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Weeds


I am, by all regards, a loser.
That probably explains why I was sitting next to a boy I’d never talked to outside a mall I’d never been to. My heart beat quickly like a million Olympic sprinters had decided to race inside my body. I took deep breaths constantly and became an owl, my head swiveling in all directions. My brow furrowed and I started chewing at my worn out sweatshirt. The kid was too distracted with his own business to even notice my odd behavior, though. He meticulously moved his hands in ways that excited and scared me. When he was finished with the task, he looked up at me and handed me what he’d been working on-his blunt.
“Want it?” he asked, matter-of-factly, barely getting the two words out.
The rain started to drizzle and it pitter-pattered atop my head. Inside that same head, a million thoughts began to whirl.
Things like this don’t happen to Benji James, who was going to Stanford on a soccer scholarship. I’m positive Amanda Hayes had never been in this situation. In addition to being beautiful, she was also a straight A student and the captain of the state champions Lynwood High Women’s Volleyball team. They would have the guts to say “No”.
Of course, I’ve been through all those “DARE” programs when I was a kid and countless adults have told me the dangers of drugs. But someone has to take those drugs for it to be a problem. Kids like me are supposed to take those drugs. Losers like me.
Both Benji and Amanda have two parents and a bright future. I have a single mother who is hysterically incapable of raising the four kids she gave birth to. I’ve been surviving on this childhood fantasy that somehow everything will work itself out while I sit in the corner of the classroom twirling my pencil. There’s no need to listen. My grades are worse than this kid’s eyes. He can’t fully open them and he looks at me, waiting for an answer. A half sleepy, half clown expression plasters his face.
But I keep on thinking. This time my fourth-grade school picture flashes across my memory. My dusty brown hair was perfectly parted and my bright eyes told of a great life to come. I was so excited for the rest of my life. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Even if I did find something I was remotely good at, it would require me actually caring. Right now, I don’t care. My future had gone from a big, wide-open space to a menacing black hole, threatening to close at any moment.
Yes, it’s kids like me who will gladly take the blunt. It’s kids who no one cares about. It’s kids who walk down the hall and no one even looks up, kids who colleges have erased off lists, kids who can’t find a partner in a school swarming with lonely teenagers, kids who have been blessed with a mother that would rather sleep with every guy in Lynwood than mourn for her deceased husband.
Those “DARE” videos are made for children that shouldn’t screw up their future. But what if you have no future?
“Yeah sure dude,” I mumble as the clouds begin to turn gray and expel their tears onto the mall. He hands me the blunt and my rain soaked hands shakily press it against my lips.



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