One of my friends is a Delhi boy. I’ll call him AJ. He’s moved base now, which is how we became friends, but he grew up there, and still has a lot of friends there.
A couple of weeks ago, AJ was telling me about a party he attended in Delhi. Besides being someone’s birthday, it was also a reunion of sorts; old school friends who hadn’t seen each other in a while. They had a blast that night, drinking, talking, and reliving old escapades till the wee hours of the morning. The party finally came to an end; they said their goodbyes, and headed home.
AJ’s friend are never made it that far. He drove straight into a wall, at more than 80 kilometres per hour. The front of the car was crushed, the engine pushed into the front two seats, nearly cutting are in half. I wish I could tell you he had a miraculous escape, one of those freak occurrences you hear about on the news.
I wish I could tell you that there was a guardian angel looking out for him that day, that he had a close call and learned a valuable lesson. But this story doesn’t have a happy ending. are spent his last few minutes in excruciating pain, bleeding to death in a wrecked car; and died alone on the side of the road, aged 27.
Shocked? Shaken? Imagine if that was your friend. You’d be even more shaken. But let me ask you something. What if this was the second time it had happened? What if this was the second time a friend of yours had had too much to drink, had gotten into his car and driven off, and had crashed and died?
I ask this because that’s the situation my friend AJ is in. He’s lost two close friends in the same way; they had too much to drink, they thought they could drive okay, they crashed their cars, and they both died.
The blame always falls on the person who was driving. He was drunk; he had no business driving a car. It’s his own stupid fault. But as he was drunk, obviously his judgement was impaired. He thought he’d be okay, he thought he could handle the car. He was drunk, what did he know.
But what about your responsibility as a friend? Wouldn’t you step in and try to save your friend if you knew he might die? Or to hell with responsibility, what about your own selfish desire not to lose a friend? Wouldn’t you save his life then? So that you don’t have to suffer the loss of someone close to you?
When someone’s drunk, his or her judgement is impaired. They think they’ll manage, because they’ve done it before. "It’s cool, don’t worry about it. I’ll be fine." The fact is, no one’s ever going to say that they’re too drunk, and that they shouldn’t drive. No, that’s something a person’s friends have to say.
That’s something you’re going to have to say one day, if you don’t want to look back and say that you could have saved a friend’s life, if only you’d tried. I hope you never have to feel what it’s like to lose someone that way. And if you must... I do hope you never feel it again.
The fact is, no one’s ever going to say that they’re too drunk, and that they shouldn’t drive.