In our family it was never right for anyone to consume liquor. Ever since my childhood I had never seen either my mother or father drinking leave alone any of my relatives. Coming from a staunch protestant Christian family, consumption of alcohol was not only considered immoral but also a sin. Women were not even allowed to think about alcohol because according to the family norms a virtuous woman does not engage in such vices such as drinking, smoking, prostitution or shouting at any one time in her life. So growing up I lived with this value, I walked with it everywhere I went and it did not take me much effort to follow these rules and regulations because they had become second nature to me and my siblings.
I remember it was during the Easter season when my friends from school called me and told me they were in town and asked if I could join them to discuss our homework as well as catch up on the times that we had missed while away from school. I lied to my mother that I was going over to our neighbors house to do homework with her daughter who was in the same class as I was. I glamed myself up and rushed to town to see my friends. All along I had a feeling of guilt having lied to my mum about where I was going but I consoled myself that I would be home before curfew and I would not have made any grave mistake.
I arrived to the hotel that my friends were and we happily greeted each other and started chatting. In the process I noticed that except from me none of them had carried any books for homework. I let it pass because I was having so much fun talking with them outside school premises and for some reason this gave me a grown up feeling. I felt as if I was so grown up to sit there with my girls and talk like adults without our school uniforms.
One of the girls ordered for a beer and asked the rest of us if we were drinking reminding us that they owned the restaurant so nobody would care to ask for our proof of age-we were all under 18 years of age. All the other girls ordered for beer and when my turn came I could not embarrass myself by asking for a cola so like them I ordered for beer. I knew it felt wrong, deep inside me I could hear my dads voice saying a virtuous woman can never touch alcohol but it was already too late.
One bottle went by and the next one came and another one and the last thing I remember was seeing the roof above me spinning like a roller coaster. I could barely hear or understand what my friends were saying and part of me knew quite well that I was really drunk. Looking at my watch I realized it was 6 p.m. and my curfew was drawing close. I begged my friends to take me home which they obliged and we got in to some car that I later realized belonged to my friends father. As we were riding home we were singing loudly, laughing and teasing each other. We were shouting at the top of our voices how happy we were. But even as I was doing so I could not help but remember the rules at home which never allowed us to shout or get loud. I remember the decency code of our family and knew that I was going against it. Part of me felt guilty while part of me didnt just care at all.
All I remember was a loud bang, I knew I tasted soil and then blood just before everything got dark. I opened my eyes and to my amazement my mum was sitting right by my side with sad eyes. where are we mama; where are we? I asked. My mum told me that I had been in an accident together with my friends who were in the hospital also recovering from severe injuries. I had a broken wrist, twisted knee and bruises all over. To cut the long story short, my parents had realized that I had been drinking and expressed their disappointment at my disobedience. My mum felt betrayed by my lying and wondered how she would ever trust me again. It took my dad such a long while before we regained our relationship back because according to him I had let him down more than anyone ever had.
I was so ashamed; I was embarrassed and guilty about my actions. I wished I had listened to my inner voice that was giving me warnings all the time that I was doing the wrong thing. Not only had I lost the trust of my parents but I had almost lost my life in what I saw as a few hours of grown up pleasure.
I realize that first it was wrong to lie to my mother about where I was going. Had I told her the truth of where I was going she would have restrained me from going there which would have saved me the relationship with my family and kept me away from that nasty accident that almost took our lives away. Second it was wrong for me to engage in drinking liquor knowing very well that not only was it not right according to my family but also that I was under the legal drinking age.
Given another chance, I would have made the right choices at that time. I would have stuck to the truth just like I had always done. I would listen to my inner voice and not submit to that voice that was telling me that I would embarrass myself if I ordered for a cola. If only I could get another chance.
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