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Alternate ending to "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson
As the last day of school, rolled around, I realized I didn’t want to hide out in my closet anymore. I started cleaning up, taking down my poster and collecting my tree stuff into a tote bag I has brought. I folded up the comforter, stuck it under my arm, and heading out, closing the door behind me. As I exited the school, I noticed there was a very big crowd at the corner. Debating whether to go see or head home, I figured it would be nice to know what people were talking about when we got back next year. As I got closer, I saw that there two cop cars. One officer was holding back the crowd, one was talking to some girl and the other was talking to a guy handcuffed in the back of one car. I took two more steps before I froze. The person in the back was IT. His faced was red and scratched, and he was crying. That was a first. Completely numb, I tuned toward the two cops and the girl, I realized that was Rachel. She was crying too, and looking frantically around for something. She turned my way, and pointed. Taking a quick glance at me, the officers started toward me. Suddenly, the feeling when I saw Andy ditching school came back. I wanted to stand perfectly still, to disappear, and hope there was someone behind me they were after. But just my luck, they stopped right in front of me.
“Are you Melinda Sordino?” asked Officer One. He was tall, lean, and had black hair. He had a serious look plastered on his face, but his bright blue eyes showed kindness. The kind you get when your grandma looks at you.
I decided not to answer. What business did they have knowing who I was?
“Melinda? Are you sure it was her?” he asked, turning to Rachel, who had slowly walked up.
“Yes, I’m sure. She told me so, just a few weeks ago.” She actually looked concerned. But would she really tattle on her “true love”?
“Melinda?” said Officer Two. He looked the opposite of the other guy. This one was short, kinda chubby, and had blonde hair. He spoke in a menacing way, but his eyes showed how concerned he was.
“Melinda, please. We need to ask you about that young man over there,” and he pointed at Andy. But I refused to follow. While I didn’t look, I could feel his cold hard stare, right at me. But it wasn’t my fault. Rachel is the one who told.
“Your parents are heading to the station right now, so why don’t you come with us, and we’ll make this as brief as possible, ok?”
I had two options; first I could go with these seemingly nice strangers, or two, I could bolt right now. I stood there a long moment, deciding which to choose, finally deciding adding “running from the police” to “delinquent loser” wasn’t a very good idea. I agreed to go and they lead me to their car, leaving Rachel alone. The only good thing so far is that I haven’t had to go near Andy.
You know how on T.V. when they show police stations, and there’s always some nasty looking people and a fight going on? Well, don’t buy into all the hype. When we arrived at the station, it was very calm, and orderly. It smelled like coffee, doughnuts, and cigarettes. The two cops I rode with handed me off to a woman officer, who led me to the back into a little room on the corner. This looked more like one of those interrogation rooms you see. She asked if I wanted anything, which I declined. She left the room, leaving me all alone. If only I could go back in time. Go back and not go to that stupid, not have gotten drunk or fallen into Andy. I should have said no, should have at least told someone what he did to me. But I can’t. I can’t do anything but move forward. I know that. No one really cared, except for Rachel. She had the guts to tell someone, and I have to remember to thank her. All of a sudden, Officer One came into the room and shut the door. He pulled up a chair and sat across from me. Hands folded in his lap, he looked carefully at me, trying to read something I couldn’t see. After a long moment, he spoke.
“Melinda, I can’t completely understand how you feel right now, but I’m going to try. You feel confused, hurt, upset angry, and a whole bunch of other things even you can’t explain. I’m not asking you to tell me your entire story, I just need you to tell me what happened at the party.”
So I did.