ChaiThai mostly wrote this story. I helped him on it, but he did a lot of the work. I'm putting it up for him, but he has a few good stories posted under his name also. Go check them out sometime! Thanks.

WARNING-This story contains violence, drugs, and extreme lime content, all among underage kids. Read at your own risk!

Slipping By ChaiThai and Misao

At Wilson Middle School the first bell rang, signaling the kids to get to their first period classes before they were late. Aside from the mad rush of students shuffling their way up and down stairs and through hallways, a girl sat by herself hidden under the stairs of the newly built building. A cigarette dangled from her fingers, its smoke being drawn into the intake of the air conditioner above her. Her long brown hair had a red streak running through it, and several earrings dangled from her ears. A small metal stud revealed itself when she opened her mouth to take another drag. In a tightly fitting shirt and tight low cut pants she looked the perfect example of a jaded teenager.

As two kids walked up the stairs, they got a small wiff of the smell of tobacco. "What's that coming from?" one asked.

"That's probably Becca. She's been a charity case ever since she got into this school."

"Huh?" The first kid was confused.

"She's like a party girl, always out on the weekends, always smoking, always drinking. And only in the 8th grade, too. She's supposed to be really wild."

"Oh, I think she's in one of my classes. She never shows up though. The teacher just stopped calling her name after a while."

"Yea. Why she still comes to school is beyond me."

The two reached to stop of the stairs. One kid leaned over and whispered, "Hey, you should go do somthing with her. I hear she's a real easy lay..."

Just as he finished his sentence he was shouldered to the floor by someone walking by, carrying a large baseball bag. Dropping his backpack he got up quickly to see who pushed him, but he was long gone by then. "What the fuck is that guy's problem?"


The baseball team was practicing along the field. A couple of girls that always hung out to watch their boyfriends or boyfriends-to-be were lounging in the bleachers. At the plate was Brent, the team's new star player since last year. Not only was he an incredible bat but he was also able to pull off amazing defensive plays as well. Even last year, his first year in a school team, he was regarded as the best player. It was because of him that a few more girls appeared in the bleachers than previous years.

The coach came up to Brent. "Hey, we're gonna call practice right now. Round up the others and we'll have a little talk in the office.



"Brent, you've been spending a lot of time away lately. What's wrong?"

"Nothing, coach. I've just been worried about a few things, that's all."

"Well, I don't want it to affect our team, but I don't want it to bother you too much either. You sure you got it all under control?"

"I think so, but it's kinda strange. I'll figure it out eventually."

"It's about that Rebecca girl, isn't it?"

Brent's heart skipped a beat. "Yea..." he replied.

"You should quit on her already. I mean, she's been like that ever since..."

"NO!" Brent yelled. Lucky for him, the door between the office and the locker room was soundproof. "I'm sorry's just...I hate to see her like this. I want to help her."

The coach sighed. "Well don't forget Brent. If she dosen't want help, she won't accept it. That's all. Go wash up."

Brent silently left the office.


The final school bell rang, signaling the students to head off for their homes, or whatever else they planned on doing for the weekend. Brian threw his bag of equipment over one shoulder and started the long walk home, fingering a baseball in his right hand.

Halfway home he caught a glimpse of a girl walking away, smoking a cigarette. He ran up to see her. "Rebecca!" he called.

She turned around. "I told you to leave me alone."

"Rebecca," Brent said as he caught up. "You still haven't told me why you're doing all this."

Rebecca dropped her now gone cigarette. "You know why I'm doing this, Brent."

"No, I don't! That's why I keep trying to help you!"

She started laughing. "Help me? What could you help me with? I'm fine, there's nothing going on."

"There's a lot going on. One of them is between your fingers right now."

"Ppphhhbbtttt." was the answer he got. As if to prove her point Rebecca took a long drag and blew it in his face. "And I told you, I'm not Rebecca anymore. It's Becca.

"What's the difference? Two years ago you would of laughed at me if I tried to call you Becca!" Visibly upset, Brent stopped rolling the ball and was now rhythmically squeezing it.

"Two years ago I was an idiot, a real shithead. But I've got it together now."

