Silent Screams: chapter · 3

Marti felt herself being led from the room, someone's arm around her shoulders, and she didn't resist. She recognized the voice of her chemistry teacher, Miss Abrams, who murmured over and over, "You'll be all right, Marti, You'll be all right."

I am all right. It's everybody else who's wrong. Marti realized she had spoken the words only in her mind, but it didn't matter. Miss Abrams would be like everyone else. She wouldn't believe her, either.

A door opened and then another, and the school nurse was gently pushing her down onto a cot. "Just lie down here for a while, Marti," the nurse said in a cheery voice. “Your color's good, but we'll take your temperature and blood pressure in a few minutes and just let you rest until you feel better."

Marti did as she was told, lying back and closing her eyes. She let out a long sigh. She was so terribly tired. The two women went into the next room, but Marti could hear their whispers: "They were close friends. It scares me to death. What if she—?"

"It's probably just stress."

"I hope so. I keep thinking about that copycat theory. I mean, so many, many kids. Someone commits suicide, and others follow. It's horrifying. I can't believe they really understand what they're doing."

"All I can do is make sure Marti doesn't need medical care. We'll have her talk to her senior counselor. As a matter of fact, Belly will probably be in here looking for Marti as soon as the assembly's over. Betty's going to be working with that Dr. Clement fellow on his book. Did she tell you?"

"The book on suicides? Nonody's told me anything. You mean Bteey's going to help write that book?"

"Just research stuff. That kind of thing. She's going to tie it into the project she's doing for her doctorate."

"Speaking of which—guess who else is going for the degree?"

The topic of their conversation shifted, and Marti was furious with herself. She wanted people to listen, to take seriously what she had to tell them. But I won't give up, she promised herself.


Marti opened her eyes to see Mrs.Allen, the school nurse, standing over her. "Open your mouth, dear. We're going to take your temperature."

In a short time the digital thermometer registered, and Mrs. Allen said, "Nomal. Just what I thought."

Next the blood-pressure cuff was snugly wrapped on Marti's upper right arm. Mrs. Allen seemed to be pleased with the reading.

"So here she is." A voice spoke from the doorway.

Marti looked up to see Elizabeth Dillard, the senior-class counselor. Miss Dillard was shaped something like a pear. H er head was small, and with her hair pulled back tightly, it looked even smaller. Her shoulders were narrow, her chest almost flat, but her hips and thighs spread out magnificently.