“What? You got to be kidding me!” how can this possibly be true? They can’t do this, not with me!
“Do I look like a person who would “kid” with you dear?” he said. Yeah he’s got a point; he actually doesn’t have that kind of personality to be kidding with anyone, but still why me? I mean I get good grades, I have a great record and well not that I like to brag about it but I won this year’s literary award of the university. With all this, what do I get?
“It’s for community service, these things look great on resumes” He commented. Aha! I know this trick. The famous resume trap, they always lay this net in front of us and like fishes starving for water we walk in the trap with a stupid smile on our face. I don’t believe even I, Sophie Woods is having the same stupid smile on my face and is just about to agree to it. I mean how bad can it be? Just a couple of weeks with some weird drug addicts, a few lectures to them and another achievement on my already inspiring resume.
“Well, can’t say no to social service” I said to professor, I know that’s so not true but, no pain no gain.
“Great you can get the details from Mr. Patrick and you can start from tomorrow.” He added and left. Now these kinds of statements makes me think, the way he said details made it sound like some cool CIA case. What is it anyway, a bunch of drug addict kids sitting there with no aims. I just have to go there tell them how it is bad and can ruin their rather meaningless lives and I am done. It is actually similar to a two weeks’ vacation. I can quickly get over with the community service thing and have time for myself. Gosh it’s been so long that I have done something for me. I will begin with a nice spa to relax myself. Who knows maybe I will write something, a short story, a novel maybe. I am so looking forward to it.
“Hey, I am here to see Noah” I said to the man who opened the door. I know this family we used to be neighbors years ago and then they shifted. We didn’t have any contact since then, although Noah and I used to go to the same university we were not friends anymore. He doesn’t have a good reputation and well I have an image to portray,
I swirled my eyes to have a look of the whole place. Now I can picture the whole story, amazingly rich and pathetically busy parents, a huge house full of people to work for you, what choice did spoiled little Noah had, except to turn in to drugs. He used to be my friend back in school but then he got all changed and weird. And now I have been given the task to help him, it’s a small world I guess.
“I am sorry, but Noah seems to be a little down right now, he refused to meet anyone.” Mrs. Barret informed me. Great, I came here to waste my time and energy on a guy who is not even interested in meeting me. I think no start could have been better than this. This saves me more time for my spa reservation.
Few more days flew by the same way, I going to his home to meet him and he being the brainless jerk he is, refusing to see anyone. It doesn’t matters much to me, it is not my fault right. Everything was going pretty much perfect for me until that day when professor called me and showed me Noah’s recent test answer sheet.
“Well sir, not everyone can be as smart as me.” I said back while going through the test sheet.
“And what will you say after seeing this one Sophie” He handed me another of Noah’s answer sheet. The second one was of two years ago and it definitely said that he used to be a lot smarter then he now is.
“Look girl, you still not getting the seriousness of it. It is ok if you don’t want to do this you can say no, but if you say yes I expect you to understand your responsibility.” He told while adjusting his glasses.
“Noah used to be a good kid. But due to some reasons he took the wrong road. I just want you to help him find his way back. I chose you because I thought you might actually take this challenge as you both were friends when you were kids, but I guess I was wrong. You can ask Mr. Patrick for any other simple community service task. Helping someone who is in need doesn’t seem to be your cup of tea.” He finished. He got me thinking. He actually is right. I am seeing it as a punishment when I should be seeing it as a challenge, as an opportunity to help someone, be it Noah the rude one only. And well seeing the fact that he and I used to be friends when we were kids, I think, I should at least give it a try.
“I am sorry sir, I promise I would try my best, just give me another chance.” I replied.
“Are you sure you not doing it just for your resume” He asked. He hit the right spot.
“I won’t lie to you sir, in the beginning I agreed just for that only but now I am more determined to actually help him.” I replied.
I again went to his home, as expected he didn’t wanted to meet me but this time I wasn’t going to just leave. I went to his room anyway. I knocked as I have my manners but the one inside doesn’t.
“What?” He shouted from that corner.
I went inside anyway. We used to be friends many years ago. I don’t even have many memories of it, it was kindergarten if I remember it right. Then after coming to college we met once and I don’t even want to remember it.
“Hey! It is me! Sophie. Remember me?” I said to him. Of course he remembers me, no one forgets Sophie Woods.