"You call this together?" Brent yelled, pointing out Rebecca's clothes. "If you ask me, this is shitty right here! You're only 14, but you dress like a whore, you don't even come home some nights...your mom calls me all the time to ask if I know where you are!"

"Like she gives a rat's ass where I've been. Don't make up some sob story about her, I already know she dosen't give a fuck about me."

"Is that the problem? You think she dosen't care?" Brent had just about had it. "You know, you've never been the same since your dad lef..."

She cut off Brent, screaming. "I don't need help! I'm fine! This is what I want to do!" As she spoke, a motorcycle appeared down the street. As it drew closer, Rebecca said, in a lower voice, "We're not kids anymore Brent. It's time to grow up already." The motorcycle pulled up next to the two. The rider tossed Rebecca a helmet and she mounted the machine behind him. Without another word, the two tore off down the road.

Brent watched them drive down the street and around the bend. He took the baseball in his hand and flung it at the two, but it bounced short a few feet. It took a second for Brent to stop shaking, but when he did he sat down on the curb, hand supporting his forehead as his fingers snaked through his hair.

"I shouldn't of said that."


Late that evening Rebecca found herself at another house party, a bottle of beer replacing the cigarette normally found in her hand. She had already spent a great deal of the night dancing with almost every boy at the party, and she headed out to the pool to relax a little. She slid open the glass door, stepped out, and closed it gently behind her, not many noticing, fewer caring.

Laying back on a pool chair, she heard the glass door open again. "Becca...I thought you'd be in there more. There's supposeted to be some guys coming from Roosevelt High, you should get back in there. You know they got more experience than the others here."

"I'm tired Liz, I just wanna drink a little for now." Liz was Rebecca's new friend, one she had made a few months ago. She always knew where the best parties were, and her dad owned a liquor store, so anytime she needed a quick buzz she used the store key she had copied from her dad when he "lost" his keys.

Liz sat on the chair next to her. "Well shit, if you're gonna be out here then I might as well just relax too." She pulled a neatly rolled joint from her pocket. "You need to relax?"

"Yea..." Rebecca took the stick and lit up, inhaling deeply. After holding it in for a few seconds, she started coughing. "That one's good..." she said.

"My friend hooked me up...he'll come out here later too. I told him I was gonna find you." Liz looked as if she could be beyond faded, but she still took another hit.

The door opened again. Liz looked over her shoulder. "Well, speak of the fucking devil himself."

Rebecca looked too. There was a guy, no older than 16, at the door. His black shirt and pants spelled goth, but he seemed far from it. He noticed Rebecca's curious look and walked over, seemingly smoothly but more in a drunken swagger. "I"ve heard about you...You're Becca, right?"

"Yea, I"m Becca. You?"

"I'm Tom man, Tom."

Giggling stupidly, Liz said "Tom man? That's a stupid name."

"Shut up! I'll raise the price of an ounce on you Liz."

"I already pay almost nothing, with the extra favors you get per ounce..."

"Later Liz," he said, waiving her off. Tom turned his attention to Rebecca. He sat down on the chair with her. "You know, your friend told me you look good but I didn't expect this."

Rebecca held back a smirk. She'd heard it all already.


At Brent's house, he had decided to go to sleep a little earlier, but at 2 in the morning he still couldn't sleep. He just layed in his bed, thinking.

"What's wrong with her?" he muttered to himself. Rolling out of bed, he went and turned on his room light. He went rooting through several piles of sports and car magazines, digging through lots of old equipment he kept for sentemental value, and a pile of clothes, until he found what he was looking for; the school yearbook from last year.

Flipping through the pages of 7th graders it didn't take him long to find the picture he was looking for. Just above the name Rebecca Breckman was the image of Rebecca, before she had become Becca. The pictures were always taken at the beginning of the year so the effects of the year hand't taken effect yet.

"This was after her dad left..." he thought to himself. "Why did she change? It can't just be because of that." He flipped throgh the yearbook, finding Rebecca's only other picture; a candid shot of her eating, but she looked more like the Becca of current times. "So different..."

