“A Journey Endured: The Danielle Chronicles” (Chapter 8 Reflections)

All weekend Danielle had over-thought. She spent the entire time writing a letter for Brent, that she was highly unsure of whether to really give it to him or not. The decision took a lot of thought. It was nerve-wracking. Monday morning rolled around and she awoke to get ready.

“This is stupid. I should just throw it away.” She contemplated.

After everything she and Brent had been through she fought with her thoughts; they bounced back and forth the same way their relationship did. She stood in front of the bathroom mirror looking at her reflection. Staring into her own eyes, “Is this really what I want to do?” she asked herself. She looked down at the note for a moment letting out a huge sigh, until she found herself gazing into her own eyes again. “Maybe it’s what he needs to hear for everything to be alright.  I mean think about…..” Thinking to herself, she began to drift into a daze, remembering the good moments they’ve had.


It was an early Friday for them. Up at the crack of dawn in order to leave the school at 7 am. With their efforts and talent, Hoff had arranged for them to perform with a college band out of state.  Not only were they going to march in the parade, the exciting factor was they were going to perform with a more advanced music group for the half time show during their homecoming game. This was exciting for Elle because music was her niche. She’d often dreamed of becoming a music teacher herself someday. Her music outweighed everything for her. During the bus ride up that pesky “truth or dare” game came up again. This time Brent was dared to go up to the front and sing to Music teacher Hoff. He swallowed his pride, and walked proudly to the front. Started a little dance and while lifting his shirt up, began to sing, “Happy birthday, Mister President!” Mortified, Hoff looked at him and said, “Go sit back down Mr. Mosley… Now!” the bus let out in a roar of laughter. Brent was a brave one when it came to goofing around.

“I still remember laughing so hard, I gave myself a headache.”

Brent was left only a little embarrassed as he made his way to the back of the bus.

The sun was now creeping over the mountain tops, and morning was setting in. Danielle had fallen asleep, like most of the students on the bus. She and Brent sat together. Naturally, best buds. She was teetering between asleep and being awake. She could hear the lulled whispers coming from Jax and Pete.

“I dare you to grab her boobs while she’s sleeping.” Jax told Pete.

“No way. She might smack me.” Pete replied.

“Ok… Well then go stick a chip in her mouth, see if she wakes up.” Jax continued.

“That’s mean.” Pete said.

“I’ll give you twenty bucks.” Jax told him.

“OK!” Pete was enticed.

He headed over to grab her and just as he got up close, Brent put his leg up stopping him to say, “Don’t even think about it.”

“This doesn’t involve you. This isn’t your dare, so butt out.” Pete replied.

“I believe it does. If anyone is going to go near her in any manner it’s going to be me. You got it!”

“Alright, geez. Sorry. Didn’t know you were gonna play her protective boyfriend.” He walked away chuckling.

Jax laughing at him for his poor attempt said, “Fork it over!”

Pete rolled his eyes. He just lost twenty bucks in their bet. Elle, being only half asleep heard the whole thing and had a small smile come to the surface of her face. No matter what they did, he was always her best friend through and through.

“I can’t believe he just did that for me.” She thought to herself.

The bus came to a sudden halt, waking everyone up.  Hoff let out a holler. “Alright everyone!… Were here!… Get your things and let’s check in!” Elle’s nerves were suddenly jittery. Music was her world. It was her thing. To her this opportunity was a huge deal. They piled out of the bus, and the college students were already in the field doing their morning drills. As the last student stepped off the bus, Hoff led them to the college group. The college instructor introduced himself to them. They had a quick briefing of the music, and half time show plan. The plan was to separate the sections to make it easier, and after lunch the entire group would combine.  Elle’s group went off to practice.

 She usually had issues with the other kids at her school. John was giving her grief yet again, while they were practicing, and sometimes Fletch would give her issues too. It bothered her sometimes, but never while she was playing. When she played, she was in her realm. Untouchable. John kept at her that day, reaming at her, tearing in non-stop. The college students began to notice this, but also noticed her sheer talents. Finally, one of the older boys said, “Don’t listen to him, he’s just giving you crap cause he’s jealous.” John’s mouth hung wide open, offended.  Another girl, with red curly hair and freckles chimed in, “Yeah! Hun your brilliant! Let that talent shine.” This made Elle feel better, it also made her blush. No one had complimented her like that before. A thin girl with straight, light brown hair and ivory skin tone was silent for a while until finally she asked, “Have you ever gone to school here?” Elle’s eyes widened. She replied “Umm…yeah! In elementary.”

“What school?”

“I don’t remember the name. But the one next to the military base.”

“I knew it! As soon as they said your name! I knew it was you. Oh my goodness! Do you remember me?” she said while walking up to give Elle a hug.

Elle focused on her for a moment and remembered, “Julie!”

“I wondered what happened to you.”

Elle smiled. They reminisced for a moment. She was part of Elle’s happier days. A time when things hadn’t gone wrong.

