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It was December 16th of 2016 when all of this started. I was visiting my dad at his house that weekend in Otsego. We had went to Kalamazoo to Barnes and noble to look at books and magazines that night. We got home that winter night around 10pm, it was extremely cold and snowy. My dad couldn’t get up the driveway because it was so icy, there was also something wrong with his truck, so he just parked across the street, he was mad. I told him I was going to bed because I was tired, and I also didn’t want to be around him while he was mad. He has a really bad temper. So I hugged him and told him goodnight, then I ran into the house to go up to bed. My grandma was home that night, so I went and gave her a hug, talked to her for a bit and then told her goodnight. Then I ran upstairs to lay down and watch Netflix for a while.
A couple hours had passed by, I was still watching Netflix. It was around midnight when my grandma came upstairs and asked me to go check on my dad since he hadn’t came inside for bed yet. So I went out to the barn to check on him to make sure he was okay. At times half of me wishes I would have fallen asleep and never stepped outside into the snow that bitterly cold winter night, the other half is thankful I did because I could very well have just saved my dad’s life.
When I walked through the door to the barn the lights were still on, as I expected. It was cold in there, much warmer than outside though, I thought he may have been still awake. So I walked further into the barn just to find him asleep in his chair, which honestly was no surprise either way. I walked over and shook him to try to wake him up, that was when I saw it. I looked to the left of me on the small tan table beside him and there sat a black metal box which held what I believed to be cocaine at the time. All I remember seeing in the box was a mirror with white powder on it, and multiple little bags. I panicked. I tried my best to remain calm. Before I ran back into the house I managed to get a picture of everything that I saw on the table. When I got back into the house I went straight up to bed. I didn’t say a word to my grandma because I was scared. I didn’t know what to think, I just found out that the person I believed in the most when no one else did was on drugs. I didn’t know if I should cry or just sit in bed.
So I just sat down, I was in total disbelief. I didn’t know what to think, I’ve never experienced anything like this. I texted my brother, James, and told him we needed to talk asap. He didn’t respond back that night because he was sleeping. I fell asleep not too long after because it was so late. When I woke up the next morning around 10am I saw I had a text from him. I opened it as soon as I could, he asked what we needed to talk about. I told him everything I saw the night before. I even sent him the picture. He told me it looked like what I thought it was, but he wasn’t going to say anything for sure. He didn’t want to be wrong. He told me he would talk to our grandma about it. He called her later that day and told her they needed to talk about dad. She asked if it was what she thought it was about, so she had a feeling that he was on drugs before this. She just never had any evidence. So, his half of Christmas break comes rolling by and I’m miserable as heck staying with him because I didn’t want to be around someone like that, and it broke my heart because I love my dad, he was like my bestfriend. I wanted to spend time with him but I just couldn’t do it. So, I stayed with my dad for a couple of days then I stayed with my brother for the rest of the break.
We talked about what I had found, James told me that him and my grandma had started to clean things up after my dad left one day. They had gotten some of what I found tested. No too long after my grandma found things in my dad’s bathroom. They also tested that. It all turned out to be crystal meth. I was literally devastated when he told me. I had no clue what to think or say. So I said nothing, and didn’t really think of anything. I kinda just sat there on the couch, I held back tears. I don’t like crying in front of people. January 5th, 2017 is when I told my mom about everything I had found, that following weekend in January is when I stopped seeing my dad. My grandma confronted my dad about everything, that’s when he left. He said he was moving out. Later that week I told him that I was the one who found everything because he was blaming my grandma for all of it and he was so mad at her. He wasn’t happy with me to say the least.
In February my grandma had been trying to hang out with me but time never permitted with us, one of us was always busy when the other wasn’t. So eventually she told me she had to call me. She said it was pretty dang important. I picked up the phone and I could just feel that something was wrong. I forsure thought it was about my dad. She started talking and then she started to cry, that was when I knew it wasn’t about him. It was about something much more serious. She called to tell me she had been diagnosed with cancer. Breast cancer specifically. Let me tell you, after everything that had not only happened that year, but in my entire life so far, I had definitely not expected that curve ball to be thrown at me. I had to keep myself together while I was on the phone with her so I wouldn’t worry her too much. I could hardly keep myself together. She told me she was getting surgery in March, and that she wanted me to come. After we hung up the phone, I lost it. I went downstairs, crying of course, and I told my mom what I had just found out.
