The first thing Carlton saw when he opened his eyes was a sharp light. He had to blink a couple of times to shake off the annoying glare, and adjusted it in no time. Looking around, he saw Dad, Mom, Ashley, and Hilary, sitting around him, looking morose. Each of them had been crying for some time now. What was most shocking was that Hilary's hair was messed up, along with her makeup, and she didn't even care. No complaints, no remarks, no nothing.
What was going on here?
It took a moment to realize that he was awake. Mom cried out in relief.
"Carlton, my baby boy," she sobbed, giving him a hug. Ashley bowed her head to his shoulder, calming herself down. Hilary smiled and massaged his feet. WEIRD! But Dad mainly placed a hand on his shin, still looking unhappy.
"It's alright, guys, I'm fine…" croaked Carlton; he was just getting used to his voice.
"Oh, Carlton," said Hilary emotionally. "We thought you were-"
"Yeah, but he's not," said Dad sharply. They all looked at him in shock.
"Carlton, I need you to tell me what happened at the prom night."
"First you have to tell me what's happened since I passed out," Carlton said; how long had he been here, did anything happen, etc…
"Only if you tell us what you did to make you pass out."
Carlton knew immediately what Dad meant.
"Okay, guys," said Carlton. "Here's what happened. I had this really big zit on my forehead and was trying to get some vitamin E to shrink it-"
"Ew, you still have it!" Hilary whined.
Carlton turned beet red. "Yeah, thanks, Hilary. So, anyways, I asked one of my friends if he had any vitamin E. He was half asleep when he told me to go check in his locker. I did , and I found these pills, and I took two of them. All of the sudden, everything around me is going so fast, and I'm dancing and attracting the ladies, and having a really good time. The last thing I remember is doing the running man to, 'I Will Always Love You.'"
Silence, Carlton was beginning to feel that the pills were not vitamin E, and that Will was the culprit here. Oh, please, Dad, don't hurt him.
"Son," said Dad, standing up and bowing his head. "The pills that you took…they were Speed."
All the air rushed from Carlton's lungs. This was too terrible to be true. Will Smith, on Speed, and Carlton, a drug addict?
"Oh my god," Carlton moaned, burying his face into his hands.
"Wait a minute," said Mom sternly. "Who was the young man who led you to his locker?"
Yep. They definitely knew. His fears were confirmed when Hilary said, "Oh my god, mom, we already know it was Will, so why bother asking Carlton? What a waste of time!"
Carlton looked up at his parents, and nodded. "He never took them, though," Carlton hastily added.
"We know, son," said Dad, trembling slightly. Ashley bit her lip, trying not break down again. Hilary's eyes flickered to everywhere in the room except her brother. Mom just started to cry again.
Carlton didn't get it. Why would they be crying when both he and Will made it out alive in the end, and when Will never took the pills? And how the heck did they know?
Which made him realize…where the heck was Will in the first place?
A cold feeling began seeping into Carlton's chest; knowing Will, he would have been there to see his cousin wake up. So where was he, if not here?
"Where's Will, guys?"
Hilary, for the first time in her life, collapsed over someone instead of something. Dad turned away, too overwhelmed to speak. Mom walked out of the room, still crying.
A horrible feeling of dread was taking over him. No…it's impossible…Will just couldn't be…
Ashley was the only person who hadn't had a meltdown. She took Carlton's hand.
"He…he told us everything that happened at the prom night. Daddy…daddy…kind of lost control and he…he…" Ashley stared into her brother's eyes, hoping he would understand. And Carlton did.
"How could you, Dad!" He exclaimed at his father, but his dad had already left the room, leaving him with his little sister.
"Then what happened? I mean, surely he couldn't have hit him that hard."
"He did" said Ashley. "But, Will didn't put up a fight. He signed a piece of paper saying it was okay, so the police can't even arrest Dad."
Carlton couldn't process everything in time. He wanted to know the next question.
"And Will? What happened to Will? Please, Ashley, tell me. I've got to know." Carlton was on the verge of having a temper tantrum.
The tears distorted Ashley's vision as she pointed to the bed next to him, that Mom had blocked while sitting next to him. His eyes turned. His body trembled.
The sounds of a young man's whimpers and moans, along with a little girl's wails filled the room as two pairs of eyes caught a pale green figure lying stock still on a mattress, with a purple lump on his forehead, cold sweat freezing on his body, and yet a peaceful smile on his lips.
His heart wasn't beating.
A/N: Yes, I know he died…I just wanted to impose upon people the fact that drugs mostly tear apart families. It was either Carlton or Will, and I chose Carlton to live and Will to die. But hey! I said I would have an alternate ending, didn't I? Yes I did! Just give me a minute, won't you? AND DON'T DO DRUGS!