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The Fuel

Ichabod Frenzy - Chapter 40 & Colin's Epilogue - The End.

Chapter 40 - Ichabod

 

"Bitches be bitchin! Let's get that over with. We all know what's the real problem. They all just want a piece of Merrick and his money for stability so they all can go shopping," said Cliff.

 

I arrived a little early and the men from the fraternity were talking in their living room of the fraternity house. 

 

"Hey, I heard about the Blow Out," I said. "Freshmen, but Sophomore on credits."

 

"Yeah, you want the drinks, that's all, it's all there in the kitchen," said one of the other fraternity men.

 

"Merrick," he said, introducing himself to me. "Pledge Father. You can call me Big Poppa."

 

"Is that a Notorious B.I.G reference from the 90s?" I asked, smirking. I was the first one to arrive and Sunjit will come alone and so will Shane and Fanny. Office Fineman placed the bugs on us earlier and we were all tapped. The van and the policemen and their teams are several miles away. Some are nearby about three miles or so and wearing street clothes for incognito.

 

"Yeah, bro. You like him, yeah?" Merrick asked. "You know all the girls want the Big Man on Campus. That's me."

 

"I'm impressed. I'm am here for the beer," I said. Merrick pointed to the kitchen where there was another pledge brother playing bartender.  

 

"You spill you lick off the floor," he said to me. I nodded.

 

I heard Merrick talking about to the pledges.

 

"Basically, I'm the Raja here...okay. I'm where the honey's at. The chicks want a good man with money and this cream delicious with this bod," Merrick said, as he flexed his muscles. "Black bitches would kill to have me. So will Latinas. And you know Asian chicks will put out and pay out for this baby!"

 

Everyone laughed, and they all drank some of their beer. 

 

"Do you get more blows tho?" asked a brother. He laughed it out and said, "You know Merrick gets more blows from all kinds of bitches, but what would they do to do it?"

 

"I shave, okay. That's how much I get it," said Merrick. "It's all rank but they love this piece of meat."

 

"Besides, Black women will shoot out pellets guns on Asians anyday to get to me," said another brother. "That's just a regular white guy, and not Merrick."

 

"You a fine black man, Cliff. You know all the girls dig you, even Asian ones," said Merrick. "The common denominator is being fine. Being able bodied, being rich, and being handsome with a good body. We are the epitome of a good-looking man with advantages in life and with a lot of assets. Pretty much, all the fine bitches will crawl to get here."

 

"Black and Latinas and Asians and White, all of them want me. They would kill each other for a good man, we all know what it is....it's all genetics, boys. Natural Selection. We are the fucking prime authority!" said Cliff. 

 

"So I heard your sis kicked some bitch's ass to get Colin," I said. 

 

Merrick looked to me, and asked, "Where did you hear that from?"

 

"Rumors. Colin's miserable," I said, making things up.

 

I actually have no idea what happened to Colin and Melody. I knew they were now a couple and at this moment, having a prom date. Angelina is at home, and I told her to lay low with Sam as I'm here with the guys and Fanny, straightening things out.

 

"Colin's had an eye for my sister for a long time," said Merrick. "Angel was in the way. How did you know his ex was Asian?"

 

"She's a whore. Everyone's had her," I said. "Everyone had a few jobs from her. They all said she's easy and cheap. Cheap and a lot, that's the motto for getting her in bed."

 

Merrick and the guys laughed as Merrick laughed so loudly that he coughed and fell to the ground. "Oh man, I knew she was cheap. Her Dad was a chef at China 2000."

 

"Well, she went General Tso on my body, baby," said Cliff. Cliff accidently blurted out not realizing I was tapped. 

 

"Tiny pussy," said Merrick and Cliff. "Love me long time, mister."

 

"That's confirmed, for sure," I said, as I stood in the outer circles. 

 

"What's your name, son?" asked Merrick. "Are we pledging? Rush is come and gone, but you're always welcome to be a slave first for the neophytes and we can talk next semester how you can do a walk-in."

 

"Oh, I see, I like that," I said. "I'm going to just sit here and listen. I'm really honored to be here. I'm just a peon."

 

"Yes, you are," said one of the brothers. "You're below us right now."

 

 

 

"I'm Jewish. I know some history," I said.

 

"Oh shit!" said Cliff. He hurried to get off the couch and stood next to Merrick.

 

"Don't worry. I'm just kidding. I'm German," I said. "I just look Jewish to scare people off."

 

"Oh man, you got me there for a minute," said Merrick. "We usually don't get Jewish pledges here. We're not sure they'd fit in."

 

"Oh, I apologize, I won't say anything anymore. I was just patriotic is all, practicing my rights," I said. "Make America Great Again. Sorry,... again."

 

I drank the rest of my White Claw then turned around and noticed Shane was here.

 

Shane was the second to arrive and he wore his hair in dredlocks. He had highlights to accentuate his hazel eyes, and his dark brown tone. 

 

"Fine brother at the door," said Cliff. "I can smell my kind."

 

"I see," I said and saw Shane and stood to the side.

 

"Hey bro, you a freshman?" asked Cliff. "Model?"

 

"Yeah, Elite," said Shane. "I'm a part of a tribe with them. Down in Denver."

 

"Come and drink, kid," said Merrick. "See brothers? Good looks always get you some drinks and then some. Asian women eat that shit up. They like fat wallets and tight abs and status. Blondes, brunettes. and all the Black ladies will kill other women who are competitions and we all know Latinas. Fraternity men are the best."

 

"Let's talk numbers," said Shane. "How many women you talking about, bro? Double digits? Triple?"

 

"Still double. We don't go just go to triple without some status, although..." said Merrick.

 

"Aaaahhhh.....Merrick knows he's got some," said Cliff. 

 

Two more brothers arrive and they looked Asian.

 

"Hey, Eric and Tim, you two look like twins," said Cliff. "You staying?"

 

"We just got here," Eric said. "Upstairs had some complications."

 

"There were some broad who wants to use the bathroom," said Tim. "She's fat."

 

Shane and I walked towards upstairs and saw Fanny waving at us.  She pointed to Eric and Tim and closed her mouth.

 

"You get them next, Fanny," said Shane. 

 

Fanny gestured a thumbs up and walked inside the bathroom.

 

Merrick was still talking and boasting about how many women he had sex with and how he had back pains once during an encounter.

 

"You know Latinas...they'll get their gang brothers after a girl just to get a good-looking man with money," said Merrick.

 

"I got stalked once and she almost killed another one of my ex-girlfriend because she was talking too loud at the nail salon," said Tim.  "My ex told her pedicurist that I owned the supermarket, and the Latina stole my girl's cell phone and stalked her until my ex got into an accident. It was all because I was half-white and Asian and fine as filet mignon."

 

"Tim, Tim, Tim, you know you shouldn't have dated low class Asians. They talk...too much," said Merrick.

 

"What about you, Merrick?" said Cliff. "You had all kinds of girls. Any of them caused problems?"

 

"Nah....they all shut their mouths because they know they'll get a whip if they don't. Basically, I'll sue them if they talked," said Merrick.

 

"What about any Asian girls? or Latinas or Black? We all know you've dated white girls," said a brother.

 

"Minorities. That's what I call all of them. Dating minorities is a craft, man. Especially Asians. You gotta be smooth. They want to put out if you pay. But I think, let them pay the dates and put out for you to treat you like a king. They've gotta prove you're their prime attention from the heart. That's the way to do that," said Merrick. "Latinas and Black women are the best though...they just put out no questions asked. They'd kill Asians to get you. They all want a piece of me."

 

"Because you're white?" I asked.

 

"Not just that, but because I'm rich and good looking and my status is high. I'm some serious investment to them. I'm up here," said Merrick, holding his palms sideway toward his heart and over his head, showing the high level with his hand. "Girls in America want to marry white men, and basically fine men in all colors. They all want to marry good men with high status because they're tired of those disrespecting men, black killing black, latinos in gangs...they're tired of them. They want civilized and good looking and gorgeous inside and out. Like me. This whiteness."

 

"You're just a gift to mankind, Merrick," said Cliff. "I'm listening to you all the time. Bro, I'm doing anything you tell me to do."

 

"You know what Cliff....slavery is a bitch isn't? It just brings down an entire race and it gives so much drama to the next generations, as if they lived it. It's actually their ancestors that brought them down," said Merrick. "It's a shame, bro. You're no slave, bro. You're a model, look at you. Black and gorgeous. You're my blood brother."

 

"I want to be a blood brother," said Shane. I stood to the side and walked upstairs and heard from the corner of room, Merrick telling Shane that he's an Orion Star and although his ancestors were slaves, he was a freed man and being the fraternity will free him even more and give him more status. More security and following Merrick and his ways will give him benefits, such as women, Asian women, Gorgeous Black women, curvaceous Latinas and other model looking women with money and connections.

 

"Basically, just do what Merrick wants, bro. Trust me," said Cliff. "He will show you the world, bro."

 

"I believe it," said Shane. As he shook hands with Merrick, and I walked upstairs where Fanny was in the bathroom.

 

"Fanny, what are you doing?" I asked.

 

"I'm not sure if they're gay but they were here in the bathroom for a long time," said Fanny. "I'm going to strip for them."

 

"Okay. You have underwear for that or a swimsuit?" I asked. I wasn't sure how she will control herself because she looked drunk already. 

 

"I got here and asked to use the bathroom, but I took some shots, so I'm a little giggly," said Fanny. "I'm just going to pull Eric and Tim into the upstairs bedroom and get them so drunk that they'll confess. I'll massage their feet and their back and do all kinds of acupressure and feed them vodka."

 

"Oh....Sounds .....I'm not sure, but I'm just going to pretend everything is okay," I said, breathing loudly and having a small panic-attack. "You don't think they'll attack you would they?"

 

"Nah....I think they're some kind of rich kids from Southern California," said Fanny. "They sounded tame."

 

"But they all can be assholes, Fanny," I said. 

 

"It's okay....I'll give them some of my gummi bears from the dispensary," said Fanny. "I asked my older brother to get me some for tonight." Fanny took out her small purse and showed me some packets of marijuana laced gummi bears. "This will make them relax and I can get them to tell the truth. I know they must be involved somehow."

 

"There are a lot of brothers downstairs. About ten or so, but Cliff and Merrick are the center of the crowd, so there won't be a problem getting them drunk. They'll all be drunk by the end of the night," I said. "Can I have some gummi bears? For Merrick and Cliff."

 

A call came into my cell phone and it was officer Fineman. "Get some statements and probable cause for concern and we can go in. Fanny, to get some confession, and Shane to get a confirmation. We need four men to confirm that it was a legal crime and set up. We got yours, Ike, they already labelled her.  Ursula's report came in today. Angelina brought her."

 

"Good," I said. "I'm not sure if I'd be able to do this so quickly, but I'm going to try."

 

I heard in the other room, Merrick and Cliff role playing two girls in competition for the same guy. 

 

"Black girls would shoot out Asian women anyday with pellet guns," said Merrick. 

 

"Or what's better, they'd ask another brother to drug them and get some rape on," said Cliff. 

 

Merrick and Cliff laughed it off, and told the crowd, "It's all natural selection. They wall want to get pregnant. They want to get some Halle Berry or Lisa Bonet babies or some Hapa kids, so they'd beat each other and kill each other, and get their black men to rape Asian women and vice versa. It's all bullshit!" 

 

"But you'd never do that, right?" said Shane.

 

"Right!!!!" said Cliff and Merrick as they both laughed. "We won, bros!" They both punched each other in the stomach and laughed and told each other, "Love me long time!"

 

"Asian girls are the best. They play it so cool like they study and everything, but they're all sluts. At least Black girls just blow and put out more. They'd be willing to get pregnant, like Latinas! They all just want to be a wife, but they gotta pay the price for that voting rights and representation," said Merrick and Cliff, laughing. "No matter, what...white men and black men and latino men won....the men won! Women are all so stupid!"

 

"They're willing to rape and kill and stalk and sabotage to get to me, and Cliff," said Merrick. "You know black girls and white girls will shoot pellet guns to Asian girls. Especially if they have a dowry. Then, they'd get the Latinas to get their Mexican gangster brothers to steal those dowries from their humble apartments to give them to me!" Cliff nodded.

 

"ASIANS ARE LOSERS! Supposedly they got the highest income rate....that's because it's all a political agenda to shut them down and to keep them happy so they won't say shit!" said Cliff. "It's all about black and white and if there is room, some mexicans, but no Asians...I hate Chinese Dolls!"

 

"Wait...you all had sex with the same girl or something? Sounds like you know the same things...," asked Shane, fishing for some controversy.

 

"What?" said Merrick. 

 

"What do you mean about that?" said Cliff.

 

"Just asking," said Shane.

 

"We did once....she's a beauty. Right Cliff," said Merrick.

 

"Oh yeah...a Chinese Puppet," said Cliff. He then laughed it off. 

 

I came back with some gummi bears, and gave a bag to Merrick and Cliff.

 

"Awww...we're friends," said Merrick. Cliff ripped open the bag and took some out, and gave some to Merrick.

 

My eyes were red and moist, because Shane almost cried. Shane was African American but he's never seen another African American being extremely racist with a racist white man. I thought the whole world was kind and everyone got along somehow, but never saw this much blatant racism before.

 

Tim and Eric both walked upstairs again, and they looked tired. They were about to go into one of the rooms, when Fanny walked in to the same room. I stood outside and waited in line for the bathroom along with some other college kids who were trickling in to the Blow Out party. I stood near Fanny.

 

"Hey cuties," said Fanny in the hallway to Tim and Eric.

 

"Hey fatso," said Tim. Eric just laughed and punched Tim on his upper arm.

 

"I want to play massage therapist. Wanna give me some of your fine bodies for practice?" said Fanny. "I'll do all the pressure points."

 

"Seriously?" said Eric. "I love massages."

 

"Yes, no charge...just because I can have you for a few hours, means the world to me," said Fanny. "Fine looking piece of art work brothers. You're both so gorgeous. My friend, here will join us to help out." Fanny pointed to me.

 

"We know we're gorgeous. Okay...no problem about your friend. He's kinda cute, in a dark and curly haired sort of way," as Tim replied as Tim and Eric looked at each other. "Let's do it in my room," said Tim.

 

"No...my room," said Eric. "It's got a sofa and carpeting."

 

"Ooohhh...I like carpeting. We can get silly on the floor," said Fanny.

 

"You're fat but so cute," said Tim. Eric giggled.

 

They walked into the room and I followed, pushing in the bugs hoping it won't fall off. Fanny has one bug but it's most likely strapped on her with her swimsuit.

 

"So how do you get to be so fine," said Fanny. "Do you play tennis?"

 

"It's all gym hours...you just gotta put in the time," said Eric. "It's no carbs and all vegan, proteins, fruits...the original good stuff and I'm so sorry you're fat, girl. No one ever taught you how to eat?"

 

"I'm fat because my Dad cooks good grub, boys. I can't resist," said Fanny.

 

"Oh, that's different. You're just a glutton," said Tim. "It's poor self-control."

 

I could tell Fanny almost burst out laughing because she felt that her size was an advantage and she knew she wasn't lesser than others. Fanny was a stallion in the self-confidence department. She knew herself and she knew she could do anything she put her mind to. "I'm Vietnamese, what are you guys?" asked Fanny.

 

"Chinese," said Tim. 

 

"Korean," said Eric.

 

"Gorgeous Asian men," said Fanny.

 

"Strong groups of men," I said.

 

"Basically, we're the rich upper class Asians, other people want to become," said Tim. "They wish...."

 

"What do you mean?" I asked. 

 

"What do all men want?" asked Tim. Eric smirked.

 

"Control," said Fanny. "And riches."

 

"Exactly. We got that...we got the upper hand with Merrick on our side. If we didn't, we'd be the outcast and we'd be the minority, just another Chinese and Korean, right. But, with Merrick and Cliff on my side. We're fucking unstoppable," said Eric.

 

"Do you do everything Merrick wants?" I asked. "What if it's a crime?"

 

"What's a crime if it's just a mistake?" said Tim. "Everything is forgiveable. Even God is on Merrick's side."

 

Eric opened the door to his room and let us all in. There was a nice bed with a flat screen across from it, two bedsides table and a desk with an Apple computer and small speakers. There was a golden frog to his bedside with a coin on its mouth.

 

Fanny's eyes gaped open because the trimmings of his bedroom had pictures of Absolut Vodkas in different advertisements and paintings of Monet and another impressionist on the wall. The place looked regal.

 

"Let's do a stupa stance first...just sit on the floor and breathe in an out and take off your shirts," said Fanny. She took out her back pack and took out some of her essential oils and Tiger Balms and some Biofreeze and her gummi bears. "These will relax you and it will help. Trust me, I've worked at a massage parlor before. My Dad owns one," said Fanny. 

 

"You're used to this women treating men like kings sort of shit, eh Fanny," said Tim. "That's how it is supposed to be. We're dominant and women and lesser than men. That's the Asian way. Subservient women gets the juice. If they're too strong, they might as well divorce me."

 

"Yes, master," said Fanny. Her eyes moistened and her cheeks were red.

 

"What should I do, Fanny," I asked.

 

"Massage Eric starting with the shoulders and his head first," said Fanny.

 

"Eric, have some gummi bears and smell these," said Fanny, giving him some Frankinscense and Eucalyptus Oils.

 

"Aaaahhhh......wonderful," said Eric. Tim and Eric were without their shirts and laying on the floor face down. 

 

Fanny took off their jeans, and they were in their boxers. "First, I'll massage your heads and their shoulders, then legs and torso and we do a whole body relaxation," said Fanny. "Then I'll strip and you can watch, boys."

 

I was about to laugh, but it was hilarious watching Fanny took control of these men when they both were boasting control and power and riches to her. 

 

"Tell me...how did you get so poor, Fanny," said Tim. "Did you do something illegal?"

 

"No...just an immigrant," Fanny said. 

 

"Me too, I'm an immigrant, too," I said to them.

 

"Oh...you're still on the bottom level. It's okay, start low, and you can get higher later," said Tim.  "We're born into money and we're basically set and no matter what we do....we're covered. Fanny, you should be thankful I'm letting you massage me."

 

"You should date black men, only, the ones in a gang, and be one of their bitches and represent the Asians who love Black people," said Tim. "That's what poor immigrants are good for. Push them out to the Black and Brown community."

 

"Yes, mister," said Fanny. Her bugs buzzed and I got a text from Officer Fineman.

 

"Pricks!" texted Officer Fineman. "Give them muscle cramps and twist them on the floor so they won't move. I want to arrest those pricks!"

