The Plan | Teen Ink

The Plan

December 17, 2019
By Ava1 BRONZE, Martinsburg, West Virginia
Ava1 BRONZE, Martinsburg, West Virginia
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The Plan

        Clementine is a sweet fifteen year old girl who lives in West Virginia. She does not have many friends at school so she spends most of her time at home video chatting with her online friends that she finds from various websites. Her mom does not know about her online friends. One day Clementine meets a nineteen year old boy named Robert. Robert does not tell much about himself. He mainly asks Clementine a lot of questions about her life. Clementine is in a very vulnerable state and needs somebody; anybody to just listen. She wants nothing more than to be understood. To be heard. Clementine continues talking to Robert for two months, opening up about everything. The abuse. The pain. Everything.

        Gloria is Clementine’s mother. She acts like a great mother and seems to be innocent in the eyes of everybody, but nobody knows what she is like behind closed doors. Nobody is the same behind closed doors. Gloria is abusive towards Clementine. There is really no reason to it. Clementine does what she is told. There have only been a few memorable times that Clementine remembers enjoying being with her mother. Although, Gloria tends to just snap out of nowhere. It is unpredictable. One moment Clementine will be talking to her mother and then her mother just lashes out. One time when Clementine was just a little kid, her mom hit her face with a belt so hard that it left a scar on the side of her face. Since then, Gloria has been more careful, but still abusive. The abuse never stopped. 

       One night when Gloria is sleeping, Clementine video chats with Robert. Clementine had just been struck by her mother at dinner for being “ungrateful.” Tears streaming down her face, Clementine asks Robert for help. She wants to get revenge. She is tired of living like this, and can’t stand another day in this house. She needs to get out. To escape. Robert knows that Clementine is naive. He knows everything about her. He knows how to get her to do what he wants. He knows that Clementine trusts him and uses this to his advantage. Although Clementine knows only a few basic things about Robert it still feels like she knows him a lot more than she really does, because this is the only person she has opened up to about the abuse. When Clementine says she wants to get revenge on her mother, Robert shows an evil smirk. 

        “I know exactly what needs to be done.” Clementine sniffles. “What is that?” “I can..get rid of your mother for you. Then we can run away together. We can live in my RV in Pennsylvania together. Nobody would find us. You could scream as loud as you could and nobody would hear you.” Robert says this plan like he had been thinking about it for months. “How would you get rid of my mother?” Clementine asks. “Don’t worry about that. Do you like the plan or not?” He says aggressively, almost sounding angry. Clementine hesitates before answering. She does not know what Robert has planned, but all she knows is that she needs to get out. Maybe this is it. Maybe this is her chance to finally escape all of this pain and be free. Inhale. Exhale. “I’m in,” she boldly says. Robert smiles. “I thought you would like my plan.” Clementine also smiles. “I will be there at midnight tomorrow. Be ready on your front porch at exactly midnight. If you are not there at exactly midnight the plan will be ruined.” He says this as serious as ever. Clementine nods. Before she can tell Robert her address he logs off. Clementine tries to call him back, but he doesn’t answer. She goes to sleep. 

        The next day, Clementine goes to school as normal, not talking to anyone. Nobody knows that this is the last time they will ever see her. Clementine does not do any work all day. All she can think about is her future life free from the abuse of her mother. A life in which she would no longer have to worry. She would be happy from now on. Finally the bell rings and Clementine rushes out of the doors of her school. She runs all the way home and never stops. Never looks back. Home. Before entering her house, she catches her breath. She walks inside to see that nobody is home. Perfect. Her mother must have working a late shift. Clementine tries to sleep so that she will be rested, but all she can think of is the plan. The plan that Robert knows by heart. The plan that will save her life. Clementine finally gets a little sleep and wakes up. She immediately fills with fear thinking that it is past midnight. Reading her clock, she sees that it is only eleven. She is relieved.

        Clementine tiptoes to her mother's room to see that her mother is home from work and is sound asleep. She stares at her mother for a few seconds before gently closing the door. As Clementine walks back to her room she starts to shed a tear, but quickly wipes it away. She gets dressed. She packs only one bag of just her basic needs. It is still early. Clementine sits and stares at the clock until it says 11:59. Clementine starts counting sixty seconds as she walks to her front door. She makes sure to count as precisely as she has ever counted. She looks over to the clock on the wall. 12:00. Clementine opens the door and sits on her front porch as fast as possible. The next thing that she knows a black SUV pulls up in front of her house, headlights off. It parks.

        Clementine’s heart starts racing. Robert hops out of the vehicle, leaving the door open. He walks towards her house, gun in hand with a cold stare. For a moment, Clementine thought that he looked possessed in a way. A rush of fear went through her body. He does not even look at Clementine. He just stares at the house as he nears closer. He walks straight through Clementine and she moves. He swings the screen door open and walks straight to Gloria’s bedroom as if he already knew where it was. Clementine realizes what is about to happen and just stands, emotionless, staring through the screen door. Waiting. Finally, boom. One gunshot to the head and Clementine’s abuser is dead. She can’t control the flood of tears that immediately begin flooding out of her eyes. The tears are falling but she is still emotionless.

