God, this is so boring. The sub has no clue what he is doing. He stutters through the equations like they’re a foreign language to him. Damnit, why did Mr. Schmidt have to be gone today
of all days? I really needed the points on this test, I cant even understand what this guy is saying. Another test down the drain, I’ll never get an A on this one. I guess I could look
at my notes quick, I’ve still got ten minutes.
“Jake, what are you doing?” asked the sub
“Looking at my notes.” replied jake.
“You should be paying attention to what I’m saying.”
“I would, except I cant understand what you’re saying.”
“ Well, maybe if you had listened to Mr. Schimdt then you would understand.” the sub sighed.
Well, I guess he is kinda right. Maybe I should just keep my mouth and listen to the teachers.
Yeah, I’ll do that. No more talking in class, not for me. I’m just going to listen to the teachers from now on.
“ All right guys, take out a pencil and start working on the test.” the sub blurted out.
“Hey Jake? Are you actually gonna take this test?” asked the kid sitting next to him.
“I was thinkin’ about it .”
“Cuz I need the points”
“Ah, your no fun!”
“I really need the points.”
“Becoming a goodie-goodie on us Jake?”
“No, I just need to take this test, really bad…”
“Hmph! You really do suck, you know that? Why can’t you do what you are supposed to?”
“Alright, I wont do it then!”
“Great! We get another show after class guys!” He whispered to the boys around him.
So much for not doing anything outrageous. Now I have to lose these points too. Oh well, I never would have been able to get anything higher than a D anyway. I guess I could make it look like I’m doing something. Hmmm, lets see what could I draw? Ha ha ha, lets see, we need a body, a small one maybe? and a head, a really BIG head. There we go. Now lets add some blood and a noose, don’t forget the face, ok there we go. Now all we need to do is add a name, hmmm, how about…
“ All right, I’m coming around to collect the tests.”
Jake scribbles something on his paper.
“ Jake, what is this?”
“I don’t know.”
The sub takes the test from jake and looks at it.
“Jake, this is not funny!”
“I thought it was.”
“No, it isn’t!”
“Ask them, I bet they will tell you it’s funny.”
The Sub holds up Jake’s test and shows the class the drawing of him on it.
“ Do you guys think this is as funny as Jake thinks it is?”
The entire class bursts out laughing.
Well, I guess I won back the favor of my fans, but I think this sub hates me now. Great now he’ll tell Mr. Schmidt and I’ll get suspended. It wouldn’t be the first time I guess.
But I really did want to take this test, man why cant I just say no? It would have boosted my grade a little. It really would have helped, GOD I’M SUCH A COWARD! I can’t even say no to a strange kid I barely know, so how am I ever gonna say no to a friend? That’s right I wont be able to, So when they ask me to join them I will…
The bell rings and Jake gets up to leave. The sub walks over and asks him to stay after for a while.
“Jake,” The sub begins when the class is empty.
“Why didn’t you take the test? It would have brought your grade up to a D.” He finished.
“I was thinking about it, But something came up.” Jake said on his way out the door, not waiting for the teacher to finish the lecture. He headed out to the parking lot after school and stopped in front his car, hoping to get out of there before his friends showed up.
“Hey Jake, wait up!” Too late… Jake turned around as Ben and Dylan showed up.
“Hey, we’re headed out to the lake, let’s go, you gotta come with us!” Dylan said excitedly.
“Yeah, Dylan’s older brother left his I.D. on the counter, so we got enough beer for ten!”
Ben said looking at Jake expecting a yes.
“I don’t know guys, I got a lot of homework to do…” Jake started to say.
“Homework? Jake The Ditcher, The Failure, The Punished, The Drag…”
“Ok! I get it Ben…”
“…Is gonna do homework instead of come drinking with his two Best friends.” Ben finished.
“Alright, I’ll go. What time?” Jake said exhaustedly.
“Great! We’re Leaving for the beach at Ten!” They shouted over their shoulders as they walked away. Man, I know I shouldn’t have said yes, Maybe I just wont go, Yeah that’s it, I just wont show! Jake drove home and told his mom to tell Dylan and Ben that he wasn’t here if they showed.
“All right, But why? Are they getting into trouble again?” She asked as Jake was climbing the stairs to his room.
“Of course, They always do, and I’m not going to be a part of it this time.” He said as he shut door to his room. He laid down on his bed and fell asleep ten minutes later.
At around midnight his cell phone rings. He stands up from bed and digs around on his desk in the dark for his phone.
“Hey Jake, It’s Katie.” Says a small voice on the other end. Katie was a girl from his English class 4th hour.
“Hey Kate, What do you want?” Jake asked.
“I need you to come here and take Dylan and Ben home, They are totally trashed! But you have to hurry, cuz we cant stop them from taking off much longer.” Kate sounded tired.
“Sure Kate, I’ll come pick them up now.” Jake rushes down the stairs and heads toward the door.
“Jake, Where are you going?” His dad asks quietly.
“I have to go pick up Dylan and Ben, They are completely trashed”
“Well, hurry home then. And be careful” His dad sits back on the chair again. That was odd, dad never bothers to ask where I’m going. Jake slams the door on his way out and tears out of the driveway headed for the beach. He got down to Claire Ave. in about ten minutes. When he saw the beach lights four blocks up ahead, He turned onto the next block and ran head on into an SUV. The last thing he remembered seeing was the lights of an ambulance parked near the side of a road and his mother screaming as the medics tried to get them to the hospital as fast as they could.
