A story that someone reminded me of in the forums at I have a Secret… someone asked about drunk driving. I didn’t feel like replying there, since it’s a bit off the actual topic, but I wanted to write this down anyhow.

When I was sixteen, while I was visiting family out of town, a girl in my high school who I had known for about ten years decided to take her mustang out to pick up a friend to come to a party. She was very drunk, and she wrapped her mustang around a tree before she ever made it to her friend’s house. The tree was about 3 feet in diameter, and around the corner from the farm where I lived. I had to go by that tree any time I went into town (Iroquois,) every day on the way to school – the tree had 3/4 of its bark torn off, they cut off the branches of the top, they painted the bare tree black. They left about 6 feet worth of the stump in the ground for about 4 years before the people who owned the house it was in front of saved up enough money to have the stump dug up and removed. The tree wasn’t removed until after I had moved out and gone to college, so the whole time I lived there it was like a morbid kind of memorial to her.

It was a small-town area, everyone there knew everyone else. She was in some of my classes, she had been in brownies & girl guides with me (that would be girl scout to americans.) When I was little, she used to make fun of me… typical little girl stuff. We never really knew each other beyond being in some classes, being in the same grade, going to the same school… in high school we didn’t interact very much at all. It was still really upsetting though, it was long past the point where I had any anger or resentment towards her, she was just one of the girls at school, in a school of 450 people. It still makes me sad, and angry, and I don’t understand why anyone would drive while drunk. She may not have killed anyone else (except that tree…) but she probably would have grown into a successful young woman if she hadn’t killed herself.