A Hero for a Night This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   "Youbetter run! she yelled after me as I walked up the stairs.

"I'm not afraid of you, Mom." That set her off. She charged up thestairs after me. I got to my room, but a few seconds later, she burst through thedoor yelling. That's the only thing you're good at, yelling and making emptythreats, I thought.

"If I catch you on the phone or the computer, I'mripping them out of the wall!" she threatened. Finally she left, moving ontoher next victim, my dad. I didn't care as long as I wasn't the one being yelledat.

The phone rang in my room, and I reluctantly picked it up. It was myfriend, who will remain unnamed.

"I'm not doing well. Please don'tcall my mom," he paused. "There's a train coming at 3:02 a.m. and I'mplanning on getting in its way."

My heart stopped. I couldn't sayanything. Finally I asked what was wrong. He replied, "I'm just not happy,and I would rather be dead than alive." I tried to get him to give me hisphone number. He told me his cell phone was broken and his friend's cell phonewas in the car, and he didn't want to get it. Finally, I convinced him to give mehis friend's number.

When we hung up, I called his mom and she told meover and over that I had done the right thing.

I didn't know what do to. Icouldn't do anything, not by myself. My parents were my only option, but I was soangry with my mom. She was the last person I wanted to go to forhelp.

"Mom, Dad, I need you to listen to me. I have something reallyimportant to tell you." They stopped their arguing, and there was a painfulsilence. I told them a close friend had just called and told me he was going tocommit suicide. I started crying and collapsed on their bed. Burying my face intheir sheets, I could smell the laundry detergent that reminded me of when I wasyoung. I wished I was ten years younger; then I could go through life without acare in the world. They offered to drive me to the station, but we decided towait, hoping he'd call back.

All I wanted to do was sleep, but I knew mynight was far from over. I returned to my room and listened to DashboardConfessional; the lines echoing in my head: "Sitting here with hopes thephone would ring, and I'm thinking awful things." Just then, the phone rang;it was my friend. He told me he was coming to my house.

When he arrived,we walked into my living room, and he sat down on the couch. He had his hoodpulled over his head and sat in the fetal position. I could tell he was cryingsince his speech was slurred and his breathing was broken. He told me I didn'tdeserve to deal with him. Although I told him otherwise, inside I agreed - nobodydeserves to deal with something like that. Nobody deserves to be so unhappy thathe feels he would be better off dead, either. I had never seen anyone so upset.He told me he was going to go. I asked if he was going home, and he said hecouldn't because everyone was mad at him. I wouldn't let him leave withoutknowing where he was going.

He stood up and walked through my house to puthis shoes on. I ran upstairs to get my mom, and we stopped him from getting inhis car. My mom talked to him for almost two hours while I just stood therestaring at my cold, bare feet. It's amazing how quickly we can put aside ourdifferences given a life or death situation. It took a lot of persuasion fromboth of us to get him to go home.

He wanted to talk to me first."You're always there for me. You saved my life," he paused, then added,"For tonight." I told him that's what friends do; they're there for youwhen you need help. Then I realized, I guess that's what moms do, too.

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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