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James is the person that I am closest to in the entire world. We have so much in common so I can talk to him about anything. He knows what I’m thinking even if I don’t say anything. He is someone I can trust, some one I tell any secrets that might be impossible to reveal otherwise. He will understand any struggle I might have because he’s been there and will know the best thing to do. He will protect me and make sure I'm happy or comfort me if I'm not, hell try to fix it. He’ll make me laugh. He makes sure I'm doing the best I can for myself, even if he isn’t. That is the hardest thing I’ve ever known, when someone is pushing you up even though they’re falling down.
This boy was internally broken. I watched it all. His grades slipped farther down the alphabet. I watched the color black surround him. I watched smiles grow more rare and friends start to disappear. I knew all this was happening but I had no idea why. It scared me because we were so much alike. I always wondered, “Would this happen to me someday?” It seemed that only I saw this change occur though. The rest of the world only saw him stop trying at school, but I knew it was a deeper issue. They didn’t see the real the problem or how to fix it. All they ever saw was that he stopped trying in school! He eventually became grounded, stuck at home to study. That was his father’s antidote to bad grades. That didn’t help.
But James never stopped talking to me. He would ask me about my day, and if there was any problem he could help me with. “I was an innocent girl, how big a problem could I ever have?” I questioned myself. Nonetheless he made me feel loved and never stopped checking on me.
Summer finally came. One cool starry night, I was outside a little past my curfew with my friend Kevin. We were sitting by one of the lakes in our neighborhood when James walked down the street. We had been sitting farther away from the sidewalk than considered normal so the conclusion that James drew made sense.
“Molly!” he yelled, “Come here.” I could see his stern face in the pale glow of the streetlight. I knew that look well; it meant he was concerned and upset, so he didn’t know how to start the conversation. At the time, I couldn’t imagine what he would be so worried about. I was a good kid; innocent was my middle name! “What’s up?” He began casually. He didn’t let me answer, “What are you DOING over there?” His face peered down into my eyes as if he were looking for something. “Is it something you shouldn’t be doing?” What in the world was he talking about? “Uh”, was all that came out of my mouth. “I mean are you doing dugs?” It was that word, drugs, which sent chills down my back. Millions of pictures and sad stories that I was shown in school flashed in my mind. I had learned so much about all the terrible and life-threatening things that drugs did to a person. But one memory stood out from the rest.
It was an ordinary day on the bumpy yellow school bus when I overheard some girls talking. “Yes, its true! I never would have thought,” one girl exclaimed with the joy of new gossip. “Wow, so James is doing drugs, huh?” the other seemed just as excited. “Sh!” the first one hissed. They giggled and the subject left their minds, but it never left mine. Impossible! How could those girls actually believe that? Nothing like that would ever happen. How dare they spread such fake rumors! I became furious but a flicker of pained suspicion had arose in the back of my mind.
I looked at James and he was looking down at the cold gray cement, ashamed. He hadn’t meant to be so straightforward with his question. Then it clicked! Was I blind? How could I not put two and two together? James’ lack of concern, friends, and color were all signs of a druggy. The horrid rumor was true! My face went pale white in shock. This kind of thing doesn’t happen to people like James and I! I became furious at him. Questions came shooting into my head. How could he do this to himself? What could he possibly be thinking? Why would he ever turn to drugs to fix anything? “Stop!” I shouted, “I’m not doing anything but going home, goodnight!” His head was still hung down in shame and regret when I stormed off. Furry transformed into sadness and I burst into tears as I trudged home.
I realized James was falling, hard. He was getting pulled into all the twisted things that I had learned about drugs. My James. Something big and bad was happening in his life and for the first time I didn’t know how to fix it. I had always relied on him to help me fix something but now whom could I go to? It was then that I learned a lesson the hard way. I decided that night that no matter how bad my day was or how bad I am feeling, I’d never turn to drugs to solve it. Drug addiction can happen to anyone, all it takes is a moment of weakness and carelessness to ruin your life. He was my real life example, set out right in front of me. I looked at all the problems it has caused this poor boy. It made an honor-roll child into a careless underachiever and ruined any good college opportunities. Instead of friends and smiles and proud looks he got grounded and darkness and disappointment. It still breaks my heart every time I think about it. While talking to him that night he informed me that he had decided to quit. He explained that he had become overwhelmed and thought drugs would help him get away from everything. He also emphasized that he truly regretted this poor decision and advised me not to make the same mistake.
I was happy that he realized his mistake and was making an effort to fix it. I also admired his independence because he fixed himself all in his own. James has helped me and taught me something so valuable without even knowing it.
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you came from, it only takes that one bad decision to change everything in your life. Drugs fix absolutely nothing in fact they make it all harder. I know that it is important to always try and make good decisions.
I now look at James in his uniform, a year later happily driving me to school. His past decision still has a big impact on him and he has to work harder than most in order to make up for the learning that the missed. It has also taught me the importance of making wise decisions because the choices you make now will have an impact on the rest of your life. I have learned from James’ mistake and am very thankful that he is still in my life helping and teaching me to do the best I can for myself.