The Attack is the fifth chapter of The Gift of a Best Friend. It was first published on June 3, 2016.
I didn’t get to tell Jasmine or her family.
Mostly because I couldn’t find them. They weren’t in the park the next day, and I didn’t know where they lived. And I couldn’t tell my dad because I knew he wouldn’t believe me. But whoever those two boys were, I knew I couldn’t let them hurt Jasmine, though I didn’t know why. I didn’t like her. But I got myself prepared.
I grabbed a hammer from my dad’s tool box and I put it in my backpack, then I went to the school bus. While I was on it, in the back, Jasmine came and sat next to me.
“Hi, Annabeth,” she said.
“Hi,” I replied, which I didn’t usually do.
I kept watching her, but turned away when she looked at me.
“You’re being weird,” Jasmine noticed when we got to school.
“How am I being weird?” I asked.
“You’re talking to me.”
“Oh. I guess I tolerate you now.”
“Really? Does that mean we can be friends?”
Her expression became sad. What is it with her wanting us to be friends?
Jasmine and I and Peter sat together all day at school and learned some things. Then when school was done and we were on the bus, I didn’t get out of it where I usually do
I stayed on it until Jasmine got off it. When she got off, I stayed on and watched her and Peter walk home from the back window. They started running to their homes in opposite directions.
Then it happened.
The two boys came from out of nowhere, grabbed Jasmine, who I swore I heard scream, and ran off with her toward the woods behind the houses on the right side of the street.
“Stop the bus!” I yelled.
The bus driver actually listened to me and stopped the school bus.
I grabbed the lever, opening the doors, and I got out. Then I unzipped my backpack, grabbed out my hammer, and went the way the two boys took Jasmine.
They didn’t go very far.
I found them in a small opened area with short green grass. I’m not sure how, but they didn’t hear me coming. I hid behind a tree and peeked out from behind it.
One of the boys had Jasmine lying on the ground with him above her while the other boy watched a couple inches away. The boy above Jasmine began pulling down her pants, for some reason.
I sprang into action. I raised my hammer and charged at them.
The boys and Jasmine were surprised to see me, but didn’t adjust to it until I hit the boy above Jasmine in the face with the opposite side of the flat part of the hammer, causing him to bleed. A lot.
I wasn’t watching the other boy, so he grabbed me and picked me up from behind.
“Who do we have here?” he asked. He was the first boy that talked at the top of the slide two days ago.
“That’s the girl that was hiding inside the slide,” the second boy said, holding the side of his face where I hit him, his head completely covered in blood. He had black hair and brown eyes that looked mad.
I squirmed in the first boy’s arms, trying to break free using my hammer.
“Don’t even try it,” the boy holding me said. “You’re no match for me.”
“Hey, now we’ve each got a girl,” the second boy said.
“Hmm. You’re right. I’ll take this feisty one. You can have that one.”
“Gladly. She’s more willing to play than I bet that little blondie is.”
I didn’t know what they wanted to do with us, but I knew I couldn’t let them do it.
I made eye-contact with Jasmine, who was still lying on the ground, having not tried to get up. She was scared like me, but she understood.
She stood up quickly and tackled the boy’s legs hard enough so that he would fall and let me go. She stood on top of him until I got up and grabbed my hammer. I hit him on the head, knocking him out. Then we turned on the other boy, who looked ready to charge at us.
“You’re some tough little girls, aren’t you?” he said.
I looked at Jasmine and she was shaking.
“He’s not going to hurt us,” she said.
“What?” I asked in disbelief. “Yes, he will.”
“No I won’t,” he insisted. “I’m not going to hurt you. Come here.”
I knew he was lying, but Jasmine didn’t.
“Annabeth, he’s not going to hurt us.”
“Yes he will, Jasmine.”
“No he won’t!”
“Yes he will!”
Jasmine was mad at me and I was mad at her. Why does she think that he won’t hurt us?
We got distracted from him, and he tackled me, knocking my hammer out of my hand. He landed on top of me, holding my arms to the ground.
“You’re a very naughty little girl,” he said.
“No, I’m not!” I said, struggling to break free. “You are! Jasmine, help!”
She was still shaking like she didn’t want to attack him. Did she know him or something?
The boy started taking off my pants with one hand while holding both of my arms above my head with the other. But I kept moving and screaming, making it hard for him.
Jasmine was finally able to find the courage to attack him. She jumped on top of him, wrapped her arms around his neck, and pulled him back. “Let her go!”
He growled, stood up with Jasmine still on his back, and tried to pull her off.
I got up and grabbed my hammer. When I turned back to the boy, I saw that he had grabbed Jasmine’s arms and threw her down on the ground in front of him.
I raised my hammer and slashed him across his back as hard as I could, causing him to slump forward. I wrapped one arm around his neck and continued slashing his back with my hammer in my other hand. He screamed in pain with each hit.
At one point, I just continued attacking him blindly until I accidentally caught myself on the side of my stomach. I cried out and dropped to the ground, clutching my stomach with both hands while blood poured out.
The boy stood up, groaning while doing so. How can he still be able to stand?
Her eyes were open, but she didn’t look like she could move. She used her arms to try and sit up, but she fell back down again.
The boy picked up my bloody hammer and stood over me. “I hate to kill you, because you’re a really tough and brave little cutie. But you’ve really pissed me off.” He raised the hammer. “Any last words?”
Help, I thought, but didn’t say.
