Author's note: The following story is a work of fiction. All characters in the story are not of my own creation. They were created by John L. Goldwater and are copyright 1999 by Archie Comic Publications, Inc. The characters' names are the exclusive trademarks of Archie Comic Publications, Inc. The following story is copyright 1999 by Mark Moore. It was written from Monday, June 14, 1999, 7:40 PM to Tuesday, September 7, 1999, 3:00 PM.

Hello. I've been a fan of Archie comic books since 1992. Actually, I only bought two Archie Digest Magazines in 1992. My sister got me a one-year subscription to the regular thin Archie comics in 1993. In late 1998, I began purchasing the comic books again. However, I now only buy issues centered on the female characters: Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, and Cheryl Blossom. I get new ones every month and search for old issues at the flea market. I'm hooked!

Now that you know of my passion for the female Archie characters (shut up), you might be wondering "What's the big deal? The stories are monotonously repetitive. There's little continuity. The comics are only good for cheap laughs." Well, I'll agree with that for the most part. However, I recently (2 days ago) found issue # 82 of "Betty and Me", dated March of 1977, at the flea market. There's a four-part story inside called "Betty Cooper Betty Cooper". What surprised me is that the story is dramatic. They actually wrote a story that has Betty crying when Archie gets into a car accident, praying for his recovery, and nearly getting murdered (strangled to death). I think the story is great. It really shows the potential Betty Cooper has as a dramatic character. She's not a superhero or a person accustomed to pain and tragedy. She's a happy high school teenager that likes to have fun. Being placed in a terrible situation really shows her inner strength.

With that in mind, I present to you, the readers, a novella about Betty Cooper. It is comprised of a series of short stories, like in a comic book (only longer and without pictures). A word of caution: The subject matter is far more serious than what you'd find in a typical "Betty" comic book. There is some swearing and violence (serious violence, not comic violence). The mood is often dark, and the story is deeper.

This is the story of Betty Cooper, high school teenager.

"Essay About Myself" by Betty Cooper
Betty in "Ring in the New Year"
Betty and Veronica in "Dateless in Riverdale"
Betty's Diary: "Thoughts on Friendship"
Betty in "Late Date"
Betty and Veronica in "Friday Night Feud"
Betty and Veronica in "Shop 'Til You Drop"
Betty's Diary: "Too Much Control"
Betty and Veronica in "Breaking Up"
Betty and Veronica in "The Pact"
Betty and Veronica in "Abused"
Betty's Diary: "Changing Feelings"
Betty in "Don't Mess with Me!"
Betty and Veronica in "Showdown"
Betty's Diary: "In My Own Defense"
Betty and Veronica in "The Dawn of a New Day"
Betty and Veronica in "Friends Forever"
"This is Who I am" by Betty Cooper

"Essay About Myself" by Betty Cooper

Since I'm supposed to talk about myself for this school assignment, I guess I'll start from the beginning.

My name is Betty Cooper. I was born and raised in Riverdale, New York. I've got two loving parents and an older sister. I attend Riverdale High School. My grades are pretty good, but not outstanding.

I'm a very athletic person. I play tennis, racquetball, basketball, baseball, soccer, and football. I'm also a cheerleader.

I love to watch science-fiction and horror films. I also play video games. In fact, I'm the Super Nintendo Champ of Riverdale.

My best friend is Veronica Lodge. We've known each other our whole lives. I call her Ronnie. We spend a lot of time together, mostly shopping or hanging out at Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe.

I've got a boyfriend. He's Archie Andrews, the love of my life. Someday, I hope to become Mrs. Archie Andrews. Of course, seeing as how Ronnie and I constantly fight over him, I'm not sure if or when that's going to happen.

I haven't made up my mind yet of what I want to be. It would be cool to be a lawyer or a judge. Maybe an astronaut or a teacher. Being President of the United States would be neat also.

There really isn't much more I can say about myself. I'm not really a deep person.

See me after class, Betty.
Miss Grundy

Betty in "Ring in the New Year"

The bell rang to end class. Most of the students got up and left the room.
Betty walked up to the teacher's desk. "You wanted to see me, Miss Grundy?"
Miss Grundy stood up. "Yes, Betty, I did. I wasn't very pleased with your essay."
"What didn't you like about it?" Betty asked.
"It was too...superficial. You barely scratched the surface of who you are."
"Not true, Miss Grundy. When it comes to me, it's pretty much WYSIWYG."
Miss Grundy raised an eyebrow. "Wissy-wig?"
"It's a computer term." Betty explained. "What You See Is What You Get."
"Oh. Well, I don't believe that."
"I could look it up in the dictionary." Betty offered.
Miss Grundy shook her head. "No, I mean I don't believe that what you wrote in that essay is everything you are. I'm going to give you a second chance. Reach deep into your soul, Betty! Write an essay that reveals your beliefs and your philosophy on life!"
"I'll try, Miss Grundy, but I'll need a lot of time."
"I tell you what. I'm giving you until the end of the school year, but I expect a great essay. You may go now."
Betty nodded and left the classroom.

"Well, this school year has certainly gotten off to a lousy start." Betty said. She slurped her chocolate shake.
Betty and Midge were sitting at the counter in Pop's, relaxing after school.
"What am I supposed to write?" Betty asked.
"I dunno." Midge slurped her chocolate shake. "But let's not worry about schoolwork now. We came here to relax."
Betty nodded. "You're right, Midge. So, how are you and Moose doin'?"
Midge nodded. "Pretty good. You and Archie?"
"Well, I'm hoping to get a date with him for this Friday night."
Just then, the door opened, and Archie Andrews walked in.
"Hey, Pop!" Archie greeted with a smile. "Gimme a chocolate shake."
"Sure thing, Archie." Pop said.
Archie got his chocolate shake and sat down at the counter with Betty and Midge.
"Hey, Archie, you wanna go out Friday night?" Betty asked.
"Sorry, Bets." Archie said. "Ronnie and I have a date on Friday."
"How about Saturday night?"
"She's got me then, too. Sorry."
Betty sighed. "I should have known."
"We'll go out some other time." Archie promised. "Okay?"
"Okay." Betty said, disappointed.


Betty and Veronica in "Dateless in Riverdale"

Betty rang the doorbell.
Soon, the front door opened. Smithers, the butler, stood there.
"Yes, Miss Betty?" Smithers asked.
"Where's Veronica?"
"In her room."

Betty opened the bedroom door. Inside, she saw Archie and Veronica sitting on the bed, kissing.
Betty stormed into the room. "Veronica Lodge, you get away from my Archie!"
Veronica looked at Betty and smiled pleasantly. "Ah, Betty! What a nice surprise!"
"Save it, Ron! Archie, you were supposed to take me to the movies!"
"Oh, right!" Archie said. "Sorry, Betty, I completely forgot! See, Ronnie asked me to come over, and - "
"I don't care!" She pulled Archie by the hand. "C'mon! We'll be late for the movie!"
Veronica frowned as they left the room. "You won't get him that easily, Betty Cooper!"

Betty and Archie sat down in the theater with their snacks and drinks.
"We missed the previews." Betty said. "The movie's about to start."
Soon, an usher walked over to them. "Archie Andrews?"
"That's me."
"There's a phone call for you from your mom."
Archie stood up and looked at Betty. "I'll be right back."

Archie walked over to the telephone. "There's no one on the phone!"
"Hi, Archie!" Veronica greeted.
"Ronnie! What are you doing here?"
"I was just buying a ticket for a movie, and I saw you standing here. Would you like to join me?"
"Well, actually, I'm with Betty." Archie told her.
Veronica placed a hand on Archie's cheek. "Betty won't miss you,...but I would."
Archie smiled.