Elle had gotten into not only one members good graces but them all. They favored her talents, and the fact that she had a positive history with some of them. This infuriated John more. He didn’t like her. Something about her rubbed him the wrong way. She could never figure out what it was.

“Alright guys. Let’s get back to work. We don’t want to get behind.” The boy who first defended Elle was also the section leader. They got back at it. Afterwards, they broke a few minutes before lunchtime. The tall boy with short brown hair looked at Elle and said, “Well done little one. Your killer on that thing.”

The girl with the curly red hair said, “Yup! We want to see you here in a few more years.”

This made Elle smile. “I promise.” She said. Julie walked up to her and put her arms around Elle, “Come on. There’s someone I want you to meet.” She took Elle over to the section Brent was in. They were finishing up too. A student with short, jet black hair and misty eyes walked up to Julie, “Hey baby, who’s this?” Brent walked up to Elle in that moment too. “This is my old school chum form elementary school. Used to live here.” “Nice to meet you, my name is Hank. What’s your name?” He reached to shake her hand. Elle blushed, looking at Brent; he smiled at her. He had known her story about living here before.  She shook Hank’s hand and he said, “You ready Julie? Nice meeting you Danielle.”

“Come on. I’m hungry.” Brent said.

They turned and walked up to their classmates who were in the courtyard, where they were told to round up for lunch. After eating, they came up with this bright idea to have “chicken wars”. Skyla, Brent Elle, and Steve went for it.  Elle hopped on Brent’s shoulders while Skyla hopped on Steve’s, she threw some attitude because she wanted to get on Brent’s shoulders but he turned her down because obviously Elle was his choice. Brent hollered “Ready!” Elle replied “GO!”  Steve and Brent charged at each other. The objective: Elle and Skyla had to knock each other off. As the boys charged onward, Skyla reached her arms up in an attempt to pull Elle’s hair, but Elle defensively blocked her attempt by grabbing her forearms, and ripped her off Steve’s shoulders. Elle was strong. Skyla didn’t stand a chance. They tried again, and she won again. Brent put Elle down, and smiled proudly at her. “You rocked it!” He said.

“Lunchtimes over!” Fletch called out.

“Ahhh Man!!” We were just getting started.” Brent said. The rest of the afternoon went by quick. The entire group combined. After the students had talked about Elle to their instructor, Elle passed and overheard Hoff and him talking about her. This made her feel put on the spot. This guy was watching her. He wanted to recruit her. Throughout the rest of the day, he watched her and was quite impressed by her. This made Elle feel good, but she was also the kind of person who didn’t let things like that get to her head. Instead, her mentality was wow he thinks I’m good, then I better work my butt off to be good enough for his school.

After recuperating in the Hotel rooms for a while, it was time for dinner. They all went down to a restaurant near the hotel and ate. During dinner Brent, Elle, Jim, Blaine, Skyla, Steve, and a few others sat at the same table. “Tonight’s gonna be awesome!” Brent said. The college band was going to perform a jazz concert that evening and they were going to see it.

During the jazz concert, Skyla kept pestering Elle to hang out, and sit together, but Skyla was too vain for Elle. Not her type of friend. “Hang on Skyla I gotta go to the restroom. I’ll be right in.” Elle said as she escaped her.

“Hey Elle, you coming?” Brent said as he passed with his friends.

“Of course, but let’s go through this door, I don’t want Skyla to see me.”

They all piled into the left hand side of the auditorium. Brent had already reserved a seat for Elle. They sat happily next to each other. It was the first time he held her hand in public. It was like a date. Their first date. This was only the beginning to the several dates they had. Before the “Were just friends” comments began. Brent smiled at Elle adoringly, and Elle was perfectly content. They were falling for each other pretty heavily.

The next morning they lined up preparing to march. Elle and Brent didn’t care who saw them looking at each other. They couldn’t help but give each other the googlie eyes. People started to notice more. Their secret was becoming less of a secret. People were making comments now. People were blown away by them. After the parade was over, they ate lunch, and then headed to the game.

They always had fun together. They were Un-stoppable, becoming quite the power couple to be exact. They cheered on the teams together and genuinely enjoy themselves that day. That was the day they watched a football player take down a cheerleader. The ambulance came to take her away on a stretcher. It was a pretty brutal incident.


“Elle you almost ready?” Her dad called out.

She snapped back into reality shrugging off the daydream. I guess I’ll give it to him after all we’ve been through. All their experiences, “He has to care about me just as much as I care about him.” On the way to school, she stared outside the window reflectively through rear-view mirror. She honestly didn’t know what to expect. Anxious yet excited. For her, this was unnerving because she knew how Brent’s attitude could flip on a dime.

Elle walked up to Brent that morning but saw he was in a bad mood. She choked and decided against it. Instead, she waited until after school to do so. That afternoon, she walked in and saw that he was a lot happier, so she decided to take the opportunity to give it to him then. She stood on the far end wall waiting to gather his attention, and he looked up at her and started at her. She turned around, walking outside the room and he followed closely behind. She turned and he was already standing behind her.

“Hey.” She said.

“Hey back.” Brent replied.

