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Redemption Road

It all began on an old country road near my house. Nobody drove on it, not anymore, not even a few drag racers who wanted a thrill. But I remember the day I saw that road. I had been coming home from school and needed a quick route. I ran down that road without a hitch. Even in my green dress with blue flowers and small heeled shoes that clicked when I walked, I didn't fall. When I got home I was just in time to see my mother back from California. That was when I was six, but ever since that one day I would walk home on that lone stretch of old country road and even on the rainiest days I would grab an umbrella and walk home. I was the only one who knew about that road. That is until Andrew moved next door. I found him doing all sorts of things on that road. He would bring his girlfriends there and make out with them. He would bring his friends and race with them with their motorcycles and cars, but I'd still walk down that old country road. One day though Andrew brought a friend with him who didn't seem like a nice guy. I saw Andrew give the guy a little plastic baggie with what looked like cocaine inside. The friend then began to yell saying that Andrew had ripped him off. Andrew tried to clam the boy down, but nothing worked. That's when the boy pulled out a gun and shot Andrew in the leg and left him there to die. Once the boy was gone from sight I ran to Andrew and started to put pressure on the wound. I kept telling him to stay with me and I think that he was trying his best to keep from fading away. I then began to pray to God, in my head, begging him for help. As I finished my prayer I saw lights heading towards us. They were headlights! Not only that, but they were the headlights of an ambulance. The men in the ambulance quickly got out and ran to Andrew's aid. When they took me to the hospital with him I knew that they just needed to make sure that I was alright. Once I was clear a police officer came to ask me questions about Andrew's shooting.

“Did you see who shot him?” Th officer asked.

“Yeah, but I don't know him or his name,” I said to the officer.

“You'll have to sit down with a sketch artist, if you don't mind,” the officer said as politely as he could.

“Of course,” I said. The officer then walked away to call my parents to pick me up when the doctor who was operating on Andrew came out.

“Is he alright?” Andrew's mother asked almost hysterically.

“He'll be fine, but he keeps asking if he could see the girl who was with him after the shooting,” the doctor said.

“Me?” I said. “He's asking for me?”

“Yes, now if you want to talk to him just follow me,” The doctor replied.
I followed the doctor down a set of rooms with many people inside. One was a girl I had seen at church with her mother praying together for, if I had to guess, her father to come back from Afghanistan alive. Her name was Annie. She was hooked up to at least a dozen machines and looked too still for me.

“Um, why is that girl here?” I asked the doctor nervously.

“The poor girl was overdosed on cocaine she's been a coma for two weeks now, her poor mother hasn't been taking it well,” the doctor replied honestly.

“Will she be okay?” I asked very scared of what the answer would be.

“We don't know,” the doctor answered. “Here is Andrew's room.”

I walked in terrified that Andrew would barely be awake, but he looked... vibrant. I would have gone as far as to say lively.

“I owe you one Celia,” Andrew said the minute he saw me.

“How are you feeling?” I asked nervously playing with the frilled cuff of my blouse which had a small stain of blood on it. I had managed to get most of Andrew's blood off of my hands, but not my clothes.

“A little banged up, but nothing I won't die from,” He answered.

“Andrew were you selling cocaine?” I asked. I had to know if he was the reason Annie had overdosed.

“Celia, I, I, um,” That was all I needed. I knew that if Annie's father ever came back he would undo what I had done, because his daughter was in a coma because of Andrew's baggies of cocaine. I got up from that seat next to him and walked out. I walked to Annie's room and sat down.

“Hi Annie,” I said. “You don't really know me that well, but I'm Celia James and I want to say I'm sorry, I saved the person who gave you the cocaine and now you might never wake up, I'm sorry.”

Annie's body didn't move and I decided then and there that if Annie wanted to die I would sing to her until that happened. I began to sing the song “Mary's Song” by Taylor Swift and hope that she could hear it. As I continued the song I heard coughing and took my eyes from Annie's machines and saw that Annie was awake! I ran out of the room and shouted for a doctor and one came very quickly.

“What happened?” Annie asked.

“You overdosed on cocaine,” The doctor answered.

“But I've never used,” Annie said shocked. My eyes widened and I ran to Andrew's room.

“Celia look I'm sorry-”

“No, I have to know did you make Annie overdose on cocaine,” I snarled anger must have been present on my face.

“What of course not,” Andrew said surprised.

“Don't you dare lie to me, if you did then now is the time to redeem yourself,” I said when out of nowhere I heard a flat line buzz. I ran to Annie's room and saw that she was the one flat lining!

“Annie,” I whispered. Another doctor then ran into the room and pushed me out of the way.

“We can't revive her, she's gone,” A nurse said.

“That's impossible she just woke up,” I said. The nurse and doctor then tried to explain to me that sometimes the body can't handle it, but I didn't listen. I couldn't listen. All I could do was stare at Annie's lifeless body. Her lifeless eyes staring out the only window in the room. Her mother didn't want to bury her and I knew that I had to do something for her. I convinced my mom to bury her next to the road where I had found Andrew. It was a beautiful service from our pastor Father Joesph. Even after everyone had left I stayed next to the spot where Annie's body rested.

“Celia?” came Andrew's voice. I turned and saw him dressed in all black from his black dress shirt to his now mud stained black dress shoes.

“What do you want,” I sneered mad that it was Andrew's fault Annie was dead.

“I wanted to know if I could have a few minutes with Annie?” Andrew asked looking at the exact place that Annie rested. I nodded and moved a little ways away from the grave and saw Andrew put a dozen lilies on her grave.

“I'm sorry Annie I shouldn't have given the cocaine to Mark I should have know he'd do something horrible, maybe if I had died that day on this spot you'd still be alive.

“You couldn't have saved her by dying yourself,” I exclaimed upset that I had saved him and he wished that he had died.

“Celia it's no offense to you, but I would have gladly switched myself for Annie,” He said sadly staring at the headstone. I walked up to him and rested my hand on his shoulder he looked up at me and must have seen something in my eyes that made him put his hand on mine and that made him smile.

“You're here now so make a difference while you're here,” I said gently. Andrew nodded.

“Would you help me?” He asked.

“Yes,” I said. We walked away from that old country road and went to make sure that the memory of Annie did not disappear with her. Andrew stopped selling and started preaching against drugs. I would go to every speech Andrew would have and he would stare at me the entire time. I think Andrew loved me then, but I know now that he loves me. And I love him too, and thanks to Annie, I won't have to worry about losing Andrew to the very drugs that I lost Annie too. And it's all because of that one night on that old country road.

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