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The Beckoning Pit
I stared out my window watching the streetlights glow in the intimidating darkness; the houses reeked with silence. DeAnna’s voice shook me from my state.
“This does not sound like a good idea. The popo around here are tight…plus the curfew regulations…”
Morgan must have cut her off. If there is one thing Morgan is good at its getting people to follow her. She is “that” girl. The one everyone wants to be with her long curly brown hair and big brown eyes. Her voice is convincing and confident.
“Alright. 12o’clock,” DeDe was convinced her voice had a spring in it and I watched her eyes grow wide. “We have to get ready!”
“It is only 9!” I screamed. My bed was heaven to my aching body. The 4x800 ended only two hours ago. Screaming with pain, my legs wished to rest as I slowly managed to yank them from my lumpy mattress. As I rose, walking on the cool wood floor, my green eyes began to shine and a tear swelled up gleaming off the lights of my bathroom.
DeAnna was concentrating on her image in the illuminated mirror. Her long brown hair was down and wavy like it always naturally was, but she still appeared to look all so different. Confidence replaced the insecurity hidden in her big emerald eyes. Freckles were not a problem anymore, because it seemed like nothing could ruin her night.
“Aren’t you gonna get ready?” DeAnna was looking me up and down.
I understood what she was getting at. My red brown hair was still tangled in a messy bun from my race and my makeup must have melted off considering my eyeliner now smothered my face in dark random streaks. To start on the long job ahead of me, I quickly grabbed my ebony mascara from my purse.
When DeDe was finished getting primped, nobody would have been able to recognize her. DeAnna’s eyelashes were longer than the line for tickets to a One Direction concert, her lips were bright rose pink, and she had a tight barred purple tank top with pale jean shorts. Wrapped around her wrist was a polished silver chain, given to me before my only brother left for Georgia Tech. It was given to me to keep me safe, maybe it would help her too. I, on the other hand, dressed as I normally do. My hair was tousled, cascading down my back and I wore my faded blue jeggings with a dark as night, oversized, Forever 21 shirt. The time was now 10:42pm, so we had to get going.
Our footsteps sounded as soft as butterfly wings tapping together. My tv was turned on like it always continually was, but louder, if it was any quieter I imagined my sister would smell the suspicious behavior miles away. She was always snoopy like that. We gathered our pajamas and a stack of heavy thick blankets to head to the basement. Two flights of stairs had to be crossed to reach it, but that was the easy part. Once we were in the basement we laid out the blankets on the movie theater chairs, pulled them out so they were laying down, and turned on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. That was just in case my family came down or did not see us in bed. If they walked down just a couple stairs to go and find us they would be able to hear the movie playing and laziness would get the better of them, so they would hastily go back to bed. Lastly, we shut off every light and slowly turned the lock waiting for the click.
The air was bone chilling and hit me like a wall of knives. Everything seemed so still and abandoned, nothing moved. Ample and placid, the moon stole all attention from the envious dazzling stars. To escape my enclosed backyard, we had to hop the six foot high metallic fence. For people like DeAnna, who constantly lift weights at the gym and are taller than 5’3”, this was considerably easy. Standing in astonishment, I watched her jump up, perfectly and gracefully swing her leg high above the fence, and slowly bring herself back to the earth. Then it was my turn. Looking up at the rail I leaped as high as possible, somehow managing to yank myself to the peak, rolled myself over and dropped clumsily into the unforgiving grass. Pain would not chain me to the ground, so within a second I hopped to my feet. My house was dead, but I knew if I did not sneak around quickly, if I did not run, I would get caught. We would get caught.
“One…Two,” I whispered to DeAnna. Every little puff turned into a cloud. “Three.”
We dashed across my front yard. I did not breathe in fear it would be so loud the world would hear, and my eyes only focused on the rough chipped bark along the trees. Dede’s presence could be felt behind me, but I could not look back at her. At the end of the yard I jumped through the thick forest hoping not to hit a tree, hoping to make it at least to the cart path five feet further. If I heard the blatant crunch of the sticks or dead leaves, the consequences were unknown. Maybe my parents would wake up. The neighbors golden retriever would arise and bark its ghastly obnoxious bark, bringing the whole neighborhood to life again. Smack! My feet landed abruptly onto the path. Thud! DeAnna flew by me like a bird in the breeze and landed straight onto her bare knees. All that ran through my mind was the pain that must be racing through her, but in the four years I have known Dede, she has only ever cried once. Her eyes never showed a glimpse of pain.
“Let’s go.” Is all DeAnna had to say, so I jumped from the frigid trail and followed close behind.