Fustrated, Brent slid the yearbook under his bed and picked up a car enthuistast magazine, hoping to diistract himself from the problem at hand. "I can't afford a Camaro just yet... I guess I'll have to settle for an import." Yet no matter how much he thought about cars, the thought of Rebecca kept pushing at his mind.


Not more than 2 miles away, Rebecca found that the tounge of Tom kept pushing at her lips. "Mmm mmm mrg mmmrf!"

Tom pulled back. "What was that, sweetheart?"

"I said, what are you doing?"

"Aww come on, you know you like this kinda thing. What else would you be doing here?"

"Yea...I mean no... I mean, I don't wanna." She pulled a cigearette out of her pocket and lit it, hoping that he wouldn't try if she was smoking.

"Oh, you're shy, huh? I think I know what's wrong... but don't worry baby, you know what they say. 'If the field has grass, let's play ball..." He moved in more agressively this time, trying to snake a hand under Rebecca's shirt. Rebecca pulled back, the lit cigarette still in her hand. She had had enough of this crap tonight. She took the hand with her cigarette and stuffed it down Tom's pants.

"Oh yea, like that ba...OOOOOWWW! WHAT THE FUCK!?" He lept back, almost dancing as he tried to get the lit cigarette out of his pants. "You bitch! It's no wonder you're so messed up in the head! Can't even get that right!"

Rebecca couldn't stop laughing as Tom desperatly jumped into the pool to save his burning manhood. Shaking her head, she clumsly stood up and headed out the back gate towards her house.


Rebecca climbed the tree in her backyard and slowly walked across the branch to her bedroom window. Quietly opening it, she slipped inside without a sound.

Once inside, she almost tore out of her party clothes and slipped into her pajamas. She tiptoed into her bathroom and quietly started removing her makeup. As she cleaned off the last of it she noticed a shaving razor in the corner of her bathroom counter. She took it and rolled it between her fingers a few times, checking it for sharpness.

She then looked at her wrist.

After what seemed like an eternity, she slowly began to move the razor towards her wrist, stopping when the lubricating strip on the razor touched her skin.

"Do it..." she heard herself say.

"Do it... it'll feel real good..."

Realizing what she was doing, she threw the razor against the wall in disgust. "No...I"m not that messed up yet." Before she shut off the light of the bathroom, she looked at the razor one last time.

Slowing stepping outside her room, she peeked in her mother's room. The bed was still nicely made. "Typical, figures she's not here." With nothing to be quiet about anymore, she marched back into her room and sat on her bed. "Oh, I almost forgot."

Kneeling besides her bed, she put her elbows upon it and clasped her hands together. She hesitated, almost unsure of what to say and if she really ment it, then began to pray.

"Dear God, I um... know I don't do this much. Maybe I don't deserve your help. But, just watch over Mom. Thanks."

She slowly crawled into her bed and drifted off into sleep.


Come on Rebecca, let's go play kickball!

The other kids were all giggling, laughing and running around the park. Rebecca ran over to join them.

She ran in line for the kicking team. Everyone said hi, they all shouted and and laughed and were all having a good time.

"OK!" a girl shouted in the outfield. "Me and Tony will be out here , Mike gets first, Lisa gets second, Greg gets third, and Brent will pitch!"

"Sara, I don't wanna be second!"

"Ok, I'll be second. Do you wanna play outfield?"

"Yea!" The two girls switched places.

Each person took turns kicking. It didn't take long for Rebecca's turn to come up. She asked for a bouncing pitch, and it slowly bounded towards her. She stepped back and took a running start...

Just before she could kick the ball she felt a strong pair of hands pick her up and away from the ball. A chorus of "Awww..." came from the kids as Rebecca was carried away. "Daddy!" Rebecca yelled as she hugged the man carrying her away. He hugged her back and put her in the car, then drove off towards their house.

As the car stopped on the front curb of the house, Rebecca eagerly bounded out of the car. She ran halfway up the walkway before she realized she wasn't being followed. Turrning around she saw her daddy was still in the car.

"Daddy? Aren't you going to come inside?"

The car door slowly closed, quietly clicking shut. A moment later, the car drove off down the road, dissappearing in a quickly approaching night sky.