Surprisingly, help came to me. “No!”
Jasmine grabbed onto his leg with both of her hands while laying on her stomach.
“Sorry,” he said, obviously not meaning it.
He tried to shake her off his leg, but she held on tightly. He was about to hit her hands with the hammer, but I managed to get up and tackle his other leg, knocking him off balance, and he fell onto his butt.
I quickly stood up and grabbed the hammer and tried to pull it out of his hand, but he was stronger than me and pulled it back, though I held onto it desperately.
Jasmine got up from the ground, grabbed onto the hammer, and we pulled together. The boy pulled back, and we played tug-of-war with it like how I sometimes play with one of Rufus’s toys with him.
Finally it slipped out of his hands and we fell back to the ground with the hammer. Jasmine let go of it and we stood up, the hammer in my hands. I walked over to the boy, who was still lying on the ground.
I held my hammer up, ready to bring it down onto his face. “Go away.”
He looked at me angrily and growled. “This isn’t over, Hammer Girl.”
He stood up and I watched him closely as he picked up his knocked-out friend and half dragged, half carried him away, farther into the trees.
I grabbed Jasmine’s hand and quickly ran the other way.
The cut on my stomach hurt and was still bleeding, but I didn’t stop until we were out of the woods and back into the neighborhood. We both sat down on the grass, behind the backyards of some houses, breathing hard.
I felt tired and a little cold, but I was fine.
I looked over at Jasmine. She looked ok too, but she was still shaking, and I don’t think it was from the cold.
She looked at me. “You saved me.”
I nodded in agreement.
“I don’t know,” I admitted.
“I thought you didn’t like me.”
“Didn’t? So, you don’t hate me anymore?”
“I don’t know.”
Jasmine looked down at the grass, softly blowing in the cool breeze. Then she looked back toward the woods. “Did you know they were going to hurt me?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“In the park two days ago. I was hiding from you in the slide, and I heard those two boys talking about a little girl. They never said your name, but I somehow knew that they were talking about you.”
“That’s why you were being weird to me?”
“Ok. But what did they want with me?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I said. “I didn’t understand most of the things they said. But I knew they were going to hurt you.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that before?”
“I wanted to. But I didn’t know where you lived.”
“What about at kindergarten today?”
“I don’t know. I guess I was hoping I was wrong. But I wasn’t.”
“It’s ok. You saved me. Thank you for saving me, Annabeth.”
I gave her a small smile.
“Annabeth,” Jasmine said. “Can we be friends?”
“Why do you want to be friends?” I asked.
“Because you look like you need a friend.”
“I don’t need a friend.”
“Everybody needs a friend.”
I turned away from her. “Why me? Why not somebody else?”
“My grandma says it’s best to have a friend who doesn’t have any friends than one that has a lot of friends.”
“Because you know you can count on them the most. And I know I can count on you.”
I looked at her, then looked down. “I don’t know how to be a friend.”
“Well, I think you know how to be a damn good friend.”
I couldn’t help but smile.
“See?” Jasmine said. “Can we be friends? Please?”
I looked at her.
She was begging me with her eyes. She looked silly, but I knew she wasn’t going to take no for an answer. She hasn’t since I met her on the first day of kindergarten.
Jasmine wants to be my friend. I don’t know why, but I could tell she cared about me even more than my dad does.
Everybody needs a friend.
She believes she can count on me. Maybe I can count on her too. I smiled and nodded.
What Jasmine did next surprised me: she came over to me and gave me a hug. She’s a hugger. Great.
After about a minute, we pulled away from each other a little bit.
Jasmine looked me over. “You’re hurt.”
I looked down at the side of my stomach and saw my shirt covered with my blood.
“Come on,” Jasmine said. “I can fix it.”
“Just follow me.”
“Ok. And we can tell your mom and dad what happened.”
“No!” she said, a little too insistently.
I looked at her. She was shaking again and she looked like she was going to cry.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I don’t want to tell my mommy and daddy,” Jasmine said. “Or anybody.”
“Because I don’t want them to blame me.”
“They’re not going to blame you, will they?”
“I don’t think so, but I still don’t want to tell them. Are you going to tell your mommy and daddy?”
I shook my head. “No.”
“Can we keep it a secret?”
“Ok. I promise I won’t tell anybody.”
“I promise too. Now let’s go fix your cut.”
Jasmine held out her hand to me, and I took it.
We went to find our backpacks that we dropped, and when we did found them, I put my bloody hammer in mine, and Jasmine told me to hold it in front of me to hide my blood-stained shirt.
Then she took me to her house, which was just a few houses past the school bus stop. Once we were inside, she led me to her room.
She had me lie down on her bed while she got a wet rag and a couple of bandages. She cleaned the blood from my cut as best as she could, then she put a bandage on it. She grabbed my hammer out of my backpack and cleaned the blood off of it too. She gave me a pair of her clothes to wear. I put them on and she took my bloody clothes.
“I’ll clean these and give them back to you,” she said.
I smiled. “Thank you, Jasmine.”
She smiled back. “You’re welcome, Annabeth.”
She gave me another hug and I hugged her back.
I suddenly remembered what today was, and I thought that this was the best birthday ever.
I thought this chapter happened in the next chapter, but I guess not. Anyway, what did you guys think about it being the way Annabeth and Jasmine officially became friends? How do you think it'll impact them as they get older?
Please review here.
- Rufus Chase (mentioned)
- Annabeth and Jasmine become official friends.