Why? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

December 20, 2012
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Why? It's three letters that can be very powerful, but not in this scenario. You're welcome to try, but it probably won't work. It's like asking a baby why he cries. Like asking a killer why he kills. You won't get an answer. At least a proper one. But let me try, why? Why do you throw your life away with even the first drag? A cigarette that down the road you're going to regret.

You'll regret it when you're lying in a hospital bed, coughing up blood and tar. You'll regret it when you have three teeth left because the rest of them turned black and rotted away. You'll regret it when your kids tell you they want to grow up to be like you. When you know they'll suffer the same slow, painful fate as you. If you're smarter than your previous decisions, it'll kill you. It'll eat a hole in your stomach like the garbage that's in the very thing you crave.

So breathe it in, breathe in your destiny. Breathe in the rest of your life, it may not be a long one. Drugs. A word that gives good parents nightmares. Their greatest fear, their demon that goes bump in the night is having their babies dragged away from them by a substance some impoverished high-as-kite stranger made in his basement.

Smoke it, inject it, snort it, but tell me. When you see the disappointment, the fear in the eyes of loved ones, will it hurt you? Will you cry when you see your mother cry? When your father can't even look at you, and all you want is for him to look, to remember the days when he could protect you from everything. Well, he's going to try, he's going to try but will you let him? Will you carry the burden of your mother's tears, and your father's disappointment? Or will you just get high?

You go to a party, someone walks in with beer. You can handle it right? And after the third or fourth bottle everything's a blur. You wake up and vomit. Vomit all over the place when you see your mother's tears, your father's disappointment.

Why? Why would you throw your life away? Because it's gone, your hopes, your dreams, your goals, they're gone. Why?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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