joey and Michelle.
“Those two couldn’t even wait until after the movie started to start sucking face,” I said to myself out loud in almost disgust. Apparently I had said it a little too loud, because Leana let out a little giggle. I smiled. Even her giggles were cute. I loved making people laugh. Especially girls. Especially girls like Leana.
As soon as the movie started it just occurred to me that we were still missing about four people. I guess I was paying so much attention to Leana I forgot. So anyway, trying to forget about what happened to the other four people that were missing, I focused my eyes on the big screen.
About halfway through the movie, I was pretty much at the end of my seat. It was quite a good movie, but it was a bit scary. I took a glance over at Leana. She was curled up into a little ball. I grinned a little. Then I leaned forward so I could see the other two. Michelle was literally on top of Joey’s lap, arms wrapped tight around him. Joey’s face was slightly purple, but he was smiling. For some reason it was always nice to see those two happy together. I wanted to get up and get a refill on my soda, but I was too interested in the movie. I wish they’d have an intermission like in some movies. Those always come in handy. But I told Leana what I was doing, and told me to fill me in with whatever I missed. She mumbled some sort of acknowledgment and handed me her cup, which was also empty as well.
“Alright then. What did you have?” I asked
“Um, Pepsi,” she said in a slurred voice, as she was too absorbed in the movie.
“Ok then, be back in a bit,” I responded.
I came back after a minute of refills of soda and candy. When I got back, pretty much nothing had changed as far as positioning went. Leana was still in her ball, and Michelle wrapped around Joey’s neck. As I took my seat, I handed Leana her soda back and asked her what happened. She responded with some more mumbling which was barely comprehensible. I just acted like I heard her, responded with an “ok”, and turned my attention back to the big screen.
The movie ended an hour and 45 minutes after it started, so it was now almost ten o’ clock. When the credits started rolling, we all got up and stretched. As we were heading out the door, we discussed the movie.
“Friken’ awesome!” responded Joey after I asked everybody what they thought.
“Yeah, it was pretty good. But my favorite part was when they finally killed that stupid jerk-of-a-blob monster,” said Michelle. At this, everybody including me laughed.
“So, Leana, what did you think?” I asked, trying to bring her into the conversation.
“I liked it. I’m not usually interested in scarier movies, but that was actually pretty good,” she said.
“Yeah, I thought it was about a ten on a scale to ten. Probably one of the best movies I’ve saw,” I said. “So Leana, I’ve wanted to ask-”
“Man, It’s freezing out here!” Joey interrupted as we stepped outside.
“Yeah, it is..” I said, kinda pissed off at him for messing that up.. “I’ll just ask her later tonight,” I thought to myself. It was ten o’ clock now, but we realized we were all extremely hungry. So we all hopped in Joey’s car (he was the only one with a license, being 16 years old. I only had my permit.) and headed to Taco Bell, which was on the other side of town.
“Alright guys, I don’t want to be there for long, so figure out what you want to eat right now so you know for sure when we get there,” Joey commented.
“Yeah, I’m getting kind of tired,” Michelle added.
“I think you two just want a little alone time so you can get home and do…whatever it is you two normally do when you’re alone,” I joked. Leana let out another giggle.
“Let’s let them keep that to themselves,” She said. At this point Joey turned around to face us (Leana and I were sitting in the back with Michelle in the front seat next to Joe) and said “Hey, let’s all grow up a lit-”
“AHH!!!!!” Michelle screamed and pointed. A guy walked right in front of the car and stopped. Joey turned around just in time to slam on the breaks inches away from the mysterious man. Joey threw his door open, jumped out of the car and slammed the door shut.
“What the hell, man!?” he yelled as he walked toward the man. The man made a quick smooth movement and BAM- a gunshot.
The mysterious man shot a bullet at Joey. Everybody in the car jumped, the girls screamed, and my heart was racing. I looked out the window to see Joey huddled up on the ground. The bullet had obviously missed, because the strange man had a look of shock on his face. Acting fast, I quickly climbed
into the front seat and pushed down on the pedal with my foot until it wouldn’t go any further. It happened before the stranger had a chance to think about reacting; a loud thud, the sound of something rolling on the hood of the car, and the sound of a body hitting pavement.
I slammed on the breaks and got out of the car, quick, looking at the damage. I looked into the car to see the girls with their hands over their faces looking through the window back at me. I turned to face the guy sprawled out on the road behind the vehicle. There was a puddle of blood next to his head. I looked up at Joey to see his amazed and confused face with the same befuddled look I had on mine. We were just a couple of kids; we didn’t know what to do now. It had all happened so instantaneously.
