A life Worth Nothing | Teen Ink

A life Worth Nothing

April 9, 2022
By KaleenaV BRONZE, Oswego, Illinois
KaleenaV BRONZE, Oswego, Illinois
1 article 1 photo 0 comments

 “Sh*t,” I swore as I went to take a drag of my cigarette but found nothing between my fingertips.

“What?” Jane asked.

“I think I dropped my cigarette somewhere,” I said as I peered down from the roof, noticing that right below me was Meijer’s flower pots.

Jane must have noticed too because she threw her head back and let out a laugh that sounded like a hyena. She laughed so hard she ended up rolling flat on her back.

“It’s their fault,” I muttered. “Who leaves the flowers out at night? If I had any interest in flowers I would have stolen them.”

Jane keeps laughing until she's out of breath. With her mouth open and her eyes glistening, she holds her hand up like she’s reaching for the stars. Then her mouth curves into a smile and she starts laughing again.

I rolled my eyes and pushed myself off of the roof. I hovered over her and grasped her hand to pull her up but she pulled her hand away.

“Let’s go,” I told her. “I already lost my last cigarette and burned a stupid plant so there’s no point in staying here.” 

“Nooo,” She whined and stomped her feet. “I wanna have fun! You promised that we could have a night out without worries or responsibilities!”

I sighed.

“Yeah well we snuck out, climbed the roof, smoked...anything else?” I pretended to remember with my hand under my chin and my eyebrows furrowed together. My eyes dramatically widened. “Oh, and I let you trip on whatever sh*t you’re on right now. I think that’s enough fun for tonight.” 

“Now you’re sounding like my parents,” Jane groaned with her head in her hands. “You can’t keep acting out, stop acting like a spoiled brat, you're disappointing the family, you had your fun, now start acting like an adult, blah blah blah.” Jane mocked with a high pitched voice, using her hand to create a make-shift puppet that represented her family.

“I’m not your parents,” I said as I ran a hand down my face. “I don’t care if you come or not. I’m leaving with or without you.”

“Naw…you won’t do that,” She said smiling. “You act like you don’t care but the truth is that you care too much about what happens to your messed up friend.”

 “Shut up,” I demanded. “I don’t care if you fall off the roof because you're high. I just don’t wanna be stuck babysitting you.” 

“No,” She pointed a finger at me. “You shut up. You said we were gonna have fun! This isn’t fun!”

I made a face.

“Who said this wasn’t fun?”

“This, is not fun,” She gestured around her with a disgusted look on her face. I now remember why I never liked to hang out with her. She’s annoying as hell.

“Fine,” I gave in. “What do you want to do that’s fun?”

We stole a car. My memory is spotty on why and where we got the car, but I did remember Jane breaking the window and climbing into the front seat of a red Chevy. I don’t really know why I agreed to steal the car, but in some weird way I wanted Jane to have fun and I wanted to have fun too.

“Woohoo!” She screamed. 

I hung my head out the window. The wind felt so nice through my hair that I didn’t notice my eyes tearing up from the pressure. For once in my life I actually felt happy.

Jane swerved the car back and forth making my shoulder hit the side of the window every time she sharply pulled the steering wheel.

“Hey!” She exclaimed. “We should go into that abandoned hospital!”

“Sure!” I yelled, all logic thrown out the window.

She swung into the parking lot and parked over a bush in the front entrance by the hospital doors.

I jumped out of the car and found Jane already out on the trunk with a half empty bottle of vodka in her lap. She gestured for me to follow her to the doors with the bottle.

“Come on!” 

“Where the hell you’d get that?” I asked but my question went unanswered.

I could barely keep up with her. She skipped through the dark musty hallways and raced into a random room.

The room had collected a lot of dust in it and the wallpaper was peeling off so much that you could see the wall rotting underneath. The room was also trashed with ripped sheets and pieces of the ceiling littering the floor. The smell wasn’t good either, making me scrunch up my nose and pinch it so I wouldn’t have to breathe it in. 

I found Jane sitting criss cross on the floor, the bottle in between her legs.

I plopped down across from her and took the bottle when she passed it to me. I held it up to my lips, hating the strong stench but ignoring it to gulp down the burning liquid. I shook my head and squeezed my eyes shut from it.

Jane laughed. 

“Ugh,” I gagged and tried to give the bottle back to her.

“Come on drink more, loosen up,” she tried to persuade me. “It’s only so we can have fun and be happy!”

F*ckin’ peer pressure,” I swore as I reluctantly took another sip of the nasty stuff before handing it back over.

It went like that for a while; her almost swallowing the whole bottle and then forcing me to drink more each time.

Soon enough the bottle was empty and my mind was foggy.

“You- You- you know whatss funny?” Jane asked, slurring her words.

“Wha-” I burped. “What?”

“My- my parents are thinking about sending me to boarding sschool,” she said as she laughed. “The truth is, they don’t care about me at all.”

“That’s,” I shook my head. “That’s not true. They care ‘bout you.” 

This time she shook her head. 

“No. They-“ she took a deep breath. “They only care about their reputation. They don’t give a sh*t about me. Nobody gives a sshit about some washed up kid.”

“That’s not-” I tried to protest but she held up her hand

“Y-you can’t talk. You won’t change my mind. Because you’re just like me. Except your parents already left you. But you are just as messed up as me,” Jane said.

“You- you don’t know sh*t about me!” I yelled as I stumbled to my feet. I clenched my teeth tightly together and she threw the vodka bottle at the wall and it shattered across the floor.

“Ha!” She laughed like a crazy person. “I- I know everything! I know why y-you hang around me! You hang around me because you want to know how I’m so carefree and happy. You so desperately want to know how I live each day with a smile on my face. But every ounce of my happiness comes out of a bottle or a pill. And my parents don’t even care about it as long as I stay stable. No one gives a sh*t about me.”

I couldn’t even be mad about what she said about me because everything was true. I just wish we still had that bottle so I could drown my thoughts. But my thoughts caught up to me and I started to feel the sadness I was repressing.

Jane struggled as she got up from the floor and hopped on top of an old hospital bed.

“You think someone died on here?” She asked. 

I shrugged. I didn’t really know but I always thought it was possible.

“Do you think people who die in places like this get stuck in between life and death like in the sixth sense?”

“I don’t know,” I muttered.

I watched as she sighed and laid down with her hands flat on her stomach.

It was quiet for a long moment when I decided to speak up.

“What you said before wasn’t true,” I whispered. “You know, about nobody giving a sh*t about you. Because I give a sh*t about you.”

I saw a ghost of a smile trace her lips.


The author's comments:

I wrote this when I was in a dark place and I knew people who used to sit on top of stores and smoke. This is a story for people dealing with depression, who use drugs and other substances to fill a void in them. This is for teens who feel lost in themselves, people who have bad home lives and carry a heavy weight of expectations on them.

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