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Prologue I’m Andria. My story isn’t really anything special. I lied to my mom to get out of the
house, but isn’t that what everyone does? Except I guess this is different, in my case, it ended with my death, and a hurt mother to figure it out. I was only fifteen. My story is a word of warning. A message to parents and teens of how a night of partying can go wrong. I didn’t mean to hurt my mother, but now I can’t even say I’m sorry.
Defiance “Don’t worry about it, parents can just be lame sometimes. My mom flipped out worse
than that when I told her I was going to my first party. It’s not like if she said no you wouldn’t go anyway.” Tara was speaking to me but I wasn’t really listening. She was blowing the words at me through the smoke in her mouth, her cigarette laying loosely between her fingers. “I would have found a way to sneak you out.” She breathed with a wink. I wasn’t very interested in sneaking out. My amazement was still radiating through me that my mother let me go to the party. It didn’t settle with me so well that I had to lie to get her to say yes; I told her it was only girls and I would be sleeping at Tara’s house, getting to bed promptly at eleven. She had my word, and I would text her when I got to Tara’s. Not that she had any reason to doubt me, I’ve never lied to my mother in my life, until now. We traveled to Aaron’s house for the party, Tara’s older brother driving us. She told me a story about how he was in prison once, for drug possession, but I don’t think that’s true. He’s too much of a nice guy. He lets her smoke, and go to parties, but I know deep down he really cares about her. “You wanna hit?” Tara was extending a cigarette out to me, except it didn’t look like a normal cigarette. It was thick and it looked like she made it herself. The smoke coming from her mouth wasn’t a sheer vapor anymore, it was heavy and rolled out of her mouth like stormy clouds. “Uh yeah sure. But just a few, I don’t want my hair to smell.” “Believe me, when we get to the party no one is going to notice what your hair smells like.” I didn’t quite understand what she was saying, so I focused my attention on taking in the smoke. It filled my lungs with something heavier than smoke, but it made my body feel light. All of a sudden things were brighter, I knew it was night but the moon looked like it was on fire. Everything was okay and I could feel myself wanting to get to the party sooner, to share my discovery to everyone. We finally arrived and I could feel Tara pulling on my arm to get out of the car.
“Come on, come on. I don’t want everyone to be completely wasted before we even get a drink.” She pulled me up into the house without even knocking. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I’ve never seen so many people crammed into one house before. They really didn’t look like they minded; they were moving up and down each other real weird like in the movies. It was so dark in the house I couldn’t really see, but they all had their eyes closed anyway, or they would look way off into the distance, the only thing they didn’t do was look at each other.
“Oh my god Andria I’m so glad you came with me! I never have anyone I know at these things. We need to get some shots in you girl, then we can get to the good stuff.” Before I could say anything else she put a red cup in my hand with just a tiny bit of water in it. I wasn’t sure why I had to drink it but I did. I almost spit it out, it tasted like nail polish remover mixed with acid. “Tara! Why did you give me that?! I can’t drink alcohol, my mom would tear off my head if she knew I was drinking. I thought we were just gonna dance and meet some boys?” “Of course we are but first you need another drink. Boys don’t want a sober girl at a party, that’s such a buzz kill. It makes it a lot easier too. Don’t get too drunk that you’re puking all over though, I won’t be able to babysit you tonight.” Tara’s words were starting to all run together, I don’t remember if she told me why she couldn’t babysit me or not. I really did want to meet some boys so I let Tara pour me some more. It didn’t taste as bad the second time, and I felt so warm all through my body, like my bones were hot coals.
The room started to spin so I sat on the couch next to a boy with pale skin and dark eyes, he looked maybe eighteen or so. “Hey, this is my first party, do you know Aaron? This is his house, I don’t know him but Tara comes her a lot. That’s her over-” I looked over to see that Tara was nowhere in sight. “Oh she probably went outside with Aaron, but I don’t know anyone else here.” “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.” He did a weird sort of laugh, he was looking at me but not at my eyes because he looked up when I spoke again, “What is your name again?” “It’s Brenden. I already know all about you Andria.” I was confused why he knew my name but out of nowhere he already had a new red cup for me. It was much more full than the one Tara gave me, but I drank it anyway. I was starting to think Brenden was very cute. He didn’t look like the other boys at the party, he looked smart; like he reads Shakespeare over the summer even when he doesn’t have to. He also didn’t look like he had any alcohol. I was confused why Tara said I needed to drink when the boys didn’t. I was starting to feel very good, like all my bones turned to mush and were replaced by flowers. Brenden put his arm around me, it kinda shocked me a little because a boy never touched me before. My dad left my mom and I when I wasn’t even a year. I don’t remember if he ever hugged me. My mom said he just wasn’t ready for such a special present like me.
