“So next, you’ll get a chance to read through the charges and you can decide if you agree or disagree with them.”
The Assistant Director of the Office of Student Accountability sat across from me, slowly turning the computer screen so I could see. Two charges blazed before my eyes. One count of underage possession of alcohol and one count of underage consumption.
“And you said the RA report just said he saw beer in the trash can, right? No one drinking?” I swallowed dryly.
“Exactly.” The Assistant Director smiled. “You can take up to three days if you don’t want to continue this right now.”
I grabbed the pen and moved to check the deny boxes. Suddenly, the world began to spin. My life flashed before my eyes and in that moment, I knew that if I lied about that Friday night on Commons, I’d never be able to meet my mom’s eyes again (didn’t really matter with dad, that piece of shit was long gone). That moment, that accountability meeting, would define my integrity for my entire life and my future legacy (if anyone would ever dare procreate with me after I’d tarnished my reputation so).
In the face of my moral crisis, I pulled myself together and checked the boxes to plead guilty. The Assistant Director began her spiel once again. “So, you’ve decided to agree to both of the charges. If you could now-”
I began to shake. “No,” I mumbled, “no, there’s more. I’m just beginning to scratch the surface.” Hesitantly, I began to write across the touchscreen before me.
“First of all, every one of us had a fake. How else do you think we bought the alcohol?” I wrote out use of false identification to procure alcohol below the previous charges. As my blood pressure began to rise I decided for good measure I should throw the three fakes I had in my wallet on the desk.
A worried look came over the face across from me. “Are you sure you don’t want to take your three days to think these charges over?”
I began to froth at the mouth. I knew Jesus was watching my every move. It didn’t matter what I’d done, not with all the shit the Bible’s condoned, it mattered that I was upfront about it. The truth had to come out now or never. “Second, although you couldn’t find it because it was hidden in a laundry hamper, we had a keg. There was a second one in the room over in case we ran out. Oh, and I know punch bowls are against the alcohol policy too. Don’t doubt for a second that we had one.”
“I just want to remind you that all of this conversation is being recorded. How about we have you sign for the charges you’ve already admitted to and we can go into the one-on-one portion of this meeting?”
I’d already frantically scrawled out my third additional charge, driving under the influence. “This didn’t happen last Friday night, but the Wednesday before, the boys and I used our fakes to get rental cars to pick up the kegs and vodka and tequila for shots. We got through a full bottle, then decided to go street racing through Nashville.” At the look of doubt before me I dug out my phone. “You need proof? I’ll give you proof! Look at these photos!” I accidentally swiped through screenshots of the address my drug dealer had sent me before arriving at the pictures of my friends and I puking in the back of a rental Subaru.
“Listen, I think you should really stop before you say something you regret.”
“I regret nothing!” I yelled. “None of it, not the drinking, not the drugs! Hell, that night was the best acid trip of my life! You wish you could live life like I do!”
The Assistant Director stood up, towering above me. I felt a moment of doubt over what I’d just done. The steely eyes looking down on me pierced my skin.
Then she paused the accountability meeting recording and slowly sank into her chair. “For fuck’s sake kid, next time just lie. Do you have any idea how much damn paperwork you just created for me?”
I opened my mouth but this time I was the one cut off. “Just assume you’ve been expelled and get out of my office.”
My heart unburdened and my soul saved, I walked out the door. Just as I closed it, I could barely make out, “Kid thinks that’s life in the fast lane? What a fucking loser.”