“Fine” Annaleigh says softly and I can hear the hurt in her voice. My intentions had been to apologize; instead I had ended up hurting her. Which led me to believe that would ever be the only thing I could do with her. I stay and stare at the door for a few minutes before turning and heading back to my place. There would only be one way that I could make up for this, and that would to be to get out of her life for good. I didn’t mean move out either, I was tired of fighting my addiction and tired of always hurting people. Now that Sophia was gone, I no longer had a person that I needed to protect. So there was no reason why I shouldn’t end my existence, before my addiction did.
After standing at Annaleigh’s door looking like an idiot, I shove my hands in my pockets and head back into my own apartment. Walking into the kitchen, I grab the cocaine; I had left on the counter. I would get high one more time, before I wrote an actual apology to Annaleigh and slid it under her door. She wouldn’t have to worry about me hurting her anymore.
Reaching into the bag, I reached into the bag, and grabbed another pinch, not noticing that it was more than I usually grabbed. Not considering the amount I’ve already had, I lifted the rest to my nose, holding one nostril closed, I breathed deeply and inhaled the powder in one snort.
Walking over to the window, I stare out at the rundown buildings that surrounded this apartment complex. It was a wonder there wasn’t any more addicts than there already were. The way we lived, barely having enough to get us by, it was enough to stress a person out.
Feeling a warm liquid running down my face, I raise my hand and wipe at it absently, not paying attention to the blood that I had wiped away, my thoughts were on the hurt I’ve caused pretty much everyone. My own family couldn’t stand me because I was addicted to drugs, if they really cared, they would be doing exactly what Annaleigh was; trying to get me help, even if I didn’t want it from them, I would have appreciated the effort. I wish I could go and apologize to everyone, for making their lives harder because they had to put up with my crap. It might have been better if I had never been born at all. When your existence only causes pain, why stay around to cause even more?
“I’m sorry” I whisper, feeling a sharp pain in my heart as a tear rolls down my face. “I’m sorry; I’m a burden, that I’m not good enough, that I have never been good enough.” the pain in my heart was slowly growing worse, my high quickly wearing off. It didn’t occur to me that something was wrong, that I was in the process of overdosing. I couldn’t take my mind off the things I had done to others. I’d more or less tormented Annaleigh for caring for me; I’d known she had that crush on years ago. I also had the feeling she was falling for me again, I was certain I was starting to care for her more than I should. I knew that relationship between us wouldn’t be possible. I didn’t deserve Annaleigh’s heart.
Another sharp pain has me stumbling towards the door, the pain was now more intense than anything I’ve ever felt, and I have gone through a lot of pain that my father inflicted. I manage somehow to make it to Annaleigh’s door. I take my fist and pound on her door, feeling the need to apologize once more.
“You again, what do you want?” Annaleigh asked her tone, still angry. I lift my eyes to her and swallow hard, past the lump in my throat.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t want to hurt you. That was never my intention, I just wanted you to see that you are too good for me.” that being said I can feel my world going black and I hear her cry out with panic in her voice as I hit the floor and lose consciousness.
I hadn’t expected Gaelyn to come apologize yet again, I expected even less for him to collapse on the floor. Unsure of what to do, I open my door farther and call out for help. Lifting myself out of my wheelchair, I lower myself to the floor beside him. Gaelyn was pale, and his hair sweat streaked, reaching out I grabbed his arm. Placing two fingers on his pulse point, I winced. His heart was racing, and I knew he had likely overdosed. Searing pain tore through me, as I cry out for help again; this couldn’t be the way things ended. Gaelyn didn’t deserve to die like this.
“Hang on Gaelyn” I whisper as I lift his head into my lap. “I’m going to get you help!” hearing running from down the hall, I look up and I see James coming towards me. His face carried a panicked expression; he whipped out a cell phone and was dialing numbers as soon as he reached us.
“Overdose?” he mouthed at me as he started speaking to the operator. I nod, knowing that was the likely reason he was in this shape. I turn back to Gaelyn and run my fingers through his sweaty hair, my heart pounded with fear as I look down at him. What if I never got the chance to tell him how I really felt? That I loved him and no matter how many times, he tries to push me away, that I will still be there for him. Love didn’t die easily, no matter how badly you didn’t want to love another.
James got off the phone a few seconds later and kneeling beside me and started giving him chest compressions.
“Can you breathe for him?” he asks and I nod and wait for him to finish, silently counting in my head each time he pressed down on Gaelyn’s chest.
“Come on, man, you don’t get to do this to us. You don’t get to leave us like this.” As soon as James finished the last chest compression, I tilted Gaelyn’s head back, and bent down my mouth lightly touching his. Breathing, I forced air into his lungs and repeated the steps several times.
James started doing chest compressions as soon as I sat up. I watched, with tears pouring from my eyes. This couldn’t be happening right now, I couldn’t watch Gaelyn die in front of me.
