"I'm sorry, ma'am, but I can't do that. There isn't enough sufficient evidence to persecute the supposed perpetrator-"

"NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE? After he taunted my daughter and made her feel like a slut? Are you running a police station here or a circus?" Loud-mouthed and precise, my mother argued restlessly. Prison really sucks the soul out of you, I mused, sitting on a slightly dilapidated bench in the entryway to the police station. Her voice was shrill, her tone resolute. I loved my mother and I was finally glad I had come to terms with her, but at the moment, I had more important things on my mind, like prison.

The walls echoed with solitude; the fading blue paint reeked of neglect. I could hear coughing coming from a corridor and I had the instant urge to follow it, but my conscience knew better. I remained plastered to the bench, my ears awaiting the bad news. A few seconds later, my mother threw up her hands in confusion before she turned towards me. "Let's go. NOW." I could hear a slight grinding of teeth as my mother headed towards the door, slapping it as she glided outside. I slowly got up and glanced at the police officer to whom my mother had been speaking. He shook his head, folding his top lip over his bottom. It was hard being a police officer; I could see the age and wear tearing apart his skin on his forehead. Tough wrinkles and lines battered the once smooth surface. At that moment, I kind of felt sorry for the way my mother had treated him. Instead of following my mother, I walked towards the aging man.

"Umm. Hi," I said, looking up into his overcast gray eyes. "I just wanted to apologize for my mother's words. She's just-"

"Upset. I know," he paused, sending the storm my way with his eager eyes. "I'm really sorry, Miss Robinson, but there's really nothing I can do. Just try to stay out of harm's way, all right? There are too many girls your age who are victims. Just be careful."

"Victims without aid," I whispered. "Thank you."

"You're welcome."

I turned sharply and eyed the corridor of interest on my right, whose dying blue walls began to wrap me up. Everything looked so desolate, so lonely. For a second, I almost didn't want Jake to be punished, to have his life extracted from him. His life didn't belong to the decaying walls; it belonged to him…

"Happy birthday, Camille!" Alexia piped, smiling beneath a sweep of curly black hair.

"Thanks, Alexia. Thanks for… everything. You know,"

"No problem."

The two of us sat at a table, awaiting dinner at Gerry's, a pizza parlor. I wasn't really in the mood for pizza, but when Lex suggested a birthday dinner, I couldn't exactly say no…

"So what are you going to do?" Lex focused her eyes on me, slicing my skin with her glances.

"My mom wants me to have an abortion, actually. It's crazy. She's been pro-life for as long as I've known her. I'm not too sure," I tried my best to look past Lex's blue eyes at my surroundings. Everyone in the restaurant looked so happy, as happy as any August 5th could have been. I was finally seventeen and I was as happy as a sheltered puppy. My mind wasn't in everything. School would be starting in a matter of weeks and all I had done during the summer was mope over my impregnated self. Life couldn't get any better. It seemed like ages ago that Trent had broken up with me and I hadn't heard from him since, despite Alexia's ideas to get the two of us back together. Jake had steered clear, and well, I just resorted to the single life.

"Camille? Food's here, although it appears that you don't want to eat."

"You're right. I'm sorry, Lex. I really am. It's just…"

"You don't have to explain yourself. I'll ask for some to-go plates." With that, she got up and headed over to the bar area.

I looked at the napkin in my lap. There's a baby growing inside of me, I thought, feeling more upset. I'm seventeen and I'm about to start my senior year of high school as a pregnant teenager. Great. Just what I wanted to do-

My thoughts were interrupted by the sound of familiar laughing. Jerking my head around, I searched for the source. A few tables behind me, I spotted the origin, who was none other than Janine herself. Her long, brunette locks had been died reddish so that her hair was almost auburn colored and her smile couldn't have been any wider. I turned a little in my seat so I could catch a glimpse of her date. I felt a knife slash my insides as my eyes locked with another pair of familiar features. Those welcoming, loving green eyes were transfixed on mine for a second, or so it seemed, before they turned away. It was too much to focus on. She was with Trent.

