ThE ReAsOn WhY (by QC)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Watch what happens when a teenager makes some bad choices, and the consequences that follow.

Submitted: November 02, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 02, 2012

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A A A


 

The Reason Why

Ria Khandpur

 

Sitting in the cafeteria after school, Jaclyn felt tranquil and content. There was nothing that could spoil her impeccable day. That thought was about to change dramatically for the worse.

“Hey Jaclyn!” the school cheerleaders passed her table, grinning sunnily.

“Want to party later? My house, we’ll get loaded. Text you the deets!” Their eyes shone with a blaze, like their eyes were scorching embers, glowing, dancing around their faces. They knew that she had never swallowed even a sip of alcohol. They were testing her. Jaclyn contemplated this idea for a moment, not wanting them to see her anxiety.

“Sure, I don’t have anything to do tonight… there’ll be drinks too! That’s a win win,” she declared nonchalantly. The cheerleaders were incredulous. They had not expected this, and their smirks plunged from their faces like an airborne blimp with a newly torn hole.

“Um, okay, see you there then.” They swiftly left. Jaclyn turned to the table, facing her friends. Their mouths were gaping, stunned, and one of them held a saltshaker next to it like an exclamation point to aid the “o” of her exposed mouth. In a chorus of voices, they chanted,

“But Jaclyn… who will drive you home?”

“You can’t drink alcohol, it will drive your system nuts!”

“Consider the risks! Drinking and driving? What are you thinking?”

She paused and considered the situation. The thoughts rolled through her mind like leaves passing through a smooth current in the river, one after another.

“Don’t worry about it, guys. It’s high school. We’re supposed to have fun, right?” This comment didn’t seem to reassure them, and the frowns remained, glued to their faces. Stubborn, not budging.

“You know what?” Jaclyn said, irritated, leaving abruptly. “I’ve got to go get ready for the party.”

 

Later that evening, Jaclyn wrenched the door open resolutely, and entered the cheerleader’s house. She was here to party and show everyone that she was a better authority than them in any challenge they tossed her way. Vivid lights of all colors greeted her warmly, and as she was embracing her friend, she caught a glimpse of the cheerleaders out of the corner of her eye. The head cheerleader raised her eyebrow, signaling to her. “Just do it.” It took a minute, but Jaclyn realized what they meant, suddenly feeling the pressure. Their frail, perfectly manicured hands were pointing at the refreshments table, sneering, knowing that she would not drink. The massive tureen of beers and ice lay on the table, confronting her.

The lights felt more garish now, seemingly emitting a white-hot spotlight that focused just on her. Jitters emerged in her stomach, and she quickly remembered the many warnings and talks her parents had had with her regarding drugs and alcohol as well as the discussion she had earlier with her friends in the cafeteria.

She attempted to stroll over to the drinks, stumbling halfway there. While nervously popping the cap on a beer, she noticed that her fears were dissolving with each swallow, making her want to drink more, and drink faster, so she wouldn’t feel so insecure. She wanted to feel self-assured and resilient, and the alcohol provided the illusion she needed. Downing more and more, she began to enjoy the beauty of the night. After many more drinks, Jaclyn was having the time of her life, forgetting and not caring about anything anymore. It was getting late now, and the time was ticking away. She was playing Truth or Dare, and the questions were getting juicier by the minute. She found she was not able to filter her answers. Relishing the moments, she contributed in the game, gurgling her answers with a drunken voice, not being able to stop herself from unleashing some of her nastiest secrets. But it wouldn’t matter as soon as the night was officially over, because she thought she would become popular and accepted by the “important people”. One of the cheerleaders, ironically having not consumed any alcohol at all, promptly burst in to the room and declared the party finished, for her parents had returned home. After some persuasion, Jaclyn finally agreed that it was time to leave. She lumbered over to her car, a glittering white Mustang she had received for her 16th birthday earlier in the year. Jaclyn made many attempts at stabbing the key in the ignition, but finally wedged it in. The engine growled as if in protest. She ranted to herself, her head lolling, and backed out of the cheerleader’s driveway.

 

 

“Hurry up, Phoebe!”  Brandon was exasperated. “I have homework to do! Dad’s probably already at the carpool pickup!”

“I’m getting my folder!” she quickly replied. Perky and pink, with sparkly stickers of rainbow unicorns on it, the folder mirrored little Phoebe’s personality. Brandon’s folder was red, with small racecars emblazoned on the front. Together they linked hands, brother and sister, the bond they shared unbreakable.

Phoebe and Brandon were seven and ten years old, and loved and understood each other unconditionally with a passion so strong that they could finish each other’s sentences. They lived alone with their dad because two years earlier, their mother had died of lung cancer. Family was their main priority after the heart-wrenching incident, which drew them to each other more. Brandon was in the school’s tennis team, and their match had lasted longer than the prearranged time; it was now extremely late. Brandon was currently in the middle of a tantrum because his team had lost after four grueling hours of playing. It had been a long day, and Brandon was tired and frustrated. His stomach was rumbling with starvation, making him even more irascible. He and Phoebe were waiting for their dad, who had been watching the game. He had to leave early for a mandatory work meeting, and was returning to fetch them. After minutes that seemed like they had progressed into hours, their dad’s familiar car rolled up across the street into the carpool loop.

“Look, there’s dad!” Phoebe slipped her hand out of Brandon’s strong hold and flew toward the car with her beaming father climbing, arms already spread for a hug.

That’s when a glittering white Mustang slammed into the car, crushing him on impact. Phoebe’s gut wrenched in white-hot pain as the windshield splattered with her father’s crimson blood. That gruesome image was the last Phoebe glimpsed before plummeting to her knees, knowing that her beloved father was gone. Dead. Brandon could only stop and stare, motionless, a high pitched wail escaping from his pale lips, his eyes brimming with frantic tears, and finally, retching uncontrollably, sobbing, roaring in despondency, “Why? Why? Oh, god no, WHY?” as the medics pulled him away, still struggling to get to his father.

 

Moral of the story: Don’t drink and drive, think of others who are left to pick up the pieces of something you destroyed. 


© Copyright 2017 Queen Clytemenstra. All rights reserved.

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