I Rize, page 1
Edited by Madison Seidler and Proofread by Chelsea Kuhel
Cover Art by Najla Qamber
Formatting by Polgarus Studio
Copyright © 2013 S.T.Anthony
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1—Monday, June 3rd
CHAPTER 2—Tuesday, June 4th
CHAPTER 3—Wednesday, June 5th
CHAPTER 4—Thursday, June 6th Day
CHAPTER 5—Thursday, June 6th Evening
CHAPTER 6—Friday, June 7th
CHAPTER 7—Saturday, June 8th
CHAPTER 8—Sunday, June 9th Day
CHAPTER 9—Sunday, June 9th Night
CHAPTER 10—Monday, June 10th
CHAPTER 11—Tuesday, June 11th Afternoon
CHAPTER 12—Tuesday, June 11th Evening
CHAPTER 13—Wednesday, June 12th
CHAPTER 14—Thursday, June 13th Morning
CHAPTER 15—Thursday, June 13th Afternoon
CHAPTER 16—Friday, June 14th
CHAPTER 17—Saturday, June 15th
CHAPTER 18—Sunday, June 16th
CHAPTER 19—Monday, June 17th Afternoon
CHAPTER 20—Monday, June 17th Evening
CHAPTER 21—Tuesday, June 18th Afternoon
CHAPTER 22—Tuesday, June 18th Evening
CHAPTER 23—Wednesday, June 19th
CHAPTER 24—Thursday, June 20th
CHAPTER 25—Friday June 21st
For everyone who continues to find the light in the darkness.
“Life is a fight, but not everyone's a fighter. Otherwise, bullies would be an endangered species.”
MONDAY, JUNE 3RD
911 Dispatcher: 9-1-1, what’s your emergency?
Mickey: She can’t breathe.
911 Dispatcher: Who can’t breathe?
Mickey: My friend. Hurry!
911 Dispatcher: Please calm down. I can barely understand you. Where are you located?
Mickey: 3467 Davis Loop Road, which is walking distance from the beach.
The dispatcher paused for a moment when the address was initially heard. She inhaled, and slowly exhaled.
911 Dispatcher: The ambulance is coming. I need you to stay on the phone until they get there.
Mickey: Hurry before her mom gets back!
Training taught every employee to remain calm during times of distress. She couldn’t as her breathing came in fast, shortened breaths.
911 Dispatcher: Did someone hurt her?
Mickey: No. No one hurt her.
Her breathing shifted back to normal.
911 Dispatcher: What happened to her?
Mickey: My friend tried to kill herself.
It was essential on the job to keep the person on the other end of the line calm. Protocol was broken when recognizable cries were heard in the background.
911 Dispatcher: Is this Mickey? Where is Adny?
Mickey dropped the house phone with such force, the battery popped out. His hands trembled as he placed the ice-filled rag on Adny’s forehead. Looking into Adny’s wide eyes, he was unsure if she was searching his soul for answers or for help. He placed his hand on top of her stomach, hoping her uncontrollable shaking would subside. Her heavy breathing became distorted rhythms of pain ringing in his ears as he leaned down close to her.
The text in view from her blinking cell phone caught his attention. He reached over the other side of Adny and read the text.
You should kill yourself already. No one wants you. No one cares about you.
He got up, turned back toward Adny on the floor and muttered, “I’m sorry,” as if those words would fix the broken situation. He ran downstairs to her stepfather’s office to wipe the revolver clean from fingerprints. The fingerprints were gone, but the guilt remained. His turn was next. The silver bullet was waiting for him.
Sirens roaring from the outside disrupted the quiet neighborhood that summer morning. Curious neighbors peeked through their windows at the commotion. The ambulance and police cars pulled up in front of the brick house.
As he left the through the back door, he could hear the paramedics rummaging through the house, heading upstairs. He ran to the beach and watched the huge waves roll up against the sand. He buried the two dice as deep as he could. One yellow and one blue represented dark memories he hoped the warm ocean waters would wash away forever.
He sat for a few minutes tugging at the tight brown curls in his hair, unable to recognize his own reflection glistening in the water. He was a stranger—an outcast in his own mind. The longer he sat, the more he drifted away from reality. The guilt bound him by chains too strong to break.
Adny’s mother, Michelle, pulled up in front of the house. She stood inside the ambulance truck for a moment, wanting one last look. As the paramedics tried to sustain her daughter’s life, a single tear sat frozen on Adny’s cold, lifeless face. She figured Adny was still trying to make sense of the world in their last moments together. After she wiped the tear away, the ambulance drove off into the distance.
While Darla, Adny’s younger sister, asked a million questions, the 9-1-1 call reverberated in the back of her mind. Mickey’s voice etched in her recent memory caused her to ignore all of Darla’s questions.
The call, a broken record unable to be stopped, haunted her mind. It was a call she would never forget. It was a call she wish she had never heard. She repeatedly relived the moments leading up to the call.
