Live Your Life

My mother invariably picks me up from middle school, so when I received the “You’re walking home.” text, I knew something was up. I trudged through the door and bellowed, “I’m home!”. No response. Voices began to ricochet off the walls of the hallway. Forceful. Words. As I hesitantly rounded the corner and entered the kitchen, commotion, f-bombs, and frustration filled the air.

Young and innocent, I plunked myself on the couch; my heart pounded like a Mexican jumping bean. I sat there and rapidly flipped through imaginary pages of my life. Did I do something wrong? My father approached me. Oh no, not this face. His eyes said anger, but his frown said disappointment. Unfortunately, when my dad is furious he morphs into a grumpy beast, and the whole world needs to revolve around him. Eventually, he raged and said “Brock go upstairs. Your mother and I have to discuss a few things about Max.

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My cousin, Max is a role model in my life. In and out of school he walked with the swagger that everyone desired. Although Max didn’t believe in Cliques or popularity, he made a name for himself. He competed in the three major sports at school including, baseball, football, and basketball. He taught me how to do a reverse lay-up when no other kid my age knew how to. He taught me how to style my hair so that I didn’t look like Charlie Sheen with a split front. Most importantly, he taught me proper etiquette ranging anywhere from sitting at the dinner table to holding the door open for my elders. I love Max, despite his shortcomings.

My parents didn’t utter another word to me. I lurked towards my sister Olivia’s room to seek answers. If anyone knew what was going on, it had to be Olivia; she went to school with him. I peeked around the door, sniffles and muffled cries infected my sister. The only other time I had seen her to this extent was during a break-up. Olivia is one tough cookie. Very few topics or insults bring her to tears. Minutes prolonged into what felt like months. After I constantly begged, she snapped and said. “Max was arrested today at school.” Drugs. My heart dropped. Drugs.

The next morning, I lugged my body into class. People knew I was Max’s cousin. I’m not going to lie; I used to brag to other kids about him being related to me to boost my social status. As I took my seat, ten pairs of eyes latched onto my face. I was a helpless antelope being hunted by a pack of tigers. “You’re Max’s cousin right?” Mid-sentence, my tablemate, packed up his supplies and requested to move tables. Come on. I am in middle school why should this be affecting me? Throughout an entire day of shrugs and uncomfortable stares, I had all but one of my friends to have my back.

I started to branch out my 7th-grade year; I developed more friendships every day. After what happened in class, my confidence was already on the downfall. Next to the lockers, my friend and I were making plans for after school, “I’m sorry Brock. My mom doesn’t want me around you anymore. I’m sorry.” he stated. A mother banished his son from my presence because of my relations with Max. I thought he would try a little harder to make things work? My friend tromped away, and I stood there feeling as if God had just turned his back to me. My throat collapsed. I can’t talk. Goodbye.

Everything that happened to Max—from losing friends to drug dealing—made me realize that I was falling down a similar path due to judgment. We shouldn’t judge individuals because of the mistakes they have made, or because of who’s associated with them. People begin to shy away from those who have produced mistakes, similar to how Max lost many friends. I lost a friend. There is a chain reaction that comes with judgment. Friend loss leads to depression, and depression leads to a dark and twisted path that involves drugs. Max fell down this route, but there was no way that I was going to succumb to depression or loneliness. Certain people deserve more than one opportunity, but counseling is not the answer. Counseling is a drama T.V. show. The same problem will resurrect in every episode with the same outcome.To break this repeating occurrence, I believe that one friend is the answer. One friend that’ll have another’s back. One friend that’ll guide another down the right path. One friend that someone will be thanking for giving them another chance.

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