Good Intentions

August 14, 2009
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She sprinted down the court with the power of a thousand mustangs, Her feet alternating left, right, then left again, propelling her across the floor. This was her moment. It was down to the wire. Either she made the shot or not. The fate of the championship game, the fate of the team, the fate of her scholarship all rested upon the ball that dribbled down the room in front of her. As the take of mark for the game winning shot approached, she got tunnel vision. Now it was only her, the ball, and the basket with her vision enclosing further still around the hoop. That is until everything, including the basket, was gone, black, erased from the face of the earth.

Four o’clock pm. The championship began at five. One hour left and she was still trying frantically to prepare. Sometimes balancing school, family, friends, and basketball was just too overwhelming to handle. Today was a little different though. Today she needed to focus, concentrate. Today the last thing she needed was another distraction, another thing to set her perfectly balanced life into a downward spiral into complete chaos. That is why today she set up a meeting, a meeting with him.

She met him at a jamboree. Both basketball teams, girls and guys, were being announced to the entire student body. Basket ball was the most important sports season on campus. The whole school got so involved in the games. It didn’t help to lift off some of the pressure she was currently under. When he saw her he sensed her nervousness. His intentions were of the best. He just wanted to help, maybe clam her down. He sauntered over and introduced himself. She didn’t want anything to do with him, but being the polite soul she was she engaged in the conversation. Her first thought was leave me the hell alone, but her thoughts softened after noticing their personalities fit snuggly together. He ended their chat telling her, reassuring her that he was here if she needed it. He never intended for her to get hooked. It was supposed to be a one time thing. He tried to stop her, but she stooped so low as to blackmail him and he was forced to continue to supply.

Yet another glance at her watch displayed that it was 4:07. He was late, as always. He dreaded the drop off and was at least five minutes late every time. In the beginning she had been the one to show up late, but lately he had been acting so different. Then he rounded the corner and took a seat on the bench. He looked anxious and furious, but when their eyes she saw agony and concern for her well being. He didn’t want to give them to her, but he wanted to help her all the same. With exaggerated slowness, he removed his hand from his pocket. He placed his closed fist in her hand, uncurled her fingers and dropped the forbidden contents into her palm. Immediately she thrust them deep into her throat, swallowing them down. All he could do was blankly stare at her. Never again would he start an addiction like he started hers. A tear came to his eye. He rose, turning on his heel and promptly marched away without even the slightest hint of a god luck gesture.

The first time he had dealt to her she had been all jitters. She didn’t know what the outcome would be like. She was relying on his steady opinion that it would help her. She trusted him and popped them for the first time. During the game she had been doing great. There was no over thinking or over analyzing. She performed amazingly. The team was victorious. After, she gushed to him every minute detail of how she felt during that game. He explained to her that that was all thanks to what he had given her. He told her that he hoped she would be able to duplicate the same feelings in the next game without them. He said that she knew what she needed to do now and he wouldn’t give her anymore. The next game rolled around and she suffered greatly. She ended the game feeling down and had cost her team the game. She couldn’t do it without them. She was all nerves on the court without them. At that she started blackmailing him saying things like if he didn’t give them to her she would expose him as a dealer and get him kicked off the basketball team. What was he supposed to do, but give them to her? The other option would just ruin him.

Now it was her time. The clock was counting down lower and lower. College scouts were in the roaring audience patiently awaiting her big moment. That’s when the tunnel vision kicked in, just a tiny side effect of taking them. She could still see the basket and that was the most important part. Her window is vision was shrinking smaller and smaller. He watched from the crowd and noticed her head kept shaking ever so slightly. She was trying to retrieve a wider frame of sight. She reached her mark and launched the ball into the air. Simultaneously a loud buzzer sounded.

She lay on a hospital gurney surrounded by doctors and nurses doing everything they could possibly do to save her. Then everyone slowed to a stop around her. They realized she wasn’t coming back and the doctor called the time of death. Her heart rate monitor continued to flat line. A nurse walked over a flicked off the buzzer. He was impatiently waiting in the waiting room for some kind of news about her. All he could think about was those last few seconds of the game. As she had been taking that final shot she had blacked out and collapsed on the floor. The ball was never even close to making it into the hoop; it just bounced off onto the side line. He had raced to the floor to be by her side. He knew he was the reason she was here now. Then the nurse came down the hall and he knew then that she had not made it through. When the nurse delivered those words her mother wept uncontrollably while her father took more of a silent approach. He couldn’t stand to be in that hospital any longer. All he could do was run. He sprinted from the room, out of that terrible place only to realize the guilt of the situation was chasing him down and catching up fast. She was never supposed to enjoy being on them that much. He by no means intended to hurt her. All he wanted to do was to help. Help. That was all.





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