A Story of Peer Pressure

Thomas Anderson, a straight “A” honor roll sophomore student in high school, always wanted to fit in with the popular crowd in. Though, his nerdy & unusual appearance would get him nowhere with anyone as he would always find himself being the target of name calling & bullying.

That was, until one day a group of other students approached him at his locker asking for him to hang out with them after school.

Thomas had never been asked this, but he was more than eager to accept the offer.

Upon returning to his beautiful home in the suburbs at a time that his parents found strange, he explained that he made new friends with two guys & two girls. Their names, Roland, Michael, Regina, & Dominique.

Roland was a senior while Michael, Dominique & Regina were juniors. He was the only one out of the group that had his own car.

His mother was thrilled to hear he made new friends while his father was rather suspect to who they were & what they were about asking him what their grades were in classes & such that Thomas could not answer. His father’s suspiciousness did not make Thomas cease continuing the friendship he saw with them.

When he returned to school, Regina spotted him & guided him to where the rest of them were in the cafeteria for breakfast.

Thomas then asked why they all of a sudden began speaking to him & they told him they felt bad seeing all the people make fun of him & how nobody would be his friend so they wanted to make a change.

He then asked were they straight “A” students like him & they weirdly said yes.

It was then when the school day was over, they wanted him to hang out once again. Yet, this time it wouldn’t be much of just “hanging out”.

Thomas noticed Roland pulling up to park near a liquor store. A confused Thomas asked what they were doing there.

Dominique explained about a house party that they wanted him to come to on the upcoming Friday night. He had never been to a party, but was thrilled to be invited. But however, would have to pass a test to be able to go.

They wanted Thomas to fake a seizure outside of the store so they could have the man behind the counter rush to assist him while they steal liquor for the party.

Not to mention, the store itself was in a nearly abandoned part of town so nobody would truly be around to notice or intervene.

They assumed his nerdy & unusual appearance would make him perfect for the act & he’d be more believable than them.

Thomas cried out that stealing was wrong, but then they began the name calling claiming him to be weak & would not be their friend if he didn’t follow through.

To prove to them he was worthy, he did exactly what they wanted. He got out of the car & laid on the corner from the store shaking, twitching while they rushed into the store crying out for the clerk to help.

The man did exactly as they expected & rushed out of the store to him to aid him as best as he could. Dominique & Regina stood with the man to keep him focused on Thomas while Roland & Michael went in with their hood covering their heads & stole a few bottles of wine. After tossing them in the car, they rushed over to them to carry Thomas & claim to take him to the hospital. Dominique & Regina returned to the car & they all drove off cheering for Thomas for his performance. He felt he was one with them.

To celebrate, they popped open a bottle of wine to share. It was Thomas’s first drink & he was proud.

Though, when he returned home, it was quite a coincidence that his mother & father were sitting & watching the news & a report was brought up about a robbery at a liquor store that was caught on camera. There was a news reporter who was speaking with the clerk who explained that he did not know there was a robbery until he checked the cameras after he was trying help a boy that had a seizure. He was hoping the boy was okay.

Thomas however, acted as if he had no knowledge of the incident. He told his father that his friends were “A” students just like him which he did not believe one bit. He carried the suspicion that Thomas was apart of what was reported but his mother intervened claiming that there would be no way Thomas would ever take part in such a thing.

That was when Thomas asked if he could attend the upcoming Friday night party with him which his father immediately rejected knowing how such parties would go. He was hoping his mother would assist him but she too agreed but suggested they come to the house to meet them.

Thomas however, did not think they would ever fall through with it especially once they’d realize they were not the type of people he should be around. His father demanded that he return straight home after school & not to hang with them until they came to their home.

Thomas just went to his room, upset & sad that he could not attend the party after what he did for them. Or could he still?

Thomas returned to school the next day with a few more eyes looking in his direction. As his new friends had spread the word of his act to those attending the upcoming party & their success of retrieving liquor, people began to treat him as if he were part of the popular crowd. This made him happy that he was finally a somebody.

When Friday came, he did not inform his new “friends” that he could not attend the party after they reminded him nor did he mention anything about them having to meet his parents for approval. Rather than tell the truth & risk being name called once again for following his parents’ word, he said he would still be able to go which led to Roland wanting to take him to the mall after school to find a “fly” outfit for the party. Michael, Dominique, & Regina would hang with other friends & then they’d all meet up at the party after 7:00 P.M.

Thomas decided by the end of the school day that he was going to the party with his new friends & rejected his parents’ demand for him to return home with them to approve.

Roland noticed Thomas appear nervous & tense for as he never went against his parents words & knew there would be serve consequences. Before they pulled off, Roland pulled out a blunt & a lighter to smoke & then offered it to Thomas who reluctantly gave it a try so he could relax as Roland said it would.

