Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bad Influence (a short story)

Bad Influence © 2007
By David Williams III

Do I care what other people think of me? The answer is no shocker. Yes, of course I care deeply about what other people think of me. But that doesn’t make peer pressure a really big deal for me. I care what people think, but no one is forcing me to do anything I don’t want to do. I know it sounds strange, but that’s me: strange.

So, if I do anything, it is my choice. That’s the scary part.

The scene, Chad’s graduation party; the people included Chad, Lisa (Chad’s girlfriend), Lucy (Lisa’s best friend), Rob (Lucy’s on-again, off-again boyfriend), several of Chad’s roommates as well as several friends of friends of friends.

I should have put two and two together much faster, much earlier. I mean, it wa s right in my face. Once Rob and Lucy left, Chad and Lisa let me in on the secret of the night. And I joined in. I could feel it. Part of me knew I should really be angry with myself for giving in to temptation; but we only live once, right?

Then, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that Chad and Lisa didn’t seem to trust me, because they didn’t tell me until the others left. I should have, well, I don’t know what I should have done.

But I had fun. And got a good look into myself. It let me step out and see myself fro m the outside. I could, from a third-party point of view, understand what I was thinking and then tell myself it was just in my head. From that rational point of view, I didn’t have anything to worry about. But it still stuck in my mind. And it wanted to grow like a cancer. It wanted to take me down the path of hate and distrust. And, no matter what they said, I felt, for whatever reason, they didn’t trust me.

But they did. Because they told me when they felt okay telling me. They turned on the light to a whole other world. They had done it off and on for the last few months. Didn’t tell me. But trust is a two-way street. If I want them to trust me, tell me things, and really think of me as a friend they can t
rust with everything, I have to trust them when they say they had their reasons for not telling me until they did.

It’s not a matter of me not approving of what they were doing. It was really about Rob and Lucy. Chad didn’t want to let on to them anything was happening. I understood that, and I love Chad, so I just took it on his word; a friend’s word.

So, after a couple of lines, other people started showing up. It was crazy to be there (even if I wasn’t really there) with people, and I had no idea who knew what, who was doing what and all that shit.

Overall, it was great. Not that I know if I want to partake again. But I have a baseline. I understand. But I also understand how people get hooked on this. It really did numb me. I guess the whole gateway drug thing was true.

Can I say why it upset me and made me feel guilty afterward? I felt a deep guilt. Not for doing it, but for not feeling bad about doing it. It shocked me to think that I really did not have any problems. A great understanding of whom I was and what I could handle. Life is short. Have fun.

The downfall is I know worry that I am depending on chemicals to support my life. I worry about it simply because society states I should worry.

And after all this mind searching, experimentation, and hanging out, I was only left with one clear thought.

I love Chad.

Well, I guess no story ends well, but Chad has Lisa. And I have at least two great friends. But the basic truth will never change. I love Chad, and I always will.

Was he a bad influence? No. Like I said, it’s all me. It’s my choice, my problem; and I will deal with any shit that comes. Life is short, if you worry too much about planning out a great life, it may be over by the time you look up.

Love, friends, and mind-altering drugs; what more could anyone ask for?


So, I have been reading through some old stories I wrote. I always love my stories years after I right them. So, I thought I would start sharing some.

Hope you all enjoy. The first of many.


  1. Life is art. And every story told has actually happened, somewhere at sometime. It's all in the story telling. :-)