Journey of the broken

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I don’t know who told her about my relationship with my dad. I was more than ready to go and beat their face in. it wasn’t there place to tell the unwanted orphan anything about my life. I’d always known she’d had a crush on my and I guess I never wanted her to know just how badly my life had sucked. Sophia had done a good job of keeping our messed up lives hidden so her best friend knew nothing about what our family was really like. I hated that Annaleigh knew now just how bad things were. It still made me mad to think she could just presume my addiction was a cry for help. Sure it was, I was addicted because I wanted attention, which was not the case.

Maybe I was running from my past, but she was right it had didn’t have anything to do with my parents, though that certainly didn’t help. I could still remember the day; I took my first hit, the only hit I needed to change the course of my life.

It was the day after I turned 18; I was hanging out with Rachel at yet another pool party. I was hanging out in the pool with a couple of the football players, both of whom liked to get high with me. I was hanging out around the diving board, when I glance up and I see Annaleigh standing there with a friend of hers and Rachel was on the other side. I could tell Rachel wasn’t happy that Annaleigh was here. I frown, it had been a few years since I’d last seen Annaleigh, and she’d been moved from her last foster care placement. I felt sorry for her, knowing she was moved pretty often. I wondered why she had bothered showing up, it wasn’t like we had ever really been friends or anything, she was just Sophia’s friend, and more or less nothing to me.

I watched Rachel tore her apart; I could see the pain in her green eyes as she turns away and heads for the door. I wonder why she had even bothered to come; I didn’t want to see her. I drag myself out of the pool and head over to where Rachel stands looking proud of herself.

“What’d she want?” I ask as I wrap my arms around her waist and pull her towards me.

“The same thing as always” Rachel replied curtly “you.” I groan, Rachel was mad that Annaleigh had the nerve to show up, and now I wouldn’t here the end of it all night, despite how long I would spend telling her that I wanted nothing to do with her.

“I think it’s time for you to know that I’m pregnant,” Rachel said conversationally. I pause my heartbeat racing as I think of the implications of what her pregnancy means. I wanted my baby to be as healthy as possible so I was going to quit smoking weed, in order to raise this baby I needed to grow up. At the same time, thought of a baby scared me, what if he or she turned out like me? I didn’t want that, I already knew I was a screw up, so what if the baby turned out the same way.

“I’m not having it” Rachel said interrupting my thoughts and I bring my eyes from her stomach to her eyes. The only thing I see inside those grey depths is coldness.

“Don’t I get a choice in that?” I ask belligerently, I had helped make it so I should have a choice in whether it gets to see the light of day or not. I wanted this baby so much; he would get the love I lacked from my own family. Rachel shook her head. “I’m leaving in a few minutes to get it taken care of; I don’t need a baby messing up my life any more than it already has been.”

I pull away from her, raising my hands to grip her arm, I had never wanted to hit a woman more than I did at that moment.

“I don’t have to let you leave!” I say almost begging, it was scary thinking about the tiny being growing inside her, but the thought of him being cut out of her and torn to pieces did something to my heart that I couldn’t explain.

“I can always call the police and have you arrested” Rachel spoke coldly “how will your father handle the news of your arrest.” She had a point there. Dad liked our lives to look perfect in public but at home that was so far from the reality that it wasn’t funny.

“You can’t really be that cold to end an innocent life before it begins?” I ask and Rachel shrugs.

“I have the right to make this decision, I don’t want the baby so I don’t have to have it.” it was then that I truly began to see the ugliness that was Rachel Morris.

I shake my head to clear my thoughts, I’d let her go and Rachel had indeed went and had an abortion. It was at that point that our relationship had started drifting apart. I could hardly stand to be in her presence for a long time afterwards, so it wasn’t really a surprise that she had started cheating on me not long after that.

By the time our relationship ended, I couldn’t stand the sight of her, just the thought of what she had done to my baby because she claimed it would ruin her figure, made me sick. It was at that point that I decided I would never have another child, because I couldn’t handle it if my girlfriend decided to make the same decision that Rachel had. I couldn’t handle going through that again; the pain had nearly killed me. I spent many nights wondering what might have been, if the baby had been born. Would I be on the same road I was on now?

Andrew Walters was the first person to offer me a hit of cocaine, up to that point the only hard drug I’d ever done was weed, but the way Rachel made me with the news of my baby’s death, I knew I needed something strong to make me forget.

