A storyteller-researcher who focuses on the prevention of mental disorders and substance abuse among children, youth, and young adults.
Paris Senior year-end party! school is buzzing, Erin runs up to me, breaking through a group of juniors standing close by with two invites to Gary Newton's after-party in South Haven. "if it means I drag you by your hair, we are going" Once Erin sets her mind to something, there is no convincing her otherwise. She has been my closest friend since the first grade, "two peas in a pod", my mother would say. There was nothing that happened in my life that Erin didn't know.
She was my confidant, my go-to person, and my therapist. How blessed did I feel to have her in my life? All those years, nights, days, and hours spent together, experiencing changes as we grew older, sharing happy moments, and sad moments and then suddenly one day it all changed. I found myself face down in my blood with the one person I would take a bullet for, standing on top of my soon-to-be lifeless body. No remorse, no guilt, no feeling, just a stone cold picture painted on her face. How did we even get here?
It's eleven thirty and I hear a honk outside, as I look out my bedroom window I see Erin standing next to Roman's jeep, waving her hands to me to hurry. Roman was from our school, he had a crush on me since third grade so Erin would often use it to our advantage when we need a ride to the mall or library. He gladly does it in hopes that one day I would agree to date him but I wasn't really into dating yet and well, Roman was more like a brother to me so he was friend-zoned years ago already.
I grabbed my heels and tip-toed downstairs quietly trying not to wake mom and dad. My mom was very religious and parties were the work of the devil in her eyes. She would often say " It does not matter whether or not you are a good child or bad child to lose your life prematurely, it's being in the wrong place at the wrong time that can cause premature death."
Gary's parents closed off the entire street, the biggest bash this town has seen in years. Wow, the hype was off the chain and I was ready to end this year with a bang. I looked over at Erin, the glitter from her makeup lit up across her face as we pulled up the driveway filled from top to bottom with fairy lights. " ready to make extraordinary memories" Erin said as she threw her arms around my neck. We high-five and walked in the front door like Thelma and Louis.
As the night went on something seemed off, I noticed Erin going into one of the back rooms with Ronny Green. He was the school's merchant, from fake IDs to any type of drug, Ronny was the go-to guy. Why was she whispering in his ear and disappearing into quiet places at every chance? "Was she secretly dating him and didn't want to tell me because of his reputation? "My tummy began to turn upside down at the thought of her having any relations with this guy, he was bad news and was going to destroy my best friend.
"Let's go" I yelled, grabbing Erin by the arm and yanking her out of the room. "chill babe, it's not even 2 am yet," she said as she pulled away from me. " I want to go home, I don't like what is going on with you and this Ronny guy, why do keep sneaking off with him?" I looked her dead in the eye demanding answers. "damn, I should have listened when he told me you would be a buzz kill" she replied in a low-toned voice." That's it! I'm out of here" I turned and stormed off, out the house and down the driveway where I met Sam.
Sam was the class geek that knew all the happenings around school, from who is dating who to who was growing followers on Instagram. He is drunk as a stunk, babbling on about someone stealing his phone when he turns and looks at me and says " ain't you that girl that's friends with that girl that's been shooting up heroin with that Ronny guy"
I stopped dead in my tracks, my body froze, no, then it hit me!. I turned and stormed back into the house and was up the staircase in seconds. When I entered the room, all of a sudden I began to see that she was as high as a kite the whole time.
I grabbed her by the arm and dragged her out of the house. I was furious, how could she be so stupid? How could she destroy her future, our future, and our plans? We ended up standing in the middle of the road yelling at one another with a crowd gathering. She was like a raging lion, I had never seen her like this before. In a fit of rage, I throw a punch straight between her eyes, next thing I know I'm on the ground, and I begIn to feel a cold flame that 'burns' coming from my back.
I see a pool of blood covering my nostrils as I feel myself drowning in my blood. I can't move my head, I'm suffocating, why is Erin just standing there? Why is she not helping me? Why is she letting me die? Did she do this? then I notice from the side of my eye, Erin, my best friend, my confidant, my go-to person, and therapist, just standing there, motionless with a bloody knife in her hand watching me slowly slip away.
© 2022 Charlene Grendon