 

"I have some muscle relaxers and have some more gummi bears," I said to Tim, giving him five more and Eric the same. I tore another bag open and Fanny began to question them.

 

"So control....what do you want in a woman?" asked Fanny. "So I'd know what to do."

 

"For her to shut up, first of all. Let us be the men, and hopefully their good cooks and good in bed. If they're too strong, we don't want them," said Eric. "We want someone who'd listen to us. Someone who'd sweep the floor, and we make the money, and they just shut up and do the work and get pregnant."

 

"I see...I like that....conservative but fair," I said, rolling my eyes. I had no idea these men still view women these ways. It was so archaic and so un-civilized.

 

"You know...especially if she's poor, she shouldn't do anything but just clean house. If she gets married...poor girls don't get the juice. They're slaves. They end up raped or work at Target," said Eric. "They're sad really...they'll be alone all of their lives."

 

"Why so?" I asked. "What do you mean by poor and what kinds of girls do you like."

 

Fanny massaged Tim's head and his face looked relaxed as he kept chewing on gummi bears. They were both very relaxed and happy and Tim continued to breathe in and out.

 

"What kinds of women do you date?" asked Fanny.

 

"All kinds, but mostly Asians. Rich ones, only. Nice families and the poor ones, we don't want. They got issues, and we all know they need therapy. They need to work first," said Tim. 

 

"They all have their own salvation," said Eric. "It's so ugly to befriend an ugly and poor girl, she's gotta be a nuisance."

 

"How so?" I asked. 

 

"They grovel and want acceptance and they start asking you out and shit. They have no self confidence. But, I like the girls who pay for everything. Those girls are winners. Or the kinds who pay half....love them. They got some money. But ultimately, we want them to shut the hell up and just clean the floor," said Eric. "A lot of girls have something to prove now...all them bitches are just bitchin about other  bitches. It's tiring. They all want me, so they fight to get there."

 

"So there is this Chinese girl, we had, and Merrrick loved her. Angel. She's pretty but poor as dirt," said Tim. "You know she's got no future."

 

"What do you mean?" Fanny asked. "You can work to get to where you want to be."

 

"She's got no hope. She's Indonesian or some hell hole place like that. She's from a small island, like those Burma, Laos, Nepal and all those irrelevant places. So, she was going out with a rich white guy..and you know those girls are sell outs. They want half breed kids, but they have no money to afford the status so they won't get white men. She's a victim," said Tim. "I saw it a mile away. They belong with some guy from Compton, and the blackest man and the ugliest Mexican there is."

 

"What do you think she should do?" I asked.

 

"Just work at a smoothie place, get a dead-end job or something. You know she won't be cultured enough and smart enough to get anywhere," said Tim. "She got raped...that's all I'm saying. Those girls, they need to pushed out, before they become competition to natives and American born boys and girls like me."

 

"Because she was an immigrant and poor?" I asked. "So you're saying she needed to get pushed out because she's from some irrelevant place?"

 

"Because she's pretty and poor, and she became competition because of the rich guy she's dating," said Eric. "We eliminated that bitch. Merrick has to win. He's first priority. Plus, she's an immigrant. So natives comes first. She's good as dead."

 

"Oh, she's raped now, by whom?" I asked. 

 

"Not telling, but I heard she's a good lay," said Tim. Eric and Tim high fived. 

 

Fanny started running the middle of Tim's calves and softly placing another gummi bears into his mouth.

 

"I liked her, she was soft," said Tim. "She's got a nice body."

 

"Cheerleader and cute, too," said Eric. "She's got creamy skin." 

 

"But, poor and an immigrant," I said. 

 

"Poor soul," said Fanny, as she kept rubbing the middle of Tim's calves. 

 

"You know she needed to be dead. She might become a threat to me and Eric, and other Asian American born girls. She was a threat to Merrick and his sister. So the bitch is out," said Tim.

 

"How did she get eliminated?" said Fanny.

 

"Not saying, but let's just say she's going nowhere," said Eric. "Probably be some maid of some shit like that."

 

"I don't approve of her being the wife of a rich white guy," said Tim. "I'm fucking jelly belly on her ass."

 

"I hear ya," said Fanny.

 

"I don't want her to see the Hamptons, Cape Cod, New York and live in Manhattan and eat at fancy restaurants," said Tim. "I don't want to see her live near an ocean, and let's just say, The Hamptons and Long Island has no Asians there. I'm going to be the first Asian there and Eric is coming with me."

 

"Right?! I'm for ya, Tim. I hate that Indonesian bitch," said Eric. "I hate seeing her with Colin. He's too pretty for her. She's a rude ass bitch. She should ask for permission to date anyone, Period."

 

Fanny's eyes swooped down as she knew how difficult it was for her to meet any guy, let alone, a good man, or any race. She could throw some flirty comments to Shane, but because of this, I was not sure if Fanny wanted to date at all anymore. I was happy Angelina met us, and knew that kids in high school didn't think the way these fraternity men thought.

 

"First of all, it has to be both ways. It has to be profitable for the man and the women. If she's poor, she can't do nothing for you. You just live on love? What bullshit is that?" said Tim.

 

"Right? And then if you don't have education, like those homeless people, and homeless kids, they got to benefits to be with. They're nothing," said Eric.

 

"Merrick and Cliff was right. It's white first, then black, then latinos, and we come last unless we pave our way into the system. We gotta play with their games," said Tim. "That's how you get the juice."

 

"That Angelina of what ever the fuck her name is...that Indonesian bitch, she's gone, man," said Eric. "She tried to get ahead and do some kind of get rich quick sort of thing by dating a gorgeous white guy and the owner of a franchise for goodness sakes. What was she thinking? She knows she's gotta give that shit to the white people and black people first."

 

"Right?" said Tim. "See, Fanny, we're the Asians who will make it to the top. We play with the white man and we are good to the black man, and we help the Latinos and the community. I'm so happy that Indonesian bitch is gone. She's a fucking sacrifice."

 

I pulled some hairs out of Eric's head as he screamed. "What the hell? Why did you pluck out my hair?" said Eric. 

 

"Some white ones...sorry. You'd want it out, if you saw it," I said.

 

My cell p hone buzzed, and it was Office Fineman, as he texted, "Get them to say her whole name, and where they saw her."

 

"What's the name of the Chinese-Indonesian bitch you both are talking about?" I asked.

 

"Angelina Lee," said Eric. "She was at Merrick's party."

 

"Confirm that," said Fanny.

 

"I have to go downstairs," I said, suddenly and walked out the door to take a breath. "Hypocrites assholes."

 

Down at the living room, there were more people as more college kids arrived, and Merrick and Cliff moved to the backyard. I walked towards them, and saw Shane at the doorway.

 

"Be careful, they're talking about priorities," said Shane. "They're saying white gets white and black gets black and latinos gets latinos and so on. The only ones who can marry inter-racially are the rick people and the people with good backgrounds with money. Other wise, white people and other races shouldn't do out with them."

 

"Wow...they got that down to a system?" I said.

 

"So men," said Merrick as I walked next to Shane and stood to the back of Merrick with Cliff on his stool sipping more beer. "United States in the Super power of the world. We gotta keep that shit up! White people are the most powerful people in the world, and now with Black people who rose to the top, like Sean John, and all those assholes, Black people are the next powerful people, and then we will give way to Latinos, and Asians comes last, because in America, they got the healthcare and the computer shit. Let them work for us. The rest of the people like those Indonesian bitches, Burmese, Nepalese..and the others, they're irrelevant. They gotta work first. They did nothing for the Civil War, or the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, and if they're immigrants, they know damn well they're not joining the military. They're fucking cowards. You know they don't want to marry everyone, they just want white, and we won't give them that. Push them out. Push them out till they are no more, and that's by any means necessary," said Merrick.

 

Cliff nodded, and he added, "First let the bitches prove by letting them put out for black men first. If they don't wnat to sleep with black men or latinos, we take their right, and give them a little something to help them out."

 

"Confirm that," said Shane.

 

From the background, I heard Fanny with Tim and Eric dancing on the dining table as Tim and Eric were obviously so high from the gummi bears, and they were drinking beers and Eric was slapping his own butt in circles.

 

"It's all high altitude in this house!" said Fanny. "Get high, y'all!"

 

Officer Fineman and his team in street clothes entered the house, and they had tazer guns on them, and quickly swept the floor and moved everyone out of the house. Outside, there were several buses and they took the party goers into the bus to clean the house.

 

Fanny held on to Eric and Tim, and kissed Tim, and told him, "I know...you want all Asian girls to sleep around and give everyone some to further your political agenda, right? Sounds like bullshit to me. I know my place in this world. And you're under arrest." She pushed Tim down from the table and Eric was handcuffed by one of the Boulder and Larimer County Policeman.

 

Outside, Office Fineman stood behind me, and overheard Merrick said to his whole audience of men, "We gotta make sure every Asian girl gives some blows to everyone. Make them sleep around and put them down, they're a fucking threat, and make sure Black women become their enemies and don't forget to use our Latinas to get their violence on them to make sure they won't take our American Assets. Us, rich white men, and rich black men and rich latinos need to stick together. We have to control this country, and I've got my hands and feet dipped with the Asians, don't worry, we can control chinks."

 

"Son, we have a positive count of at least one sexual assault under your name and an investigation on this second serial rape with multiple suspects. We are taking you in, and if you resist, we will be forced to take you under our hands," said Officer Fineman. "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you don't have one, one will be appointed for you..."

 

Merrick and Cliff tried to resist, but Shane and I caught the tazer guns and tazed them, and they convulsed and the other brother stood back and remained silent. 

 

"If you are a part of this fraternity, you will be questioned by the attorney and summoned for a subpeona for further investigation," said Officer Fineman. The other police man handcuffed Merrick and Clif, and took Tim and Eric in two separate police vehicles. 

 

I immediately went outside and vomited on the grass.

 

Fanny ran outside and sobbed and Shane hugged her. "Don't worry," said Shane. "Our future is bright. People will change."

 

***

 

The next day, Angelina and I went to The Peak Lounge in Denver, at an exclusive restaurant on the top floor of a fancy hotel with a view of the city from atop the sky-rise. Our view was all sky with our table facing the Mile High city at the rooftop level. 

        

After dinner, this will be the first time we will have our first taste of rum chocolate cake with mint ice cream. The rum sweetened the sensation of romance holding us together tonight.

        

"So how do you feel about Collin now, are you still into him?" I asked, taking a small bite of the rum chocolate cake.

        

"Not really, but I still feel not good enough for relationships. Sometimes I still wonder what it is that I can offer, with so much baggage now, at so young," said Angelina. "I am just scared that I won't be able to make you feel lucky to be with me."

        

"I feel lucky to be with you," I told her, as I looked into her eyes. "Angel, it's really not about being a certain status or having certain skills or qualifications. I'm just into you, Angel. And I don't care about the violence. To me, you're just beautiful."

        

"Thank you, Ike," she answered. Her eyes told me, "I feel lucky to have you."

        

"I don't want you to keep going in life thinking that you're lesser than everyone just because Collin rejected you," I told her. "I sought you out, Angel. I hope you can see it. Perhaps it was the wrong time."

 

"I know, it's just that I think the world of him. I just still feel bad about how rough things have been for me," said Angelina.

        

"Why are you so hard on yourself?" I asked. "Not everything was in your control. You made mistakes, but I think you were hurt by someone."

        

"I didn't grow up thinking that I will become a rape victim. So I feel that everything I do now, will dictate the rest of my life," said Angelina, taking a bit of the mint ice cream.

        

"You're smart. You should give yourself credit for just aiming for the right choices," I said. "A lot of people have a lot of difficulties with just making choices. But, you don't, Angel. I think you're smarter and classier than what you give yourself credit for."

 

"I'm still having trouble accepting it," she said. "That will forever have PTSD and Depression. I feel abnormal."

 

"Do you have trouble accepting that I'm from a broken home?" I asked. "Or that I have a Jewish lineage?" 

 

"No, of course not. I would never judge you for those things," said Angelina, with a glowing smile. "I'm not that type of person who's so stringent on having perfect friends, with perfect lives or high statuses. I feel lucky we met. Very lucky."

        

"Well, to me, you're a hero," I told her. "A beautiful, loving, intelligent, and phenomenal hero."

        

"I'm so happy to be here with you," Angelina said, her smile alluring me. "I'm not attracted to just anyone, but your heart is very attractive." 

        

"Let's go," I told her, leading her outside to the balcony. I held her from the small of her back and led her to edge of the balcony. The whisp of the evening sky was so close to us as the radiant moon was visible with its glittering hallow around the sky diamond.  The moon fell in love with the stars tonight, emitting its glow so wholesome of its full beauty. "Attraction is more than just physical, Angel," I told her. "It's soulful, spiritual, emotional and mental. It's also how the treat you and their responses to you. Everything has been accounted for in heaven."

 

"I know, it's the same way I thought Merrick was beautiful, but his heart was not for me," said Angelina. "I think our spirit protects us, and leads us to the right people and if we aren't attracted to that person, there is a reason why."

 

"Look at the moon for me," I said to her, as Angelina looked towards the gibbious moon. I softly whispered into her ear, "Angel, you will make it in everything you do, and I will be a witness to it. Your success and happiness will be so contagious to everyone you meet."

 

I took her hair in between my fingers and told her, "You owe it to yourself to keep your self-worth and to hold your head up high. To know that you belong in this world, just as you are. No one, no matter how high their status is, has the right to place you beneath them." 

         

I kissed her shoulder and she cuddled close to me with the soft breeze wrapping us around each other.

        

"Thank you, Ichabod," Angelina replied.

        

"Everyone has some type of problem, Angel. You're okay. Put the negative thoughts aside," I said, as my lips slowly reached for her nape and kissed her. I felt her heart beating, as we held each other tight for a few moments to store the heating romance that was undeniably locking us under the stars.

        

A soloist comes to the stage inside the restaurant, sitting near the piano player. His soft raspy voice sang Frank Sinatra's 'The Way You Look Tonight.' He slowed the tempo, passionately carrying each note as if he was the jazz legend himself.

 

My heart beats my own song, tuning to my burgeoning love for her. My arm wrapped around her waist and her head rests on my shoulder as we danced the song away. Tonight was anything but prom-ish because underneath the simple dinner date was a relationship worth mentioning to angels.

 

 

Chapter 41 - Colin's Epilogue

 

 

Sure, blame the white guy. Since Trump became President, everything became the white guy's fault. First off, I was born normal and just a regular guy becoming a man. I wasn't involved with anyone. Until I fell in love with Angelina. It was physical, then became mental, spiritual and before we knew it, we were spending more time together than anyone else. It was so natural and so fresh.

 

I never knew all those things you all knew about Merrick and Melody and the Merrick chain wanting to merge. I supposed that's the author's discretion. But, from my perspective, I was the fall guy because I didn't know better. I knew how to be kind and stay out of people's way, and because of that, I was the fall guy. The prick, the asshole, the rich kid with no ethics, the spoiled brat, that everyone hated. 

 

My folks tried to protect me and they tried to protect themselves and our family name, but no one told us Merrick and Melody wanted to merge and do all types of unpredictable fraud to us. No one bothered to give us even a hint that all these nonsense were for the Johnson's attempt to rip my family off. They kept coming over, our house and dined in our restaurants, and of course we didn't know because we thought we were harassed by Angelina and her father, Tom. They wined and dined up the yin-yang to our family and my Dad was so impressed by them that they were choosing dinnerware to build another establishment to go nationwide.

 

It was a fine day on a Friday night when my Dad and the Johnsons were picking out menu items for the Eurasian concept we spoke about when my Dad received a phone call from our chain in Boulder. Supposedly, a school bus dropped off some twenty men and women from CU Boulder at the street corner where one of my chain restaurants were located. They were all crying because they said there was a rape case that they were all a part of and if they caused any trouble, they'd arrested. It turned out to be the fraternity party that Merrick belonged to, where there was as sting in progress and Merrick and his fraternity brothers were investigated for the rape that happened to Angelina.

 

 

I was at the State Forest Park Camping Ground, fifty miles north of Longmont in the mountains. I was enjoying the evening breeze with the sound of the rustling trees and the birds chirping. I took Melody out for the weekend to explore each other's bodies and spend some time in nature, as Melody described it, "to fertilize" the relationship. I picked up the phone at the camping ground.

        

"Yeah, it's me dad," I said, on the phone.

        

"Collin, get out of there. Merrick did it," said my Dad.

        

"What? Did what?" I asked.

        

"Merrick raped Angelina, I just found out. Go home, son. They're bad people," said my Dad. His voice was low and raspy like a wounded heart as he hung up the phone.

        

My feet were glued to the dirt as Melody cleaned the tent and placing some heart pillows that she packed from home, on top of the sleeping bags. She took off her shirt, revealing her pastel yellow bra with stencils of ice cream cones over each bra-cup. She laid down on her side inside the tent. "Collin, baby. Come in, I have to tell you something," she said, posing in her underwear. "Let's get down to business, as she pointed to her underwear."

        

I looked for my backpack that was near the bonfire and took out my camera to put it back into my own bag. I felt my face lost its glow because it was now confirmed that this budding relationship with Melody was based on violence, deceit, fraud and greed.

 

"I'll be right back, Melody," I said, with a blank face.

 

I walked to my car that was about a mile away while Melody was still waiting for me inside the tent. I just dismissed any concern for her well-being because Melody was inside the tent waiting to seal the deal on the merger of my family business, not love.

        

After a few minutes, I was a few yards near my truck and Melody yelled my name again. I ignored her and let her scream for help. I took my back pack and the flashlights. I quickly went into my car and turned on the engine and the high beams. I saw Melody running towards me in her ice cream bra and yellow pastel underwear, waving her hands.

 

"Merrick is being arrested, take me with you!!," Melody yelled. I pushed on the gas and reversed, as I heard her scream and my phone buzzed, "Get me a cab, Colin! What do you think you're doing! I'm a Johnson family!"

 

 

I hung up and never came to the forest again because the next week was graduation, and I was off to USC, where there might be more women like Melody or Angelina. I promised myself to screen my phone, my life and my friendships. 

 

Throughout all this, I knew everyone felt I was responsible and I felt the burden to help Angelina, but I was so scared and felt my boyhood disappeared that I was pushed forward to 45. Maturity was so difficult to grasp, and I wanted to help an Angel, but something went haywire along the way. I wanted forgiveness for my family, because we felt thrown in without warning about the drama we were pushed into. 

 

I loved Angelina Lee. I always will, but perhaps, it wasn't destiny. Perhaps, God's will was not for her to be with me, although it was my plan with a promise ring that I gave to Ichabod before I left to USC.