After the movie was over, Betty walked out of the theater and into the lobby. "Archie didn't come back. I hope there wasn't some kind of emergency."
Just then, Archie and Veronica came out of another theater. They were walking along, arm in arm, laughing about a part in the movie they had seen.
Betty looked over and saw them. She grew mad and stormed over to them. "Archie Andrews, how could you leave me during a date?!"
Archie was frightened to see her. "Betty! Uh, listen, I can explain!"
"Phone call from mom, huh?!" Betty took her half-empty box of popcorn and spilled the contents over Archie's head. Then she turned and walked away.
Archie slumped his shoulders when Veronica started laughing at the butter running down Archie's face.


Betty's Diary: "Thoughts on Friendship"

Dear Diary:

Tonight I thought I'd share with you my thoughts on friendship.
Friendship is liking a person. I like Veronica. She's my best friend. Well, next to my sister, that is. I love my sister.
Friendship also means enjoying communicating with a person. I talk with Ronnie all the time. We joke. We hang out and have fun together. Whenever I have a problem, I share it with my parents or sister. They help me however they can.
Another aspect of friendship is the ability to forgive your friend. I forgive Veronica for constantly stealing Archie from me or trying to one-up me. And I forgive Archie for falling to Veronica's charm. He can't resist it.
Well, I have nothing else to write tonight. Until tomorrow, dear diary!


Betty in "Late Date"

"Yes!" Betty hung up the phone.
Mrs. Cooper smiled at her daughter. "Why are you so excited?"
"Archie and I are going out tonight!" Betty was ecstatic. "I actually beat out Veronica in asking him! He's picking me up at seven!" She went and ran up the stairs. "I gotta get ready!"
"But it's only four!" her mom said.

Betty took a shower, did her hair, dressed in her best clothes, and put on make-up.
Then, at 6:59 PM, the phone rang.
Betty picked up the phone in her bedroom. "Hello?"
"Hi, Betty, it's me." Archie said.
"Archie?" Betty asked. "Aren't you supposed to be on your way over by now? Where are you?"
"I'm at home. I'm calling to tell you I'll be a little late. My mom asked me to go to the store for her."
"How late?"
"About fifteen minutes." Archie replied.
"That's fine." Betty said.
"I'll be there soon." Archie hung up.
Betty hung up as well.

At 7:10 PM, the phone rang again.
Betty picked up the phone in the living room. "Hello?"
"Hi, Bets, it's me again." Archie said. "Listen, I have some bad news. I got a flat tire while driving home from the store. I don't have a spare, so I'm gonna have to call a tow truck. I'm afraid I'll be a little bit later than I thought."
"How much later?"
"Probably another ten minutes."
Betty groaned. "Fine."

Betty waited,...and she waited,...and she waited. It was now 8:15 PM.
"Poor Betty," Mrs. Cooper said, "sitting there on the couch waiting for her date."
"I don't like that Archie." Hal Cooper said. "Any boy that keeps my daughter waiting is a bum."
Just then, the doorbell rang.
Betty leapt to her feet, ran to the front door, and opened it.
There stood Archie - and Veronica.
"Archie Andrews, what is the meaning of this?!" Betty demanded.
"Betty, it turns out I didn't need to call a tow truck!" Archie said with a smile. "Ronnie was driving by, and she had a spare and gave it to me!"
"How convenient." Betty said.
Veronica hugged Archie. "I always help those in need."
"Archie, can we go now?" Betty asked impatiently.
"Actually, Ronnie's offered to take us to a fancy restaurant. Wanna go?"
Betty's heart sank. "No."
"Suit yourself." Veronica said with a smile. "Come, Archiekins."
Archie and Veronica turned and left.
Betty watched them get in Veronica's car and drive off. Then she closed the door and turned.
Her mother and father walked up to her.
"Betty?" Mrs. Cooper asked.
Tears were rolling down Betty's cheeks. She sniffed.
Her parents hugged her, and she cried on their shoulders.


Betty and Veronica in "Friday Night Feud"

Veronica picked up the phone in her bedroom. "Hello?"
"Hi, doll!" Archie greeted. "It's me!"
"Hi, Archiekins!" Veronica said with a smile.
"Would you like to go out tonight?" Archie asked.
"I'd love to!"
"Great! I'll pick you up at 7:00!"

Later that day, Archie was walking down a street.
Betty ran up to him. "Hi, Archie!"
"Hi, Bets!" Archie said with a smile.
"Wanna join me in Pop's for a chocolate shake?"
Archie nodded. "Sure!"

That evening, Veronica was pacing on the floor, waiting for the doorbell to ring.
"Where is Archie?!" Veronica asked no one in particular. "He was supposed to be here a half-hour ago!"
"That boy is so irresponsible." Hiram Lodge told his daughter. "I'm serious, Veronica. You should forget about him and find somebody nicer."
"I'll consider it, daddy. Oh, I can't wait here any longer! I'm going out to look for him!"

Veronica stormed into the video arcade at the mall, where Betty and Archie were playing a game.
"So, this is where you've been, Archie Andrews?!" Veronica said.
Archie slapped his forehead. "Oh, darn, I forgot! We have a date tonight!"
"Had a date tonight!" Veronica corrected. "I will not go out with someone so irresponsible!"
"Oh?" Archie asked. "And I suppose you've got someone else."
Veronica nodded. "I'll go out with Reggie! At least he doesn't forget our dates! Betty, he's all yours!"
Veronica stormed out of the arcade.
Archie slumped against the arcade machine. "I just lost Veronica."
"Uh, hold on, Archie. I'll go talk with her." Betty walked out of the arcade. I can't believe I'm doing this!

"So,...Carrot Top stood you up, huh?" Reggie Mantle asked.
"Yeah, and for the last time." Veronica said. "I am through with him!"
Veronica and Reggie were riding in Veronica's convertible.
Just then, Betty's car drove up in the lane to Veronica's right.
"Ronnie!" Betty called. "Give Archie another chance!"
"Why should I?!" Veronica asked.
"He was devastated when you broke up with him!"
Veronica smiled. "Really?!"
"Yeah!" Betty said. "So, you'll give him another chance?!"
"Sure!" Veronica said. "Let's go pick him up at the arcade, and we'll all go on a double date tonight!"
"Great." Reggie muttered.

Betty, Veronica, and Reggie walked into the arcade. Then they stopped in their tracks.
Archie was standing in front of an arcade machine with Cheryl Blossom.
"Ooh, this is so exciting, Archie!" Cheryl said. "Thanks for teaching me how to play this game!"
"No problem, Cheryl." Archie replied. "I've got all the time in the world."
Betty and Veronica turned and stormed out of the video arcade. Reggie followed them with a huge grin.


Betty and Veronica in "Shop 'Til You Drop"

"I don't know, Archie. I'll get back to you." Veronica hung up her phone.
Betty walked into Veronica's bedroom. "Hi, Ronnie."
Veronica turned around. "Oh. Hi, Betty."
"You sound troubled." Betty sat down next to Veronica on the bed.
"I am." Veronica said. "Archie just called and apologized. He wants to get back together with me."
"He called me and told me the same thing." Betty informed her. "I came over to talk with you about it."
Veronica fumed. "That jerk!" She stood up. "Come on, Betty!"
Betty stood up and followed her out of the room. "Where are we going?"
"To the mall!"

