I don't know what really happened next. Either way I awoke 20 minutes later, my head flat against the worn leather of our Volvo. My mom kept muttering to herself and I couldn't feel my limbs. I can't move anything when I'm terrified. I freeze and my mind just puts everything on hold. I feel like I'm leaving the grounded world and heading into the terrifying world of panic that only I know exists. I was stuck and the only thing that would bring me back to the mobile world was some sort of relief or some form of comfort.
"Mom? What happened?" I quietly tried to raise myself from the seat and face forward but I felt numb all over.
"Toby? Oh sweetheart, listen you passed out back in the principal's office. Do you want to go to the hospital? Just tell me what will make eveything better, you're sweating already." She was right, my shirt was soaked and I began to shiver from the wet cotton. I didn't have any other priority but finding out where Rose was. I began to feel warmth return to my fingers, "Mom can you do me a favor?"
"Sure Toby, anything."
"Can we go find Rose? You know, La Rose Johnsen, the girl I've been hanging out with since the beginning of school." My mom turned around quickly. I wasn't sure if she knew the full story, if she even knew that Principal Meyer was mentally abusing his students. But she seemed to ponder the idea with some thrill. She wasn't some average potatoe farmer's wife. My mom had the urge to do something great and I think she just might be answering the call of need.
"Okay Toby, lay it to me straight, do you have any idea where she might be? Give me the Ws."
"What the hell is the 'W's? Remember we have to be sly but authoritative about this, Rose has no one out here and I'm her only friend Mom. I just want to find her and bail her out of trouble that's all."
"'W's as in Where What Why When and hoW. I can't promise you anything but only god knows how furious I am at the rediculous school. Toby you're never going back there, you know that right?"
I nodded in approvement. I started to feel my limbs come under the control of my mind and I made my way forward to the front seat. I watched my mom's face turn from excitment to shame to anger to amusement and then finally determination as I recalled the day's events. Mama Woodstock was in, she was going to help me bail Rose out of trouble. We dedicided to drive to the west side of town, basically just 3 miles down the main street to the police station. That's where we believed Rose would be at the moment. And sure enough as we pushed open the doors there she was.
Her face was red with emotion, painted with dry tears and wrinkled with pain. She was holding herself tight, one moment fidgeting with her shoelaces the next watching the policemen walk by slowly. Her body looked so tired. She didn't see me, and as my mother fiddled with her boobs to arrange them in the right seductive position, I stepped quietly behind the seat Rose was sitting in. Mama Woodstock put on her most fliratatious smile as she began to chat up the policemen at the front desk. Leaning ever so close, her cleavage distracting every man (besides me) in the surrounding area, I put my hand on Rose's shoulder and motioned for her to follow me silently.
Holding onto each other tight we slipped through the back door and sped to the Volvo. Thank goodness my mom had stealth cause the car was whining to go far far away from Ashton.
"Toby, Rose get in now!" My mother couldn't stop bouncing in the front seat. I made Rose lie flat agains the floor of the car till we out of sight from the police station. As the the town began to shrink in the distance I help pull Rose to my side and had her buckle in tight.
"Okay Mom, what's our next move? We can't really hang out in Ashton much longer, some one will notice that neither of us are suffering under the drunken watch of the police. Maybe me and Rose can head over to my dad's house?" With the one mention of my dad the car came to a complete halt. My mother took off her seat belt, turn around, grabbed my head between her hands, and with her eyes bursting with anger and hurt said, "Toby Julian Woodstock, You are never, I repeat NEVER to see you're father's filthy face again. You not allowed to make contact with the bastard, speak to the bastard and even take money from that wife beating bastard!" Rose body tensed with shock and heartbreak as I weaseled my way out of my mom's hands. Yes my dad was a difficult, belligerent idiot who punched a whole in the wall on a regular basis, and sometimes let his anger leave bruises on others but it wasn't his fault, he was just an angry man. He probably is why I'm so prone to panic attacks though. He was still my dad and he lived in Reno, Nevada. Rose lightly placed her hand in mine and squeezed. She understood that people find comfort in even the most scary people. My dad is my dad, I don't have to spend much time with him, just find a place to lay low until nobody recognizes that we're the crazy Ashton, Idaho highschoolers who defended ourselves against malicious idiotic teachers. Simple as that.
As my mom tried to pull herself together Rose whispered in my ear, "Toby, I'm so unbelievably sorry about everything. I never meant to hurt you, you know that right? Toby you're my solidifying ground, the very essence of my reality in Ashton, Idaho. You are sincerely Luke Skywalker who tries to free Vadar from the dark side. You help me keep the monstor lock up. I will do anything I can to make sure you don't suffer for any of this." She sounded so aware, so humanly engange that I was sure her bipolar disorder could not seek revenge now and, that we could just leave this fat filled state of stupidity behind.
But I was wrong.
No matter how hard Rose tried to keep the monster under controlled, quiet and still, she was always susecptible to either mania or depression. Sure enough, her depression slipped in quietly through the back seat window, caressed her tired body and entered her brain as a new home of suffering.