We walked for what seemed forever in silence with only the wind whistling in the back ground. I was always one step behind knowing if she wanted to be next to me she would fall back, but she did not. The fall had to have hurt. Blood trickled down her right leg like a glistening waterfall and a thick red river covered our tracks. Still a single tear never ran down her cheek.
Finally, we wound up around the area of the party, only two streets from Saint Andrews Drive. People think Whitewater Creek is safer than other neighborhoods just because it has a fence. They believe a burglar will walk up, see a gate, and think to themselves “Oh, too bad there is a gate; looks like I have to turn back.” They could not be any more wrong. DeAnna and I laughed at the white picket fence in front of us. Even I climbed over it and went on my way with ease. Cars lined the sides of the roads, leaving only enough space for half a golf cart to squeeze its way through. This was not just a party for middle schools. I looked around staring at my reflection in the glossy exterior of a royal blue jeep wrangler.”How could I fit in here?” I questioned to myself. If I said it out loud and DeAnna heard me she would have started to doubt herself, too, and that is the last thing I wanted.
We were four houses down when music started to rattle my eardrums. Teenagers sat outside on their cars laughing, having a good time, acting like this was just another regular day. As I got closer, my nose flooded with a concoction of bitter and cheap; my vision was clouded by smoke coming from crevasses of the effervescent house. Morgan came stumbling out the wooden door. By her side two strangers fought, tugging at her.
“Hey, when did you two get here? Come on,” Morgan exclaimed stumbling her way towards us. Her eyes were bloodshot and glassy; her words were strung together. “Let’s go have some fun.”
Dede looked at me with something inside I have never seen; I could not tell exactly what it meant. Maybe it was a look of approval, a question of what we got ourselves into, or fear. Since this was first time this has ever happened, it caused shivers throughout my body. We slowly trailed behind Morgan, not because we were timid, but because every few feet she would trip or lose concentration making us wait for her to come to reality. The steps were Mount K-2 to her. I wondered how much she had drunk, but if I attempted to ask, I knew she would belittle it, telling me it was just a mere one or two cans.
The interior of the house was like a store on Black Friday. If they were not crowded around the ice chest, they were dancing wildly in the mob of a backyard or in the ice blue pool. I do not even understand how anyone could stand the nippy water, it being the middle of February and all. Before we could even look back to talk to her, Morgan was out in the middle of the field with three or four guys dancing away.
“Hey, DeDe, Pay,” Mason was screaming from across the room. “you have to try this!”
“What is it?” Dede questioned awkwardly.
“Does not matter. All that matters is how amazing it tastes.” Mason replied with a smile from ear to ear, but all I could see what that same glassy vague look in his eyes.
Numbness struck my body; I did not know how to respond. He was my best friend of five years; we practically grew up together. It is like just yesterday Mason and I were sitting on the Braelinn Elementary School swings, just being ourselves with no care in the universe. Children are a message to us from the world we once knew, the one with no danger, careful choices, or paths. As we grow older, there are more forks in the road; less of an imprint is made by our parents allowing us to see what the scarier riskier side looks like. Only sometimes the safety net beneath our decisions is used so frequently it begins to rip. Every time you fall deeper it continually keeps tearing, until you get caught in the pit sometimes called addiction, debt, or loneliness. That pit is not the easiest thing to crawl yourself out of. I felt my net tear a little as I took a sip from that bright red plastic cup in Mason’s hand.
Liquid fire scorched its way down my throat. How could I let eight ounces of cinnamon flavored mouthwash run through my body? A better question is: how I could let DeDe do it to? For what felt like hours I watched as DeAnna drank from the disastrous cup. Every little sound was muffled, but I could constantly hear her. Next thing I knew, she was gone. My mind blurred the edges of reality and dreaming. I felt as if I was watching myself act like some creature I never knew, a stranger. One drink caused my world to flip, making me look like an airhead. It caused me to think I was somehow superior to the people around me. Maybe everyone else’s body tingled like it was a soda bottle just shaken up or was so loose causing their brain to lose grip of their inner most thoughts. Hopefully nobody would remember the things my mouth refused to hold in; what I thought were smart comments in reality were words that could run around destroying my image.
Wheeee-ooooo! Wheeee-oooo! Without even the slightest of warnings a high pitch scream shattered the glass keeping me from the animal created by no more than half a cup of Goldschläger. The second the red and blue lights broke the darkness of night all madness broke loose. People ran in every which way or, more accurately, stumbled in every direction. The girl with long blond hair tripped on the porch near the corner of the house. Blood masked her Barbie like face. A boy ran around threatening people to leave with a broken bottle in his blistered hand. No familiar faces caught my eye, only flashes of people I thought I knew. I did not know which way to run, so I took the way I did not see anyone turning to. Suddenly, after just a few strides towards the white fence hidden behind monstrous trees, I remembered the one person I could not leave behind.
