(Here is an interview with the main character of this story, Chad 'Reef' Kennedy).
Reef, why did you feel compelled to throw that rock at a passing car on the highway?
Well, truth be told, I was just angry at the world. It wasn't fair that my grandma had to die, when there are horrible people older than her still out there, people who have done things like murder. I was just so mad, someone, anyone had to feel my pain. I could feel the strength of the rock in my hand, and i just let it out and chose a car and threw it.
Do you ever regret doing this, and why?
Yes, almost everyday. When I saw those pictures, and I saw how I had hurt someone else so badly just because I was angry, that was when I started to regret my actions. But I really started to regret what I had done after meeting all those nice people at the Halifax Rehabilitation Center, and seeing just how I could have ruined someone's life, I was filled with regret.
Why were you so compelled to help and be nice to Leeza?
Well, I guess it ad a lot to do with that she was my age, and she reminded me of the girl in the accident, although I never thought for a second it could have been the same person. I felt that the best way to pay for what I had done was by helping someone who was in the same situation as her.
How should you have acted when you were up above the highway, now that you realize what you did was wrong?
I believe that instead of letting out my pain through aggression and throwing that rock, I should have talked to someone, an adult, and told them about how I was feeling. The only problem with this is that the only adult I could talk to was my foster parent, but I didn't feel that he cared enough about me to help me with this.
Why would you have done what Leeza's mom did when she found out that the boy spending so much of his time with his daughter, was the one who hurt her?
I don't blame her, if Leeza was my daughter, I would ever let me near her ever again, despite my good intentions. I would never be able to forgive myself for hurting my daughter, even if I was the reason she had a speedy recovery. I put her there in the first place, if it wasn't for me she wouldn't have needed to recover from anything.
What about your friends Jink, Bigger and Scar, how are things with them?
I don't see them as much as I used to. Scar is using Scarlett again, and she went to Kingston, Ontario where she got a part-time job. I just haven't been able to see Jink and Bigger as much now that I'm going to my new school. All of us are straightening out our lives, ever since the incident where he got attacked, Jink has been changing or the better, along with Bigger.
I heard that you are now going to a new school, how are you finding it?
At first I was by myself and felt like an outcast, the usual new school feelings. The school started becoming more fun and I felt like I belonged more when I joined the soccer team, which in turns out I'm not too bad at. Things got even better when I joined the volleyball team, which I turned out to be really good at. Although I wasn't as good at track & field as the judge thought I would be.
I believe you said before that your grandmother was a very important woman to you, why was that?
She was the only person that had ever cared about me, I never knew my father, and my mother, who was deaf and shy, died giving birth to me. I was the root of my grandfather's anger; he blamed me for our poverty, the justification of every drunken rage. My grandma was the only one there for me, and when she died of a disease I had no knowledge of, I had no one. There wasn't anybody left who cared about me.
How could the students that you are making your presentations for now, be affected by telling them your story?
What they should take form this is that whenever you feel angry and lost, they just need to remember that they are not alone. How they should always look at the positive things in life, and the negative things won't look as bad. Every action they take will have an effect on others, but whether or not it's a positive effect or a negative one is up to them.
How would things have been different if you had someone had given you a presentation like yours when you were at the same age as the other students?
I think that if I had someone give me a presentation like the ones that I've been giving, I don't think that I would have cast that stone onto the highway like I did. That is the main reason that I still do these presentations even though I've done all the ones I needed to. I believe that if I can stop at least one person from making the same mistake I made, then I've done my job.