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Modern-Day Antigone Part 7
Tuesday was a slow day at school. There wasn’t much time for talking; every class was busy with new syllabuses, new textbooks, and forms to be filled out. The day eventually ended with no exciting events taking place. After dropping off Natalie, Wes decided to run around his neighborhood. He lived in Hickory Knoll, the same neighborhood as Chris. In order to be home by dark, he would have to start towards Chris’ house; this would lead to the cul de sac and ultimately back to Wes’ house. He changed into his shorts and running shoes and was just about to take off when he remembered his mom asking for him to buy laundry detergent and milk from the store on the way home from school. He hopped in his car and went to buy the groceries from Food World, anxious to get back and run. He arrived back at home around five, put up the groceries, and walked outside ready to run. He ran in full sprint, it was a beautiful day. He loved the free feeling and the wind blowing his hair; his mind was empty, nothing to worry about. As he passed Chris’ house he slowed down to a jog, Chris was standing on the porch.
“Hey man,” Wes said in between breaths.
“Hey Wes, hold on a second.”
Wes hesitated before stopping completely; Chris looked like he was high and furious.
When Wes had stopped running, Chris turned towards the inside of his house and nodded his head. Wes didn’t know who was inside but he didn’t like the situation. Chris walked towards him and then nodded again. Out of nowhere ran out Wes’ old gang of drug dealers: Kyler, Steve, Tres, and Gage. Each member of the gang started pounding on Wes, punching him as hard as they could. They were obviously all high and Wes knew this was his punishment from Chris for taking Natalie. Wes tried to fight back or run, but one against five was too much for him. He blacked out and was unconscious. When Chris saw that Wes was really hurt, he ordered everyone to run back into the house. He took Wes over to vacant house’s yard and left him lying there in the grass. Before Chris went back to his house, he planted drugs in Wes’ backpack hoping to make it look like Wes hurt himself while high.
During this brawl, Natalie had called Wes. She panicked when he didn’t answer her call; he had never missed one of her calls before. Natalie called three more times and sent a text message; when there was no reply she became frantic. She could feel something was wrong; she had no doubt about it. She drove to Wes’ house with no regard to the speed limit. She made it there in five minutes, ten minutes faster than her usual time. She rang his doorbell and Wes’ mom answered the door.
“Is Wes here?” Natalie asked with a shaky voice.
“No I’m sorry. He went out for a run about thirty minutes ago.”
“Do you know which direction he went?”
Wes’ mom pointed out the way and Natalie sped off in her BMW. She was calling his phone over and over hoping to hear it ring. She was about to give up hope when she thought she heard the very faint sound of Wes’ ring tone. She sped up even faster, kept calling, kept praying. She stopped in front of the vacant house and ran to where the sound came from, the backyard.
Natalie let out a huge moan as she looked down at the cut, bruised body beside her feet. She wished it wasn’t, but it was Wes. She froze. Her mind told her fingers to move and dial 911 but they weren’t listening. Something finally kicked in and she started moving faster than she knew was possible. She checked for a pulse unsuccessfully with one hand while the other dialed.
“Hello, what may we assist you with?” 911 answered on the first ring.
“I just found my boyfriend beat up, unconscious. He’s not breathing.”
“Where is your location?”
“7211 O’ Rourke Street. Neighborhood is Hickory Knoll.”
“We’ll be right there. If you know how, try mouth to mouth resuscitation.”
Natalie found the situation ironic. This was the way they had first met; except for she was the rescuer this time. She had learned mouth to mouth in a health class her overprotective mom made her take last year; she would have to remember to thank her mom for that later. Right now, she had work to do. She began the process, hoping the ambulance would arrive any second. Before she even finished, she heard the sirens and they whisked Wes away on a stretcher. Natalie grabbed his cell phone and backpack, climbed into her BMW, and sped off. She was trying to follow the ambulance, but it was going way too fast. She was already driving 25 miles over the speed limit. Natalie was almost to the hospital when she heard police sirens and saw the flashing lights. “What now?” she thought. She pulled over onto the grass and the officer came over to her window.
“Excuse me miss, but do you realize you were driving at an illegal rate of 75 miles per hour?”
“Yes sir, I’m sorry. I’m in a hurry to get to the hospital; my boyfriend is hurt.”
“I’m gonna need to search your vehicle ma’am. May I see that backpack please?”
Natalie handed over Wes’ backpack trying to figure out why he would need to search anything.
“Yes, just as I suspected. Ma’am you’re going to have to come with me.”
“I’m holding you under arrest for the possession of marijuana.”
The officer allowed her to look into the backpack and then forced her out of her car and into the back of his, handcuffed. Her thoughts had never been so jumbled. She thought Wes had stopped selling drugs, he promised. He loved her, he wouldn’t do this to her. Why? She couldn’t think of any other reason to have the drugs except that Wes had really never left the drug business. She was scared walking through the prison and devastated when the officer told her she was going to have to stay the night in a cell. She asked what her fine was. Since the backpack only contained four ounces of marijuana, her fine was $4,000.00 and she had a pending jail term. She was allowed one phone call that she used to call Khadijah.
“Khadijah, I need a huge favor.”
“Sure, what is it?”
“4,000.00. I need you to bail me out of jail. Wes is hurt.”
“Natalie, I’m so sorry. I can’t get mixed up in this. I have to stay out of trouble.”
Natalie hung up. She knew it was no use trying to change Khadijah’s mind; once Khadjiah made a decision, it did not change.
Natalie was broken. She had never been trained for this type of situation, though her mom had tried to prepare her for everything. She had taken cooking classes, health classes, technology classes, mechanics classes, but never prison classes. Natalie didn’t cry, she knew that wouldn’t help anything.