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					       Brad’s Girl
       A Short Story
       By Shay Collins

       Copyright 2011 by Shay Collins
       Published by JSA Publishing for Smashwords
       Cover Image: Dreamstime

          License Notes:
          This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold
or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please
purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you're reading this book and did not purchase
it, or it was purchased for your use only, then please purchase a copy for yourself. Thank you for
respecting the hard work of this author.


       This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to a real person, place or thing is purely
incidental and the result of the creative mind of this author.
       Chapter 1

        I was so lucky to be Brad’s girl. Bradley Jennings was his name. He was tall and
handsome. Extremely popular. I held that much coveted spot as the girl that got to hang on
Brad’s arm. Brad was a prized possession. Or so I thought.
        My name is Jennifer Duncan.
        From the moment Brad and I met, I was told that I wasn’t his type.
        Maybe I wasn’t.
        I was what you might call short and shapely. I only stood five feet three. Brad towered
over me at nearly six feet tall.
        I had never been afraid of Brad.
        At least not until that night.
        The first time he hit me was after the Varsity football game. We had beat Cummings, our
biggest rival, 10 to 6. You would think that Brad would have been happy. No, more than happy:
super excited maybe.
         But that night changed the way I saw Brad forever.
        Megan Taylor had thrown an after party at her house. Megan was known for having out
of this world parties, complete with all the liquor you could stand. I wasn’t a big drinker, but
Brad was. And he didn't just get drunk. When he drank, he made sure to get wasted. So every
time we would attend a party together, I made sure to get wasted right along with my man.
        And this night was no exception.
        Megan and I had never really gotten along. She was totally jealous of the fact that Brad
and I were an item. She wanted to be his bedroom buddy. I could tell that by the way she always
looked at him. She always stared at him with those big blue lusty eyes. And she would lick her
lips seductively anytime he was near. All he had to do was walk past her in the hallway at school
and she was licking those big Angelina Jolie lips.
        No, Megan wasn’t a friend of mine. But she was a friend of Brad’s, which meant she had
to be in our circle. And I had to learn to tolerate her and all of her silly antics.
        Brad and Megan had dated for a while, but they always got into a fight about something
and would end up breaking up.
        This time, I guess Brad wanted a change of scenery.
        So he chose me.
        Brad and I had only been dating for three months and already I was planning our
wedding. We were both seniors in high school. I was planning to go away to Michigan State for
college. Brad was undecided. He had quite a few college recruiters hoping to add him to their
rosters. He had the whole world at his fingertips.
        And I got to bask in the limelight of it all.
        Brad and I had partied hard that night. It had to have been about three in the morning
when he decided that it was time for us to leave. Megan looked disappointed that we were
leaving. I didn’t care. My stomach hurt and I felt like at any minute I was going to hurl.
        “See you later Brad,” Megan said seductively as she leaned up on the door. Brad gave her
a hug.
        “Be good,” he told her, rubbing her arm.
        I bet she never washed that arm.
        Brad threw his arm around my neck and we walked out to his sporty red Volkswagen
Beetle. I always teased him about that car. He looked like more of a BMW type of a guy. But, his
parents wanted to get him a nice reliable car to drive back and forth to school. Besides, the car
was pretty roomy.
        I had plans to become a nurse. Brad had his heart set on going pro, but his ‘just in case’
plan was to become a history teacher.
        I couldn’t exactly picture Brad being a teacher of any kind.
        He opened the door for me to step inside and closed it behind me. I buckled my seatbelt,
fighting back the waves of nausea that were rushing through my body every time I even thought
about moving.
        Brad stepped inside the car and slammed the door. His hands shook as he placed the key
in the ignition.
        He laughed.
        “I shouldn’t be driving,” he joked as he started up the car and pulled away from the curb.
        He was right. He shouldn’t have been driving.
        But neither one of us were actually in the best condition to be behind the wheel.
        I rested my hand on my forehead and let the seat back.
        Brad glanced over at me.
        “What’s wrong?” he asked, resting his hand on my thigh.
        “I don’t feel good,” I told him, closing my eyes tight to shut out the light from the moon.
It was so bright tonight.
        Brighter than usual.
