Fiction Story: Reed Between the Lines

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*Cellphone conversation* “Hello? Is everything alright?” “Hi, may I order a medium cheese pizza with pepperoni and olives please?” “Oh. Another prank? Ma’am are you aware that you called the police?” “Yes, that will be all. My name is Simone and we live on 1001 Gilliam St. NW.” “Ma’am, is someone in the room putting you in danger and you can’t say anything about it?” “Yes, that is correct” she paused. Reed was on the other side of the room. She was so scared he knew what she was up to. She had to act like she was calling the pizza man, but in reality she was planning her escape by calling the police. “…and in how much time will you be coming?” “Officers are on their way now Ma’am, do not worry.” “Alright, see you then.” Let me explain how this all started.

On May 15th, 2009, Simone Williams went to Ibiza, a local club in Washington D.C. with her girls Asia, Janae, and Shae for a fun night out. At 11:00, the girls made it in the club with their best outfits on. Simone wore a grey fitted dress that wasn’t too short and showed off her tiny waist and curvy hips. About forty-five minutes into dancing, Simone notices a guy dancing near her. He was tall and handsome, a cute light skinned boy with curly hair, and he was smiling at her. His friends encouraged him to go to her. He seemed nervous, but still came over to Simone.

“Do you mind if I dance over here with you?” he says while smiling. Simone smiles back and says “No, I don’t mind. What’s your name?” “Reed, what’s yours?” “I’m Simone, and these girls are Asia, Janae, and” Shae interrupts her. “Girl I can introduce myself! Hey I’m Shae.” Everyone starts laughing and the girls go see some cute guys and leave Simone and Reed talking alone. The loud music and party atmosphere causes for them to have to lean in and talk into each other’s ears. Despite the atmosphere, they seem separated from everyone else, as if they are in their own world. They are around each other all night. The two are nervous around each other, but can’t stop blushing and dancing so close to each other.

Both Simone and her girls and Reed and his boys left without exchanging information. The girls get in the car and start to drive home. Simone is confused and disappointed. “Did he not want my number, should I have asked for his? “Did he want it but I walked away too fast? Does he have a girlfriend already?” Simone didn’t understand why she cared so much. “He was so nice and charming. I’m so stupid to let him go like that.” The girls listen to her go on and on the majority of the time. Asia says “Yeah girl you right. He was cute; I’m disappointed in both of y’all!” The girls start laughing. “Do y’all know that he’s a junior at Maryland U. and I’m just a freshman at Howard right?” “What’s the big deal? Two years apart? It’s fine that happens all the time” Shae says. Simone turns on the radio in her car. Asia, Janae, and Shae sing along to the music but Simone is just in her own thoughts. He seemed too perfect, Simone feels that something wasn’t right, but was too in love to care.

One day, Simone was driving to Shae’s workplace to pick her up. Shae worked at an office near Maryland University. She sees him walking with one of his friend’s. She was so surprised to see him. She parked her car and walked towards the door. She wanted him to see her without her approaching him. He approached her just like she wanted. The two talk for about ten minutes about how nervous both of them were. They exchange numbers and give each other a hug. He felt strong to her, holding her tightly. He gently grabbed her neck and gave her a kiss on the cheek and continues to walk away with his friend. After he leaves, Shae comes out of the door. “Did you just see what happened?” “I sure did!” The two start laughing and get excited. Shae says “That was cute! God knew exactly what you were thinking! The way he handled you, girl I bet you were melting. A little on the aggressive side although.” “Nah, he’s just strong, that made my day! Just seeing him again made my day.” Simone was in love with Reed because her ex was handsome, but never treated her so charmingly, and the other guys who wanted her didn’t have a connection with her.

Simone and Reed talked on the phone every day after that time they saw each other. These calls led to dates, and after a year of these many dates, he proposes to her. He asks her family’s permission to marry her. Many of them give permission, but her mother seems unsure because of her protective nature. She knows something isn’t right about him, but trusted her daughter’s intuition and love and said yes. Reed calls Simone and tells her to come to Maryland University. She knows that it is homecoming night and he’ll ask her to come as his date. She dresses up and does her makeup. She drives there and sees a banner. It is too far away to see clearly, but she knows it will ask her to be his homecoming date. She drives closer. It reads: “WILL YOU BE MY WIFE?” She starts to cry tears of joy in her car but stops because of her makeup. She parks; he opens her door and hugs her. “Yes, I will marry you.” All of his friends and family and her friends and family are there cheering.

A year later, he graduated from college and they rent an apartment together near Howard University. Simone is now a junior in college and Reed manages an office building downtown. After they move in with each other, Simone starts to realize why everything didn’t seem right with Reed in the beginning. After about two months of actual wedding planning, Simone and Reed become stressed out. One night, Simone and Reed are in bed. The lights are completely off. Reed is snoring, and Simone gets a phone call from Asia.