Betty and Veronica walked through the Riverdale Mall.
"Ah! Nothing like shopping to calm oneself down!" Veronica said.
"Um, Ron,...don't you think we've calmed ourselves enough?" Betty asked. "These bags are getting heavy."
"I suppose so. Let's go back to my place and try our new clothes on."
"Hi, girls!"
Betty and Veronica looked. Archie was walking toward them.
"What do you want?" Veronica asked.
"I, uh, I was wondering if you girls have forgiven me." Archie said.
Betty and Veronica looked at each other, then faced Archie again.
"We don't know, Archie." Veronica said.
"Trying to get back together with both of us is pretty rotten." Betty said.
"I promise it's just the two of you." Archie told them. "From this moment on, I swear off all other girls."
Betty and Veronica looked at each other again, then faced Archie again.
"All right, we forgive you." Veronica said.
"Just please stay away from other girls." Betty added.
"Deal!" Archie said.
Betty and Veronica kissed Archie on his cheeks.


Betty's Diary: "Too Much Control"

Dear Diary:

Sometimes I don't know what to make of Archie.
He can be so sweet and charming. He takes me to the movies and out for chocolate shakes. We hang out at my house and watch TV together. We usually have a great time.
However, lately I've noticed that Archie tries to control me. He does it discretely. For example, he usually decides which movie we go to see or rent. Sometimes I feel I'm only there so Archie has someone to comment to on the movie!
When he comes over to my house to play video games, he decides which games we play. It's my house! I should pick the games. When we go to the arcade, it's the same thing. He insists we play against each other, even when I don't want to. For instance, I was playing Mortal Kombat yesterday, and he came and joined in, so I had to fight him. He makes me use up my quarters!
Whenever we go out to eat, he usually picks the place. He gets so jealous when I see other guys. How does he think I feel when he sees Veronica, Cheryl, or some other girl?!
Like I said, he controls me discretely. Well, I'm going to start asserting myself more!
Won't he be surprised?!


Betty and Veronica in "Breaking Up"

"What's going on here?" Hiram Lodge asked as he walked into his den.
Archie smiled. "Hi, Mr. Lodge! I hope you don't mind, but we're going to use your den to practice."
Mr. Lodge groaned. "All right, but try to keep it down! I'll be on the phone with some important business associates!"
"Don't worry, Mr. Lodge, we will!" Archie said.
Veronica's father turned and walked out of the den.
"Hey, guys, I wrote a new song." Betty said. "Can we play it?"
"No, let's play 'Dizzy Dizzy'." Archie said. "I improved the chords."
"Okay." Betty said, upset.
Archie picked up his guitar. Reggie picked up his bass guitar. Betty picked up her tambourine. Veronica stood behind her keyboard. Jughead sat behind his drum set.
"Let's do it!" Archie said. "1, 2, 3, 4!"
They went through 'Dizzy, Dizzy' once with Archie singing the vocals.
"Well, what do you think?" Archie asked.
The others agreed they liked the changes, but they weren't very enthused.
"Hey, guys, I was thinking." Veronica brought up. "We don't have a group wardrobe. I bet I could design some great band clothes."
"Band clothes?" Archie asked. "What's wrong with the way we dress?"
"It's too plain." Veronica said. "Let's dress with some style!"
"No band clothes!" Archie stated firmly. "My decision is final!"
Betty frowned. "Archie, may I speak to you privately?"
"Betty, anything you have to say to me, you can say in front of our friends."
"No. Privately." Betty insisted.
Archie sighed. "Fine."
Betty led Archie to a distant corner of the den.
"Okay, what is it?" Archie asked impatiently.
"I've got a problem with your attitude." Betty told him. "You refuse to let us play my new song and instead make us play a song of yours that we've heard thousands of times before. You also rejected Veronica's idea - something you shouldn't be able to do. You're a control freak, Archie."
"I control everything, because it's my band." Archie replied.
"What?" Betty asked in repulsion.
"I started this band. I own it. You do things my way."
"Archie, you may have started this band, but you don't own it. A band is a group of individual people brought together. It's not something any one person can control." Betty said. "We're a team. We're supposed to make decisions together. Instead, you're treating this as a dictatorship where your word is law."
"But it's my band!" Archie insisted.
"No. It's not. Either you listen to our suggestions, or I'll start an uprising." Betty threatened. "I can do it, too. We're all fed up with you."
"You wouldn't."
"Try me."
"They won't listen to you." Archie said. "You're not half as charismatic as me!"
At that, Betty turned and stormed back over to the other band members. "Attention, everyone! Archie Andrews has declared complete ownership of and total control over this band."
"What?!" Reggie yelled. "Archie, you're nuts!"
"You're just jealous cuz I play better guitar than you do, Reggie!" Archie yelled.
"Okay, that's it, Archie. You're out of the band!" Betty yelled.
"What?!" Archie asked in surprise.
"You heard her!" Veronica yelled. "Pick up your guitar and get out of my house!"
Archie stared at them for a moment. "Fine! I don't need you guys anyway! I'm bigger than all of you put together!"
Archie unplugged his guitar and picked up his music sheets.
Jughead stood up. "I'm afraid I'm gonna have to go, too. I can't play in a band without my best friend."
Archie and Jughead walked away.
"And Archie!" Betty called.
Archie turned around. "What?"
"We're through." Betty told him.
"So are we." Veronica told him.
"You're joking!" Archie said.
"Get out!" Veronica yelled.
Archie turned, and he and Jughead walked out of the den.
At the same time, Mr. Lodge walked into the den. He watched Archie and Jughead leave, then turned and faced Betty and Veronica. "Is practice over already?"
"Permanently!" Betty said. "The Archies are no more!"
"And we both broke up with Archie, daddy!" Veronica said.
"No more Archie and no more loud racket." Hiram Lodge hugged Betty and Veronica. "Girls,...you have made me the happiest man on Earth!"


Betty and Veronica in "The Pact"

On Monday morning, Betty and Veronica walked into school and over to their lockers.
As they took out their books for first period, Betty looked behind her. "Ronnie, check it out."
Veronica turned around and looked. Archie was standing a distance away, talking with a girl.
Veronica shrugged. "So? I'm not jealous anymore. He can flirt with whoever he wants."
"It's not that." Betty said. "It's that poor girl. She has no idea what she's getting into."
"Yeah, it's sad." Veronica agreed.
"We gotta tell her."
"That will help her, but there are plenty of girls in this school that Archie can control."
"So, let's tell all of them!" Betty suggested with a smile.
Veronica grinned. "I gotcha! We'll tell her and a few other girls, they'll spread it to other girls, and soon every girl in school will know the truth about Archie!"
"Look, Archie's going to Homeroom." Betty said. "Let's go talk with her."
Betty and Veronica walked over to the girl.
"Excuse me." Betty said. "May we speak with you?"

The news spread quickly all over school. Betty and Veronica told a few girls every single complaint they had about Archie. These girls told other girls. Archie Andrews was the topic of discussion in the girls' locker room, in the girls' restrooms, during lunch, and on the school bus rides home. The agreement was that no girl at Riverdale High School would date Archie Andrews.

Betty and Veronica walked into Betty's bedroom. Veronica closed the door behind her.
"That worked better than I thought!" Veronica said with a smile.
Betty sat on her bed and picked up her phone.
Veronica sat down next to her. "What are you doing?"
"I'm calling Cheryl Blossom." Betty told her. "I want her to spread the word around Pembrooke."
Veronica grinned. "Great idea!"

