Our high school life was coming to an end. Many of us were wondering what to do with our lives. In as much as we were excited during our prom, there was a deep hidden darkness inside my heart. I knew my best friend was also suffering the same fate, but we had to keep the smiles coming, especially now that the ladies were upbeat. I grabbed my sweet Annie and took to the stage. Annie thought it was my passion to study literature in college but all along I knew probably this would be my last dance with her or any woman for that matter. Deep down, I knew my friend Gabe was trembling more than I was. He was a far much worse coward, but it was a mistake to confuse his cowardice with his ability to overcome it and perform beyond expectation.
All along, both of us had managed to live exceptionally deceptive double lives. We had managed to fool everybody in our small town to believe that we were running some successful ice-cream business. You can now see why we had taken possession of the most sought-after ladies in the entire class. We got ice cream and money. The money though was not ice-cream money. It was coke money. We often used our ice-cream bikes as decoys and converted them into perfect covers. Girls would troop in as much as our coke customers did. It was a good life. Out of sheer ingenuity, we managed to live normal lives. We knew that the hallmark of idiocy was living opulent lives yet it was just ice cream. Even our parents had to be fooled, one way or the other.
The prom dance came and went but the butterflies in my stomach stayed. I bid goodbye to Annie and drove home in the back seat of my mother’s car. “Were you comfortable?” my mother asked. Holly Marjorie! “I leaked emotionally you mean?” I stupidly asked myself. I ensured my mother understood it as the effect of dancing with a lady I always had a crush on in front of her. It was a nice joke and it did the trick. She, however, mentioned that my friend Gabe was somewhat better. What! The coward of the county outdid me. Either way, the plan had to work. It was three hours to time, and for the first time, I will be meeting the big guys in the game. There was no way out of it.
After getting home, I changed into more relaxed attire; the suit was making me boil. Supper was served and my mother’s smile could have illuminated the entire dining room. She was very proud of me. I wondered whether I would betray her trust in me, and all I could feel was a pity. I pitied her for trusting me, her only son so much. Beep, beep! A text message from Gabe, he was confirming that there was no change of plans. I had to do the same. My eyes and ears turned pink or so I thought. I stopped thinking, my mother was still talking, and everything fell silent. It was time, and there was no way I could pull out. I would lose my young life in a cruel way. I had seen it earlier. I gathered some strength and continued with my meal. It tasted like soil, but I had to keep going.
The time came and my mother went to bed, I also did- as far as my mother was concerned. My actual graduation was due in a few hours. Gabe and I had proven effective in the distributorship business. We were graduating to take control of large territories. I pushed up my roof window and slid down to the ground, the journey was on. As I had planned, Gabe was a few yards away from our driveway, waiting for his accomplice and potential cellmate. We both knew the stakes too well, but the reward was far much convincing. I knew if I pulled off the job for a few months, I would need no crazy schedule in college.
Gabe started the engine, as I jumped in. The location was set and everyone was upbeat. We were on our way to our quick money. The pipes were now open; previously the tap was just leaking. Adrenaline, testosterone, and cortisol were all rising. I could feel the hormones rise, the more they rose, my mouth got dry. For Gabe, the more his hormones rose, the more he stepped on the pedal and the more his Jeep obeyed. We had chosen to become drug lords, the promise of a gun and money enough to buy cops was enough thrill. Screech, Booom!
I woke up bandaged all over. I could not taste hormones in my mouth as I had moments ago, or so I thought. I could only taste blood and pipes in my mouth. It was hard work to open my eyes. Then, when I did, I saw my mother’s swollen face, but just briefly. I did not try opening the eyes again. The Jeep, as my mother and the doctor were saying, was literally flying. Gabe was gone and I was left to make up a story about where we were going and fill my college application papers. Damn literature!
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