Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why Son can't handle lime anymore

Yep, he's a college man now. On the last day that he could turn in a housing application, he decided he wanted to live in the dorms. This was the first glimmer of excitement about anything that we'd seen in a long time, so we hopped on it. Nevermind that it's ungodly expensive.... We're still scraping on that one. But he was excited about something.

So, we moved him into the dorm. It's a nice dorm. New building. They have this "pod" concept now, where several bedrooms open to a common living room and share two bathrooms. Not bad. I wish I'd had that when I was in the dorm.

He has seven roommates: four football players, two basketball players...and one Theater Arts major who is a big fan of "Glee."

In my head, I'm hearing the song, "One of these things is not like the others! One of these things just doesn't belong...." Poor kid. Whoever placed him in that pod should be dunked in hot oil and forced to watch Miley Cyrus videos.

As you might expect, that first week of class, Son's calls home became less frequent. It's painful for Mommy, but he's a big boy of nearly-nineteen (at that point) and should be more independent.

Then, the first Friday night happened.

I got home from a date with Ranger at about 11:30 PM. Exhausted. Climbed into bed. An hour later, my mother comes upstairs and wakes me. And Daughter, who was sleeping in my room because her end of the hallway was "creepy" with her brother's room empty.

"Blogget, wake up! We just got a call from Mrs. Summers from church. Her daughter Rachel and Son are in the hospital. They were fund drunk on campus, and Rachel is barely breathing."

You can imagine what this did to me.

Adrenaline kicked in, and I rushed to the bathroom to find some clothes. All of her words were seeping into my sleep-riddled brain.

"Wait, what the hell was he doing with Rachel Summers?" Rachel is a 15-year-old friend of Daughter's. They're pals from church and school.

"I don't know. Her mom said Rachel was with her friend Maggy. They can't find Maggy, though, and Son and Rachel aren't coherent enough to tell them anything."

Daughter sat up. "Maggy? Maggy H.?"

We stopped. This was the name of Son's ex-girlfriend's little sister. The good girlfriend.

"They're best friends," Daughter said. "It has to be her."

"Yes, it's her," my mother said. She hadn't wanted to worry Daughter about her other friend, too. "Weird thing is, Mrs. Summers was calling us to find out where Maggy lives and what her phone number is. If they're best friends, wouldn't she know that?"

"Do you have her number? Or her sister's?" I asked Daughter. "We should try that." She set on doing this.

My dad drove me to the hospital. We sat in stunned silence. He'd talked to our Bishop, who was also at the hospital. We were getting little bits of information. The two of them had been found outside the dorm. She was passed out and he was incoherent. The police were called, and they issued Minor In Possession (or "MIP," I learned. I don't know this stuff) tickets. An ambulance was called.

My dad was furious. Of course, he's forgetting all of the drunken stories about himself as a teenager. But none of those included ambulances or 15-year-old girls.

Mrs. Summers intercepted me in the waiting room, before I could get to the admitting counter. She's practically yelling at me about "Where's Maggy? How do we reach her parents? She's out there somewhere!" She told me that what she knew was that Rachel, Maggy, and Son were supposed to meet up with Maggy's sister later, but went to this huge party on campus while they were waiting. And they drank. A lot.

I see my dad being taken back to see Son. I have to go with him. I excused myself and headed to the counter.

"One visitor at a time," they said.

"You don't understand," I said. "If I'm not with that man, he'll kill that boy."

By the time I got back there, choice words had been said already. I could tell. Son was in a devastated state. My dad had told him Rachel might die.

"Is she really that bad?" he asked me, as I sat beside him.

I nodded. "Could be. We'll see."

He looked pitiful. Too tall for the bed. Barefooted. Hospital gown over his jeans. An IV. He was still slurring, even though he'd vomited everything in his stomach. He couldn't remember a lot of details. Just flashes of things.

I asked about Maggy. He looked very confused.

"She wasn't with us," he said. "I'd have remembered that. I'm sure we didn't see her tonight."

Soon, we heard that Rachel was awake and doing better. Her waking words to her mother were, "Where's Maggy?"

Her mother stormed into Son's room and started hollering. First, she wanted to know why her daughter's clothes were covered in dirt. Then, she turned to Maggy.

"Where is she?" she demanded, like he'd done something to hide her. "She was with Rachel when they left the house tonight. What happened to her?"

Son squinted as he strained to remember. "No, Ma'am. I'm sure she wasn't there."

"Rachel said you were all waiting for her sister to get done with rehearsal to go do something," she hollered. "So where is she?"

Son literally jumped in surprise. "Waiting for her sister? I don't want to see her sister! And I don't think I'd want to hang out with Maggy."

"I SAW HER WITH RACHEL!" she yelled. My dad escorted her out of the room.

My phone rang. It was my mother.

"We got ahold of Maggy's sister. She's asleep in her room. She's been home all night."

So, Rachel's mother saw her at their house, eh? And her daughter is still asking where Maggy is, through her stupor, even though she knows she lied about being with her?

Wow. That's kinda twisted. Rachel's mother didn't come back to Son's room again. Rachel was going to be fine, but they were keeping her overnight for observation. The nurse came to check on Son.