When Jake woke up two days later he was in a hospital bed lying next to Dylan and Ben, his parents had told him that they were the drivers of the SUV, Jake swallowed and tried to speak, he couldn’t. His left arm was crushed, it had gotten caught behind the steering wheel, and three of his ribs were cracked, he was also badly bruised and cut up pretty bad. Ben had been the driver, he got away with a couple scratches and a bruised head. Dylan hadn’t been so lucky, he hadn’t been wearing his seatbelt, he cracked his skull, had a broken arm and leg, and had numerous other broken bones, cuts and scrapes. Due to the cracked skull and the possible brain damage the doctors didn’t think he would wake up anytime soon, at least not that day. The further they tested him though, the worse the results had gotten, when they finished they had told Dylan’s parents that he might never wake up. There had been considerable brain damage, they couldn’t do anything for him at the moment. Jake lie in bed for three days after the accident, He couldn’t stop blaming himself for Dylan’s condition. If only I had went with them, I could have stopped Ben from driving. I would have stayed sober, I could have driven, that way everyone would still be ok. He tried to convince himself of this, and he almost succeeded, but then Mr. Schmidt showed up for a visit.
“So Jake, How are you doing?” The young teacher asked gently.
“Fine I guess… Have you seen Dylan? Is he still ok?” Jake really wanted to know what had happened to his friend, but Mr. Schmidt didn’t know anything yet.
“Jake, are you ok or not? Tell me the truth, we need to know.” The teacher pleaded.
“We? Who else wants to know?”
“Your parents, teachers and other friends, Katie feels really bad about asking you to go out there and get them. Now, answer the question.” He said patiently.
“I’m fine, but…”
“But what Jake?”
“But I can’t stop thinking this was all my fault. I mean, I know I didn’t cause it, everyone’s saying that. But I can’t stop thinking that if I had went with them like I said I was going to do, I may have been able to do something.” Jake looked at the teacher, giving him a sad, pathetic smile.
“Jake… I… That is NOT what would have happened, If you would have went with them, you would have been drunk as well and you would probably be dead right now.” The teacher said slowly.
“I know, but I could have done something though, right?” Jake looked up and saw Mr. Schmidt looking at him with a funny look in his eyes.
“Yeah, you could have taken that test!” No matter how depressed Jake was then, he couldn’t stop himself from laughing as Mr. Schmidt took out a test and pencil and handed them to Jake. When he calmed down, Jake looked at Mr. Schmidt and sighed.
“I could have told them no, that I wasn’t going and they shouldn’t either, is that what your saying?”
“That is exactly what I am saying Jake, learn to say No. If you can do that, you can do almost anything.” They sat in silence for a while and after about an hour of this, Mr. Schmidt got up and said his farewells, saying that he had a class in the morning and wasn’t prepared. When he had left Jake fell asleep, He slept for about two hours and was suddenly woken by his mother.
“Jake, sweet heart… I’m sorry baby I…”
“What is it mom? What’s wrong?” Jake was suddenly wide awake.
“Dylan… Dylan is dead Jake…I’m sorry… I thought you would want to know right away.” Jake looked at her as she had said something in French. He had no idea what she had said. At least he didn’t want to know what she had said.
“Dead? How can that… It’s not true! He cant be dead! He was fine yesterday when I saw him…” Jake kept stumbling through words while his mind raced. Dead? Dylan is dead? WHY? Why did it have to be Dylan? Why not me? This is my fault… NO, never mind it isn’t, It is Ben and Dylan’s. But it’s hard to blame someone whose dead isn’t it? Why Dylan? Jake eventually ran out of ideas to keep his mind awake, he fell asleep an hour later. His mom had, at some point, left the room. When he woke up the only person in the room was Ben.
“What do you want? I don’t feel like talking right now.”
“Jake, listen to me…”
“I said no, I wont listen to you anymore.”
“Jake, I’m sorry!”
“Sorry for what Ben? Sorry for Dylan dieing, or sorry because you caused it?”
“Both, Jake I…I want to do something for them.”
‘Them’ were Dylan’s family and relatives.
“I need to sleep Ben, go away.”
“No, I don’t want to.”
“GO AWAY! You can’t pretend like everything is okay Ben, it isn’t, Dylan is dead!”
“YOU THINK I DON’T KNOW THAT? It’s all my fault Jake, But maybe if you had been there you could have stopped it!”
“NO! I couldn’t have stopped anything, don’t try to put this one on me Ben! I wasn’t there and there is nothing I can do about it. I have no responsibility in this. You and Dylan got into an accident because you wouldn’t wait for me, I was headed over there to pick you up. But you couldn’t wait ten minutes.”
Jake was really tired, all he wanted to do was sleep.
“I have to sleep Ben, Go away please?”
“One more thing, Will you be able to use your arm again?” Ben was serious, he really was worried.
“Not like I used to, I cant play sports or anything like that. But I can still write with it.”
Jake told part of the truth, he couldn’t play sports. He didn’t want to tell him that he couldn’t do anything but write with it.
As Ben left, Jake thought that Mr. Schmidt had been right. Just learn to say no, and you could do almost anything. He never really thanked Mr. Schmidt for that advice, but that could wait until he went back to school. With that thought in mind, Jake drifted off to sleep.
Jake went on in his later life to teach children in elementary schools to say No to peer pressure. He told them his story and showed his useless arm as proof, he never did regain any use of it. The doctors had promised he would be able to use it a little, but that never happened. Jake tried to stay friends with Ben, but it was too painful to be near him. Dylan’s death hung between them until the end of their days. Ben did do something for Dylan’s parents. They were financially devastated after the hospital bills, so Ben paid and organized Dylan’s funeral. It was all he could do, but he knew it wasn’t enough. He took classes as an EMT and then started Med school to become a doctor so he could save the lives of other teens like Dylan. They both lived their lives as best they could after the accident, but they will never forget the lessons they both learned when they walked away alive.
© Copyright 2017 poet 3. All rights reserved.
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