After they considered it safe, the girls got out of the car to check out what had happened. The four of us stood there around the now-dead man and thought about what we should do next.
“I think we should just get the fuck out of here before something else happens,” Joey responded.
“No! We can’t just leave a dead man in the middle of the street! We have to call the police or something,” Michelle retorted.
“Yeah, she’s right, we have to call somebody,” Leana agreed.
“Anybody have a cell phone on them?” I asked. Michelle pulled out her pockets and came up empty.
“I left mine on the charger at home,” Leana said, disappointed.
“Oh, I have mine with me,” Joey said. “Who’s going to make the call? I’m not too good with talking to cops. They scare the shit out of me.”
I sighed. “I’ll do it. Give me your phone,” I said. He did, and as I dialed the 911, I got a cold chill up my spine. I twirled around to see if the body was still laying there. It was. I put the phone up to my ear;
“Hello, 911 operator, what is your emergency?” The lady on the other line answered.
“Hi, my name is Daniel Roberts,” I looked around to figure out where exactly we were. “I’m standing outside the furniture store on 21st street. I need police and an ambulance immediately.”
“Please hold,” the operator responded. Wondering quietly to myself what kind of emergency operator puts somebody on hold, I used this time to glance at my three friends, all of which were clustered together staring at me. Their faces were all filled with fright and shock.
“Ok, there will be a crew there as soon as possible,” the operator said after a few seconds. “”Would you like to stay on the line with me until they get there?” she asked.
“No, thank you. Thanks for all your help. Bye,” I answered, and hung up the phone. I myself was still disbelief at the situation. I walked around to where Leana was standing and put my arm around her in a comforting way. She didn’t mind, so kept it there. We stood there staring at the nameless man for another minute, disgusted and traumatized. Then, all together, we moved over to have a seat on the curb in the front of the car away from the body.
We sat there trembling and shaken for a moment or two, then we heard sirens grow louder and louder and the next thing we knew there was an ambulance and two police cars coming up to where we were sitting. I stood up, followed by Leana and Michelle. I walked over to where the police man had stopped to discuss our situation.
I told him the story and how I hit the man, and how he died. After listening to the story from my viewpoint, taking notes here and there on a clipboard he held, he thanked me and moved on to the others. I kind of walked around still panicking slightly. This was definitely the scariest circumstance I have ever encountered. I continued walking up and down the street thinking. Thinking about the situation, thinking about what will happen next, will I be charged with manslaughter? Or would he consider an act of self-defense? I thought these and other thoughts until I felt a warm feeling on my hand. I looked up to see Leana by my side with a slight grin on her face. It was one of those “I know what you feel like right now” grins. I grasped her hand back, smiling a bit, a second later I realized how awkward it was for me to be smiling in the given circumstances. I wiped my smile off my face and replaced with a depressed-looking frown.
Leana still had her hand in mine, and we continued walking up and down the street for a while. After a few moments of what became awkward silence, it was Leana that spoke first.
“So, did that police man question you?” she asked.
“Erm,” I said, confused about the sudden break in the silence. “Yeah. I told him how he had shot at Joey and I hit him with the car. He didn’t seem too angry when I told him about…the… running over part, but I’m still kinda worried about what will happen with that…”
“Yeah. I pretty much told him what I saw and heard, the gun shot, and that,” she said.
After the cops questioned everybody about an hour later, they left. Joey was still freaking out walking around in circles. I walked over there to try and calm him down.
“Hey. You alright?” I asked.
“I don’t know man, I don’t know. I guess I’m just glad to be alive still.” Joey responded.
“Yeah. This will be a nice story to tell when we get back to school, huh?” I joked. Joey laughed. I looked at my watch.
“Well it’s almost midnight and we still haven’t eaten anything. Good thing Taco Bell is open late, eh?”
“YOU’RE STILL HUNGRY?? I ALMOST GET SHOT, YOU HIT A GUY WITH A CAR, KILLING HIM, AND ALL YOU CAN THINK ABOUT IS FOOD?” Joey yelled.
“… Ok then. We’ll just head home.” I said feeling a little guilty. “Actually, can I crash at your house tonight? My dad would freak out if I came home. If he is home, I mean. Probably still out drinking or something.”
“Sure. Let’s just get the hell out of here.” Joey said as if he was sorry for yelling.
We all got back into the car, ignoring the enormous puddle of dark red blood behind the car. I really was still hungry, but I didn’t want Joey to yell at me again. We took the girls home, sure that their parents were worried about them. Gave Joey’s phone to Leana so she could call her parents to tell them that she was ok, so they wouldn’t be too worried.