An hour after leaving school, he received an incoming phone call from his mother to whom he rejected & turned his ringer off becoming rebellious.

After piecing together a “fly” outfit, Roland paid for it all & by then it was minutes after 7:00. Thomas checked his phone & noticed 20 missed calls from his Mother & Father. He did not bother to call back.

They arrived at the house party where the rest of the group were sitting on the porch of the house with drinks & cheering for their arrival. Roland opens his truck & Michael comes over to help grab the bottles of liquor they stole & then headed inside.

The people complimented Thomas’s new look & cheered to him for making it possible to have liquor. They celebrated with a toast to Thomas & he was the center of attention.

And that drew a girl into his circle. A beautiful girl who was known amongst the popular crowd that he had always admired in school but never had the guts to speak to. Leila. She came to him, complimenting his new look & speaking to him nicely.

His heart was racing as he gazed into her eyes when she spoke. His friends were in the background edging him on until someone came in between them both.

The girl’s ex-boyfriend pushed Thomas away from her attempting to initiate a fight but was quickly taken down by his Roland, Michael & a few others in the party who rushed to aid Thomas. They kicked him out of the house & resumed the party.

The girl & Thomas continued to speak, sitting together, laughing while having a couple drinks.

It wasn’t long until Roland pulled him to the side to hand him a small pack of condoms & passed down a few tips feeling as though it would be possible for Thomas to score on his first time at a party.

There was an empty room in the upstairs part of the house where they could be alone. Both were somewhat intoxicated, yet Leila knew what she wanted. And Thomas had it. They ventured to the room, closed the door & she made sure it was locked. Then threw herself onto him as Thomas remembered the steps he learned from entertainment videos.

Thomas walked downstairs feeling like a new man with Leila. Roland & the others could tell he scored by the smirk on both of their faces along with her hair looking messy & cheered him once more.

But the victory was short lived.

As he walked over to his friends, a barrage of gunfire was heard that came from outside the front of the house. Bullets were penetrating through the windows & walls. Screams of fear filled the house as everyone ducked for cover & ran out the back of the house except for Leila who ran upstairs to hide in a nearby bathroom.

The gunman fled after firing a full round. The house was empty, or so it seemed. Leila crept downstairs after the gunfire ceased & found Thomas lying in a pool of blood on the floor with a few bullet holes from his arm to his back. The bullets that penetrated through a window struck Thomas before he could take cover & run like the rest.

She immediately called the police for help & sat next to Thomas’s body in absolute shock.

The people who attended the party including his friends did not return. His friends assumed he made it out & ran a different direction.

The police discovered Thomas’s phone which had 55 missed calls from his mother & father. And it was later discovered that there was a missing child report for a Thomas Anderson that same day. The police officers on the scene had no choice but to travel to his home & inform the heartbreaking news.

His mother fainted in agony upon learning her son’s fate while his father placed all blame upon his “friends” and demanded they were taken into custody.

Police arrived up to the school the following Monday to further investigate when the police officers recognized Roland & Michael from the security camera footage from the liquor store. They were immediately apprehended & taken into police custody where they were charged & sentenced to 2 years in jail. They also informed police of Dominique & Regina as accomplices to the robbery & they too were soon arrested & sentenced.

It was later discovered that the gunman was Leila’s ex boyfriend who was thrown out of the party for attempting to fight Thomas out of his jealousy. Police attempted to arrest him but he was unfortunately killed after he fired & fled from police.

Leila, who Thomas shared his last moments with, realized Thomas should not have been at the party nor should have every began to hang out with Roland & the others. She went to his family to tell of his last moments of happiness at the party & was deeply saddened by what became of his fate. She also informed them of her being a constant witness to him being name called & bullied & regretted never stepping in to stop it.

Thomas’s desire to be a popular student cost him his life in the very end. He had a moment of glory before it came to it. His most happiest day ever. The pressure from his peers led up to it, but unbeknown-st to him all along there would be a price to pay for his actions.

Giving into the pressure can very well be your downfall.

– A Story of Peer Pressure

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2 Comments

  1. This story really made me sad. As a parent of 4 children I would encourage parents to put more energy into encourageing their children, and building them up so they are not dependent upon peer support to get them through high school. One valuable lesson that I learned as a parent was that children need to know they are loved every minute. The need to know they are forgiven when they slip up and they need to know that they can do better tomorrow than they did today. I am so sorry that a situation like that happened because it could have been prevented at an early point if his parents had followed up on their intuitions about these new “friends” the boy had gotten involved with. I do hop this is helpful to some parents who are dealing with similar issues with their kids now.

    Liked by 1 person

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