Betrayed —Part I
Everyone was having a blast, drinking, and smoking. Hell, some were even dancing. Sam, my best friend has made everything possible in the party he threw at his house. Barrels of beer, snacks, music, weed, and girls. It had almost everything needed to make my head spin. Pleasure.
A couple of days before the party, Sam tweeted on his account: “Y’all ready for the party this Friday? Bring on the fun!” He seemed to be very enthusiastic about it, and I never thought he would collapse the next day.
“I thought you’re having a party tomorrow,” I said, while I kept a firm gaze on his face. “What happened?”
There was definitely something wrong. He stared for minutes at his cup of coffee, I almost asked again. He took a deep breath, his chest inflated like a big birthday balloon. “I’m sorry Chris,” he said. He tilted his head down to the right and was almost staring again at the ground. “What do you mean, what happened?” I asked.
“No no, nothing,” he said as he briskly scratched his chin. “It’s just… Chloe left me.”
“And Chloe is?” I said. I was surprised. Could he be having a girlfriend without me knowing? His eyes opened widely. “I’m sorry,” he said again. “I.. It’s complicated.”
We left the cafeteria to the chemistry class. He sat down in the third row, staring blankly at the board. Mrs Johnson noticed him but said nothing. I knew it wasn’t about a girl. It was something else. I wished I knew what it was about.
Later on that day, I roamed around the campus and I heard a group of students talking about the party. I looked up at their faces, briefly but thoroughly. I recognized some of them, and I could tell they weren’t close to Sam. Not as close as I was. Although he had made some relationships with many people without my attendance, I precluded the idea that they knew. I passed by them, acting preoccupied, staring at the floor while walking with vigilant steps.
“Yeah man, it’s weird,” one of them said. I slowed down. “But I don’t think it’s something that has to do with the party,” he continued.
“Gary says that it’s something police-related,” another one added. His eyes were wide open, and they all stood in bewilderment. The silence was apparent, and I thought they noticed me, thus I calmly walked the other way.
I got home and shut all the electronic devices in my room. I did not want to end up in prison just like my father. I thought about it overnight, and I couldn’t be more sure that Sam has nothing to do with felonies. Most importantly, his father is a renowned doctor, not an infamous drunk alley guy.
On Friday, the day passed quickly, my mom said I shouldn’t be staying home, and I should be going out with my friends. I told her that Sam was throwing a party tonight, and boy she was happy about it.
“I’m finally out huh?” I said as I sat down on the couch.
“Really son, you should hang out with your friends more often. It’s not healthy for you to stay indoors.” She stirred her cup of tea then sat next to me.
“I’m going mom, he’s my best friend.” I stared at the television, where mom had been playing Law and Order. She stared at me, and I knew she stared, but I couldn’t say anything, I knew what was coming. Instead, I grabbed my phone and acted like I’m distracted; well, not really, I needed to read those messages in my inbox, but she kept staring curiously, examining my eyes and facial expressions.
“What mom?” I put the phone down and inhaled deeply.
“Do you want to say something?” She smiled as she sipped her tea.
“Bon appetite? I don’t know. Nothing,” I said as I gazed back at the television.
“Fine, I’m here in case you needed a shoulder to lean on.”
I said nothing, and while we watched Law and Order, I thought I should call Sam. I mean, after all, I need to know what’s up, because I am his best friend. But something held me back from calling. I don’t know, maybe I was afraid it had something to do with the police or was it maybe the sound of my mom sipping her tea. I didn’t care, and I definitely didn’t call.
Tonight we’ll meet, and then I’ll know, I thought to myself.
In school, I met with Chloe, the only Chloe I know in school. Although we didn’t have quite the relationship, we talked about school now and then, nothing serious. She helped me with the assignments, and I helped her with social interactions, at least that’s what I believe I did. I said hi, and she couldn’t take her eyes off me.
“Chris!” She shouted the moment she glanced at my presence.
“Hey Chloe! How are you doing?” I said as I held my backpack.
“Nothin’ much, boy! How you doin’ these days?” she adjusted her blue bandana that almost covered her blonde hair, with light blue shadow on the ends. She wore a ton of bracelets on her left hand, most of which were gifts from her friends.
“Usual, school… Home…” I stared at the ceiling. She started laughing and poked me on the shoulder.
“Dummy, I asked you how you feelin’, not what you hate.”
I smiled slightly, and she kept staring into my eyes.
“I was wondering, do you know any other Chloes in the school?” I asked while I crossed my arms.
