DO NOT ENTER: WRONG WAY

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“DO NOT ENTER: It’s staring me in the face, but I can’t help to wonder what’s behind it. How can I just see this sign, and not be intrigued to do what’s ‘forbidden?’ I start to see the darkness surround it, as if angels are floating down, guiding me away. Yet, temptation is telling me, push, go further, quench your curiosity. But I think I’ll just drive by instead.

What if I did choose to turn at Morton Street? I could have easily done so, its 2am, and nobody is around. What difference would it have made? I would be the only one who knew. Maybe it would be fun, too. I never do anything exciting or thrilling anymore. I sure don’t do anything like this – that’s what my friends do. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right way for me. Am I supposed to follow them, go down that road I know I shouldn’t? Sometimes it seems like a good idea, to get away from things. To take a step back and let things just, you know…happen.”

Oh God, please don’t let that be her, I don’t want to see her like that. I can’t handle this, I just can’t.

“I could just turn around right now. That would be fine, and then I could go and just feel like somebody else, feel different for the first time. Sometimes I think that I should just conform to fit in that way. But I could never do it. You see, that’s not me, and I don’t want to be another statistic. Another lost teenager who gives up on life, and turns to this. I want to make something of myself, I want to be free from the low expectations my peers have set for me. But, will my friends ever escape?”

I don’t think she’s going to sneak out of this one. I still shouldn’t be here. What’s going on? Why did I even show up? What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with my friends?

“Is it too late for my friends to get out now? I know them, and I know myself. But how can somebody like me have friends like them, and still be actual friends? Life has so many changes, so many unexpected curves thrown at you. If you’re the kind of person who can make it out alive, you must have been born on a lucky day or something.

I wasn’t planning on going tonight, and I didn’t even make it inside! Yes, I decided to make the U-turn, but it was still a regretful action all the way up to the driveway. It was pitch black where I parked, because the lanky street lamp sat lifeless atop its leg. Was that a coincidence? No fountain of light pouring out in all directions, nothing. Just me, my old station wagon, and that dreaded driveway.

There was a white noise in the background, maybe a TV, or a stereo system was on. It was rather scary to be honest. I got out of my car, closed the door, and for safe measure I locked it. It couldn’t have been more than 10 minutes before I got the courage to start walking up the stairs, onto the porch. I sat there, on the hood of my beater, fighting with myself. If I wanted to go, I should just go. I do this too often, where I try to convince myself to do one thing, then change my mind and do another. Its like two parts of my brain are fighting for rule over the kingdom. As if I’m not the real ruler, but somebody else is. Somebody else, who thinks they know better for me than I do myself. I can just imagine them, with their fighting knights, all in line mounted on their fearless horses, awaiting the signal to ride on forward into the headwind. But the door opens, and I see her stumbling onto the landing behind the door. I bet she doesn’t even think I was going to show up. Maybe she won’t see me, I can turn around right n—its too late. But not because she saw me; because those terrifying flashing lights pulled up and I could see them bouncing off all the dark shadows of the houses. I knew I shouldn’t have come. It was a bad idea to begin with, and now there’s no escape. What is going to happen now? My life is going to crumble, all my high grades, good reputation, it’s going to crash because of this night.”

“You know, you really didn’t need to go into that much of detail.” Responded Officer Craft, after having been dormant for the last 5 minutes. “I only needed to know what happened when you came here, to pick up your friend.”

“But what’s going to happen to her? What’s going to happen to me?” I replied, not excited to hear the answer. I had to be in trouble. I made the dumb mistake of turning around, and driving to the abandoned house. I really wasn’t coming here to pick her up, I just said that so I wouldn’t get in trouble for being here.

He was taking too long to reply, and I couldn’t stand it. “Well, I’m not going to get you in trouble for anything. You were trying to be a good friend, and pick up somebody to get them out of a bad situation. But unfortunately, it can’t just stop there for her. She’s headed to the hospital right now, and I’m sure she’ll be fine.” His eyes, wandering; almost like he knew her fate, but didn’t want to be the one to tell me. “But thank you for being so helpful.”

It’s been 8 days since that night. I followed the ambulance to the hospital, and called her parents when I got there. She was my best friend, and I wanted to keep her safe: but I failed. We promised each other when we were little that we would grow up together, be best friends, even be dates to random company events we didn’t already have somebody to go with. She called me, inviting me to come over to the dilapidated house, but the slur in her voice tipped me off to what was really going on. It was too late, she had too many drinks in her along with some prescription drug some smart a** brought to the party. It was only a matter of time before her body gave out; a matter of before I lost my closest friend.

She was the sweetest girl I ever knew, and the temptations got to her. I knew her for who she truly was, but to the world, she’d just be another teen statistic. One of the thousands every year who overdoses, and doesn’t make it.


When I made that turn down Morton Street, past the DO NOT ENTER sign, I never expected I’d be seeing my truest and closest friend in a casket today. This is always going to be an awful time of year, remembering what happened that night. But I know that I would never be able to live with myself if I didn’t make that turn. I was with her till the end, and I was the last friendly face she saw; She entered the forbidden street, but was found lost and consumed in the dead end.





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