"I found a drug and alcohol counselor for Jackson. The counselor's name is Kevin Gwinn" "Thanks, Matt. Did you say Kevin Gwinn?" "Yes. Why? Do you know him?" I did. In seventh grade. He came to my thirteenth birthday party, and I went to the backwards dance with him." "Another old boyfriend? Is there any guy from your past, that you haven't dated? I know about Steve. And recently heard of a Nelson and Viper." "Matt, I was never into Nelson. He liked me more then I liked him. As for Viper, I think he was a rebound from Steve. If it makes you feel better, there was a guy in sixth grade, who dumped me for a classmate, named Kathy, because he didn't think I was pretty." "Idiot." "Thanks. I haven't seen Kevin since the night of the dance. He and two other boys got expelled for drinking. It's ironic he became a drug and alcohol counselor for teens."
"Jackson, come on. You need to do this. You promised me you would. I got Matt covering for me at the clinic." "Okay, Mom." DJ and Jackson entered the counselor's office. They were only in the waiting area for about five minutes, when Jackson's name got called. They were led into an office at the far end of the hall. A few minutes later, Kevin walked in. Not looking up, he said "Jackson Fuller." Kevin looked at the boy. "Yes." "Hello, Kevin." He looked at the boy's mom. "DJ." "Yes. It's nice to see you again. I am glad to hear that you were able to turn your life around, after getting expelled." "Thank you. My parents sent me to a counselor, and it helped. Then, they sent me to private school. So, you're Jackson's mother? That's great." Kevin then turned his attention to Jackson. "So, Jackson, You want to tell me why you've started drinking?" Jackson looked at him. "I guess, I am having more trouble then I thought, dealing with Dad's death. Even though it has been over a year since he died." Kevin listened to the boy, and thought about the best way to help him. "Jackson, I am sure your family loves you very much. when you feel like you need to drink, I want you to think about your family and friends, who's lives would also be affected by this. Think of the good times you've had and the positive things in your life. It was one of the things I did. It made me realize how badly I screwed up. I became a counselor, because I been there. I know what kids are going through. I lost a lot of friends and it took a long time, to earn the trust back from my parents."
That night, Jackson did some serious thinking. He wanted to be a good influence on his brothers. H knew Tommy wouldn't remember their dad. He needs to keep him alive in his heart, and share memories of his dad with the rest of the family, and tell Tommy about the amazing man he never knew. Kevin had been right. He knew it wouldn't be as easy as all that. And he wasn't "cured" after only one meeting, but it was a start. He would be seeing Kevin twice a week for awhile. Aunt Stephanie had even stopped drinking cocktails in order to help Jackson avoid the temptation. His mom had also threw out all the alcohol in the house. She told Kimmy and Stephanie if they wanted to drink, do it at a restaurant or bar. The whole family had pitched in, any way they knew how. Even Tommy had cuddled with him. He had been able to avoid the temptation since he returned home, but he wasn't sure if it would last. He told his friend, Bobby that he couldn't go with him to a hockey game. He didn't want to be around grown men drinking beer.
Seeing Kevin again had been good. She was glad that Kevin had been one of the lucky ones. She heard, the other two boys that got expelled with Kevin, hadn't been so lucky, One became a drunk, despite going to reheb. The other was dead, due to a drunk driving accident a few years ago. DJ thought maybe it was time to tell Jackson about her mom's accident. He knew she died in a car accident, but not a drunk driving accident.
"Jackson, my mom was killed by a drunk driver. I saved Kimmy from driving drunk, when we went to a frat party. I told her that I didn't want to lose my best friend the say way. She never got drunk again, that I know of." "Mom. I'm sorry. I knew Grandma Pam had died in a car accident, but not a drunk driving accident." "I know. I probably should have told you a long time ago. Your dad knew. I told him on our first date." "So, Kevin was the boy that got expelled from school in seventh grade for drinking?" "Yes. Even thought he asked me if he could call me sometime, I never heard from him again, until today." "I can do this. There is hope for me. I want to succeed like Kevin did." "I know. We all want that. With the love of this family, I think it'll happen." "Can you trust me, Mom?" "I think so. I hope so. I know you want to get help. That's a start."
DJ was glad that Jackson wanted help. She felt confident that he would succeed in getting sober. She had heard that the one time at the dance, wasn't an isolated incident for Kevin. Peer Pressure can ruin lives. She was glad she and her sisters were able to avoid the temptation, while in school. Stephanie had a few incidents with drugs after high school, but managed to get through them. Michelle called to ask about how Jackson was doing. She had heard about it in an email form Stephanie. She told Michelle what was going on. Michelle had only been three, when the incident with Kevin happened, so she didn't remember that day. DJ just told her that her jr.high boyfriend from seventh grade, who got expelled for drinking is now Jackson's counselor. They talked for a few minutes longer. The after hanging up with Michelle, DJ had thought about the events of the past and present. "Everything"s going to be OK. I know it." And in her heart, she knew it to be true.
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