 

I told Ichabod to dodge any conversations with me in the past and to care for Angel, because I loved her and I wanted her forever, but the devil made the situation unmanageable and dirty. It wasn't containable. Violence, especially rape and stalking and fraud and slander and so many more things we were all guilty of, and I succumbed to selfishness for the sake of self preservation of my family and my well-being.

 

I wish there was a way out. At least I made it out alive. I pray for you to made it out of life alive too.

 

Adieu.

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Ichabod Frenzy - Chapter 28, 29, 30 & 31

Chapter 28 – Ursula

 

Katy Perry's Fireworks blasted on the boombox I had with me. Jake brought me some fresh mixed music with girl power themes again. From the corner of my eyes, I saw Samantha parked her car in the parking lot in front of Jake's Pizza with Angelina inside her car. They ran up the grassy knoll leading to the street corner where I danced every Saturday morning.

 

"Ursula!" I heard a voice, that was soft against the loud music. I high kicked in the air as Katy Perry's song dissipated and turned down the volume.

 

"Hey girls, we can just talk with the music softly on," I said. "I have to work from 9 to noon today, so I thought I could dance while we talk."

 

The music was not on full volume, but loud enough to hear the rhythm to billboard dance.

 

"We're so sorry about being late," said Samantha, trying to talk as loud as she could without yelling.

 

"No problem, but I at least have to dance for 30 minutes at a time," I told her.

 

"Ursula, you still dance?" asked Angelina, breaking the ice.

 

"Absolutely! Where else can I dance for money without stripping?"  I winked. I raised the billboard, and wiggled my bottom towards the passing cars. The passing cars honked for the booty action. Samantha pumped up the stereo to full volume and Katy Perry's 'Fireworks' blasted on.

 

Ursula handed the billboard to Samantha as she laughed and began to dance with the music. The billboard puzzled her at first, only raising it up and down, and Chaplin jumping. A car honked three times at the girls on the sidewalk. Triple the applause.

 

'Do you ever feel like a plastic bag…drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?' Samantha handed the sign to Angelina, and she held one end with her hand and popped it to the opposite directions then raising it and swung it to the left and right with the rope handles behind the light billboard.

 

'You just got to ignite the light…and let it shine…' Angelina opened one arm wide and pointed to the billboard, raising it over her head and pivoted forward and backwards. She wiggled her bottom, and handed the billboard to me.


'Cuz baby you're a firework…' I straddled jumps with the billboard over my head and an old lady driving inside her car honked one long continuous horn. I loved her and blew her a kiss. I took the billboard and turned it around and around by the left rope handle over my head, as I stepped to the side, the front, the other side around about then straddle jumped for an end to the verse of the music.

 

'Boom Boom Boom…even brighter than the moon, moon, moon...' We chained our arms together, passing the billboard to each other as Ursula switched arms in the center, turning us around and high kicked in a circle.

 

As the song finished, I took the sign and Russian split in the air and landed on her feet, to a kneel forward with the billboard on her thigh. I waved to the cars passing by and multiple loud horns were my form of a standing ovation.

 

Thirty minutes quickly passed and I took a small break and turned the volume down on the stereo. We laughed and plopped down in a circle on the grass of sidewalk for the break. We faced Jake's Pizza, in case Jake got angry and wanted us to dance more and more to bring in more crowds.

 

"So, this is my other part time gig. To make ends meet. I want a MacBook Air," I told Samantha and Angelina as sweat pearls dropped on to my lap from my forehead.

 

"Should we talk now? We didn't know you're working right now," said Samantha, out of breath.

 

"It's all good, I didn't tell you anyhow," I replied. "So, what do you want to know?"

 

"Well, let's just get into it. We got word from Maria that you were in cheer once?" asked Samantha.

 

"I hope it's okay for us to ask you all these questions. You don't have to answer any of them, if you don't want to," said Angelina.

 

"Nah, it's all good," I answered. I kept waving to people in the cars passing by while lifting the sign up and down and side to side. "I was in cheer. I was squad leader actually. I guess Melody took that job now. She always had an eye for my spot."

 

"She got leader as a freshmen?" asked Angelina.

 

"Yeah, well, I was captain, and dated Merrick, he was quarterback. She got in because I was Merrick's girl at the time. I was a junior and Merrick was a senior and it would be rude for me not to take her in," I told them. "He was dreamy and I was just a poor girl with no money, but real cute. Don't you think I'm still cute?" I posed for them with my right chin touching my right shoulder. My petite figure didn't imply fragility, and I wanted the girls to know that although I was a high school drop-out, I was still toned and strong from dancing as Jake's Billboard Master.

 

"You're definitely gorgeous," said Angelina.

 

I loved her compliment. I haven't heard one in a long time.

 

"Were you both in love? I hope it's okay for us to ask you this," asked Samantha.

 

"No worries. I was in love. He was in it for the sex. He had a voracious appetite for it. I couldn't satisfy him sometimes," I told the girls. "We would meet after school or after practice, and just do it in his car or in the bathroom. He had an SUV, so we had plenty of space in the back." The corners of my eyes are moistened as she recalled the past. "I felt like a slut sometimes, and so when Merrick kept wanting more, it was hard for me to go back to the good girl I was supposed to be."

 

"Condoms?" asked Samantha.

       

"Oh yeah, I can't get pregnant early. I was on birth control pills and he doubled up," I confided. "One time, after a real good number, I gave him this red granite heart paper weight. To told him I loved him. I got it at a bookstore somewhere."

 

"What was his reaction?" asked Samantha.

 

"I think he took it as a sign that he could do anything to me. He knew that he could do no wrong, even though he eventually did," I said. "He wanted to see other people, and when I said no. He slapped me a couple of times. He said I was being needy."

 

"That's a crime, Ursula," said Angelina sitting cross-legged with her hands towards me, touching the sidewalk.

 

"Who cares? It was a long time ago. I don't care for what happened," I said. I leaned back, with my two hands behind me. "I'm trying to forget all those things."

 

"What happened after a few of those slaps?" asked Samantha. Her head tilted to the side, as if in curiosity.

 

"After a couple of months of him slapping me, I couldn't handle it anymore. I told him that I'll tell someone. He asked me to wait for him one night after practice. We did it in the girl's bathroom," I said. "I thought it was rough sex, but it felt like rape. I told Maria, because I felt symptoms of rape trauma and I didn't know what it was. I didn't want to be a rape victim, so I never reported, and I told Maria not to tell anyone or I'll drop-out. She told my Mom, and we got into a huge fight and I ran out." 

  

"So, he raped you?" asked Angelina. "Then you dropped out and ran away from home. Where do you live now?" 

 

My tears leaked out of my eyes again. "It felt like rape because it was really rough. I was totally hurt by it. My whole body felt really weak afterwards," I answered. "I wanted to scream. But, I didn't. I just forgot about it. Let's just say, it's really rough sex."

 

"Did you say that it was okay to rough sex you? If not, it's rape, Ursula," asked Angelina, with her elbows on her knees and he hands crossing over them. "Even if you gave him consent. If he was rough with you and raped you, after you said 'okay,' It was still rape."

 

"I don't know if rough sex with force is rape. Is it?" I asked. "Who cares? I didn't want to bother with all that stuff. I just wanted to get away from everyone."

 

"That's why you dropped out? Because he raped you, and you were scared to report?" asked Samantha.

 

"I didn't want to cause a ruckus. I got no money. My Mom and I were immigrants, we didn't have a good family, okay. I told my Mom I was going to take the GED, but she flipped out and kicked me out," I said. "I have the sorry-est family in the world. You can call them trailer park trash, whatever you want. That's what I feel like sometimes. Asian trash, that's what it feels like."

 

"Why do you think that, Ursula? Why do you think you're trash?" asked Samantha.

 

"Do you have anyone one, now? Relatives or a friend?" asked Angelina.

 

"My parents divorced because my Dad slept around. He was a mechanic and my Mom was a stay at home Mom, until she went back to school and got her nursing degree. When he left, my mom and sister and I moved to this dump near the edge of Niwot. Some dumpy old trailer ranch house," I said. "When I started high-school at Silver Creek, my Mom got a job at the gas station near the freeway. It pays the bills, but she got bitter. I hated my own Mom growing up. She just had a mouth on her."

 

I felt my eyes moist and tears crept out, although I thought I wasn't crying, … but I truly was.

 

"I just thought the world of Merrick. When I met him, he was so pretty. So clean, neatly dressed, charming, and smart. Classy. I feel so bad standing next to him and his pretty sister, Melody. But, I didn't think he'd hurt me. I just feel so bad." My chin rubbed against my left shoulder, and as I looked to the girls once more, and said, "I think he was every girl's dream."

 

Angelina and Samantha looked at each other with tears hovering in their eyes.

 

"I understand. That's how I feel about my ex-boyfriend, Collin," said Angelina. "I met Merrick, and saw who he was and what he looked like. He truly does look like a dream. I agree."

 

"I'm mostly on my own now. I was homeless for about four months after I dropped out. I didn't want to stay at home and get harassed by my mom. I took a bus to a youth shelter in Boulder. But, some girl at the shelter told me about the grocery store in Broomfield, how they're always looking for someone at the produce section. I just been working there ever since," I said. "Who cares, I don't need anyone. Anybody who needs anyone is weak." I wiped my tears with my bare hands, sobbing for a minute, then exhaling out the fears and anxiety to prevent more tears from falling.

 

"Ursula, Angelina was raped, and she needs your help. It's not because she's weak. It's because she was violated," said Samantha. The moment stood still for a few seconds. "May I give you a hug?"

 

I nodded as Samantha hugged me.

 

"Oh God, I'm so sorry," I said in realization. "I forgot I am ridiculing your rape. I didn't mean to say that you're weak. I'm sorry."

 

"You're not ridiculing anything. It's okay," said Angelina, calmly and with understanding.

 

"You're not weak and I just hugged you to calm you down," said Samantha. "It's okay to admit you need help, Ursula. Everyone needs help sometimes. Even the strongest person you know. You didn't do anything wrong."

 

"That's not what I meant," I said. "I use self-talk to tell myself that I'm not a rape victim, so I won't be afraid to be alone or feel broken inside," I fidgeted, and said, "I'm so afraid of labels such as rape victim, whore, prostitute, or easy. I slept with Merrick multiple times and I just didn't want anyone to know."

 

"Ursula. I don't know who raped me that night at the party, but I know I was raped. Also, please forgive me, I feel like I'm intruding into your life by asking all these questions," said Angelina, sitting up.

 

"Oh no, sweetie. I'm not that type of person," I said, giving Angelina a huge hug. "I just don't think I'm as raped as you."

 

"How can you say that?" asked Samantha. "What do you mean, not as raped?"

 

"Well, I mean, I didn't end up at someone else's house and got raped. Or got ambushed near some bushes in the dark. I was there, he asked me to have sex in the girls' bathroom and I said nothing. Then he raped me and he was rough, but I saw it coming," I said. "I asked for it."

 

"That's rubbish!" said Angelina, her voice trembling. "It was rape, Ursula. 'Not as raped' does not exist!" Angelina was so upset that she walked away for a second, starting to sob a few steps away from them. "You're denying the rape, Ursula."

 

"Does she cry like this often?" I leaned to Samantha.

 

"It's the side effect. She gets these crying spells now," said Samantha, looking directly into Ursula's eyes. "You're a strong girl, Ursula."

 

"Well, if you grew up in my family, you got to be," I said. "My parents don't really care for me. They just don't know what's going on in my life. I barely even talk to them before I was kicked out."

 

"It's not your fault, Ursula," said Samantha. "You didn't ask for it. It wasn't your fault. But you have to realize that running away from home and feeling anxieties, or fears, or loneliness, or broken are the symptoms of rape trauma. At least the first signs of it."

 

"If nothing is my fault, then what is?" I asked. "Listen, I don't admit to the rape, so I'm not a rape victim. I don't care if I was raped or not. I'm not letting him take the best of me."

 

Angelina looked to Ursula, and asked her, "Do you go to a psychiatrist?"

 

"Oh, hell no. There is nothing wrong with me. It's him that needs some mending!" I shouted, defiantly.

 

"You may need the therapy, Ursula. To help yourself feel better about your life. It's vitamins for your soul, especially because of Merrick," said Samantha, with a gentle voice.

 

"Nah, I'm good. I chose sex. I dropped out. It was my choice. I'm happy," said Ursula, pointing to herself, in all of the spirit of self-sufficiency and arrogance. She looked at the billboard and said, "I know I just need to work hard. Everything will come together. It wasn't my fault, but I also don't want to blame other people for choosing to have sex with him. I was the dumb girl and got tricked. I need to work my ass off now!"

 

"So, that's how Melody got captain so early," said Angelina. "Her brother pushed you out."

 

"She always had it in for me. She was always jealous for Merrick's attention. And me, being out of the relationship and the team, was like a gift to her. Merrick wanted her as captain, so everyone just agreed," I answered, with a shoulders shrug.

 

"You're a great dancer, Ursula. Were you a tumbler, too?" asked Angelina, changing the subject. "I was a flier," I answered. "I use to choreograph some of the numbers for homecoming and dance routines. I was good as a tumbler."

 

"You're extremely talented," said Angelina. "I was a flier, too."

 

"But, it all don't mean a thing now. I've got to work, honey," I said. I took the billboard, and turned around. I held the billboard in front of me and high kicked to the side. "Independence! It's bliss."

 

"Ursula, can we be your friends?" asked Samantha, in compassion.

 

I stopped for a minute, and stared at Samantha and Angelina for a moment, and asked, "Why? Because you feel sorry for me?"

 

"Because we care for you. We really do," said Angelina, "Please?"

 

"I don't want to report, if that's what you want in the future," I said, because I wanted to remain anonymous.

 

"It's not that," said Angelina. She looked towards Samantha for a second, and Samantha nodded an almost secret agreement between the two best friends.

 

"We can be your allies and help," said Samantha.

 

I turned around to face the street with indolent eyes, as cars were passing by. I looked down to the ground holding the billboard sign, and decided to reach for my cell phone.

 

"What's your cell number? I get these pre-paid cell phones, and I can use it sometimes in case I need to talk to someone. I use it mostly for crisis," I told them the truth.

 

"Thank you, Ursula. We want to be friends with you," said Samantha, wiping her tears away. Samantha pushed the buttons on her phone, as I gave her my number and my cell phone rang.

 

"Saved," I said. "I have three numbers in my cell now. Well, besides my mom's, crisis line, the grocery store and Jake's Pizza. Five numbers! Check that out!"

 

"We'll keep in touch. Are you going to stay here for long?" asked Angelina.

 

"I have to be here till noon, then I go to the store. It's a day job," I said.

 

"You're a good girl, Ursula," said Angelina. "We'll hang out more sometime."

 

"Most definitely," I said. "Remember, don't let him beat you down."

 

Tears gathered in Angelina's eyes as they rolled down her cheeks. Inside me, were words that spoke to me, as if a spirit was inside my chest, I feel beaten, Ursula. Perhaps that was what Angelina felt right now, and I felt the same, but I won't acknowledge it. I won't let Merrick drive me to a crazy house.

 

"I want you to give us a call when you're alone, or hurt, or sad, or for any reason," said Samantha.

 

"For ANY reason, give us a call," said Angelina. "Especially when you're hurting. Even text us."

 

"How did you guys get this sweet?" I asked. Their kind gesture was fresh air for my morning. "Oh, I know. You're both princesses, from Longmont with your rich family, rich houses, and rich futures." My right fingertips in the air with my eyes blinking in humor, teasing them.

 

"No, not true. I'm not rich. My Dad works at China 2000," said Angelina, giggling from Ursula's animation.

 

"What's China 2000?" I asked, almost breaking into a laugh.

 

"It's a Chinese fast food place in Silver Creek. They have good food! Szechuan style," said Samantha, wiggling her body, because she loves Chinese food.

 

"Oh boy," I said. "Well, anytime you guys want Jake's Pizza, I'm your girl."

 

"We'll take you up on that," said Samantha, both thumbs up.

 

"All right, you kids stay safe," I said. 

    

"Let's go bowling after your shift ends at six this evening," said Angelina, hugging me.

 

I almost cried to pieces, and said, "Well, give me a piece of meat, because I have friends! I can't believe it. Nobody ever invited me to anything, even in high school!"

 

Angelina and Samantha laughed out loud.

 

***

 

I sat down on the sidewalk in front of Memory Lanes in my black slacks and grocery store polo, because I didn't have time to change.

 

"Hi, Ursula," yelled Samantha from the parking lot, with her opened window from her SUV. Samantha parked her car on the first row of the parking spaces in front of Memory Lanes.

 

I smiled and waited for the girls to walk towards me. As they both hugged me, Angelina said, "I'm glad you came, I'm happy to see you for fun now."

 

"I'm so happy you girls came," I said. "I thought I was going to be stood up."

 

"Oh, we would never turn you down. You're awesome!" said Samantha.

 

"I've been stood up before," I said. "It's common for someone like me. I think people don't respect me."

 

"You're someone great. And we want to be here," said Angelina.  

     

"Ursula, you deserve respect," said Samantha.

 

"I've just been working my jobs that I don't have friends anymore. So, this is good," I said.

 

"Let's go in. I've never been here before," said Angelina, pumping up her energy for bowling.

 

Families and bowling leagues filled Memory Lanes to the last rows of lanes on a Saturday evening.

 

"Let's do two games and we can go from there?" said Angelina, as she walked to the shoe-rental cashier.

 

"Oh yeah, the first game is warm up for me," said Samantha. "I've bowled once before, but I'm so damn good. Trust me."

 

I laughed out loud. "I'm not a good bowler, but I used to bowl with Merrick, a long time ago," I said.

 

"Oh, you must be much better than me," said Angelina. "I'll get some fries, with Diet Cokes? Pepsi?"

 

"Pepsi, for me," I said. "I can pay my own. Don't worry."

 

"We wanted to take you out, Ursula. Let us treat you. You've been so kind to share with us your life. We were just random girls you barely knew, and you trusted us," said Angelina. "We just want to love you."

 

Samantha gave me a huge hug as Angelina walked towards the bar area where she ordered the bucket of fries and two Diet-Cokes and a Pepsi.

 

"I'm surprised you don't have anyone, Ursula," said Samantha. "Was it because of what happened?"

 

"Well, I lost everyone after Merrick broke it off, and I just didn't feel right calling the other cheerleaders. They were mostly Merrick's fans, and I know they all voted for Melody to get into the team without me," I said. "All of the cheers were all into Merrick, too. I was seen as the poor girl with no future without Merrick."

