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Guilty: First-Degree

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I stood there on the sidewalk staring at her face. I heard the words she spoke, but struggled to understand them.

“Babe, I’ve had enough. I can’t take you back again. I just can’t. Not after what you did with her,” Chloe said.

“I never did anything with her, babe. There’s nothing to worry about,” I replied.

“Oh really!? Then tell me why she’s got some of your pictures on her phone!” Chloe cried.

“Back before you and I were together, her and I talked a couple of times. It never went anywhere serious.”

“Sounds pretty serious to me,” Chloe said.

“Hey babe, I’m sorry, okay? For now on I won’t-” she cut me off.

“No, just stop. I can’t do this anymore. I’m done. Like, really done this time. Don’t expect me to call you tonight, wanting to start over. I’m not going to. And don’t expect me to be sorry for what I’m doing. I’m not. You should be though. Deuces,” She started walking towards her car.

I stood there, walking aimlessly on the sidewalk for some time. I kept replaying her words in my mind. Each and every time hurt worse than the first time. Finally, I was able to find my way back home.
*
*
*

Once I got through the front doors, I made my way up to my room. I closed my bedroom door, turned some music on and laid on my bed.

I checked my phone, and I had a new text. In the back of my mind I was hoping it was Chloe.

It wasn’t.

It was Miranda.

I considered for a moment what I should do.

Why should I second guess this? Chloe and I aren’t talking anymore.

I texted Miranda.

I set my phone down, and decided to change the music. I decided to play a CD that fit how I felt, perfectly. As it started to play, I could feel the strong, heavy guitar chords soak into my skin, calming me.

I visualized the story that the lyrics were telling, taking me to a completely different world. The first song took me to a club, and I was having some plastered fun with a girl who just turned eighteen.

Once the song ended, I checked my phone, and responded to Miranda.

After I sent the text, a thought popped into my mind.

Why am I talking to her again? Do I even wanna talk to her again?

My thoughts got lost in the blurry in-between, as I read Miranda’s text.

I responded back.

Suddenly, some new words blared through the speakers, and changed my attitude once again.

“I thought I told ya, I came to party…”

Just then I felt the need to change the whole context of what Miranda and I were talking about. And my next response was the perfect time to do so.

I got a text from her just as I suspected.

I let my fingers glide across my phone’s keyboard, typing my response.

“So when r we gonna hangout?”

She replied within seconds, “Idk. When do u wanna hangout?”

“This weekend”

“Okay:)” She replied.

I had many ideas of what could go down when we hung out, cause I knew she was still into me, and I just happened to be into her too.

“Can’t wait 2 see u,” I replied.

“Me either;)”

I set my phone down on my bed for a minute, letting the lyrics fry my brain. As the song naturally progressed, my anticipation for this weekend increased.

I checked my phone, and realized that she wanted more than just text messages from me.

“Babe, you first,” I replied.

“Alright,” She answered after a single minute.

After I read her response, I realized I was in for an interesting night, but I knew, this weekend was gonna be a hundred times sweeter.
*
*
*

The next morning, as I walked through the high school’s doors, I noticed a fair amount of kids roaming the halls, chilling with their usual groups. When I turned down the hallway, leading to my locker, I saw a familiar pretty face.

“Hey there hottie,” Miranda called, leaning against the locker next to mine.

“Hey,” I smiled as I approached her, and gave her a hug. “So what brings you to my locker?” I asked casually, but softly.

“Well I wanted to see you. Is that a problem?” Miranda rhetorically asked.

It definitely wasn’t a problem. I thought it was cute that she took the incentive to do so.

“Not at all,” I said, with a faint laugh.

“Good,” She replied, with a smile that made her lips kissable and eyes that stared into mine seductively.

The next moment, I pulled her closer to me, and let my lips gently kiss hers.

Just as our lips parted from one another’s, our eyelids went down, and our lips touched subtly again.

Then the bell rung, informing us that first period would be starting soon.

Our lips parted then.

I took her hand in mine and said, “I’ll walk you to class.”

“Okay,” she said, with a smile.

When we reached her classroom, I gently grabbed her waist and pulled her closer to me.

Our lips met again. When our lips parted, we hugged, and I felt her slip a folded up note into my pocket.

I heard her whisper in my ear, “I so can’t wait for Friday night.”
*
*
*


I sat in Chemistry, trying to take notes. I kept losing my place in the textbook because my mind would wander other places. It kept going back to Miranda, and everything about her. Her look, her smell, her everything.

I checked my phone for the time. It was 8:40 AM. The class period still had five minutes left. That’s when I noticed I had a new text.

It was Miranda.

I replied back.

I looked up at the clock right as the bell rang. I gathered my papers and shoved them into my book bag.

As I walked out of the classroom, I checked my phone.

Miranda hadn’t replied yet. She usually replies within minutes.

Just as I stepped into English, I got a creepy text message from an unknown number.

“Don’t worry babe. Miranda will be just fine ;)”

I had no idea what that meant. The fact that Miranda hadn’t replied, and then I get a text from an unknown number, saying that, was unnerving.

I texted this unknown number.

“Who’s this?”

