“My name is Garrett and I think you need to come get your friend from my party. She’s really strung out.”

My mind was in a state of confusion as I tried to process what Garrett had just said. “Where do you live?” I asked.

He rattled off his address as I wrote it down on a piece of paper. I started to feel sick and I had no idea what to do. I couldn’t get her by myself because if my parents were to check up on me, like they frequently did, I’d be grounded for life.

“Thanks. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

“Please hurry. She’s in really bad shape,” Garrett said as he hung up.

I locked up the apartment and ran up to the penthouse. My mom and dad were sitting on the couch, watching a movie. I opened the door and my dad looked at me.

“I was just about to come down and get you,” he said.

“Dad, Mom, we have to go get London. Someone named Garrett just called me and said she’s at his party and she’s really strung out and I need to come get her.”

My mom looked at my dad and both of them got up from the couch. My dad grabbed his keys as we went down to the parking garage, and we climbed into the range Rover.

“Do you have the address?” my dad asked.

I rattled it off to him as he punched it into his GPS. My mom turned around and looked at me as I sat there on the verge of tears.


“Honey, did you know she was going to this party?” she asked.

“No. God, Mom, I hope she’s okay.”

“She’ll be okay, sweetie,” she said as she reached her hand back.

We arrived at the house and I got out of the Range Rover as soon as my dad put it in park. I ran up to the door, and when I walked in, I saw people everywhere. Couples were making out all over the house, and the stench of alcohol filled the air. I asked some of the people around who Garrett was and they told me he was upstairs in one of the rooms. My parents and I ran up the stairs and knocked on one of the doors, calling Garrett’s name. Finally, the door I knocked on opened.

“Are you Garrett?” I asked.

“Yeah. You must be the best friend.”

“My name is Julia, you idiot, and where the hell is London?”

He pointed to the bed where her half-naked body lay. She didn’t have any underwear on. I ran over to her and saw that she was passed out. My mom and dad ran into the room and my mom covered her lower half with the sheet. As my dad bent down and looked at her, he yelled for us to call an ambulance.

“What did you do to her?” I screamed at Garrett as I grabbed his shirt and pushed him into the dresser.

“I didn’t do anything. I found her like that. I came in here to lie down because I drank too much and she was like that. I scrolled through her phone and you were listed as her best friend, so I called you. I can’t believe you brought your parents.”

My mom called 911 and my dad tried to wake up London. “What did she take?” he asked as he looked at Garrett.

“Seriously, man. I don’t know. Like I said, I just found her like this. When I walked in the room, she whispered something to me and then passed out.”

“What did she whisper?” I asked.

“I don’t know. I couldn’t understand her.”

“Who did she come here with?” my mom asked him.

“I don’t know who he was; some older dude,” he replied.

Two paramedics came through the door with a stretcher and went right over to London. They started asking a bunch of questions that we didn’t have the answers to. They said her vitals were bad and they needed to get her to the hospital right away. I started shaking and crying as my dad walked over and hugged me.

“It’s going to be okay, baby. We should call her parents.”

“I’ll call them right now,” my mom said as she pulled out her phone. After several tries, she looked at us. “I can’t get a hold of her mom or dad.”

“Her dad is out of town on a business trip and her mom is probably passed out in some guy’s bed,” I said.

“Julia, that’s not nice,” my mom said.

“Well, it’s true, Mom. I should’ve seen this coming. I knew she was using drugs, but she told me that she’d stop because it was messing her up.”

“Please tell me you’ve never done drugs with her, Princess,” my dad said in a panicked tone.

“No, Daddy, I’ve never done any drugs.”

He let out a sigh of relief as we walked to the Range Rover and headed to the hospital.

We waited in the waiting room until the doctor came out and spoke to us.

“London should be fine. We sent some blood work to the lab for testing, and we pumped her stomach. I’ll be honest with you; she almost died. Her test results showed her positive for coc**ne, crystal meth, marijuana, and a lot of alcohol; her levels were off the charts. I would suggest you keep trying to get a hold of her parents. I’ve ordered a psych evaluation and she’s going to have to go into a rehab program. I’m sorry this happened,” the doctor said as he turned and walked away.

My mom and dad put their arms around me as the nurse took us to the room where London was. My eyes started to fill with tears when I saw her lying there. She was pale and looked like death. The beeps of the machines made me cringe, as did the smell that infiltrated the room. I walked over to her bedside and placed my hand on hers. Tears started to stream down my face as she slowly opened her eyes. She tried to talk, but she couldn’t. Tears fell from her eyes as she looked at my mom and dad.

“It’s okay, honey. Don’t be scared,” my mom said as she leaned over her and pushed her hair from her forehead.

