Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

To Die A Lucky Death

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Back when I was young enough to begin understanding the words coming out of an adult's mouth, my father told me that the only things I'd be when I grew up was a rapper or a drug addict. That, he said, was only if I wasn't lucky.


"What if I am lucky?" I remember asking him, knowing it was what he wanted me to ask.


"If you're lucky, then you'll die before becoming either of those things." With that said, he swung his arm back and took another long drink from the opaque bottle he held in his left hand.


My father's loving words of encouragement flew over my head like everything else he told me when I was five. However, for the most unknown of reasons, that one conversation dug its way back up through my memories at age seventeen, showing itself for the first time in years.

***


My eyes were not open, but my ears were. I could hear the scrambling of people walking briskly and a consistent beeping around me. I tried to move, but something was holding me down. I gave that up quickly and attempted to remember instead. Where was I? It certainly wasn’t home. Why was I here? What happened before I arrived at this place?


“Please, wake up.” Unlike all of the other noises, which blurred and ran through my head in a heap of colors running into each other, this one printed itself clearly in my mind.


“I can understand why you wouldn’t want to. I mean, what’s left for you to come back to?” Whoever was speaking sounded nervous, anxious, their words rushed and uncertain. “What those guys did to you was bad, real bad. I’m sure they didn’t mean it to end up this way, though. They only wanted you to have some fun. You’ve been so quiet lately.” The last sentence was spoken barely above a whisper. The individual paused before saying anything more. “I’m really sorry about your dad, I really am. Be that as it may, I’ve been through the same thing and you know you could’ve just talked to me if anything was bothering you.” The voice had become rough, grinding against my head, forcing me to pay attention to its meaning.


It grew silent again. Clatter filling my head once more and I wondered whether the person was still there. Had they left? If not, why had they stopped speaking? My mind began to doze. I was tired and there was no point straining my ears for sound when there was no one for sound to come from. The rustle of cloth brushing against cloth drove me back to awareness, subconscious jerking wide awake.


“I…I suppose I’m the one who’s bothering you. I’m keeping you from resting with all my racket, aren’t I?” There was an uneasy laugh and after a few more long minutes, something squeaked against the floor and footsteps echoed out of the room.


I could feel my memory return to me slowly the longer I lay in the silence: the reason why I was here in the first place becoming clearer. In that hospital, eyes closed and ears sleeping, I thought of all of the drinks my “friends” gave me before coming here. I must have been pretty intoxicated with the substance, whatever I had done while delirious leaving me here. Of course he would come. The only person I ever associated with because we had common interests. The others were there only because it was dangerous to be alone in my neighborhood. He was the only one to give empathy when my father died. The only one who let me stay with him and his grandmother when I had nowhere else to turn. He was the only one who had a dream; who knew what he wanted in life. If I died, would he be by himself? If I stayed, returned to the life in which I have nothing…


Perhaps I could even do both.


I couldn’t linger forever, as much as I wanted. I recalled then what my father had told me. What if he was wrong? What if death wasn’t the better ending? Is it life? Or is it this middle ground I’ve found myself in? Not wanting to ponder on the subject any longer, I took in an imaginary deep breath, and opened my eyes.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback