www.whyville.net Sep 5, 2007 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Emmy's Logo Here: Shocks

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Shocks aren't always electrical.

What's the difference between a bad decision and a good decision? Good people with bad pasts?

It's usually harder to do Wednesday's math assignment than fall into the wrong group of people. I'm sure we all have those friends we hide from Mommy. The friends that we wouldn't really go to the mall with, or visit each other's houses, but the "friends" that you swear with, the "friends" that seem so much older and cooler than you'll ever be. The "friends" that even being in their presence makes you feel almost giddy with excitement. Or fear.

It's strange how fast a fine situation can turn bad. You're walking up the street with a large group of people, some good friends, others that you picked up along the way, or your friend's cousin's cousin. You don't know them, or really have anything to do with them. They are just there, you notice their presence and continue walking. Maybe ask them exactly how old they were. But then your mind wanders and you lose track of them and continue walking. When was that English paper do? What did Sam do to make his Mother so angry at him last Tuesday? I wonder what we are having for dinner tonight?

Then all of a sudden there is a crash, and you scream. There are screams and snickers, and that horrible crash, that tinkling of glass. Your neighbor's window is broken, and your friend's cousin's cousin is laughing. Your mind is blank, and it feels like 10 seconds before the cop cars come wailing.

Just like that. You can snap your fingers twice; no once, and a scene can go from normal to ugly. You were there, and just you being there. You cares what you were doing or didn't do. It was you standing on that scene, and that's the end of it.

Face it. Sometimes things happen by accident. It wasn't your fault, but you are partly to blame. Whether it's shooting out windows or spilling milk all over the floor when you get startled by the loud sound from the T.V.

And then there are the situations that aren't so accidental. You know you shouldn't be hanging out with these people after school. They are trouble, so much trouble, but so intriguing, so out of the ordinary. They wrap their arm around you. You are their friend. After a few days, it's a new hobby to toilet paper peoples houses. In as many weeks, theft it is much more appealing. 6 months it's drugs. All under the thumb of your new "friends". Because they are so nice to you.

No matter what your personality is now, Whyvillians, bad people can happen to all of us. They can turn our minds into thinking that normally horrid things are fun, that it's okay to do them. And if you've been in and somehow gotten out of that whirlpool, have you ever thought back to what exactly happened to those "bad" kids that made them so troublesome? So dangerous? May I, Whyville, share a story with you?

I met these two boys one year ago. They were a little rowdy sure, and had tempers, but were nice, and genuine and were truly great friends for some time.

They never did anything bad to me. Never. They never did anything illegal or had huge fits in my presence, and yet I could feel there was something a little off.

Then these two boys went missing. For a few days, I was worried sick and kept trying their house (They were cousins and lived in a household of 11.)

No one answered for a while. Then, almost 5 days later, I got an answer. Not from their relatives, but from one of my best friend's Grandmother. Doreen had heard my ask her grandson what had happened to the two, and she gave me a prompt answer. Telling me everything I didn't want to know and more. I was shocked.

My two friends had been put in a foster home for the time being. I was almost frantic: Why was no one freaking out over this turn of events? Doreen quietly told me the boys had been off and on from foster home to foster home for 12 years. They had been disowned many of times, with poor, sick and weary parents, living in a drug household.

Theft, arsenics, the list went on. I bit my lip. The boys were always so cheerful and laughing, kidding with me. Now they were gone. I remembered the last time I saw them: the eldest boy riding away on his little Harrow, and his cousin stuck to the pegs, yelling some joke over his shoulder. Their both smiling, beautiful faces.

How I never knew. Sometimes I wish I could talk to them about it, and yet I've partly moved on. Since then, years ago, "bad" kids came and went, like they do for all of us. But I'm smarter now. I know better. And one question still remains: Why didn't they both try to get me into trouble? Why didn't I see them doing anything of what I had been told?

Maybe all they wanted was a second chance. Maybe they were sick of their past and just wanted to start over. That's what I would like to think.

So many things play into our lives every day that we shouldn't be associated with. And then there are always those special chances when you get to look past a black wall of a "bad" kid and see whom they really are. I hope I get that chance again.



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