The next day, Betty, Veronica, and Midge were sitting at a table in the school cafeteria, eating lunch together.
Reggie walked by. "Hey, girls. Can I join you?"
"Sure, Reggie." Betty said.
Reggie sat down at the table. "I was just listening in on a conversation Archie's having with Jughead. He hates you girls, and he hates me. He's got very few friends left. Actually, just Jughead."
Veronica smiled. "Perfect."
Then Archie walked over to them. "Girls, we have to talk!"
"There's nothing to talk about." Betty said. "Get lost."
"I lost most of my friends because of you!" Archie yelled.
"She told you to get lost!" Midge yelled.
Archie grabbed hold of Veronica's right wrist and pulled her to her feet. "No. These bitches have a lot of explaining to do."
Betty stood up. "What did you call us?!"
"You heard me!" Archie told her.
"Ow! My wrist!" Veronica stepped on Archie's right foot as hard as she could with the spike of her heel.
Reggie stood up. "Hey, leave her alone, Carrot Top!"
"Thanks for standing up for me, Reggie," Veronica said, "but I think I can handle him."
"Leave us alone!" Betty yelled at Archie.
Mr. Weatherbee walked over to them. "Is there a problem here?"
"No problem, Mr. Weatherbee." Archie said, looking at his former friends. "I was just leaving."
Archie walked away.
"Is everything all right?" Mr. Weatherbee asked the others.
"Archie started an argument with us." Betty said. "But I think everything's under control."


Betty and Veronica in "Abused"

On Friday, after seventh period, Betty walked over to her locker and opened it.
Veronica walked over and opened her own locker. "Hey, Betty."
"Hey, Ronnie." Betty greeted with a smile. "What's up?"
"Not much." Veronica replied. "Hey, I'm gonna go to the restroom. Wanna join me?"
"No, thanks. Wanna go shoot some hoops at my house?" Betty offered.
"All right. I'll meet you there." Veronica got her book, closed her locker, and walked away.

Veronica walked into the girls' bathroom.
She walked over to a mirror, took out her compact, and began fixing her make-up.
In the mirror, Veronica noticed a boy walk into the restroom behind her.
She turned around. "Archie?! This is a girls' restroom! Get out of here!"
Instead, Archie walked forward.
Veronica backed away. "Archie, leave!" She hit the counter.
Archie didn't listen. He made his right hand into a fist and punched Veronica.

Betty was standing in her driveway, throwing her basketball into the hoop on the garage.
Veronica's car pulled into the driveway. Veronica got out and walked over to Betty. She was wearing sunglasses.
"Sorry I'm late." Veronica said.
"No problem." Betty said. "Here, catch!"
Betty threw the ball at Veronica. Veronica caught it and began dribbling. She threw the ball, but Betty blocked it. Betty dribbled the ball and threw it. It went into the basket.
"You're good." Veronica said, catching the ball.
"I hope so." Betty said. "Our game against Pembrooke is on Wednesday."
Veronica threw the ball. Betty blocked it and caught it.
Betty jumped and threw the basketball. Veronica jumped to block it. The basketball hit her in the face and knocked her sunglasses off. Betty looked at her and gasped. Veronica's right eye was black and purple.
"Shit." Betty whispered. "Ronnie, what happened to you?"
Veronica began to cry. "Archie hit me."
Betty sighed. "I should have seen this coming."
"It's not your fault, Betty." Veronica said.
"Let's go inside." Betty said. "I'll see if there's anything in the medicine cabinet I can use on that."
They went into the house.

Veronica sat on the toilet in the bathroom, while Betty stood in front of her, applying some medicine to her bruise.
"You'll be all right," Betty said, "this time."
"Thanks, Betty." Veronica said.
"Now we gotta call the police." Betty told her.
"No, Betty, if you call the police, everyone will know. I'm Veronica Lodge, daughter of Hiram Lodge. If this gets out, the media will be all over it! We won't get a moment's rest!"
"Ronnie, Archie hit you!" Betty yelled. "That's assault and battery!"
"Betty, please, promise me you won't tell anyone!" Veronica pleaded. "I don't want this turning into a big media event! Look, if anyone sees the bruise, the basketball caused it. Okay?"
"Okay," Betty agreed reluctantly, "I promise."

That evening, the phone rang.
Betty picked up the phone in her bedroom. "Hello?"
"Hey, doll!" Archie greeted. "You like how I decorated Ronnie today?!"
"You bastard." Betty hissed.
"Nice to hear you, too." Archie replied. "You think you can ruin my reputation and get away with it. You better be real careful at school on Monday."
Archie hung up. Betty paused for a moment, then hung up as well.


Betty's Diary: "Changing Feelings"

Dear Diary:

I hate Archie Andrews! Today after seventh period, Archie hit Veronica! Her right eye is black and purple. It's swollen, but it'll be all right.
I discovered it today while shooting hoops with Ron at my house. She tried to hide the bruise with sunglasses. We went into the bathroom, and I treated her injury. I think she'll be all right.
She made me promise I wouldn't tell anyone, cuz she didn't want the media all over it. I guess I can understand that. But still, Archie should be punished.
Then tonight, the bastard actually called me. He joked about what he had done and seemed very proud of it. He also told me something that scared me. I better be real careful at school on Monday.
It's kinda funny how you can love someone nearly your whole life and then hate them so much that you're scared of them.
I can't write anymore. Good night, diary.


Betty in "Don't Mess with Me!"

All through the weekend, Betty's mind was occupied with what Archie had said to her. She could hardly stop thinking about it.
Late Sunday afternoon at Pop's, Betty was sitting at a table with Midge, Nancy, and Reggie. They were each drinking a chocolate milkshake.
Betty wondered when Archie will go after her. It might not be right away, and not in public, but Archie will probably confront her when she's alone, like he did with Veronica. Betty shuddered at the thought of what Archie will do to her. She was more responsible for ruining his life than anyone else.
No, Betty corrected herself, not me. He did it all himself. I only told everyone what he was doing. And for that, I might be dead meat tomorrow.
"What's with you, Betty?" Midge asked. "You look far away."
Betty was pulled from her thoughts. "I can't talk about it."
"Not even with your friends?" Nancy asked.
"I...promised someone I wouldn't say anything."
"Betty, whatever it is, it's obviously bothering you." Midge said. "Please tell us. Maybe we can help."
Betty sighed. "Okay. On Friday afternoon, after seventh period, Archie hit Veronica. Her right eye is all bruised."
The others gasped.
"Ronnie doesn't want me to tell anyone, because her father is prominent, and it would make the news if it got out."
"You should've called the police." Nancy said.
"I always keep my promises." Betty said. "I dunno, maybe that's not so good of me. But it gets worse. Archie called me that night and threatened me. I think he's gonna try to hurt me on Monday."
"You gotta tell the police." Reggie said.
"No, Reggie." Betty said. "All of you, please keep this quiet. I made a promise to Ronnie."
"Your promise is putting you in danger." Midge said.
Then the door opened, and Archie and Jughead walked in.
Betty, Midge, Nancy, and Reggie watched as Archie and Jughead walked up to the counter.
"I'll have a chocolate shake, Pop." Archie said.
"And I'll have six." Jughead added.
After they got their shakes, they walked away from the counter. When they passed by the group, Archie waved his fist at Betty. Then they went and sat at a table in the far corner.
"That asshole!" Reggie said. "He needs to get pounded!"
"Reggie, that will only fuel his anger." Betty said. "Leave him alone. We can't make the situation any more tense."
"Well, if you're not going to do anything now," Midge said, "I hope you can defend yourself."
Betty bit her lip. "I'll see you guys at school tomorrow. Good night."
She stood up, got her purse, and left the shoppe.