"Daddy?" Rebecca said, confused. "Mommy will know where daddy went," she said to herself as she opened the front door. As she opened it she heard singing coming from stairs so that was the first place she headed.

When she searched the top floor she found it empty. Then a set of car keys jingled downstairs. "I'm sorry I'm late Rebecca!" Smiling, the child raced downstairs, only to find it empty. Towards the back of the house she heard "I've gotta get to work, I'll be back late so just order a pizza, ok?" As Rebecca sprinted to the open back door, she tripped and flew out the portal to the back yard, which was now a barren land of uncut dead grass and rusted swings, and a stump of the mighty tree which stood there before.

"Mommy!" she cried, laying in the tall brown grass. She could feel the tears streaming down her face, creating mud in the dirt below her. "Mommy, where are you!?" Looking about her she saw all the familar kids walking around, Jessica and Tony and kids she played with and kids she went to school with. They were all taller, bigger. They didn't dress in Yu-Gi- Oh shirts and Hello Kitty backpacks anymore. Rebecca called to them for help, but they turned around and walked away each time, laughing and shaking their heads at the small dirty girl.

Just after Rebecca felt that all was lost she felt a pair of eyes on her, reaching out a hand to help her up. She looked up to see a small pair of feet and a bright light...


"KYAA!" Rebecca screamed as she bolted up in bed. Panting heavily, it took her a second to realize she had soaked her pajamas in sweat and she was twisted a full 90 degrees than when she had fallen asleep. She pushed some lazy hair out of her face and sighed. Checking her clock, she saw the time - 11:45.

Almost 40 minutes later Rebecca was dressed for the day and she tried to sneak downstairs when she heard a call from the kitchen.

"Well, it's about time you woke up. I made some breakfast, but it's gone cold so I'll make you some lunch."

Despite a small hangover Rebecca felt a stir inside of herself. "I'll get up whenever I want," she yelled at her mom, "I don't want any food anyway."

Rebecca was about to leave out the front door but realized she had left her small purse in the kitchen, which was the last place she wanted to be. She headed to her left and found her mother cutting some vegatables and bread on the counter. She noticed Rebecca's entrance. "Are you sure honey?" she said while getting some mayonase from the fridge. "You should eat something to start your day anyway..."

Marching to the table, Rebecca said "I don't need any crappy food, just leave me alone!" She snatched up her purse and tried to walk away, but her mother left the counter and stood in her way. Looking closely, her mother said "You came home late again last night, didn't you? You still have some eyeshadow on..."

Forced to defend her ground, Rebecca declared "It's none of your business. How would you know anyway? You're never here."

Rebecca's mother was a little irritated, but she knew she needed to talk to her daughter. "Rebecca, you know it's hard to stay here. We got stuck with paying off the house. I've got a little more to go...I just have to work a little more. "

Rebecca wanted out. "Well, if you could keep your husband around, maybe you wouldn't have to leave so much!"

Stepping back a bit, her mother was stunned that such words were spoken. Rebecca! He wanted to know that.

A tear started to form in her eyes, but Rebecca blinked them away and said in a quavering voice, "Because you couldn't keep him happy..." before turning and bolting out the back door.

"Rebecca!" was what she heard as she ran along the walkway on the side of the house and across the front lawn. By the time her mother had followed her route she was long gone.


A few hours later found Rebecca at the mall, a plate of food in front of her but her mind elsewere. "I'm never going back to that shithole...ever. I'd rather die than have to stay," she mumbled to herself inbetween bites. As she thought of where she could go, the first major thought that struck her was that she needed some money to start a new life. After finishing, she left her plate on the table and walked to the payphones nearby. She slipped into a private booth ment for the handicaped, and put in her change. Rebecca then flipped through a little black book and found the number she was looking for.

The phone picked up after 12 rings. "Helllloo?" came the slurred reply.

"Liz, it's Rebecca."

It took a second for the next anser. "Oh...heyy, what's up?"

"I wanted to ask you something. How did you get to move to that apartment?"

