1- The Call
8 years before...
Beginning of Senior Year, Highschool 2007
“Makena, do it for me! You know you want to!” She begs me over the phone, desperately trying to convince me to talk to her crush. She always manages to get me into trouble with my mom by talking me into doing things I shouldn’t. When she was sleeping over last year, we decided to sneak out... Obviously, we were caught. I got grounded and never heard the end of it.
My voice is soft as I say, “Trinity, I’m not sure...“. See this boy, the one she wants me to contact? He belongs to a popular group. You know which one I’m referring to. He was friends with all the boys every girl wanted to be with, and every boy wanted to be. He was also the kind of player who always had a different girl on his arm every few weeks. Although I have tried to convince her that she could do better, she won’t listen. Her eyes are only focused on him. She would fantasize about being his girl, saying he would never need another woman if he just gave her the chance. She knew how to treat her man so that he would remain loyal to her.
“No worries, we’ll block your number! He won’t even know it’s you unless you tell him. I’ll explain how to do it!” she replied.
“Oh really, how?” My eyes roll toward the ceiling as I ask.
“All you have to do is hit *77 before you make the call!” she says sweetly. The situation made me feel so out of place. I’m actually a quiet shy person who works with the flow. You would never expect me to do something like this. I felt my heart race just thinking about it.
“Trin, this guy doesn’t even know you exist! Why do you do this to yourself?” I ask her, wondering what his reaction may be.
“Yes, he is aware of me. I think he might like me. I was walking behind him and Jesse the other day, and I heard them talking.”
“It’s probably not a wise idea to listen in on someone else’s conversations,” I reply, rolling my eyes at the ceiling. Sometimes her knowledge-gathering abilities amaze me. Although she told me once she could read lips, I haven’t tested that claim.
“Yeah, I know! But, Mak... they were discussing a girl they both find very cute!” Again, I do the eye roll because it’s obvious this mystery girl must be her.
“Ruben told Jesse that the girl they were talking about had been to his church a few times! Mak, I attend his church! You know this, you’ve come with me... I think one of us is the girl they were talking about! My only hope is that it’s not you, and no offense, girl!” She says enthusiastically. I stare out my window trying to decide if making this phone call was worth the risk.
“Trin, don’t get your hopes up. That girl could be anyone.”
“Yes, I know, but... He’s blocked my number so I can’t call. Mak, please help me.” She pleads over the phone.
“All right, I’ll make that stupid phone call!”
Oh my gosh, that is awesome. Let’s do it three ways! I can then hear what he says for myself!” she exclaimed excitedly.
“Maybe that will calm my nerves,” I say as my stomach drops to the ground and my heart races. My heartbeat raced in my ears as I silently hoped she wouldn’t hear it.
“It’s okay! I just want to hear his voice again. It’s so dreamy.” I roll my eyes. Today, I must have set a record for eye-rolling... While I dialed his number, I placed her on hold.
“Hey, Trin. You’re still there, right?” I whisper softly.
“While I listen, I will mute myself so he won’t be able to hear me.” She whispers back...
Neither of us spoke while we listened to the phone ring. As each ring rang, I became more and more nervous. “Hello,” his voice sounded, and my heart sank. It always made me nervous to hear his voice. It wasn’t Ruben; it was Jesse, his long-time friend. He is the bad boy of the popular crowd. “Is anyone there?” he asked. I knew I should hang up, but my curiosity got the better of me. I hesitated to answer, not sure what I would say if he asked me who I was.
Clearing my throat, I find myself struggling to find the courage to speak. “Uh, hello. Is Ruben home?” I did not like this guy at all. As a matter of fact, I was frightened by him. Torturing girls like me is one of his favorite things to do. As the bad boy of our school, he is always up to something. To me, it was unclear what Ruben or anyone else in their group saw in him.
“Well, he’s here. Who’s this?” He hissed, not sounding pleased. Despite his reputation, he seemed to bring a certain level of excitement that drew people to him.
“Hello... It’s me, Makena.” I softly told him. Even though I was scared of him, I knew that if I wanted him to take me seriously, I had to give my name. I had to show respect and be honest with him.
“Hello, Makena! It’s Makena Kindell, right?” I heard him chuckle. Why would a girl like you call my closest friend today?” he asked sweetly.
“I called him to ask him a question.” I had to constantly remind myself that Trinity was listening to everything he said. If he got out of control, she would know. I was careful to keep my voice calm and my words measured. I didn’t want to give her any reason to intervene. I just needed to get the answer I was looking for and then end the conversation.
“Well, you’ll just have to talk to me, love. I’ll be able to answer whatever questions you have.” He said with a smile.
“Oh my God, please never call me that!” I scoffed.
As he cooed at me, “Why not? It’s just a nickname! Plus I’m only teasing you!” It was evident he was smiling.