We dropped them off and headed to Joey’s house, arriving ten minutes later so that it was well past 12. I dragged my feet all the way into his house, where I collapsed on the couch and fell asleep immediately. It had obviously been a long and frightening night.
I dreamt about the crash tons of times and the different outcomes. I dreamt what would have happened if the shot had hit, and if Joey died. I woke up hours later covered in sweat to find Joey, but I couldn’t find him.
I walked upstairs to where Joey’s room is, and halfway up the stairs, I heard someone crying. I continued up the steps and into Joey’s room. There, sitting his bed, was his mother, Jane, tears just streaming down her face. I walked cautiously up to her, afraid of what I would see next. And there, lying on the bed was Joey. At first I couldn’t see what the matter was, he looked fine just sleeping there. I approached closer, Jane still crying. She didn’t even seem to notice me. I had a feeling what had happened, but I didn’t want my feeling to be right. It wasn’t until I sat right next to Jane that I saw it. There was blood everywhere. And next to his hand- a pocketknife. I didn’t want it to be true, it couldn’t be. I hugged Jane, she was like a mother to me. More of a mother than my real one, anyway. She jumped, just realizing I was there. I picked the phone off the hook and called 911 for the second time in less than 12 hours. I knew he was dead; there was nothing we could do about it.
“Hello, 911, what is your emergency?” said the operator.
I could hardly talk because I was crying so much. “M-my friend’s d-dead.”
I did the usual routine, giving the address and all other information needed. I gave Jane another hug, both of us still sobbing. I knew I had to call Michelle, I just didn’t think I could handle it. She would have to wait.
Once again, I had no idea what to do so I just walked around the house. I walked downstairs and into their kitchen, where I opened the fridge. I knew I didn’t want any food, but I just needed something to do. I closed it, opened it back up, and shut it once more. I walked into the living room and sat down on the couch.
I could still hear Jane upstairs mourning her dead son. She was a very nice, kind lady. Joe’s dad was always working, so I never actually got the chance to meet him.
I don’t know why Joey would want to kill himself, he had a great life. A nice girlfriend whom he loved with everything he had, a caring mother, and good friends. The ambulance got here, asked me and Jane questions like last night, and took Joey away. We had to pry Jane away from Joe.
I decided now that the body wasn’t here, I could tell Michelle what happened. She would be mad because I didn’t call her right away, but she would be too busy crying like I did.
I went to the phone and dialed her number.
“Hello?” she answered.
“Michelle, it’s Dan. S-something happened,” I said.
“What? What is it?” She said, really worried.
“ It’s Joey. He-he’s d-dead,” I said, regretting it the second I said it’s Joey.
She burst out in sobs. And hung up the phone. I didn’t care, I knew she wanted to be alone. I had to call Leana. I needed somebody to talk to. I called her number and she answered nearly immediately.
“ I a-already t-t-talked to Michelle,” she said in between sobs.
“I want to see you,” I said. “Can you get your dad to drive you to Joe’s house? Pick up Michelle, too, I guess.”
“O-ok,” she said. She hung up the phone. I walked upstairs once more to find Jane. She was still in Joe’s room. She wasn’t sitting on the bed anymore, but she was still sobbing. She was just standing there, staring at the bed. I walked beside her and gave her another hug. It was a nightmare. The guilt about what happened last night must have got to him. That’s the only thing I could think of why he would do this to himself.
Leana and Michelle got here about six minutes later. I walked to Leana and wrapped her in a hug. I didn’t know what to say or what to do. I was petrified, it was a tragedy. The three of us sat down on the couch in quiet. Jane was on the phone wandering around the house, talking to the people at the funeral home, most likely. I felt terrible.
“Why would he do it?” Michelle asked out loud. Her voice was hoarse from crying.
“I don’t know,” I said in a whisper. I didn’t want to tell her what I really thought.
Just then, an awful thought came into my mind and escaped from my mouth: “One down.”
Leana and Michelle looked at me horrified. I sat there open mouth astounded with myself about what I just said.
“I need to go home. I’m sorry,” I said to the two. I went to find Jane and gave her a hug and apologized for her loss.
“You know it’s not your fault. I know how well you two got along,” she said in response.
I smiled and walked out the door. It was a long walk from Joey’s house to mine, about three miles. I realized this, but it was the only way I was getting home, the one place I actually wanted to be right now. “Plus,” I thought to myself, “a little fresh air will help me clear my head.”
About an hour later, I am finally home in my room, door closed with music cranked up. Tears streaming down my face, my head is buried in my pillow. Evidently my sobs are audible outside my door, because my sister shouts
“Oh my God, can you please stop!”
