Cruel Sacrifices

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“I can’t believe this! Who would do such a cruel thing?” Andrea remarked.

“Shannon, that’s who,” Rebbie responded quietly.

“Shannon? You think?” Maria doubtfully asked.

“Why not. She’s angry that I played that trick on her brother. Andrea, you said she was mad as hell, right?”

Andrea was shocked.

“It could have been Cody, ya know. Didn’t you say earlier that she told Cody all about it?” Trish remarked.

“Yep, that’s right. Poor Cody looked all torn up!” Joyce reminded them.

Rebbie shook her head as they sat on the porch. She was busy taking the creepy doll down. The doll eerily resembled Rebbie. With its big eyes and flowing mane of hair and made-up jaws.

“Look, I did the kid a favor, all right. He most likely wasn’t ever going to get sex like that!” Rebbie laughed.

“Come on, Reb, this is serious. Someone threatened you!” Andrea told her.

“Don’t you think I know that, Andrea? Anyway, it’s just a prank. Like the one we played on Cody. It’s not a big deal.”

“Look, any other time it might be a prank or not a big deal. But with everything going on now, I’m not so sure.”

Rebbie rolled her eyes. “Any of you peeps want a beer. Gosh, we can drink since my fuckin’ parents are out of town!” she announced.

“And on a school night too, go girl!” Trish exclaimed.

Rebbie and Joyce went inside to get the beer. Andrea’s cell phone rang. She looked down at the caller id. It said restricted. Usually, Andrea didn’t bother answering these types of calls but she decided to answer this one.

“Hello,” she answered. She didn’t hear a reply. She said hello a few more times but didn’t hear anybody say anything. But she could sense someone was on the other end, deliberately being silent, deliberately toying with her. She hung up.

“Who was that?” Maria had been paying attention.

“I don’t know. A prank caller I guess. They didn’t say anything.”

“Really, I got a couple of calls like that yesterday,” Maria informed her.

“You did? Weird,” Andrea said. She looked over at Trish texting on her cell. She was so into her phone, she wasn’t paying them any mind. She was lost in her own world.

“Here we go, girls! A beer for our stressful, hectic lives!” hollered Rebbie, as she and Joyce pass beers around. The five girls greedily drank the beers.

“So I heard you guys going out tomorrow to celebrate,” Trish said to Rebbie.

“Yep, that’s right. We are gonna celebrate our five-year romance!” Rebbie hollered.

“But what about Cody?” Andrea asked her.

Rebbie blew a raspberry loudly. “What about him?”

“Aren’t you guys still dating?”

“He thinks we are. But I’m getting bored with this little dare. I prefer to tap guys that I’m interested in. Pete and Michael are my types.”

“Even after Shannon got pissed with you guys? Cody wants to continue to date you?” Trish questioned in disbelief.

“Yep, looks like it. Cody called me the other day. Begging and crying into the receiver, telling me he loved me and didn’t care about the dare or what we put online. He told me that Shannon tried to talk him out of the relationship but he persisted because he’s a grown man and he’s going do what he wants to do.”

The other girls remained quiet and let her talk.

“So tomorrow I’m gonna break up with him at the lake.”

“You’re going to break his heart like that,” Andrea scolded her.

Rebbie rolled her eyes. “That’s a part of the dating world, right? I mean it’s even more so during the teenage years. He’ll get over it, girls. They all do.”

Andrea shook her head, not quite believing it. “Let’s hope so,” she remarked.

10:00 P.M.

The friends were all hanging out at the lake again. Andrea, Tony, Maria, Josh, Rebbie, Pete, and Joyce were enjoying another weekend off from school. It was a Saturday to be exact.

They had been partying the night away. Drinking beer and wine coolers. Smoking cigarettes and dope. Eating chips with dip, pizzas and fruit salad. Laughing and cracking inside jokes since the party’s inception.

Rebbie and Pete were all over each other. Cozying up and smooching. Lately, Andrea noticed that Tony was trying to be extra nice to her. It was almost like he was trying to get back with her. Even though she was with Lee now.

He had broken up with his new girlfriend Carly. Andrea respected him the same. But she was really into Lee. Though sometimes he creeps her out a bit. Andrea rubbed her hands together. She shivered from the coolness of the crisp clear night.

She looked up at the sky. There was a full moon. No clouds but few stars she could see. A plane buzzed overhead. Light and heat from the glowing fire poured over them. Andrea stomped her Nike sneakered feet around.

She wiped dust from her blue jeans capris. Her silky, white top billowed in the night. She had her jacket unzipped. She had her hair pulled back into a butterfly twist. She looked at the others. Tony was decked out in jeans and a Riverdale sweatshirt and varsity jacket.

Joyce was wearing an ankle-length dress and the same varsity jacket. Both Pete and Josh wore slacks and sweaters. Josh wore a jacket and slides and Pete had on winter boots and no jacket. Rebbie for once dressed for the weather.

She wore baggy pants and a cardigan and stiletto boots. Maria wore ninetieth overalls, a sweater, and Adidas. Andrea took a deep breath and lean her head back, counting the few stars she spotted in the sky. Her cell phone went off. Playing Alicia Key’s “No one.” She saw a text message from Lee.

hi andrea

hi lee

wht u doin 2nite

hangin wit friends

ok dats cool

i’m studyin 2nite


oh yeah, i’m almost done though & i’m freakin tired

ha, my friends & I R having a party @ da lake

sounds boring

ha ha guess we got nothin betta 2 do huh lol

i’m just jokin

hey if U get bored, com & see me baby

all right, oh yeah, tony trying 2 get back wit me

Don’t trust him. U need a REAL man Andrea

yeah, I know lol

Tony interrupted Andrea’s texting to Lee. “Who you texting Andie? That boyfriend of yours again?”