“Look. I have something I need you to know, but I don’t know how to say it, so I wrote you this note.”

He reached to grab it but Elle pulled it back.  “It’s very important that you understand this is for your eyes only.”

“Yeah. OK.”

He didn’t take her seriously. He walked off and began reading it with Kiana and Mira hovering over his shoulder, reading it too. Kiana laughed and said something to him. That’s when it happened. Suddenly Brent’s face filed with rage. He looked at Elle angrily and started ripping it up.

“How could you do this to me?”

Elle gasped in shock, “Do what? Tell you how I feel? You’d think you’d be happy to know.”

“You’re stupid! I don’t even like you!”

Elle put her head down and tears boiled underneath her eye lids. She looked up at Brent and said, “I meant no harm by it.”

“I don’t ever want to see you again!”

“Even after everything?”

By now the entire music group was watching this scene unfold. People started snickering, because he had made a mockery out of her. Brent stomped off, grabbing Kiana’s hand to drag her along with him. They were planning to party that weekend. Everyone was left staring at Elle in an awkward moment of silence.  Pity, washed across many of their faces. She lifted her head up with pride and walked outside, where she saw Brent kissing Kiana. Frozen in her tracks, she was heartbroken by this. Elle already knew he was planning to hook up with Kiana at the party. Brent pulled off Kiana and with a strange look on his face as he looked at her with disappointment. He looked back at Elle and sighed, looking down. Elle immediately knew what this meant. Kiana hadn’t kissed him like Elle did. Suddenly a look of regret washed over his face and he slowly turned around looking away from Elle to walk away. Kiana gave Elle a snooty ha-ha-sucks-to be-you look and trailed behind him, like his little dog.

Elle put her head down, turning around to see Jax staring at her cautiously. “Don’t let it bother you Elle. He doesn’t deserve you. He never did.”

“Thanks… Really…But… If only you had told me this months ago. Maybe I would have not gone there.”

“Sorry Elle.”

“You should have never dragged me into that stupid dare!” She cried out. And walked away in a furious ball of emotional turmoil.

That afternoon, her dad picked her up. If anyone knew Elle best it was her dad. “Hey… what’s the matter?” He asked as she hopped into the truck.

“Nothing… I just… want to go home, is all.”

Her dad kept quiet on the ride. He had stopped at the grocery store before heading home.

“Wait here. I’ll be right back.” He said as he got down.

She sat in utter silence in the truck. She was upset. Broken. She started thinking about the scene Brent had made, and began to cry. Her life as she knew it was crumbling. The one boy she thought liked her, the one boy she gave her trust to. After everything she’d been through she was kicking herself for being so naïve. She wanted to hate herself.

The door opens and her father gets back in, handing her a bag. “OK… Here take a look.”

She looked inside and found her favorite drink, and candies. It brightened her mood.

“Thanks dad!”

He smiled at her with his prominent smile and said, “So what do you say we take the long way home today.”

“Sounds great.” She reached into the bag and began opening up her goodies, “Here dad. Do you want me to open yours too?”

“Yeah. That’d be great.”

They drove around enjoying the beauty of the world around them, and after her father saw that she was no longer so upset, rather than ask her what’s wrong he began with,

“You know Elle, you’re a teenager now. You’re going to go through things. You’re gonna get upset. You’re gonna get hurt, or betrayed by people. It’s just how things go.”

She looked at him with conviction. Thinking to herself, “How does he always know?”

“Why do people have to be so cruel dad?”

“Why do you ask?”

“One of my good friends hurt me today. Someone I thought I could trust. I never thought they would hurt me like that. I don’t know what I did to deserve it.”

“Well Danielle think about it like this, the world can be cruel. Sometimes it takes a toll on people; things happen. People change. They probably met some people that changed their views, or got into things they shouldn’t have gotten involved with, and it was over their head. You never know. Best things to do Elle is not let it affect you, because there’s nothing you can do. All you can worry about is you.”

Elle thought about what her dad had just said. “Your right dad. Thanks.”

If not for her father making her think outside the box of that aspect, Elle may have fell into a depressed stupor. She didn’t. Her father knew exactly what to do to keep her head up. Despite everything her and Brent had gone through, and felt, he had treated her like a second class citizen. Maybe he didn’t care about her. With her father’s solid presence in her life, Elle made it through the disappointment. Was this it? Was Brent finally out of her life? Did he truly dislike her? Was he upset because he wanted to keep it just friends? She didn’t know, and didn’t want to think about it anymore then she had too. So she stared out the window watching the clouds thinking “Maybe I don’t want him as my friend anymore. Jax is right, he doesn’t deserve me.”


 Chapter 9 coming soon!!!









6 thoughts on ““A Journey Endured: The Danielle Chronicles” (Chapter 8 Reflections)

  1. Dash McCallen says:

    There would be no way I would go dancing on a bus and sing Happy Birthday to anyone in public! And Brent is a dick. Lol. Good writing! I feel for Elle because Brent has a rectal-cephalic defect. (Also known as HInA syndrome) Keep going!

    Liked by 1 person

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