"I'm 16, remember? I can move when I want to." "She probably just woke up," Rebecca thought.

"No, I mean, how can you afford it?"

"Ohh... I know what you mean... take a train downtown, and go to the old theater district...ask for a guy named Big Kane. He'll set you up good."


The phone rang several times before Brent came in from pitching practice to answer it. "Hello?" he said, towling off some sweat.

"Brent, it's Mrs. Breckman."

"Oh, hello!" Brent was happy for a second, before remembering that anytime she called something was wrong. "What is it?"

"It's Rebecca. I know I always ask you where she is, but this time I'm really worried." She sounded as if she had just stopped crying, but could start up again at any time. "She stormed out of the house today, and now I can't find her. I've tried calling every friend she has, and no one knows where she went. Do you?"

"No..." Brent could feel a cold ball growing in the pit of her stomach. "Any clues?"

"Not really, but there was this one number...Liz. When she heard my name she sounded scared and she hung up."

"What's the phone number?"


Towards 6 P.M. Rebecca was off the train and looking for Big Kane. There were a lot of other girls out, a lot of them dressed like Rebecca was now. They were also of varying ages, but she was the youngest one. Asking a few girls, most of whom were smoking, she finally found Big Kane sitting in a Cadillac Escalade. With a big had and a big suit and a big cigar, he looked every bit what Rebecca suspected him to be, and he turned out to be exactly what Rebecca knew he was.

"So. Liz sent you? Hmm...she must really remember what kinda girls I want. Tell you what; wait here and I'll see if I can round up some special clients for your first trick." With those words he drove off leaving Rebecca, for the first time in months, scared.


Brent got off the train almost an hour after Rebecca did. Immediatly, he hailed a taxi cab.

"Where to?"

"Old theater district. I'll give you a hundered if you get there in three minutes."


As Rebecca nervously paced around, she threw down her cigarette and lit another. She had already tried to walk away but several other women threatened to tell Kane she was trying to run. All she could do was just walk around.

The giant SUV rounded the corner slowly, followed by a black sedan. She sighed. "If I do this, there's no turning back..."

The two cars pulled to a stop just in front of Rebecca. Big Kane and an old businessman climbed out of their respective cars.

"I've got you a good client for your first time, Becca. This is Mr. Yakamoto. He's a very good client, always asking me if I've got the young ones. You're exactly his type. And he's offering a very hefty sum for you, $600 to be exact. All you gotta do is go up to our rooms and show him a good time."

While Rebecca contimplated what her future would become along this route, a taxi cab came hurtling along the street. It pulled to a fast stop just next to the Escalade. Kane was pissed. "Now who does this motherfucker think he is?"

Brent lept out the back seats and ran up to the group, duffel bag over his shoulder. Rebecca's eyes lit up, but she didn't give any sign of knowing Brent.

"How much for this ho?" he said.

Rebecca couldn't believe his ears. She almost wanted to slap him right now but she didn't, holding back to see what Brent was up to.

"Hey dick, you don't just come into my neighborhood like this. What kind of respect are you trying to earn?"

"I don't mean any wrong by this, but I need this girl. Someone told me I could find someone like her here. I want to pay for a good time."

"Well now, you're talking more my way. But I'm afraid this girl is already taken. I got lots more just like her, that'll treat you right."

"I want her though. How much?"

"I told you she's already busy. This gentleman is paying $600 for her already."

Brent unzipped his bag, which put Kane on his guard, but Brent pulled out a bag. "I'll pay seven, if you let me have her."

The businessman shouted something in Japanese and Kane answered him, then he turned back to Brent. "Your offer has been met and raised to $750."



Fingering through the bag, Brent declared "I'll pay $1200."

The businessman went into a tantrum of yells and curses, but Kane quickly calmed him down. "Alright, you win. But for all this bullshit you just put us through, you only get 2 hours, insead of the night. Deal?"

Brent shook the big man's hand. "Deal."


As soon as they walked into the room, Rebecca slapped Brent. "Don't you think for a second I'm just gonna give it to you because you paid for it!"

"It's not like that, Rebecca. Keep your voice down."

