A troubled teacher sees something that scares him straight.
|Donnie Jones caught a glimpse of himself as he walked past the floor length mirror that hung in the hallway of his Astoria, Queens’s apartment. He back tracked toward the mirror, stood there and observed.
His posture slouched, his skin tone was ashy, and his eyes sunk in his head. He had no idea that he looked so bad and he was certain that his students noticed it too.
Donnie was a Bronx high school teacher for 10 years but lately, his interest in the job had deteriorated. All Donnie cared to do these days was use cocaine.
Last year he met a group of friends who used cocaine on a regular basis and Donnie started using right along with them.
Janice, Darryl and Dominic were his new buddies. One Friday afternoon, they drove to the school and picked him up. Janice was painfully thin and looked like a zombie, and the twins looked no better.
As they drove along looking to score drugs, Janice suggested that they all go to a ski resort upstate over the weekend. The twin’s parents were extremely wealthy so money was no object.
They stopped at their homes, threw a few things in a suitcase, and headed upstate to the resort.
When they finally arrived, Donnie ran through the snow and then rolled around in it. He fell in love with the resort and he was happy he came.
After everyone settled in, the twins and Donnie went outside to build a snowman. Janice decided to take a nap because she claimed to be exhausted.
Donnie started to build the bottom of the snowman, Darryl built the middle, and Dominic worked on the head. Donnie took an old baseball hat from his suitcase and put it on the snowman’s head, and Darryl had a scarf that he placed around its neck. Dominic pulled buttons off a sweater for the eyes and nose, and Donnie drew a mouth with a big branch he found nearby.
After they completed the snowman, the guys returned to their rooms to freshen up. Later that afternoon, they met in the lobby of the cabin they were staying in.
They had just finished getting high in their rooms and then decided to top it off with a glass of wine.
Donnie beamed with pride as he sat in front of the big picture window and admired the snowman.
He turned away for a second, and when he turned back around, the snowman winked at him. Donnie jumped up, walked to the window and stared. The snowman tilted his head then winked again.
Donnie rubbed his eyes, and then looked at the snowman again. When he winked a third time, Donnie went back upstairs to his room. The guys were so stoned that they didn’t even realize he was gone.
As Donnie recalled what happened, he quickly packed his clothing and left on the first train smoking back to the city.
When he got home, he looked in the mirror and did not like what he saw. He was ashier than ever, and the circles around his eyes seemed to be getting darker.
That snowman scared him so bad that he started calling around the city for outpatient rehab centers. He found one and joined it immediately.
After two weeks, there was a difference in Donnie. His appearance improved and his disposition changed for the better.
Donnie felt better, his students were happier, and he stayed away from the toxic people he once called friends.
One day while teaching a class, Donnie looked out the window and noticed kids building a snowman. He smiled and then shuddered at the thought of his snowman.
While talking to his students, he glanced again at the snowman and it turned around, winked, and then smiled.
At first Donnie was scared to death but then he thought about the first snowman that saved his life and suddenly, he wasn’t scared anymore.
Donnie became one of the best teachers in his high school and in his spare time, he counseled drug users in a nearby rehab center.
He attended narcotics anonymous and thanked God every day for his sobriety.
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