Monday, October 19, 2009

Chapter 14

My parents came back at the end of the first week of vacation. I really missed my late night conversations with Suzannah by the fireplace.

Arnold came back on Saturday and we spent Monday at my house.

"In exactly one week from today, we'll back in school ya know." Arnold pointed out to me.

I sighed. "Yeah, I know."

We were quiet for a few seconds. Then Arnold spoke again.

"How was Therese's party?" he asked.

I perked up. "It was really fun!" I said. "We played Truth or Dare and ate pizza and danced!"

"I wanted to go so bad. Did Suzannah go?"

"Why?" I was very curious.

"Just wondering."

"Do you like her or something?"

Arnold turned red.

"I don't know! I'm so confused!" he seemed flustered and aggravated.

I was torn apart. I couldn't stand seeing Arnold so confused and aggravated, but I didn't want to betray Suzannah's trust in me. I had a feeling that if he knew she liked him, he'd ask her out.

"When did you first feel this way?" I asked him.

He shrugged. "A long time ago. I've liked her for a real long time."

"Oh. Well, I have an idea. Want to go over to her house?"

Arnold's face brightened considerably at the idea of seeing her. He nodded enthusiastically.

"Yeah! That's a great idea!"

We put on our coats and I told my mom we were going to Suzannah's. She said they might not be home, but if they were, I should call when I got there. We said OK and left.

It was slow going because of the ice that covered the sidewalks like sheets of slippery glass. When we finally go to Suzannah's, we saw that neither of her cars were in the driveway. I was ready to turn back, but Arnold said that it never hurt to try. We walked up the driveway and rang the bell. It took a few minutes, but finally Suzannah answered the door. She look awful. Her hair was a mess, and she was extremely pale. She looked tired and like she'd been crying. The circles under her red eyes were very dark and made the rest of her face look hollow. When she saw us standing on her icy doorstep, she blinked.

"Hi guys. My parents aren't home, but do you want to come in?"

I stepped into her warm house first and Arnold followed. I looked around. I realized that her parents were at work, but probably Diana was still around somewhere.

"Hey Suzannah, where's Diana?" I asked.

"She went to a friend's house." Suzannah answered. "Go in the living room or something for a few minutes. I'll be right back." She ran upstairs and the door to her room shut with a loud bang.

Arnold and I walked into the living room. The TV was on. Tom and Jerry were fighting on the TV screen. Tom and Jerry was one of Suzannah's favorite TV shows, especially the ones from back when we were little kids.

I turned to tell Arnold I was going to call my mom. He was watching the TV and laughing like a hyena, but he nodded.

I went into the kitchen and called Mom from the kitchen phone. As I hung up, Suzannah came bounding down. She turned on a lamp for light because the shades were down and it was gray outside.

It was then that we first heard the screams. There was one long high-pitched scream followed by two shorter ones. Suzannah frowned and went to peek out the window. The screams stopped for a second and Suzannah gasped.

"What's wrong?!?" I asked as I got up to go look out the window.

Slowly Suzannah turned around. Her face was drained of all color, it was chalk white. I was at the window in an instant. Arnold pulled open the curtain and let out a low whistle.

"Oh Lord!" I moaned.

Suzannah was shaking. "Go call the police and hurry."

For the second time within twenty minutes, I picked up the phone in Suzannah's kitchen. Even though I was shaking inside, my hand steadily dialed 911. The dispatcher answered on the first ring.

"Hello? I'm calling to report an assault on a woman." I said calmly.

"Where?" the dispatcher asked. I gave the address and all other necessary information. In a matter of minutes, an unmarked police car drive down our street. It stopped in front of Suzannah's house and quietly the cop crept across the street into the thick bushed in front of the house.

Every muscle in Suzannah's body tensed. "Come on!" she yelled at us and grabbed her jacket.

When we got outside, the first police officer had the woman's attacker and was cuffing him. Three more police cars arrived at the scene and there were copes picking up evidence from the bushes. The woman looked awful. Bruises were already beginning to show and blood was oozing out of several gashes and cuts.

Suzannah gulped and began to look around. An ambulance pulled up, and then I saw it. A few feet away from the bushes was a knife. Suzannah saw it to and walked over to a policeman and pointed it out. He thanked her and walked over to get it.

It was very cold outside so we went back in Suzannah's house. In a few minutes, there was a knock on the door. Suzannah went to answer it and the man at the door identified himself as Sgt. Dan Collier and showed us his badge. He then asked if he could come in and ask us a few questions. Suzannah nodded and let him in.

We went into the living room and sat down.

"First, I need to know your names." Sgt. Collier said.

We gave our names and ages. Sgt. Collier nodded.

"OK, who first saw the crime?" he asked.

Suzannah took a deep breath. "The shades and curtains in the living room were down and at about 2:30, we first heard a few screams. I went over to the window and pushed away the shades and curtains to find out why. Then I saw this man dragging this woman into the bushes. At first they were in a pretty thin patch and I could see him hitting her over and over again. It was mostly on her face. Then she tried to scratch him or something but took her hand back because he took out a knife and started waving it around her. That's when she stopped screaming. He then proceded to drag her further into the bushes and I couldn't see anything else except for the tremendous shaking of the bushes.

"Oh, I see. Who called the police department?" Sgt. Collier asked next.

I cleared my throat. "I did. Suzannah looked out the window for a second and then I peeked out. She asked to call the police while she watched."

Sgt. Collier turned to Arnold. "And where were you during all this?"

"I was watching out the window with Suzannah." Arnold replied.

"OK. Does everything Suzannah said sound all right to you?"

Arnold nodded.

"Now, kids. You're going to have to testify in a court of law, so let me go over this with you. Now Suzannah here says that you all heard screams, so she went to the window to look out. Right?"

We nodded.

"Good. Then you guys look out the window and Suzannah sends John to call us. Right?"

"Right," I say.

"Good. That'll be all then. I may have to call you kids, so expect to be hearing from me. And thanks for your help."

"Bye!" We all said and showed Sgt. Collier to the door. Then we went back to the living room and sat down quietly with out thoughts until my mom called and we had to leave.

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Oh, the hilarity!