“Shut the hell up, you whore!” was my response.
My sister then shouts for my mother. A few seconds and a knock on the door later, my mom’s sitting next to me.
“Go away. I don’t want to talk to you,” I say to her with my face still in my pillow.
“Daniel, I know it’s hard, but you can’t change the past.”
“No? But I can control my future. I should take myself out of this world just like Joey did.”
“What good would that do?” my mom asks.
“ My troubles would be gone.”
“Setting off a never-ending chain of deaths. I’ve never told you this, but-” she gets up to shut the door again. “Go away, Janessa,” I hear my mom say. She comes back and sits down again. “I’ve never told you this, but you’re what’s been keeping me going all these years. I know it may not seem like it, but I really do love you. With all my heart,” she finished.
Having nothing to say, I remained silent. She went on. “Your father is a drunk. There’s nothing I can do about that-” At this point I let out a scoff. She went on. “ But when he’s in his rages, it’s you I think about. I know what it’s like to lose a friend. But killing yourself wouldn’t help anything.
I’d have nothing to hold on to if you left me. No hope. And with me gone, the only thing Rob would have left is Janessa. And we both know how much they don’t get along.” Just then, we heard the door open. This meant the drunk was home. “Please give me a hug and promise me you won’t leave me,” my mom concluded. Finally, I gave in. I never realized how much she really cared.
I wiped my face, wrapped her in a hug, and said “I promise.”
She got up and walked out of my room, shutting the door once more behind her leaving me in my room in solitude. I realized just then how much I actually loved and cared for my mom.
A week went by since Joey’s death without much happening. I talked to Leana and Michelle every once in a while. We went out once or twice that week, but in much graver moods. I spent the majority of the week in my room mourning. I asked for this week off of work so I could. I figured I should try to be more cheerful. My birthday was this Sunday, only two days from now. I figured I’d go say hi to mom. It was a Friday night so Dad was out drinking and Janessa was nobody-cares-where.
I found my mom watching some weird show on television. I sit down next to her. “Hey mom,” I said.
“Heya Dan!” she responded enthusiastically. “ It’s been a while since you’ve been out of your room. How are you feeling?”
“Ok, I guess. Still a little gloomy, but better nonetheless.”
“Good to hear,” she said, opening her arms for a hug. I accepted.
“I love you, mom,” I said for the first time in what felt like forever-and-a-half.
“I know,” Mom said. “I love you too.”
I smiled. “Whatchya watching?” I asked.
“I can’t think of what it’s called right now, but it’s a good show. It’s on every Friday. It’s about this doctor who gets stuck on an island and gets super powers,” my mom answers. My attention caught, I sit there next to my mother and watch this show. Put that on a list of things I haven’t done in a while. Luckily for us, there was a marathon of this show on tonight.
After watching a full three one-hour episodes, it was getting late. Noises came from outside. My mom and I both jumped. She ran to the window to see what was going on. I had a feeling, and unfortunately, I find my feeling was right.
“Shit,” I hear my mom say. I let out a sigh. “Go to your room and don’t come out.” she says.
I disobey. “No.” I respond simply. “I’m not going to let him throw you around anymore. I’m stopping this crap once and for all.”
Seconds later my father busts though the door. He looks around and sees my mom and me.
“Go to y-your room, Freddie,” he says stupidly.
“My name’s Dan, you ass. And I’m not moving” I say.
“I’m your father, Freddie. You will do as I s-say. Go-” he almost falls down- “to your room.” I remain motionless for minutes longer. Rob doesn’t move either. IF you don’t count the swaying and the stumbling. Finally he says “F-fine. Y-you wanna see your-your mother get beat up, that’s-that’s ok with me.” My mom pushes me down to the couch as my dad lunges at her. I watch as he mercilessly throws punch after punch at my mother whether they hit or not. My mom, meanwhile, can do nothing in her defense, as my dad has her pinned down. I finally stand up and run at my dad as fast as I can, knocking him over more easily than I thought. My mom scurries to her feet and yells at me to go away.
“I will not! I’m not letting this happen anymore!” My father, finally back on his feet at this point, makes a lunge at me. I, in my youth, move swiftly out of his drunken way and watch as he crashes into the window behind me. Of course this would stop, or at least hinder, a normal person, but not my drunk dad. He gets up, shakes himself off, and tries again. This time successfully.
