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Before The Eyes (A journal Excerpt)

        I have just had the worst experience. The guilt is just building inside of me. I can't take much more; I need to get past it. Let me backtrack a little for you to understand.

        Last week, on the way home from school, I take the night classes for I love the way when you get home after you don't need to work right away on homework, but have the next day. I say its more time to get stuff done. But anyway, I was on my way home, in my old beat up Jeep, when I noticed the gas tank was almost empty. I pulled into a gas station at the next block and filled up. As I pulled out of the drive way and back onto the road I noticed a man was lying on the side of the road. Just as I was driving by he asked for a ride and I declined because I had no time to waste, for my parents locked the doors at midnight, and it was already forty-five after eleven. It's a whole issue of me getting home right after school because I used to go over to people's houses and hang out for three or four hours and get home at about three AM.

        So, not to be cruel or anything, I gave the poor man ten dollars and a handful of change, basically all I had in my pocket, to go and buy himself something to eat. And just as I was turning around to get back in my jeep a car drives by and rolls down the window and does a drive-by. He hit the man on the side 3 times, once in the head, one in the arm, and one in the chest. I escaped with only holes in my P.O.S. jeep and a wound from a passing bullet; it had just grazed my shoulder.

        I wrapped my shoulder as best I could and called 9-1-1 from the gas station. As they were taking the mans body away, the light from the gas station, that horrible yellow light, was reflecting off his eyes and that image still haunts me.

        I can't sleep much for the eyes fill my dreams and I wake up in cold sweats. I keep thinking to myself, if I had only given him a ride, he would still be alive. I had wasted too much time saying no and giving him money. If only I had given him a ride…

        I still haven't told anyone how I feel about the drive-by. It still remains my secret. Although the eyes still follow me everywhere, I have found I can ignore them. It's no use though, because when I sleep that one scene plays in my head over and over, and I wake up, always in a cold sweat.

        I'm thinking about ending my life, but the thought of a simple mistake ending one's life is just stupid. I have so much more to look forward to. Just I have to get past this part of my life to experience them.

        I can fully ignore them now. Just the dreams haunt me, which will go away I'm sure of. But if I had only given the poor man a ride he would still be here on this earth. Some may think it's sad I keep beating myself up over all this, but I'm sure they couldn't do any better if something this bad had happened to them.

        The wound from the bullet has finally healed and my jeep has been patched slightly. I just covered the holes with duct tape and painted it the same blue color the jeep is. Like people say, duct tape has infinite uses.

        But I haven't said all of what happened after the phone call. When the ambulance arrived crowds had already begun to surround the unfortunate man and me. They had announced him dead on the spot. They took me in and sewed up the wound and bandaged me up. But when they were loading the man onto the ambulance his head had fallen over as if he were trying to stare right at me. And it worked to. He was kind of giving me one of those “this is your fault” looks. But I thing I was just imagining it because of need of sleep, being worried, and the fact I could have done something.

        Now that I think of it, I should have been able to give him a ride and make it home in time. But I was thinking that I wouldn't and I really don't trust people that I meet on the streets…I just don't. It was stupid of me not to give him a ride. I just need to get over it all. I just need time to relax and get rid of it all.

        I left the day after the last journal entry in this in hopes of getting rid of all the guilt and it mostly worked. I just seem to have that pair of eyes following me everywhere I go. The won't leave me alone. I just don't know why. Well I do, but I got rid of those feelings and all. Maybe I'm just going crazy. I don't know, but I'm sure if I can get rid of them too.

        I left the next day after the last journal entry as I said. I went to southern California where I took up the rest of my collage there. I only need two more years after this one. I only have a few more months left. I left my parents a note saying I was going to stay with a friend in California, but I didn't leave any more information. I'm not sure how they took it.

        Things are actually looking up once I got rid of all those feelings of guilt. Now, I'm going stop writing these entries in hopes of forgetting that whole experience. I think it's best if I do. You have been good to me journal, you truly have.

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