 

"Exclusion is rough. Did you feel isolated?" asked Samantha. "I know Angelina was excluded by the team. She would feel isolated if I'm not here."

 

"I don't care about them anymore," I said.

 

"Exclusion is a form of bullying, so you don't want to be around them. They're not healthy. Sometimes bullying is a form of secondary victimization often after a rape victim shares her experience or if somehow other people knew about the rape," said Samantha.

 

The shoe rental attendant gave Samantha our shoes and Samantha gave me my pair. Samantha took the bill and I looked to her with a slight smile, because for once, someone was generous to me and wanted to explain what the truth was to me.

 

I never knew any of the victimization concepts without someone as generous as Samantha and Angelina. I felt I had knowledge, privilege and information that was more valuable as a woman. It was street smarts, education, and enlightenment to me. For once, I felt cared for.

 

"You're so sweet, Samantha," I said. "You didn't have to get the bill."

 

"No worries. Angelina and I wanted to pay for you," said Samantha. "I'm a friend, Ursula. You have us and don't be embarrassed about being homeless."

 

I stood still, grateful and humbled.

 

"I know, doesn't it feel good?" said Samantha, smiling from ear to ear. "You know, it's not that hard to be nice to people. I just think that violence could be diffused with just some awareness. Just know, that what's unkind will hurt. So, I just try to love, even with my own reservations on others, or certain religions, or backgrounds, or even through my own judgements…to just be kind and love everyone. Ursula, I don't want you to have sex with a man in the future and think it is love. Love is not sex, and sex is not love."

 

"Did you tell Merrick how you felt after he broke it off?" asked Angelina, walking back with a tray of large curly fries, two Diet Cokes and a Pepsi in her hand. We walked to the end lane, to pick out our shoes and bowling balls.

 

"I told Merrick I was really hurt by what happened that night. But, he convinced me that it was mutual. He was right, I didn't say no," I said. "He even taped me saying it."

 

"Let's get some neon bowling balls," said Angelina. "Taped you, huh?"

 

Samantha came back with a hot pink ten pounder ball, and was ready to set the standard for the lane.

 

"Okay, I want to be second. So, I get to feel the energy," said Samantha.

 

"What energy?" I asked, confused.

 

"The bowling energy, there is an art to it," said Samantha, rolling her shoulders, warming-up.

 

"She thinks there is energy to everything," said Angelina, almost cracking up. "She thinks Target and Walmart have different energy and she hunts for certain items for herself only at those two stores because each item has different energy….and,..."

 

"Shut up!" said Samantha. "Trust me, just trust me. Even bowling, there is an energy to it."

 

"I see. I'll be first. If you don't mind, Angel," I said. "I wonder what my 'energy' is."

 

I bowled the way Merrick taught me, with full force and a straight arm while twisting the 12 pounder just a soft bit. It hit a strike. Angelina and Samantha looked at each other, and they started giggling. "Not a good bowler I see," said Angelina, laughing.

 

"You have 'Turbo' energy," said Samantha with a laugh. Samantha was next and landed a gutter ball. She raised her arms and told her, "I'm still aiming high. I don't care what that ball did. I'm relentless," said Samantha. "It's all about perception. I'm just good at not hitting anything!"

 

Angelina also landed a gutter ball, and started laughing. Witnessing these girls have so much fun landing gutter balls, I couldn't help but to start laughing with them.

 

I never fathomed the idea of friendship blossoming, especially after Merrick. I never knew a Sunday could be fun, and of all the things, it was with two girls from the high school where I was once an outcast. Sometimes when good things happened, I could only enjoy the moment. I felt the sensation to just live, breathe, and love.

 

"Hey, girls, I need to ask you something," I said, suddenly.

 

"Yeah, go ahead," said Angelina.

 

"Is it some bowling terms? Because you already know the answer," said Samantha.

 

I smiled for a moment, and asked, "It's something a little more serious. Why did you guys come to me? That night at the grocery store."

 

"What do you mean?" said Samantha. Angelina bowled her turn, as her face grew stern.

 

"Well, I wanted to meet you because of Maria," said Samantha.

 

"What was the real reason?" I asked.

 

"I needed your help because I didn't know what happened to me," said Angelina.

 

Angelina was transparent, and told the truth.

 

"I was going to ask you to help with the report," said Angelina, honestly.

 

"I see," I said. "That's what I want to talk about."

 

"Yeah, I got it. What do you feel, Ursula?" asked Samantha. "Be honest. I don't want you to suffer again. I know it was a life changing experience, two years ago."

 

"I don't want to report," I confided. It was too much for me to handle, on top of being homeless.

 

"Can you explain? So, I will understand?" Angelina asked.

 

"I hope it was okay for us to meet you. I am so sorry, it was my idea to go find you," said Samantha.

 

"I'm happy you found me. I want to be friends with you," I said, tears flushing from my eyes. "I just can't report because I'm struggling. I'm struggling so bad, that I work two jobs to make ends meet, and I know I have mental illness."

 

"We understand," said Angelina. The bowling was on hold for a moment, to let the conversation explained my situation.

 

"When I was kicked out and went homeless. I just didn't want to live anymore, and I didn't want to ask anyone for help. It was really embarrassing. I tried to talk to Merrick, but he thinks I'm a whore. I felt like a dirty tampon that people throw away," I said.

 

"Tell us," said Angelina, accepting my brokenness and letting me vocalize my thoughts.

 

"I just feel like garbage next to Merrick. He's everything I wanted. When he asked me out, I felt like a princess, and I've never been a princess. I grew up so poor on welfare and my Mom, she has her issues, and so did my Dad. So, I pretty much took care of myself," I said. "I was so lucky to meet Merrick. He had a lot of appetite for sex, but that's how he shows his love for me. I just didn't think he would be rough with me that night. That's all. It wasn't all the time, just sometimes, and I never said no, because if I said no, he might go away."

 

"You're not trash, first of all," said Angelina. "You shouldn't feel ashamed about giving in to Merrick. It happens to a lot of women. We often get the physical and emotional and spiritual confused. It was a gut feeling that wasn't explained well to us as a woman."

 

"We're royalty, Ursula. We have the physical quality as gods, and those who are born with less, are still spiritually in the same quality level as gods. It doesn't matter what type of background we grew up in. Women deserve to be treated as royalty, like princesses and queens. We deserve to be treated well," said Samantha. "Merrick is lucky he had you as a girlfriend. He's not good enough for you. He had money, I understand, but money doesn't explain his behavior. His heart and his mind explained it, and those qualities were not from a good heart nor a good mind."

 

"I can't report because I know I'll be in more trouble," I said, as my sobbing worsened. "What if they found him not guilty? Then, I have to live with the record that I'm a rape victim? I'm a runaway, and I was homeless. People don't believe runaways or poor girls, homeless people, especially homeless teens. I'm not credible. People will think I'm a waste of society."

 

"We understand. We don't want you to feel more pain, Ursula," said Samantha, holding my hands.

 

"You don't have to do anything. We can just hang out. Is that okay?" asked Angelina, holding my shoulder.

 

"I know people think I'm the whore who slept with Merrick. That I deserve to feel this way, but...," I said, sobbing. "It is so hard to play this part. I don't think it's fair for me. I am beaten by the world. Somehow, I felt so lucky that Merrick was handsome and rich and wanted me. Even if it was for sex. I still felt lucky."

 

"Ursula, may I say something," said Samantha, sitting on the floor, holding on to my calves. "Ursula, we're entitled to respect, safety, security, justice, freedom, health and love. What he did was inhumane, do you understand? He treated you like an object, some kind of candy that can be thrown away, but humans shouldn't be thrown away. We all deserve the opportunity to grow, to live, to have the pursuit of happiness and the chance to have a good life."

 

I looked to Samantha for a moment and nodded in affirmation.

 

"You too, Angelina, never stoop to their level, and think that it was you, who should be blamed for their crime. There are a lot of people who would abuse others. The Johnsons were abusive. What they did was wrong, and who knows what else they do behind our backs," said Samantha, still holding my calves. "You're not a waste to society. You're working hard, Ursula. It is our human right to be treated kindly, to never be harmed, and to never be raped, to never be swindled, or sabotaged, abused, harassed, or stalked. That's part of being human, having human rights."

 

"I just think it was my fault," said Ursula. "I didn't say no. Then, that means I said 'okay'."

 

"You don't have to feel ashamed because you gave in during sex," said Angelina. "I was at a party too and I feel like it's my fault because I drank, but it wasn't. You're not at fault, Ursula. Even if you were having sex with him. You gave in because of fear. You didn't have the sexual relationship with him because there was a healthy mutual agreement, it was based on force and violence. It was a domestic violence relationship. It was what it was."

 

"He still didn't have the right to rape you. Ursula, what he did was a violation against your right. Even if you gave him consent to have sex with you every day. Do you know how many wives are beaten and raped by their husbands? Those wives gave them consent to sex, but they are still being violated," said Samantha. "I don't want my girls to think that they're garbage because some guy hurt them, and made them feel bad. I don't want that. I don't want the enemies to win. I want us to win. I think they should be in jail." Samantha pointed her finger to the ground, to finalize her statement.

 

"I know, but I can't relive that episode of my life. I'm so sorry," I said, afraid the girls will keep pressuring me to report the crime. "I just can't report. Please understand. Please..." I covered my eyes and sobbed.

 

"No worries. I'm not here to tell you to report. We wanted to meet you, because all these times, we think Melody and Merrick were like gods," said Samantha. "I thought they were so beautiful. But, the truth is, they're criminals."

 

"I trusted them so much, Ursula. I didn't anticipate any of the things that happened to me," said Angelina.

 

"I went through so much, and I don't have anyone right now. If my Mom found out that I was raped, she will never let me visit my sister again," I said. "She's the only family I have. I can't be so alone that even my family won't see me. I can't function. I just can't."

 

"We understand. We don't want you to feel alone," said Angelina. "Can you keep in touch with us? I'd like to keep in touch."

 

"Me too," said Samantha. Samantha gave me another bear hug, as I cried inside her arms.

 

"Merrick was my first," I said. "He was my first everything. My first kiss, my first sex, and my first heartbreak. I haven't met anyone since. I am so scared because I was told that rape victims don't get married."

 

"You take your time," said Angelina. "I didn't know what happened to me, Ursula. I was drugged, baby. We were hurt."

 

"We'll keep you in our hearts, Ursula. You're a baby still. We're still so young," said Samantha, taking some of the napkins from the food tray and giving them to me.

 

"Yeah. I figure I can fix it with time," I said, wiping my nose with the napkins.

 

"Yes, you can," said Angelina. "I'm getting therapy, and on medicine right now."

 

"I'm not on anything. I just don't have that kind of money. But, I have the crisis line," I said.

 

"You don't have benefits?" asked Samantha.

 

"No, it's just part time and I work at Jake's part time too. It's been hard. I'll try to get full time at the grocery store," I said. "I need to ask them today. I can't afford insurance on my own."

 

"You call us whenever you want, Ursula," said Samantha. "You can get Affordable Health Care through the State or Medicaid."

I nodded and said, "Thank you for understanding." Samantha and Angelina sat next to me, letting me call the situation on what I wanted to do next.  

 

"Let's bowl ladies," I said, shaking my head to get ready to strike a Turkey with my neon ball for the next turn.

 

 

 

Chapter 29 – Angelina

 

My cell phone vibrated and rang underneath my blanket as I searched for it with my eyes closed. It was still dark outside and the windows were still shut in my bedroom.

 

"You have an emergency?" I asked, groggy and yawning, under the covers.

 

"No, but I'm picking you up in 15 minutes. We're going for a hike!" said Ichabod, on the phone.

 

"NOW?!" I said, waking up to a surprise.

 

"Yes! Yes! YES!!! Wake up! Wake up!" said Ichabod, as he hung up the phone immediately.

 

I rolled to my side and fell on the floor with my blanket over me.

 

Ichabod arrived at my door in his cargo shorts and a t-shirt. My hair was still messy and uncombed as I tried to straighten out my compression shorts that I put on too quickly.

 

"Hey, you got here really quick," I said. I pulled my hair back in a pony-tail and put on sunscreen on my face. I yawned but was awake enough to show Ichabod the inside of our apartment.

 

"Come in. Meet my Dad for a minute," I said, walking to the kitchen to prepare some oatmeal and milk.

 

"I have some sports bars. Can we eat in the car?" asked Ichabod. "I want to get there early before the sunshine hits."

 

"Okay," I said, turning to Ichabod. I saw my Dad near the kitchen with his messy hair, scratching his leg and yawning because it was 5 a.m in the morning. "Papa, this is Ichabod, my friend from school."

 

"Hi, Ichabod. Funny name for a boy," said my Dad, Tom.

 

Ichabod laughed, and waved to say hello. "Thanks, it's a happy name," he said.

 

"Funny response," said Tom, staring at Ichabod.

 

"We're going to the Royal Arch," said Ichabod.

 

"Where is that?" asks Angelina.

 

"Boulder, Chautauqua Park. Not too far," said Ichabod. "Do you have a water bottle? Fill it up and we'll bring it for the hike. I have some snacks for us."

 

"I have one," I said, filling up the water bottle with tap water and ice from the fridge.

 

"Nice meeting you, Mister Lee," said Ichabod, walking out of the townhome.

 

"See you soon, Papa. I got the celly," I said.

 

"Don't break a bone," my Dad said. He locked the door.

 

"I guess Ichabod is a funny name for anyone," I said. Ichabod laughed.

 

 

A young man was walking his golden retriever up the mountain, with his backpack leading his dog on the leash. Ichabod parked his car in the parking lot in front of the ranger station. Baseline path was mainly dirt and rocks, with the steep walk that might be rigorous for anyone without the fond for cardio exercise.

 

"Wow, haven't climbed this path in a while," I said with a slight huff and puff on the way up the mountain, nearing the first large rock.

 

Ichabod looked like he didn't break a sweat. I breathed out from annoyance, because since I quit cheer, my stamina dwindled to normal. We were in silence as if Ichabod was walking in meditation and prayers. We reached the first resting stop with the sign that said "no leaning" nailed on wooden railings behind the shrubs and trees.

 

"I can't believe hiking is so hard right now," I said.

 

"We're almost near Bluebell, just another quarter of a mile," said Ichabod. He sucked out a little water from his Camelbak tubing. "Drink your water."

 

"Yeah," I said, drinking the water from her bottle.

 

Ichabod gently took my left hand and walked with me up the mountain.

 

Ichabod stopped to look at me, and said, "Close your eyes for a minute." I closed my eyes and he asked me, "May I kiss you?"

 

I smiled, and answered, "Yes."

 

Ichabod kissed me on my lips, a small supple kiss.

 

"Thank god, I brushed my teeth this morning," I said.

 

"Thank goodness, because I won't get over it," said Ichabod.

 

I smiled and leaned into his chest, taller over me as he hugged me inside his shoulders. I felt attraction, chemistry and a magical connection by a tragedy that we won't ever understand. 

         

"Do you think about your future often?" asked Ichabod.

 

"Yes. I'm just so afraid," I said. "I don't know how to handle the simplest things now. I cry so much. I'm taking medicine to help me with it. So that helps."

 

"I'm proud that you're taking your medicine every day," said Ichabod. "Let's go this way. This first part is just rocks and a lot of bouldering over them. Don't look down if you're afraid of heights, just look forward and keep talking to me."

 

I faced forward with Ichabod leading the way, and I was ready for more adventure.

 

The morning was perfect for a hike, with a slight chill that cooled the skin, as we burned some energy for the exercise.

 

"Can I ask you another question?" asked Ichabod.

 

"Go ahead,"

 

"Do you know what you want in life?"

 

"I know I've been hurt, and I've thought about that the other day. I just want to do my life well."

 

"What if you make a mistake? I mean, not that you will, but you've gone through a major tragedy. Not everything is perfect," asked Ichabod.

 

"Well, the way I see it. I have more room to grow with doing everything right than doing something wrong. One can attempt for perfection, right?" I said. "I don't want to make any more mistakes from now on."

 

The rocks became larger and steeper, with less dirt and more bouldering, requiring more agility and the indomitable will to keep going.

 

"Let's rest for a minute," Ichabod said, as he looked up to the sky.  He sat on a huge rock on top of a path with Angelina near the bottom of the rock on the dirt. "Climb up here, sit with me."

 

We sat together, enjoying the warblers chirping and the soft crisp breeze of the morning air in Boulder.

 

"I just worry sometimes," said Ichabod. "I worry about "perfection."

 

"Why?" I asked. "If I aim for perfect, then nothing can go wrong."

 

"I don't want you feel horrible, if you don't become perfect again,"

 

"I don't understand."

 

"I don't want you to have so much pressure that it hurts you."

 

"That's wise of you."

 

"Angel, I know something," said Ichabod, with his eyes tearing. "I'm odd."

 

"You're cute, Ichabod. Not odd," I said, looking to the skyline above Chautauqua Park.

 

"Cute, not hot?" joked Ichabod. I grinned.

 

"Okay, hot," I said, slapping his arm.

 

"I like cute better," Ichabod said. He kissed my forehead as I leaned into his chest and hugged him. "I sometimes have episodes."

 

"What do you mean? The same episodes I get? The crying spells?" I asked.

 

"No, it's hard to explain," said Ichabod. He looked ahead to where the large Ponderosa Pines soared high towards the sky, the natural ambiance of Colorado. "I have seven senses."

 

"What do you mean? Like a mutant?" I asked.

 

His eyes flooded with tears, as I held him, sinking into the deep sensory of love blooming.

 

"No, not a mutant. I get visions and prophecies."

 

"What kind of visions?"

 

"Of angels."

 

"Like deities?"

 

"Yes. I can sense things, and sometimes I can feel particular events before it happens," said Ichabod. "So often times, they're tragedies or just..."

 

"Horrible things?" I asked, trying to understand him.

 

"Yes, but you can't tell anyone. You're the second person that I saw in my visions," said Ichabod. "The first was Leona, and I saved her life. Then, you came."

 

"You saw the rape? Is that what you're telling me?" I asked, my voice broke apart as I looked into his eyes intensely.

 

"Those angels I see are my guardians," said Ichabod, as he suddenly stood stiff and nodded. He breathed in and stepped in front of me.

 

"What? Oh, the angels, are your guardians. That's great, what's wrong?"

 

"One of them is here right now," said Ichabod.

 

"Oh, that's a good thing. Is he loving?"

 

"Yes, they're loving, they're protecting us."

 

"That makes me feel better."

 

"It does?"

 

"Of course, it does. I know some things happen for a reason. For instance, my name, Angelina, and how you just told me that you can see angels. It's a good sign. A divine sign."