He pins me as he did my mother. I do everything I can to shake him off, wriggling every way possible. Nothing worked. BAM- one of his fists makes contact with my nose. I can feel it as the hot blood pours out all over me. BAM- another one hits me in the cheek. I could hear the crack as it connects. As he winds up for another punch, I get one of my arms loose and manage to shove him off of me. I quickly get up and run back. I look at my mother, who, at this point, was just sitting there watching. I forgive her for her lack of effort because she is afraid.
Suddenly, I remember something. The gun under my parents’ bed I found one day. As my inebriated father stumbles to retrieve balance, I make a bolt for their room. Luckily mom keeps it clean. I dive under the bed as I hear a scream from the living room. Mom, I think to myself.
I grab the case, rip it open, grab the gun, and dash back into the living room. I take a split-second to examine the scene at hand. My dad still pinning my mom has her hair pulled and is yelling at her right in her face. The words, in his drunkenness, are incoherent and unimportant. Gun in hand, I sprint toward him giving him a straight kick in the face. He lets out a yelp and sprawls in pain. I point the gun at his face, check the safety, and pull the trigger. I let 16 years of anger control my one move. Nothing happened. Shocked but determined, I pull the trigger again. At this point, blood from my nose is all over my mouth, shirt, and hands. With no intention of letting this stop me, I pull the trigger for the third time, with the same outcome. By now, my dad was overcoming the pain of the kick and had gotten to his knees. I look into his face, and he smiles at me. A grimacing smile, blood on his teeth from the kick.
It’s then I realize the gun isn’t loaded. I think, and did the only thing I could do with an empty gun: run at my father and smash the gun into his fat head.
He lets out a roar of pain and anger as he falls, once again, to the ground.
“WHERE ARE THE BULLETS?” I ask my mother.
“What?? You can’t kill your father!” She yells back.
“ONE OF US IS DYING TONIGHT, AND I DON’T WANT IT TO BE YOU AND IT’S NOT GOING TO BE ME!” I scream at the top of my lungs.
Sirens are heard outside. I look toward the smashed window and see groups of flashing red-and-blue lights. I look at my father lying on the ground. Figuring he’s not getting up any time soon, I let out a scream and fall on our couch. Seconds later the cops bust in. I look toward the door and count seven of them. Hands up! I throw the gun on the floor and fling my hands into the air. My mother, standing a foot away from the closest cop, tears streaming down her face, thrusts her hands up also. The cops look around. Their eyes wander to me, the gun, my mom, and my drunk dad. My father, on his feet now, also had his arms in the air.
After a short time of having guns pointed at us, one of the cops finally ask “What is going on??”
Two hours of explaining my father’s drunkenness, the smashed window, all of our bloody faces, and the gun, the cops decide to take my father into custody. They all leave, and my mom and I are once again left in our house alone. Except with the difference of a smashed window.
“We’ll have to get some boards to patch that up with,” my mom said after we got cleaned up.
“You should have just told me where the bullets were. I could have ended this for good,” I said, a little angry.
“I’m not going to let you kill your own father!”
“Someone had to. He’s not going to stay in jail forever.” At this point, Janessa walked inside. “What the fuck happened here?”
“Dad got taken away by the cops after smashing open the window. Mom wouldn’t let me shoot him, so I hit him in the head with that gun,” I responded, pointing at the gun still on the floor.
“I always miss all the good shit!” Janessa said.
“You wouldn’t have wanted to been here. He beat mom up again, and then he attacked me for trying to help her. It was not fun,” I said, furious at her stupidity.
“Whatever. Anyway,” she said, turning to mom, “I’m not staying here tonight. I’m going to Tony’s.”
“I thought his name was James,” I said, half laughing.
“ Shut up, punk,“ she said to me as she turned around and walked out once again. I turn to face mom who was now sitting next to me on the couch. “I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for bed.”
I woke up the next morning and walked downstairs to find very little changed. The window was still smashed to bits and the gun still on the glass-ridden floor. I walked around the house to find out if there were any signs of life present. I searched every room in the house before realizing nobody else was home. I then realized my mom told me she was scheduled to work today. I was still a little scared, but with my father finally in prison, things should be much calmer.
I decided to go up to my room and play some Wii. I haven’t played it in a while, and I didn’t want to lose all my skill. Also, I figured if anything got my mind off what had happened the past few days, this would probably be it.
I was in my room for about two hours when I heard the door open. I jumped off my couch and ran to the living room to see who it was. When I got there, I saw my sister.
“Oh…” I said out loud.
“Oh, what? Expecting somebody else?” Janessa asked sarcastically.
I headed back to my room to continue my gaming, but just then my sister said something.
“What?” I asked her, turning around. I didn’t really want to talk to her, but I can’t ignore her my whole life. Unfortunately.
