“Mom?” Jordyn threw her backpack down and laid her jacket on the couch.
“In my room,” Kim hollered.
Jordyn ran up the steps and plopped, face up, on the bed.
“How was school?”
Jordyn squished up her nose. “Okay. Veronica asked me to go with her to a concert tonight.”
Kim mindlessly laid an unmatched sock back in the basket. “Veronica?”
“The girl on praise team, you know?”
She picked the sock back up again. “Oh, pretty blonde, front row left?”
Jordyn rolled her eyes. “That would be her.”
“It’s a school night, Hun.”
“I know. I was so surprised she even talked to me that I didn’t really think about it being only Wednesday.”
“Why were you surprised she talked to you?”
“You wouldn’t understand.” Jordyn flipped to her stomach to hide the flame of her cheeks and the tears that formed and fell quicker than she could quell them.
Kim lay down on the bed with her daughter, head-to-head. “Try me.”
“I’m not exactly in her league.” She wound a piece of hair around her finger and twirled it. “Maybe I shouldn’t go.”
“I think it will be good. You can get to know each other and maybe you can talk to Veronica about being on the praise team.”
Jordyn rolled off the bed. “Mom. Ugh.”
“I know. Sorry. Go ahead and tell her it’s okay if you go.”
Five outfit changes later, Jordyn grabbed her cell phone before she ran out the door where Veronica sat alone in the car.
“Hey. You can sit in the back,” Veronica said right when Jordyn plunked herself into the front seat. “We’re picking up Heather and Lizzie.”
“Okay.” Jordyn’s cheeks reddened up again.
Veronica blasted her country music and Jordyn figured out quickly that there would be no “getting to know each other” like her mother had hoped.
Veronica’s head bopped up and down while she sang about drinking beer and sleeping around. Jordyn mentally crossed off the list talking to Veronica about the praise team, too.
Jordyn threw her arms out to catch herself when Veronica slammed on the brakes at a stop sign. Two girls waited there, brown paper sacks at their feet. “Hey. You got the stuff?”
Heather and Liz both giggled. Heather took shotgun and Liz sat behind Veronica, the sack between Jordyn and Liz.
“What did you tell your parents? Go with the concert story?” Veronica asked.
The girls both nodded and giggled.
Jordyn spoke up, “Hey, I thought we were going to a concert. That’s what you told me, that’s what I told my mom.”
She heard Heather tell Veronica, “That was great cover, V. Mom heard Jordyn’s name and let me go right away, no questions asked.”
Jordyn’s stomach started to flip and toss. She slipped her cell phone out of her pocket and texted her mom.
Trouble. Don’t know what to do.
(Vibration) Whats wrong?
Not sure yet. Ugh.
If you have bad feeling, get out!
“Liz, I could use a drink. How about you, Jordyn?”
“Sure,” Jordyn said.
Lizzie reached in and grabbed a six-pack of beer and handed two to the front and one to Jordyn.
“Ummm…no thanks.” Jordyn sunk down into the seat.
V too? While driving?
Get out NOW!
Jordyn tried to keep her voice calm. “Ummmm…Veronica? I need out. Please?”
“What? We’re in the middle of nowhere. I can’t let you out. Sit back. Relax.” Veronica turned the music up and sang louder. The more she bounced her head and flung it back to take a drink, the more the car swerved.
“I want out. I mean it,” she yelled above the music.
Where are you? Am calling police.
The girl looked out the window.
Route 10W, by Hendersons in country.
Lizzie looked over at her. “Who are you texting?”
“My mom. She’s calling the police.”
Veronica turned around to look at Jordyn. “You didn’t.”
“No, I didn’t. My mom did.” Jordyn tried to stay calm.
The car’s tires fell into the ditch. Heather grabbed the wheel and spoke up, “Geez, V, keep your eyes on the road. If she wants out, let her. We don’t need her anymore.”
“Why me?” Jordyn asked.
Liz said, “Our parents think you’re perfect, that’s why.”
“Whatever. Let me out. Please!”
Veronica slammed the brakes. Jordyn barely got out before Veronica sped off.
Jordyn fell to her knees sobbing. She shook so bad she could hardly hold the phone to her ear. “Mommy?”
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