She looked up and saw a blank expression on Tony’s face. Was that a look of loneliness and love? She wondered. She text that she’ll talk to Lee later and hung up.

She saw their other friends looking their way, with curious looks on their faces. But before she could answer Tony, she saw a visibly upset Cody stormed toward Rebbie.

“Rebekah, I love you! I want you back!” he cried.

Rebbie looked annoyed. “Look, Cody, I told you that it’s not working out. We gonna have to call it quits, okay,” she replied in exasperation.

“I love you, baby,” Cody cried.

“I told you that it was a joke, Cody! I don’t have feelings for you.”

The others remain silent.

“You mean you played with me. Toyed with my affections?” he questioned.

“Yeah, look-it I’m sorry. It was dirty. My friends and I were having fun,” Rebbie responded.

“That’s what my sister told me. I can’t believe all of you guys would do that to me.”

“Cody, just get over it, okay. It was only a prank. I mean this is high school. Kids do this shit all the time.”

Cody wiped his eyes. He snorted. He looked upset and hurt. His face was flushed a crimson red. “I won’t let you leave me. I know you have feelings for me too.”

“I don’t. I’m sorry. We were only joking with you, Cody. See we as a team planned all of our dates together,” Rebbie informed him, waving her hands, indicating the others.

He shook his head.

“Man, you actually thought my girlfriend was interested in tapping you? She was interested in doing the dare that we set up,” Pete remarked.

“Shut up, Pete,” Andrea snapped.

“You guys are unbelievable,” Cody muttered.

He rushed at Rebbie again, this time getting even closer. Grabbing for her arms. She pushed him away. They kept at it for a moment.

“Dawg, chill!” Tony stepped in.

“Yeah, Cody, you loser, fuck off!” Rebbie barked.

As Pete and Josh stepped forward to intervene, Cody and Rebbie tussled a few times more. Cody pulled at Rebbie’s arm one last time then she pushed him away from her.

She pushed him back hard. Cody fell back. He tried to catch his balance but instead slipped on the concrete, hitting his head.

They heard a loud crack, like eggs cracking against a wrought iron skillet. Everyone clustered around him.

“Oh shit! Cody, I didn’t mean to! Come on, get up!” Rebbie yelled, pulling at his hands.

“Damn, dude hit the ground hard!” Tony replied.

“What the hell are we going to do?!” Joyce cried hysterically.

“Somebody call an ambulance!” Andrea hollered.

“He’s not moving! Come on wake up, Cody!” Rebbie continued to yell.

“Guys, I’m calling 911,” Maria informed them. Her whole body shook.

Andrea looked around at them all. They were all pale, shaken up. They look terrified and nervous.

“Oh my God, I can’t believe that this is happening!” Rebbie moaned.

“Yes, please hurry he’s not getting up! He’s not responding!” Maria paced back and forth, on the phone, talking to the 911 dispatcher. She continued. “He hit his head on the concrete....he tripped...We’re located at 3301 Pine Streetlights....yes in North Little Rock...Please hurry! Send an ambulance!”

“What are we going to do now?” Pete moaned.

“Guys, just tell the truth. Cody and Rebbie got into an argument, he tried to grab your arms and, Rebbie, you pushed him off you and he fell,” Andrea stated.

“Get real, Andrea. I am not saying that. I’m not telling the police that we were arguing, and I pushed him off me. That’s like admitting we were fighting and it’s my fault,” Rebbie remarked.

“But that’s what happened.”

“Right. I just got accepted into Harvard. But I am not throwing my life away because of some socially retarded nerd! It’s not my fault. And you know well as I do that the cops are not going to believe that jive. I’m still going to be blamed because they are going to be thinking that if he hadn’t been rousing around with me, he wouldn’t have lost his balance and fell!”

They saw a shrieking ambulance pulled up followed by a couple of dispatchers. The paramedics got out to check out Cody. They ferociously work on him. The cops started their interrogation with the rest of them. Andrea recognized Officers Langley and Davis.

“And yet we meet again. What happened here?” Officer Davis asked.

Rebbie spoke up quickly. “Officers, it was an accident. Our friend

Cody fell and hit his head when we were dancing around.”

Andrea shot a skeptical look at her.

“Yeah, officers, we believe Cody had a little too much to drink tonight,” Pete said, following Rebbie’s lead.

Andrea shot the same look to him.

“Were all of you drinking?” Officer Langley wanted to know.

The friends look terrified. Moments later, the paramedics put Cody inside the ambulance.

“Will he be all right?” Andrea asked.

“We don’t know. That’s why we’re getting him to the hospital to find out,” the official answered.

“We need to talk to you all at the station,” Officer Davis announced.

Andrea stared out at the rain drizzling outside the window. It was shortly after one a.m. And she couldn’t sleep. The rain had started up again only minutes ago. It had been falling off and on throughout the night.

She laid on her bed, tossing and turning. She watched as the hours clicked away on the clock. She tried calling Shannon on her cell but all she got was a busy signal and after that, a ringing phone.

Andrea hung up for like the ninetieth time. She sighed heavily. Oh, who am I fooling?! Shannon mad as shit at us. As if she wasn’t mad before, she’s really pissed now that Cody died. Andrea remembered vividly the sound of Cody’s head cracking as it hit the concrete.

He had fallen from Rebbie’s unintended shove when she had pushed him away from her. They all standing around his lifeless, unmoving body. There wasn’t a stir from the boy. His eyes had closed and blood had begun to dribble down his forehead.

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