“I saw your little friends on my way home. They said they wanted to talk to you and to meet them at the park,” she said with an unusually nice tone.
“Ok, thanks,” I said in response.
When I got to the park, they were sitting in a bench waiting for me. I walked over to sit by them and said hello.
“Hi,” they both said quietly.
“What happened to your nose?” Michelle asked. I realized they had not heard about the night before.
“Well, that depends. Do you two want to hear a nice little story?” I asked.
After they both agreed, I proceeded to tell them every minute about what happened: How my mother and I got along for the first time in our lives, how my dad came home drunk off his ass, and how he hit my mother until I made him stop, then went after me. As I told the girls the story, the expressions on their face got worse with ever word. By the time I was explaining what happened to my nose, the girls’ faces were distorted with anger toward my father and horror. I finished explaining the story, about how I went and grabbed the gun, but then found out it was unloaded, and the cops coming to my house.
When I finished telling them what had happened, the first word I heard was “wow.” It came from Leana, who then said, “You have a messed up life.” I laughed in agreement. It was then that it hit me that this was the perfect time to tell Leana how I felt.
“Michelle, I don’t want to shoo you away, but can I please talk to Leana?” I said.
“Oh. Sure. No problem,” Michelle responded, turning to walk away.
Quickly, I changed my mind. I didn’t care if she stayed. I wanted her to know how I felt. I wanted everyone to know. “On second though, Michelle,” I yelled before she got too far away, “You can stay here. There’s no need for you to wander off.” I turned to Leana. “Leana,” I said, heart throbbing in my chest so hard you would think it was trying to escape, “I don’t really know how to say this. I’m not real good at relationships, but…” This was it, I thought to myself. “I think I’m in love with you.”
Michelle let out a little squeal, and Leana’s face turned red. I went on. “There’s something about you that makes me happy every time I’m anywhere near you. I can’t even think about you without my heart beating as fast as it is right now. I want to spend every second with you for the rest of my life. Something inside of me just keeps telling me that you’re the one,” I finished. Waiting for a response was dreadful. I waited what felt like days for her to say anything. Still, Leana just sat there smiling. Next thing I new, she was hugging me so tight I could hardly breathe. I felt exhilarated. I wrapped my arms around her tightly, feeling the best I’ve felt in a while. It was better than finally finding a connection between my mom and I, and better than seeing my dad being hauled off to prison.
I tried to turn my head to see if I could see what Michelle’s face looked like. I couldn’t. The hug itself lasted at least 10 minutes. When finally Leana let go, she kissed me on the cheek and stood up, with my hand in hers. I followed suit, and stood up as well. I finally looked over at Michelle to see her in tears.
I walked over to her and helped her to her feet.
“Hey. Everything’ll be ok,” I said, saying the only thing I could think of to cheer her up.
“Yeah. We’ll be here for you,” said Leana.
“Thanks guys. You both are great,” Michelle responded.
Smiling, I said “Let’s get you home.”
Leana and I took Michelle home then headed to Leana’s house. I’ve never been in her house before, so I was nervous and a little excited. When we got to a wonderful nice-sized house, we stopped. “Well, this is it,” Leana said.
“It’s very nice. Can we go inside?” I asked hopefully.
“Oh! Of course,” Leana said with a smile. Hand-in-hand, we walked up the porch steps and into the house. “I’m home!” Leana yelled.
Inside it was absolutely gorgeous. It was almost indescribable. It opened up into a colossal hard floor living room with a high ceiling sporting a great big flat-screen HD television, and a fireplace to boot. It had a kitchen with a marble island countertop, an electric dishwasher (which I was amazed by. At home, I am the dishwasher.), and a beautiful view out the window above the sink. It was probably the most wonderful house I have ever been in.
Leana was welcomed home by her beautiful, extremely peppy mother. Now I know where Leana gets her good looks from, I thought to myself. “Hello!” she said, shaking my hand. I’m Janet, Leana’s mother. Lea, you didn’t tell me you were bringing a guest!”
“Sorry, mom,” Leana said, getting a bit embarrassed. “It was kind of a surprise to me,” she finished with a grin. “Well, Danny, this is my mom. Mom, Danny.”
“Nice to meet you, ma’am,” I said.
“Please! Call me Janet. No need to be formal with me. Lea’s never brought a boy home before!” At this point, I heard Leana make a little noise that sounded a lot like “Mommm…” “Please! Make yourself at home! Would you like a Pepsi?” Janet continued.