Brenden took my hand and led me off the couch. He told me he had something to show me in the other room. I obediently followed, maybe he knew where Tara was, or he just thought the party was too loud. I didn’t know then that I was never see Tara again, or that this would be my last party.
Worry I was pacing the empty house all night. I can’t believe I fell for that ‘I’ll be in bed by eleven’ crap, no one at a girls only party turns off their phone at 9:30. I did the same thing to my mom at her age, maybe even younger. I tried to keep her from all of that, I never told her about sex or drugs to keep my baby safe. I knew that Tara girl was bad news from the moment I met her. I thought about calling Tara’s mom, but I didn’t want to make another poor mother worry. When I was a young girl I was a meth addict. I did everything I could to get my fix, including sleep with whoever had an extra rock. That’s how I met Andria’s dad. Once he found out I was pregnant he swore he would get off the stuff to raise his sweet baby girl, I guess he thought raising her meant only sticking around until her first birthday. I was just glad Andria doesn’t remember that b****rd. I swore I would never let Andria get into drugs or be friends with those kinds of people. I shouldn’t have let her go.
I must have dozed off while waiting for her call; four in the morning and still not even a text.. something was not right. All her life Andria had never lied to me, she never had a reason to lie to me. I knew how young girls work though, they play you into thinking they are just the sweetest little things and then they end up in a gutter somewhere. I know, I was there. My home telephone ringing made me jump out of my chair. Walking to the phone I tried to think of all the good reasons it could be ringing; Andria’s cell died, she forgot my number, Tara’s mom is calling. Anything but that call that parents dread in the middle of the night.
“Hello?” “Sorry to wake you Ma’am, are you by chance Andria Thompson’s mother?”
This. This was the call I had nightmares about for fifteen years. “Yes I am, who is this? Is there something wrong with Andria?” “I’m detective James Ma’am. I think you need to come to the hospital right away.” I don’t remember what happened after that. I knew I was screaming but I couldn’t hear
my own voice. It was like I was trapped in a glass box listening to myself on the other side. I fell to the floor, thrashing. I was a real sight. Knocking things onto the floor, screaming to drown out the shatter of the glass. After a while I collected myself enough to drive, I rushed to the hospital. Everything was blurry, and there was no sound except my own dull crying, like swimming in a murky ocean. I just needed to find my baby.
Finally I found her, the station nurse must have been warned that there was going to be a frantic mother coming in because once she saw my face she wore a look a dread that she would have to tell me the news. They took me to her room, they said they didn’t want to take her to the morgue until I saw the body. The body. My little girl’s body. She no longer had that warm loving soul, my little girl. Now she was just a body to look at on a bed. Like a doll you can’t really love or enjoy because you can’t take it out of the box. That was my little girl up on that little bed. The doctor told me I could stay if I want, if I don’t think I can handle the drive home. But I didn’t want to go home, I wanted to know who took my baby away. I wanted to find who hurt my baby.
The detective that called me couldn’t really tell me anything, except that Andria was dumped in the back of the hospital, probably already dead. I knew one thing, deaths and drive bys don’t happen at an all girl sleepover. She obviously did something else tonight, something I have been trying so hard her whole life to keep her away from. The nurses at the hospital told me she had a large amount of alcohol in her system, and what was showing up as traces of marijuana and LSD. Even further tests showed someone had given her a roofie. I was going to find that someone and do the only reasonable motherly thing; rip their d*mn guts out. I knew whoever did this was probably long gone, and I had no way of getting directly to them, so I did the next best thing and found out where Tara lives. I’ll be d*mned if I let her mother feel what I am feeling now. Tara might also be my only hope in finding out what actually happened tonight.