“No. Now get out of here.” He pointed towards the door. See that’s what I was talking about, this guy has absolutely no manners at all. I couldn’t just go because he ordered, that would be like an insult so I sat on the chair next to the table on my own. He gave me a very weird look from across the room. That’s when I noticed that I have seen him quite few times in college.
“So Noah! Wassup with the drug thing?” I casually said to start the conversation. However the way he saw towards me I soon realized I did a mistake.
“I mean wassup with the…piercing…thing” Now that covered it, didn’t it.
“Look I don’t need your help. So get the hell out of here.” He said while banging his fist on the table I was sitting next to. I won’t lie, it did scare me. What has happened to this guy?
“Mrs. Barret, you know Noah and I were friends when we were kids. What happened to him?” I asked his mother. Noah wasn’t like this back then, I know he can’t be the same cute boy he was when we were kids but now he has changed so much, as if he was never the guy I knew. Mrs. barret was the only one who could tell me what all exactly happened.
“Well he was depressed about some girl who left her…and then he got friends with a few guys…I didn’t even realized it…he used to behave so nicely….but…”She was having tears by now.
“But now things are fine with him.” She said with a smile on her face. Fine? Well I beg to differ nothing is fine. I did a little homework on how people who take drugs get manipulative and act all normal around family and friends to hide it from them. Noah is doing the same.
Few more days past by and things were getting fine with Noah. I had convinced him to let me help him with his assignments and tests. I was observing him. I knew it wasn’t the way he was making it appear.
“Enough for today, I gotta go out with Josh” He said while we were in the middle of a math chapter. Josh is Noah’s friend. Apparently even he didn’t have a good reputation in the university. He was our senior and Noah used to hang out just with him and his gang. These guys were not very good, they were anti social and I can’t help but doubt that they were also involved in some bad habits. Maybe they are the cause of Noah’s problem.
I decided to not confront Noah with it as he would definitely deny it all. So I just left without saying anything to him. However I didn’t actually leave. I just went out the house and hid myself behind a tree. I was going to follow him. I waited there for a few minutes when he came out. He started walking and so did I only while maintaining a distance so that he doesn’t sees me.
Around the corner of the street there were two guys standing there who waved at Noah and he went to them. I know Josh is the taller one, I have seen him in college but I have no idea who the other one was. He gave Noah something and they all did hi fives and went in a weed shop.
So Mrs. Barret was indeed right, it was the company of these boys that was ruining Noah. And my instincts were right too, Noah is just pretending that he is taking his medicines and that he is not into drugs anymore but he is so much still into it. Time for some more research I guess. Maybe I should ask professor for help. I went to see him and told him what all is going on.
“Kid confronting him, or telling his parents might seem to be the right thing but it isn’t a solution.” He started.
“It would just repel him, and provoke him to rebel more. You need to find something that would actually help him. You said it is because of some guys he is friends with right? Then do something so that he doesn’t hang out with them anymore. Make him do something.” He explained. Hmm… that’s good but how would I do it? Maybe I will have to figure that on my own. I was playing with the pencil kept on professor’s desk while thinking. I stood up to leave.
“I will think of something sir; I should better get going now.” I told. I couldn’t help but notice professor couldn’t stand that pencil being out of place. He just had to keep it the way it was before. How funny! Sometimes people can’t stand a mistake in the things they want to be perfect. Anyways I left.
Next day when I went to the Barret house, for the first time it was clear in my head what am I supposed to do. I need Noah to engage himself in something so that he doesn’t feel the need to take help of weeds, pots whatever that stuff is called. I need to find out what the good Noah, was into. Now that we have a friendship I am sure he would cooperate with me. I mean we do homework’s together; sometimes we even walk to college together. Yep he is not that rude with me anymore, his mood keeps changing but now we are friends.
“Cmon there has to be something that you like to do?” I asked him. Everyone has something they like to do, even drug addicts.
“Ok lemmi rephrase it. Before this whole…drug…chapter, what did Noah liked to do?” I asked again hoping to get an answer this time.
“Get out of here” He said. Wow just when I think I have finally gotten things a bit under control his mood changes from super sweet to super rude. I wish I could just find a cure of his madness as otherwise I feel he is not that bad of a guy.
“No I am not going anywhere, you are in problem and I am here to help you. I won’t leave until I do so.” I told him in my I am the in charge voice. Yeah this might wiggle his brain cells and let him see how lucky he is.
“I don’t need your help, just leave” He shouted. I can’t believe he just shouted on me, he is going to pay for this. When I need something witty to say nothing is coming in my brain what to do? So I decided to just leave with a big bang on the door.