“No thanks,” I said with a smile, remaining on my feet. I was raised not to get too comfortable too fast. “Well, please help yourself if you get thirsty.
They’re on the middle shelf in the fridge,” she said as she bustled away back toward the kitchen. “Just ask if you need anything!” she yelled behind her back. I turned to Leana and smiled. She returned my smile, then called to her mother “Mom, we’ll be upstairs.”
“Actually, can I use your phone real quick? I need to call my mom to tell her where I’m at,” I said before Leana could lead me toward the stairs.
“Oh, sure, dear,” Janet said. She picked up the phone and handed it to me.
“Thanks,” I responded as I dialed my house number. The phone rang three times before somebody answered.
“Hello?” It was Jenessa.
“Hey. Can you tell mom I’m over at Leana’s house? I’ll be here for a while. I don‘t want her getting too worried about me.”
“Fine. But you know the rules, you have to be home before 12.”
“I’ll try,” I said. I hung up the phone and gave it back to Janet. “Thank ya’ dear,” she said. Leana grabbed my hand once again with a grin on. I couldn’t help but smile back. Her smile was beautiful and contagious.
On the way upstairs, she asked me, “So what did your mom say?”
“She wasn’t there. But you know how it goes. Be home before 12, don’t do bad stuff.. You know moms. By the way, I’m gonna have to ask your mom to give me a ride home. I’ll do it later, though.”
“Ok. So, here we are at my room. None of my friends have actually been in my room except for Michelle.. Close your eyes,” Leana said with a giggle. I did as I was told. She held my hands over my eyes and walked me in a straight line. “Okay, open them.”
Her room was very surprising. It was, indeed, rather girly. The room was a light pink with frilly and fluffy stuff all over. On the other hand, it had posters of Metallica and other rock bands. She really is the perfect girl, I thought to myself. She walked over to her pink 4-poster bed and sat down. She beckoned me to come sit by her. Wondering what she is thinking about, but not hesitating at all, I walk over by her and have a seat. She wrapped her arms around me and leaned her head against my shoulder. I followed suit, holding her closely. It was oddly comfortable. We sat there for a bit, just holding each other. Her hair smelled good, like strawberries and lemons. A minute later, she lets go, says “ I love you, too,” and kisses me on the lips.
This was a shock to me. Probably the best shock I have ever encountered. I noticed that while her hair smelled like lemons and strawberries, her lips tasted like watermelons. I loved the fruit theme to this wonderful girl. I was really happy at this minute. Nothing could take this moment away from me. Except, of course, if someone were to walk in right no-
“Lea!” Leana’s mom was coming up the stairs. We broke apart just as she came to the door. “Lea, I’m doing laundry. Do you have any clothes you need washed?”
“Yeah, mom. The clothes in the basket are dirty,” she said pointing to a clothes basket next to the door. It seemed like she was trying to get rid of her mom as fast as possible. She looked upset that Janet kinda ruined the moment.
“Thanks dear,” Janet said, taking the basket and going back downstairs. Leana walked over to the door, shut it, then walked and sat back by me.
“Well, that was nice while it lasted,” Leana said to me. I smiled at her and kissed her again. “You’re adorable,” I said to her. “How long have we known each other?” I asked.
“Pretty much our whole lives, right?” Leana said with a smile.
“Yeah, I suppose so. Do you know how long I’ve felt this way about you?”
“Well, I think we got closer that night at the movies,” she said.
“Yeah. I thought so, too. But honestly, I’ve had a huge crush on you since the first time I saw you. When I first laid eyes on you, I knew that you were the one. Just thought you should know,” I finished.
“That’s sweet,” Leana commented with a hug. “Let’s go downstairs and see what’s for lunch.”
We ran downstairs and into the kitchen, hands still glued together. She opened the fridge and looked on the shelves. “There’s nothing in here,” she said. She then opened the freezer and began to search there. “Well, we have frozen pizzas. Is that ok?”
“That’s fine,” I said with a grin. I was used to frozen pizza. I had it nearly every day at home.
We ate the pizza, and after we both had our fill, we decided to watch a movie. Leana grabbed a movie at random and put it in. I sat on the couch, and she sat right next to me. We cuddled on the couch throughout the movie. It was an interesting movie. The parts I paid attention to were, anyway.
It was still pretty early by the time that movie ended, so Leana and I decided to put another one in. I never wanted to leave. I was having such a great time, and I felt like this was where I belonged. After a while, we got comfortable again from the sudden change of position. About halfway through the movie, Janet made us some popcorn. The rest of the afternoon went on pretty much the same.