Betty drove for about fifty miles. She tried to not think about what she was doing.
Finally, she parked her car on the street and got out. She walked into a gun shop.
Betty looked at all the guns on the walls and in the display cases.
"Can I help you with somethin'?"
Betty turned and saw the man standing behind the counter. "I'm, uh,...I'm interested in buying a gun."
"For what purpose? Hunting?"
"Personal protection."
"You look pretty young." the man said. "Do you have a gun permit?"
"No. Sorry I bothered you." Betty turned and began to walk away.
"Hey, hold on."
Betty turned and faced him.
"Come over here."
Betty walked back over to the counter.
The man leaned towards her. "I understand your need for protection. I carried a gun myself when I was your age. Got it from a guy on the street. A lot of these gun laws severely limit our freedom to bear arms. I'm willing to sell you a gun, but it stays off the record."
Betty thought for a moment, then nodded. "Okay."
"Follow me into the back room, so we'll be off-camera."
Betty followed him into the back room.
The man opened up a cardboard box. "I keep guns that I've sold to non-existent customers, so I can sell them to people in need - like you."
He took out a box and opened it. He took the gun out of the box.
"This is a Smith & Wesson Model 28 in .357 Magnum." He opened the chamber and spun it. "It can fire only six rounds, but I can attach a 7-round cylinder if you want."
Betty shook her head. "No, that's okay."
The man closed the chamber. "It's a fine revolver. I sold one of these last week."
"Will it protect me?" Betty asked.
"Only if you're quick on the trigger and can hit your target." the man replied. He offered Betty the gun. "Here, try it out. Get a feel for it."
Betty slowly took the gun and held it in her right hand. "Smith & Wesson, huh? I heard they make safety glasses, too."
The man shrugged. "Nothin' wrong with a little variety."
Betty aimed the gun and got a feel for it. "I'll take it."
"Okay." The man took a small box out of the gun's box and opened it. "You've got a box with thirty bullets." He closed it and held out his hand.
Betty handed him the gun. He placed it in its box, then placed the box of bullets in it as well.
"That'll be forty dollars." the man said.
Betty got out her wallet and paid him.
He handed her the box. "Be careful."
Betty nodded. "I will. Thank you."
Betty put her wallet and the box in her purse and zipped it up.

Betty got home about an hour later.
She walked into the living room.
"How was Pop's?" her mother asked.
"Great. I had a chocolate shake."
"Well, go upstairs and get ready for bed. You've got school tomorrow."
"Right." Betty walked up the stairs. "Good night, mom."
"Good night, dear."

Betty walked into her bedroom and closed the door.
She set her purse down on her dresser, unzipped it, and took out the box. She opened the bottom dresser drawer, put the box in it, and closed the drawer. Then she got ready for bed.


Betty and Veronica in "Showdown"

Betty woke up on Monday morning. She went through her morning routine of making her bed, taking a shower, getting dressed, and combing her hair.
After all that, she locked her bedroom door. She opened the bottom drawer. There lay the box.
Betty took it and sat on her bed. She opened the box and took out the box of bullets and the gun.
Betty opened the chamber. She opened the small box and withdrew six bullets. She put them in the cylinder and closed the chamber.
She then closed the box of bullets, put it back in the larger box, placed it in the bottom drawer, and closed the drawer.
Betty put the gun in her purse and zipped it closed.

Betty went downstairs and ate breakfast with her parents.
She then stood up. "Well, I'm off to school."
"Have a good day." her father said.
"I will, popsy." Betty replied. Then she went out the door. "I hope."

Betty selected her lunch, then went and joined Veronica, Midge, Nancy, and Reggie at their usual table.
"Betty, I've got some info." Reggie said. "According to Jughead, he and Carrot Top went out for lunch."
"That's some good news today, at least." Betty said.
"Yeah, but what happens when he comes back?" Nancy asked. "Do you think he still plans to beat up on you like he did to Veronica?"
Betty shook her head. "I dunno."
"You told them?!" Veronica yelled.
"Ronnie, they're our friends. They have a right to know."
"So, what are we gonna do about Archie?" Nancy asked.
"He's asking for it." Veronica said.
"Asking for what?" Betty asked.
"Whatever's coming to him." Veronica replied.
"Betty, you seem on edge." Midge observed.
"Why shouldn't I be?" Betty asked. She paused for a moment as she thought. "Guys, I'm gonna go to my locker."
Betty stood up.
"You gonna be all right?" Reggie asked. "No telling if he's back yet."
"I'll be fine, Reggie." Betty assured him.

Betty walked down an empty hallway. Half the school was at lunch now, and the other half was in class.
Then Betty turned a corner, and there stood Archie.
"Archie." Betty said in surprise.
"Hey, Bets." Archie greeted. "Funny, us meeting in the hallway like this, you all alone."
Betty walked backwards. "Get away from me."
Archie walked forward. "I told you to be careful. Now you're gonna pay."
Betty hit the wall. She had nowhere to go.
Archie put his left hand on the wall and made his right hand into a fist. He punched Betty in the stomach.
Betty groaned and fell to the floor. Archie kicked her in the legs.
Archie paced back and forth in front of her, pondering his next move. "Let's see. You ruined my life. I gotta think up something that'll make you suffer."
Betty stuck out her right foot and tripped Archie. He fell to the floor.
Betty got to her feet and ran back towards the cafeteria.
Archie got to his feet and ran after her.
Betty stopped and turned to face Archie. She dropped her purse to the floor. Archie took a swing at her. She dodged. Betty made her right hand into a fist and punched Archie in the face.
Archie stopped and felt the blood trickling from his nose. Betty swung again and punched Archie in the jaw.
"You bastard!" Betty kicked him in the balls. "You fuckin' bastard!"
Suddenly, Archie drew a knife from his pocket. Betty was startled.
Archie had a demented grin on his face. "I think I'll do some work on that pretty little face of yours. No more dates for you, sweetheart!"
Archie swung the knife at her. Betty ducked. She landed on the floor, grabbed her purse, and backed away.
Archie ran at her. Betty rolled out of the way and got to her feet. She opened her purse.
Archie ran to her with the knife, ready to plunge it into her head. Betty drew the gun from her purse with her right hand, pointed it at Archie, and pulled the trigger.
The bullet hit Archie in the right shoulder. He yelled. Betty fired again and hit Archie in the chest.
Archie died and fell to the floor. Blood flowed from his body.
Betty trembled, shocked at what she had just done, but not fully registering it.
The doors to the cafeteria opened, and students and faculty ran out. Likewise, people ran out of classrooms. Everyone was shocked at what they saw. Archie Andrews was lying in a pool of his own blood on the floor. Betty Cooper stood in front of him with a gun in her hand.
Veronica, Reggie, Midge, and Nancy ran over to her.
"Betty!" Veronica yelled. "What happened?!"
"I killed him." Betty said weakly. "I shot him and killed him..."
Mr. Weatherbee and the school deputy walked over to them.
"Betty, why?!" Mr. Weatherbee asked.
"He attacked me with a knife." Betty replied.
The deputy put on a pair of rubber gloves, went over to Archie, and picked up the knife. "Here it is." He walked back over to Betty. "I'm...going to have to ask you some more questions. Please give me your gun."
Betty handed it to him.
Veronica threw her arms around Betty and hugged her.

