Anna laughed and thought to herself, “What a pea brain!”
Roger smirked at her. “I already know what you got! She’s virgin territory!”
Roger yelled at him. “What do you think you’re doing!”
Then in a blur, Anna entered the room and quickly spun her leg and kicked Roger on the side of the head. He dropped to the floor unconscious. The women and girls in the room were all stunned. They looked at one another in confusion.
Anna knelt down to Sharlee. She was still unconscious, but she was breathing okay. Anna didn’t see any blood. Guessing that Roger had more than one guy working for him, she knew they should get out of there as soon as possible.
“No. They still haven’t found the body of the last girl who tried to run away.”
They both quickly followed Anna from the building. One of the girls helped Anna carry Sharlee as they hurried along trying to keep out of sight and running in between buildings. When they were a good distance away from the motel, Anna told them to stop. She was beginning to worry about Sharlee because she had not yet regained consciousness.
“Where are we?”
Anna answered. “We’re less than a block away from the motel. Are you okay?”
Sharlee still felt a little woozy, but otherwise alright.
“Yeah, I’m okay.”
Anna agreed. “Yeah, I’m sure Roger will have his hoods after us soon!”
They left the subway after they were in their part of town. There were very few people around. It was then that they realized the flaw in their plan. How were they going to get the girls to Anna’s father?
Sharlee pulled Anna aside. “What do we do now?”
“I don’t know.”
Sharlee sighed. “Anna, you have to call your father.”
Sharlee asked her, “What else then?”
“I don’t know.”
“I know who we can call! Ton!”
Anna asked her in a puzzled voice, “Ton. Who is that?”
“He’s a friend of Noah’s from his old gang. He’s a real friend. He testified for him at the trial. He can take the girls to your father, and your father won’t even have to know that we were involved.”
“I have his number in my address book. He gave it to me and said that if I ever needed him to call. He said real buds look out for “bro’s hos” when they’re bud is locked up. The only problem is that my address book is in my bag at your house.”
The diner was empty except for Sharlee and the girls as they took a table. She told the girls to order whatever they wanted. Sharlee was surprised that the girls weren’t asking more questions about where they were going. She guessed that it was conditioning from Mick and Roger.
“So your name is Sharlee?”
They told her their names and where they were from. Before long, Anna returned with Ton’s number, and Sharlee stepped away from the table to call him.
He came right away. He took Sharlee aside. “Do you know what a harebrained thing you did! Don’t you know what could have happened to you! There is no way that Noah would ever have wanted you to do such a thing, but it was the bravest thing I’ve ever known a girl to do!”
Ton still had Dedric’s card and called him. They also had the girls promise not to mention Anna and Sharlee’s part in what had happened that night.
Sharlee stretched out on Anna’s bed. She was very pale. Anna touched Sharlee’s head. There was a huge lump up under her hair. “Sharlee you’ve got to see a doctor. I’m going to call my mother.”
Sharlee agreed and Anna called her mother and Bronson. They rushed and changed clothes before Phyllis got there. The doctor said that Sharlee had a slight concussion but that she would be okay.
The next morning, armed with statements from both of the young women who had worked with Mick, Dedric had meetings with the DA who had prosecuted Noah and with the judge who had sentenced him. They came to a new agreement about Noah’s sentence. Then Dedric went to visit Noah.
Noah was surprised to see Dedric smiling. Oddly, he didn’t remember seeing Dedric smile before. “Noah I have great news. We found two of Mick’s girls. Meredith Andrews and Deanna Neilsson. They both gave depositions that verified your reason for protecting Sharlee as well as your relationship with Mick. They said that Mick threatened several times that he was going to kill you and that you were never a lure.”
“I had a meeting with the DA and the judge. You only have to serve a year in juvie including the time you’ve already served. Then two years of probation here in Bridgeport.”
Noah smiled, feeling extremely happy! “I don’t know how I can ever thank you Mr. Thorne!”
“Well, this time it’s your friend Ton that you have to thank. There are some special terms as a part of your probation. One of them is that you cannot associate with former members of the gang. I’ll arrange for Ton to come and see you here before you’re released, but after that you won’t be able to see him until after your probation is up.”
Dedric told Noah what else would be required during his probation. He would have to live with his parents. He could not leave Bridgeport. He would have a curfew and he would have to attend an alternative high school. He would have to remain out of trouble.
“No, I thought that you should hear the news first.”
“Mr. Thorne, I don’t think that my parents will want me to live with them. We don’t get along.”
Dedric sat thinking. Then he said, “Let me talk with them. If they don’t agree then I’ll have to look into other arrangements for you.”
Dedric called Ton to see when he’d like to visit Noah. They agreed on that afternoon.
Ton told him, “Don’t thank me. Thank that little Babe of yours.”
Noah was confused. “Who? You mean Sharlee? What does she have to do with it?”
Ton told him what Anna and Sharlee had done and what the girls said had happened to Sharlee.
“Does she know that you’re gettin sprung?”
“No, I can’t make my phone call until this evening. So I’m assuming that Mr. Thorne doesn’t know what Sharlee and Anna did, and I’m guessing that Mr. Stallworth doesn’t know either?”
Noah laughed. “Yeah. I guarantee she doesn’t want me to know either.”
“So since you only got a few more months left inside are you gonna let her come to see you.”
“No way. This isn’t the place for her. I don’t want her to have those memories of seeing me in here. Also, I can take it if we just talk over the phone, but not being able to touch her, not being to hold her because we’re separated by glass, I know I can’t take that.”
“I guess I understand. I’m sending you a picture of her that I took that night.“ Ton stayed until the visiting time was over. He told Noah to take care of himself and make sure that he stayed straight.
Dedric spoke with Noah’s parents and they agreed that Noah was to live with them. His mother told Dedric that Noah was her son and that her home was his home too. He passed the news on to Noah. Noah wasn’t thrilled, but it was better than Juvie.
“I am so happy Noah!”
“My time’s up again. I love you, Sharlee.”
“Love you too.” The call was disconnected.