        He began to rub my thigh. Now at any other time, this would have felt good. But at this
moment, it hurt to be touched.
        The smell of his skin made my nausea even worse.
        “Brad, pull over,” I told him, my stomach churning, “pull over now.”
        He looked over at me and laughed.
        “You’re not gonna hurl,” he teased as I covered my mouth.
        I could almost taste the vomit.
        “Brad, pull over,” I told him again, this time hitting the switch to unlock the door.
        He laughed again.
        “If you puke in my fucking car, I’m going to slap the hell out of you,” he said, matter of
factly.
        I didn’t believe him. Brad would never hit me. Besides, he was such a prankster.
        I could feel it rising. If we didn’t pull over in the next two seconds, Brad’s car interior
was going to get it.
        He sped up. Why was he speeding up? Why wasn’t he pulling over?
        “Brad,” I cried, my head racing; stomach churning.
        I tried to let the window down, but it was too late.
        Every ounce of beer and alcohol that I had chugged down that night, all came up in the
front seat of Brad’s car.
        He immediately swerved to the side of the road and cut the engine.
        “Bitch! That shit’s never going to come out!” he screamed at me, throwing open the
driver’s side door and stepping out.
        I didn’t know what he was going to do. I just knew that I was a little relieved now, but
not much.
        He walked around to my side of the car and snatched open the door.
        “Get out!” he screamed, yanking on my arm as I struggled to undo the seatbelt.
        “I said get the hell out!”
        He wasn’t playing.
        I was finally able to get the seatbelt loose, then I stepped out of the car, into the night.
        I didn’t know where we were. I just knew that there were a bunch of trees and woods.
        Brad glanced down at the floor board at the pile of crap in his car.
        “Why’d you have to go and do that, Jennifer?”
        I didn’t know what to say.
        “Because you wouldn’t pull over. I warned you.”
        I could tell that Brad was angry; very angry.
        He stood over me, his fists balled at his sides.
        “You wanna be a smart ass, huh?”
        I shook my head.
        "No, I wasn’t trying to be a smart anything."
        “You’re going to clean that shit up,” he began, pulling at my shirt.
        “What are you doing?” I asked, as he yanked my shirt off over my head and threw into
the mound of puke.
        “Use that rag you call a shirt and clean that crap out of my car.”
        I was furious.
        “Are you kidding me?” I asked, folding my arms and staring at him in disbelief.
        “You think this is a joke,” he asked, pulling me by my hair, “I’ll show you that I’m not
playing.”
        Before I had a chance to say or do anything, my face was buried in the vomit.
        I wanted to cry.
        How could Brad do this to me?
        I took my shirt and started scrubbing, still fighting back waves of nausea and tears.
        After what seemed like hours, Brad finally let me get up.
        “I bet next time you’ll move a little quicker to get the window down rather than puke in
my car. I’ll take it to have the carpet shampooed later.”
        He folded his arms.
        “Did you learn your lesson?”
        I couldn’t believe my ears.
        I didn’t know how to answer that.
        Brad was obviously out his mind.
        I shook my head.
        “Yes. Yes I learned my lesson.”
        He laughed. It was an annoyingly loud, hysterical laugh.
        I swear I had never heard Brad laugh like that before.
       Then, as if out of nowhere, Brad slapped me.
       Hard. Right across my face. So hard he left a welt.
       I immediately grabbed the side of my face and stared at him in awe.
       This was the guy I loved.
       So why would he allow himself to hit me like that?
       I felt the tears well up in the corners of my eyes.
       He laughed again.
       “Get in the car,” he told me as he made his way around to the driver’s side.
       I wasn’t sure I even wanted to get in the car with him after that.
       “Get in the fucking car!” he yelled at the top of his lungs.
       I knew I had better get in the car.
       Once inside, he looked over at me.
       “Look, I’m sorry. I just had one too many drinks, that’s all. I will never hit you again,
Jennifer. I love you.”
       By now, my bottom lip quivered as I tried hard to fight back tears.
       “Do you forgive me?” he asked.
       He already knew I would say yes.
       I guess I loved him that much.
        The drive to my place was long and quiet.
        I could feel him glancing over at me every so often.
        Maybe he was checking to see if I was still breathing.