He moved her and sat her down on the single bed in the room, then sat on a dresser himself. "We need to get out of here...I saw Kane moving some really big guys in the lobby of this hotel, so we can't just walk out."

"Huh?" Rebecca was confused.

"I talked to your friend Liz...she was kind of nervous about telling me but when she realized what she did she felt really bad. She told me where I could find a guy named Big Kane and to get to you before he did. I guess I was late."

"No, I mean, why did you call Liz?"

"Your mom asked me to. No one could find you, and she was worried sick. I kinda volunteered to help."


"Yea. You may not know it, but she really cares about you."

"Where did that money come from? You can't just pull over a grand out of your ass..."

"I've been saving for a car. I hoped I could buy one when I turned 16."

In awe, Rebecca said "How long have you been saving?

"Almost two years now."

Rebecca sighed. "You'll never see that money shouldn't of helped me..."

"Hey, some things are just more important. I can't leave you in a shithole like this."

For a long time, neither of them spoke. The just sat there, Brent coming up with a plan and Rebecca unsure of what to say to a boy who had come so far for her.

"Brent...what about you? We can't just walk out of here without someone trying to beat you up! How do you plan on doing this?"

Reaching into his duffel bag, Brent pulled out a baseball bat. "I say we run. It's the only thing we can do. The train station is about a mile away, but if we can get away from Big Kane, then we'll be ok." He opened the window, which lead to a fire escape and a back alley. "Well, let's go."


It didn't take long for a hooker to spot the two crawling down the fire escape. "Crap...I hoped we would have more time," Brent yelled as they hurried to the bottom floor. The whore ran off to tell Kane, and the two teens sprinted off towards the train station.

About two blocks later they saw a SUV pull around the corner at incredible speed. "Brent!" Rebecca screamed as they ran.

"I see it. Alleyway!" he yelled back. The two ran into the narrow alley, cutting through a small gap between buildings just as the SUV followed. They were back out on larger blocks, both running across the street dodging the speeding cars as they passed. The SUV kept it's pursuit, using any alley or anywhere else the huge car would fit.

Brent was all set for some long distance sprinting, but Rebecca and her smoker's lungs were slowing her down. Brent kept his pace down for her, but it was clear they would need to stop soon.

The stop would come sooner than they had expected. As they turned into another alley to dodge Kane, they were shocked to see a dead end.

"Shit!" The squeal of tires wasn't far off...there wasn't enough time to turn back. Brent grabbed Rebecca by the wrist and led her behind a large dumpster.

"Promise me whatever happens that you'll stay here. Okay?"

Rebecca nodded. The sweat of running was dripping down her face, smearing her makeup.

Brent held the baseball bat in front of him like a sword as the SUV parked and blocked off the exit

She couldn't see anything, but Rebecca could hear footsteps approaching. "You stupid fuck, I should of known better than to sell that ho to you." Kane's booming voice echoed through the small alley.

"She's not a whore," Brent said. "She's got family, and she can go home." The sound of wiffed air floted around. the can.

Kane started to laugh. "Watch where you swing that thing, boy. I am her home now, that ho is mine and I'm taking her back." She heard metal clicking on metal. "I'll give your bony ass 3 seconds to move, and if you don't I'm gonna take her myself." Rebecca was tempted to look, but she had to keep her promise to Brent.



"GO TO HELL!" was the answer Kane recieved. Rebecca saw the top of the baseball bat from where she hid; Brent probably held it high for an overhead smash.

Three thunderclaps burst their violence through the small alleyway. Rebecca's eyes going wide, she heard the sound of the wooden bat rattling to a stop on the concrete followed by a crumple. She peaked under the trash can to see Brent face down, a small pool gathering underneath him. "Stupid kid," she heard Kane mutter.

"Noo!" she screamed. Bursting out of her hiding place, she had run three steps before she heard the familar click again.

"Fucking bitch, get in the car." Kane wasn't about to start counting again. He had already had enough.

Rebecca stood still, too frightened to move. The three holes in Brent's back were massive, almost palm sized. She could swear she saw him move, but she was frozen herself. Her eyes glistened with tears, ready to burst forth. "No..." she mumbled as she looked down at her friend.

