Chapter 8

I decided to stay in my room while Venus left to wait for ĎCaseyí and April with the others. I was still a bit embarrassed about the phone incident. Okay, I was way embarrassed by what happened, but the more I thought, the more I realized that my being startled was rather plausible. I was deep in thought and already tense as it was. I was worried about my friends Morgan and Dianne and what their fates were during my months with the turtles.

I still had to figure out how we became what we are, or were, or how I got injured in the junkyard where Raph found me. I was scared.

Should I tell them? Would they believe me? Even if they did, what could they do? This was my mystery. I had to solve it; I had to save my friends. I decided that a nap would be the best thing for me, so I slept. And as I slept I dreamedÖ

*******

Lights. Loud music. Laughter. Where was I? I know. The party. Where is Morgan? Sheís flirting with the seniors. Dianne? Dancing with Marco, a junior. What about me? Being a wallflower.

A boy I know comes up to me. Itís Logan, a to-be sophomore like me. He wants to dance. I say yes. We dance; itís a slow dance. He smells like beer. Heís too close! I push away. I spot Morgan; she is by the pool, so is Dianne. What are they drinking? Beer! I had to talk with them. Logan grabbed my arm. Should have known; he was drunk.

"Let me go! I donít like you, Logan!" The words come out of mouth without me even moving my lips. Logan pushes me to a wall and forces a kiss on me and I slap him. He throws me to the ground, grabs a beer, and pours it on me. Carolyn will be mad. Carolyn? She was my Aunt. Time to leave. Dianne helped me up and handed me a towel.

"Iím gettín Morgan," she announces. "And then can we go?" I nodded my head yes. I didnít want to be there either; we only came because Morgan wanted us to.

We walk home in the dark. I can hear firecrackers in the distance. Morgan falls to her knees. Great, sheís drunk. Dianne and I help her up. We take the alleyway home. Bad mistake.

"Donít go that way!" I try to say to them. The words donít come out; ironically, I lead the way, Morgan and Dianne following behind me. I hear a yelp from behind me and then two thuds. I am afraid to turn around.

I hear a cackling laugh as a creaky old voice cries, "Get her!"

I run; they corner me as I hear the voice again, but this time I see its owner. He was an old man with a scar over his left eye extending from his chin to just above his eyebrow. The rest of the manís face was covered in wrinkled, tanned skin; he wore thick black glasses and a lab overcoat. The men with him were in black; I could not make out their faces. One of the men came toward me, club in hand. He swings it toward meÖ

*******

I woke up with a start. Who was that man? What happened? I needed to know. There was a scratch at the door. I opened it and Magia scurried in. Outside I could hear the others talking and laughing. Aprilís voice sounded different than on T.V. There was another voice that I donít recognize, male. Must be that Casey Mikey had been talking about.

Magia began scratching on my ankle, something she did to show that she wanted attention.

"Okay girl, come on." I picked her up and sluggishly left my sanctuary.

As I stepped out I heard Leo say, "The girl was daydreaming when you called. I guess she didnít expect the phone to ring. When it did, she snapped out of her dream and literally jumped high as the sky and slammed right into Raphís lapÖ"

He couldnít continue because of the uncontrollable laughter that consumed him. It must have been contagious because two milliseconds later everyone else joined in except for Raph, whose face had turned as red as his bandanna. I myself felt heat rising into my face as well.

I quickly ran into the kitchen before anyone could see my beet red face. I then heard Leo behind me yelling out, "Hey, Ave, whatís your hurry?"

I say in reply, "Oh, donít mind me, LeoNERDo, I enjoyed your version of my life story SO much that I ran into the kitchen to get my own copy, just so I could follow along!"

There was sudden pin drop silence as I heard Leo say, "OhÖ" Then the sweet sound of snickers as everyone suddenly started realizing what I had said. "HEY! Wait one cotton-picking minute! What did you call me?"

I chuckled as I poured myself a glass of orange juice. "Oh, LeoNERDo, my darling LeoNERDo, what hath it matter, my so-called NERD of a friend? It hath been a true trade: an embarrassment for another of its kind!"


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