It replied within minutes, “Whoever u want it 2 be babe ;)”

Whoever this was, was starting to make me mad.

“No, for real, who is this?”

This time, it took them twice as long to reply, so I tried texting Miranda again, but with no luck.

Then the unknown number replied, “None of ur business, Lukie ;)”

When I first read the text, I didn’t notice anything. Then, my eyes glided over the letters again.

The only person that’s ever called me ‘Lukie’, was Chloe.

Was this for real?

“I know who u are,” I replied.

“I knew u’d figure it out. I’ll tell Miranda bye for u, before she’s gone. Deuces;)”

What did Chloe mean by ‘before she’s gone’ ? What was she gonna do…

“No, Chloe, just stop. What are u doing? Why is Miranda leaving?”

“I’ll stop what I’m doing, under one condition.”

“Okay, anything. Idc, just don’t hurt her.” I replied.

“Break up with her.” Chloe replied.

“What!? No, I’m not breaking up with her.” I answered.

“I guess I’m gonna havta tell her goodbye for u then.” Chloe replied.

“Chloe, ur not making any sense. Tell me what’s going on.” I said.

“I’m making perfect sense babe. Ur just in denial at what’s really happening.”

“What’s happening?” I replied.

“Don’t worry, I’ll give her family ur condolences. K bye. Don’t text back.”

Condolences? What did Chloe do to Miranda?
*
*
*

I sat there in a cushiony chair, that belonged to the police station. In front of me was a desk, with a bunch of papers piled and filed together. Sitting at the desk was a detective, looking over the recent texts between Chloe and I.

“Do you know Miranda?” The detective asked me.

“Yes, I do.” I answered.

“Are you two close?”

“Yeah, actually, her and I just started talking again.” I said.

“Started talking? Was there a fight?”

“No. What I meant was that, her and I dated awhile back, and we were trying to give it another try.”

“I see,” The detective stated, “Well, I’m gonna have to look at all the messages that Miranda sent, to see if there’s anything that might help us figure out what’s happening.”

“Alright.” I said, but in the back of my mind I was freaking out. Not necessarily at what he’ll find, but at the fact that she’s still considered a minor, and I’m not.

“How old are you son?”

“Nineteen, sir,” I answered.

“And Miranda?”

“Seventeen,” I replied.

“And what about Chloe?”

“She’s eighteen, I think,” I answered.

“You do know that I could arrest you right now.”

“Yeah, I know,” I replied, trying to hide my embarrassment.

“But I’m not. Due to the current circumstances, I’m going to look past this. Also, since she’s almost eighteen, it would be a little silly to pursue it legally.”

“Thanks,” I said genuinely.

“No problem. If we find out anything else, we’ll let you know soon.”

“Thanks again,” I replied, as I walked out of the police station.

*
*
*

As I got home, I realized that Miranda still hasn’t texted me back.

Maybe she wasn’t into me, like I thought she was. Maybe she didn’t have the guts to tell me that she didn’t wanna give us another try. Obviously, Chloe’s an insecure ex-girlfriend, but that doesn’t explain what happened to Miranda.

I walked into the family room, and sat down on the couch. I grabbed the remote, and pressed the power button. As images appeared on screen, more thoughts appeared in my mind.

Just as I remembered the note in my pocket from Miranda earlier today, I halfway heard the TV. The speakers blared that the jury declared Jodi Arias guilty, of first degree murder.

I took out the note from Miranda.

I scanned the page. Her pretty, loopy writing danced around the page. She mentioned a place where Chloe was keeping her. And if she didn’t go, Chloe was going to kill me. She didn’t think Chloe was going to, but she couldn’t risk it.

My brain wasn’t working right. It was still trying to wrap itself around reality.

I felt around for my cell phone, but couldn’t find it.

I gave up searching, and ran towards the house phone.

When I reached for the phone, it rang.

I frantically picked up the phone.

“Hello,” I called.

“Luke? This is Detective Jones. We spoke earlier today.”

“Yeah,” I stuttered, “I remember. I was about to call you. I know where she’s at. We’ve gotta save her before, before…” I stopped, mid-sentence.

“Luke, the reason why I called you, was because we found Miranda’s body.”

I paused for a second. My head felt like it was gonna explode.

This can’t be happening…

“Luke…? You there?” Detective asked.

“Yeah,” I tried to produce the simple word.

“We arrested Chloe today. I’ll promise you this.”

“Promise me what?” My brain was numb. Subconsciously, I knew what he meant, but somehow, something was blocking it.

“That she gets what she deserves. She screwed her whole life up. She’s only eighteen. Miranda was only seventeen. She ruined more than just two lives. Even a life sentence isn’t enough to cover up the scars that she’s created. Son, I don’t know for sure what the jury’s going to convict her of, but I do know, that she is guilty of first-degree murder.”




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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

guardianofthestarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 20 at 4:29 pm:
Very dramatic.  I wanted to know what was going to happen to them the whole time.  The dialoge was a bit stiff at times, but I think all in all it was a very entertaining read (entertaining as it kept me glued to the screen). Good job. :)
 
Diana101This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
today at 6:04 pm :
Thanks   :)
 
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