A small marker on a hillside is all that remains of Darius Denis.
Darius, like most 17 year olds, enjoyed a good time. Not popular by any stretch of the imagination, but straddled just about every social group in school. Recess time he worked on his jump shot, at lunch he played Magic the Gathering. Darius’ was rarely the topic of conversation around the staffroom table, but when it was it was accompanied by sighs,
“He could be doing so much better”
“If only he applied himself”
“Not much time left to turn things around”
Criticisms levied to Darius after class, in the corridors, and with his weekly meeting with the guidance counsellor.
You see, it’s not like when you and I went to school, when one of the by’s on a dare would smoke a draw at lunch, report to 4 th period, be sent to the office, and then home to be scolded by their parents. Addiction to hard drugs is not commonplace, but noticeable enough to be worried.
After the program Darius was feeling good about himself. He gained back the 20 pounds that he lost, colour came back to his cheeks, and you could have a conversation with him in the hallway.
Now, running gave him his only high. He ran in the evenings, mostly, because he favoured the cool temperatures, less flies then. When you are in the zone there is nothing worse than inhaling a pesky mosquito, or sand fly. It’s funny something that small, so insignificant, having that much an effect. But it did, just long enough for Darius to lose attention, cough, and not notice the drunk driver careening around the corner.
While this particular piece is fiction, it happens all too often on a daily basis. Report drunk drivers, take keys if friends insist on driving while drunk, and never get behind the wheel if you've been drinking.