        “I really didn’t mean to hit you babe,” he said, looking at me as if he were waiting on me
to say the slightest little thing out of line.
        “I know,” I managed to whisper, still in shock over the whole thing.
        “Don’t tell anybody about this, especially not that nosey sister of yours.”
        He was talking about my little sister Jamie.
        Jamie hated Brad’s guts.
        She was a sophomore in college, studying premed.
        Jamie was the apple of my mom and dad’s eye.
        I guess that’s why I spent so much time with Brad.
        He had become more than the love of my life, he was the man of my life.
        My mom worked full time as a pediatric nurse at Stone Brook Medical Centre. My dad
was a biology professor at Brentwood University.
        They both spent long hours away from each other and away from me.
        I pretty much did whatever I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it.
        Brad had spent many nights in my bed because of that very fact.
        I nodded my head.
        “I won’t say anything Brad, I promise.”
        He smiled.
        I loved Brad’s smile.
        “Good. ‘Cause if you do, next time, I won’t be as friendly.”
        Those words sent chills down my spine.
        Next time?
        I didn’t think there would be one.
        But I was wrong.
       Chapter 2

        That weekend was long. I didn’t call or see Brad. But he blew up my phone. He called
me at least a hundred times, and sent me over fifty text messages. I couldn’t bring myself to talk
to him after he had allowed his hand to bruise the side of my face.
        I spent the better part of my Saturday up in my room with my headphones on, listening to
sad songs. And a few rap songs. I wasn’t in a good mood at all.
        Finally, I decided to go for a drive late Saturday night.
        I had no idea I was being followed.
        I drove to The Burger Shack to grab a burger and some fries. I knew my friend Cindy
was working that night, so she would hook me up with a discount.
        As I stepped out of my car, I had this eerie feeling; like someone was watching me.
        I hugged myself tight, taking a quick once over of the parking lot as I quickly raced into
the restaurant.
        I was happy to see Cindy at work. She always seemed so happy to don her orange and red
uniform. I was happy that Cindy had a job. Not everyone was as fortunate as me.
        She smiled when she saw me.
        “Hey Jen, what’s up?” she greeted with a smile, “where’s Brad?”
        Funny she would ask that.
        Brad and I were always together. We were virtually inseparable. So, it was obvious that
people would ask where he was when we were apart.
        “He’s at home. We decided to do something different tonight,” I lied. I didn’t want to tell
Cindy the ugly truth.
        “Oh, well, what ya eating? It’s on me”
        I smiled.
        “I’ll take a cheeseburger combo.”
        I watched as Cindy placed my order all the while still having that feeling that I was being
watched.
I got my order and made my way back outside.
I nearly fainted at what I saw.
Spray painted on my car in big black letters were the words: I WILL KILL YOU!
I dropped my bag of food.
My drink fell to the ground.
I wanted to faint.
Who would do this?
I didn’t have to think. I already knew.
Brad.
       Chapter 3

        I managed to get the words off before my parents saw them. My sister would be home
that week from college and I didn’t want to give her any fuel to use to hate Brad with. I kept that
incident to myself.
        At school that Monday, I saw Brad in the hallway. He was standing at his locker,
engaged in what looked like a deep conversation with Megan. She was twirling a lock of her
long honey blonde hair, gazing at him with those eyes.
        What were they talking about?
        I stopped at my locker to grab my math book, still keeping my eyes on Brad and Megan.
        “So, you’re going to come by after school?” she asked, tracing his arm with her index
finger.
        “Yeah, I can’t wait.”
        Megan blushed.
        “Me either. I’ve been looking forward to this day forever.”
        I was ecstatic. Why was he going over to her house?
        I slammed my locker shut and made my way over to them.
        Brad turned to look at me.
        “Hey babe,” he greeted with a sly grin.
        Megan turned to look at me, frowning.
        “I’ll see you later, Brad,” she said, still focusing her eyes on me.
        Brad waved.
        I placed my hands on my hips.
        “What was that all about, Brad?”
        “Nothing. Why didn’t you return any of my calls or texts over the weekend?”
        I shook my head.
        “You already know why, Brad. Did you forget that you have the side of my face on the
back of your hand?”
        He laughed.