“Yes, there’s Chloe Martez!” she said quickly. Her eyes widened, and she looked around the area as if she had something critical to say. She pulled my arm and dragged me all the way near the big tree in the campus.
“That Chloe,” she paused. “Her father is a member of an infamous drug cartel. I know her from elementary school. If that’s your target, I recommend you step back.”
I stared at the building across us while she whispered in my ear. Fine, maybe she’s the one that has to do with Sam.
“Is she the only Chloe beside you?” I asked as I stared into her eyes.
“Yes, and yes I am sure, and no I don’t have anything to do with her, and no I can’t introduce you to her.” She smiled briskly, observing her pink fingernails.
I laughed, and before I knew, it was time for class.
“I’ll see you,” she said, turning to the left path, leading to the sciences facility.
I went the other way, and in Mr. Thompson’s class, I saw Sam as I entered the room. I glanced at the people around him, then gently put my backpack down and sat across him.
His eyes never moved off the pencil he was playing within his hands, he looked terrified, and I was worried about him. I needed to confront him as soon as possible; today, and before the party.
I crumbled my English papers right inside my backpack. I kept watching Sam staring at the wall while I grabbed my backpack, and I stood before him.
“Sam?” I said, looking at Mr. Thompson leave the room. I coughed. “What’s up?”
He breathed heavily, and I could tell he wanted to say something, but something else kept him quiet. I moved the two chairs leading to his seat and rested on one of them. He noticed my presence but kept looking at the wall. I said nothing. The quietness killed me. And though I could clearly see where that was going, I didn’t stop.
“Leave me alone,” he quickly said, jumping off the table and just vanishing.
I stayed seated for two minutes after he was gone. I went back home and I felt nothing but nothingness. I thought I would actually be better without him. For now, at least. Something was off.
My mom smiled at me as I entered the house. “You must be excited about the party, Christopher!”
“I’m not going.” I put my backpack aside. “I don’t feel well.”
“I’m not buying it. He’s your best friend.” My mom put the black cooking pot down.
“Was. I am better off without him.”
“Chris, you’re going. Period,” she exclaimed. She posed near the kitchen table, eye-threatening me.
I gasped and sighed. “Oh please!”
I went to my room, shut the door close, and called Chloe.
“I was wondering, are you going to tonight’s party?” I coughed.
“Sam’s? Yeah sure! You’re coming aren’t you?”
“I… I don’t know. There is a small issue between us two. I am really concerned.”
“Then that’s why you should go!”
I took a deep breath. “Ahh, you’re right I guess.”
“I’ll see you there.”
She hung up, and I thought she was right. What could possibly go wrong? I’ll just return home if anything bothers me.
I did go. And I glanced at Sam the moment I entered his house. He was, in a way I could see it, happy. So it either was Chloe returning to him last minute before the party, or he was hating me for something unknown, for me at least.
I drank some water, then sat outside in the backyard, contemplating the people.
“Psst,” a voice said behind me. “You’re lame, Christo,” it continued.
I looked behind me to see Chloe holding a couple of beer glasses, handing one over to me, slightly dripping some on my shirt. She quaffed the whole thing in five seconds, and I knew I had to fix it. Chloe was shutting her eyes close, it wasn’t her first glass, but sure was her last for tonight. I was paralyzed. I just drank with her. And we sat for minutes before she quickly stood up, she went behind me near the big tree. I didn’t look as she threw up all the beer she gulped half an hour beforehand.
She held my hand as I stared at her pulling me. “Come on Chris! Let’s dance.”
I got up, unfortunately, to see Sam. He was laughing with a group of senior students. He noticed me meters away and his face changed. And we danced, and I drank like five more glasses before I fell down unconscious. That’s all.
Not really though, I wished it was. I wished my life stopped there.
I woke up after the party, slightly oblivious, and I checked my phone, it was 2:37 am. and my mom had called like fifty times. It was dark and quiet. I guided myself through the room with the phone’s torch, crawling. I reached the door, but it wouldn’t open. I scanned the room with the light and it was empty. Now I panicked. It smelled weird too, and I felt like going back to sleep.
For an instant, I thought and wished it was a prank by Sam and Chloe, but I heard noises outside.
“He’s inside here?” someone shouted in a distinctly Mexican accent.
The door opened and he turned the lights on. A tattooed gangster stood near the door, puffing smoke out of his mouth, and holding an AK-47 by his side, the one I used in some of my video games.
“You the motherfucker Chris?” he said, pointing his weapon at me.
I nodded. And then Sam entered the room, followed by a girl with long black hair, wearing red and white clothes, and black high heels. Sam sighed, he didn’t look at me for too long.