A tear forms in my eye as I think about the baby I almost had, Annaleigh had no idea about what Rachel had done to me, and she had no idea about the baby that had been aborted, so she truly didn’t know the whole story behind my addiction. I didn’t want her to know, because it made me look weak because I couldn’t convince my girlfriend to not have an abortion. I couldn’t convince her that the innocent baby she carried deserved to live. What kind of person did that make me? if I couldn’t make Rachel listen when I talked about how much I wanted the baby.

I was glad she was out of my life now, and looking back I couldn’t believe I’d wasted those years on her. I was a fool if I thought she even had the ability to care about anyone but herself.

I remember the stark terror in Annaleigh’s eyes, and I bang my head against the wall in agitation. I couldn’t believe I’d lost it like that, but when she brought up memories that I didn’t even want to think about, I snapped. I felt guilty about that, because I’d scared the crap out of her, and that was the last thing I had wanted to do was make her scared of me. I sigh and close my eyes, this day had gone worse than I had expected. I had started out only wanting to help her get to where she was going because to be honest we weren’t on the safest side of town. That hadn’t exactly worked out like I had wanted it to; I had successfully terrorized her though; so maybe she would see me as I truly am. Not good for anybody least of all someone like Annaleigh.

I groan, starting to feel sick to my stomach, my high was wearing off. Which meant I needed to find more and soon or I would be dealing with the consequences. I hated withdrawal with a passion; of course if I hadn’t gotten addicted in the first place, I wouldn’t have to experience it. No one could ever accuse me of being a genius that was certain. I wondered if I could even beat my addiction if I tried to quit now, I knew it would be hard. I’ve seen other people quit, I’ve seen some of them make and some that didn’t and I’ve seen some die from it. I didn’t really have anything to live for, so what would it really matter if I quit or not. My parents haven’t come around any since Sophia died, and though it’s only been a few months since the shooting, I was kind of glad. Her death meant my parents didn’t focus on the pressure they put on me, I guess in a way it was selfish that I was using her death like that, especially since Sophia was one of the few people that I totally trusted.

Rubbing at my eyes, I sat up, my stomach starting to roll, as nausea began to fill me. I hated this part more than anything, because it meant I was starting to grow more and more dependent on the drug to get me through. Pushing myself to my feet, I barely manage to make it to the bathroom, before my lunch makes a quick exit. I groan as I heave into the toilet. Tears fill my eyes as my stomach eventually settles. I was setting myself up for a pretty crappy life with the way things were going now. I had to do something, I couldn’t keep going on the way I was. It would eventually kill me, I wasn’t sure what I had to live for but if I looked hard enough I’m sure I could find something. I had never thought of myself as being particularly weak before, selfish of course. My addiction screamed just how selfish I was. I only cared about how I felt, other people’s feelings didn’t matter much to me. I didn’t need someone to tell me that wasn’t such a great way to live. I couldn’t keep doing this to myself; I had to make a decision one of the other. One hand I wanted to beat my addiction but on the other I wanted to see the child I’d made but never got to meet. That also made me wonder if addicts could make it to heaven or if they automatically went straight to hell.

Dragging myself out of the bathroom, I drag myself back to bed, and flop down on the dirty mattress. I longed to cease from my pointless existence but something kept pulling at me, telling me I needed to keep going, that life got better than this.

I sat there staring up at the ceiling, trying to blank my mind of the depression I was feeling. I turn to the wall when I hear the sound of sobbing coming through the wall. It sounds broken and hopeless and it absolutely tears my heart apart. I never should have said anything about Annaleigh being unwanted. That had just been cruel and unjustified, no matter how angry I got, I had no reason to hurt her like I had. Maybe it would be better for her if I didn’t exist anymore. I wince at the sounds, feeling as if each cry was a knife to my already bleeding heart.

I turn over and pull my pillow over my head, so I don’t have to listen to the heartbreaking sound. Annaleigh wasn’t a cruel person, despite everything that she had been through after her parent’s deaths; she had turned out to be a kind person. I hated myself for causing her hurt, if I wasn’t too caught up in my own pain than maybe I wouldn’t cause other pain. I knew then exactly what I needed to do, I’d had a plan that I didn’t follow through on but I knew I needed too. Everyone else would be better off without me.

