I was a junior in high school. It was a Saturday night, I was at home in my pajamas (probably watching Lifetime). I don't remember what the day consisted of but I remember it was a busy day and I was tired and I just really wanted to veg out at home. My friends had other plans....
Kristen (my bff) called and she was hanging out with some of our other friends, Warren (her boyfriend), Matt, and Brain*. They really, really wanted me to come over and watch a movie with them. I said no. I was tired. I was in pajamas. I was in for the night. She insisted. She was coming to get me I could stay in the pjs if I wanted we were just gonna watch a movie. Matt was sad about his girlfriend breaking up with him and just really wanted us all to hang out. It didn't sound like I had much of a choice so waited for them to come and get me pajamas and all.
A little while later Matt comes to the door to get me (this is before cell phones, can you even imagine?), he gave me a big hug and told me how glad he was I was hanging out with them.
We started out towards Kristen's house, which was maybe 3 miles from mine. Matt was whining about his breakup he was really heartbroken. We were all trying to be sympathetic but really knew it was probably for the best. Kristen turned into an old established neighborhood with big trees (like the one to the left**) Matt started getting really emotional...
And before I even knew what happened he had a gun in his hand and he said he thought the world would be better off without him. Kristen turned down a side street and Matt was getting angry, maybe if he was going to go we should all go.
He ordered that we all get out of the car. Brian and I were sitting in the back seat with Matt and we obliged. Once we were out Kristen and Warren drove off! (What the heck kind of best friend leaves you like this?!?) I told myself she was going to get help.
My heart was pounding, I was trying to tell Matt he was being ridiculous and that we could just talk about this. No girl was worth any of this. I was standing tucked into the roots of those trees trying to figure out how I could get to one of the front doors that was probably less then 100 yards behind me. All the while Matt was telling us if we ran or if we yelled he would shoot us. I didn't want Matt to go to jail, but I also didn't want to DIE! I didn't know what to do. Damn you after school specials, why didn't you teach me what I should do!
Matt was flailing that gun around the air crying and carrying on like a lunatic. I didn't know what to do. I was praying for someone, anyone to come out of their house. I couldn't understand why they weren't. Brian finally got close enough to me that we could talk without Matt noticing and tried to form a plan to get to a door. It felt like we had been standing on that street forever. Why wasn't anyone helping us. I remember being amazed that I wasn't crying, I was actually still standing like a normal person. About this time Kristen and Warren came circling back around the block, I started to think maybe I could jump in the car with them.
But, I didn't need to because they stopped. And opened the car door. And Matt put the gun down to his side and said come on lets go watch the movie. And he and Brian went towards the car. And me, well I thought everyone was NUTS and I was still thinking about running to a door and knocking so we didn't all die.
But, before I had the chance Matt looked at me and said April Fool's Day Ashlee! Hahaha.
I was not impressed, I was mad and scared and worried and pissed off. He could have been arrested! We are so lucky no one came out of their houses. They are so lucky I didn't freak the heck out. Did they even know me? It's completely out of character for me to be calm. I wasn't crying, I wasn't screaming, I was trying to stay one step ahead of my psycho, irrational friend. I was trying to figure out why my best friend left me with this lunatic.
Apparently, they never thought I would get out of the car. Apparently, they thought I'd know the gun was fake. Apparently, they thought I'd know it was April Fool's Day and I'd figure out it was all a big joke. Obviously they were WRONG! You see of all of my friends in all of my life it was not surprising to me that Matt was the one who flipped out, he was really upset about the breakup. He was a little bit crazy (just usually in a good fun, hey let's go steal Brian's mailbox kind of way). Even though it caught me off guard I could see it, it was believable.
I am very gullible. To the point I whipped out the dictionary to prove it was in there. As a result I do not like April Fool's Day and I try to be on the look out for those jokesters.
When my Mom called me this morning and told me she was arrested last night, I believed her.
Stupid April 1st.
* I thought about changing the names but they are all fairly common so I didn't