“That’s him,” he said.
“Shame,” I said, spitting in his direction. The man quickly held the weapon and hit me on my shoulder, shouting “Don’t play with me.”
I stared at him while wincing.
“We got a surprise for you perro,” the man said, laughing out loud.
He snapped his fingers near the door. And another Mexican guy came in, holding a tight grip on Chloe’s hands. She was unconscious, he dumped her on the floor, and she slept, not far away from myself.
I stared at her, not knowing what to do. I couldn’t believe I dragged her into this with me.
“She has nothing to do with this,” I said, staring at Sam. “I don’t even know what have I done to you.”
“Ha, sure you don’t.”
The Mexican guys left the room, and then Sam stood at the door, while the girl followed the other guys.
“You can call the cops, just be careful,” said Sam, closing the door.
And I sat there, sweating like a pig. I failed to know what was wrong. I had to call someone, the police, but I hesitated. And then I remembered mom, but again, I couldn’t, for many reasons. She would have been helpless to me.
I moved closer to Chloe, letting out slow breathes. I touched her, then gave her a quick shake by the shoulders, then held the shoulder muscles, and pressed hard.
She woke up, shouting, and I closed her mouth, calming her down. After she became aware of her surrounding, I lied down beside her.
“Anatomy didn’t fail me,” I exhaled. “And I didn’t fail you, did I?”
“Where are we? And why are we alone?” she asked, staring blankly at the ceiling. “I can’t feel my legs, I can’t feel my back. I can’t feel my body.”
“I am afraid I can’t give you an answer. I don’t know.”
“Is the party over?” she asked. “Oh fuck, I know I drank too much.”
“It doesn’t seem to be the case,” I said as I winced, failing to sit. “I told you I shouldn’t have come.”
“Why? You didn’t die, unless we’re in heaven.” She started laughing hysterically, then moaned out of pain.
“Sam is one douchebag, I’m going to kill him,” I said. “I can’t believe this.”
“Is he the one who locked us up in here?” She asked, now closing her eyes.
“Partially.” I paused for a second. “He’s pointing at me for something I’m sure I have nothing to do with.”
“Wait! Chloe,” she said, slightly moving her body.
“What about you?” I asked.
“Not me! Chloe Martez!” she yelled and sat up.
I sat up as well, then stared at her. “Martez! She’s Mexican?”
“What do you think?” she said. “That bitch! Did anyone overhear us while we talked about her?”
“I doubt it. But it’s way before that. Since Sam started avoiding me, I felt it had something to do with her. Especially when he said that she left him.”
“The fuck do I have to do with all of this?” she yelled again.
“Quiet, I don’t want to die. Please.”
She touched her pockets and took out the phone.
“I’m gonna call the cops,” she said, starting to touch the screen.
I took the phone quickly, turning it off. “Please don’t.”
“Chris! What are you do — ” she stared at the door, and I did too.
We heard steps coming closer to the room. She grabbed her phone that almost slipped out of my sweaty hands. I gazed at it, paying attention to the door.
And she dialed 911. I swallowed a big gulp of fear and anxiety. And the door slammed open.
It was the Mexican guy again, holding a loaded (I know when it is) AK-47, smiling at us.
“911, what’s your emergency?” the call-taker said. The phone sat in Chloe’s hand, while she stared fearfully at the gun.
The Mexican guy aimed at us, at her, to be exact. He started laughing gradually, swaying the gun in a circular motion, then lifting it up to his chin.
Chloe put the phone down, and I hung up the line, looking at him.
“Good girl. Come with me now,” he said, putting the gun down.
“Where are you taking her? She has nothing to do with this!” I said.
“I know,” he said calmly. “That’s why she’s going. Let’s go.”
I looked at her, and she looked at the floor. Then she breathed deeply and started moving.
“Let’s go,” he said again. “I’ll get back to you.”
And they disappeared. I was alone for two minutes until Sam entered the room. His hands were empty, for which I was delighted.
“Back again, for more disgrace,” I said, sighing.
“You’re a disgrace to your family. How dare you fucking talk?”
I started laughing. “You’re not going to enjoy what’s gonna happen to you.”
“Surprise me, big boy,” he said, laughing. “You’re going to die, let it be known for you. Oh, and your girl? I hope she enjoys the company of my girl, she’s gonna have fun killing her, silently.”
I nodded, removing the smile off my face.
“I can’t believe this,” I shouted. “What happened to Sam?”
He sniffed, smiling. “He’s gone, I’m Samuel. And you’re dead. I’m sorry.”