Disclaimer: this is not a true story and it is far from perfect.
“Yes mom, her parents will there”. Beth yelled, while running out the front door. Her ride was in the drive way waiting. This was the new guy George, he seemed cool enough, a little shy, but she would fix that. George looked nervous, “how are you?”, “where are we going?”, “my dad said I have to be home by 10” were the first things out of his mouth before she even had a chance to answer. Beth looked and rolled her eyes, “don’t be a downer already, if you call around 9:30 and say you are too tired to drive home, your dad will let you stay longer, trust me.” George cringes, he was starting to feel even more uncomfortable than he already did, which was a lot, his brain screamed, this is bad news, but his brain also screamed she is so pretty, confident, and asked him out. The other guys seemed so jealous that Beth came right up to me at lunch and asked me out, well she told him “Hey new guy, pick me up at 8” and then she dropped a folded note on the table, and walked away. The note was her address, that was all. I was wondering if she even knew my name.
So now she was telling him where and how to drive. “Can’t this car go any faster?”, “You drive like my dad”. I was getting a bit frustrated with her. I liked my car, and intended to keep it in one piece, I had saved all his birthday and Christmas money, and worked for the last three summers to pay for this car, it was a 2 door, royal blue, 2003 Mustang.
Finally, we get to this fancy looking brick two-story house. Lanterns at the edges of the driveway, the drive way was even made out of bricks. When we to get to front of the house there are kids falling out the front door, cars everywhere. People start saying hey to Beth, asking her who I was, saying ‘who is this guy?”. She tells them that “I’m the new kid”. “Oh” they nod and smirk. I feel like they know something that I don’t. Again, this starts to feel like a bad idea, I have pain the pit of my stomach, or is that the pizza me and dad had ordered for the third time this week. I stand still, trying to take this in, I have seen anything like this before, while looking around, battling with my thoughts, trying to come up with an escape plan already. Then Beth starts pulling me towards the house, “hey come on, we are already late”. All I can notice now is that she is holding my hand.
We walk inside, she drops my hand and tells me to follow her, she definitely knows where she is going, I follow, I look around some more, and like I thought she is the only one I know. If only the kids from my old school would be here, oh wait none of my old friends would be in a place this no matter if they didn’t live 2,500 miles away.
Today I had started what my mom liked to say was, my new life journey, at Harbor Point, my new fancy private school. Yes, today was really my first day. My dad said I hit the jack pot with a girl asking me out. He insisted I go. I really, really, didn’t want to, I wanted to call her to make up some excuse, but she only gave me her address. If mom was around she would have asked more questions, but she was working late, again.
I glance around as I walk through this ginormous house. All I could see was the expensive furniture, electronics, and decor. I assumed the parents weren’t home with these kids everywhere with red plastic cups and beer cans, I saw girls with wine cooler bottles, the kind mom drinks occasionally. The couches are covered with girls and boys making out, wow, even girls making out with each other. Beth turns and sees me looking, she grunts and grabs my hand and pulls me through the crowd.
In the kitchen she hands me cup, already full sitting on the counter. “What is this?” I ask. She giggles and says “beer, what’d you think”. I see a big metal barrel on the ground with a pump and hose coming out of it. A guy, I think he was in my history class comes up and puts cup to the hose and starts pumping and it pours what must be beer with white frothy foam. Beth walks over and gets a wine cooler from the fridge. I stammer saying “I drove, I don’t want it, do you have a soda?” Now she really giggles, “just shut up and drink it, it is only one.” The guys in the kitchen are laughing, I can’t tell which part of that they are laughing at. So, I just start sipping it.
Honestly this is the worst tasting thing ever. I don’t drink beer, tried it once as a kid, my dad left it on table and I snuck a taste, it was terrible and swore when I was 10 years old I wouldn’t drink them. But this one seems to be even worse, and it is warm too. So, I just sip it, so I just shut up and drink it, just like Beth said.
I start to get woozy, it’s only half way gone. This must be what drunk feels like, but it takes my dad like six or more to get to acting like he’s drunk. Beth is running around, saying hey to her friends. She looks back at me and smile, I thought she forgot I was there. I have become like a statue just standing by the kitchen, thankful for the wall that I’m leaning against, it holds me steady, so that it is only my head swimming. Kids are swarming by me faster than bees in and out of the kitchen, that’s where the booze is.
My phone buzzes. I pull it out, it looks kind of blurry. Says I have a new text message. I open it and have to strain to get the letters to come together as words. I finally see it’s from dad, it says that mom has to work late so she is just going to stay at the hospital tonight, so that I don’t have to be home until 12, and to have fun. Beth grabs my phone and reads it, she says “well didn’t that work out perfectly, now he will really believe that your too tired to drive. She grabs my phone and says for me to just let her keep my phone and that she will text him later, and promises she won’t forget. I ask for it back, and he laughs and walks away. I tried to yell “Hey!”, but she can’t hear me, I tried to step towards her, but my feet feel like they are cemented to the floor.
