“Come on son please live for us”, I heard my dad say. I opened my eyes and saw bright lights. First thing in my mind was “Oh no! I’m dead.” But then the excruciating pain came rushing down from my head to my lower back and ran along my spine. “AAAAHHHH” was all I managed to say. I realized I was in a gurney being carried away somewhere by people wearing white coats and masks. That’s when I remembered everything. It all came rushing back. The stupidity of it all was so absurd. I realized too late and now I want to share my story with the world, hoping the young and carefree be heeded.
It was the rainy month of June 2010 that I said my goodbyes to my family and everyone else in our town close to me. Generally they all told me the same thing. “Take care and study hard.” After that, I was on the ship for a 12-hour travel off to college in a prestigious school in the city.
I was the valedictorian in my high school, the student council president and was awarded the most likely to succeed. With determination to graduate early and get a high paying job, I bravely and excitedly entered my dorm. When I opened my dorm room I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were 4 guys on the floor: squatting, drinking and clearly already very drunk. “Hey dude. It’s your shot!” was Eric’s first and last words to me. Last, because a day after, he was expelled from the school for raping his girl friend’s roommate.
That was my room. Four of us and I was the only one who didn’t drink or smoke and the only one who actually attended classes. I had fun in all my classes in the first semester. Not once did I indulge in my roommates’ persistent urges to make me drink alcohol. When I went home for the vacation, I wanted to tell my parents about my disturbed roommates, but at that time they were already fighting a lot. Day or night, they somehow always managed to find something to fight about. I didn’t understand it, but I figured if I told them about my roommates it would only add to their problems – so I just kept quiet. I had thought to myself that I would never be tempted by my roommates anyway, so there was nothing to worry about.
The second semester started, and unfortunately, I had a physics teacher that really hated me. He kept insulting me when I made tiny mistakes and gave me the hardest worksheets to solve in front of my classmates. After the first quarter exam he failed me, unfairly. I tried going to our dean but he dismissed my plea. Frustrated as hell, I went back to my room in the dorm. “Hey man! Want one?” Jim extended his hand with the glass containing some green liquid. I took the drink from him and drank it straight up. It tasted bitter but I didn’t care. I was angry at my teacher, my parents, and mostly at myself for losing to an unfair teacher. Shot after shot I drank until I felt so light. Jim, Harry and Sam were drunk too. They told me all sorts of stuff about how I could feel better if I just hang with them a bit more. Feeling so carefree for the first time, I thought they must be right. I drank right up until the next morning. I woke up and felt like my head was split open. I looked at my roommates and they were still down. I left and went to the school park. “Hello?” my sister’s voice answered on the other end. “Put mom on the phone, Mia” I told her abruptly, my headache worsening. “They’re at the courthouse getting a divorce. Tony, what…” I heard her say but hung up the phone without letting her finish. My headache was replaced by the thought of my parents’ neglect to tell me whar was going on. I was furious. Before going back to the dorm, I stopped at a store and bought 10 bottles of tequila and some packs of smoke. When I went inside the room, I woke my roommates. “C’mon guys! It’s party time!!!!” We started drinking at 7am and by 6pm were still at it when Jim said, “Here, check this out, Tony.” He produced what looked like sugar wrap in a little plastic bag along with a small piece of foil. “This is the cool stuff.” He said. Sam took it from him and showed me how to do it. The drug made me feel like I was invincible. After an hour, all 4 of us were so high that we decided to go out and go skiing. With the drug flowing in my veins and making me think like I could do anything, I went up the highest slope, went to its edge and jumped, thinking I was gonna fly. That’s how my life came to be a 50/50 situation at the hospital. That’s how I ended up being paralyzed from the waist down
My parents are back together now, but everyday they regret their past decisions as I do mine. We were all wrong to act without thinking and not consider the consequences of our actions. Life is too short to spend it fighting or doing drugs. We should use what God gave us. Our minds should win over our hearts’ desires. We should think about our actions, and we should consider our own and others’ feelings before making important decisions in our lives.