When I learned that my best friend, Anne, had missed her menstrual period, I knew that the course of her life would change forever. Prior to hearing about her pregnancy, Anne had just joined the track and band team. She was a top performer who scored A’s in every subject. She was ready to engage in sports and apply for university admission. While Anne and I were busy pursuing our new interests, she met Ian. He was the leader of the track and band group. Unlike my friend, Ian came from a well off family and was always in the company of beautiful girls. Despite these differences, Anne and Ian soon became close friends who played and studied together.
Although a top performer in the classroom, my friend Anne experienced many challenges in her home that she did not share with me. So, while the other students studied in the library after school or played different sports, she worked after school to support her mother and father. Her father lost his job immediately Anne was born, which resulted in financial burden for their family. Anne’s elder brother was jailed for two years on minor charges of drug possession and use in the community. Anne’s parents seemed to have lost hope in working hard to support their family; they struggled to raise enough money to meet their daily financial obligations. She felt sorry for her parents; thus, she decided to work after school to buy food for the family. She stopped confiding in her parents about the problems she faced at school.
Although Anne arrived at the training grounds ahead of her teammates, she did not want to play. It is at this low point in her life that she began interacting with Ian at a personal level. Ian suggested to Anne that they visit his parent’s house. She went with him hoping that she would feel much better after seeing his home. When they arrived at Ian’s home, they ate the food that they found on the dining table and went to the bedroom. Ian convinced Anne that she could relax and talk to him openly from his bedroom.
Ian walked to the in-house bar and came back with two bottles of beer. He offered her one and then proceeded to drink his share in a few gulps like a person who had been thirsty for days. Anne followed his lead and drank the alcohol too. After drinking two bottles of beer, she could neither stand on her feet nor keep her eyes open. She had never drunk alcohol in her entire life; thus, she found this new experience interesting. She began to feel confident and invulnerable and confided in him about her parent’s tribulations and marriage challenges. She felt that she could trust him because he seemed interested in her story as she narrated it. Anne was grateful to him for helping her forget her problems albeit for a few hours.
Anne could summarize the part of her story involving the fun she had while in the company of Ian. She believes that the other sections are more important than this bit. Ian and Anne enjoyed each other’s company so much that they soon forgot about their obligations at school and at home. They did not attend classes or submit their assignments for various subjects. Over time, Anne’s academic performance became poor; she failed in several of her classes.
One day while drank, Ian asked Anne if she wanted to engage in sexual intercourse with him. Not considering the consequences of having unprotected sex, the two slept together that night. After the first sexual encounter, Anne and Ian continued engaging in unprotected sexual acts every day. Two weeks later, she found out that she had missed her regular periods. She went to a local clinic and bought a pregnancy test to determine the cause of the delay, and it came out positive. She did not tell Ian that she was pregnant for many days. However, when Ian saw Anne bawling, he asked and she told him the truth. Ian was shocked when he heard the news as if he did not know that they had engaged in unprotected sex. He started yelling at her that she had cheated on him. Eventually, he kicked her out of his small bedroom and asked her never to come back.
The visit to the psychiatrist’s office is one part of Anne’s life story that she would share with people to show them that her perspective has changed completely. On this day, Anne revealed to the therapist that she was pregnant and an alcoholic. The therapist invited her parents to her office and explained the problem to them carefully. They were shocked and heartbroken when they learned that their only daughter had unplanned pregnancy. They forgave and told her to trust them in the future with her secrets. Anne’s life changed for the better after this session with the counselor.
The most dramatic part of Anne’s story pertains to childbirth. It took Anne three years to give birth, nurse her baby, and return to school on a full-time basis. Her baby could not latch onto her breast when she tried to feed her. Therefore, she stayed up late at night to pump milk into bottles and store them in the refrigerator. She woke up early to catch the bus since she lived many kilometers from the main road. While at school, her breasts hurt so much as she could not feed her baby.
Today, Anne’s sense of identity has evolved as she has developed a different mindset partly because of becoming a mother and an alcoholic. She was merely a child when she gave birth to her baby and became mature quickly in order to act as a responsible mother.
Although a member of this school’s fraternity, Anne’s mentality and thought process is different from that of other students. Instead of attending parties every weekend, she goes home to her baby and family. When she comes across other scholars consuming alcohol, she approaches them and shares her story about drug addiction and unwanted pregnancy. In the future, Anne plans on opening a center from where she can help teenage people to avoid abusing drugs and engaging in behaviors that lead to unwanted pregnancies.
I believe that Anne should share her story with students who are struggling with various forms of drug addiction. She should begin with the consequences of drug abuse so that the audience can understand the context of the story. They need to grasp the possible outcomes of engaging in the use of illegal drugs.