Mr. Weatherbee called the town coroner to come and pick up Archie's body. Then he called Archie's and Betty's parents and told them to come to the school immediately, but he didn't tell them why. Finally, he made an announcement over the PA system and told everyone to go home for the rest of the day. Students and faculty began to leave the school. TV news crews had arrived and were filming all of this.
Betty, Veronica, Reggie, Midge, and Nancy sat around the table. Mr. Weatherbee and the deputy stood near them. Betty was finishing her lunch. She felt scared and shocked, unable to concentrate.
The doors to the cafeteria opened, and Archie's and Betty's parents walked inside. Betty looked at her parents in horror.
Mrs. Cooper looked at her daughter. Betty was obviously very scared. When Mrs. Cooper got closer to the table, she noticed that Betty's clothes had blood on them.
"Oh, my God, Betty, are you all right?!"
Betty stood up and walked over to her mother, who hugged her.
Mr. Cooper, Mr. Andrews, and Mrs. Andrews walked over to the group.
"What's going on here, Mr. Weatherbee?" Mrs. Andrews asked.
"There was a shooting." Mr. Weatherbee replied. "Mr. and Mrs. Andrews,...I'm saddened to inform you that your son, Archie, is...dead."
Archie's parents broke down in tears.
After about two minutes, they looked at Mr. Weatherbee.
"Who did it?" Mr. Andrews asked.
"I did." Betty replied, crying. "I killed Archie."
"What?!" Mrs. Cooper yelled.
"Why?!" Hal Cooper asked.
Betty sobbed. "Please don't yell at me."
"Betty's going to have to come down to the police station." the deputy said. "Mrs. Cooper, will you please come as well?"
Mrs. Cooper nodded, then looked at her husband. "Are you coming, Hal?"
"No,...I'll drive Betty's car home." Mr. Cooper replied.
"I would like the Andrews to come as well." the deputy said.
Mr. and Mrs. Andrews nodded.
Silently, everybody left the cafeteria.

Betty was sitting at a table in a room. Veronica, Reggie, Midge, Nancy, and Mr. and Mrs. Andrews sat with her. A police sergeant sat with them.
In another room, Mrs. Cooper stood, watching through a glass window.
"I know this must be difficult for you," the sergeant said, "but please try to tell me what happened."
"Archie and I have been having problems for a long time." Betty began. "Veronica and I constantly fight - fought over him. We both finally broke up with him and kicked him out of our band, because of his attitude. That was the Friday before last. Last Monday, Veronica and I spread the word around school about what a creep Archie was. Every girl in school agreed to not go out with him. On Tuesday, we had a confrontation with Archie while eating lunch. He grabbed Veronica's wrist and called us bitches. Veronica stepped on his foot. When Mr. Weatherbee came by, Archie left. But on Friday, after seventh period, Archie hit Veronica while she was in the girls' restroom. Ronnie?"
Veronica took off her sunglasses. The sergeant looked at the fading bruise on Veronica's right eye. It had healed considerably, but it was still visible.
"Archie did that?!" Mr. Andrews asked in surprise.
Veronica nodded.
"Veronica, why didn't you report this?" the sergeant asked.
"I didn't want to get the media involved, since my father is prominent." Veronica replied. "Also, I was afraid if I got Archie in trouble, he'd get even angrier and hurt me a lot worse."
"We could've locked him up for a while." the sergeant said. "We could've also served him with a restraining order."
"A restraining order wouldn't help." Veronica replied. "If he really wanted to hurt me, he'd do it. No order could stop him. And then he could go after Betty anyway!"
The sergeant looked from Veronica back to Betty. "Continue, Ms. Cooper."
"I found out about Ronnie's bruise while we were shooting hoops at my house after school." Betty continued. "I treated it and told her we had to call the police, but she told me to not tell anyone. Then that night, Archie called me, made a joke of hitting Veronica, and told me I wouldn't get away with ruining his reputation. He said I should be real careful at school on Monday. I worried about it all weekend. What he said really scared me. Yesterday, I was at Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe with Reggie, Midge, and Nancy. I told them. They said I should call the police, but I said no. Then Archie walked in with Jughead. They ordered some shakes, then Archie waved his fist at me as a reminder. Midge made some comment about hoping I can protect myself. So, I went to another city and bought a gun."
"How'd you get a gun?" the sergeant asked.
"It was an illegal sale." Betty replied.
"I want the name of this place later." the sergeant said. "Continue."
"I brought the gun home, and I put it in my bottom dresser drawer." Betty went on. "Today, I loaded it and put it in my purse. I drove to school. Archie and Jughead went out for lunch. When I left to go to my locker, Archie confronted me in the hallway. He punched me in the stomach. I fell to the floor and tripped him. While he was down, I ran back towards the cafeteria to get you to help me. Then I stopped and decided to confront Archie myself. I punched him twice, then kicked him. He pulled out a knife and said he was going to 'do some work' on my face. I ducked and fell to the floor. He ran at me. I backed away, then rolled out of the way and got to my feet. I opened my purse. Archie ran at me with the knife, ready to stab me. I drew the gun and shot Archie twice. Then everyone came out into the hallway."
"Can you four corroborate her story?" the sergeant asked.
Veronica, Reggie, Midge, and Nancy informed him they could.
"You knew that Archie had hit your friend, and you didn't call the police?" the sergeant asked.
"I told you, I promised her I wouldn't tell anyone." Betty said impatiently.
"And you brought a loaded weapon to school that is illegal for you to own." the sergeant said.
"That gun saved my life today!" Betty yelled. "It was self-defense!"
"I believe you." the sergeant assured her. "However, you have committed two crimes: buying a gun without a permit and bringing a gun to school."
"If I didn't, I wouldn't be alive right now!" Betty yelled. "It's either die or go to jail?!"

The sergeant walked out of the room and over to Betty's mother.
"Is she going to jail?" Mrs. Cooper asked.
"We're not going to press any charges against your daughter." the sergeant replied. "She claims what she did was the only thing she could do. In that case, we are only going to file a report on this incident. It will not give her a police record. It will only document that the event has taken place."
"So, what do we do now?"
"You should take her home. I'll call you if I have any more questions."
Mrs. Cooper nodded.

During the ride home, Betty mostly faced the window. She sat silently in thought.
Finally, she looked over at her mother. "Mom, - "
"Please don't talk to me."
Betty turned and faced the window again.

When Mrs. Cooper pulled into the driveway, her car was surrounded by a dozen reporters.
Betty and her mother got out of the car and made their way to the house, ignoring the reporters' questions.
Once inside, Betty took off her sneakers and shirt and put them in the laundry basket.

Later that evening, Betty was sitting on the couch in the living room, watching TV.
Her sister, Polly Cooper, entered the room. "Betty, I just heard! Are you all right?"
"I don't know, Polly." Betty said as Polly sat to her right on the couch. "It's like a nightmare." She was crying. "I wish this never happened."
Polly put her hands on Betty's shoulders. "I'm here for you, little sister. Do you want to talk?"
"Maybe later." Betty said. "Right now, I need a hug."
Polly hugged Betty. Betty wrapped her arms around her big sister and held her, afraid to let go.


Betty's Diary: "In My Own Defense"

Dear Diary:

I can't write a detailed account about what happened today. It's too painful. I'll just stick in a newspaper clipping and a printout of an online article. Needless to say, it made the local news - and even the national news - on every network. Mom didn't want to watch it, but I watched it.
They started by telling exactly what happened. They then talked about my history with Archie. They talked with Ronnie, Reggie, Midge, and Nancy about me. They talked with other kids about Archie. Oh, poor Juggie! It turns out Archie left him at a fast food place and came back here to confront me. He didn't even find out Archie was dead until he returned to school, and by then Archie's body was on its way to the morgue. Then they had reactions from parents and faculty members. Everybody was so surprised that this had happened. I'm sure it's the topic of discussion during dinner in every house in Riverdale.
I can't believe I killed Archie! I didn't want to do it. But I had to, or else I wouldn't be alive to write this. Live as a killer or don't live at all. I chose the first one, but how do I live now? Nothing seems real anymore. Am I losing my mind? Am I going insane?
I can't go on. Maybe tomorrow.


