Prom night ride

Rick Ryckeley's picture

WARNING: this story is very timely, but it’s far from being funny. Funny will return next week; serious is here this week.

The following is a story based on a poem by an unknown author titled, “Moonlight Ride.” Across our county, every weekend in April and May, high schools hold their junior/senior proms. If you have prom-age children at your house, give them this article to read. Hopefully, they will make the right choices on their special night and avoid a tragedy like this one.

Jenny was so happy about the new house her family had found. For once in her life, she was gonna live on the “right side” of town, and have a golf cart to ride around. She picked out her room and moved her things in, thinking, “It’s great finally having a room to myself and not having to share. In a couple of weeks, school will start, and I can have sleep-overs and maybe even go to parties now that I’m in high school.”

On the first day of school, everything went fine. Jenny even got a date, and for the first time in her life she was gonna be popular. Jenny was going out with the star of the football team. The only problem was her parents had said she was too young to start dating. She had to think of something. “I know, I just won’t tell them the truth. I’ll tell them that I’m staying with friends. They’ll believe that.”

Jenny talked to her parents, and reluctantly they agreed that she could sleep over at her new friend’s house Friday night. Excitedly, she got ready for her date, but she felt a little guilty she had lied. “What’s the harm in a little pizza, a party and maybe even a moonlight ride?”

Friday night Jenny went out on her date. The pizza was good, the party was fine, but the moonlight ride – well, it would just have to wait. Tim was drinking and wasn’t ready to leave. He kissed her and said he was all right to drive, but he was drunk on three beers and one glass of wine. When Tim was ready to leave, he didn’t realize that he was too drunk to drive. Indestructible teenagers usually don’t. They took their moonlight ride to the lake, that’s where Tim tried to make a pass. Jenny said no and asked him to take her home.

Tim got mad and floored the gas. In a few seconds, they were going much too fast. Jenny pleaded for him to stop and let her out, as they neared town. But Tim just drove faster, never slowing down. Jenny prayed, “I’ll tell my parents that I lied. I’ll tell them I really went to a party and out for a moonlight ride. Just let me get home alive.” In an instant there was a bright flash. But poor Jenny didn’t remember what happened next because of the force of the impact.

She felt someone reach in, and pull her from the twisted wreckage; she heard someone else yell, “Call for another ambulance,” and in a weak voice added, “Oh, my God, this one’s bad. There’s another car involved, with two people hurt.”

Jenny awoke in the hospital to the voice of the ER doctor, “Jenny, you’ve been in a crash, and it’s bad.” She thought she heard someone say that Tim was dead. “Jenny, we’ve done all that we can, but it looks like we’ll lose you, too.”

Weakly, she asked, “But what about the people in the other car? Are they okay?” She thought she heard someone say that the two people in the other car had also died. Jenny said, “Doctor, please tell their families that I’m sorry. I just wanted a little fun. If I could return their loved ones to them, I would. Tell my Mom and Dad I’m sorry that I lied. It’s all my fault that so many have died.”

The doctor just held Jenny’s hand as she slowly slipped away, not saying a word. The nurses couldn’t believe how uncompassionate he was. One of them asked, “Doctor, why didn’t you grant that girl her last request? Why didn’t you tell her mom and dad that she was sorry that she had lied?”

The doctor turned away with eyes so sad, his face stricken with grief, and he replied, “Nurse, they would not have heard. Jenny’s mom and dad were the people who died in the other car.”

On prom night I hope that some of you will think twice. Believe it, you’re not indestructible. Have fun, make the right choices, and above all, please be safe. We have lost too many young folks already.

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Submitted by thebeaver on Wed, 04/23/2008 - 9:02pm.


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