 

"I'm imperfect," said Ichabod. "I have to tell you that. They're telling me what to say to you."

 

"What else did they say to you?" 

 

"Angel, you should embrace life, one day at a time," said Ichabod.

 

Ichabod finally exhaled and faced to the ground and placed his hands on his knees as if he was feeling an emotional relief.  

 

"Is this because you're imperfect?" I asked.

 

"Allow some flexibility. I don't want you to be perfect, that you criticize yourself," said Ichabod.

 

"Tell me what you saw about me in your visions," I asked, finally realizing that Ichabod could see divination, to save lives and souls, to help and to heal. Perhaps he was my Angel and I was his.

 

"I felt the attacks in my body, when you were being hurt," said Ichabod. "I was there, at Creekside Hospital. You drove there yourself."

 

"You saw me there? Did you know who I was?"

 

"No, but I was there because I felt the physical pain from the rape."

 

"I wasn't sure what to do. I was bleeding and I woke up inside a room in Melody's house," I said.

 

"I saw Merrick and his fraternity brothers hurting you," said Ichabod. We began to walk towards a rock and bouldered over it.

 

"I want to tell Officer Fineman. Can you tell him this?" I asked him.

 

"I think I can identify them, but I don't really remember them clearly. I know there were other men with him."

 

"We have to tell Officer Fineman," I said, reaching for my cell phone in my pocket.

 

"Fineman," The Officer answered his cell phone.

 

"Officer, my friend would like to meet you today. We have to meet you today. It's about the rape," I said.

 

"Well, I'm in the station right now, if you want to...," he says, "Hello?"

 

We immediately returned to the parking lot, to meet Officer Fineman

 

 

We ran inside the police station, and saw the officer sipping his coffee.

 

"Good morning," said the officer, startled.

 

"Officer, sorry to just show up. I want to add to my statement," I said, slightly out of breath. "This is Ichabod, he has something to say."

 

I pulled Ichabod to face the officer, but his eyes bulged out of fear from him.

 

"I had a dream about the rape and Merrick raped her with three other men at the party," Ichabod blurted out quickly, then stood with his back against the door, as if he wanted to escape from the room.

 

"A dream? Angelina is this your added statement?" asked the officer, with one eyebrow up.

 

"You can't discount karma!" I said, a little loudly than usual. "Ichabod's telling the truth. There were three other men. Ichabod had visions of them, and we ended up at the same hospital."

 

"I have a lead, but how many people were there, son?" asked the officer, rubbing his forehead.

 

 "I think there were three, but I saw two clearly, Merrick and another friend or his, Cliff," Ichabod said, leaning against the door, staring at Officer Fineman's badge.

 

"That's fine son, I will add it on, but I really couldn't do a thing because of who they are," said the officer. "There is no real evidence. I can't investigate them based on a dream."

 

"I didn't lie," Ichabod said.

 

"Officer, we're going to work on the fraternity men and see if we can some kind of evidence," I said.

 

Ichabod looked to me, and said, "Yes, I think we can get some evidence."  

     

"I understand. I'll just...wait for time," said Officer Fineman.

 

"Thank you, officer, sorry to bother you this morning," I said.

 

"Thank you, sir," said Ichabod, opening the door, anxious to walk out.

 

"No problem," said Officer Fineman walking the two teens out of his office.

 

Ichabod practically ran outside of the Silver Creek Police Department.

 

"Angel, I don't want you to think I'm some kind of nut. Don't tell anyone about what I told you at Royal Arch. Please?" pleaded Ichabod.

 

"No worries. I'm happy I'm not the only one feeling critical about this. They want something to control over. I wonder what they wanted from me?" I said. "I think Officer Fineman needs something tangible for him to hear or see to make an arrest."

 

"Well, I want to invite you to Leona's house on tomorrow. She wanted to know if you'd agree to a healing therapy bath," said Ichabod. "I will talk to the Fantasy Club. I have something planned."

 

"Yes, on the healing bath. I trust her. Should I invite my dad?" I asked.

 

"Yes, he needs to be there," said Ichabod. "Let's get out of this Police Department neighborhood. It gives me the creeps."

 

 

 

Chapter 30 – Ichabod

 

 

The football team stood around the same table at the southeast corner of the cafeteria. Melody was sitting on the table, in her short-pleated skirt, straddling Collin between her legs.

 

"You're so hot," said Melody. She kissed him passionately, as he held her around her waist and inserting his tongue inside her mouth.

 

I waited in line to pay for a box of pizza, but couldn't help to glance at the new couple, tongue twisting in public. I reached the front of the line and walked to the exit door, but stopped behind the wall, to peek at Collin and Melody, silently.

 

I watched for every expression on Collin's face. I wiped my tears, as I saw him smile. The smile that still swooned Angelina before the rape. Collin high fived his team mates after he was done kissing Melody, as Melody puts on her lip gloss, and brushed her hair.

 

A bittersweet emotion overtook me as I now won't care for Merrick, Melody or Collin because Angelina was my girl. Tears pour out as I walked upstairs to meet Samantha, Angelina, and Sunjit.

 

"I have good news," said Angelina when I got there with my tuna sandwich.

 

"Yeah? Tell us," said Samantha, biting into her grilled cheese.

 

"Melody has herpes?" asked Sunjit, jokingly. Samantha threw a napkin at Sunjit.

 

"No, it's not about Melody. It's about me," said Angelina. "I forgive them all."

 

Sunjit, Samantha, and I were baffled as our jaws met the floor.

 

"Did they say sorry to you?" I asked.

 

"I want Collin to be happy," said Angelina. "Maybe the break up was as sign for me, that he wasn't perfect for me."

 

"Maybe, you're not meant for him," said Samantha.

 

I smiled, because Angelina's loving and forgiving heart was auspicious of a peaceful future in her life.

 

"You have a pure heart, Angelina," said Sunjit. "It's like seeing strawberries in my yogurt, that's how sweet it feels." Sunjit spooned a pink dollop of strawberry yogurt into his mouth.

 

I saw a wooden staff behind Angelina, as Archangel Raphael stood behind her, listening to her decision to forgive all of her enemies.

 

"I don't want to blame Collin for the rape, because he never hurt me. I don't want to know Melody and Merrick, although I felt they had something to do with the rape," said Angelina. "I don't want to look back fifty years from now, and still hate them. I want to get over it. I'm just going to release all these hate out of me. Take it away from me! Be gone!"

 

Archangel Raphael took his wooden staff and raised it over Angelina. A light puff of smoke lifted out of Angelina's soul. Then as Raphael swayed it away, Angelina opened her eyes in surprise.

 

"Wow, I felt a huge burden lifted off me," said Angelina. "I really felt something come out of me. Wow."

        

I saw Raphael smiled at me and I nodded as he disappeared.

        

Angelina said, "I forgive them for being criminals."

        

"Angelina, you really surprised me," said Samantha.

        

"Forgiveness is a healthy gesture, my friend," said Sunjit. He reached for Angelina to give her a hug. "I know it was hard, but you sure showed me who you are."

        

Tiny bursts of freshness sent a smile to my face. "You really did forgive them," I said, as I felt a sensation of peace over me.

        

"It's not that hard, the forgiveness. I just want Collin to be happy, that's all," said Angelina. "Besides, I'm happy I have someone, too." Angelina smiles at me, and I sat closer to her, wrapping my legs around her, hugging her whole body from behind.

        

"Samantha, I want you to go to prom," said Angelina.

        

"I know, I'm just scared. I don't want to feel so odd in a dress when I've been wearing jeans for my entire life now," said Samantha.

        

"We can wear jeans together," said Sunjit. "We can wear jeans to prom! Who cares about the attire?"

 

Samantha looked to Sunjit, as his eyes longed for her.

 

"I'm still thinking about it, Sunjit," said Samantha. "But, we won't be wearing jeans."

 

Sunjit looked down at his pizza, and replied, "I'll wait for you. Take as long as you need, baby."

 

***

 

The stroll to Leona's cottage around the corner was short and brisk, under the evening moon after dinner. Leona prepared her living room for the ceremony, moving her furniture aside, closer to the walls creating more space in her living room to become the meditation area. Her cottage was dainty with scented candles everywhere, matching furniture and beautiful paintings of Colorado on every wall in every room. The smell of jasmine emanated throughout her house.

 

"Are these from your garden?" my Mom asked, referring to the yellow roses on a side table next to her couches.

 

"They are. Lovely aren't they?" said Leona.

 

"So, Tom is coming," I told Leona.

 

"I will be here, with you," said Archangel Michael to Leona. I smiled, but didn't say a word to Leona.

 

"Who's Tom? And who is this angel I felt near me," asked Leona. She took a few of her candles from the dining room to surround the living room, placing them on the side tables, the coffee table, and the mantle above the fireplace. "Please be kind." Leona looked into Michael's eyes, as if she knew him in a prior time. 

 

"Tom is Angel's father," my Mom said. "I haven't met him yet, either, but he needs to be a part of this. He's a secondary survivor and he needs as much support as she does."

 

"I agree," said Leona. "I'm getting the teapots for the ceremony."

 

The doorbell rang, and my Mom opened it to let Tom and Angelina inside.

 

"Hi, Ichabod," said Tom. I gave him a hug, although he didn't expect the hug. He patted me on my back, as I hugged him around his stomach.

 

Tom laughed, and said to me, "Your parents must be so affectionate."

 

"I am," said my Mom, reaching for a handshake. In surprise, Tom shook her hand, and was mesmerized by her beautiful face.

 

"Pleased to meet you. You're so pretty. I mean….thank you for inviting me," said Tom.

 

"Oh, it was Leona's idea," said my Mom. Leona came into the living room from her kitchen, with a silver tray of two clear teapots.

 

"It was my idea," said Leona, placing the silver tray on the coffee table. "Leona. I'm Ichabod's adopted aunt."

 

"Tom. Angelina's father," said Tom, still smiling, and staring at her.

 

Archangel Michael stood in between Tom and Leona, and suddenly took Tom's head and directed it to my Mom. Tom smiled and so did my Mom.

 

"I'll show Angel around the house," my Mom said. "Tom, please come."

 

"My pleasure," said Tom. "I like Ichabod. Thank you for doing all this for Angel."

 

"I've had my suffering. She makes me feel important and I'm happy to help. Victims of violence needs all the support we need," said Leona.

 

After the short walk around the garden outside, Leona gathered everyone around the living room.

 

"Your house is so pretty, Leona," said Angelina.

 

"Thank you, Angelina, and you also need to know how beautiful you are, Angel," said Leona. She embraced Angelina with a hug. "Let's sit in a circle on the floor. Angel, you sit in the middle of the circle and I will give you directions as to what to do."

 

Leona turned off the lights in the living room. My Mom and I sat next to each other, and Tom sat a few distance away from us and Leona sat at the opposite end of the circle, all on the living room floor. The only source of light was from the candles around the room, dimming with serenity.

 

"Let's close our eyes and just breathe," said Leona. Everyone breathed in and out, slowly, gently, softly, sitting in silence, waiting for instructions from Leona. "Let's introduce ourselves and how you feel today. Angelina, please speak first, then we'll start with Jenni."

 

Angelina began to speak, "My name is Angelina Lee, and I have several emotions today. First, romantic because Ichabod took me hiking in Boulder yesterday and I was so happy that he kissed me."  

 

Tom's eyes opened wide to look at me, but I smiled at him as Tom closed his eyes again and shook his head.

 

"I also feel scared that I am going to high school with a long list of things that I have to be careful for and to be fearful of. I know there will be things that I can't handle. I feel that I can't look forward to the future, as bright as it used to be."

 

The outer circle sat in silence, as Angelina took a moment to breathe. She sat in the middle with comfort and safety, but tears mounted up, and she began to cry from her own thoughts of what she was about to say to everyone.

 

All eyes were closed, and everyone sat comfortably and at ease, accepting Angelina and her emotions at this time.

 

Angelina began to speak again, and said, "I feel betrayed. I think they planned all of the things that happened to me. I feel like a guinea pig. An experiment. Where they get to violate me for a purpose, and I have to live with the suffering from their abuse. I think it's unfair, sadistic, and prejudice of them to pick me, out of no reason at all. I've never hurt them, and I will never hurt anyone."

 

Angelina was in tears, but she slowly breathed in. "I deserve justice. I think they deserve punishment. I hate myself, and what I have to endure. I am scared that I will hurt myself, and can't cope with my own life. I am so young, but I feel like I will not be able to enjoy my youth, because I have rape trauma, or Post -Traumatic-Disorder now. I feel so damaged."

 

"Everyone, how do you feel about Angelina as a human being?" asked Leona.

 

"I love you," said my Mom, Jenni.

 

"I loved going hiking with you," I said. "I want to know you more and more, Angel."

 

The tears poured out, as everyone was ready to utter positive words of encouragement.

 

"I will protect you and back you up, Angel," said Tom.

 

"I think you are beautiful girl, Angel," said Leona. "You have a whole lifetime and endless opportunity on your side. God is on your side. You are in the right."

 

Compassion filled the room, and the energy that exuded from the Circle of Love was of acceptance and support, although no one hugged Angelina, but the energy in the room was a capsule of love towards her.

 

"Jenni, Ichabod, and Tom, in that order, please say how you love Angelina, and describe how you feel about her statement," said Leona.

 

"Angelina, I met you at the hospital. I know you didn't know it at the time, because you were unconscious. I loved you from the start. No reasons for the love, it was just is," said my Mom, Jenni. "I want you to heal nicely. I feel that we are here for a purpose for you. You are welcome here with me, Ichabod and Leona. We have to spend more time together."

 

"Angel, you are so beautiful, and I am so happy that I took the chance to kiss you this morning. I've wanted to kiss you since the night I saw you on the gurney at the hospital," I told her. "I know I'm not Collin. I will never be him. I am happy I am not Collin. I am happy, I am with you. I am proof for you, Angel, that although I am not as handsome or rich as Collin, I am capable to love you. Angel, and I don't want to lose you to sadness, or rape trauma or the loss of dignity that you feel. My emotion for you is growing stronger, and I don't want to lose to those negativities. I know you are brilliant, beautiful, loving and powerful. Nothing can keep you apart from love, and love will never be apart from you. Life is bright for you, and I want to see the future with you."

 

Tom opened his eyes for a moment, as he watched me wipe my tears.

 

"Tom, you take as long as you need," said Leona.

 

"Angel, I'm not used to this, and I've never done this before," said Tom. "But, I'm here for you. I love you, Angel, I am your family. I am your father who loves you with all of his heart. My heart was broken, the time you told me you were raped. But, I don't want you to feel that it was your fault. I don't blame you. I love you. I want you to be happy and successful. We will build our lives over again. I will keep sharpening your skills and logic, to help you through it. I want you to talk to me, the way you always have. I don't want you to be embarrassed to talk to me about anything, even dating and sex. I told you before that I will back you up, so I will. I love you Angel. You're all I have. You're my life, Angel. You make me feel so happy when you're happy."

 

I opened my eyes and saw Tom sobbed, and said, "I am so scared Angel, because I know things might be different with the rape trauma now, and I sometimes have fears of my own. But, I love you so much that the fear subsides. That's all I think about, how much I love you. You are my daughter, Angel and I can't lose you. I don't have anyone else in this world. Please don't ever feel that you need to hurt yourself, blame yourself, or think you are lesser than everyone else. I love you so much. I know I might be so busy and forget to say this sometimes, but sink this deep into your soul, and your mind. I love you, and I will never stop loving you. Nothing in this world can keep me away from holding you and carrying you in times of trouble. Never feel desperate or needy for love, because I have so much love for you. I want to make sure, that one day, you will be able to express and infuse so much love to others. The future is not the rape trauma. Our future is not the suffering. Our future is our skill, our intelligence, our hard work, our dedication, our love, and hope for each other. You and me, Angel. I'm always here for you."

        

The energy in the room was warm and powerful. Love exuded from each person cocooning Angelina through the Circle of Love. Leona sat silently, and focused on her turn to speak with her eyes still closed inside the circle.

 

"Angel, I know you feel that you are facing this by yourself sometimes. Everyone here is ready to be your loved ones. We are committed to be with you. We want to be your guardian angels. We can't do everything for you, but we will be here for you. In spirit, or on the phone, or in person. We don't want you to feel that you've lost your life. You've gained a lot of respect from us. You are our loved one, and you are precious in our eyes," said Leona.

 

There was an extra layer of strength surrounding the room from the supportive words. Everyone in the room accepted her, and respected her for who she was, despite what happened in the past.  

 

"I don't want to be bitter. I want to do everything right. I don't want to make another mistake, meeting wrong people, being abused by them. I'm scared because I have so many enemies, but I'm grateful that I have all of you in my life," said Angelina as she closed her eyes, and dipped her head low.

 

Leona stood up from the ground, and turned on the light. She walked to Angelina and led her out of the Circle of Love. "It is time for the healing bath. Everyone can stay here. I will take Angelina to give her the therapy bath. You can hug her and Tom can kiss her afterwards."

 

 

 

Chapter 31 – Angelina

 

Leona led me to the master bedroom, where there was a large bathtub with bubbles and warm water. "Let me make it warm for you. You can change and put on the towel first. I will massage your feet," said Leona.

 

I took off my clothes, to wrap the towel around my body. Leona's bedroom was connected to the bathroom, with a glass door shower next to a large bathtub and the marble counter vanity. Leona laid a large towel on the bathroom floor, and said, "Angel, lie down on this towel. I'm going to do some tapping."

 

I laid down on top of the towel, waiting for Leona. Leona came back with a small vial of lavender and mint oil. She took some of the oils and rubbed the bottom of my feet and pressured the sides of my big toes. She rubbed a little of it on my palm, and said, "Close your eyes. With every word I say, repeat after me. And if I breathe, you should also breathe. Inhaling all the air inside your lungs, through your nose, and breathing out through your mouth."

 

Leona began to speak, "My name is Angelina Lee, and I was raped," she said as I repeated after her. "I am, however, loved by my father and my family. I am important to them, and they love me, forever. From now on, no one is allowed to harm me, in any way, shape, or form."

 

I was open to the possibility of healing, and Leona gave this bath therapy to give a sense of purity and peace.  Leona tapped with her finger, five taps on my forehead, "I am a new person, and I am going to become a beautiful human being, and a gorgeous woman. I am capable. I am taking care of my life. I know that I can do all things through proper guidance and love."

 

Leona tapped on my temples on both sides, with her two forefingers with both hands. "I am not a product of any mistake, I am not the product of the assault. I am beautiful. And I am strong enough to know, that I can do anything through God who loves me. I will ask for help, when need be, and I will always produce love, not hate. I will overcome, because I am a conqueror. I am a warrior. I am beautifully made. I am an Angel. I am Angelina."

