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Coming of Age Friendship Sad

This story contains themes or mentions of sexual violence.

The cool air was refreshing after the heat of the summer day. Being free from the ground lifted Alice's spirits. It had been a long day working in the factory. It paid well, but boredom always set in after the first ten minutes of her shift. If I'm going to make something of myself I have to go to college. If I go to college I have to have money. So boredom would have to be put up with until September.

Alice glanced at her watch. Remi was supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago. A smile crossed her face as she thought of her friend. they had known each other since second grade and grew up together in the projects. Being with Remi was fun and inspiring. Remi always had the most interesting and creative ideas. And in three months, they would be off to college together. Who would ever have thought it possible. Good grades, scholarships, and tons of hard work had made it possible.

The chain on the swing screeched loudly as Alice pumped harder and harder. Remi came onto the playground so quietly that Alice jumped when she saw her standing by the swings. Remi looked strange, kind of sad like she'd been crying.

"What's wrong," Alice asked softly as she coasted to a stop.

"I can't talk about it! " Remi uttered as she started sobbing. Alice hopped off the swing and held her and comforted her as best she could.

"You know you can tell me anything. We've been friends forever, I won't be upset with anything you've done. I love you and care about you. We're roomies, remember. We're going to college against all odds. Come on, let's swing."

The girls climbed on the swings and started pumping hard. With each pump Remi sobbed a little less. She began taking deep breaths and slowly the crying stopped.

"Remember when we used to pretend we were flying to the moon?"

"Absolutely! That's when we set our goals about college, and getting away from here," choked Remi.

"OK so let's talk about whatever it is. It always feels better to talk

about our problems. You can tell me anything."

"Well I went to the doctor today and found out I'm pregnant."

"What? Pregnant? What are you talking about? You don't even have a boyfriend. Do you?"

" Well, one night at work a man cornered me in the parking lot and raped me."

" When? Why didn't you tell me? That bastard! Did you tell the police? Do your parents know? What are you going to do? Oh my God!"

Remi coasted to a stop, and put her feet on the ground.

"I don't know."

"What do you think about abortion?"

" I don't believe in it. But I'm only seventeen and just about to start my life away from here with you at college. This ruins everything!"

" Now, calm down, let's think about this. What are the choices?"

"Well, abortion, or I stay here and raise a baby in this stifling cycle. I haven't even told my parents yet. They are going to freak!"

" How about you come with me and we live together and I'll help you raise the baby and I'll go to school? We could do it! Together!"

"Oh, Alice, always the dreamer. You can't go to school and support us, and daycare is way out of line price wise. You will just have to go alone. Maybe next year, I'll be able to come there and get a job take a class or two."

"But Remi, this is our dream, we've worked and worked to get here, you can't stay behind. First of all we have to tell your parents.I'll come with you. Next we need to go to the police, so this man doesn't rape someone else. And then we can figure out what we're going to do."

Tears flooded Remi's face.

"I was so afraid you were going to be mad."

"It wasn't your fault. And you know I could never be mad at you, that's what friends are for."

The two girls walked back to Remi's apartment. As they entered, Remi's mom was in the kitchen cleaning up, and her dad was in the living room watching baseball on TV.

"Mom I need to talk to you and dad, it's really important"

Remi's mom came into the living room wiping her hands.

"Dad I need you to turn off the TV."

"What? It's a tie game!"

"Please, Dad, it's important."

When the TV clicked off, Remi stood tall but couldn't speak. She began sobbing.

"What is it?" asked her mom.

Alice stepped forward and related the story about the rape to Remi's parents. She informed them that she had been to the doctor and she was pregnant. Silence filled the little apartment.

"Who is the bastard? Tell me his name, I will beat him to a pulp. How dare he hurt my little girl, shouted Remi's dad.

"Now, Bob, I think we should let the police take care of him. What's more important is how are we going to deal with a baby? And what can we do to help?"

Remi ran to her mom and threw herself into her arms. Alice watched and now it was her turn to sob.

Police were called and Alice stayed until the interviews were over, then left to go home. She knew Remi and her parents had much to discuss.

As Alice climbed into bed, she wondered where this all was going to end. Will I go off to college alone? Is our dream over? Will I stay here? Is our friendship more important to me than our future? Alice tossed and turned over and over. She awoke for work more tired than when she went to bed. Could she work a boring job for the rest of her life to be a good friend to Remi?

That night as they met at the swings, Remi looked as tired as she did.

Remi told Alice about the police interview and that they had arrested the man from work. It turns out he has raped four girls in the past few months. The other girls came forward because of Remi's courage.

"I don't want to hold you back, Alice, but I think I have a plan. You go to college in the fall and I'll stay here and go to junior college and have the baby. Mom and Dad said they would babysit while I went to school. We can live with them. And then next year the baby and I will come up to where you are, and we'll be roomies as planned except there will be three of us. What do you think?"

Alice took a deep breath.

"I think we should both go to junior college this year. I can help with babysitting so we can both take more units. Then next year we'll go to college together. It will give us another year to save money which will help next year. What do you think?"

"You would do that for me?"

"It's our dream not mine. Of course I would do that for you. What are friends for? Now start pumping or I will beat you to the moon!"

April 15, 2024 18:12

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1 comment

Trudy Jas
18:56 Apr 21, 2024

Two very mature girls. True BFF's

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