The ability to spot a needle in a haystack was not one I possessed. DeAnna’s freckles made her distinct, but using that was not an option right now. My memory was not one of the necessities I gained back, so I was not one hundred percent sure what I was looking for.
“Were her pants blue or white? Were they even pants?” Silently I pondered to myself. At that moment something lustrous caught my eye from the bushes near the gate. Running with all my might, I tried not to stumble or trip over nothing. As I got closer the object seemed to look more and more familiar, just as I had hoped. The same chain was still wrapped around her arm. Ducking under the bushes I pulled her out. Bruises looked like Dalmatian spots going up her leg, and she was cut up from the bush. In all the ruckus she must have been shoved and fell, causing her to get trampled by the stampede attempting to escape. I have never been the strong girl, barely able to hold the weight of my sousaphone. Never have I been able to carry anyone over the age of eight, but some surge went through me. We did not have time to waste we still needed to get out of this madness, so I picked her up without a second thought and ran. Pain is only temporary, but my best friend is forever. Being lightheaded or fatigued would not stop me from saving her. Whether it was from the police, the homeowner, or herself I would be here to pick her up no matter what state I am in. I will forever be the ladder to help her from the pit.
Finally, we made it behind the trees next to the white picket fence, similar to the one we hopped earlier. This time it was not so much of an ease to cross, but whatever could get me as far from this disaster, I would do. Slowly but surely I got her over the obstacle in our way. Just a split second after I conquered the fence, something took over me. It felt like the glass was fused together and fatigue clouded my mind once again. My world spun around me like I was on a never-ending merry-go-round, but worse. The last thing I remember is my legs turning to jelly causing me to fall, turning off all lights in my head.
When I woke from my black out, I was lying in a hard white bed with a glass door in front of me. People walked around in scrubs with masks outside my room hopefully not planning to enter into mine.
“What happened?” I croaked looking over towards my mom sitting on the couch against the wall.
“They found you and DeAnna lying on the side of the road.” My mother whimpered.
My words were now under my control; I was not about to abuse that power, so I said nothing. For an eternity we sat together in silence until a doctor came into my room. He was tall and gawky with black rimmed glasses and the stereotypical long white coat.
“You sure had a night last night. Didn’t you?” Dr. Chewning said.
“I guess. It is hard to remember most of it...” I pushed from my lips.
“Well, we will get onto that later. Your friend, the one that was with you last night is in the room next door. If you want to see her you may, but she looks pretty beat up compared to you.” explained Dr. Chewning.
The second he left I dashed for her room. Dede was still unconscious; nobody sat on the couch beside her bed. Her right knee contained seven bloody stitches, and her left arm was hung dead in an impenetrable cast. Terrible feelings caught my mind when I saw her like this. My strong, confident, adventurous best friend was chained to an unfamiliar bed by tangles of IVs, bandages, and pain. For at least twenty four hours, her body would be stuck in this cold unfriendly room. Who knew if she would even wake up in that time? Stomach pumping tares into your throat causing it to feel like rolls of barbed wire were shoved into it, not just a slick clear tube. Hoping she was alright after suffering alcohol poisoning, I stayed by her bed until the second she woke from her slumber. It took twenty-six hours since the ambulance picked us off the side of the road. As I saw her eyes hazily open, I jumped to my feet.
“How are you feeling? Are you alright? Is there any pain?” I exclaimed through my now chapped lips.
It took Dede a while to answer. Steadily she replied, “I am feeling alright;” a smile lit up on her pale drowsy face. “We sure had a wild night, didn’t we? My memory can even handle it all.”
Laughing I quickly joked, “Well from what I remember I can promise you it will never happen again. How could the first party, the first drink, we have ever had end up so badly?”
Happiness then became lost and turned to pain. She looked up at me. “How bad was I? How are you?”
“I am fine as long as you are, but I refuse to drink ever again. Morgan can do what she wants; we will do our own thing. Deal?”
From that conversation, our lives have turned; we do not need alcohol for a good time. Partying probably will not stop, who am I to stop them? Mae West once said “You only live once, but if you live it right, once is enough.” Sometimes that may be taken as live life as a party, but I take it as doing for others and still having a good time. Alcohol is not needed to have fun or even be happy, nor is lying or drugs. I would rather live for others then die vain. This night, as wild and crazy as it was, still remains a blessing to me, making me realize that within an instant your heart may stop or a life could be lost.