When it got really late, I decided I should head home. I asked Janet if she could give me a ride home, and she agreed. It was a 7 minute drive which me and Leana spent in the back seat. Before I got out, I turned to say goodnight to Leana. She leaned in and kissed me again, turning my face red and my mouth into an ear-to-ear grin. This was probably the best day of my life.
The next day, I woke up and instantly I had to talk to Leana. Ever since the day before, I wanted to be with her everywhere and every second that happened. So I picked up the phone and dialed her number.
“Hello?” her mother answered.
“Hey. Is Leana there?” I asked.
“Yea, hold on a second, sweetheart,” she responded.
A second later Leana comes on the phone. “Hello?”
“Hey, beautiful,” I told her.
“Oh hey Danny. What’s up?”
“Nothin’. Just woke up and I had to talk to you. How are you doing today?”
“Oh. Pretty good. Nothing’s happened yet, though. The day just started. So what are you doing today?”
“Well, I gotta work at 4. Should be great fun. And that goes on for a few hours.. ‘til about 8:30 or so. But until then, nothing’s really goin’ on here.
“I was jus’ wonderin’. Cause I’m not doing anything all day long. Was hopin’ we could do something together.”
“Oh. Well. You know I’d love to. Um. Meet me at the park in a little bit?”
“Sounds great!” Leana said in excitement. I heard a ‘click’ and hung up the phone.
A while later, after I was showered and dressed, I headed out to the park.
When I got there, I saw Leana sitting on the same bench she was sitting only a day ago. She spotted me and stood up. She looked gorgeous. She had this yellow sunflower dress on that made her look incredibly beautiful. I stopped in my tracks to admire her beauty. She giggled, bringing me back to my senses, and I continued walking toward her.
“You look amazing,” I told her.
“Why so dressed up?”
“Well, I don’t know, really. Just had the urge to throw on this dress.”
“Ok then. So.. What’s up?”
We sat there and talked for what felt like only 10 minutes, but when I looked at my watch, It was already 2:30.
“Oh wow,” I said.
“What’s wrong?” Leana asked.
“It’s 2:30 already. I’ve gotta go home and get ready for work.”
“Oh,” said Leana, sounding a little disappointed. “Ok.”
“But we’ll definitely have to do this again. I’m glad I got to see you today. It’s weird how we have so much fun doing nothing.”
“Not nothing. But I know what you mean. Everything seems more fun with you around,” Leana replied sweetly.
I said my goodbyes, gave her a kiss, and headed home. The walk home seemed longer now that I knew it was only boredom ahead of me. I took my time, because working was the last thing I wanted to do now. Halfway home I saw a crinkled soda can on the sidewalk and started kicking it, entertaining myself the rest of the way. After a few blocks, I got really into it and started kicking it as hard as I could. A block away from home, I gave it one last kick to send it out of my way. Unfortunately, not only did I miss it completely, but I fell flat on my back on the cement sidewalk, and my shoe flew onto the road. After laying on the ground in pain for what felt like quite some time, almost positive I just broke my back, I walked into the street to pick up my shoe. Slowly but surely, I made my way into the middle of the street to where my shoe had landed.
“God damn it, this has bad idea written all over it,” I said to myself out loud. But not wanting to go home without my shoe, I bent down to grab it. Pain surged through my entire body and I collapsed on the ground, face first.
Unable to turn over, to move at all, I lied there hoping someone would come by and help me.
Well, someone came alright. Unfortunately, that someone was a semi. I saw it half a mile down the road, not looking like it was about to slow down. I tried to see if I could get a decent look at the driver. He was talking on his phone.
I knew this was it. That semi wasn’t slowing down, and there was no way I could move. I tried using my arms to pull my body forward and out of the way of the oncoming truck, but only in vain.
“FUCK!” Was the only thing I could say. I repeated the word at least 20 times. “Fuck, fuck, fuck, FU-!”
Daniel’s funeral was held a few days later. Many people were there, including Leana, Michelle, and their families. Joey’s family was there as well. Janessa was bursting in tears, her overly-applied makeup smeared all over her face. It was a gloomy day, indeed. Even the sky outside was dark and rainy.
Daniel’s body, no longer in two pieces, was neatly placed in a coffin on display. Leana and Michelle walked over to it together to get one last look at Daniel. Inside, Leana was shattered. She could barely even stand to beat the funeral.
She didn’t cry, because she knew Daniel wouldn’t want her to, but it had been a tragic experience for her. Her and Michelle both. They hugged each other and cried together. The men from both of their lives had been taken by the cruel, cold hand of death. And now, all they had was each other.
“Two down,” they both uttered in unison, tears streaming down their faces.