        

Leona rubbed the lavender and mint oil on my temples, and on my left and right upper chest, with both of her hands, and said, "I lost all of my will when the rapists took advantage of me. I won't blame myself for other people's judgments, crimes, or prejudices, because they also took advantage of my dignity. I am more precious than their crimes and I am brilliant in God's eyes." 

 

Leona breathed in and out, and I mimicked her. "I will stop analyzing my every move, instead trust on my skills that I have developed as I grow older to develop loving relationships, good communication, and self-control. I will not blame all outcomes of perils on me or others, instead to rationalize with my loved ones first, and ask my support group for help, when I feel lost and out of control. One day I will feel the absence of fear and doubt," said Leona as I mimicked her every wordsd. She rubbed some oil on my upper chest, and to the side of my waist, and as I spoke, she tapped on those spots, and breathed in an out.

        

Leona took my arms and lifted them to reveal a tender spot, a spot of trust and vulnerability, and asked me,   "May I tap on different spots on your body, Angelina?"

 

"Yes, you may," I said.

 

She tapped on the spot between my under-arms and her waist, and said, "Repeat after me, Angelina, I will be strong, and courageous with my life, forgiving myself and others when there are causes to forgive. Not letting anyone intimidate me or take advantage of me. I will verbalize my feelings and be honest about them. I will not be silent in expressing my love and my emotions, instead to let it out at the right time, for the right reasons. I will try my best to be genuine and loving. When anger strikes, I will breathe, and let the anger bubbles set aside for a moment, to calmly make my decisions."

 

Leona lifted my right arm, and tapped underneath my arm just above the towel mark, "I will try my best not to express anger physically, abusively or take advantage of anyone, or anything, to gain control. I understand my boundaries, and I will express it, because I have the human right to help myself. I do not want my boundaries to be crossed," Leona said, and she dabbed oil on her under-arms and waits and breathes in and out, as I followed her words and her breathing pattern.

 

Leona tapped the center of her belly button, and said, "I will respect myself most, and love myself first. I will be victorious, and I will succeed in life. I will release every worry during meditation, instead of letting negative thoughts consume me." I repeated after her, letting every word sink into my heart, and Leona said, "Angelina, we are letting little tingles of anti-oxidants perform neurogenesis inside your brain. Every word soothes the spirit and increases healing."

 

Leona tapped her gently with her fingers on her belly button and dabbed some oil and also on my palms.

 

Leona moved her tapping down to my left and right knees, and moved further down to the bottom of my left foot, right at the arch. Leona said, "I will count my happiness and positive decisions, as part of the plan for me. I will note every good move and write each one down if I need to. I will note my blessings each day, even the smallest details, like waking up in the morning in a good mood, or having the best ice tea in the world."

 

Leona stopped tapping to breathe in and out, and dabbed some lavender oil on my forehead and temples again. "I love myself. I am an Angel. I am Angelina Lee. And, I am perfectly made," said Leona, as I repeated her every poignant word to help myself.

 

"Angel, open your eyes," said Leona. I opened my eyes and sat upright, to face Leona with her mental health fully in serenity.

 

"Who is inside your soul?" Leona asked me, piercing deep into my eyes, as if searching for that light of truth.

 

"I am Angelina. I suppose an angel of love is inside of me," I answered.

 

"Angel, do you know what the upside of love is? It's benefits and rewards?" asked Leona.

 

"Companionship and care, that I won't be alone anymore," I said.

 

"Love makes you have more capacity to live, and the endurance to live. And the physical effects manifest inside your mind, body, and soul. The more you love, the more you will love your life," said Leona, infusing energy, and the drive to live with a good omen. "If you have LOVE inside you, you will never feel alone."

 

Leona began to cry, and said, "Hate breeds hate, Angelina. The more you hate, the more you hate living and everything in it. I want you, to feel love breeding inside your soul, because your brain will produce the right hormones, and will become happier. Love breeds love."

 

Leona took a small ceramic bowl from the bath counter, and pumped out half a cup of lotion into it, to mix it a half a cup of Epsom Salt, and some whole mint leaves she has in a jar to concoct the reflexology potion for Angelina to scrub onto her feet.

 

"Give me your feet," said Leona.

 

I sat on the floor, placing both of my feet in front of her. Leona scrubbed the potion and applied deep pressure on the center of her soles, then up and down from the top to the bottom of her soles. "Close your eyes and lay back down," said Leona.

 

I relaxed my body and felt the pressure from Leona's hands soothing her muscles. I breathed in an out, letting the soreness on my lower abdomen subside, and all of the tensions on my shoulders be gone.


"Angel, keep pursuing your life with true love in your heart. One day, all of your desires will bear fruit," said Leona, as her soft motherly voice rang wisdom, dwelling inside me. She applied the last bit of pressure, deeply on the center of her soles.

"I will keep loving, Leona," I told her, with my eyes closed.

 

"You can take a bath now. Scrub the rest of this mixture all over your body, and let it scent your whole body. I will be waiting with the others in the living room," said Leona. "Get dressed when you're done and come out. We will do the tea ceremony in the living room, with the others."

 

I felt totally loved, because someone took the time to give me so much attention, and made me feel so beautiful. "Thank you so much Leona for doing this for me," I told her.  

   

"You take a good bath, now. I've put in some more mint leaves in the water, so you will come out smelling gorgeous. Ichabod will be smiling," said Leona with a little giggle. "Angel, when you come out of the water, you are pure. You are CLEAN."

 

The water was warm and comforting, as I immersed my whole body inside the bubbly bath. The minty water soothed my soul, and the lavender oil on my forehead, temples, and palms gave me a tingling sensation that eased my tense spirit. I dipped into the water, like a little girl in my Mother's bathtub, playing with the water.

 

 

To be continued. Just write.

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ICHABOD FRENZY - Chapter 13, 14, & 15

Chapter 13 – Ichabod

 

 

Sweat pearls ran down the back of my neck as Sunjit and I ignored the biting air of the cold morning. We ran parri passu as the heat from our bodies warmed us from the cold air on the tracks, because four miles must go on without incident every Wednesday morning.

 

"Last round, feeling a cramp coming," Sunjit said. His tall stature at a lean six-two often slowed in his pace for me, several inches shorter.

 

"Yah, call it," I replied, with deep inhales and long exhales, normalizing my breath.

 

"Now," said Sunjit, opening his arm in the air and slowing down to a stop.

 

We hurried to the showers and afterwards, Sunjit sat in front of me near our locker benches.

 

"So I'll need your help, Ike," Sunjit said, as he put on socks.

 

"What about?" I asked, putting on my shirt over my Levi's jeans.

 

"I like her, Samantha, I can already tell. But, she'll take some convincing, which I am not quite prepared for. I saw her before and I know she's a good one. So, I'm going the distance with this one," Sunjit said, as he grabbed his shoes from inside his locker to put them on.

 

I rolled on my deodorant and listened, intently.

 

"A week, Ike, … for a friend," said Sunjit. "That's some balls she's got." Sunjit shook his head and ran his fingers through his wavy hair. His chiseled jaw locked again, and closed his deep-set light brown eyes. "Never thought Silver Creek would have a physical fight."

 

"What's my role? In this love quest?" I asked him. A Romeo must reserve proper plans to woo his Juliet. What good would a love quest be without a plan?

 

"It's her heart Ike, I just know. I know she's pretty, but she has this screen against the world. I felt it. I love girls with screens, they watch out for themselves. They don't mess," said Sunjit, as he ties his shoes.

 

"I know she's smart. She's in my AP History and AP Calculus," I said, sitting on the locker bench.

 

"I'm just blown away by everything she is. She's daring, beautiful, and she just makes a package," Sunjit said, shivering from his hot emotional angst for Samantha. "Picture her on the tracks…miles and miles with anger and blood."

 

I held my smile frozen on my face, trying with all of might not to laugh at him, as he ran in place like a woman in her aerobics class. But, the room came to an awkward silence as Collin walked in from basketball practice. He sat down on the bench, and opened his locker on the bottom row, for those starting with the letters G, as in…Goodendaag, the name of the international chain restaurant best known for its European desserts and fresh baked breads for appetizers in all of St.Vrain Valley.

 

Collin's ancestors were born in the Netherlands and started the chain based in Boulder, and now his family owned all the Goodendaags Bistros in all of the United States, Europe, Asia, Middle East, and South America. It was known for its attention to details fo its desserts and the mixture of flavors in their dishes that were heirloom recipes from Collin's great grandparents. I knew of this was because my own philandering father worked for a company who dealt with restaurant chains, and Collin's parents were one of his best allies. I doubt anyone else knew, because Collin's family was very private. Words did linger about how Collin was steady with Angelina, but Collin never boasted and Angelina never talked about their private romance to others.

 

The sight of Collin irritated me as I slammed my locker in front of him because I knew underneath the peaceful demeanor was a bourgeouise with connections to the Merrick's Steak House. My melamine sword might be foolish but I wasn't born yesterday.

 

Sunjit whispered to me, "I know Ike, I know," he made me slow down for a moment before leaving the locker room. "Look, I know you want Angel. I feel it, and I want Samantha. It's a worthy effort, Ike. C'mon, follow me," Sunjit pleaded.

 

"Okay, here is the deal, Angel is hurt bad. I know Collin won't stay. He's just not the type. But, I don't know if she would want me, Sunjit," I told him. "I'm not the star student, the basket ball player, the rich asshole with a yatcht!"

        

"We get closer to Samantha, and you get closer to Angelina," said Sunjit, his right hand moving from one side to the other.

        

"What about Collin?" I asked.

        

"We know he's going to break up, for sure. It's his status. He owns all that foofy diner in every county. We all know this. They can't afford to get involved. Trust me, they have to keep a face," said Sunjit.

        

I wanted to tell my best friend everything I saw inside my dream… and those guardians. I looked around the room for Michael, but he was nowhere in sight.

        

"What? What's wrong, Ike?" asked Sunjit, tapping my forehead. "Focus! You have got to focus!" Sunjit formed two O's with his hands, pretending they were binoculars over his own eyes. "Focus, that's the key to our success! It's about us right now. Not Collin."

       

"Okay...okay. I don't know if she's going to like me," I said.

 

"Ike, we can't be nice about this. First of all, Angel was hurt by someone. So even if we're not involved, we still have enemies. They're the people who don't like our girls," said Sunjit. "Melody Johnson and her possé. She's rich, so by virtue in the real world, she's a princess."

        

"Princess from Silver Creek. Some title," I said. "There aren't real princesses anymore, not one with true valor and honest hearts."

        

"Wait, … are you listening? It's from outside….," Sunjit said. A soft chanting echoed through the air passage in the locker room. We followed it through the tremors on the walls as if hundreds of students were chanting loudly in unison.

        

"Fight! Fight! Fight!" We ran outside as the crowd of hundreds of students surrounded the quad in front of the school building.

        

"No, she can't!" I gasped, as I panicked and ran into the circle.

        

A dark-skinned brunette with skinny jeans and black tank top was taunting Angelina in front of everyone. "Drop Collin, chink!" said the Latina. "Loser, you're dad is a low life, minimum wage worker. You're selling high, chink."

        

"I'm not selling anything. We've been together for two years," Angelina shouted.

        

"You slept with a lot of men at the party, ceena. Words get around. You pulled a line! Whorrific line," the girl said.

 

The crowd of students were silent, but one instigator yelled out, "You going to take that, Angel?"

        

"Ceena, he's for a Latina, bitch. Our people got here first. America was Mexico, chink. We belong here. You're the true immigrant, taking up space and stealing our men. You need to date low, not high," said the girl.

        

"Oh…I see…I see!" yelled Sunjit. "It's about the money! Show me the money!"

        

The Latina stepped closer to Angelina and said to her, "You slept around. You're not clean no more. You're nothing but a slut, a has been."

        

Angelina slapped her, and immediately the girl punched Angelina's face. Angelina shielded her face with her hands, and tried to punch the girl but missed her target. The Latina grabbed Angelina's hair and yanked it as Angelina side swiped the brunette with her right leg as the girl fell and Angelina kicked her face. The Latina got up and violently punched Angelina on her face multiple times as Sunjit took the Latina and grabbed her arms to her back.

        

I took Angelina behind the crowd to the grassy lawn as she dropped to the ground in a fetal position from pain and shame. The crowd of students were perhaps embarrassed as they dispersed quietly, disappointed in the horrendous ordeal over a small matter of high school romances.

        

"Back off from Collin!" said the violent brunette, her knuckles with Angel's blood.

        

"You both just back off from each other, right now," Sunjit said, calmly taking his hands away from the girl's arms and letting her run to a nearby car with two men inside.

        

"Mind your own business!" Sunjit yelled to them. "Stay away from our school!"

        

Angelina wrestled me as she tried to get up off the grass to chase after the girl.

 

"Hey, hey, stop this, STOP THIS," I said to Angelina to calm her down and held her torso with my arms.

        

"You don't belong with Collin, ceena. You're miss saigon, concubine culture bitch! You're a second wife to someone else, chink!" yelled the derogatory girl.

        

"Stop! Stop talking to her like this! Who are you? Hey, psycho, who are you?!" yelled Sunjit to the girl inside the Camaro. The two men inside the car pulled out their middle finger and lifted them high in the air to Sunjit, and drove off school grounds.

        

Sunjit was livid and turned to the crowd of students. "You're all sea cucumbers! Flacid! All of you! You couldn't break that up?! Was it that difficult?" Sunjit screamed to the crowd of high schoolers standing around us. "You know who I am?! I'm a positive bystander! You need some education! All of you!"

        

The crowd scattered away, and Growling Rawlins came late to the scene and blew his whistle as everyone walked away.

        

"Angel, who was that?! Angel, are you okay," asked Assistant Principal Rawlins.

        

I let go of my hold of her torso as she wilted to the ground like a dying sunflower.

        

"I didn't do anything wrong," Angelina cried, her arms over her face. "I didn't know her."

        

"It's okay. That girl was dangerous. You're okay, Angel. You didn't hurt anyone," I said, with the hope that my words brought comfort to her soul. Sunjit stood in front of me as his eyes welled up in tears.

        

"Angel, can you let me know what happened for a minute," asked Growling Rawlins.

        

"She just came at me, saying that I need to back off from Collin," Angelina said, in a soft whimpering sob. "I didn't do anything wrong Mister Rawlins. I don't know her."

        

"Does Collin or anyone know them?" asked Assistant Principal Rawlins.

        

"I think Melody should. That stupid cheerleader probably told them to attack her!" Sunjit said behind Assistant Principal Rawlins.

        

"Okay, Angel, can you please go to the nurse's office right now, …again?" asked Assistant Principal Rawlins. "You need to clean up your eyes. They're both swollen."

        

Assistant Principal Rawlins ran towards the school as he growled and said, "I can't believe this is happening!" Sunjit and I covered our ears from the harrowing sound.

        

Blood dripped from the corner of Angelina's right eyebrow. I kissed her head and as she wigled to get out of my tight hug.

        

"Who are you?" Angelina said, as she sobbed and looked to my shirt that was wet from her blood, snot and tears.

        

"It's okay, you're fine," I said, patting the back of her shoulder. "It's Ichabod. Ichabod Frenzy."

        

"Ike, take her to the nurse's office," said Sunjit. His brain was always made a few seconds faster than mine it seemed. He saw an opportunity and called it, as I stood in front of this traumatized maiden, blushing because her snot was on my shirt.

        

"Let's get up Angel, I'll walk you to the nurse's office," I said, lifting her up from the ground to go inside.

        

"You know my name," said Angelina. "She attacked me. I didn't know that girl."

        

"Don't worry. Let's get you some cold compress," I said, taking her bag to walk inside the school.

        

"I'll talk to you later, Ike. I have to calm down for a minute," said Sunjit, with his hands on his hips and fuming.

        

"Thank you, what's your name?" said Angelina to Sunjit, offering to shake his hand.

        

"Sunjit. Sunjit Fajar," said Sunjit, shaking her hand. "Ike and I are in the track team, and fantasy club. I'm so sorry this happened to you, Angel."

        

"How come you both know my name? I've never seen you guys before," asked Angelina.

        

"Don't worry about that. We heard good things," I replied, and coughed as if something was inside my throat. I breathed in, confused because I did not inhale any air and as I looked around, Michael was leaning near the entrance to the school doors with his sword and a smile.

        

"Later Ike, I'll call you," said Sunjit, as he ran inside school grounds, and the rest of the students disappeared.

        

"So, you're a cheerleader?" I asked, with her bag over my shoulders and my own backpack on the other.

        

"No, I quit the squad," she said, her lips tightening and closing her eyes, as she must felt the sting from the punch. 

        

"Because of the fight? A couple of days ago?" I asked.

        

Angelina stared at me with her dagger eyes pursing her lips, perhaps from annoyance.

        

"Okay, it was," I said, my eyes to the ground. "I'm really sorry."

        

We paced each other, listening to each other's breath and hoping one of us would start a conversation again. We entered the school and saw Assistant Principal Rawlins inside the administration office behind the glass doors. Collin was inside the office with Assistant Principal Rawlins, sitting inside the office with tears in his eyes. He saw Angelina walking in the hallway, and their eyes met.

        

"Collin! What's going on?" said Angelina, rushing into Assistant Principal Rawlins's office.

        

Collin stepped out of the office although Assistant Principal Rawlins told him to stay inside. "Hey, Collin! I'm talking to you, son!" Assistant Principal Rawlins yelled at him sternly.

        

"I don't know what's going on Angel, but I'm infuriated. I'm being asked stupid questions, and..." Collin couldn't finish his sentence, because Growling Rawlins pulled him by the shoulders to step back inside.

        

Assistant Principal Rawlins closed the door behind him for privacy and Collin sat on the chair with his elbows on his knees and folding his hands into a fist.

        

"Let's go, let him be alone for a bit. You need to get some help, Angel," I said to Angelina.

        

"I am so worried," said Angelina, looking behind her into Growling Rawlins's office.

        

In front of me as if waiting for an update, was Raphael. I bit my lower lip and walked slowly as I twitched my hands, nervous for what was beneath this divine presence.

        

"Go in the nurse's office. I have to go to class," I said to Angelina. I felt prickles of needles piercing into my skin, all over his body. Was Raphael mad at me? Please, please, please don't let this be a psychotic episode. What did I do now?

        

"Let Collin make his decision before you pursue her," said Raphael. "You are one of us! There shall be punishment if you pursue her now." I cringed at his voice, that was once comforting, now demanding. "Your must wait patiently," Raphael said, as he pounded his staff on the ground, and disappeared.