By now my cup is empty, just from being thirsty. After what feels like forever I feel my cup being taken from my hand, I shake my head in realization, that I had just been standing there starring, it was like I was watching a fuzzy tv screen. Beth asks “hey, you alright, you look a little dizzy”, looks like that same smirk from earlier on her face. Yes, I say I am dizzy. She tells some kids to scram and clears a seat on the couch for me, in front of the tv, football was on, couldn’t hear it, but at least it would give me something to watch. Beth gets me settled, and asked if I’d like a drink, Oh, how can she read my mind, I say “yes please, some water.” She laughs takes my cup and walks off. She brings me back another cup of beer. I say that I asked for water, she laughs and walks off. I am dying of a dry mouth so I sip it.
I am thinking of how to get out of this situation. I have my keys, but I am not that stupid, I can barely walk. I can call someone, of wait Beth has my phone. Who would I call anyway? If I called my dad, he’d probably just tell me to relax and have fun, he is always telling me to loosen up. I could call mom, but she’s at work, like is always is lately. Then she would end up being madder at dad, than she already is. Why is she always mad at dad? Now with nothing else to think of, I come to think of this.
We just moved here to Tennessee last month, in the middle of summer, with what to me was no warning. I had spent the last month setting up my room and unpacking my computer and bedroom. Dad said I needed to be out making friends, but I am not really the social type, so he was so happy when I came home saying a pretty girl asked me out. He would not let me stay home, he actually threatened to ground me from my computer if I didn’t go, says I spend too much time on there and not enough with real people.
When we lived in Georgia it wasn’t a big deal and now all of a sudden, I have to make friends. At least there I had a few friends, from church and the last 10 years of school. Why did we move?
So now without realizing my cup was empty again, and Beth almost as if on schedule, takes my cup, I found my voice this time, “water this time, I still have to drive”. She laughs and tells me to “stop being a downer, it’s only 9:45 and I don’t have to be home until 12”. She walks off and brings me another beer. I go to stand up, but my head is still fuzzy, these have to wear off eventually, I can’t believe I am such a lightweight, as my dad always jokes that my mom is.
Speaking of mom, how I wish she would be around more often, she seems to pay attention. Then I remember something she told me after I got my license when we lived in GA, if I ever needed a way out that I should text her and tell people that she texted me that I had to go. Well that might work I had my phone or if I could drive. Lord, help me, you always provide an out, at least I remember hearing that at church on Sunday, that we will tempted but not to feel like we have to, because there will always be a way out of it. SO, where is my way out.?
Beth sits next me, I hear my phone ringing, in her pocket. “OH hey, let me have my phone”. She takes it out, looks at it, it’s your mom, she chuckles and presses ignore. I go grab my phone and she throws it to another guy, and it’s like a game of keep away, I finally get to feet, getting sick of sitting, and sick of this “pretty” girl. Then I lost it, I don’t know who had it, or where it went, all I knew was that I was about to hurl. So I start heaving and this guy comes and pushes me, saying “no way, not here”, and he pushes me into a door in the hall which was the bathroom thankfully.
I finally start to feel better after I puked up all that nasty beer. I rinse my mouth with water and wash off my face. I walk out, still not really knowing what I was going to do. I look at the door and I see a clear path, I am able to walk straight to door, I think about my phone, and then I think about having to go through Beth to get it. I think I will let her have it. Before I can to the door to open it to leave, the door swings open and I am face to face with my mom. “Mom? What are you doing here?” I ask. She grabs me by my ear, like she used to do when I was kid and drags me off.
She opens the passenger door to her car and pushes me in. I get an ear full on the way home, but I am just so stunned that this really is happening, I am not at that party I am actually riding in my mom’s car. Finally, she takes a breath, so all I can ask is “mom, how did you do that?”. She didn’t really like that question, she seemed to of heard mom, why did you do that. But really how did she do that? She was at work, I only told me dad where Beth lived, and then we went to someone else’s house, I don’t even know whose. I am zoned out the whole way home, all I heard was how disappointed she was in me, and that she was busy enough already without having to deal with this, and oh yes, of course I am grounded for the foreseeable future.
We get home, mom tells me to go inside and go straight to my room, she has to talk to my dad. Which of course, I knew what that meant. I sit at the top of the stairs and listen, I don’t want to hear them scream at each other, about how mom is always at work, and about how she is picking up dads slack, since we moved to another state to follow a dud job lead. What I wanted to hear was how in world did she do that. After at least half an hour of them yelling, about not even me, she gets to it. Summed up this is what happened, Mom was working in the emergency room tonight when a kid my age named George came in of a drug overdose, they tried to pump his stomach, seems he had taken a handful of pills to try to kill himself, and unfortunately it had worked. Mom being the over worrier tried to call me to say hello make sure I was ok, and that is when Beth had my phone so, when I didn’t answer she called dad, and he said I was out with friends, she finally convinced him and he and gave her Beth’s address, since that’s all I had given him. Mom said she had had a sick feeling, so she left work, went to Beth’s parents’ house and since we weren’t there she got them to tell her where we had gone. And then that’s when mom got to the party and saw me walking with a pale face and puke on my shirt.
There are many different ways this story could end, and to be honest this wasn’t my first choice. But this is my favorite! Our kids are going to get themselves into situations on purpose or not, we need to remember to pray over them always and to remind them daily we are there for them and love them not matter what mistakes they may make. ALSO remind them God loves them without fail, because us as humans we fail daily as parents.