Reaction

Reaction by Lesley Choyce Read Free Book Online

Book: Reaction by Lesley Choyce Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lesley Choyce
Tags: JUV000000
parents did this?”
    â€œYeah, I’m afraid so.”
    Then there was silence. I was aware of the sound of the falling rain and the waterfall. I guess Ashley heard it too.
    â€œZach, where are you?”
    â€œI just had to get away. I hitchhiked to this place up in the mountains. I couldn’t handle going to school.”
    â€œAre you all right?”
    â€œI think so. Everything is just so insane.”
    â€œWe need to talk,” she said. “Some place where no one will see us.”
    â€œI’ll hitch back to town. If I leave now I might get back by the time school is out. Meet me in the bookstore over on South Park Street, the one with the coffee shop. I think it’s called Off the Page. Do you know where that is?”
    â€œOkay, I’ll be there.”
    The rain let up, but I had a long walk before I caught my first ride. It took me longer than I thought it would to get back to town. Maybe my career as a hitchhiker was over. Ashley had been in the bookstore waiting for me for over an hour. But she hadn’t given up.
    When I walked in, she ran to me and gave me a hug.
    I could tell she was just as scared as I was. We talked for a long time. And then she said it was time for us to go talk to her parents.

Chapter Fifteen
    We took the city bus. As we got closer to her house, I started to lose my nerve. I was cold and tired and even a bit shaky.
    â€œI’ve thought about being pregnant and about the baby so many times,” Ashley confided. “And each time I get more confused. I’m not ready for this.”
    â€œI don’t think I am either,” I admitted. “But we both decided that you’d have the baby, right?”
    â€œI don’t want to change that. I still think that’s the right thing for me to do. I just don’t know about us.”
    â€œWhat do you mean?”
    â€œI don’t know about you and me being parents.”
    â€œI’ve thought about that too. Some days I feel confident that we can do it. Other times it really scares me.”
    She saw the uncertainty in my face. Right now she seemed the stronger of the two of us, the one who was more mature. “What are we going to say to your parents?” I asked.
    â€œI don’t know,” she said. And suddenly I wished we weren’t about to go through with this meeting.
    All too soon we were back in Ashley’s neighborhood, and the bus stopped. We got out and walked to her door.
    When we walked in, the house was quiet. We sat down in the living room, and Ashley’s mom came in first. She looked at me and then at Ashley. “He’s not supposed to be here,” she said.
    â€œMom, you had no right to get the police involved. It wasn’t Zach’s fault. Stephen pushed him first.”
    Ashley’s mom shook her head. “It was your father’s idea. I shouldn’t have gone along with it.”
    â€œIs he home yet?” Ashley asked.
    â€œHe should be here any minute,” Mrs. Walker said. She turned to me and added, “I’m not sure it’s such a good idea that you are here.”
    I shrugged and looked at Ashley. “Do you want me to leave?”
    â€œNo,” she said emphatically.
    A few awkward minutes later, we heard the car in the driveway and the sound of Mr. Walker’s footsteps. Then the door opened, and he walked in.
    He glared at me and at Ashley and, without saying anything, started walking to the phone. He picked it up, but his wife marched over and made him put it down.
    He stood there and tried to contain his anger. “What are you doing here?” he asked me.
    â€œI don’t know,” I said. “I just know that we need to sort this out.”
    â€œIt was my idea,” Ashley said. “Why didn’t you tell me about the restraining order?”
    He didn’t answer.
    â€œYou need to call the police and tell them you made a mistake,” Ashley demanded.
    â€œI’m not

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