There was a time in my life where I feared nothing, and took orders from nobody but myself. This was a less enlightened time, but a happier time nonetheless. During that time I was still in High School, and I constantly got into trouble with the teachers. There wasn't a week where I didn't spend the majority of a school day in an in-school suspension. I basically didn't give a fuck about anything.
One day I got a call down to the security booth, but I honestly did not know why. I knew I talked back to teachers and such, but my behavior was sort of business as usual. So what did I do that would warrant a call down to the security booth? I wasn't leaving early, as far as I knew anyway, so what could it have been?
I went down to the booth wondering what was going on. Surprisingly, there was a long line of people and some people were actually leaning on walls, waiting to settle whatever they were called down for. Great, I thought to myself, I’m going to be waiting here all damn day. Against the wall was a man in a thick black hoodie.
His face looked like shit, it had several folds and wrinkles in it, it was horribly pale, and there seemed to be a scar running from his upper lip up to his right eyebrow. Even worse he gave me this eerie grin when he noticed me looking. I tried not to make eye contact.
As the line moved I noticed that the man did not move with the line. I figured, Meh whatever, one less person to wait on. Eventually I made it to the front of the line and asked the security guard what I was called to the line for. If you haven't guessed by now, my school has security guards because they need them. I'm not even joking, the amount of stabbings that have taken place... But anyway, this guard informed that I was leaving school early for a dentist appointment.
I knew that this could not have been the case as I had my dental check a few weeks prior. Before I could question anything, a raspy voice piped up in the back. "Come on sonny, we don't want to be late now do we?" Was... was this man posing as my father? Turning around to see who was trying to imitate my father, I was shocked to see the man with the fucked up face was the owner of the voice. He waved me over once again. Figuring I could easily take him if he tried anything, armed or not, I decided to go with him anyway. Hey, it beat the hell out of school.
He turned to me and said "Come along boy, we're going for a ride."
I promptly responded with something along the lines of "First you tell me who you are and what you're doing posing as my father".
"All will be explained, along with much more on our journey."
Skeptical, I asked, "And just where exactly are we going, Fuckface?"
He calmly responded "Easy with the language there, you may call me Pesthilus, though I go by many names. Unfortunately, Fuckface is not one of them."
During our ride it was rather quiet. I finally broke the silence and said "So what was the point of this, why am I here?"
After some hesitation he replied "Let me ask you a question Devin. What do you think of your life?"
"My life? It's alright I guess." I responded.
He retorted "Alright? You consider constantly getting into trouble and having no friends to speak of as an alright life. Clearly your standards are not set very high."
What the fuck? Who did this guy think he was telling me that my life was something to be ridiculed?
"I know what you're probably thinking, and let me explain. You're intentional disassociation with people and your blatant disregard for authority will ultimately lead your life into a bitter spiral of depression. Eventually all in your life will fall do despair. And that is not even the worst part." He finally paused for a second.
"No, the worst part is you choose this and will willingly let your life become such. There will be no one at fault for your wasted life but yourself."
"Now wait a second, just because I've had a couple of detentions and don't really talk to people doesn't mean my life is going to be ruined."
"I have much to show you then, child." Suddenly I was teleported to a familiar sight, my high school's field. This was my graduation day. As the names were called one by one, I waited for my name to be called up to the podium, so that I could receive my diploma. "Kevin Everston, Dahlia Farrell..." Devin Ferris, come on call it! I silently thought to myself. "James Fenton, Arthur Fredrickson..."
“She skipped my name. Why did she do that?”
"You did not make it to graduation day."
"What do you mean? I'm a Junior, I only have this year and the next and I should be done!" I argued.
"True, and there are many things that can happen in a year and a half. What happened specifically is ridicule and dead-end hopelessness powerful enough to drive any man to suicide."
I've had enough of this bullshit, "Stop the sequence, and let me out of this car."
"A very politely phrased request, I commend you on your patience in this trying experience. No."
It next took me to an area where I was at a dance. I suddenly shared the memories of myself at this time, almost as if I were already experiencing everything. A girl apparently had asked me to the Junior Prom, which came as a gigantic surprise seeing as I have never really said a word to anyone. As it turns out, she asked me out on a dare and brought me to the prom solely to humiliate me in front of the entire school. I could feel the mortification overcome me, it was intense. I won't explain what exactly she said and did, but it was enough to push over the edge.
In retrospect, I had been tip-toeing around that edge for many years. I had just never realized it until Pesthilus brought up the topic of suicide. Why though? There were so many people being bullied and tortured into suicide, what made me so special if my life was such a dead-end road?
As if reading my thoughts Pesthilus looked to me and said, "If I have saved one life, I have accomplished and immense goal. It does not matter the worth of that life, for every person is indispensable and invaluable."
Needless to say that night at prom was my last, as I later consumed half a bottle of prescription anti-depressants and parked my car on the train tracks. My miserable life flashed before my eyes as I awaited the cold steel that seemed so warm and inviting. I made a conscious effort to get my life back on track.
Fortunately, I have made some new friends. My grades have improved and I no longer get into trouble. I even have a girlfriend now. A real girlfriend. I think she is the most rewarding aspect of all.