-Back to Present-
I don’t know when, but Jeremy was passed out next to me. I guess he will be staying in this room tonight. I really can’t blame him; it’s…midnight. Wow, midnight…!? No wonder, we got up at three-thirty this morning. I would probably be out too except I was fuming. I got a surge of energy, hearing about what happened to Jenny. Now I understand their misunderstanding towards Jeremy. But I also feel bad for Jeremy; these past two years he has been labeled as scum without even knowing.
“So? What happened?” I questioned Ken. Looking to Jerry, who was just looking down and away.
Ken glanced at me, “You sure dude? You look awful. When did you wak…”
“There is no way I’m sleeping now,” I clenched my fists but sat there calmly.
“Just continue Ken. It’s almost to my part…” Jerry interuppted.
“Okay…” Ken began again…
-Six Months After The First Day Of School-
We thought that was the end of it. Jenny almost dropped out of school after the first day; she was planning to be homeschooled. However, Coach talked her out of it. He assured Jenny that, “No one will bring it up again; if they do they will deal with me.” Coach was pretty awesome. So Jenny decided to trust her stepdad and stay in school. All was back to normal. We went to classes, went to practices, swam at few invitational meets; just our normal everyday lives. Until…
The whispering began. I wouldn’t really call it whispering…it was more like hushed discussions; that would always seem to stop the moment Jenny came into a room. We as a group decided to just ignore them. The worst they were doing was being stupid and spreading gossip. So again we lived our normal lives. Then…
The whispers made it to functions, the grocery store, the outlet shops, etc; everyone would talk about the nonsense. But I think that day…is when it broke Jenny…
“Did you hear about that girl from the local high school,” a worker said to another.
“You mean the one that cheated on her current boyfriend with ten other boys?”
“Yeah, that one. But I heard it was twelve boys. But who cares about the number. She is a disgusting person. I am surprised she has the nerve to stay in this town… Where did you hear it from?”
I heard it from my sister, who heard it from her neighbor, who heard it from a newcomer at church. It seems like it has spread past this city’s limits.”
“Good. We need to get rid of the trash in our city. I hope she leaves.”
“Yes. But don’t you wonder what she looks like? She must be pretty for being able to date all those guys.”
“You never know. She could look like anything; she could be horribly ugly,” she laughed.
“All the more reason to throw out garbage,” she chuckled along with the other woman.
“Excuse me?” a small voice broke up their conversaition.
Both women returned to their upright positions, “Oh yes, what can I help you with?”
“I…would like…” Jenny was trying to form a sentence.
“Are you all right? Do you need anything?” The women quickly handed Jenny tissues once they saw the tears.
She had been in the dressing room, next to the women talking. Jenny wanted to confront the women at the start, but she was also curious about what the rumor actually was. Brit, Matthew, and Ken had made junior year possible because I had not heard any of the nonsense being spread. It was great to have such awesome friends. So being in that dressing room, hearing the beginning of the rumor that was about her; she wanted to know. She was now regretting her decision; mostly because she now knew she could not, and would not stay in this city another year. But here she stood in front of the women that broke her, and they didn’t care one bit. ‘They even scoffed at my pain.’
“I….I…” the tears were coming tenfold. “No….thank you…” and Jenny turned to leave the store without buying the dress she loved.
Opening the door and hoping to disappear quickly and quietly, instead she heard another customer say, “You do know that was the girl right? I am happy she is gone. She was ruining this place with her presence.”
Jenny left. She could hear the gasps from people around her. She weaved through the crowds, and finally made it to the elevator. Tears burned on her cheeks. The doors opened, she was hoping it would be a safe haven; instead the elevator was full. Also the whispers began as soon as she stepped through the doors. However, this time it was crystal clear what they were saying about her. “That’s the girl…the cheater…the female… I heard she…she did this…this is what happened…” she couldn’t drown out the noise any longer.
‘Just make it to the car. You will be alone at the car.’ The elevator opened and she dashed out before everyone. ‘Get to the car. Get to the…car…’ Words of profanity were plastered all over her car. Red paint spilled down over the windshield. ‘My car…’ The tears came, and they were not about to stop. Quickly she walked away from her car. Instead she made her way to the stairwell and started to climb.
Digging out her phone and trying to regain her composure, “Mom. Do you think you could come pick me up?”
“Sure honey. What’s wrong with your car?” Mrs. Bailey seemed to be distracted.
Jenny couldn’t hold it together and started balling. “Mom…I…” Jenny just sobbed and was unable to talk to her mom.
“Honey. Honey!?! Okay…you can’t answer. Go to the fifth floor of the parking garage. Do you hear me?”
“Mmhmm,” was all Jenny could muster between to sobs.
“Don’t do anything rash. I’m coming my darling. Stay strong! I’ll stay on the line, I’m here. I’ll just listen…I’m leaving now!”
“Mmhmm…” the sobs were subsiding as Jenny finally made it to the fifth floor. Thankfully it was not the roof; knowing from experiences that many teenagers hang out up there. She sat in the empty stairwell and waited for her mom to come.