This is a short story about Mary, who is a sophomore in high school. Her best friend’s name is Lindsey; they are inseparable. There was a junior in high school, which caught Mary’s eye. He was tall and handsome and had muscles on top of muscles. She told Lindsey all about him, “Look, there he is! No, don’t stare at him.”

Jason noticed Mary looking at him too. He had his eye on her for a while. Jason was out of school more than he was there. Jason found Mary at her locker and asked her to go out with him. She gave him her phone number and they had a date the next night.

Mary was sad because Lindsey was leaving for New York to spend time with her father. Lindsey missed her dad and hasn’t seen him since her parents divorced. Now she was going to spend the entire summer with him. Two more weeks and then summer break!

Mary’s date with Jason went great; they went out to dinner and to see a movie. They were going to a concert next Friday. They hit it off; they spoke on the phone for hours, every single night. Lindsey and Mary said their goodbyes with promises to text and talk as much as they possibly could. Lindsey didn’t want to leave Mary, she didn’t say anything to Mary yet, but there was something that Mary didn’t like about Jason. She told herself she would talk to her about it as soon as she was settled in New York. Lindsey had a hard time talking to Mary about it because Jason was always with Mary, if not together, always on the phone.

Mary was sad she was leaving but now that she was officially dating Jason it didn’t bother her too much. She thought for sure that all the other girls in school were jealous because her new boyfriend, Jason, was so fine!

Mary’s mom, Sandy, had noticed a change in her daughter, she was moody. Mary seemed like she was on edge all the time. If Mary wasn’t with Jason, she was on the phone with him until all hours of the night. Sandy reminded Mary that they were going to visit her grandma on Saturday. It was a long ride to the nursing home. Mary always looked forward to seeing her grandmother; they were always very close. Mary knew that it was only a matter of time before her grandmother would no longer remember her. She missed her so much!

Mary knew it would be difficult to tell Jason, she had already pleaded with her mom to let Jason come with. Her mom had said no, she told her that she needed a break from Jason.

She was going to tell Jason on Friday when she saw him that she was going to visit her grandmother for the day on Saturday. She just knew he was going to be upset about it. They had been dating for two months now and have never been apart. Jason had hinted around to Mary that she was the one and only for him. The one he wanted in his life forever!

Jason picked up Mary at 7:00 pm; they were going to a friend’s party. They were going to grab something to eat beforehand. Before they went into the restaurant, she turned to him and told him that her mom had already made plans with her to go visit her grandmother at the nursing home tomorrow. Jason was livid! Jason didn’t believe her, he started yelling at her and calling her mean names! You’re lying! You are using that as an excuse to go meet someone else! You’re breaking up with me aren’t you! Mary could not believe what she was hearing. At this point Jason was yelling at Mary, and Mary was yelling back at Jason, she was defending herself to him. Shut up! Shut up, Jason yelled, and then whack, Jason backhanded Mary right in the mouth. Her mouth was bleeding. They put a napkin on it, Jason drove through the drive thru and got some ice to try and stop the swelling. Oh baby, I’m sorry! I never...oh forgive me! I love you so much; you know that I would never mean to hurt you. It’s all your fault, if you would have shut up, this never would have happened. Mary was sitting there holding the napkin with ice, on her lip, she was crying softly. She couldn’t believe the nightmare she was in. Dam it, why didn’t you just listen to me? Look, you know I love you, you know you mean everything to me. I had something special planned for us tomorrow. I was looking forward to it, and then you cancelled. This is all your fault. But anyway, I still love you very much. In between all the talking that Jason was doing, he bent over every couple of minutes to kiss Mary. He was nervous because he didn’t know for sure what she was going to do.

It was getting late now; they had talked for quite some time. Mary knew her mom would be asleep by the time she got home. Mary couldn’t wait to get home and get out of Jason’s car; her head was swimming. Mary tiptoed into the house.

You see it was at this point she had the chance to make the decisions necessary to change the direction her life was going. Let’s discuss what options Mary had.

1. While she was with Jason, she could have said that she had to go to the bathroom and could have gone into the restaurant and called the police right away. She could tell the manager to call the police. She could have locked herself in the bathroom and called the police from there. She needed to go with her gut feeling. Her gut feeling was she wanted to get away from Jason.
2. When she went into the house, she could have woken her mother up right away and told her everything that happened on her date with Jason. Her mother could call the police.
3. She could talk to Lindsey about it, or her school counselor or teacher or another friend. The important thing is to tell somebody. Either you or they can contact the professionals. This is no matter to take lightly.
4. What about Jason? Well, he could have the police called on him, an order of protection served on him, etc. Jason was grooming Mary and what he was going to do next depended upon what Mary was going to do. If Mary went back with Jason, it would show him that she would stick by him no matter what. It just made it that much easier for him to do it again to her if he felt like it, it would just take a few “I love you's” to get her to believe him.

Mary never told anyone, she told her mom that she didn’t feel good so she wouldn’t have to go to the nursing home to see her grandmother. Her mom cracked open the bedroom door “are you sure?” Mom said. “Yes, I’m sure.” Sandy never saw her daughter’s face, she was turned the other way. Mary’s life spiraled down. Even her best friend had tried to help her. I love him; he doesn’t mean to do this to me! Lindsey said “you need to get away from him before he hurts you seriously, or even kills you.” You’re just jealous Lindsey, he’s the finest boy in the school, and I love him.

What would you do?

Author's Bio: 

My name is Tami Principe and I live in Illinois. I am married and have two sons and two grandsons. I love anything outdoors. I also love museums and traveling. I have worked in the fields of Sales, Marketing, and Business Development and in the Customer Service arena. I have always been the type of person to roll up my sleeves and jump right into the guts of an operation. The one thing that I missed very much that I use to do when my children were little, was volunteering. I always wanted to give back. That is such a wonderful feeling. So when my position became outsourced, I was left with a considerable amount of time on my hands. I am the type of person that has to remain busy pretty much all of the time. So I created a website. I wanted to help other women so I wrote an extensive four part series on Domestic Violence. From that point, I wrote more and more articles offering encouragement and support to other people. From there I started my own radio talk show. I have a variety of topics that are discussed, I mostly interview authors. I have a Book of the Month and once I interview the author, I post their book on my website. I am also a guest speaker at various functions. My goal is to educate and it is through this that they will make an informed decision.

I have written two books that are soon to be released, “Walk In Peace” and “My Soulful Journey.” Both of these books are inspirational tools. Both are full of life’s lessons, not just what it means going through them, but the lessons learned when you reflect back on it.