 

 

 

Chapter 14 – Angelina

 

 

 

"You have quite a tumultuous life, Angelina," said Maria, Silver Creek High School Nurse, dabbing antiseptic on my eyebrows.

        

"I didn't plan it this way," I said, cringing from the sting.

        

"It will hurt for a minute, but let the ointment seep in and I'll just put a couple of small band-aids on it," she said.

        

"I don't know who that girl was. She just wanted to fight me," I said.

        

"Well, the principal will take care of that. For now, we want you to go to therapy with Bernadine's program," said Maria. "She called just to make sure you were under their treatment plan."

        

"What did she say?" I asked. I was worried Bernadine just gave my personal information to the general public.

        

"She told me that you came to her program and by law, we had to ask if it was an emergency. She said it was a treatment plan. I'll arrange the small bus to take you to her right now," said Maria. "Don't worry about school for a week. I think you should be given some time off. I'll tell your teachers that you're going on appointments all day for health reasons. Your eyes are fine. It's just cuts and bruises. The therapy is important, you should do that now."

        

I picked up my bag, as my heart fell to the ground. I was afraid I was suspended because of the two fights, but a part of me didn't care. I had to survive and I was defending myself.

        

"Tell Bernadine that you need to apply for government assistance," said Maria. "I know your dad works at China 2000. We go there to get take out."

        

"Thank you, Maria," I replied.

        

"You reminded me of another girl a long time ago, Ursula," Maria said.

        

"Ursula? Was she also hurt?" I asked.

        

"She was, but she never said why. I had a feeling she was assaulted, but she never told me," said Maria. "I saw her a couple of times, because she was in danger of self-harm, but she dropped out, and I never saw her again. I call her Ursula Bonita."

        

"Was she in cheer?" I asked Maria.

 

Maria had tears in her eyes and replied, "Yes, she was. She was Merrick's girlfriend. She was lead and she was a great dancer. But, ...she never came back to school."

 

There was a knock on my heart when Maria informed me, to find Ursula and ask her what happened to her life. "The last time I saw her was at the King Soopers in Westminster. But, you better get going, Angel. Stay strong and keep going," said Maria.

        

I took my bag and walked out of Maria's office and down the hallway. As I walked out to the smaller bus to go to the Silver Creek Hospital, I saw Collin inside Mister Rawlin's office. His face and eyes were red as he folded his hands behind his head and leaned back on his chair. Growling Rawlins was speaking to him inside his office, but as Mister Rawlins saw me, he walked to his office window and closed the shades.

        

I walked outside to find the small bus waited for me and as I rode inside, my mind took me back to the first time Collin and I met at the gym, during our practice after school. He was a Junior and I was a Freshman, and high school was so bright and new. As I walked out of the bus, arriving at Bernadine's office, I felt a lift to my shoulders and a soft breeze to my face.

        

"It takes an angel to know another," I heard the voice inside my head. Bernadine waited for me and I sat on the couch where I first introduced myself.

 

"How was school this morning? I heard you got into a fight?" asked Bernadine.

        

I remained still and quiet. Bernadine sighed and sat next to me, holding with her pieces of papers that looked like the results of the SANE exam.

          

"Angelina, I will go right to the matter, because no one anticipates being drugged. But, getting back to the matter, I think there has to be at least two or more people involved. It might be some group of men at the party. The exposure is for a long period of time and with a heavy weight. If it was with an object, there would have been more lacerations or even more swelling, but it seems like it was a natural entry, but prolonged."

        

"Merrick was in a fraternity. I think his brothers were there," I said.

        

"Yes, I mean that. A group of men who know each other well enough to keep this a secret," said Bernadine.

        

I looked to the wall in front of me and realized I was assaulted by more than one person during a party.

        

"Angelina, dear," says Bernadine, sitting closer next to her. "Sometimes we don't know why certain things happen. I didn't know why I was hurt when I was either."

        

"You were hurt, too?" Angelina looks into Bernadine's eyes, and saw a gentle soul, tender and wise, and most of all, experienced.

        

"Well, my husband. He wasn't very good to me when he drinks. Sometimes he would hurt me at night, and I wouldn't know why," Bernadine said.

        

"He's an alcoholic, that's why," I replied.

        

"Yes, but it's more than that, dear," says Bernadine. "I want to show you something. We can move on from this suffering."

        

Bernadine drew an X and Y intercepting graphs on a piece of paper.

        

"This is the X and Y quadrant and this entire graph represents progress in a person's life over time. When I was trained as a provider, I was shown this graph. The X axes represents the time it takes to progress for a person to get from one point in life to the next. The Y axes represent the actual progress, such as getting into a better state of mind, better professional career, and so on. Every time something progressive happens, you move up a notch," said Bernadine.

        

Bernadine drew a curve from the zero point of the X and Y axes, like sloping bowl, curving upward slowly at first, then curving steeper later on the X axes.

        

"This curve is the progress of you, the victim, if you don't get a lot of help. It's a slow start, dear. It's okay. It's going to be a slow start, but see, later in life, it will get better," Bernadine said, as she pointed to the steep slope on the X axes, as time went on.

        

Bernadine drew another curve on the same graph, this time, the curve began with a steep slope from the zero point on the X axes. It is so steep that it was linear upwards, but after some time further on the X axes of time, it plateaued to a steady slope.

        

"This is a progress of a normal life without tragedy. It goes fast, dear. It just goes from one progress to another, holding everything as normal and progress is achievable. Then, it plateaus as the progress reaches its peak. A normal person with a normal life, assuming he or she has opportunities, will have the chance to reach their potential," said Bernadine, as she pointed to the high and steady state progress in life.

        

After she drew the two curves, she highlighted the areas in between the two curves. "This portion right here, the area in between the normal vs. rape victim's life progress. What do you think this represents?" Bernadine asked.

        

"Hhmm....the difference between a normal progress and a rape victim's life progress?" I said, as I took a guess.

        

"You're a smart one. This difference is achievable. By virtue of this theory, you can achieve normal progress, instead of having this slow curving slope," said Bernadine, as she pointed to the curve sloping slowly. "You can close the gap and get to this normal curve, with a lot of help."  She pointed to the normal life progress curve. "I know some days you feel life is impossible, but keep working at it. Get help from me, from your nurse, your father, and Daisy."

        

I was in awe because I knew I needed help, but I didn't know how much help I needed, until I met Bernadine. Her honesty broke down the barrier of confusion and loss. I was eager to learn and eager to begin again.

 

"You will have to see all of us in tandem, dear. It's impossible to heal if you don't. It's all free, or at least at a sliding scale, and if you have insurance, all the better. I also signed you up for Victim's Assistance Program and Medicaid, and you will have the answer in a couple of weeks," said Bernadine. "Angel, you will recover from this."

 

"Thank you, Bernadine," I said, with teary eyes in endearing gratitude and honor for this woman, this angel, and this life-saver.

 

"Oh, Angelina, don't cry. This is why you have to keep with your health care. I don't want you to cry over silly things like me. It's my job, dear. I get paid to do this, because I love it! You don't cry anymore, here is a tissue box," said Bernadine, reaching for the tissue box and handing it over to me. "I have to tell you something else."

 

"Is it the Model Minority Myth? And how not a lot of Asian Americans report sexual assaults?" I asked. My tears peeked out and rolled down my cheeks.

        

"But, it's a façade, Angel. It's just a graph. It does show the racial breakdown of the different races in the United States in their median wage and income with Asian Americans as the highest, but what the graph should show is the number of access available for every race and ethnicity in the United States," said Bernadine. "We felt that with the income gap, we assume Asian Americans have access to everything, but that is not always true. Also, the truth was, labeling Asian Americans as a 'model minority' closes the opportunity for those who are impoverished in this racial bracket to gain services and resources. It became a hindrance to a lot of people. Making them feel embarrassed to seek help, especially in justice, mental health and health care. This under-reporting perpetuates the 'model minority myth' because people feel everything is okay with Asian Americans, but there are actually room for improvements."

        

"Are people afraid that Asian Americans will become a majority?" I asked.

        

"We are all important, as everyone has value in the community. The major ethnic groups in the United States are White, African Americans and Hispanics or Latino/Latina, but that's not the cause of the rape, Angel. What caused the rape is the misconceptions that you, Angelina, an Asian American woman, will be a threat to them, the assaulting party," said Bernadine. "The power in the world is mostly male, and the female species became a threat when they have the same clout and power as a man that his authority is jeapordized. The different ethinicities saw opportunity in you, just as the people who assaulted you saw a future in you, and they felt threatened by it. People will find every derogatory issue and anything controversial to harm you. Blaming for a disease, for access, for a genetic feature, for politics, for religion, for income, and anything else they felt necessary to oppress or tear down. It is what people do to one another, and sometimes they kill and rape to make a statement. It is the "majority rules" theory, that the group with the most common ideals will win the race, and sometimes they are desperate that they do so with violence, rape, murder, hate crimes. The same thing is going on with terrorism, and we saw that brutally with 9/11. But, we must not let violence take control, no matter what race they are. We have to work together to resolve it."

        

"It feels like everyone hates me, accusing me of something I did not do," I said. "That I was out to steal someone else's man. Or that I am with Collin because I want to marry rich, or because I'm only interested in certain traits of men."

        

"People just want control, Angelina. And they want their race to be higher than the rest. It's survival of the fittest, and you are in the minority, being Chinese-Indonesian and an immigrant," said Bernadine. "They wanted to hurt you so you won't succeed. The same way White Supremacists hurts everyone in this country. Don't take anything the accusers say to heart. They have no idea what your walk looks like, and they have never lived in a third-world country before. They assume without education and knowledge, and they felt entitled to their opinion when their opinion in your walk as an immigrant was negatively skewed. Stay away from them, the unhealthy men and women."

 

There was a knock on the door.

 

"That should be the officer," said Bernadine.

 

"It's a hot day today and all this black ain't helping me," he said, wiping his sweat from his forehead and neck with his handkerchief.

 

"Officer, I told her and we can start the investigation now. There were some fraternity boys there. I didn't get the names yet, but I thought you should talk to her first."

        

"Angel! It's so great to see you," said Officer Fineman.

        

"Hi, Officer," I said, with a giggle because Officer Fineman reminded me of a big jolly uncle she never had.

        

"So, Bernadine told you, I take it?" Officer Fineman sat down on the couch. "This is my job here and I have to take the continued evidence because I'm the one assigned to your case."

        

"I remember them, I just don't know their faces. I don't really remember everything," said Angelina.

        

"Don't worry. I was about to sign off the case to someone else, but Bernadine here reminded me that it is always better to just have one person for the report. With different people you will have to start the story over and over again. It's a repetitive trauma for you, so we don't want to do that," said Officer Fineman.

        

"I'm glad you didn't think I was lying," I said.

        

"Getting back to that night, do you remember the fraternity? You said it was Melody's party, what does she have to do with the fraternity?" asked Officer Fineman.

        

"Well, Melody's brother was the past quarterback for Silver Creek and he just got a scholarship to CU Boulder. His name is Merrick, like the restaurant. They own that chain, the one in Westminster and Denver," I said.

        

"Oh, I didn't realize they owned the actual restaurant. Merrick, the same spelling as the restaurant, M…E…R…R…I…C…K?" he asked. "Angel, I'm going to have to dig deeper into this. It's been known that in this area there are a lot of assaults at frat parties, but you're in high school. We haven't had this happen in a while. College students involving high schoolers, in this area."

        

"Do you think Merrick and his friends might be the people who hurt me?" I asked. "I suspected the same thing."

        

"I can't confirm anything, but I am going to have to ask them some questions. I will do that for you, because you filed a report and there are witnesses of the trauma, at the hospital. I'm not about to ignore you, kid," said the officer.

        

"What do I need to do, Officer?" I asked.

        

"Take care of yourself and if you have any more information or you need anything, you can give me a call," he said.

 

 

 

Chapter 15 - Ichabod

 

 

"Orcs! Orcs! Orcs!!! Settle down, and take your seats!" I had to scream in the midst of these high school creatures in our Fantasy club.

 

Michael stood in the back of the classroom, with his sword in his hand, practicing his slices with the air. I rolled my eyes and he whispered, "I can cut you." I gasped and focused on the Orcs again.

 

"What is the deal with these fights? Niwot High never had one, what happened?" asked Shane. Shane was our After School Fantasy Club President from Niwot High School, as we often held meetings monthly at Silver Creek High, to prepare for The Battle of the Goar, that happened each year as our celebration together. His six-feet frame had to sit on top of the table because his long legs would have to be cut in half to fit the seat. "I've been travelling for my gigs, so update me." Shane was contracted with a Japanese modeling agency with a branch in Denver, as his Japanese mother and African American father encouraged him to pursue a career with his good looks. 

 

"What gigs, Shane?!" asked Fanny, one of our Orcs in Silver Creek Fantasy Club. "Can you share some cute pictures?"

 

"Tell ya later, gorgeous!" said Shane. He blew her a kiss and Fanny giggled. The rest of the Orcs shouted, "Get a room!"

 

"Angelina, she's the cheer co-lead, and ...," Sunjit began to explain.

 

"CHINA DOLL?!" Tim said, flabbergasted. "She's in a fight? OMG!" Tim was an Orc at the Boulder High School Fantasy Club, and he was the loudest tow head anyone could possibly meet in a lifetime.

 

"Yah...got socked in the face, about four or five times," said Fanny, punching her right eye, jokingly. Fanny was Chess champion at ten years old in Burlington Elementary in Longmont, and during middle school, she would travel to Washington D.C, for a tournament, and came back with a trophy. She joked to everyone that she got it in East Los Angeles in some alley because a man needed cash to replace his stolen wheels.

 

"She got hurt, Orkc," I said, to everyone in the room.

 

"What's the stats here....what kind? How bad? Who's involved?" asked Tim. "Why her?"

 

"We all know Collin Goodendaag, right?" I said.

 

Sunjit scratched his head, and said, "It's all about the money!"

 

"They couldn't just ask her for some sugar?" asked Shane. "I mean....not that sugar, but you know...the kind you bake with."

 

"Lame..," said Fanny. "Stick to modeling, Shane."

 

Shane threw her a kiss and Fanny caught it and planted it on her forehead.

 

"Why not just ask her out? I heard it was a glow-in-the-dark party," said Shane. "What kind of rich people party like this in the middle of Spring?"

 

"First of all, Angelina, is Collin's girlfriend, and now everyone wants them to break up," I said. "I think they should just break up."

 

"Wait,...they hurt her because someone wants Collin? To get in his pants or bank account?" asked Jennifer, another Orc from Boulder High School Fantasy Club.

 

"Basically," said Sunjit. "You know....they had to make it dramatic, otherwise she'll make a come back."

 

"Oh, I see. Hurt her forever, so her man won't be back....ever...like forever...ever," said Fanny.

 

"What does this have to do with us?" asked Tim. "I'm a little worried, because we're talking fraternity men. We're still boys. We're not in our twenties and we sure don't carry condoms in our wallets."

 

"Why would you carry a condom in your wallet, Tim?" asked Fanny. "You're asexual!"

 

"Hey! Hey! Stop that!" yelled Tim. He stood up and measured Fanny's arms and told her, "You're overgrown.....sideways!"

 

Fanny shook her head and ignored him. Sunjit and I giggled. Fanny and Tim always had sarcastic remarks for each other, coming from rival schools and living as nextdoor neighbors, sometimes things become intense in their neighborhood.

 

"Listen up...here is what we're going to do," I said.

 

 

To be continued, Just write.

 

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ICHABOD FRENZY - Chapter 2 & 3

Chapter 2 – Angelina

 

 

Sweat dripped down my royal blue and green crop top, as the two cheers tumbler, a tuck and double back, cross the cheer formation. No small business. Our four rows of five cheers staggers in straight lines on the gymnasium floor go in formation, as we preluded with a chant to dance for the hip-hop mix.

 

"Thirsty….Fury….Wolverines," I chanted with my hands caressing my throat with an insatiable thirst for victory for the basketball team. "Thirsty….Fury….Silver Creek High!" I chanted as I wiped my lips in slow motion, whisping my hips as my fellow cheers slide close to me, the lead in center floor. The music started, Fashion by Lady Gaga, the beat of techno and pop mixed with a splash of lyrical rap.

 

"Wolverine, we come right out of the ground, ripping you apart, slashing you so tight. We're wolverines! We leave no survivors behind!"

 

We tossed our poms in the air and synchronized to a standing tumbling. We landed on two feet, catching our poms on our spot. I was, Angelina Lee and cheer lead for this year.

 

We broke into a dance routine to the hip-hop song, and the formation divided in half, forming two rows of cheers. I was center with my co-lead, Melody Johnson, as usual. I had to admit, we owned it.  Our two rows broke into four, Melody, my co-lead next to me. The music stopped. Acapella chant resumed.

 

"This is Silver Creek High!" Melody and I staunchly pointed to the ground, indicating territory. "Go on, go home!  We will ravage you! Go on, go home! We will annihilate you! We're Silver Creek High! We'll take the trophy, thanks! We're Silver Creek High! Here's our wave goodbye!" We fluttered our hands higher and higher, shooing off the other team. Two tumblers finished off with a double back hand spring, from the back to the front, then to both sides of the rows of cheers, and back to the center to finish with a hand spring.

 

We spotted each other for an aerial, with Melody and I for an air-split, returning back on the springs of our cheer-arms, and back to the ground on two feet. The music pumped loud, the sound of techno mixed with pop beats. It felt like heaven springing into mid-air, kicking high off the ground, with our dance routine. Nothing felt right if dancing wasn't involved in my cheer years. This was my first year as lead with Melody, and it felt perfect.

 

The sweat on my temples made me yearn for more tumbling, swishing my hips left and right, pushing my arms forward, and clapping to spread the pomp.

 

This was just practice, but I couldn't live without it. The music stopped, as Melody and I kneeled on our left knees with our arms to a "v" to the ceiling. "Wolverines, Silver Creek High! We're justified!"

 

My chest heaved, and my crop top was moist. My bare stomach trickled with sweat of effort.

 

"Allright, ladies, it's like last time. We take showers and next time, we do one or two more aerials, with just something simple like a mid-air twist," Melody yelled out loud.

 

"Thank you, girls. You're hot!" I yelled out in confirmation. We group high fives, and took a breath a bit, before hitting the showers.

