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


If I asked you, would you kill someone for me? Would you take a knife and stab someone in the back for no reason? Would you put a gun to someone’s head and if I said so, would you pull the trigger? Ask yourself if you’re willing to take a human life.

Every time you get behind the wheel while intoxicated you agree to these terms. You put a contract out on everyone else on the road. Do you understand the meaning of a contract? This means you become a hit man, hired by the alcohol you consume. You also agree to the terms of the contract, including the consequences. Do you know what the inside of a cage feels like? Do you want to know?

I could spout off all the statistics about drunk driving, but you say you will never become a statistic. I could tell you that driving under the influence is a punishable crime, but you think you won’t be caught. I could tell you that even though you think you can still drive like an angel after a few cold ones, your reactions are slowed and your judgment impaired. You would rather believe the angel part because, hey, who am I to tell you about your motor skills.

You think bad stuff only happens to other people. You’ve read about accidents involving alcohol. You’ve seen commercials, billboards and after-school programs about the dangers of D.U.I. People have warned you about what could happen and you say you’ve heard it all before. Well, listen again.

When you get in the car, you might notice a woozy feeling. You shake it off. When you turn the key, the engine starts. You push the gas peddle down, and the automobile accelerates. Other cars on the road notice your vehicle is weaving; you, however, do not. When you see headlights coming straight toward you, you don’t react quickly enough. Even though you take your foot off the gas and push the brake, you’re going too fast.

The front of your car caves in from the force of the impact. You are thrown against the steering wheel as the air bag inflates. When you regain consciousness, someone is pulling you out of the wreck. You find out later they had to use the Jaws of Life to pry your car door open. They say you’re drunk, but you disagree. Then you take a look at the other car – a good look. The engine appears to be pushed into the trunk. There is no movement from inside, except for the smoke and broken glass falling from the window frames. You realize your car is actually in their lane.

You realize the accident was your fault. You realize the people in the other vehicle will never get a chance to see the damage done to their car. You realize they will not be going home to their families. As the ambulance comes and the police cars and fire trucks begin to arrive, you realize you are drunk. You realize the people in the other car are dead, and you killed them. Would you care?

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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