"Fuck this, no ho is worth this much shit." He pointed the gun at Rebecca.

Thunder again sounded through the alley. Eyes wide, Kane stepped back, the grip on his gun loosening. Two police officers stood at the end of the alley and another was climbing over the car. "Don't move!" they shouted. He staggered back, tried to return fire, but the officers quickly downed the large man. He fell on his back, a bloody mess.

Realizing she was free to move, Rebecca shakely knelt down next to Brent, slowly pressing against his cheek. "Brent..." she said in a near whisper. "I'm sorry...Brent...please...don't leave me..."

As her words went unheaded and the officers ran to insure her safety, Rebecca fell to her knees, sobbing histrically into her hands, the words of the police and paramedics fading to whispers in her mind.


Five months later, Rebecca was leaving school late again. She had missed a lot in the time she had been slacking off, making it difficult for her to catch up. Yet she was already back in the right classes and schedules she should of had, back to the life she thought she had left over two years ago.

Her hair was neatly tied back in a ponytail now, but the red streak was fading away slowly and it could still be seen up close. Her wardrobe had taken a serious hit as well, her midriff no longer showing but her shirt just a little looser. Instead of carrying a small black purse she had shoplifted a bookbag rested on her back.

It had taken a while for her to readjust; her relationship with her mother was the first thing to be patched up. When she came to pick her up from the police station she was crying, almost as badly as her daughter, and it only made her cry more. Since then she had promised that she would sell the house and work less if it ment she could spend more time at home, but Rebecca didn't mind anymore. She knew her mother's true intentions.

As Rebecca boarded the city bus, she also thought of all the vices she had given up. The smoking, the drinking, the drugs, the near cuttings, the late nights... most of it was easy to give up. She never liked drinking and weed anyways. The smoking, on the other hand, was a difficult habit to break. In the first months she would occasionally go out and smoke a guilty cigarette, but remembering what it had lead to she always ashed it out after the first puff. As for the cuttings, she was tempted to do it and end everything that night. But Rebecca found she had a lot more to live for.

The bus stopped just outside the hospital. Silently, the girl walked through the front enterance and rode the elevator to the floor where long term patients awaited.

As she walked through the hallway a nurse behind the counter called out to her. "Visiting hours are over, you'll have to come by tomorrow."

"But I...I just want to..."

"No, I can't allow it. I'm sorry, but..."

The nurse was interrupted by a hand on her shoulder. Another nurse stood behind her. "Let me take care of this one, Denise." She looked at Rebecca. "You go right on along now honey, don't mind her. She's new."

"Thank you," Rebecca nodded her head slightly. She quietly slipped by.

When she rounded the corner and was out of sight, the first nurse turned to her companion. "What was that? If a doctor finds out we've been letting people come in this late..."

"You are new to this floor, aren't you?" the second nurse said

Stumbling, the first nurse said "Yes, about a week now in the mornings, but this is the first graveyard shift I've worked since."

"Well, that young woman has come in here every day for the last four months to see that poor boy in room 854. Sometimes she's late, sometimes she's not. And you can tell by the look on her face it's serious. Now, I don't wanna be the one to tell her she can't see her boyfriend, would you want to be?"

The first nurse understood. "No, I guess not."


Rebecca silently opened the door to room 854. She slipped into the room and closed it shut behind her. Turning on one light, she quietly walked over to where Brent lay. A few tubes remained in his arm, and the steady beep of the machines kept a constant reminder that he wasn't dead - only sleeping.

Kneeling by the bed, she looked at him, so peaceful yet so disturbed. "Hey," Rebecca said. She paused, then said. "I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I owe you everything. You've done so much for me and All I did was treat you like dirt... I'm sorry." She watched him longer, then she put her hands together for a prayer.

"If you're listening..... I know screwed up. It's all my fault he's this way. I don't care if you punish me anymore, just let him get better. Amen."

After finishing, she moved to the chair next to Brent, and held his hand. "You never gave up on me...and I promise, I'll be here for you as long as it takes."

With those words Rebecca closed her eyes and drifted off into sleep.