She replied, “Of course! What’s up?”.
I said with a sense of humor, “Ok, so I’m lying in my bed all bare assed because I ran out of bandages. Will you please, please stop to get me some more?”.
She answered back with a loud laugh in my ear, “Ha ha ha ha! Oh man, you would call me for something like this! Sure though, I would gladly bring you some!”.
Approximately twenty minutes later I hear my best friend Stephanie walk into my front door. As I yelled out to her not to walk into my room just yet, I slowly covered my lower back as much as I could. “Ok, now you can come in.” I yelled again. When I saw the expression on her face as she gazed at my road rash all over my body, I knew she was a scared for a moment. She sat down next to me on my bed as I lay on my stomach with only a towel covering my butt. She asked what happened last night, and for the first time in my life I had to relive something that made me sick to talk about with each word that spilled from my mouth.
I like to think that I was a pretty respectable kid growing up. Always showing polite manners in front of people I was just meeting or people that were not part of my rowdy group of friends. I will admit though that I did hit a few bumps in the road when I forgot where I had come from, and what the true meaning of manners meant. My sophomore year at Capital High, after transferring from another high school across town, I had made pretty close bonds with some people that I still consider friends today. All were mostly jocks and upperclassmen except for my best friend Steph, who is a year younger than me. Transferring over to Capital High from Santa Fe High was sort of a downgrade I suppose. I don’t regret the decision by doing so, but what I mean by downgrade is that the chances of me finding trouble were much more likely there then at Santa Fe High School. The second anyone mentioned Capital, the words flowing out of people’s mouths were, “They’re nothing but a bunch of gang bangers”.
A month after my accident and after spending time with just my family, going over to my grandparent’s home mostly every day, my cousin Veronica and I sat at the dining table talking with my Grandma . We reminisced about the olden days back before the grandchildren’s time and hassled my Grandma in a joking way about her and my Pompo having a secret stash of money.
“Yeah right! Your biggest bills are sitting right here in front of you!” Vern answered.
“Yeah with the way we eat everyday!” I said.
We all just sat and laughed and laughed until finally somehow at the end of that conversation all three of us were in tears. My grandma had begun to tell us about how proud she is of her family. Two of us grandchildren had graduated high school, while shortly after another grandchild got married. Now all of her eldest grandchildren are just beginning college or just finishing their degree, and the youngest is starting pre-k. My Dad, his two brothers and one sister have been through some “ugly shit” as my cousin Vern would say, but they are blessed with the quality to work hard for everything they have. As she took off her glasses and wiped away her tears of joy, I hugged her. I won’t ever forget that moment, for it was then that I realized where I belonged in a world full of millions and millions of discourse communities.
This summer I have spent more time with my family than I have in my four years of high school. I lost all of the people I thought were friends and am left with three people that still carry the title “best friend”. My family is my motivation and the reason why I am here now. Just four months after a life changing experience, I have been complimented by family on how much I have changed for the better. I value every breath I breathe and every step I take, because I was given a second chance to take the right path to a successful future. I don’t fit in at random places where parties take place, and the people there pretend to be your friend as they tell you take another shot. I fit in right at home with the people that will always point me back to the right direction when times are their toughest and I lose my way, and that is with family. Four months with my family means more to me now than what four years of good times, with the wrong people do.