Belladonna is old beyond her years and cursed by a double helping of empathy. She is watching one of her best buddies make bad decisions and started having those dreams.
This buddy has been Belladonna's friend ever since they were "Little Duckies" in Miss Lisa's dance class. They were four years old at the time. Little Ducky is smart and very, very pretty.
Little Ducky went off the rails late in her Junior year of high school. She will not be marching down the middle of the Eaton Rapids school gym with the rest of the Class of 2015.
At first, Little Ducky was taking "Alternative Ed" classes. These classes are delivered, for the most part, via computer. They have been a God sent for many students. People in small towns can be cruel and some people are exquisitely sensitive to criticism. Computer based classes can save those students.
Little Ducky did not stick with it.
Little Ducky turned into a "bum magnet".
Little Ducky moved in with her latest bum who lives about fifteen miles away from here. The bum is cutting Little Ducky away from her friends and family as surely as an Orca finesses a sea lion in the surf.
It is as painful to watch as the cheesiest, most cliche horror movie. You know how the next 10 scenes will play out. There is no suspense. Only pain.
Belladonna was attempting to text Little Ducky last night and the bum had Little Ducky's phone. People who text a lot (we are talking teenage girls, here) develop idiosyncratic spellings and grammar shortcuts. Little Ducky was not responding to Bella's texts, the bum was.
"Nope. Cant go to lunch with you tomarra. I gotta wash bums clothes."
In the good old days
In the good old days "Dad" would visit the bum and lay a little hickory on him. There is no dad in the picture.
Of course, it never did any good. There is a victim-enabler-persecutor triangle at play in these dynamics. It is all scripted by the bum. The only person capable stopping the script are the Little Duckies of the world. They have to walk away.
Sometimes they walk away before the bruises. Usually, it happens after the bruises. Regardless of how long it goes on, it goes on way, way too long. And, tragically, the net effect is that the Little Duckies simply trade one bum in for another.
This is tearing Belladonna up. There is nothing she can do about it. Changes in grammar and spelling are hardly enough to report to the authorities. The reason she wants to have lunch with Little Ducky is to see if there ARE bruises. She suspect that the reason the bum is shortstopping the text messages is because there are.
I know that many of my readers are far more worldly than I am. I would love to hear from you. Realistically, is there anything more that Bella can do other than patiently attempting to make contact and waiting in the wings?