"How are we feeling?" she said.

"Not so good," he answered. He squinted at her and furrowed his brow. "I remember you."

She laughed. "I bet you do. Well, let's see if we can get you out of here."

Son turned to me. "I'm not going to forget her." He was not happy about it, either. Apparently, when they brought him in, they wanted him to urinate. He couldn't. They said he had 5 minutes to produce something, or they were going in. He couldn't, so they did. She was the one handling the catheter.

We took Son home. Apparently, the missing shoes were somewhere on campus. "I remember mud," he said.

At this point, I have to say that Rachel is known to be a very wild child, and her mother has very persistent blinders on. My daughter is her friend, but is a little bit of a Pollyanna about hoping Rachel will straighten out one day. Until then, she tries to be there for her, but never, ever goes anywhere with her.

As son went to bed, I snagged his cell phone. I read all of his text messages. The boy never uses the phone to actually talk, so the texts are telling. I got a better idea of the real story. Also, Rachel's things were still in Son's car, including her cell. Which had all of the texts from that night deleted from it. Hmmm.... Someone knew how to cover her tracks.

That, along with Son's recollections and the campus incident report gave me a very good picture of what happened. Now, I have to admit that I didn't believe Son's account unless it was corroborated by something else. So, here's what I've been able to put together:

Rachel knew of a big party going on that night, at a house where she and her friends go to do shots after school with the 20-something resident. She was fighting with her boyfriend and asked Son to take her to the party instead. He'd given her a shoulder to cry on, and he had a car. A little while later, she said the party was canceled, but she still wanted to "hang out."

She'd told her mother she was spending the night with Maggy and arranged for Son to pick her up at the end of the street. Son talked to a friend in the girls' dorm and arranged for Rachel to stay there that night. Rachel seemed to have other ideas: her bag contained a sexy camisole and a thong.

A friend of Son's offered to get them some alcohol. Lime vodka. A gallon-size bottle. After Son picked up Rachel, they went to the friend's and got the vodka. Rachel paid for it.

They sat in Son's car in the dorm parking lot, with the bottle and one plastic cup, taking turns at generous shots. In one hour's time, they consumed half of the bottle. They started to feel sick, so Son decided it was time to take Rachel to his friend's room in the girls' dorm.

Note that - Son's big party night lasted one hour.

Son had a thought at that moment that the alcohol could not be found in his car. He loves his car, and more importantly, my father loves his car. It's something they share, and that means a lot to Son. He didn't want to put the car at risk. He'd stash the bottle in his room, then take her to his friend's.

As they stumbled to his dorm, they got stuck in the mud beside the building and lost their shoes. Some guys spotted them vomiting there and came to help. The RA (Residence Assistant) spotted the guys helping her walk to the grassy front of the dorm, and saw Son headed to his room with the bottle.

The RA approached and asked her name, to which she said, "Fuck me," then vomited some more. Son reappeared, and the RA asked about the bottle. Son led him to it, and the guy dumped it out. The police arrived about then. Son wasn't concerned with this, though, because he was vomiting again.

She started to convulse. They called an ambulance. Son remembers falling off the stretcher. Son was coherent enough to give them information on himself and Rachel. That's when they realized she was only 15 years old.

It was about 10:00 PM. At the hospital, her parents were called. Then, they called the Bishop. Apparently, Son's "contact in case of an emergency" list was ignored. Mrs. Summers called my dad at 12:30 AM to find out if he knew Maggy's parents' names and phone number. THAT is how I learned my son was in the ER. The campus didn't call. The hospital didn't call. The Bishop didn't call. My son was left to sit by himself for nearly three hours. To say I'm pissed about that is an understatement.

The next day, he was repentant. He was sick as a dog and very ashamed of himself. He actually came up with his own punishment for this, which was more severe than what I was going to do. He also knew he'd have to go before the Student Conduct Board and have sanctions from the school, and a court date for the MIP.

My mother took Rachel's things to her parents the following day. Her mother was horrible to my mother. Rachel's story is that Son showed up with the liquor and forced her to drink it.

I don't even know where to start with all the things wrong with that story, but her mother isn't hearing of it, anyhow. Her mother said to mine, "I'm getting the transcripts of her text messages to prove it."

Well, I called the carrier. Those transcripts don't exist. Since Rachel deleted the messages, nothing can be retrieved. All we have is what's on my son's phone, and it doesn't paint a pretty picture of Rachel.

Her mother insists otherwise, so my mother asked to see the transcripts when she gets them. We've never heard from her.

Rachel's story has been perpetuated by her mother to everyone we know in common. Rachel even had the gall to pull my daughter aside and tell her she needed to know "the real story." My daughter is pretty disturbed by this, because there's no way Rachel doesn't know that Daughter already knows the real story. Beginning with the lie about Maggy.

Many people we thought cared about our family have now turned their backs, in judgment of Son based on Rachel's story. He messed up, yes. Did he do all she says? No.

I'll have him take the responsibility for what's his fault, but nothing more. The whole experience has been disappointing, in many ways.

1 comment:

Angella Lister said...

this must have been terrifying. so sorry you're having to deal with this but glad it wasn't worse. sending good thoughts.