Life and Death in a Troubled Teen Boot Camp

In the darkness of early morning, 16-year-old Bruce Staeger lay splayed across his mattress, sleeping soundly for once. Most nights, he would smoke a blunt and crash, but not this one. Lately, his mother had been watching him closely. She and Bruce’s stepdad had even installed a motion detector on the porch of their doublewide trailer to keep him from sneaking out at night. Around 4:30 a.m., his bedroom light suddenly flipped on. Bruce rolled over, blocking his eyes from the glare to find his mom sitting on the edge of the bed. “Bruce, do you remember what I told you a few days ago?” She said softly. “I would never make a decision that would hurt you.”

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