“Come on” I mutter “This isn’t exactly how I wanted my first kiss from you to be like. I would have preferred for you to be conscious.” James grinned at the words that came out my mouth, and I found myself blushing. Keep your head in the game I thought as I tried to focus on the steps of CPR. You have to keep him alive until help arrives and then they can take over. Gaelyn’s life is on the line, he comes before anything else.
“Come on, Gaelyn” I plead, feeling tears well up in my eyes, and this is exactly what I hadn’t wanted to happen. Why was it anytime that I cared about someone, that they left me? I loved my parents, and they died when I was ten. Then there was Sophia, my best friend in the entire world and she died a few short weeks ago. Now, it was Gaelyn’s turn, I’d cared about him just about as long as I had cared about Sophia, what I hadn’t expected however, was to slowly fall in love with him, despite all the pain he brought me.
I was relieved the minute the paramedics arrived and took over the CPR. I had only been doing it for a few minutes but I was already feeling exhausted. I scooted myself back, giving the medics room, and answered questions as quickly as they fired them. I close my eyes, trying to get Gaelyn’s pale face out of my head. I didn’t know if he would make it or not, but I was desperately praying that he would.
“Looks like another junkie is off the streets.” One medic whispers, I stare wondering when they had become so judgmental.
“Good riddance” the other medic replied “if they would all overdose and die, maybe this place wouldn’t be in such bad shape.”
“That’s someone’s son, you’re talking about” I say, bile rising in my throat. How could they talk like Gaelyn wasn’t even a person? Did they not care that he had people who loved and cared about him, that would grief if they lost him? “He has people who loves him, and doesn’t want this for him.”
“Then they should have tried harder to make sure he didn’t end up like this.” The blonde medic replied, making me want to smack her.
“You have no idea what’s happened to him, to make him like this. So unless you can take a walk in his shoes, I suggest you shut your mouth and try to save him!”
“He better make it to the hospital, or I’m going to have a talk with your boss about how he has two medics who like to pick and choose who lives in dies, based on their addictions. I don’t think he’ll like to know how prejudiced his workers are.” James said his voice cold and hard. I swallow hard, this was a side of James that I’ve never seen before, and quite frankly I wasn’t sure that I liked it.
After that the medics said nothing, as they load Gaelyn onto a gurney and take him out to the waiting ambulance. I watch them go; hating myself for not being the person that Gaelyn needed me to be. He needed someone who was strong and could handle his addiction and stick by his side, when things weren’t going well. That wasn’t me; I was so far from strong that it was laughable; the idea of me even being able to help him.
“Come on, I’ll take you to the hospital” James says as he bends down and picks me up, to carry me to my wheelchair.
“I don’t know that I should go” I say weakly and stare down at the ground.
“Why not?” James demands, his voice much harder than it had been earlier. I wince and try to back away from him, I was sure he wasn’t trying to be intimidating but that’s exactly how he was coming across. “You’re the one who claims your falling in love with him, why shouldn’t you go and show him how much you care?
“We got into a fight; right before he overdosed that’s why. He doesn’t really want to see me again, he told me so.”
“You think that’s really going to matter?” James asks “I thought you might be a decent person, if you could care for Gaelyn despite his addiction, because God knows it takes a strong person to love an addict. Looks like I was wrong about you all the way around, your nothing but a chicken.” I swallow the tears that threaten to fall, after this I wasn’t sure that I’d ever want to be around him ever again.
“Fine,” I mutter and I push myself towards the door and out into the hallway. I refuse to look at James as I pass him. I wonder if he’s right about anything he’d said. I wasn’t a chicken; I just wasn’t if Gaelyn would want me there, if by some miracle he manages to pull through.
The drive was a silent one; I figured James was probably still angry with me, though I was still trying to figure out why. I knew that seeing Gaelyn like that hadn’t been easy nor had been listening to the medics talking like he wasn’t even a person because of his addiction.
Sighing, I turn and stare out the window. I wondered how exactly I had ended up I this position. It wasn’t a comfortable place to be in, wondering if the man you had somehow managed to fall in love, was going to live or not. If I had tried a little harder than maybe this wouldn’t have happened, if I could have been the person Gaelyn needed most, then we wouldn’t be here right now. Maybe getting out of Gaelyn’s life was the best thing that I could do for him, I don’t know how I would manage it, considering my disability was barely enough to pay the bills and for groceries but maybe I could find another place to live. That way I wouldn’t have to run into James anywhere I went I thought darkly. In the end though, I knew leaving Gaelyn would never be an option, because if did survive this, and I walked out, I had no doubt he would succeed in killing himself. I couldn’t stand there and let that happen. James was right about one thing, if I claimed to love him, I would be by his side, every step of the way. After all that’s what love was about; loving someone even when they weren’t strong enough to beat their addictions; believing in them when they couldn’t believe in themselves.