Lesson Well Learned

December 18, 2008
By Ani Asatryan, Glendale, CA

Just like any other Saturday morning, I woke up at around 11:30. I got dressed and went to the kitchen to see what was for breakfast. "Lola you have to stop sleeping so late and waking up late too, these bad habits of yours have really got to stop, I am tired of waiting for you to wake up so the whole family can nicely sit down and have breakfast." I heard this same sentence every Saturday and Sunday, week after week. I wasn't planning on changing my sleeping habits I liked staying up chatting with my friends.
My dad was home, he came back from his business trip in Chicago. He spends most of his time here with us in New York, but sometimes he has to leave us to travel for work. So I sat next to my older sister Lena, who was my only sister. Lena is 19, she is 6 years older than I am. She graduated high school last year and is doing absolutely nothing useful with her life this year. We ate pancakes, and then I drank a glass of milk and left the table, heading to my room.
My room is pretty clean, compared to most people. I sat on my computer and logged onto my screen name for chatting. I get an instant message, it's my friend John, he is from high school. At that moment my dad walks into my room and decides to give me a speech. "You should be happy I let you go on the computer, many bad things have been happening to girls your age, be careful and don't talk to people older than you, especially if you don't know them." I nodded acting like I cared, then moved on to my conversation with John.
I met John on YourSpace, it is a site where you make your own page, and make new friends. Completely ignoring what my dad had said I kept talking to John. We talked that whole Saturday morning and night. Sunday morning I went through the same exact thing and after breakfast rushed to my computer to see if he had left me an instant message. I read this one and it says, "Hey Lola, I think I really like you after talking to you so much and from the pictures I have seen you truly are one of the prettiest girls I know, I was thinking maybe we should meet up at the New York City Central Mall, please answer me when you see this. I really do hope it's a yes ;]." Oh my Gosh! I got so excited I quickly picked up the phone and called him only to tell him I wanted to go to the mall. He was pleased with my answer, so I quickly got dressed in the cutest outfit I could think of and rushed to my mom. "Mom I'm going to the mall with Christine, and a few of our other friends." I said. "Ask your father before you go, I am fine with it as long as you don't stay too long." My mother said. So I anxiously ran to my dad to ask him for permission. After nagging for over 15 minutes, he finally agreed and again restated. "Stay away from older guys, and people you don't know. Horrible things can happen to you if you are not careful, like those girls they show being kidnapped practically every day on the news!" Once again I simply nodded like I cared, grabbed my bag and left the house.
On the way to the mall I got a phone call from John, I picked up and he insisted he comes to pick me up so I wouldn't have to walk, I agreed, thinking he is such a gentleman I gave the address ,which was about two blocks from my house. I waited about ten minutes or so, when I saw a tinted black car pulling by. A man comes of the car and heads toward me. He comes up to me and says hey you're Lola, right? I stood there in shock staring at a man who didn’t look like a senior in high school but a grown man in his mid 30's perhaps. Was this John, because John said he was a senior in high school, and I was certain this man standing in front of me was definitely not a high school student. "Lola it is John, come on get in the car." At that moment those words slowly sank into my head, I realized the position I had put myself in. I tried to scream but no sound came out of my mouth, so I did the one thing I could possibly think of, I ran! I ran thinking I was safe and going to make it. But my hopes were crushed as soon as I noticed the man behind me grab my bag which was on my shoulder, that threw me off my balance and I collapsed straight onto the solid pavement.
I began to cry as he approached me, because I knew this was it, the next thing that was going to happen was him throwing me in his car and taking me to places I wouldn't even dare cross my mind. "You little girl, you really think your stronger than I am?" He started. "Please let me go I didn't do anything to you." I said in a panicking tone." Then he replied saying. "But I fell in love with you Lola, now I need to have you , I have to take you home with me , I know I can't live without you."
He grabbed my arm and pulled me up to the ground and began to drag me towards his car. I knew this was it, I was gone. So I gave up fighting and let him simply drag me to his car. We were a foot away, and he was opening the door. My hopes were completely crashed as I felt hot tears burning down my cheeks. The door opened and John was pushing me in.
"Stop." I heard coming from a close distance. The voice sounded familiar. I turned in any last sense of hope to see it was my dad. My dad had come after me, he had a gun in his hand, so John was too scared to get into the car and drive away. My dad ordered him to let me go, and so John let go of me.
I ran to my dad and hugged him with all my power and any sense of energy. "Get back into your car and get away from my daughter you sick person, you are a perfect example of some of the horrible psychos living in our world. I won't call the police because I guess I can't prove you have done anything, but leave my sight now or I will murder you before my daughter's eyes." My dad shouted in anger. That is exactly what John did without any sort of rebelling, he got in his car and quickly drove away, in fear I supposed.
After the worst experience of my life, I smiled while hugging my dad. Knowing he was standing there as my guardian, looking after me like the mother of a new born baby. I hated myself for doubting his words, for everything he had ever said suddenly felt like the lyrics to a beautiful song. His arms comforted me and I felt safe again. I was feeling too awkward to apologize but I'm sure my facial expression said everything I couldn't possibly say in any words of mine. I told my dad I loved him, and I knew he believed me. He held me tight and from that night, that is all I remember.

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