        “I didn’t hit you that hard, Jen. Stop exaggerating.”
        “So, are you going to sleep with Megan to get back at me for not talking to you?”
        Brad frowned.
        “Are you accusing me of cheating?”
        “I’m asking you a question. Do you have an answer?”
        At that moment, I watched as Brad made sure that no one was looking at us, then he
turned to face me. He grabbed me by my neck.
        His hands were so tight, I thought he was going to kill me right there.
        “Yeah, I’m going to sleep with Megan, and the whole while I’ll be thinking of you. Don’t
ever question me!”
        I stared into his eyes.
        Those beautiful grey eyes I once loved to look into looked so evil to me right now.
        “Let me go, Brad,” I cried just as his grip tightened on my neck.
        He squeezed a little harder.
        “I will kill you, Jennifer. Do you know that? I will kill you!” He said, just before he
loosened his grip.
          Then, like nothing had happened at all, he brushed down the front of his polo shirt and
smiled.
       “I’ll call you on my way back from Megan’s. And you had better answer your fucking
phone!”
       I couldn’t do anything but stand there, watching as he marched off down the hall with so
much authority.
       I knew that people saw what he had just done.
       But no one cared.
       He was Brad.
       Bradley Jennings.
       So what if he killed me?
        Later on that day, I waited for my cell phone to ring while I struggled to do my English
Composition homework. English had always been my strongest subject, but today it seemed so
hard to get my homework done.
        All I had to do was write a three page personal narrative.
        My mind was on Brad and being sure not to miss his call.
        Finally, at seven thirty, my phone rang.
        I glanced at the caller id. It wasn’t Brad. It was my sister Jamie.
        I reluctantly answered.
        “Hey sis,” I said, trying to sound upbeat.
        Jamie was not buying it.
        “What’s wrong? You sound sad?”
        “Nothing. Just waiting for Brad to call.”
        I heard her grunt. She could not stand Brad.
        “Why are you sitting around waiting for that jerk to call? There’s just something about
him I don’t like Jen.”
        I shook my head.
        “I know, sis. But I love him. He’s a great guy for me.”
        “I was calling to tell you that I won’t be coming this week after all. I got invited to this
networking session for premed students. It’s only offered once a year and I didn’t want to miss it.
I hope you can understand.”
        I sighed. It was supposed to sound like I was sad, but actually, I was a bit relieved.
        “That’s fine. Are you going to tell mom and dad or do you want me to tell them?”
        “I’ll send them texts,” she paused for a moment, then said, “Are you sure nothing’s
wrong?”
        “I’m sure Jamie. Listen, have fun at your event. I’ll see you.”
        “Okay. Call me if you need to talk.”
        The truth was, I did want to talk. But I was afraid that if I said the wrong thing, Jamie
would get upset and tell my parents and then they would forbid me to see Brad.
        I loved Brad.
        I had fallen asleep. It was about four in the morning when my phone rang.
        It was Brad.
        “Did I wake you?” he asked.
        He sounded so sweet. So innocent.
        “Yes, I was asleep. You’ve been over at Megan’s all this time?”
        There was a slight pause.
        “No, I left her place hours ago. I just had to go some place to clear my head.”
        I didn’t know if I should have been happy or sad, or angry. I guess I was just too happy to
finally hear his voice.
        “Listen, Jennifer, I love you with all of my heart. I would never do anything to hurt you. I
went over to Megan’s house to get fitted for my tux for the homecoming dance.”
        I was relieved. I was so happy that Brad loved me enough not to cheat on me with
Megan.
        “Brad. I love you, too. I just wish that we could go back to things the way that they used
to be.”
        I could tell that I had struck a nerve because the line went silent again.
        “Listen, I promise, I will make it up to you. I will never put my hands on you again.”
        I believed those words.
        Too bad they were all lies.
       Chapter 4

        School was out for Christmas Break. I loved Christmas time. I really loved the last
minute sales and wrapping gifts for my family and friends.
        My dad brought a white Christmas tree this year and my sister and I decorated it.
        We hung lights outside, and even decorated the bushes in front of our house.
        I loved Christmas.
        Brad and I had gone shopping for the gifts we were going to exchange.
        It was Christmas Eve. So far, for the past two months, Brad had kept his promise of not
hitting or threatening me again.
