I’ll never know
As I woke it was pitch black. For a second I wasn’t sure where I was. Jigsaw pieces of meaningless, but the floodgates were opened and the overwhelming memory of where I was rushed back inside me. The silence of the night screamed through my head as I began to hear screeching noises that were ringing in my ears, but it wasn’t until that moment that I realised it was my alarm clock going off. I jumped out of bed filled with excitement, and butterflies were filling up inside my stomach.
Today was the day that I had been waiting for; my first ever road trip with three of my best friends. Both Mum and Dad had been out of the country for two weeks now so I was off with two boys and a girl. Fletcher, Archie and Ruby are their names. These mischievous three were known around my town to be absolute trouble. They haven’t done anything terrible, but they were just the kids in town that were always getting themselves into chaotic situations. No one has forgotten or will ever forget the time those three decided to skip school and hitch hike all the way to Wellington for a night out in town. They were the sort of people mum would never let me hang out with. Drugs and alcohol were what influenced mum’s decision to not like them, while I was that poor girl that always has to be home for dinner and back again by curfew. It sucked. I had to do everything right. But coming from such a strict background these were the things that motivated me to hang around these three. They have absolutely no rules and live life on the edge. They are always having a good time. One day I wish to welcome my parents into the 21st century, where they realise sneaking out, passing out, and living to tell a tale is what becomes every teenager’s life. I thought quietly to myself ‘Hopefully one day they will learn how hard it is to live my life, do they realise what I have to deal with having such strict parents like myself.’ I honestly feel like I’ve got metal gates surrounding me 24/7 preventing me from doing anything slightly out of control.
Once I had woken up I changed my clothes, I flew down the passageway a million miles an hour with the anticipation that this could possibly have been the best day of my life. But as I saw the headlights of the car beaming up the driveway I stopped and sat down for a minute. All these indelible memories of mistakes I’ve made in the past came crashing down to haunt me. Suddenly I became worried about what my day consisted of. I analysed the pros and cons of potentially having the weekend of my life. I never got to hang out with this group of people because I always listened to my mum who thinks I’ll be at home on my own for the weekend having absolutely no social life at all, like every other god damn weekend. But because she is off on the other side of the world living it up with dad this gave me even more of an excuse to go and a spark to break the rules just once. It was as if a key had been thrown to me, unlocking the door to freedom. But instead I sat and contemplated what I was about to do, I was worried whether the choice I was about to make was a good or bad decision. So I sat there and contemplated what was going to happen in the next 24 hours. I swallowed my thoughts as quickly as I could. I knew the decisions about to be made weren’t going to be good ones. Only being a few days over 18 I already felt like the whole world was in my hands. Until today I had never had to make my own choices but because my parents weren’t there to tell me what to do it was my time to shine. I was thinking to myself are these people good people or are they not, this had been on repeat in my head since I had woke up. Will I make good decisions if I go? What could even go wrong I thought to myself. My mind was ticking over and over like a clock that was running out of time, trying to decide if I was risking my life by not choosing wisely. But the words of my mum’s voice ringing in the back of my head didn’t register for a slight second so I thought screw it, I’ll go no matter what mum would have thought.
I walked out the front door of my house. I knew all my friends in the car could sense the fear I have when I hang out with them. So I stepped one foot in front of the other. I walked with intent and authority of power, my shoulders were back and my eyes were forward like every other kid in town would, I grew up with the motto ‘respect your parents, get a good education, and don’t do drugs’ well I thought to myself thanks for the objective, but where the hell are the instructions because I was completely lost. It was that moment of truth when you know you’re not abiding the rules but you do it anyway. I looked into the tinted windows as I scrunched my eyes to figure out who was driving. But off I went, I jumped into the back seat of the car and threw my bags in as we hooned off down the steep driveway which made me a little nervous again. I knew there was no going back.
For the next five and a half hours we sang to country songs, waved to people as we overtook them on the passing lanes and laughed and giggled to each other the whole way. I was loving life, I was glad to be with good people who didn’t have a worry in the world. “No seatbelts, no worries” yelled Archie over the beating music. I knew at that stage that the next few days were going to be hectic. After travelling for a few hours everything couldn’t have gone any better but then from that moment it all suddenly changed. It was as if the world was about to end. My stomach sunk. Fletcher was drinking alcohol as he was driving. I thought to myself I wonder how long he’s been drinking for? I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed until now. To me, this was not okay. All my morals had just gone out the window. I never wanted to be in that position, where I was in a car with a drunk driver. Shit, what do I do now? My eyes started flickering all over the place. I was honestly clueless. I just wanted to go home. Everything was not how I wanted it to be.
My phone rang, which thankfully took my mind off what had just happened for a brief second. I yelled anxiously to everyone it’s a private number, in the hope that it wasn’t my mum calling. I thought to myself what more could have possibly gone wrong at quarter past eleven on a Tuesday morning. Ruby aggressively snatched the vibrating phone off me and said ‘I’ll answer it’ in a tone that I couldn’t fight against her for it. The booming music was turned down and everybody went quiet. Ruby was too slow to receive the incoming call but thankfully they left a voicemail, so I listened to it to find out what it was about. I thought it could have been about anything but I could only think of the worst…
Suddenly my breath was taken from me.
My whole body shivered.
I sat there frozen with shock and fear.
My friends knew something was up so they pulled the car to a stop immediately, which nearly sent us all through the windscreen.
Consequences of what I had just heard through the phone were filling up in my head faster than I could push them out.
I screamed as loud as I could.
By Georgie Dalgety