        Robert walks out of the house, screen door slamming behind him. He doesn’t have to say anything for Clementine to know what to do next. She gets in the vehicle. He gets into the driver's seat and swerves away. Sreetch. Robert slams on the gas, making Clementine gasp and the car is gone. As the car zooms away there is silence in the car. Adrenaline rushes through Clementine’s body. She is happy, but scared at the same time. This is her first time seeing Robert in person and although she trusts him, it is different seeing him in person. Suddenly fear goes through her mind and it shows. Is this the person that I think he is? He just murdered my mother. Is he going to kill me? These thoughts go through her head. They are farther from the house, starting to drive at a normal speed. Robert notices the fear in Clementine’s face. He breaks the silence by making small talk. “It’s nice to see you in person. You will love it in Pennsylvania.” It doesn’t take much for Clementine’s full trust to come back.

        “It is nice to see you too.” Clementine smiles. Robert smiles. Silence. He turns on the radio and death metal plays slightly in the background. They continue driving for a little over an hour. Clementine quickly gets comfortable of the presence of Robert and relaxes. Resting her elbow on the door of the SUV, she puts her head in her hand and begins to doze off. Robert continues driving on the dark highway. Clementine is only asleep for a few minutes when she starts thinking of her mom. Flashbacks of the abuse come back. The gun shot of Robert killing her mom comes back. Clementine imagines her lifeless mother laying there in the empty house. Alone. Clementine wakes up and breathes quick, through her mouth. “Are you okay?” Robert asks, seemingly worried. Clementine breathes and looks at the road ahead, remembering where she is. She nods. The music is off. Suddenly, fear runs through her body again. She just now starts to realize how serious this all is. She realizes what she got herself into. Trying to calm herself, she looks out the window, looking at the few passing cars. She tries to think of happy days. Tries to think of her online friends. 

        None of her online friends knows about the plan. No one in the world knows what Clementine is doing. Clementine continues looking out her window while Robert drives. Clementine dozes off into sleep once again. Time goes by and the sun starts to come up. Clementine wakes up. Robert drives off the highway and onto the road, leading to a small town. There are small stores and such on either side of the road. They continue driving, more time goes by, and eventually near a small diner. The time on the dashboard reads: 7 am. Robert pulls into the vacant diner. “I heard that they have good food here,” is all Robert says. He gets out of the vehicle and Clementine follows.

        The both of them walk into the empty diner and seat themselves in a booth by the window. Robert is drowsy from driving and says that he will order them both a coffee. Clementine agrees and goes to the restroom that is on the opposite side of the diner from where they are seated. She cleans herself up and splashes water on her face. She stares into the mirror. She looks tired. Defeated. You can see the pain of her past in her eyes. Although, she is hopeful for her future. Hopeful that she will be happy from now on. All she wants is to be happy, to be free. While she is in the restroom, Robert orders the coffee. The coffee is brought to the table and Robert quickly looks around, making sure no one is looking at what he is about to do next. He quickly pulls out a small bag of an unknown substance out of his coat pocket and pours it into Clementine’s drink. He stirs and pushes her drink to her side of the table. He takes a sip of his coffee and looks out the window, waiting for Clementine to come back.

        Smiling, Clementine walks back to the booth. They exchange “heys” and drink their coffee. They have small talk. “That was a long drive,” Robert says. “Yeah, it was.” “My RV is just a few minutes up the road from here. You will love it there.” Clementine smiles. They don’t order any food and Robert says, “Well, we better get going.” He begins to leave, Clementine following. Suddenly, Clementine begins to feel a little woozy and Robert notices. He acts like he does not know why she is feeling this way and says, “Are you okay?” “Yes. I am just tired.” Clementine says. They get in the car and are driving for a few minutes. Clementine falls asleep.

        Suddenly, they get to the RV. Clementine is deeply asleep. Robert drags her to the RV and puts her on the couch. He sits in a chair across from her and stares at her for hours while she is blacked out. It is dark now and she wakes up. She is scared, sitting up on the couch. She doesn’t know where she is. Robert walks over to her. All Clementine can see is the moonlight shining through the window, exposing his face. He has a possessed look. The same look he had when he was about to kill Gloria. Clementine is scared and doesn’t want to upset him so she says, “Hello, there.” Robert continues to stare. Silence. Suddenly, Robert starts yelling. He yells as loud as possible, staring right at Clementine. Clementine dashes for the door. It is too late. Robert points the gun at her head. The same gun he used to kill Gloria with. He doesn’t stop shooting until she is more than dead. 

        He goes to the corner of his RV and begins laughing and rocking back and forth. It is now a year later and no one knows what he did. Clementine is still being searched for and no one knows who killed Gloria. Robert lives alone in his RV like nothing happened. Maybe his next victim will be smarter.

The author's comments:

trigger warning for abuse/ violence

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