During the winter of the year Ross Perot ran for president, they walked along the railroad tracks, high on life and reeling from the acid they had dropped earlier in the evening. There were several of them, young, middle-school aged, without a care in the world. They ambled along the lazy stretch of tracks alternately walking on the rails and then stepping on each tie as if the rocks were a sort of grey, jagged bayou filled with hungry alligators. Tisha, a soft intelligent girl with wild curly hair, had been with them just hours before, but had gone home to eat dinner and her parents wouldn’t let her back out. She had homework. Her friends were trouble. She wasn’t leaving the house. In retrospect, that was the best move they could’ve made as parents. They saved her life by forcing her to her bedroom to do homework that, at that point in her life, meant less than hanging out, smoking, and doing things that kids her age shouldn’t have been doing. Amber wasn’t as lucky. Her parents didn’t care. In fact, her parents may or may not have been in the state at the time of the accident. I don’t know if they made to the scene that night or had to return later to mourn the events they weren’t there to witness. By now, in today’s time, the truth has been skewed by years of its evolution into urban legend. Did it really happen the year that Ross Perot ran for president? Had they really been high? Who sold middle-schoolers acid? Why didn’t they decide to walk on the railroad tracks? None of that seems to matter in light of what did happen. Amber is dead. The train hit her. The rescue workers used gloved hands to pick pieces of her from the overgrown bushes. We all became more afraid or more enamored with trains. Our school started a DARE program. Those are the facts. Ross Perot didn’t win.
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