I quickly got up from the table and headed towards the exit, passing Alexia on my way out. "Camille?!" her confused voice blurted out as I began to run out of the restaurant with hot tears sliding down my face. It sounds absolutely ridiculous, but I kept running as fast and as far as I could, like this was my only escape from Trent and Janine and all of the problems I faced. It was useless. I stopped a couple hundred feet from the restaurant, crying because I could do nothing else.

"CAMILLE! What are you doing?" Lex's voice seemed to creep up on me from behind. I turned to her and noticed her lack of breath and her reddened cheeks. Her fingers frantically clung to the food plates. "What the hell is wrong with you?" You could have been hit by a car or something. Damnit. Tell me what happened." She put the food on the ground next to her and then she rubbed my back in small circles with her left hand.

"I saw him." The words rolled out of my mouth slowly, poking the air to see if it was all right to break free.

"Who? Jake?"


"Really? We should go talk to him!" Her eyes lit up.

"He was with Janine," I added, wiping my face.

"Oh," Alexia looked away. "He was."

"I pulled away. You knew, didn't you?"

"Knew what?" Confusion drew its reflection upon her dark eyebrows.

"About him and her. You all knew and you didn't tell me."

"I don't know what you're talking about, Camille. I've only seen them together once this summer."

"Sure," Everything had just gotten worse.

"Look, let's get you home. This was a big mistake. I'm sorry,"

"It's not your fault. It's mine," I sobbed a bit more before we left.

I generally enjoyed sleep, but that was before I got pregnant. It was now August 25th, and East Ridge High School would be starting the next day. Everything was set: my schedule, my situation, my life, and frankly, there was nothing I could have done about it. I had spent the rest of my August wondering about the baby and about myself. As my days had turned to upheavals of vomit and temper tantrums, I had managed to push away those who were the closest to me: my mother and Alexia. My mother now spent most of her evenings with Michael, who I could have she was engaged to, and Alexia ignored my phone calls. I had killed two birds with one stone literally, and the highlight of it all was yet to come. Insomnia never did my stomach any good and this night was no exception.

Glancing at the alarm clock numbers in all of their red fuzziness, I deciphered 2:15. So I would be drowsy on my first day, how attractive. My mind (and my stomach) weren't feeling my bed, so I got up and headed downstairs. Groping around in the dark, I felt my way to the door and the key holders that were next to it. As noiselessly as I could, I let myself out, locking the door behind me.

It was happier outside than in my mind, despite the pitch curtains and the bellowing trees. I began to walk in no particular direction. The wind was calming against my nervous, mostly bare skin, and the ground was soothing to my tired feet. I wandered aimless, a nomad of the night, until I came upon the neighborhood playground. I almost ran to the swing set, letting all of my childhood memories flow back to me like ghosts of time. The creak of old rust was delightful when added to the roaring of the wind. It was almost therapeutic to sit there, swinging back and forth, alone. Or, I thought I was alone.

I must have been swinging idly for about twenty minutes when I heard footsteps behind me. Instinctively, I clutched my house key, as it was the only available weapon I had. My head turned slightly in the direction of the sound, and amidst the fading streetlamp luminescence, I could make out a silhouette. My legs halted the swing as I looked upon the shadow. For some odd reason, I wasn't scared.

"Never fancied I see you here, alone, at this time of night. I thought I'd at least see you tomorrow," a suave voice bellowed, glorified by the wind's magnificence. A lopsided grin emerged from the darkness first, followed by a jean and t-shirt clad Jake. He looked a bit different from the last time I had seen him in my room. His was a bit more muscular and he seemed taller, more intimidating. "Hot date?" he mocked me, taking the empty swing next to me. I looked away and kicked my feet in an effort to start up the swing. Jake clutched my arm and I stopped.

