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The clouds had moved in earlier that evening. It was very gloomy weather, but it wasn?t raining yet. Rick and Jodie let their fifteen-year-old daughter go to a party that night. She had a curfew but she was late?again.
They were sitting at the kitchen table having a discussion, and waiting for the instant she walked through the door.
?Damn her, she knows that her curfew was at midnight and it?s already three, this is the last time she goes to a party,? he said as he stood up and walked around the kitchen.
?But, Rick?? cried Jodie.
?No buts, she?s done this one too many times.?
?Give her one more chance.? Jodie pleaded, following him as he paced back and forth.
?No! You give her an arm and she takes an arm and a leg.?
?If we keep letting her do this, she will.?
?Look Rick, we?ll ground her for a week, she?ll learn her lesson.?
?Jodie we?ve gone through this before, and look, where is she now?? He said as he looked through the window. ?We never disciplined her; we need to get tougher, what she need is a good ass beating, like your father gave you.?
?Don?t you dare touch her!? She warned.
?She needs to learn her lesson; she needs to know that she isn?t going to make a fool of me.?
?So you think abuse is going to help?? Asked Jodie.
?Well, we?ll never know until we try.?
?You?ll go to jail you know, she?ll call the police and you?ll go to jail, are you willing to risk that??
Jodie was asking Rick as the lights came up the driveway.
?There she is, just wait, just wait till she walks through the door.? Said Rick as he was taking off his belt like a horsewhip.
?Rick, please.? (Loud knocks at the door)
They paused, they look at each other with the most bewildered faces, and then they proceed to open the door.
?Are you the parents of?Janelle Marquez?? Unwillingly asked the police officer.
Jodie began crying uncontrollably.
?Yes, what?happened?? Asked Rick, dreading the answer ?is?she ok??
?Well?, said the officer. (A long pause)
?She?the?the witnesses say, that she was drinking heavily?, the officer continued, ?they said that nobody wanted to bring her home.? ?So she began to walk to get there on time.?
Rick then also began crying, feeling guilty for thinking his daughter had deliberately acted against his wishes.
?On the way home,? said the officer, ?a man, a Mexican-American man stopped her?. ?I?m sorry; she?was brutally raped and left for dead.?
?No?no?no?no,? Jodie cried.
?Is she alive?? Asked Rick trying to be strong, waiting for the response.
?Yes, she?s at St. Agnes medical center, but I have to warn you that she was strangled and stabbed numerous times, she?s on life support, they?ve tried everything and they don?t think she?ll make it through the night.? ?Oh and one more thing, she is five months pregnant.? ?I?m deeply sorry, now if you?ll excuse me.?
Rick began crying like there was no tomorrow. He fell to the floor, and looked up at the police officer. And just as the officer looked back at him, the rain began pouring down as if someone of a higher source of life felt the sorrow he and Jodie were experiencing and was also crying with them.
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