A wrong choice could prove noxious
| Amelia sat at the table in the school library and just stared at the pile of books set out before her. She scanned them and realized she wouldn't have enough time to do everything that was expected. Her brain was becoming confused and in a jumble. She stood up to go to the vending machine to get a can of Pepsi. Upon returning, she started classifying which subject deserved paramount attention. Algebra, Biology, English Composition, and French were going to be her friends tonight. For Algebra, she had to complete fifty problems. She had a one thoiusand word essay on the most inspirational person in her life, for English Composition. Lastly, she was to conjugate twenty verbs for French class.
As Amelia looked at the pile a second time, she felt relief. "At least I'll have an excuse for Bobby when he calls tonight to go out." She took out her notebook and Algebra book and started the problems. While she was deep in mathematical madness, there was a tap on her shoulder. Feeling the tap made Amelia jump from fright.
"Amelia, it's me. Why are you so afraid?"
"I have a lot of homework, a test to study for, and a paper to write.There isn't much time. I'm sorry I jumped, Shelly."
"It's O.K. When is your next class?"
Amelia looked at the clock on the wall. It read 10:43. She started closing her books and putting them in her backpack. She zipped it closed.
"I have to get to class. So do you, Shelly. After English, I have to talk to you."
While the girls were walking to class, Bobby, Amelia's boyfriend, approached them. Amelia tried to run, but he caught up with her.
Bobby was an eighteen year old high school drop out, who was raised by his grandmother from age six months. He was willful, stubborn, conceited, and listened to nobody. He viewed women as inferior and in need of constraint. The string of girls left in his wake would make Hugh Hefner cry. at best. For Bobby, employment was a bad word. He'd rather get the money from Grandma, which is what he always did.
Grabbing her arm, he demanded, "Where are you going?"
"Bobby, I've got class. You're hurting me. Let me go! How did you get in here?"
"I told the office that I had to get some homework for my sister."
At the sound of the lie, Shelly stepped in and escorted Amelia into the classroom. She closed the door and made sure it stayed that way, leaving an enraged Bobby, glaring . He yelled through the glass that he was going to stay there until class was over. He kept pacing in front of the door and cracking his knuckles. Fifty minutes later, the class was dismissed. Shelly, who sat in the back, came to the front to see what was delaying Amelia.
"I don't want to go out there. I know he's still there. What is he going to say when he finds out I have all this homework? He wants to go out to the park and meet with his friends."
"Is Bobby abusing you? Controlling you? I'm your best friend. Tell me what's going on. I'll help you and do what I can. We can't stay in here all day. Don't you have two more classes?"
"He won't let me do anything unless he's there. He tells me what to wear, how to wear my hair, and he hates me wearing make-up. I'll handle it. I don't want you to get involved and maybe get hurt. Let's go so the next class can come in."
The girls waited until there was a crowd in the hall. When the noise escalated, they went out a back door to the classroom and ran to the girls' restroom. Bobby looked in the room and realized they were gone. He started running aimlessly, screaming for Amelia. Other students were throwing him looks, and a few teachers came out of their rooms with fingers on their mouths, signaling for quiet. Bobby nervously walked out the nearest exit, embittered.
Once he was out of earshot, Amelia and Shelly peeked out the restroom door. They slowly walked out and went to the cafeteria. Amelia was trembling. Her face was flushed and all she wanted to do was go home.
"You have to call the police, tell your parents, and tell Mrs. Brown, the principal. He needs to be stopped. He can and will kill you, if you let him. If you don't say something, I will."
"Shelly, I can't tell my parents. He's three years older than me. I'm not supposed to date. They don't know about him. We met at the mall when I went to buy Troy a present for his birthday. He helped me pick out a tie for Troy. It's a long story. That was two months ago."
Shelly sat in amazement, glaring at her best friend. She wondered if Amelia comprehended her situation. From what Amelia disclosed, her life was in danger and she needed to let people know.
"I have to get to class. See you later Shelly. I'll meet you at three, so we can go to your house and do homework."
"My house? I thought we were going to your house. I told my mom we'd be there. If you want to go to my house, that's ok."
Amelia went to the band room to practice her flute Playing that beautiful instrument made her very sad and forlorn. She couldn't keep her mind on the piece and kept making mistakes. The teacher was becoming perturbed. After the lesson, Amelia walked out of the room, looking at her watch. She realized that she had two hours left before the conclusion of the day.
The last class was Physical Education. The class was going to run and do physical exercises. This would give Amelia a chance to release her pent up anger and resentment toward herself and Bobby.
When the day was finally finished, Amelia met Shelly at the side door and they went into Shelly's mother's car for the ride to her house. During the ride, Amelia's cell phone rang. Bobby was sending her a text message. It read:
Where are you? I'm at the school, and you're not here. Text me back as soon as you get this. I'm waiting!
"I knew he'd call me. Now what do I do?"
"Don't answer it. Don't send him a message. When we get to my house, we're going to call your parents and tell them everything. Then we're calling the police."
Amelia called her parents to let them know where she was. She asked them if she could stay for dinner and received an affirmative answer. She also told them that she had something important she needed to tell them. Her mother told her that she would pick her up at 7:00. Right after she hung the phone from her mother, it rang with another text message:
I'm going to your house. Where are you, baby? We have a lot to talk about.
"Do you see what I mean? He's desperate and he won't let you breathe. You're staying here until your mother comes to get you. We're having homemade spaghetti and my Mom's chocolate cake with buttercream icing for dessert. I know how much you like that. Now, let's study and get our minds on the essay that's due. I can help you with the biology test. I had that last semester. It was a pain."
Shelly's mom pulled into the driveway, and everyone entered the house. Shelly and Amelia went to Shelly's room to study and listen to Billy Joel's It's My Life. Shelly turned on her computer and checked her email.
"How did he get my address?"
Amelia gaped, in shock, at the machine. She remembered that she had her planner on the seat of Bobby's car. She realized it was gone when she packed her backpack that morning.
Amelia immediately texted Bobby to ask if he had the planner. How could she have been so stupid as to leave that in his car? Pacing the floor while waiting for a response was infuriating Amelia. Her mind was racing with scenarios. What had she gotten herself into? Bobby texted her back:
The planner is right here, baby. Want it back? I'll see you in ten minutes in front of Shelly's house, where we'll talk. It's up to you.
"He has the planner and your address. He wants to meet me in front of your house to talk. What should I do?"
"Let's talk to my mom, then call the police. After that, text him back and see what he says."
The girls told Mrs. Benson everything and, as expected, she was outraged. After recovering, she suggested that they call the police and inform them of the recent events, which is what they did. The officer told Amelia to wait until another officer arrived, then text Bobby back. Just a few minutes later, an officer arrived. At his urging, Amelia texted Bobby and asked him to come over. He arrived within five minutes. It was later revealed that he lived two blocks away, so he knew right where Shelly lived.
"Where's my planner? Why did you steal it?"
"I didn't steal anything. Possession is nine tenth's of the law, last I heard."
Bobby held out the red planner in an enticing manner. As Amelia walked forward to retrieve it, he tripped her. As he helped to her feet, Amelia felt the sting of a blade in her chest. Bobby dropped her to the ground.
"You women will never learn. I am in charge of you and always will be."
Before he had the chance to bolt, the officer apprehended Bobby, cuffed him, and read him his rights. While this was taking place, Amelia's mother drove up, and saw her daughter's lifeless body on the grass. The red from the blood mingled with her yellow sweater and its orange glow was too much for her to handle. She fainted next to Amelia.