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“You should slow down, Will. It’s dark and raining and you’re going pretty fast.” Alex said, concerned, as Will sped home from the party. Will continued to look at the road without responding or even reacting to Alex’s warning at all, as though he had not heard a word that was said. As he persistently increased his speed while he drove down the windy roads, Alex quickly became more concerned. “Will!” he shouted, hoping to get his attention this time.
“I thought you said you were okay to drive tonight. You’re going seventy in a thirty-five miles-per-hour zone.”
“I am fine to drive,” Will responded, almost angrily. “And what is the big deal anyway? I know how to drive a car.”
“The big deal is that you’re going twice the speed limit and don’t see anything wrong with it. The roads are wet and you’re going to lose control of the car if you don’t slow down. I knew you were lying when you told me that you could drive. What exactly did you take tonight? And don’t lie to me this time!”
“Calm down, I didn’t lie to you. I am perfectly fine. I only took a few painkillers.”
“A few painkillers? How many is a few? And what exactly did you take?”
“I don’t know, I can’t remember. It’s not a big deal. Besides, what’s the worst that can happen? I don’t even see any other cars on the road.”
“You can’t remember? Can you please pull over the car and let me drive before something bad happens?”
“Nothing is going to happen. I am fine. I don’t need you to drive so just let it go!”
The rain started to come down much harder as the argument escalated. The two continued to go back and forth yelling at each other, while Will became angrier and his driving more erratic. Although he was looking at the road, it was clear that his mind was somewhere else as he barely even noticed the car beginning to drift over the line. Increasing his speed even more, he drifted further into the wrong lane as he took a turn much too fast, barely even seeing the car approaching in the opposite direction. Realizing the danger he and Alex faced, he quickly swerved to the right to avoid a collision with the oncoming car. He managed to evade the car by only a few inches, but could not keep control of the vehicle as it spun over the wet, slippery road.
Will slammed on the breaks and grabbed the wheel in an attempt to get the car back under control, but he had been going too fast to get the car to stop on the slick road. The tires screeched while they skidded across the pavement, and Alex cried out in fear as the car spun off of the road. Just before the car smashed into a large tree on the side of the road, Will’s life flashed before his eyes.
“I’m afraid you won’t be playing football anymore,” the doctor stated after looking at Will’s test results of his shoulder. “This tear is serious and you will most likely need surgery to fix it.” Hearing these words, Will quickly became devastated at the thought of no longer playing football anymore. In only his junior year of high school, Will was known throughout the small town in which he lived as the star of Jefferson High School’s football team. Along with being one of the top receivers in the state of Pennsylvania, Will was also a great student, earning an A in each of his classes. As he and his parents finally agreed to go through with the surgery though, Will knew that this all would soon change.
After the surgery, Will became quite depressed to see his teammates out on the field without him. To make matters worse, the many colleges that had been offering large amounts of money for Will to attend their schools were no longer interested and revoked their offers. Will watched helplessly as the lifestyle that he had once known so well slowly fell apart, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. As he became more and more depressed, he began to turn to the one thing that had been making him feel good, and that was the oxycontin that he had been prescribed after his surgery. Since this made him feel good when nothing else could, he began to abuse it rather than just use it, and soon became addicted.
As junior year slowly changed to senior year, Will’s priorities and lifestyle had changed almost completely. Due to his depression, Will, who was once a straight-A student, no longer cared about his grades in school and allowed them to fall to Cs and even some Ds. His addiction to oxycontin worsened dramatically, to the point where he became quite dependent on it and took it several times a day. As his best friend, it was not hard for Alex to see that Will’s life was headed in the wrong direction, and he knew he must try to help his best friend turn things back around. To do this, he confronted Will about it. “Will, I need to ask you something and I really need you to answer me honestly about it,” stated Alex, as he began to confront Will about his growing problem. “Are you still taking oxycontin even though the doctor said that you didn’t need them anymore months ago?” Will, caught off guard by the question, did not know how to respond. “No way, I’ve been done with those for almost two months now. Why do you ask?”
“I don’t know you’ve just been acting kind of strange lately.”
“I have? What makes you say that?”
“Well, you haven’t really been yourself lately. You used to be one of the smartest kids in our grade, but you’re almost failing a few of your classes. You stopped talking to just about all of your friends except for me. You just don’t seem to care about much anymore, which is exactly how you were when you first started taking them. I’ve been your best friend for years so I can tell when something isn’t right.”
“No, trust me, I’m done with those,” he lied. I have just had a lot going on lately and haven’t really been able to focus on school.”
“Well I hope that’s all it is,” Alex said, concerned. “I wouldn’t want to see anything bad happen to you.”
Later that night, Will and Alex headed over to a party that one of their friends was having. Alex thought that taking Will out to a party would be a good way to get him back on track by allowing him to see the fun times that he had been missing. After being at the party for only about an hour, Will slipped into the bathroom when Alex was not looking so he could secretly feed his addiction. After taking about four pills, Will snuck back out of the bathroom just before Alex came over to find him. “Where have you been, I’ve been looking for you?” Alex questioned. Will shrugged at the question, not giving Alex an actual answer. “Well, I’m ready to leave if you are,” said Alex.
“Yeah, that’s fine. I’m ready too.”
“Okay, well I’ve had a few drinks so are you okay to drive home?”
“Yeah, I’m completely fine,” he lied.
The feeling of the pouring rain on Will’s face through the shattered windshield brought him back to consciousness. He slowly lifted his head, which he soon realized was quite bloody from the broken glass, as he tried to recall what had happened. He was terrified to look to the right of him as he was not ready to face what he had done. He stared straight ahead for what seemed like quite a while, clenching the steering wheel, praying that this was all just a nightmare that he would soon wake up from. After several minutes of disbelief, Will came back to reality and decided to face what he had done. Reluctantly, he slowly turned to face his best friend and once he finally saw him, he immediately regretted doing so. He screamed in agony at the sight of the tree protruding directly into the passenger seat where Alex was sitting. He screamed his name, praying to hear him respond, even though he knew that there was no hope. Looking at his best friend, his body practically mangled in the seat next to him, he knew it was a sight that he would remember in vivid detail for as long as he lived. Will laid his head down on the steering wheel and prayed for God to forgive him for what he had done, even though he knew he could never forgive himself. At that moment, Will realized that Alex was right and was just trying to be the great friend that he was by looking out for him. He immediately regretted arguing with Alex and wished he could take back every word he said. He finally understood what can actually happen when one abuses drugs, and from that moment forward, he knew he would never touch them again.