Throwing my pillow across the room, I push myself to my feet; I was as done with this life as this life was done with me. I might have been the weakest person in the world, but I was going to do the right thing and end it while I still could.

I made my way to the kitchen where I’d hidden my gun in a cabinet. Reaching up, I open the cabinet and pull the .45 out. I swallow hard, waiting for the moment of peace before I took my life. This was the only thing I could do that could even begin to make up for my mistakes. I pull back the trigger, and I start to raise it to my head, when I hear the sound of what sounds like wood splintering, followed by the sounds of screams and what sounded like flesh hitting flesh.

Throwing open my door, I stick my head out, wondering if it was something I even needed to be concerned about. Because to be quite frank, domestic violence situations happened all the time in these apartments. I hear the sound of a door opening and glance toward my left, and I see Annaleigh open her door and peer out. I hide the gun from her sight, as I continue staring up the hallway. I try to ignore the sight of Annaleigh’s red swollen eyes. I feel a pang in my heart, even though I don’t want to feel it.

“What’s going on?” I hear her ask quietly, and I shrug. I just wanted to close the door and take myself away from all this pain and misery.

“Sounds like another domestic violence situation” I say as I turn to face her again. I hated coming face to face with the pain I’ve caused, and with Annaleigh, I could see exactly how much pain I’ve caused. I pause staring at her for a moment wondering if I should go on and apologize for the thoughtless words. I knew just how badly I’d hurt her, because I’d seen a weak spot and I had aimed for it. I’ve known for a long time that she’d struggled with feelings of belonging, with how often she’d been moved. If Sophia were alive she would probably shoot me for how I’ve treated her best friend.

“Annaleigh” I start, uncertainty feeling my voice, how did one apologize for a lifetime full of hurt? There were a lot of people I needed to apologize to, but I didn’t believe I’d ever get the opportunity. I see Annaleigh look at me out of the corner of my eye.

“What do you want Gaelyn? I believe you said everything you needed earlier!” I winced at the bitterness in her tone. “Believe me I know just how unwanted I am; I didn’t need you to remind me. I’ve always known that people didn’t want me around, it’s a feeling I’m quite used too by now.”

“I’m sorry” I started “I know it’s the last the thing you want to hear, but I was high, when I’m high I’m pretty easily angered.”

“You don’t have to get high” Annaleigh said and I could see the forgiveness in her eyes already. How was it this girl, whom I constantly confused with my actions so readily forgive me?

“Yes, I do” I say automatically “it helps me forget how crappy my life is.” She shook her head.

“If your life is crappy you can always change it! Our circumstances don’t have to be permanent.” She said “and I don’t see how getting high changes anything, it may change your perspective for a little while, but in the end things are just as bad as they were before, if not worse with the withdrawal and all.”

Everything she said was true, if I didn’t like the way things were going, I could always change it. I just didn’t believe that I had the strength to do so; I wasn’t as strong as everyone seemed to think I was. It would be best to just let me go and let me deal with consequences of my depression, after all I was the only person that had to deal with the memories I had. At this point in time suicide was the best option I had.

“I know you’re dealing with more than most people should right now, and believe me, I totally understand your feelings of worthlessness and depression. I’ve feeling the same things.” Annaleigh says catching my attention, I look at her and wonder how anyone could consider her useless. “You can’t let those feelings drag you down, after all you’re better than whatever you happen to be feeling at this moment, your worth more than the money you spend your drugs on.”

“You’re the last person that should think so” I mutter “after how I’ve treated you for much of your life, you shouldn’t care about anything I’m going through.”

“I’m not heartless” she speaks softly, a small smile forming on her face, making it light up. Why hadn’t I noticed how great she was years ago before life had changed me into the person I am today.

“No, you’re not” I agree “which means you should stay as far away from me as possible because there’s only one way this road I’m on ends.” I sighed, feeling the gun in my back pocket, it was starting to feel heavy and I was growing weary of postponing my exit from this life. I wonder briefly if I can make a quick end to our conversation before she starts making too much sense.

“If you ever need someone to talk to” Annaleigh says softly “I’m here, I don’t ever repeat what I hear.” I already knew that, there was just something about Annaleigh that made you trust her. “I don’t want you to think nobody would care if something happened to you, because I would.”

That hit me hard right in my heart. There were very few people I knew that actually cared enough to say that. The way it made my heart jump a beat, was kind of scary, because not even Rachel could do that.

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