 

I walked towards the far end of the gymnasium, still a bit heaving. Samantha stood near the entrance to the shower hall, popping her pop rocks inside her mouth, playing with her braids. The pop rocks exploded into squirts of pink juices on her tongue, and she showed it to me. Her eyes squinted from the sour rocks. She squirmed and squiggled, all by herself near the benches, doing her own candy cheer. I shook my head, "You've got a silly case of the wiggles," I told her. After a few seconds, she opened her eyes, and walked towards me and Melody.

 

"Practice is DONE!" said Samantha. "Can we go home now?"

 

She waved to the girls and I couldn't help but smile at Sam, as I called her. Samantha and I met in middle school when she had braces and short hair. Then she grew boobs and so did I, and we compared the lengths of our knees, and we've been pretty much the same height since then. We grew about four inches, and if we never grow again, I really didn't care.

Melody kissed me on my cheek, and sprinted to the gym showers. On her way there, she yelled at me, "See you at my bash tonight!"

 

 "I'll be there!" I replied to Melody. I pick up my duffel bag and hugged Sam, "I saw you getting it on from pop rocks," I told her, smiling. Samantha's eyes roll.

 

"So, I heard the bash is a Glow in the Dark Jam!" Sam said, sucking the juices of the pink pop rocks, as it fizzed inside her mouth.

 

Spring Semester at Silver Creek High School beckoned house parties and spring romances. Some of my girlfriends, Melody especially, called me China Doll. Being in the varsity cheerleading squad and the girlfriend of the power forward, meant China Doll has to go to the last spring fling thrown by her co-squad leader, Melody Johnston. It was just manners.

 

"How do you know this?" I asked, throwing my duffel bag beside Samantha's feet. "How come you know everything?" I looked quizzically at her, fixing her ponytail. For a sidekick, Samantha knew every update about the popular crowd, from her mutant hearing near the lockers and during lunch hours.

 

"Today is Friday, too! Oooo….date night!" Sam always teased me. "Do you make out on every date? I'd make that a requirement. Collin's lips are just too inviting to ignore," Samantha touched her lips pretending to kiss someone, then quickly licked her mouth. I truly believed Samantha was a genius, but she was also a nutjob.

 

"You know, if you weren't such a great friend of mine, I'd give you a penalty," I said. "I'm keeping you for comedic value." I love teasing Samantha, because she reminds me of a cute kitten with sharp claws.

 

As for me, I had feather shaped eyes, and soft rosy cheeks. My cheer uniform was tight, but not too much to show every curve. I got by being teased as a pretty girl and "China Doll," being the only Chinese girl in the squad.

 

"I'd make it a requirement," said Samantha, offering her chapstick to me. For a bi-racial Jewish and half African American teen, Samantha was an unconventional beauty with long silky braids, and perfect supple lips and hazel eyes. Samantha was the coquettish best friend whom Colin's friends would love to date, but she claimed she was a prude publically and announced to everyone that father was a human rights lawyer.

 

"It the kiss was consensual, it wouldn' be a crime, and there would be no penalty," Samantha joked. I giggled.

 

I took the chapstick from Sam. As for Collin, he was just perfection. The all-American boy next door, with dirty blonde curly hair, brown eyes, chiseled jaw and sharp nose. Two years ahead of me, a Senior, dating me a Sophomore. Collin was a tall and athletic looker, from a long line of restaurateur.

 

"It's going to be the same in college right, you and me?" Samantha asked, "You know I can't be left alone with all those men. I'd start charging Visas and Mastercards."  Samantha's virginal status leds to some teen sexual frustration at inopportune times.

 

I laughed out loud. "You talk big, girlie. You know human trafficking is illegal," I told her, looking into her eyes, "Yup, still a virgin."

 

Knowing Samantha's innocent disposition, I couldn't help but to shoot down her talks on sexual angst with mockery. Samantha was too sweet to talk like this.

 

With a sleek lean stature and big brown Bambi eyes, she easily passed for hot stuff. She prefers unfussy jeans, and button-down shirts for everyday wear. Underneath all the hormonal talk, Samantha was an "intelligent" from an upper-class Jewish family.

 

Samantha kicked my heels, and I tripped midst walking.

 

"You are so annoying!" I yelled, as I toppled to the ground, and landed on my knees. Samantha chuckled. I shook my head.

 

"Get up!" Sam lifted me up. "I have to keep you grounded, otherwise that "China Doll" stuff will get to your head."

 

 "Hi Angel," Collin walked towards me, reaching for my hand. I feel my eyes twinkle at the sight of him. His baby blue shirt with rolled-up sleeves and blue jeans made him looked photo-shoot ready. "Hi handsome," I said. In my chest, I hoped I was the only girl in his life. It has been two years, but I was shooting forever.

 

Samantha tickled me, and I squirmed. I gabbed at Collin, "Oh…ugh, Ah, hi, Colin," I caught Samantha's hand in mid-tickle. "You HAVE to stop this!"

 

"You are too fancy!" Sam joked. "Tickling cures everything. Even googly eyes for Colin."

 

"Sometimes I wonder about you crazy girls," Collin said. He kissed my forehead. At six feet, he towered over my five feet and three inches height.

 

"I got to go, you guys get a room," said Samantha, walking towards the parking lot.

 

"Your regular Target walk about?" asked Collin. He sneered at Samantha about her penchant for walking around stores, looking for strange items. Samantha believed she was always on a mission for something, because life was a daring mission for her. Collin and I wondered what happened to her, because she was always on a scavenger hunt at some store somewhere on Earth.

 

Samantha turned around, and stuck her tongue out, and told him, "That was personal injury and bullying. Two counts of misdeameanors." She walked away and stuck her pinky finger out.

 

I breathed in for a minute, covering my blushing cheeks with both of my hands. Collin kissed me on my lips by suprise. His kisses tasted like fresh like strawberries with sugar crystals, as I bit his lower lips tenderly.

 

"You taste like dessert," I softly told him, and kissed him.

 

"I'm so happy," says Collin, taking me into his arms. He pulled me close to his body, holding me close for a few minutes. "Wanna get ice cream?"

 

"Yes," I replied, holding his cheeks and kissing his lips again.

 

He took my book bag over his shoulders, and we walked towards the parking lot. Tonight was our usual Friday night hideaway, Sacred Ground Cafe.

 

"I have two recruiters coming for the game," Collin told me. "UCLA and USC."

 

"You're not going to CU Boulder?" I asked. "Silver Creek is a sure route to CU, Colin."

 

I was surprised because I really wanted him to stay, even after he graduates this year.

 

"No, I'm staying, but I just want to keep my options, just in case," he said.

 

"But, I thought we were going to stay here until I meet you all the way there?" I asked him.

 

"I know, but I just want to know how high I can reach," Collin said.

 

I stayed quiet and didn't want to speak to much about his decisions. But, I couldn't help but wonder.

 

Silver Creek, Colorado, was known as the armpit of Boulder, nestled between the border of Boulder and Longmont, but never making it into the big city. The city had a main street, with a charming parlor, a pottery shop, a nutrition store, a burrito joint, and some odds and ends stores that makes a quaint little downtown.

 

"What if your father wants you to go for USC?" I asked him, my heart a bit anxious.

 

"That's why I'm staying for the rest of the year, and we can talk about this later," said Collin, approaching Sacred Grounds parking lot. The last thing I wanted was for Collin to go away.   He smiled because he knew how crazy I was about him.

 

"Collin, do you want to go with me to Melody's party tonight?" I switched the subject. The thought of him leaving to another state meant the end of love for me.

 

"Nope. I don't like her, she always checks me out, although she knows we've been dating for two years now. There is just something about her that I'm not comfortable with," said Collin. "You're going though, I know you would. She's squad leader. Chinese manners."

 

He looked to me, and winked. "Yes, Chinese manners. It's her last party, and she's been giving me lead cheer for a while now," I said.

 

"I'm just going to hang out with my Dad, and maybe watch a movie," said Collin. "I just don't want to be around her. She's pompous."

 

"What do you mean?" I said. To me, Melody was a talented dancer with perfect gymnastic skills, and rumor had it, her family was royalty in Silver Creek.

 

"Well, I saw her a couple of days ago, and she kept gossiping about other cheers in the squad. I'm just not into backstabbers," said Collin. "For a squad leader to do something like that, it's looked down upon in general. My mother taught me well." He held my hand and breathed in. "But go. I know you want to end your squad year well. Give me a call this weekend."

 

"I'll stay and pay respects to her and leave. Won't take nothing but an hour, maximum," I said, holding on to his soft hands.

"Sounds good to me. Call me this weekend for sure," said Collin, shifting to parking gear.

 

Sacred Ground was always full of local newspaper reporters, following their lede for the most current news for this small town. News was, Colin and I were off the market on the teenage dating game.

 

 

 

Chapter 3 - Good Friday for Ichabod

 

 

Every Good Friday deserved a good night sleep for a gentleman's slumber, but not without a mint and patchouli bubbly lather inside this bath. The week was harsh, with trialed times on the tracks as athletes found ourselves so, and there were more mass shootings in North Carolina and the Mid-West. The television replayed the latest violent attacks on Asian grandmas crossing the street in New York, and I couldn't believe someone would punch her on the eye. If I was the man who assaulted her, I'd think twice and opted to ask for some Post-Chinese New Year Money. She wouldn't care if I was Jewish. But tonight, I wanted peace and ceased violence.

 

I swayed my sword, melamine as it may, to the Coldplay tunes, Viva La Vida.

 

"Nothing could keep this soldier from Battle of the Goar!" I said, my voice resounded through the roof of my bathroom.

The hour-long bath proved to soak off the callouses out of these tired feet. Drying off with a large black towel, I marveled at the sight of my muscle striations and mumbled, "Fierce!" as I pumped my two fists and tightened biceps. I bumped them, and whispered, "Force!"

 

The melamine sword shall rest for now, because everything deserved a re-charge.

 

I felt my hair upon my face and took a pair of shearing scissors, to trim my dark mane. Snip. Snip. Short strands of dark brown hair fell down upon the sink. "I am a good-looking monster," I uttered, smirking with playful confidence. This lad might be a bit stocky at five feet and nine inches, but my heart could crush a pride of lions.

 

Humming a few random notes, a sharp object jabbed into my pelvis. My neck strangled, and I choked as something cusped my nostrils. I felt a hand yanked out the hairs of my scalp. The strangling constricted my breathing. My legs bumped the tub and I fell to the ground.

 

"Help! Mother, Help!" I screamed. What demon attacked?

 

Crouching down on the bathroom floor, a force punched my face! I crushed down into a helpless fetal ball, as I held onto the toilet. "Help! Mother! Help!" I kept screaming.

 

"Stop abusing me! What evil ghost are ye?!" I yelled in defense. Friday nights were for contemplations, not violence!

 

My body jolted in shock, and the back of my skull bashed against the tub. Another jolt shook me from inside my body. Paralysis might be next but the stabbing pain penetrated into my gut pressing down mine intestines. I vomited with volatile pain, as clear liquid expunged out of my mouth as my nostrils dripped with body fluid.

 

"Mercy! Please….mercy!" I implored, with my vocal chords shattering in fears, tumultuous to my brains. "What have I done to your soul? O good spirit? What have I done?!" I yelled in agony. My Mother never came to help me in my need.

 

Foggy mist filled the room, as frost condensed on the full-length mirror behind the bathroom door. A chill came over me, as the hairs on the back of mine neck raised to vunerability. Rivers of tears gushed from mine eyes.

 

"Good god! Please give mercy upon this gentle soul," I begged to the invisible force in utter confusion.

 

An apparition of a young woman with silky black hair appeared in the mirror behind the door. Her face covered by her youthful hands.

 

I spoke in complete agony, "Who…are… you?" My voice trembled. "What… are…you?"

 

The pounding on the door frightened me.

 

"Ichabod!" I heard Mother's voice in feral tremors. "Are you allright?! What is happening in there?!"

 

The door was locked, as it should be upon bath time.

 

"Ichabod, open the door! What's wrong?!" she yelled, trying to break down the door. I reached the door knob with all of my sanity and stability fumbling. I held on to my gut and opened the door for Mother.

 

"Mother, I saw a ghost," I told her, pointing to the mirror behind the door.

 

Mother stepped aside and closed the door to see the mirror behind it. There was nothing but fog on its surface. She took my bathrobe and covered my body, as I sat curled up with my knees to my chest.

 

"Baby, are you okay?" Mother closed in on me. "What happened? Speak to me, please, Ichabod."

 

"I don't recall I have experienced anything like this before," I told her.

 

Another jab gutted me as I twist into my stomach with mine hands. I cried in terror. "Aaarrrgghhh!" Tears and sobs came, although nothing was around me or Mother that caused it.

 

"Baby, hold on," Mother said. Her hands capped my skull to prevent my head from a concussion. "We must go to the hospital, Ichabod."

 

"Mother, please believe me. It's the spirits again," I told her. The stomach pains dissipated, but the jabs kept on. Hitting my full conscience as if I was inside a horror film. My breathing sparsed and I felt the cusp upon my face pressed deeper. I tried to yank out of my face, this evil besotted upon my death. Then suddenly, the jolts of pain stopped.

 

I was in disbelief.  "Mother, please believe me. It's the spirits, since I saved Leona, the spirits stalks upon my life," I told Mother, as she tried to hug me. "Perhaps it was the curse of a True Knight?"

 

"Baby, that's untrue. No one dares to take your life away," says Mother, as she caressed my cheeks, calming my nerves. "And you're just a weird kid, baby. It's okay."

 

"It stopped," I said, as I rose up from Mother's dancing space. I pressed into my stomach, but there was no pain. I dared to stand up and succeeded, although mine eyes were moist with tears of fears. I breathed in peace, and exhaled hope. 

 

"Meds, baby. Did you take your meds?" Mother asked me. She opened the medicine cabinet, and took a small orange tube with white pills that I regrettably deplored out of my soul. She placed one on my tongue and I ingested the cursed crutch. 

 

"Thank you," I said, with a cathartic breath, releasing the satanic depression.

 

My father left the family for another woman on rainy night in October, a decade ago, but it seemed like yesterday. Tears kept gushing out. Was I a handicap?

 

"Maybe another therapy session?" Mother said. "And take an extra pill when you feel the jolts."

 

"Something is wrong. The spirits, they don't usually appear after a good day," I told her. "I was not the demon, Mother. It was the spirits again."

 

"Do you believe in transformations, Ichabod? It is possible," Mother said. She held me close to her because moments like these required comfort to cast away all fears.

 

"No, yes, I meant…it was no hallucinations," I told her. Why was it so difficult for her to believe in my judgement, my capacity to decipher between reality and wonk? I was NOT a lunatic.

 

"If the depression becomes worse, we can handle it together, Ichabod," my Mother said, trying her best to console me. Her disbelief hurt me. 

 

"Ichabod, if it's not the spirits…," said Mother.

 

"Mom, it is. I know it is. I felt it, that night Leona almost died. I know the spirits visits me," I retorted.

 

"Okay, okay, but if it is some other type of mental illness, we can deal with it," Mother said.

 

The stomach pangs disappeared with no more jabs, at least for now. I wanted nothing more than a good restful night. My face drooped as I walked out of the bathing room, to my bedroom, in confusion and jagged edges between my chest from Mother's repudiation.

 

"Good night, Mother," I told her. I closed the door with my belittled confidence and distrust from insanity.

 

Inside the bedroom my bed swooned me with soft pillows and comfort. My pelvic was tender as I closed my eyes in the belief all was calm. I laid on the bed, with my eyes closed. Suddenly, my abdomen throbbed this time as I felt a sting from inside my gut with redness burning through my skin.

 

"No! No! O god, please help me!" I cried out.

 

A ghostly, soft voice whispered into my ears, "Tobias, awaken and lead her to love." My heart beat a million times per second as this moment crushed my spirits again. Why tonight? Fridays were for peace.  Who was this eerie spirit speaking of?

With all the blood of courage inside my heart, I answered, "My name is Ichabod. Who is this Tobias?"

 

Soft whimpers of a young girl crying came from the ceiling as the apparition formed across my bed of solace. Sparkles came from outside of the window transforming into an amorphous image surrounding her. The voice whispered in my ears. "She is a friend, Tobias. Awaken!" said the voice.

 

Cringing for a moment, I held on to my conscience, afraid to speak. I slowly got up to touch the young girl, but the girl vanished.

 

"What's wrong, Ichabod?" Mother asked from outside his bedroom. She opened the door, as I touched the hard wood floor where she once was, touching it, and feeling it. Perhaps, it was real?

 

"I'm Tobias," I told Mother, my face taut. "Perhaps these spirits will visit again tonight, inside my dream." I knew I had a soul touched with something peculiar. My father told me it was an illness. To me, it was a gift.

 

"We have to talk to Leona about this," Mother said with her eyes scrunching like a feral kitten in disbelief. "She would know what to do. At least they're good spirits, right, Ichabod?"

 

"I believe someone needs help," I said. "Or, I might need to help someone." Feeling rather significant since ghostly spirits had revealed to an interstellar purpose of some kind.

 

Mother came towards me, and gently said, "Let me see your stomach." Her caring voice carried her far into her nursing career. She lifted my hand over my stomach, revealing red swollen marks across my abdomen, all the way down to my lower pelvic bone.

 

"O god! We must go to the hospital! Now!" Mother yelled frantically turning about like a lost pug chasing its tail.

 

"Maybe it will just go away," I told her. I squirmed with her every touch, pressing into the swollen areas.

 

"Emergencies are non-negotiable, Ichabod!" Mother said.

 

She took me by my shoulders downstairs, and we walked me to our family car as if I was a handicapped but to be honest, I felt I was at that moment. We drove me to Silver Creek Hospital Emergency Department within five minutes flat, escaping accidents, crazy policemen, and mass shootings.

 

"I just don't know what to do about these spirits you experience, all on your own," Mother said. "I'm so worried, Ichabod.

Perhaps we need some form of brand name anti-psychotics, not the generic anti-depressants you usually consume."

 

"I have bruises, Mother. They are evidence for something," I replied, in my attempt to convince her on the evidence to prove my sanity. Another twisting pain, as I squirmed on the passenger seat. "Good god, it hurts!"

 

"We're here! We need the wheelchair and a nurse," Mother told me. She parked the car and ran out of it, towards the entrance of the hospital emergency department. 

 

A female nurse rapidly came to me with a wheelchair. With Mother, they lifted me into the wheelchair and wheeled me inside. 

 

"Don't leave me, Mother," I told her. Intense with distraught, I felt fragility over my bones as if a brutal crime happened upon my body.

 

The night was restless for Mother and I, as she cried beside me. What spirits could possibly caused bruising and swellings? Everything was too baffling, too strange, and too incomprehensible, and most of all, violently traumatic. This was one Frenzy Friday!

 

Just write.

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