Walking on the Edge of Evil This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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There comes a point in life when you have to identify the fine line between your life and that of your friends. This thought came to mind as I sat on a torn leather couch at a friend’s apartment. Around me sat many of the people whom I called my closest friends. Just like every time before, the boys sat still, hypnotized by the video game flashing on the screen, and the girls lounged throughout the kitchen and dining room, chatting about the latest gossip. The routine of lazing around the apartment grew quite monotonous at times, yet I still simply enjoyed being in the presence of friends.

Time gradually faded as we relished our average night. The clock had struck twelve which meant a few out of the group were required to head home. Normally, I also joined their departure, but my parents were out of town, which allowed me to stay longer. Taite, the oldest of us all, offered to be the chauffeur for the night. The room hushed with his departure. Taite was always flamboyant and often the instigator to many mischievous acts. Typically, dropping off the early birds took only twenty minutes, but forty minutes had passed and there was no return from Taite. I assumed he had stopped to grab some Taco Bell and possibly a Little Caesar’s pizza if we were lucky. With the thud of the door, Taite strolled into the apartment, and as I had guessed, two plastic bags swung at his sides. By the size of the bags, I figured he had bought some food to share, so I licked my lips in anticipation. When he sat the bags on the countertop, an unusual clang echoed from inside. Everyone swarmed around him, all reaching in the bags and pulling out cans. “Soda?” questioned through my head, “Why would Taite buy us all soda?” Bethany, Taite’s latest girlfriend, tossed me a can. Confused, I read the label. “Natural Light?” blurted from my lips. With a puzzled face, Bethany glared at me and defensively replied, “What? Is Natty Light too cheap for your taste?” I rolled my eyes and set the can to my side. Taite was always the troublemaker, but no one appeared surprised by his latest antic. My closest friends were living a life of drinking, and I had not even realized it. I wondered how long this activity existed in their lives. In disappointment, I rested my head on the couch.

One drink led to another, and soon my friends were quite tipsy. I pretended to be giddy and occasionally faked a laugh in hopes to disguise my sobriety. For a moment, I considered leaving. But as soon as I stood, Sarah, a friend from grade school, pulled me back onto the couch and slurred, “Don’t leave now. The party is just starting.” Hesitantly, I stayed because these drunken people were my best friends. To complement the alcohol, some lit up a cigarette. Swirls of smoke spread through the cramped apartment. I scrunched my nose and let out a raspy cough as the smoke invaded my nostrils. As naive as it was, even the cigarettes were a surprise to me. I leaned over to Bethany and requested, “Hey, could you put out your cig? It’s making me a little nauseous.” Once again, she took offense and replied by puffing a fog of smoke into my face.

My patience was beginning to fade. I was filled with annoyance, frustration, and even resentment toward my friends. I pondered whether I should leave, but the love for my friends kept me glued to the leather couch. A new repulsive smell filled my nose. It wasn’t musty and stale like the scent of the cigarettes but rather, poignant, resembling the odor of a skunk. A shiny porcelain object caught my eye. All I could see through the fog were multi-colored ribbons entwining up the side of a piece of glass. As it passed my way, my eyes were able to focus on the strange object. To my horrifying surprise, it was a bong!

That was it; no matter how important my friends were to me, I refused to partake in something illegal. Once again, I stood up and attempted to stretch my leg over the coffee table, but as before someone pulled me back down. I was walking on the edge of evil, and my friends were condoning every step. With that realization, a burst of adrenaline rushed through my veins. I stumbled through the crowded apartment. Everyone tugged on my arms and legs; it was as if they were attempting to bind me in their sin. Finally, I reached the exit. In anger, I yelled, “Good-bye, hypocrites!” and slammed the door behind me.

As I walked to my car, I inhaled a breath of clean air. The cool sting against my lungs, reminded me of the pain in my heart. I was so frustrated that I had believed a false illusion of who my friends truly were. A jolt of confidence rushed through my core for I had the courage to stand against my peers. Even though they were my closest friends, I was able to distinguish the difference between their life and mine. Pain turned into pride as I realized the feat I had accomplished. Many people get lost in the life of their friends, but I was not one of them.





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