Eight months later…
I looked at the different flavors of ice cream. Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate mint, chocolate chip cookie dough, rocky road. I couldn’t seem to decide, so I just skipped it all together. Ice cream usually gave me a stomachache anyways. I went to the frozen dinner trays next. After I finished getting every thing on my list, I started toward the check out counter. Then I saw two army officers talking to my friend Anna.
They were showing her a picture. Her eyes were wide. She then saw me. I could tell they were asking about me. I shook my head, my heart raced. Those letters were a bad idea. I put my hands together and mouthed, please. She looked at the officers again, then shook her head.
"No, I haven’t seen her." She said aloud.
"Are you sure?" one of them asked.
"Yes." I took the time to tiptoe away. Then hauled ass out the back of the store. I ran straight to Mrs. Smith’s house. Someone was bound to say yes. I sprinted up the stairs as I got into the house, taking three at a time. I ran to my room and started shoving my things into a duffel bag I had purchased a while back, in case this ever happened.
I was finished quickly and ran down the stairs. I busted through the front door and to my dismay ran into the same two officers. I stumbled back a few steps.
"That’s her!" one exclaimed. I pushed them both back then ran as fast as I could toward the bus station. Would a bus be there? I could only hope. They were right on my trail. Only ten feet back. I made it to the bus station, but there was no bus.
I panicked as I saw they were three feet behind me. They tackled me, and I went down. Then they handcuffed me. They led me back to their army jeep. A crowd of people was gathered in the middle of the street. All of them gasped when they saw me. Several people I knew very well stepped in front of us.
"Where are you taking her?" Mrs. Smith asked.
"Back to the army. She’s a runaway ma’am." One of them explained. She looked at me.
"You ran away from the army?" she asked.
"No, I’m not in the army, but my Father is a General. I ran away because I was having trouble. I would never do something like this if I didn’t have to."
"She shot at a group of young boys about her age." The officer explained.
"Rachael!" Mrs. White exclaimed. I felt tears come.
"They deserved it! They tried to rape me!" Oops. I wanted to cover my mouth, but I was handcuffed. Instead I bit my lip.
"Yeah right." The officer said. I let out a sigh. They didn’t believe me, thank God! Father would kill them. That was what I wanted to do. It was my revenge.
"Well I believe her. And I won’t let you take her back." Mrs. Smith said.
"I won’t let you either!" Mrs. White chimed in. The whole crowd was soon standing in their way chanting, "Let her go!" repeatedly. The officer whistled loudly. They quieted.
"If you do not let us take her peacefully, you will all be put under military arrest!" he warned. They remained quiet, but didn’t move. I could tell they were trying to decide whether or not they should let them.
"Let them take me. I’m almost seventeen, I’ll be eighteen in no time, and I promise I’ll come back here when I get out." They all slowly moved aside to let us through, then softly laid a hand on my shoulder as I passed through. The officers lifted me and placed me into the jeep. Then we left. I looked at the people behind me.
"I’ll write you every week!" I promised as we rode away. Everyone waved goodbye sadly. Then I left my home.
I didn’t meet anyone’s eyes as the officers lifted me out of the jeep and removed the handcuffs. I still didn’t as everyone came to hug me and tell me how much they missed me. I didn’t answer their questions. I just looked at the ground. I was taken to the captive tent. They were afraid I’d try to run away again.
I was allowed visitors. I sat on the cot and listened to them talk, hardly ever looking at them. Then finally Danny entered. I glanced up at him then immediately looked down again. He sat down next to me on the cot.
"You have no idea how mad I am at you." He whispered. I still didn’t look at him. I didn’t speak.
"I didn’t know if you were dead or alive, if you were safe, if you had food to eat."
"I wrote a damn letter. And I was just as safe there as I was here. Safer actually."
"I missed you."
"That was your mistake."
"I would have missed you even if I only thought of you as a friend. I read the letter you wrote to Shaun."
"I hope he enjoyed it."
"He didn’t read it. I burned it, so your Father wouldn’t find it. I burned the one you wrote me too."
"Good, that was a smart thing to do."
"What you did was stupid."
"It was the best choice I’ve ever made in my entire life. I’ve never been that happy before, except…"
"Nothing, just go away now. I’m tired. You can come back if you can sneak in some whiskey."
"You’re under age."
"I thought you would say that. Then I guess its goodnight then."
"He found them."
"Who found what?"
"Your father found the birth control."
"Oh, was he mad?"
"Not really, just surprised, and suspicious. He thinks you were going out with Shaun or someone."
"Not if my life depended on it. You know, maybe I should just tell him the truth. I don’t want to lie to him anymore."
"It’s up to you."
"But you’re part of it."
"I’d prefer if you didn’t tell him that part."
"I wonder if he’d care. He might not."
"Um, he might. If you tell him, he’ll immediately think the birth control was for me."
"Not if I start by telling him what it was for."
"If you want to, then you can. I’ll accept whatever consequences come of it."
"There won’t be any. I can’t lie to him anymore. And I just can’t do what everyone else wants. I’m tired of doing the right thing. So…" I turned and pulled his face to mine and finally kissed him. He responded immediately. Wrapping his arms around me, opening his mouth, and pulling me against him.
I wrapped my arms around his neck. Then realized this was a bad idea. I immediately wanted him. But that wasn’t something I could do. Not yet. I felt desire rush through me. Shit. But I didn’t stop.
I didn’t have the strength to. It took enough of my strength not to rip off his clothes right then and there. Eventually though, he had to go. Others wanted to see me, and only one person was allowed to be in here.
"Times up, Danny." The guard called. I could hear him walking to enter. I immediately pushed Danny away. He stood up and turned then went straight out. I lay back, and the next person entered.
"Ten minutes." The guard warned.
"Whatever." He replied. It was Shaun who entered next. He stood in front of me. I glared at him.
"Get out!" I shouted, so the guard could hear. Then Shaun poked out a little barrel through a hole in his jacket pocket. It was a gun. I froze.
© Copyright 2016 Cherie Arlavine . All rights reserved.