        The stores in the mall were going to close earlier than usual today, but you couldn’t tell
because it was so crowded.
        We went to Norman’s Jewelers.
        I had no idea why Brad was taking me there.
        Brad was a lot sweeter than usual that day. He held my hand a lot. He kissed my
forehead. He was just so sweet.
        A little too sweet.
        Inside the jewelry store, Brad paused at the ring counter. There were so many beautiful
gold and silver rings to choose from.
        “Can I help you?” a young sales person asked as she made her way over to us.
        “Yes, I’m looking for an engagement ring.”
        My eyes lit up.
        Brad and I were really going to get married.
        He really did love me.
        The young lady was happy to show him every ring he asked to see.
        Then, he found the one.
        A pretty gold ring with a princess cut diamond.
        Brad spent about seven hundred dollars on the ring, then turned to look at me.
        “An early Christmas gift,” he said, taking my hand into his.
        “Jennifer, I love you. Will you marry me?”
        I felt the tears well up in the corners of my eyes.
        My hand flew up over my mouth.
        “Yes,” I breathed, throwing my arms around Brad’s neck, “yes, I will marry you!”
        I was on cloud nine. Here I was engaged to the man of my dreams.
        That night, I decided to stay at Brad’s.
        Honestly, I just wanted to thank him personally for my early Christmas gift.
        My parents could care less where I was.
        They were at the annual Christmas party at the hospital where my mom worked.
        My sister spent the night at a friend’s.
        So of course, I was with Brad.
        We sat in his parent’s living room, sipping hot chocolate in front of the fire.
        As I raised my mug to my mouth, I couldn’t help but stare at my ring.
        I was going to be Mrs. Bradley Jennings. I couldn’t wait until school started back so that
I could rub the fact that Brad and I were getting married in Megan’s face.
        I was sure to be the envy of every girl at school.
        Especially Megan.
        “So, when are we going to set a date?” I asked.
        Brad took my hand and kissed it.
        “There’s no need to rush. I do know it has to be after we graduate.”
        “That’s fine, I can live with that,” I said, gazing into his eyes.
        “Don’t look at me like that,” he said, slamming my hand to the floor.
        I didn’t know what I had done wrong. All I had done was look at him.
        “I’m sorry,” I said, tracing his cheek with my finger.
        “Don’t touch me,” he snapped. Then, he stared at me with those eyes. Those eyes that I
was afraid of.
        I knew that I should have left after that, but I decided to stay.
        “I’m going to go lie down,” he said, frowning.
        How could he just change like that with a blink of an eye?
        I followed him. I needed to know what was wrong.
        “Brad, babe, what’s wrong?”
        He turned to face me. His eyes burned into mine.
        “Look, Jen, Megan is pregnant.”
        My face dropped.
        “How could she be pregnant? I thought you said that the two of you didn’t sleep
together.”
        Brad shook his head.
        “I lied, Jennifer, okay. Megan is going to have my baby.”
        I didn’t know what to do, but I knew that at that very moment, I couldn’t stand to look at
Brad.
        I turned to leave.
        I already knew that leaving would be easier said than done.
        “Where are you going?” He asked, snatching me by the wrist.
        “I’m not going to stay here, Brad. I’m going home.”
        “No you’re not!” He yelled, picking me up by the waist and throwing me over his
shoulder.
        I was short and slender so this was no problem for him.
        He took me into his room and slammed me on the bed.
        I thought he was going to rape me. But he didn’t. Instead, he stood up over me. He was
breathing so hard, it scared me. He was like a monster.
        “Brad, what did I do?” I asked, as he walked over to his dresser. He pulled open the
drawer and pulled out something. It looked like a knife.
        I tried to move, but I couldn’t. I was frozen.
        He came back over to the bed.
        “I’m sick of you, Jennifer. You have been nothing but trouble since the day we met! I
have always loved Megan. The only reason I ever talked to you was to make her jealous.”
        I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Why didn’t he just go back to Megan then, instead
of talking to me in the first place?
        I shook my head.
        “I don’t understand Brad. Why can’t I just go home, and you go back to Megan. I won’t
say anything.”
        Brad began to stroke my hair.