Betty and Veronica in "The Dawn of a New Day"

Betty woke up at dawn.
She got out of bed and went through her morning routine. She didn't bother with make-up or jewelry. She just didn't care for it. Betty put on a pair of underwear, blue jean shorts, a pair of tennis shoes, and a short-sleeved shirt. She took her wallet out of her purse and put it in her front left pants pocket. She then combed her hair and went downstairs.

Betty uneasily stepped into the kitchen. "Hi, mom. Hi, popsy."
"Your breakfast is on the table." her mother replied coldly.
Betty sat down across from her father and ate in silence.
Finally, Betty stood up and took her plate over to the sink.
She looked at her mother. "Have a nice day at work, mom."
Not getting a reply, Betty picked up her bookbag and walked out the door.

Betty walked over to her locker and took out her first period book.
Veronica, who was standing at her own locker, looked at her friend. "How are you feeling, Betty?"
Betty shrugged. "I dunno. Weird."
"Let's get to Homeroom." Veronica said. "I'm certain Mr. Weatherbee's gonna address the school."
They closed their lockers and walked to Homeroom together.

"May I please have everybody's attention?" Mr. Weatherbee asked over the PA system. "I'm sure all of you are aware of what happened here yesterday. There was a shooting, and Archie Andrews was killed. It is the first time in Riverdale High School's long history that a student has been killed. Our thoughts and prayers should be with the Andrews and Cooper families - especially Betty Cooper - to help them deal with this tragedy. Thank you."

Betty got her lunch and sat down at her usual table with Veronica, Reggie, Midge, and Nancy.
"Hey, Betty, we're all going to the movies after school." Reggie said. "Wanna come?"
"No, thanks." Betty replied.
A short distance away, Mr. Weatherbee sat with Miss Grundy at another table.
"I can't believe we didn't see this coming." Mr. Weatherbee said.
"What do you mean, Waldo?"
"There were clues that they weren't getting along. Their incompatibility was the gasoline. With each unhappy incident, the temperature rose,...until finally everything exploded."
"Sometimes it's difficult being a teenager." Miss Grundy said.

Cheryl Blossom had just come from a dental appointment. While in Riverdale, she decided to go for a stroll in the park.
Cheryl saw Betty sitting on a bench and approached her. "Hi, Betty! Guess who has no cavities!"
Betty looked up at Cheryl, and the look on Betty's face scared Cheryl half to death. Betty's eyes were bloodshot, her face was red, and she was crying.
"Oh, shit, Betty, I'm sorry." Cheryl apologized, ashamed at herself. "I forgot."
"It's not as easy to forget if it happens to you!" Betty retorted.
Cheryl sat down next to Betty. "Yeah. Um,...how are you handling this?"
"I'm not!" Betty replied. "I came here to have some peace and quiet and think! I've only caused myself more pain!"
"That's because you're keeping everything bottled up inside. It's not healthy." Cheryl told her. "You should talk about this."
"I'm not gonna go to a damn shrink!"
"I'm not telling you to see a psychologist." Cheryl said. "Talk with me."
"Cheryl, please! Leave me alone!" Betty yelled.
"That's the worst thing I could do to you." Cheryl said. "Before you and Veronica made up, I was your best friend. What kind of friend would I be if I left you to worry and wilt?!"
Betty didn't answer her.
Cheryl stood up and pulled on Betty's right arm. "Come on. Let's go to Pop's and talk about it over shakes." Cheryl smiled. "My treat."
Betty looked up at her, then stood up.
The two girls walked away together.

Cheryl and Betty walked into Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe. They went up to the counter.
"I'll have a chocolate shake, Pop." Betty said. "Better make it a double."
"Okay, Betty." Pop said. "How about you, Cheryl?"
"We'll both have the same." Cheryl replied.
When they got their shakes, they went and sat at a table together.
Betty sipped her chocolate shake.
"You like?" Cheryl asked.
"I like." Betty replied flatly.
Cheryl sipped her shake. "Me, too. So, uh,...how do you feel about yourself?"
"I'm ashamed." Betty told her. "I killed Archie! I took a human life! It shouldn't have come to that!"
"You don't sound as sure of your actions as you did yesterday." Cheryl observed.
"How do you know what I said?" Betty asked.
"The news."
"Do you really think you made a bad decision?" Cheryl asked.
"Buying the gun was stupid." Betty said. "Not telling anybody about what Archie did was stupid."
"Maybe, but it's done." Cheryl said. "You would've had to face him sooner or later - perhaps even on the same day. The important thing to remember is you killed in self-defense. That doesn't mean you'll feel good about what you did, but you shouldn't feel bad either."
"I shouldn't feel bad for ending a life?" Betty asked. "Everything Archie Andrews was is gone. I've ruined people's lives. My own parents have hardly spoken to me."
"This is hard on everyone." Cheryl said. "But you can begin the healing process. Talk with those whose lives you've affected yesterday."
"What about myself?" Betty asked.
"You're a strong person. You'll survive." Cheryl assured her. She took Betty's right hand in her left. "I know you're a good person, Betty. When Veronica hurt me, you came to comfort me. Now comfort others, and maybe they'll comfort you."
"I'll try." Betty promised.

Betty rang the doorbell and waited.
Soon, the front door opened, and Mrs. Andrews stood there.
Mrs. Andrews frowned. "What do you want?"
Betty trembled. "I want to talk with you, Mrs. Andrews. May I come in?"
"I'd prefer you didn't."
"Please?" Betty asked. "It won't take long."
"Okay." Mrs. Andrews walked back inside.
Betty followed her in and closed the door behind her.
Mrs. Andrews sat on the couch, and Betty sat to her left.
"Is your husband home?" Betty asked. "I'd like to talk with him, too."
"No, he's not. What do you want?"
"I want to tell you...I sympathize with you on your loss." Betty told her.
"Sympathize?" Mrs. Andrews asked in disbelief. "You killed my son, and you sympathize with me?! Do you think I want your sympathy?! Your sympathy can't give me back what you took from me! It can't get rid of the pain I feel in my heart!"
"I know this is painful for you." Betty said. "It's painful for me as well. I don't apologize for what I did, but...I may have made some poor decisions." She shook her head. "I don't know. But I did what I had to in order to survive. Please try to understand."
"I don't know if I can." Mrs. Andrews said.
"Look, I'm going to have to live with this for the rest of my life. So are you. Let's help each other cope."
"I don't know." Betty said. "I don't even know why I came here. I'm sorry I wasted your time."
Betty stood up and headed towards the door.
Mrs. Andrews stood up. "Betty, wait."
Betty stopped and turned around.
Mrs. Andrews walked over to her. "I'm sorry I was rude to you. I realize you were defending yourself."
"Thank you, Mrs. Andrews."
The two of them hugged.

Mrs. Cooper took the laundry basket into the garage and began putting clothes into the laundry machine.
She picked up Betty's bloody shirt and began to cry. "Oh, God."

