Derron liked to play his Xbox as much as he could in between work and school. He competed with his friends and family as well as people online. His new game just came out and he just had to beat everyone’s score. He always had to have the highest score.

Sabrina worked at the video store in the mall. She was a junior in high school. She was on her way; she had mapped her whole life out. She was going to finish high school early, and then off to college. Sabrina was going to become a lawyer. She has been taking extra classes and she is going to be working as an administrative assistant for a local attorney’s office. Sabrina was excited about her future, she had worked very hard to pave the road that she was on.

That particular day Derron got to the mall later than he anticipated. His friend, Ben, went with him. “Come on man, they’re going to be sold out before we even get there,” Derron yelled. Derron was practically running people over in the mall to get his game.

Sabrina glanced over, she was finishing up with her customer. “What can I help you with? “ “I need this game. “ “Ok, we have plenty in stock, we can get you rung up over here”, Sabrina said. Derron was excited he had the game in his hands. Ben had noticed how pretty Sabrina was, he liked her smile. But Sabrina didn’t even notice Ben, she like Derron, she liked the excitement in his eyes. Ben tried to get her phone number and even asked her on a date. She said no, that she like Derron. Ben just shook his head, he didn’t say anything, they just left. Ben never mentioned it to Derron.

A couple of months later Derron was getting a new controller for his game. He started talking to Sabrina; he was in the store over an hour. He thought she was easy to talk to. They agreed to go on a dinner date on Friday. He spent the next few days doing nothing but think about Sabrina.

Derron had picked Sabrina up early and was upset that she wasn’t ready when he arrived. They went to an Italian restaurant and Derron suggested that she try a certain entrée, she said that she was still undecided about what she was going to eat. She was still thinking about it. The waitress came to take their order, Sabrina opened her mouth to tell her what she was going to order and Derron interrupted, “she’ll have the spaghetti with a salad. You guys make is perfect and the sauce is excellent. Actually, can you make that two orders, one for me and one for her.” Derron turned to Sabrina, trust me, you’ll love it! Sabrina was still in shock that he chose what she was going to have for dinner, she decided to just relax and enjoy the dinner. She had decided that the next date was going to be very “iffy.” The rest of the dinner did go pretty good so she decided to overlook him ordering her spaghetti, it was very good.

For the next date, they decided to go to play miniature golf and go to the batting cages. They sat down to eat their hot dogs. Sabrina noticed that Derron wasn’t as happy. You ok? Derron said, “Yeah, it’s just school, my English teacher hates me and she gave me an F on my paper. She gives everyone else real easy assignments and I get all the hard ones. She wants me to fail; her and the math teacher!” Sabrina said, it’ll get better, just study more and you’ll be fine. I’ll help you if you want. Derron shouted, “I’m not stupid you know, whose side are you on? I know how to do my assignments!” It was getting late and Sabrina had to get home. Hey, my mom is making a ham for dinner on Saturday; I told her I was bringing you over so she could meet you.

Sabrina was surprised that Derron didn’t ask her first, but she put it in the back of her mind because after all, she was meeting Derron’s mom. Now she had to find the perfect outfit to wear. It had to be perfect.

Sabrina’s mom helped her pick out what to wear. Sabrina was nervous and very excited at the same time. You’ll be fine, just have fun he mom said as she waved goodbye. Derron was waiting in the car, he had only been there a minute.

Before long they pulled up in front of a small bungalow. Derron’s mom, Betty, came out to greet them. She was a small, petite woman who loved to cook. Betty went back to cooking while Derron showed Sabrina around the house. Derron kicked the small terrier out of the way “damn dog.” Sabrina was taken back; she had never seen anybody be mean to an animal before. Betty yelled from the kitchen, Derron come help me in the kitchen and leave Smokey, the dog, alone. Derron went to the kitchen and talked to his mom in a low voice, but Sabrina had moved toward the kitchen so she could hear what he was saying. She heard Derron say “You are a b## to ask me, in front of my girlfriend, to help you cook. This shit should have been done before we even pulled up!” Sabrina heard everything, she walked back down the hall. “Derron, I’ll be out in a minute, I have to use the bathroom.” I know where it is.”

Sabrina was so upset; she locked herself in the bathroom and grabbed her cell phone. “Daddy” and she explained everything to him. They had devised a plan, her dad was going to call her cell phone in five minutes and tell her something serious had happened and that he was going to pick her up. Sabrina composed herself and went to the table and there was a plate of food already prepared for her. She started to eat and a few minutes later, her cell phone rang. “Oh no, dad!” Sabrina said “my dad needs to come and get me, something serious has happened, what’s the address here? Betty gave her their address. Ok dad, I will be waiting outside for you!” Sabrina gets off the phone and tells Derron and Betty a phony story. Sabrina brings her plate into the kitchen. Betty walks in after. Sabrina, you seem like such a sweet girl. I am sorry for the way Derron gets. His father was the same way. Derron’s dad was always mean and violent and I think Derron blames me for us getting divorced. Betty showed Sabrina her scar from where her ex-husband, Derron’s father had stabbed her. “It was a long time ago.” Betty said sadly. Sabrina gave Betty a kiss and a huge hug and thanked her for everything. Sabrina and Derron walked outside and Sabrina told Derron that she would call him. Derron said “I want to see you later. Sabrina said, It’s going to be late when I get back, I will probably be tired. Derron shouted as she was walking towards her father’s car “Call me from the hospital, I will come and get you.” Sabrina yelled her last words to him. I gotta run!”

Sabrina sat down with her mom and dad and went over everything thoroughly with them. There were red flags all over the place and her parents helped show her what they were. Derron end up calling the house and her father took the call. Derron, some disturbing things happened and Sabrina does not want to see you ever again. Do not have any contact with Sabrina at school or out of school. You are never to come in contact with her again! Sabrina and her parents were going to the school on Monday to speak with the principal so that the school was aware of the problem. Derron kept calling the house and calling Sabrina’s cell phone and tried bothering her at school. The police were brought in, and they advised Derron not to have anything to do with Sabrina. And if he didn’t leave her alone further action would be taken. It took awhile, but Derron finally left her alone. He had found a new girlfriend.

What were the warning signs?

Stop the cycle of abuse!

Author's Bio: 

I am Tami Principe and I reside in Illinois. I am happily married with two sons and two grandsons. I love anything outdoors. I also love museums and traveling. I have worked in the fields of Sales, Marketing, and Business Development and Customer Service. The one thing that I missed, that I use to do when my children were little, was volunteering. I always wanted to give back. That is such a wonderful feeling. So when my position became outsourced, I was left with a considerable amount of time on my hands. So, I created my website. I wanted to help other women so I wrote an extensive four part series on Domestic Violence. From that point, I wrote more and more articles offering encouragement and support to other people. From there I started my own radio talk show. Many topics are discussed on my show, although I mainly interview authors. I have a Book of the Month and once I interview the author, I post their book on my website. I am also a guest speaker at various functions.

I have written two books that are soon to be released, “Walk In Peace” and “My Soulful Journey.” My books are inspirational and can be used as a tool for others.