Thu, Sep 20, 2018

Graduation Day

Clendenin, WV News - The Country Times - The Sunshine Paper Clendenin - Newspaper Clendenin, WVThis was the night we all had been waiting for, Graduation! My parents have been buzzing around the house singing silly songs all day, sticking their head in my door to tell me how proud they are of me and cooking, planning on a big cookout the next day with family and friends to honor me. I must admit they have a lot to be proud of me. I worked hard all through middle school and high school to become top of my class. When it was announced that I was the valedictorian my parents were on cloud nine for days. I was accepted at numerous schools with my act’s in the top percentile of this year’s graduates. I finally decided on a school only a few hours away. It has all the classes I need for my major, plus it was close to home, but not too close. All through my teenage years my parents never had any quarrels with me, I have always been the model child; no drinking, no drugs, never breaking curfew, head cheerleader, class president, homecoming queen and all around a good child. I guess that is why I was feeling so guilty about tonight. After graduation, a bunch of the graduates was throwing a party on the outskirts of town and this boy, Silas, who moved here a few months back and was going in his third year of college, was going to be there. Rumor was he was a bit on the wild side, but his smile melts me every time I see him. He sent word to ask me if I would come and I couldn’t refuse.

Normally I shared everything with my parents, but I knew they would disapprove of him and this party. I figured I was eighteen now and worked hard all my life with school that I deserved a break. I told my parents I was hanging out with my friends and celebrating tonight which wasn’t a lie because they were going to this party also. I didn’t think graduation was ever going to be over. Finally, it was over and all the pictures, hugs, tears, and congratulations were done. I waved as me and my best friend drove off in my new Mustang that was a graduation present from my Grandparents and Parents. A little tinge of guilt as I saw my parents waving with tears streaming down their face in my rearview mirror. The guilt was short lived when my best friend started talking non-stop about a guy she was
meeting and about Silas. The party was about ten miles away from the school at an abandon warehouse that was owned by one of the graduate’s parents. When we pulled into the parking lot it was clear everyone was here! The place was already packed with a live band and plenty of drinks flowing freely! I was bit nervous, I had never been to a party where alcohol was and I had already made my mind up that since I was driving I wouldn’t drink. My best friend and I sneaked and drank a bottle of wine one night when we were alone while our parents went to the movies and we both got sick and threw up and had a bad headache the next day. That was enough for me. I saw Silas immediately standing outside waiting for me. His smile lit up the entire night. My best friend had already scurried
off with her date so we were left talking. Someone came by and handed us both a drink and I smiled and told Silas I wasn’t drinking, but that smile encouraged me to have “just one” that, as the night went on lead to three or four, I lost tracked! It was around midnight and I knew I was completely smashed. I remembered someone telling me to drink lots of water so for the last hour I was drinking bottle water one after the other. I was sitting up on the stairs that ran the outside of the warehouse watching the crowd. I hadn’t seen Silas for a while when I spotted him below on the parking lot talking to another girl. My heart about stopped. This was a bad idea, this party. |

I couldn’t drive, I was too drunk, and my best friend was worse than I was. She had her head lying on my lap the last half hour past out. I was so sleepy I just needed to sleep. I knew my parents were going to be so disappointed in me, but I had to call them to come and get me. I called them and the concern in their voice made me start to cry. They lived on the other side of town so it was about thirty minutes from me. I laid my head back against the cool metal stairs. I shut my eyes and that is when I saw my best friend and myself laughing standing in front of the warehouse. Neither one of us could stop giggling. Then it was like a parade, everyone started leaving and we got in our car to leave also. We were following everyone and one by one all the cars were wrecking, rolling over, and people was screaming. I could hear my mom calling my name, but I couldn’t find her. I was grabbing my best friends hand and trying to wake her, but as I looked around everyone was dead! I started screaming and that is when I woke up and my mom and dad was standing there with tears rolling down their face and a smile. I looked around and the party was still going on. I asked why they were smiling and they said they were so proud that I called them instead of trying to drive home in my condition. They said I was having a horrible dream and it took a few minutes to get me awake. My best friend was half awake and confused by now. We got in the car and mom drove my car while dad drove theirs back. We spent most of the night throwing up in the bathroom. The next morning, we had horrible headaches, but we were okay. We heard a bunch of kids that was at the party ended up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning and there were a couple of bad wrecks resulting from that party. My parents weren’t mad at me, but proud that I called them. They said most kids experiment with alcohol, but only a few have the courage and maturity to call their parents and those are also the lucky ones. Silas was one of the ones that wrecked that night and was in the hospital for weeks. I decided I would do an essay on drinking when I get to college to deter other kids, like me, from drinking and driving.

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