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Joey, Mike, & Sarah
I heaved the bag of trash over my shoulder and carried it down the movie theater hallway to the back door. The keys threatened to slip over the side of my pocket, but in that position, there was nothing I could do about it. The stupid movie theater uniform limited my movements and was probably right up there with suits and ties on the list of least comfortable clothing. Good thing my shift was almost over. Then I could pick up Sarah and we could get to the party. I braced my shoulder against the door in order to prop it open. A loud bang resonated as the door clattered close behind me. This was followed by a softer clink as the keys dropped to the asphalt ground. I ignored it. I’ll just get ’em on my way back, I thought.
As I swung the bag of garbage up and into the dumpster I heard a scuffling noise behind me. I turned quickly, my senses immediately heightening. I looked around the lot, the sinking sun casting just enough light to see by. Nothing. The dumpster was in a wide ally with the movie theater building on one side and a chain link fence on the other. Long yellowed grasses and shrubs grew along the sides. Must have been a squirrel or something, I thought, turning back to the dumpster and throwing over another bag. Then I heard it again. I spun sharply and caught a flicker of light in the shadows and the grasses swayed, as if by wind. Except there was no wind. Panic started to creep in now. I edged back to the door slowly, watching for any more movement. I was halfway there when pain exploded in my back and I was hurled forward.
I rolled and popped back up in a half crouch. Before I had a chance to move again something slammed into my shoulder. I was sent sprawling forward once more, except this time I didn’t get back up. My shoulder felt like it was on fire and my arm was jarred, going numb. My vision blurred and I could barely make out the two figures that appeared in front of me. One of them looked familiar, although I couldn’t place him. The other held a baseball bat. I raised my hands for protection, but it was too late. Pain erupted on my forehead, making me scream, right before everything went black.
A grin spread across my face in a twisted way. That’ll teach’im hit on my girlfriend, I thought smugly. So what if Sarah wouldn’t answer my calls and refused to talk to me? That didn’t give this loser the right to ask her out. We were just taking a little break. Yeah, that was it, just a little break. A break that can end tonight, I added to myself. I looked down at Joey, poor, poor, Joey, lying bleeding and unconscious on the pavement. Someone would find him in the morning… you know probably. Well, now, we don’t want anyone finding him too early… I frowned and told Greg to help me drag Joey behind the dumpster. Afterwards, I jumped back into the truck, picking up my beer as I did so. Now to go find Sarah.
Joey was late. In fact, he was really late. He was supposed to be here at nine. It was almost ten. He was the one who asked me out, why couldn’t he at least bother to show up? I hadn’t gotten all ready for nothing. Did he have any idea how long it took to get my make up this way? Or to completely straighten my hair? He couldn’t just ditch now. I mean, even if something came up, he could have called. A million scenarios ran through my head, but after another fifteen minutes, I was tired of waiting. I got into my car and drove down to the party by myself. I’d find someone there to hang out with.
As I pulled in and got out, an old beat-up pickup truck caught my eye. My heart sank. I recognized the truck. Just as I turned around to go back to my car, an arm wrapped around my shoulder. I knew without looking who it was. I could smell the beer on his breath. Mike. I tried to shrug off his arm, but he only squeezed tighter.
“Mike!” I said loudly, “Get off of me!” The creep still hadn’t gotten it through his skull that I had broken up with him!
“What” he said, “I don’t see an’one else with you.”
“Joey’s with me,” I said desperately. It was the first thing that came to mind. The way he still wasn’t letting go of me, and how I couldn’t get away, was starting to scare me. And then there was the fact that no one else was within hearing distance. Yeah, I was starting to get worried.
He laughed and said, “Joeeey’s not ‘a here, so I thought I’d keep you company.” He was drunk; I could tell.
My blood ran cold, “How do you know that?”
He laughed again, a sickening sound, “Cuz I madessjjure of it.”
“Mike! What the hell did you do?”
He just laughed again. “Shuda seen ‘im. Screamed like a baby when Greg cracked his head op-” I kicked him in the groin and ran as fast as I could to my car. He shouted something at me and fell to the ground momentarily. I sped off in my car before he could come after me, pulling out my phone to call 911.