Christmas break had just started and a chilly gust of air blew right through me as I walked up to my front door, still in shock from the night’s trauma.
Dave called me as I was driving home from my boyfriend, Mike’s house and said that he needed to talk to me about Julie, my best friend and his girlfriend. Because we were also good friends, I, of course, agreed. He was driving home from a basketball camp and said he would call again when he was on his way over. I thought nothing of it because I knew that he and Julie had recently taken a break from each other in order to possibly save their relationship, just like Mike and I had done almost three weeks earlier. I figured he wanted to ask me questions about how Mike and I were handling it and what he could do to reconcile with Julie.
He called around nine o’clock and said he had just driven across the causeway and would be at my house in five minutes. I hurriedly threw on a sweatshirt over my long-sleeved t-shirt and jeans. Dave came to the door and told my parents we were going out for ice cream. My mother knew better and flashed me a questioning look because I am lactose-intolerant and cannot eat ice cream. But I shrugged it off thinking that he just didn’t want to tell my parents that we were going to go talk about our respective relationship problems.
We climbed into his white Jeep Cherokee and headed out of my neighborhood.
I asked him, “Where are we going exactly?”
And he said, “Down to the beach where it’s quiet and we can talk without anyone overhearing us.”
This should have tipped me off.
We pulled into a parking spot at The Boardwalk, a popular hang-out for high-school students during summer, and climbed out of the car. We walked down the decrepit wooden stairs into the cold hard sand. It was dark and chilly, but we walked almost a half a mile down the beach talking about Julie and what Dave could do to ingratiate himself into her life again.
“I just don’t understand what I did wrong.”
“She wants you to stop pressuring her to do things she doesn’t want to do, Dave. She wants to feel like you actually care about her.”
“I do care about her, why doesn’t she know that? I wouldn’t care that she started this break thing if I didn’t care about her.”
“Maybe you should show her how much you love and appreciate her. Have you told her what you’re telling me?”
“Maybe you should.”
At one point, he reached for my hand, which startled me a bit, but I quickly pulled away and increased the walking distance between us. We turned around and started heading back toward the car. This time, the wind was blowing straight into my face, making my eyes sting and tear up as well as causing my nose to resemble that of Rudolph’s. We took our time walking back up the stairs and climbed back into the car. My nightmare begins here.
He didn’t start the car or put on his seatbelt after settling into his seat. Instead, he reached over and grabbed my hair right near my...