In my desperate attempt to get Ruben on the phone, I lied through my teeth to him and said, “Okay, whatever. I need to talk to him for biology class.”
“OK fine... If you want to be that way, here he is.” I hear him grumble as he reluctantly calls out Ruben’s name.
“Hey Ruben, I’m Makena Kindell. We have biology together. Do you know who I am?” I asked. Despite knowing I sounded hopeful, I didn’t care.
“Of course, I know who you are.” He replies.
“The truth is, I am only calling you because my best friend begged me to.” I say softly, aware that he probably doesn’t care why I am calling him. After that, I decided to explain my purpose for speaking with him.
“Okay,” he says, encouraging me as well.
“Do you know my friend Trinity West?” I asked.
“Yes, I know who she is.” I definitely heard a slight bit of disgust in his voice as he spoke.
“Good, good. Anyway, she asked me to call you and see if you liked her. She overheard you and Jesse talking about this girl you both like. She said she had attended your church a few times...”
“What?” He cut me off. I shrug my shoulders and continue. I could tell he was getting angry. His voice rose with each word he spoke. I wasn’t sure how to react, so I just stayed quiet for a second.
“I just need to know if you like her at all.” I finished, my heart pounding so hard. I was nervous. I had no idea how he was going to respond. I was scared of his reaction, but I had to ask the question. I felt a lump in my throat as I waited for his response.
“Who does she think she is? She shouldn’t be listening in on other people’s conversations.” He growled, making me glad he couldn’t see my reaction. He was angry, his voice seething with rage. I could almost feel the heat radiating off of him. I was taken aback by his reaction, but I didn’t say anything. I just waited for him to continue. “I don’t like the bitch, I’d like her to stop stalking me. I am so tired of this! It’s a violation of my privacy and I want her to back off,” he said, his voice still boiling with anger. As I was preparing to tell him that I would, I heard some more rustling noises and Jesse’s voice.
“Did she ever hear the girl’s name?” he demanded.
After hearing his growl, I spoke slowly, “Well... No. I do not believe she did, otherwise, I would not have been put up with this.” To be honest, I was intimidated by his growl. I tried to keep my voice steady, but I could feel my heart racing.
“Good. Do not call him again! You are not to speak with him! I will hunt you down and strangle you if you disobey my orders!” Following his conclusion, I heard a slam of the phone. I was speechless. I had never heard him speak to me like that before. I was too scared to say anything, so I just stayed silent.
My body trembled as I stared silently at the phone in my hand. Just now, he threatened to kill me. Does he intend to do it? My mind wondered silently. “Oh, God Mak, I’m so sorry!” she said, breaking the silence.
The experience was so terrifying and embarrassing.“Trin, why did you make me do that?...” I screamed into the phone, tears streaming down my cheeks. Sitting on the couch, I clutched my head in my hands. It should have been obvious to her that such a thing could happen. It’s horrible how cruel Jesse is. It was her idea to make me do that. What she did was wrong. It probably seemed like a funny prank, but Trin wasn’t aware of how serious the consequences could be. Since Jesse is known for his cruel jokes, she should have been more aware of the situation and not pushed me.
She sounded serious when she said, “Oh, come on Mak... I had no idea he was there. He is such a douche! I will never ask you to do anything like that again!” I knew she was telling the truth. After all, how could she have known if he was there or not? I decided I would forgive her... eventually.
Taking a deep breath, I said, “I hope he didn’t mean everything he said.” However, the sooner I forgot about it, the better. “So Trin, what are you doing this weekend? ”
“Oh, well, I’m planning to be with my brother on Saturday since it’s his birthday! What about you, what are your plans?” She seemed genuinely curious about my plans.
The plan for Saturday is for me to hang out with Suri. She wants to sleep over and stalk her guy crush!” I laughed as I thought about it. The other best friend of mine and I were really looking forward to spending time together. Although Trinity didn’t like her, I hung out with her whenever I could. She told me that we were too smart to be friends with her, despite the fact that she was a year younger than us.
“Oh, that sounds like fun!” Yeah, I knew better than to believe that.
“Well, I think you should do something about Jesse’s threats toward you.” She says seriously, but I know that she is trying to protect me.
In response to a knock on my door, I say, “I probably will. Better to be safe than sorry. Oh, wait, someone is knocking!” Due to what had just happened, I did something I normally wouldn’t do... I looked out the peephole before opening the door.
In a state of utter panic, I bolted my door and whispered to Trin as I ducked away to hide. “Trin, Jesse is here!” I was taken aback by Jesse’s unexpected presence as if my deepest fears had just been confirmed. Shaking uncontrollably, my mind raced with a million possibilities as I desperately tried to figure out why Jesse had come.