She remembered Adny was acting a little out of the ordinary, but didn’t pay much attention. Her motherly instincts failed to kick in because she was running late for work. It was already 7:30, and Adny was still asleep. Darla had missed the bus. Usually Adny woke Darla up in time to catch the bus to the local middle school each morning.
She walked into Adny’s room. The bright light from the hallway caused Adny to turn toward the wall.
“Adny, it is time to get up.”
Adny placed the pillow over her head mumbling, “Mom, I’m getting up now.”
Michelle cooked breakfast every morning—eggs, toast, bacon, and a side of oatmeal. Looking down at Adny’s plate, she noticed the eggs had started to harden. She sent Darla to wake her immediately. Darla slowly opened the door to Adny’s usual morning wrath.
“Mom said to get up now. Your food is getting cold.”
“Get out, Darla!”
Darla hastily slammed the door. Adny took a pillow and threw it, hitting the closing door. Burying her head under the covers, she mumbled, “I’m about to get up now, jeez. I can’t get a break with you people.”
Michelle still noticed she was missing from the breakfast table. The kitchen clock showed she was thirty minutes late for work. She worked at the emergency dispatch office for the city of Wilmington, NC. The job didn’t pay much, but she made enough to supplement her husband’s income. She went back to Adny’s room for the last time and told Darla to get into the car.
Michelle pulled the pillow off Adny and opened the curtains behind the bed. The bright sun shone through the tiny window causing Adny to turn in the opposite direction. She kissed Adny on the forehead. “I’m running late for work. Your sister missed the bus, so I’m going to take her. You need to be gone when I get back.”
Not knowing it would be the last time she would see or hear her daughter, she closed the door.
Tears streamed down Michelle’s tired face because the broken record was on constant repeat. With each passing moment, the memor
Walking up the creaking staircase became increasingly difficult the closer she got to Adny’s door. Her grip remained on the door handle because her eyes were glued on the alarm clock ringing loudly beside the bed. It was stuck on 8:30. Tiny, prickly hairs stood up on her arms when she realized 8:30 was the last time she spoke with Adny. She peered through the closing gaps of the door, hoping the situation was all a dream—hoping Adny would be back in her bed again.
While Adny’s family waited anxiously at the emergency room, the late bell for first period rang. Junior, Adny’s best friend, sat waiting for her in the overcrowded trigonometry classroom. Valley High School was nestled amongst the upper class neighborhood. District placement allowed working class families who lived on the outskirts, such as Adny’s family, access to better education.
Junior lived with her family since elementary school, and they’d never missed a day together. Adny always sat in front of Junior in every period. Each day since freshman year, if one of them got in class before the other, they left a note in each other’s seat as an inside joke. He left a note in her seat that morning, knowing she would laugh so hard when she saw it.
Junior listened as Miss Nora called Adny Storm twice for attendance. No response was received. Junior felt his phone vibrate and immediately left the classroom. Pressing his ear against the speaker, he heard Michelle’s voice on the other end.
“Junior, she is still alive. The doctors are doing everything within their power to save her. Please come as soon as you can.”
Junior kicked his foot hard against the rusted locker as he talked. When he hung up the phone, he pounded his hand against the metal locks, before finally leaning on the lockers, when all desires to puke had diminished. He could feel his body reach a calm state while leaning down onto the cold floor to read the text Adny sent an hour prior.
Smrtgirl57, Kandy21. I will miss you. Love you forever, best friend.
He shuffled the phone back and forth between his fingers, responding, “And always.” They said the same phrase since they were younger. She would say, “Love you forever,” and he would reply with, “And always.” They completed each other. They both were there for the hardships in life, no matter how much they fought or disagreed.
He hesitantly walked back into the classroom, dragging his feet across the floor. When he walked in, Miss Nora stopped the lecture, looking in his direction. He took the note he left on Adny’s desk and ripped it up. Everyone watched while he grabbed his book bag, but no one moved or said a word. As soon as Junior got into the hallway, he banged his head repeatedly into the lockers. Unable to concentrate, he collapsed as he felt Miss Nora’s arms wrap around him. His eyelids immediately filled with unshed tears.
“Junior, what’s wrong with you today?”
He pushed himself up, leaning his head on her shoulder. “Miss Nora, something bad happened to Adny. Her mother told me she was in the hospital. No one knows what happened.”
She walked with him to the front office to help him check out for the day. “Take all the time you need. Do not worry about the homework.”
“Thanks Miss Nora. I’m so lucky to have you as my teacher.” He quickly flew out of the double front doors to drive himself to the hospital.
When Junior arrived at the hospital he found Darla, Michelle, and Adny’s stepfather in the waiting room. Her stepsister, Terry, was nowhere to be found.
Walking in, his eyes immediately fell upon Darla crying in a corner. When he leaned in closer she said, “Mom says Adny is sick. Is she going to get better soon?”