So, March comes strolling on by. I go to the hospital with my brother for her surgery. My dad was there. Which let me tell you, that was awkward as all heck in the beginning, considering that for the whole month of January and the beginning of February he was rapid fire texting me about how much he hated me and how much he was disappointed in me and everything else. But that day went pretty well, surprisingly. The surgery went really well also.
Around the same time, maybe a little after, CPS had gotten called by someone, not sure who because they could not tell me. But some guy named Mike who worked for CPS came and talked to me while I was at school. I was in third hour, world history, when I got called down to the office. I was so nervous because I hardly ever got called down there. He introduced himself and then he started asking questions about my dad, definitely was not surprised by that. About a week or so after things got submitted to the court and that was when I officially stopped seeing my dad on weekends and such. I couldn’t see him for more than 12 hours at a time and overnight visits were not allowed.
I was just starting to accept everything that had happened so far when I got a call on April 1st. My friend Matthew had called me to tell me our close friend Hunter Bailey had killed himself early that morning around 9 or 10am.
When he said those words I literally didn’t believe him. I couldn’t. I honestly thought he was playing some sick joke on me for April fools, because he’s the type to joke around like that. I told him I didn’t believe him and he hung up on me. Around 3pm I got a call from a number that was not saved in my phone. I felt that I needed to pick up the phone, so I did. It was Matthew’s sister and she put their mom on the phone. That was when it hit me, and it hit me hard too. It took absolutely everything in me to not cry my eyes out in the car. I had just got told by an adult that it wasn’t a prank I still couldn’t believe it. When would I ever believe it? 6 months later I still can’t. Ive accepted it, but I just can’t.
On April 2nd we held a candlelight vigil for Hunter at Bellevue’s high school in his parking spot. Hunters bestfriend’s set up the whole event and made everything happen. They made a huge group chat, almost the entire high school was in it. That is how they set the event up. One of Hunters close friends, Gavin, had the idea to make bracelets in memory of Hunter. Everyone loved the idea and so he did it. He had the bracelets the first day back to school. The bracelets read “In loving memory of Hunter James Bailey 3/5/2001 Always remembered”
April 8th was the day of Hunter’s funeral. They held it in the big church downtown Bellevue. So many people were at his funeral, it was crazy. There wasn’t a single spot that was not taken. School that day was so dead, hardly anyone came that day and for the people who did come, well they didn’t interact with much of anything or anyone. I think it’s crazy how many people were impacted by his death. People who weren’t even close with Hunter came to the vigil, and his funeral, and cried.
Nearly two months go by, softball season is coming to an end. I was with my best friend Haley, she gave me a ride to and from practice everyday. We had just gotten out of practice when I got a text from my brothers wife, now ex wife. We were just sitting in her truck when she told me that her and my brother gotten into a very big argument, she tried claiming that he got violent with her. I asked for more details and she said she couldn’t give anymore, that she wasn’t allowed. So I went to my brother about it. He told me that she cheated on him, for a third time, there was no violence involved in the argument. He also said that this was the end of their relationship. They were getting a divorce. I can’t say that it didn’t suck, because honestly it did, but I’m definitely happy he was leaving her. He deserves much better than that.
Now this brings us to present time. I have switched schools, from Bellevue to Pennfield. When I think about this school now it doesn’t seem so bad, I’m really starting to like it here. My first two weeks here was absolutely terrible, not going to lie. The reason for that is because I missed my friends at my old school, and I didn’t know a single person and I didn't know where a single thing was. I’m starting to make friends here now and get comfortable with walking through the halls. Don’t get me wrong, I still miss my friends at Bellevue, but I feel this place is better for me. I feel this change was definitely for the better.