“I’m sorry,” London whispered as she looked at me.

“We can talk about it tomorrow. You need to rest now,” I said to her.

London closed her eyes and turned her head. “I’ll stay with her. You two go home and get some rest,” my mom said. “Connor, you need to try and get a hold of Joan.”

“I’ll go to their apartment now,” he said as he kissed my mom on the head. “Come on, Princess, let’s go see if we can track down her mother and then go home,” he said as he put his arm around me.

I started to walk out of the room, then I stopped and turned around and stared at my best friend, who I almost lost. I looked down as my dad pulled me closer into him and we walked out of the room. When we arrived at the building, we took the elevators up to the fifteenth floor where London’s apartment was. My dad knocked on the door and London’s mom surprisingly answered it.

“Connor, Julia? It’s almost three a.m. What the hell is going on?”

“Didn’t you get Ellery’s message, Joan?”

“Message? What message?” she said as she shook her head.

Suddenly, we heard a man’s voice from the other room, asking her if everything was all right. She told him to go back to sleep. The voice wasn’t Mr. Fitzgerald’s.

“London is in the emergency room from an overdose of drugs,” my dad said.

“What? She’s spending the night at her friend Ruby’s house. She told me she was spending the weekend there.”

“She lied to you, Joan. Ellery’s there with her now. We both tried calling you, but you didn’t answer your phone and neither did Ron.”

Tears filled her eyes as she told us thank you and shut the door. My dad looked at me and shook his head. We went up to the penthouse and I grabbed a bottle of water from the refrigerator. My dad walked in behind me.

“Listen, Princess, I want you to go upstairs and go to bed. I’m going to get your mom at the hospital. I’ll take you back tomorrow so you can visit London,” he said as he kissed me on the head.

“Okay, Dad. I’m scared. What if−"

“No what if’s, baby. She received medical attention in time and she’s going to be all right,” he said as he hugged me. “Now, go to bed.”

“Good night, Daddy,” I said as I walked away.

It didn’t matter what my dad said; I was still scared and worried that London wasn’t going to be okay. I knew she had been using drugs and I had tried to stop her, but I couldn’t. I should’ve told my parents. Maybe they could’ve helped her before it got this far. I laid my head on my pillow and, when I closed my eyes, the only thing I saw was London’s half-naked, lifeless body, lying on the bed.

A few hours later, I awoke, drenched in sweat from a nightmare I was having. I lay there as my heart was pounding. I saw the door open from the corner of my eye and I turned my head to see Collin standing there.

“Is London going to be okay?” he asked.

“The doctor said she is,” I replied.

“Good. When you go and see her, tell her I said hi.” He smiled.

“I will. Are Mom and Dad up?”

“Yeah, they’re in the kitchen, having coffee.”

I threw back the covers, climbed out of bed, and headed downstairs to the kitchen. “Good morning.” I yawned as I grabbed a cup from the cupboard.

“Morning, Princess,” my dad said.

“Good morning, honey,” my mom said as she kissed me on the head.

I poured coffee in my cup and sat down next to my dad.

“Did you sleep well?” he asked.

“No. I had nightmares all night,” I said as I held the hot cup between my hands.

“As soon as you’re ready, let me know, and I’ll take you over to the hospital.”

“Thanks, Dad.” I smiled.

“Any time, Princess.” He smiled back as he got up from his chair.

As I finished my coffee, I had a conversation with my mom and then I ran upstairs to get dressed. My dad dropped me off at the hospital and he went into the office for a while. They had moved London to up to a room on the third floor. As I stepped off the elevator, I saw her mom walking towards me.

“Hi, Mrs. Fitzgerald,” I said.

“Hi, Julia,” she said as she grabbed my hands. “Thank you for your help last night and for getting your parents involved. If you hadn’t, London probably wouldn’t be with us right now.”

“I just wish I could have done something sooner,” I said as I looked down.

“You did what you could and I’m grateful. I’m going to get something to eat and grab some coffee. I’ll give you and London some privacy.”

I smiled as I thanked her and walked away. Walking into London’s room, I looked at her and she turned her head to face me.

“Hey,” she said.

“Hey.” I waved from the doorway.

“Save it, Julia. I know what you’re going to say and frankly, I’m in no mood right now.”

I walked over to her bed and sat down beside her. “You almost died. Do you even get that? Do you have any idea what it was like to find you and see you like that?”

“I’m sorry,” she whispered as she turned and looked the other way.

“What happened with Rob? Wait until I get a hold of him!”

“I wasn’t with Rob. I haven’t seen him in a few days.”

I looked at her and shook my head. “Wait a minute. Garrett said you were with some older dude. If it wasn’t Rob, then who was it?”

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