He pulled out a teddy bear from his backpack and ruffled it against his nose. Her slight chuckle changed his mood for the better. The bear was kept in his care for ten years. Adny gave it to him one day on the bus to comfort him after a bullying incident during elementary school. It was named Sunshine and always reminded him of her bravery. Sunshine was placed close to Darla’s chest when he said, “I hope so little buddy.”
He leaned over to give Darla a comforting hug, and felt her arms wrap tightly around his shoulders. She leaned in closer to his ear and whispered, “Junior, I can’t lose you either ‘cause you’re the best brother I ever had.”
He whispered back with a smile, “Little buddy, you won’t. I promise.”
She forcefully released her grip as her tone increased from the faint whisper, “Adny promised me that, too.”
The corners of Junior’s smile shifted into a deepened frown as the situation began to weigh heavy on his mind, body, and soul.
When Miss Nora’s last class was done for the day, she sat at her desk, alone with her thoughts. Her chemotherapy session was scheduled at 4:00, but she couldn’t move from her chair. Pain shot up through her chest. She took a moment to rub the cross necklace around her neck, praying in silence.
Toward the end of second semester she progressed into the late stages of breast cancer. Her hair gradually thinned out over time from the chemotherapy treatments. She wore a printed scarf on her head each day at school. That particular day, she sported the brown and red scarf Adny bought her for Christmas.
Miss Nora had a graceful presence all her students loved, and no other teacher could mimic. She always wore a smile masking her emotional scars. Her kind voice covered the physical pain. The uncertainty of death never crossed her mind because she believed God would give her the strength to overcome it all.
Her mind went blank trying to envision her last encounter with Adny. She looked down in her desk drawer to get the folder of her chemotherapy schedule for the upcoming week. A crumpled piece of notebook paper hung over one of the flaps. It was a copy of a poem Adny had given her during first semester of her sophomore year.
Tears welled in her eyes as she vividly reminisced about the day she had first seen the poem.
After first period of sophomore year, she saw a folded piece of paper under Adny’s desk. She initially complained to herself about students always leaving trash around. Instead of throwing the paper away, her curiosity got the best of her, and she opened it. Adny came back to visit her during the lunch period. She remembered Adny searching for something under each of the front desks.
“Adny, did you leave your poem here during first period?”
Miss Nora could sense Adny’s embarrassment when she lowered her head. “I don’t know.”
“I failed to realize you had such an amazing writing style. I think you should enter the annual poetry slam contest in the spring.”
“Miss Nora, no one wants to hear me talk. No one likes me at this school.”
Adny grabbed the poem, crumpled it up, and threw it onto Miss Nora’s desk. “You can keep it.”
She always believed something was weighing heavy on Adny’s mind but never brought the situation up again.
Miss Nora walked down the quiet hallway to Principal Cooper’s office as the distant memories began to fade. She appeared in his office with no introduction and stood in the corner of the room observing the pictures of his family plastered on the wall. Their fake smiles sickened her, the closer she got toward his desk.
“Sir, something has to be done. How many people have to be hurt before change has to happen in this school?”
“Good afternoon to you, too, Nora. This situation has been an unexpected tragedy, but kids will be kids. If we try to solve every problem of every student in this school, nothing will get done.”
Miss Nora stood tall in front of Principal Cooper’s desk, watching his bruised fingers tapping lightly against the marked up desk. She was short compared to him and tried to gain dominance by changing her stance.
With her arms by her side, she projected her voice as if leading men into war. “You don’t care about the individual, but only about what makes the school look good—in other words, what makes you look good. You always use your position
“Nora, I refuse to waste school time on something that was not anyone’s fault but her own.”
The ignorance from his lack of attentiveness about the situation angered her as she flung a pile of papers off his desk to garner further attention. “This entire situation could have been prevented if you would have alerted your blind eyes in her direction.”
Miss Nora followed his eyes, which darted back and forth. “My blind eyes, Nora?”
She took a step back from his view. “I failed. I was just as blind as you were.”
Principal Cooper turned his chair in the opposite direction. Miss Nora could sense his annoyance. “Nora, I have a lot to do today, so if you don’t mind could you leave, please?”
For the first time at Valley High School, Miss Nora didn’t smile. Her facial expression showed her sense of hopelessness as the creases around her mouth intensified.
While pulling the poem from her purse, she said, “This poem was her cry for someone to listen—for someone to help.” She threw it at his bald head. “Read it right now. I want to hear you. I want to hear every single word.”
Principal Cooper’s hands shook as he slowly unraveled the piece of paper. His tapping grew to a much faster pace, and she could sense his nervousness.
Don't you hate liars and cheaters,
you know those people you thought were your friends,
but really ain’t?
Those so called saints hide their innocent
insults behind their menacing minds, until
the silent signal for a discourteous dinnertime.
But to them, it is a satisfying dinnertime,
a time where gourmet gossip, tasty taunts, and refreshing rumors
become a delicious dinner for each.