Thank You, Sheriff This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Like many children, I remember fearing the police.Adults usually warn children that if they're bad the police will come and getthem. As the years pass, emotions change and instead of being afraid, manyadolescents despise the police. These men and women are the victims of constantridicule because a few bad cops have a reputation for being power-hungry. I hadthis assumption until one summer night.

It was a normal Wednesday night atchurch, which means that when I got out of class I walked to my mother'sclassroom where she taught preschoolers. When I stuck my head in, she was nowhereto be seen. Then I spotted one of her assistants, who smiled and said, "Yourmom couldn't come to class tonight. Something came up." Mom's prone tomigraines, so I wasn't concerned. I climbed into my car and started home. It wasa beautiful evening; I remember rolling the windows down and letting the perfectsummer breeze fill my car.

As I pulled into my driveway, I noticed my momsitting out on the carport. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until I saw theexpression on her face. Her eyes looked deep and concerned. As I approached her,she met me halfway. "Honey," she said trying to steady her voice."You need to get out of here. Go stay with a friend and I'll call you whenthings are safe." I tried not to panic. "What is it? What happened? I'mnot a little girl, I need to know what's going on," I begged. Her reply wassimple, to the point and terrifying. "Your brother has a gun and isthreatening to commit suicide." She continued, "Your dad and I can'thandle this alone. Things have gotten out of hand and we called the sheriff,they're on their way now. I love you and I'll call you when we're in theclear."

I numbly crawled back into my car and pulled out. My mindwas racing, knowing that my brother was not mentally stable and was completelycapable of committing such an act. The engine roared as I drove toward town. ThenI saw the first one.

A sheriff's car with sirens and flashing lightszoomed by me, oblivious to my connection with his destination. The moment thatcar came into view, what control I had left was completely lost. I began to cry,huge dramatic wails that seemed to have no end. Then I saw another one. At thispoint I was so terrified that all I could do was whisper a faint, pitiful prayer.I turned onto the highway knowing I was not in any state to be driving, but Icontinued. That's when I saw the last cruiser; I watched in my rear-view mirroras he turned down my road. I reached my best friend's church and had someone gether. The moment I saw her I was overwhelmed with emotion and began to bawl. Sheheld me and waited for me to catch my breath. After several minutes I explainedthe delicate situation and began to feel a little relief.

When I returnedhome hours later my parents had succeeded in convincing my brother not to shoothimself. He handed over the gun only to bolt into the woods and attempt to slithis wrists. The sheriffs were extremely helpful and without them, I believe theconsequences would have been fatal. My brother was taken to a facility for help.I cannot express how thankful I am to the individuals who saved my family. Everytime I pass a sheriff's car now, instead of being afraid or mad, I simply whispera heartfelt "Thank you" for disproving my stereotype and, moreimportantly, for saving my brother's life.

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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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 11 at 8:31 am
i love this so much!
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