Betty walked into the living room, where her mother was sitting on the couch.
"Hi, mom."
Her mother didn't look at her. "Hi, Betty."
Betty approached her. "What are you doing?"
"Just putting new photos into an album."
Betty looked and saw pictures of herself with her mother, herself with Veronica, and herself with Archie.
"Do you, um, have any homework?" her mother asked.
A moment of silence passed between them.
"Mom, do you still love me?" Betty suddenly asked.
Mrs. Cooper sighed. "Betty, please."
"Answer the question." Betty demanded. "Do you still love me?"
"Yes. But it will take a while for me to adjust to the new you."
"The new me?" Betty asked. Then she nodded. "That's it. You're uncomfortable with having a killer for a daughter."
"I'll be okay with it eventually."
Betty shook her head. "You have to adjust. You'll be okay with it. You only care about yourself. You don't give a fuck how I feel."
Her mother gasped, facing her wide-eyed. "Elizabeth Cooper!"
"Finally, you'll look at me." Betty said.
"Oh, Betty, I'm so sorry." Mrs. Cooper apologized. She hugged Betty. "I love you."
"I love you, too, mom." Betty said.


Betty and Veronica in "Friends Forever"

Betty came into the kitchen the next morning for breakfast. "Morning, mom! Morning, popsy!"
Mrs. Cooper smiled. "You seem better this morning."
"I feel better, mom." Betty said.
"Sit down. I've got breakfast ready."
Betty sat down and ate breakfast. Then she took her plate to the sink.
"Have a good day at school, Betty." Hal Cooper said.
"I will, popsy!" Betty grabbed her bookbag and went out the door.

After school, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, Midge, and Nancy went to Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe.
They were all seated at a table, slurping chocolate shakes.
"When's the funeral?" Nancy asked.
"5 PM." Midge answered.
"Who's going?" Reggie asked.
"We all should." Betty said.
"Are you serious?" Veronica asked in surprise.
Betty nodded.
Just then, the door opened, and Cheryl Blossom walked in.
"Hey, Pop. I'd like a chocolate shake." Cheryl said.
Pop made one and handed it to her. "Here you go, Cheryl."
"Thanks." Cheryl walked towards an empty table.
"Hey, Cheryl, sit with us!" Betty said.
Cheryl smiled, brought a chair over, and sat with them.
"Cheryl, I want to thank you for the advice you gave me." Betty told her. "I talked with Mrs. Andrews. It really helped."
"I'm glad, Betty."
"Well, I guess I'd better get home." Betty said. "I need to practice a bit for our game against Pembrooke."
"Oh, Betty, you don't have to." Veronica said. "We can manage."
Betty smiled. "I want to, Veronica. Later, everyone."
Betty stood up and left the shoppe.

The girls were gathered in the locker room. They were wearing shorts, sneakers, and their basketball jerseys.
The coach walked over to Betty. "Betty, are you sure you're all right?"
Betty nodded. "I'm fine, coach."
The coach grinned. "Then get out on the court."
Betty looked at her fellow team members. "C'mon, girls!"
They all cheered and followed her.
The game started between Betty and Cheryl. Betty got the ball.
Throughout the game, Betty and Veronica scored a lot of points for Riverdale, and Cheryl scored a lot of points for Pembrooke.
When there were ten seconds left in the fourth quarter, Riverdale was one point behind Pembrooke. Veronica had the ball. Betty stood closest to their basket. Cheryl was between them, determined to catch the ball.
Veronica threw the basketball. Cheryl jumped and reached up, but she wasn't able to stop it. Betty caught the ball. Cheryl turned and ran at Betty.
Betty turned and jumped towards the basket. Cheryl jumped as well and tried to knock the ball away. Betty slam-dunked the ball and held on to the basket.
The buzzer sounded. The final score: Riverdale: 16, Pembrooke: 15.
"Whoooooo!" Betty exclaimed. She swung a bit, then let go of the basket and dropped to the floor.
The spectators cheered. Riverdale's team picked Betty and Veronica up and carried them as heroes. Betty and Veronica waved to their parents, who waved back, proud of their daughters.
Betty looked down and extended her arm. "Great game, Cheryl!"
Cheryl shook Betty's hand, touched. "Same to you, Betty! You were awesome!"

Thursday after school, Betty called Veronica, Reggie, Midge, Nancy, and Cheryl and asked them to come over to her house. Her mother invited them into the living room. The kids sat down on the couch and in the chairs.
"Do you guys have any idea why Betty called us over here?" Reggie asked.
The others told him they didn't.
Betty walked into the living room. "Hey, guys! Glad you could come!"
"Betty, why'd you ask all of us to come over?" Veronica asked.
"Well, I was thinking that maybe we could start up a new band." Betty said.
"Really?" Reggie asked. "Cool."
"I could be the lead guitarist, if that's all right with you." Betty told them.
"Do you have any experience?" Midge asked.
"Yeah. I even have an acoustic guitar." Betty said. "But Archie always refused to let me play guitar in the band."
"Okay, you're lead guitarist." Veronica agreed. "I guess I'll be the keyboardist."
Betty nodded. "Reggie, do you want to be the bass guitarist again?"
"Actually, I'd like to try the drums." Reggie said.
"Okay, you'll be our drummer." Betty said. "Now, we need a bass guitarist. Nancy?"
"Sorry, I don't play drums or guitar." Nancy said.
"Midge?" Betty asked.
"Me neither." Midge said. "Besides, it wouldn't work out. Moose would get jealous of and pound any male fans I might get."
"Cheryl?" Betty asked.
Cheryl grinned. "Count me in!"
Betty grinned. "Great! Now we need instruments."
"Cheryl, you can have my bass." Reggie offered.
"Reggie, how uncharacteristically generous of you!" Cheryl said.
"I can ask Jughead for his drums." Reggie said.
"Do it with some sensitivity." Betty told him. "And as for a guitar,...I'll ask Mrs. Andrews."
"Once we've all got instruments, let's meet at my house for practice." Veronica suggested. "In one hour?"
The others agreed.

At the Lodge mansion, the band set up their instruments in the den.
Hiram Lodge walked into the den. "Oh, no. Is this what I think it is?"
"Yep!" Betty said.
"We're starting a new band, daddykins!" Veronica said.
"What's it called?" Mr. Lodge asked.
"Uh,...called?" Reggie asked.
"We're...the Sugar Cherries." Cheryl suddenly blurted.
"Oh." Mr. Lodge accepted. "Well, carry on, but please keep it down." He turned and left the den.
Betty, Veronica, and Reggie looked at Cheryl. "The Sugar Cherries?"
Cheryl shrugged, smiling.
"I like it!" Betty said.
Betty and Cheryl picked up their guitars and turned on the amplifier. Veronica turned on her keyboard. Reggie sat down behind his drum set.
"Let's play your song, Betty." Reggie said.
"Finally!" Betty said with a smile.
"Guys, do you think this band will last?" Veronica asked.
"Of course it will!" Cheryl said. "We'll be friends forever!"
"Well said, Cheryl." Betty told her. "Let's do it! 1, 2, 3, 4!"


"This is Who I am" by Betty Cooper

I am a student. I study, and I get good grades. I want to do well and make a good future for myself.

I am a daughter. I love my parents, and they love me. They support me, and they encourage me to do my best in all that life challenges me with.

I am a sister. Sisters are close, but not as close as Polly and me. We talk and share stuff with each other - both the good stuff and the bad stuff. Polly offers me a shoulder to cry on when I'm sad.

I am a friend. I do nice things for people and offer them advice, and they do the same for me.

I am a killer. At first I felt bad about it, but I now realize that it's a part of my life. If I didn't kill Archie, I probably wouldn't be alive today. Life brings death. Death brings life.

I am a person. Whether I'll play pro sports or become a famous rock star, I'll always do my best to make a positive contribution to the world.

I am a high school teenager. This is who I am, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Excellent work, Betty!
Miss Grundy

Copyright 1999 by Mark Moore