Shara D. Taylor
Memphis, Tennessee - International Business
The thought of going to a nightclub was one that had always disgusted
her. Being in a cramped, enclosed room with a mob of hot, sweaty, smelly
people did not fit her description of having a good time. There would be
alcohol and drugs mixed with the dangerously high hormone levels of
young people who had never been exposed to this type of environment.
Nita’s mother and grandmother had warned her to stay away from these
types of gatherings, but her youthful curiosity had been piqued. She
listened enviously to the wild, fantastic stories of her immature and
easily influenced classmates, who partied on a regular basis. Her
uninformed, naïve mind was intrigued by the scandalous tales of alcohol,
drugs, men, and sex. She had never heard such stories in her small,
close-knit hometown of Ripley, Tennessee. She dreamed day and night
about what it would be like to attend such an orgy. Against her better
judgment and despite her mother’s advice, she decided to go just one
time, not knowing that this would be her only time.
She studied the contents of the small
closet. Really, there was not much from which to choose. She owned only
one dress which would be appropriate for her appointment; the
short-sleeved, navy blue Harlena item with white trim around the collar
and hemline. She clearly remembered the day she bought it; a whole
paycheck blown. Sixty-five dollars.
That was two years ago and she had
not dared repeat the extravagance; in fact, it was the last dress she
had bought in over two years. The garment was now a little frayed, but
last night she had done a nice touch-up job with needle and thread. She
slipped it over her head and stood before the cracked mirror, critically
surveying herself. A strand of fake pearls, a long-ago birthday gift
from a former admirer encircled her long neck.
“Well, Nita,” she said to her
reflection. “This is about the best you can do, so, girl-child, go out
there and knock ‘em dead.”
She and a group of girls from her
dorm went to the party together. A handsome yet sly-looking, seemingly
nice, college-aged boy greeted them at the door. He offered them all
drinks, and they all accepted without hesitation. Nita quickly
discovered that she thoroughly enjoyed the taste of alcohol, so she
asked for another. And another. And another. She quickly became so
inebriated that she could hardly stand up on her own. The young man who
had met them at the door volunteered to give her a ride home.
Apparently, nobody knew that he, too, had been drinking. They left
together in his freshly cleaned, fire-red, two-seater Lexus convertible.
As they rounded sharp curves and
corners at extremely high speeds, she suddenly became aware of what was
happening. She begged him to slow down, but he ignored her pleas and
pushed the accelerator as far down as it could go. He watched the fear
in her face through the corner of his eye, and an evil smirk crossed his
face. He took his hand off the steering wheel in an attempt to touch
her, but lost control of the vehicle and plummeted nearly 200 yards down
a steep embankment that was not visible from the main road. The once
beautiful car was now a heap of mangled steel and the final resting
place for two people who were much too young to die.