“Music” Mrs. Barret replied.
“He used to love playing guitar. But he doesn’t anymore.” She added.
Guitar! I know just the thing I should do. I have a friend who also plays guitar. I asked him to lend me his guitar for a few days. I don’t know how to play this thing and that’s what is going to help me. I went in his room the next day. He as usual didn’t give me any reaction however I expected to get look for the guitar but Noah knows how to disappoint a girl. He kept on doing what he was doing. This was the time for me to act a little. Mrs. Barret told me that they tried to make him play again but he didn’t, in fact he just threw his guitar. I won’t ask him to play as I can’t let anything happen to this guitar, but I would make him play on his own. I started playing random notes, it is easy actually, and we just have to pull those strings. Yeah! I am creating some music here. I am good! I can join a band!
“Will ya stop that noise?” He said with his hands on his ears. Ok fine I wasn’t playing music I was pulling strings, but hey! I got him to react. Just like professor he couldn’t stand the wrong notes being played.
“Oh! Was that bad? I thought it was pretty good. See” I played again. That was enough to wake the player in him.
“Oh for God sakes, do u even know how to play it?” He said while snatching the guitar from my hand.
“Well I certainly do. What do you know about guitars to shout on me like this? Give it back” I replied. I was getting there, could already smell victory.
“Oh really! Lemmi show you what I know.” He commented and sat on the chair. And then he started playing. When Mrs Barret said that he was good I just thought that it’s the mother speaking for whom everything her son does becomes good but boy he actually had a hand in this. He was playing real nice. It was music flowing in the room.
“hey that was pretty cool!” I commented when he stopped.
“Now wouldja leave?” He said while returning the guitar. I don’t wanna force things on him or he’ll try to rebel. I want to keep things slow and cool. So I took the guitar and left. That day I talked a friend of mine, the one I took the guitar from. I asked him to help a little and he agreed to let Noah give a try to join the band. Now how on earth am I going to convince Mr. rude to go for it.
“What did you do dear Sophie?” Mrs. Barret asked me so excitedly when I went to see Noah the next day. “He asked me where his guitar is” She added. “And then he played! Almost all night. I am so happy. Thank you for doing this girl” She said.
Aww! He played all night.
“No problem Mrs. Barret. And really I didn’t do anything, he just needed to be reminded of the talent he had forgotten of.” I told her and went to his room.
“I need your help.” I lied.
“What?” he said.
“I want you to teach me how to play guitar.” I said.
“And why would I do that?” He said with a grin on his face.
“Coz you know how to play, I want to learn how to play and I would pay you for it.” I said. I know drug addicts need money. He can’t ask his parents to finance his weeds for sure. I am not trying to support him and drag him more to his addiction. I am just tempting him so that he drifts apart from his rotting life. When he listened that I’d pay him he obviously thought the same thing, that he’d give the money I give him to Josh. I have something else in mind though.
“Alright.” He finally agreed.
I started learning guitar. It wasn’t my thing, and even with Noah trying his best I wasn’t getting a single note right. Who wanted to learn anyway, I just wanted him to have something positive to think about. An activity he could be engaged in so that he forgets the dark world. I could see the changes that were coming in him. He wasn’t depressed now, and he had finally stopped saying “get out of here” to me. It was actually fun to see him play. He had his own style. With a little effort I managed to make him play the tunes he composed himself and they were amazing. I think my friend could really use Noah’s talent.
One day when Noah was playing his phone blinked. I didn’t intend to but through the corner of my eye I read the text it said “Meet us at the usual. We have got your stash- Josh”
Noah is coming over things but these guys would not let him be. I really don’t know what to do. I was waiting for him to say something and trying to think for a way to stop him from going. To my surprise, he didn’t ask me to leave, he didn’t even stop playing. He wasn’t going anywhere. He ignored Josh’s text; he ignored his drugs, for his music. I couldn’t do anything but just smile. It felt so good to see such change in him.
After about a month here I am in the auditorium of our college, sitting in the audience, eagerly waiting for the band to perform.
“So Sophie, seems like you finally did it.” Professor said to me as he sat next to me.
“Not me sir. He did it.” I replied. There he was playing his guitar in the band and rocking the stage. Noah agreed to take help of a rehab. His grades started to improve and his talent…well I don’t really need to say anything about it, do I? I looked over to the stage, he was enjoying his music and so was everyone else. His talent shoved him out of the misery he was in and changed my opinion about those who get addicted.