We went to the Gillespie’s for dinner after getting back from the planetarium and I couldn’t stop thinking about Bethany’s father, and the big bruise she had on her side. I had to tell someone. I just didn’t know how to go about it.
I decided I’d tell Marty after we got home. He knew Bethany’s dad in middle school, after all.
Marty was coming in to say goodnight when I just blurted, “Can I ask you something?”
Marty looked surprised, but he nodded and sat down on my bed.
“Is it okay to tell someone a secret that you promised to not tell, but if you don’t tell someone, something bad will happen to the person that you promised?” I asked.
Marty thought about for a while. Finally, he said, “Well, if you feel like it’ll be good for the person if you reveal the secret, then yes, I do believe so. Why? Is there something you’d like to tell me?”
I nodded, “Yeah.” I took a deep breath, and said, “Do you remember when I told you about Bethany Baker and how she’d been not-so-nice to me?”
Marty nodded. Then he said, “What did she do on the trip?”
I shook my head, “Nothing. She just…told me some things.”
Marty’s stare hardened, and I quickly added, “Nothing that mean. Just…she said that her dad gets drunk sometimes.”
Marty nodded again, “He’d do that a lot in high-school.”
“Well,” I continued. “She said that when he gets drunk…he, he hurts her. She showed me a bruise she had on her side from where he hit her.”
Marty’s eyes widened. “Oh my god,” he muttered. “I have to call Child Protective Services.”
“No!” I said. “What’ll happen to her if you do?”
Marty put a hand on my shoulder. “Vi,” he said. “What’ll happen to her if I don’t?”
Bethany wasn’t in school the next day.