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What happened? What choices did people face? How did they cope? No piece of advice or lesson learned is as powerful as the simple truth of a person's story.

That's what this book is; the simple truth of my story as I lived it.

I'm older now. I don't think it takes away from what you're about to read for me to say that life is good. I'm happy.

In some ways, the things that happen in this story defined my life and what it means. In other ways, they were just the start of what my life became.

I’ve learned a lot. That’s for sure. I would not be the same person if these things hadn’t happened.

I think that's normal. I was a teenager.

You don't hold onto those years. They mark you. They test you. Then you get on with it.

Everyone faces crises when they're young. Not everyone dies then comes back to talk about it.

So this is what happened. This is my story.

Chapter 1

The alarm goes off first thing in the morning and I jump out of bed. Well, not quite. First thing in the morning came and went hours ago. It must be third thing by now. Plus, jumping out of bed isn’t an option. I feel like crap. I’m not jumping anywhere.

I’m eighteen years old. There’s usually more piss and vinegar in my tank. I'm king of my hill. Most of the time, nothing can touch me except for my curse.

Everybody's born into this world with a curse. For some, it's acne. For others, it's body odour. For me, it's making plans on the weekend. As far as curses go, mine is pretty lightweight but it can still be a pain in the ass.

When the weekend rolls around, my friends want to hit the town hard. We have a ritual. It starts with a bunch of phone calls. I ask the guys what they want to do. They give me one of three answers: "I don't know," "I don't care" or "Whatever."

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