"I haven't seen you in a good two months and this is how you act?" His breath was warm against my goose bump laden face. He grabbed my hand and tugged. I got off the swing as he continued to drag me towards him. His lap welcomed my body with ease. My old ways were winning. I could almost feel him sucking my soul in the same manner of the blue walls of the jailhouse. I was so desolate, so empty, and so needy that his touch had the effect of an antibiotic. "We're seniors, Camille," he whispered into my ear.

"Mmm hmm," I mumbled, titling my head back into his chest.

"This year is going to rock hardcore," he thought aloud.

"Not for me," The words were out before I knew it. Jake's grip tightened. "I'm pregnant," followed after.

"Cut that shit out, Camille. What did I tell you about this earlier?"

My senses came to, resulting in my leap from his grasp. "I'M PREGNANT, JAKE! PREGNANT!" I yelled to him, casting my woes to the wind.

"Shhhh, you'll wake up someone up." His voice turned sharp.

"NO. I'M NOT GOING TO SHUT UP." I could feel the heat rising in my chest. The goose bumps sunk back into my skin.

"Camille, tone it down." His voice was firm. If the lights had been brighter, I would have been able to see his face bleeding with anger.


I heard Jake get off the swing and soon I felt his arms around me. "Leave me alone!" I tried to scream, but the words were lost in the sobs.

"Camille, you have to stop this. You're going crazy. I miss the old you, the-"

"Slut? Is that what you wanted to say? Go ahead, say it. Everyone else is."

"I just miss the old days, that's all." He wrapped himself closer.

"The pre-pregnancy days? Gosh, Jake, I miss them too."

"Fuck this!" he let go quickly. "You are NOT pregnant!"

"I am!" I cried feverishly. "I am!"

"NO YOU AREN'T. Don't tell me that. Fuck, don't tell me that! I know you messed around with Trent. Don't even bring up the idea that it's mine!" Anger laced his words.

I felt my legs buckle and I collapsed to the ground. The firm ground welcomed my salty face. I continued to cry. I heard Jake laughing. His footsteps moved closer to me and soon he was sitting next to me. "Camille, I really hate to see you like this. You're better than this. Look, just abort it and move on. I want to start over with you."

"START OVER?!" I jerked my head up so quickly, my neck hurt.

"You know, I actually liked you before and after the Trent era."

My ears stung from the bite of his words. He wanted me to abort the unborn child, to forget about everything, and start afresh with him? My hearing must have been impaired.

"Trent didn't give a damn about your relationship. You know he's back with Janine, right? I joined the football team and it looks like Janine has joined the cheerleading squad. Trent picks her up every day. They always fucking making out for everyone to see. Whores," he said more to himself than to me. I couldn't digest anything he was saying. Abortion. A fresh start. I couldn't. I wouldn't. He had had his way with me…

"Camille?" I felt his fingers tap my cheek. I opened my eyes. I hadn't noticed that they had closed. "Let me walk you home."

"No. I'm not ten years old. You're going to jail,"

He clutched my chin in his hand. "Don't say that again. I'm warning you. What evidence do you have, Camille? It's your word against mine. You're the slut, remember. No one will believe one word you say. You follow my lead and you'll be okay. I'll even go to the clinic with you. A new beginning, all right?" Even in the dark, I could feel his hazel eyes boring a hole into my head. "You have no proof. Give it up already. I've thought about you too many times to count this summer. I might be in love. Crazy, right?"

I climbed to my feet; his words rang in my ears. "You have no proof. Give it up already." I'd show him proof. I'd create it all. "You're right. So, you and me?"

"I knew you'd see the light," he mumbled, leaning forward. He kissed me and inside, I smiled with vengeance.

It's been a full year since I've updated this story. To anyone who still reads this, enjoy. I have an idea for the remainder of the story. Hopefully, I'll get it together before I start college!