        He always said that I had the softest hair.
        I loved my hair.
        “I didn’t mean it like that, Jennifer,” Brad said as he kissed my lips, “I love you, too. It’s
just that, Megan and I belong together.”
        All I wanted to do was go home
        Brad smiled at me, right before he yanked me by the hair.
        I didn’t understand what was going on. How could someone say that they love you with
their mouth, but let their actions say something totally different?
        I closed my eyes.
        I already knew what was going to happen to me.
        I remember looking up at the ceiling over the bed that I had spent so many nights staring
up at since Brad and I had gotten together.
        It was a white ceiling with little gold flecks dancing in it.
        Brad traced my cheek with his thumb.
        “You are so beautiful Jen,” he said.
        He had always told me that.
        I had heard that a lot in my day. My mom always told me that I had the most beautiful
brown eyes. My dad said that I had a beautiful creamy complexion. Brad said I had baby soft
skin.
        I remember Brad smiling at me one more time.
        And what happened next was something right out of a movie scene.
       Chapter 5


        I gripped the phone receiver between my slender fingers, staring fearfully around the dark
room as I waited desperately for an operator, for anyone, to answer my call. My face had been
disfigured with ghastly bruises. My fingertips bled. My lips quivered. My bottom lip bled from a
cut. My eyes were swollen. My palms had been slit by the blade of a butcher knife.
        I could hear footsteps coming up behind me in the hallway. I hoped that someone would
hurry up and answer I needed someone to pick up the phone and save me.
        I began to panic. My breathing had become low and whispery.
        I was squatted in a corner in the kitchen, underneath the phone.
        “Hello. New Castle Beach Police Department,” a female voice answered finally while the
sound of ringing phones, muffled voices and typewriters played on in the background.
        “Help me! Help me!” I pleaded, trying to keep my voice low.
        “Calm down,” the operator said.
        “I can’t!” I insisted, “My boyfriend’s trying to kill me!”
        “Calm down,” the operator repeated, this time in a more soothing voice. “Where are
you?” she whispered.
        “2806 Silver Lake Drive. Please, hurry.”
        “Ma’am, you have to calm down.,” the operator said, her voice rising to something like a
harsh whisper. “I’m dispatching a unit now, but you’re going to have to stay on the line.”
        Suddenly, the house grew silent. Then, the line went dead.
        “Hello!” I whispered, my voice filled with fear, “Hello!” But there was no answer. Only
silence. Deep, deafening silence filled the air.
        That’s when I felt the cold lead press up against the side of my head.
        I slowly turned my face to catch a glimpse of my pursuer.
        Of Brad.
        “No!” I screamed, the receiver dropping from my hands.
        Brad knelt down beside me, his index finger held close to his lips as if to shush me.
        I could feel the hot tears well up in my eyes as he moved his hand up to my head to
stroke my hair.
        “I love you so much, Jenny. I really hate it had to come to this,” he whispered in a voice
so soft. So angelic.
        “Why? Why are you doing this? I asked, his finger resting gently on the trigger.
        “Because,” he began, slowly pulling the trigger back.
        I closed my eyes. I could feel the pressure of the gun on the side of my head.
        Felt him squeeze the trigger back.
        The bullet flew out.
        It felt like I had been struck by lightning.
        I turned to look at him one more time before I closed my eyes.
        I couldn’t believe that it had come to this.
        I wasn’t ready to die yet. I had so much that I still had yet to do.
        But, it was too late.
        I was dead. The boy I had fallen so hard for, had killed me.
“I did love you,” he finished as he watched me lay peacefully on the floor.
“I loved you to death.”
       Epilogue

        Brad was there at my funeral as if he had done nothing wrong. He wore a black suit and a
really nice tie.
        I picked out that tie.
        Megan was there on his arm, crying as if she really cared about me.
        I thought that Brad really loved me.
        Love doesn’t hurt. Love isn’t a sad or scary thing.
        And love doesn’t kill.
        I had to learn that the hard way.
        It’s too late to change it now.
        Maybe one day someone will find out that Brad killed me.
        Before he has a chance to do the same to someone else.
        To all the ‘Brad’s Girls’ out there, get help.
        Before it’s too late.
        ###

				
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