Charles was eighteen years old. He had been counting down the days. His parents had finally bought him the car of his dreams: a 1981 Corvette Stingray. Custom painted cornflower blue, leather interior and personal plates; it dripped style.
One of the guys from school, Eldridge, who wasn't particularly the most popular, had invited him to hang out at his place. They were going to study the Bible, or something. Charles "politely" declined.
"You want me to come study how to be a good boy?" He responded. "Listen, tonight, us men are going out to have a little fun. I'll learn how to be a good boy tomorrow."
"No, Eldridge. I have plans. Maybe some other time."
"There might not be another time." Eldridge pleaded.
"There's always another time, Eldridge, always." Charles patted him on the back and strode off to meet his friends who were waiting.
Charles and his friends planned to have a party that night to initiate him into manhood. Everyone was going to be there.
He arrived casually late to the party to showcase his new car. It stood out, like a flower in a field of weeds, in the parking lot that was full of old rusting Chevy's and Ford's that were on their last leg. When all had gotten a good view of the car, they slowly made their way into the hall where the clichéed chorus of Happy Birthday echoed through the corridors. Tonight, friends, acquaintances and even strangers alike were celebrating the same thing: Charles first big step into independence.
By two a.m. the party had dwindled down to just the few of those who had remained true to the cause. Those who stayed laughed and joked while they passed small squares of paper around. It was Charles' first time with this new drug, and this would, according to his friends, bear the proof of his manlihood. As though to toast, Charles raised the paper into the air, smiled, and put it in his mouth. Cheers went up all around as the rest of them followed suit.
Waiting for the effects, Charles climbed into his Corvette, because, as his buddies said, what better way to take a trip than in a car! As the drug took hold, he put the car into first and drove off from the crowd of people that had gathered outside. These effects are freaky, he thought, as he raced down the highway. Demonic beings swirled around him, one of them drew near to him and covered his mouth. Feel like a man now? It asked without words. The darkness enveloped him.
Charles was eighteen years old. He had counted down the days until his parents handed him the keys to his new car. He had hope; a future. However, that night was not the first step towards his life of independence as he had hoped, no, he would be dependent for the rest of his life. What better way to take a trip than in a car... if you don't plan on coming back.
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