Rebecca slams her phone down, angry with her boyfriend. She sits in her bed, at first wanting to shield her tears but then she decides just to let them flow. She misses the times when he and she were happy, in fact she hasn’t been happy in nearly two years. The only reason that Rebecca even stayed with him was because he was safe. He was what her parents wanted and sometimes what she wanted.
“What a douche bag,” she mutters through the tears. The phone shakes in her hands just before she hurls it across her bedroom.
She lies in bed, wanting to release all of her bad thoughts and wanting the pain to end. Rebecca’s head falls lightly against the pillow as her tears and sobs were the lullaby that put her to sleep.
The next day rudely intrudes into her life. She doesn’t jolt up in bed from her alarm as she usually does; the sun gently strokes her face through the window. She gets up and goes through her usual morning ritual; shower, air dry, hair, make-up, clothes, shoes to match those close, and then answer any text messages.
As she was picking up her phone, she noticed six unread text messages. She reads the name aloud,
“Caleb,” she says, then releases a disgusted, “ugh.”
She flips through his texts, reading each apology and wondering if she should believe them. But then the real question reaches the brim of her thoughts; do I have a choice? Rebecca convinces herself that last night she had overreacted and when she walks outside her is there waiting to take her to school.
He struggles to find the right words without sounding repetitive but decides on ones that were just that; repetitive, “I’m sorry,” he tells her, “and I love you.”
From the back seat of his car he removes a dozen bright red roses and hands them to her, hoping she will forgive him. She responds with a kiss and a smile only warning him not to let it happen again.
For some strange reason, traffic this morning was horrible. Rebecca and Caleb find themselves jammed in a dark tunnel about three miles from their school. As Caleb leans over to kiss her, Rebecca feels an eerie presence above her.
Antonio Blackwell sits high above them, wedged in a corner in the tunnels ceiling, crying. It should be me! He screams in his head. He had listened in on their phone conversation from the previous night, he had felt her anger, and still she was kissing him. Antonio controls his anger, vowing to discharge it later.
I feel it necessary to interpose at this point in time. Antonio Blackwell is an extremely intelligent being. He has watched Rebecca before she moved, you see, they used to neighbors. He would sit in his house everyday and wait to catch a glimpse of her beauty. Before he lost the privilege to speak, he would call her. Antonio never told her who he was, in fear she would reject him. But everyday he could, he would speak to her. Rebecca freely shared her thoughts with him and felt a strange closeness to him, but take note that these events occurred before his thirteenth year. On the eve of his thirteenth birthday, he had concocted a plan to escape his abusive home; he was going to tell her everything.