My Parents Were Never Home So I Started Drinking

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story about a teenager who started drinking because his parents were never home and he had no friends. “My life changed in that ward. For the first time in my life I discovered friendship, how much it meant, how it could change a life, my life, and how important it is for everyone to have a friend.”

Submitted: January 04, 2012

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Submitted: January 04, 2012

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I grew up in an ordinary suburban household. There was nothing interesting about my family; my parents both had a good job and as far back as I can remember they worked hard and got home late and were often out in the evenings. I spent most of my childhood coming home to one or both of my grandparents; my parents were never there because they were working. Then in the weekends they’d normally be busy with something, or else they’d be asleep. Yep, that’s right, I’d want to play or go to the beach, or just have lunch and they’d both be sitting in their chairs asleep.

When they weren’t busy or asleep they were always fun to be around, and I suppose that’s why I missed them more. We had one holiday every year when I’d see them for a week. We’d go off somewhere and I’d have all their attention. They are the best memories of my childhood, when we’d laugh and have so much fun, then I’d be back home and they’d disappear and I’d be alone. What made it worse was I didn’t have any friends at school. I still can’t figure out why. I don’t think I was strange, or said weird things, I just didn’t have anyone who wanted to hang out with me. Everyone in my class was friendly, but come lunchtime, they’d disappear, and because I was no good at sport, I couldn’t join in the games of football, so I’d end up sitting on a bench somewhere, or reading a book in the library.

I wasn’t aware how unhappy I was until my sixteenth birthday when I invited everyone from my class to a birthday party and no one came. I found out later there was another party, and everyone had gone to that one. But it was awful, sitting at home with no one turning up. My parents said all sorts of nice stuff, but it didn’t help at all. 

That’s when I started drinking. My father had a room downstairs with spirits and wine and beer and I helped myself. At first I was careful, just taking a small sip, but after a while I realised no one was checking, and my because my parents were busy, they never noticed. So I stopped worrying and kept bottles of gin and whiskey in my room. I have no idea how much I drank, but I do remember the more I drank, the more I wanted to drink and instead of just drinking at night, I’d drink in the mornings before breakfast, and then I started taking it to school in a drink bottle. No one noticed, because no one noticed me. 

Everything went downhill much faster than I could ever have imagined. I couldn’t concentrate and my marks at school got much worse. I’d often not go home in the afternoons; I’d jump the neighbour’s fence who was working overseas and drink there. Still no one said anything; everyone continued to ignore me. It wasn’t until I started misbehaving in class that the teachers began talking to me; not in a friendly way, it normally involved threats and detentions, but something in me knew at least I was being paid attention and so I got worse and continually interrupted class with bad behaviour and eventually I began to abuse my teachers, even the ones I liked. 

At that stage I started going to parties. Not that I was invited, I’d just turn up and annoy everyone. I was always so drunk before I arrived that I hardly knew what I was saying and I’d be thrown out pretty quickly. I was drunk all the time. I woke up and drank, I went to school and drank, I’d drink on the way home. I didn’t have control over anything, especially the words that came out of my mouth. Then one day I walked home from school after detention and crossed the road without looking and got hit by a car. I can’t remember it at all, I only have the memory of waking up in the hospital with a broken leg, broken arm, fractured skull and bruising all over me. My parents weren’t there. The nurse assured me they had visited, but had gone because I hadn’t shown any signs of waking. 

That’s when I got angry. I’d never been furious at my parents before, but I was so mad. I felt the rage overwhelm me, eclipsing the pain in its intensity. I couldn’t believe they weren’t there, that their jobs were so much more important than me. What did I have to do to make me important? I started yelling and abusing them and the nurse got the doctor to give me something to calm me down.

The next time I woke, there was a card and a bunch of flowers. I couldn’t reach them so I pressed the call button and the nurse read the card for me. It was from a girl at school called Laura wishing me all the best and promising to visit. I was completely dumbstruck. Laura was sporty and good-looking and popular and had never said a word to me. Why had she sent a card? 

Laura visited that afternoon after school. I smiled and said hi, feeling really weird. She sat on the chair and asked how I was, and then started apologising for not talking to me before. I had no idea what to say; I began to wonder whether I was hallucinating, but the pain assured me I was awake.

She explained how she had seen everyone avoiding me and it was so wrong and she was as much to blame as everyone for my accident and my drinking and asked me to forgive her. She said she’d like to be my friend and visit me in hospital. Then she started crying, and that started me crying and then she wiped her eyes and helped me wipe mine and she started talking about her family and where she’d grown up and what she enjoyed doing. I listened to her talk and I felt an easy kind of feeling inside of me. I didn’t want it to end, but after a while I felt so tired I explained I had to sleep and she told me she’d be back the next day.

And she was; after school that day and every few days for all the time I was in hospital. My life changed in that ward. For the first time in my life I discovered friendship, how much it meant, how it could change a life, my life, and how important it is for everyone to have a friend. And one day I told Laura my story, and I felt so different afterwards, like my life might be okay, that I didn’t have to drink anymore, that everything would be okay. Strange how just sharing my stuff with a friend could change me so much, but it did. After I got out of hospital and was well enough to go back to school, I was a different person. I now had a friend and Laura introduced me to her friends and I didn’t feel like an alien anymore. I felt like a normal person, not because I had a new personality, or because I was cool or special or anything, but just for the simple reason people accepted who I was and wanted to spend time with me. 


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