Asia: “How’s it going?”

Simone: “Everything is going okay I guess, this planning is getting stressful.”

Asia: “Yeah, that usually, happens. But has your relationship stayed the same?”
Simone: She looks over to Reed and he sounds asleep. “No not really.”

Asia: “How come?

Simone: “I’m just having mixed feelings about our relationship now. He gets really upset when I don’t answer his calls. He doesn’t want me to have any guy friends; he tries to tell me what to wear. It’s getting weird and I might have to call the wedding”

Asia: “Hello?!” She hears a loud screech from Simone right before the phone hangs up.

Reed gets up so quickly, Simone couldn’t even finish her sentence. He pushes her off the bed and hangs up the phone. He gets off the bed, picks her up by her waist and carries her outside of the balcony. She screams and he covers her mouth. “You might have to do what?! Call the wedding off?! GURLL you might just have to die if you ever think of that again. I bet your dumb @$$ thought I was sleep.” He chokes her and she passes out. She wakes up with her face scrambled. Black eye, bloody nose, busted lip, swollen jaw. She sees a note he leaves on the bathroom mirror. It reads: “Look at yourself; this was all because of you, not me. You don’t look pretty right now, and that is only because of you being a fool. Don’t go to school today, think about what you did. Do not embarrass yourself. Love, Reed.”

Simone had never seen that side of Reed before. After reading the note, she looks at herself in the mirror. In shock, Simone screams very loudly. She begins to throw things around. “Bang, Bang, Bang!” The sound of her screaming and throwing things creates a loud and painful echo. When she finally calms down, she sits on the floor and begins to cry. She grabs the tweezers and tries to cut her wrist. Because of her being a “light skin”, red lines begin to form on her wrist without the tweezers actually cutting her. She sees the lines she is making and begins to cry, she stops.

Simone runs to grab her cellphone and car keys. She runs out of the house, without even locking the door. She had to go quickly; she didn’t know who was watching her, and what time he would be home. She drives straight to her church that she’d been going to ever since she was young. She parks her car and runs into her pastor’s office and shuts the door.

Reverend Fox: “My Lord! What in the world has happened to you my dear?! Who did this?”

Simone: “Umm,”

Reverend Fox: “And are you attempting suicide?” he notices lines on her wrists.

Simone: “I got beat last night reverend.”

Reverend Fox: “By that young handsome fellow you bring to church sometimes?”

Simone: “Yes sir, and yes I did not succeed at attempting suicide but I ran here after noticing how absurd I was being with a tweezer on my wrists.”

Reverend Fox: “It isn’t your fault. Reed is between these lines. Escape.”

Simone: “Okay reverend! God bless you!” She ran out of the church and drove home hoping Reed was not already there.

Luckily, Reed isn’t home already and she parks her car and runs into the house. She takes a shower, and puts on some nice clothes. Her face is healing; she puts on some makeup and does her hair. She hops on the couch and turns on the television. She hears Reed’s car pulling up in the driveway and opens the door. “How was your day at work honey?” she asks. “It was okay, how was your day at home?” “Fairly boring, I got cleaned up. I read your note. I’m sorry babe.” “It’s okay, just stop being foolish.” Simone was acting, she wasn’t sorry, she was furious. She was planning an escape. “Reed, do you want to order pizza for dinner?” “Yeah” he sits down on the other side of the room and watches the television.

Simone dials 911. Police: “Hello? Is everything alright?” “Hi, may I order a medium cheese pizza with pepperoni and olives please?” “Oh. Another prank. Ma’am are you aware that you called the police?” “Yes, that will be all. My name is Simone and we live on 1001 Gilliam St. NW.” “Ma’am is someone in the room putting you in danger and you can’t say anything about it?” “Yes, that is correct” she paused. Reed was on the other side of the room. She was so scared he knew what she was up to. She had to act like she was calling the pizza man, but in reality she was planning her escape by calling the police. “…and in how much time will you be coming?” “Officers are on their way now Ma’am, do not worry.” “Alright, see you then.”

In about fifteen minutes the police arrived. Simone opens the door, one officer takes her to talk to her, and the other officers go inside of the apartment. They take him away and she never sees him again. Two years later, she graduated from Howard University. She majored in writing literature and minored in fashion design. That was the happiest day of her life. She told everyone what happened, and later on won the Nobel peace prize for speaking out against abuse.

Simone Williams became a legend. She wasn’t special because it was only her story, she was special because it was other people’s stories that she experienced, that she survived, that she told.

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