When we arrived at the hospital, James pulled my wheelchair out of the back and helped me into it. He still wasn’t talking to me, which I was perfectly okay with. I don’t know why I ever thought that man was good looking; he had a personality of a grizzly bear. I don’t Gaelyn was ever as moody as this guy was, and half the time Gaelyn was high on drugs, so it was expected of him to be moody.
Once we entered the Emergency Room waiting area, I let James ask someone about Gaelyn, I found myself a place where I was out of people’s way, prepared myself for the worst. I didn’t know what I would do without Gaelyn, he might have been a drug addict, but he could be so much more. I just hoped the doctors working to save him didn’t share the same opinion the medics did. Gaelyn deserved to be saved, whether or not he realized it.
“I swear if you leave me Gaelyn, I’ll bring you back and kill you myself. I can’t live without you.” I mutter, watching as James approaches from the nurse’s desk. I want to ask if they know something, but I didn’t want to see James’ temper again. I remember Gaelyn mentioned that he had a girlfriend and I wonder if she got to see his temper very much. I felt sorry for the girl; just spending five minutes with him was wearing on my nerves.
“Naturally, no one knows anything” James sighed as he sat down in the chair beside me.
“He wasn’t brought in that long ago, I’m sure it will take some time to bring him back.” I didn’t add the “if they can” because it was unnecessary, we were both already thinking it. I couldn’t get the image of the blood running out of Gaelyn’s nose out of my head; he’d been so pale that he had looked very sick. Of course, his addiction made him look sick anyways, because he’d lost even more weight in the few weeks that I had been in this apartment. I wonder briefly what had pushed him to go this far. I’ve known he was depressed since the day I moved in. suicide hadn’t really been a worry until recently; I was sure up until now that I could talk him out of it. Now though, it looked like he had really wanted to go through with it.
“Don’t you dare die, Gaelyn.” I mutter under my breath. I couldn’t see myself making it without him, he was as much a part of me as his sister ever was, if not more because I’ve always had a bit of a crush on him.
I had just turned nine years old, and was spending the day with Sophia and her family. Sophia and I had been out in the yard, gathering flowers to make into a necklace. I remember looking up and seeing Gaelyn standing in the doorway. He had a pained expression on his face, as he called for Sophia, telling her their father wanted to see her. I don’t know how but I sensed something was wrong, and I turn to Sophia and I see terror in her eyes.
“Sophia, why are you scared? It’s only your father.” at that time I had no idea of how he liked to punish his kids when they didn’t do something he liked. I could tell something was wrong with Gaelyn though because his hand kept rubbing at his back, like it was sore.
“Annaleigh, Dad also says you need to go home” I frown; I had planned on spending the night, after all Mr. Thomas and his wife had said it was alright. I wondered briefly why I needed to leave. Seeing Sophia’s face, I wanted to argue, something was going on that I didn’t know about, maybe something serious.
“Come on Anna, I’ll walk you home.” Gaelyn said, as he crossed the yard. He whispered something to Sophia, and she nodded before heading towards the house.
“I’ll see you at school tomorrow” Sophia called over her should and I nod. I walk silently beside Gaelyn, thankful we didn’t have far to walk.
“It’s probably not a good idea for you to come over anymore.” Gaelyn spoke up suddenly breaking the silence.
“Why?” that was the last thing I wanted to do, Sophia was my best friend, I shouldn’t have to stay away from her.
“Because there are a lot of things that you don’t know about going on right now. You really don’t need to be in the middle of it.” Gaelyn replied looking down at me. He had an odd expression on his face, almost like concern.
I wonder now if that particular memory had anything to do with why Gaelyn was an addict. It didn’t make much sense to me back then but I’m pretty sure he’d been trying to protect me from something pretty awful. Back then, I had taken it as he didn’t want me to hang around Sophia because he didn’t like me, and never really had. I remember being irritated at Gaelyn for making me go home, but he was right I hadn’t understood at the time what was going on.
“Back when I was nine, I was hanging out with Sophia at the house, and Gaelyn made me leave, he said there were things going on that I didn’t know or need to know about. Do you know what he was talking about?” I turn to look at James, who is staring up at the ceiling. “Whatever happened back then, turned him into the man he is now.”
“Why don’t you ask his father, I understand you’re pretty close with his family?” James bit out.
“I haven’t talked to them since before the shooting.” I reply, wondering if I’d made a mistake in coming here with James.
“You claim you care for him, yet you know nothing about him, and why he is the way he is.” James snorted and let out a bitter sounding laugh. I scowl at him, I don’t know what I’ve done to him, but I have had about enough of his attitude.
“What is your problem? I haven’t done anything to you.” I ask, knowing I wasn’t going to like his answer.
“My problem is that you don’t really care for Gaelyn, you just want to make him into someone that’s not broken anymore.” James turns and glares at me and I shake my head.
“That’s not true. I’ve known Gaelyn for a long time. I don’t like seeing what he’s doing to himself, and before you say I don’t. I love him because he’s an incredible man, who has no idea about how much he’s truly worth.”
“Yeah, you might have known him for a long time, but what do you honestly know about him, except that he’s a hopeless drug addict?” James snapped “You don’t know how badly he’s been beaten by his dad, protecting Sophia from getting beaten to death. That’s not mentioning taking his own beatings when he screwed up, so don’t sit there and pretend you know him when you don’t.” James snapped, before standing up and stomping out of the room.
He was right, I had no idea that the man I considered a second dad had ever raised his hands to his kids. Shame floods me as I think about all the time I’ve spent with their family and I had no idea that this was going on, Sophia had never let on that her dad was beating her. I had never seen the bruises, so at the time I didn’t think to question the way things were. None of that meant I just wanted to fix him, and abandon him, if that were the case I would have given up on him a long time ago. I loved Gaelyn because like I told James, I saw the man he could be, he was incredibly kind, to those who are hurting, and he loves others so much more than himself. Everything he’d done for me in the past pointed to all of this, yet he couldn’t see it, he thought of himself as bad news.
“I’m sorry” I close my eyes as a tear leaks down my face. “I’m so sorry, that I was caught up in my own self to know that you were being hurt, in ways no child should ever be hurt.” I bent over and lay my head on my knees, as the tears continued to flood me. I wish I could be better for Gaelyn, and then maybe we wouldn’t be here. My heart felt like it was being torn apart, I felt Gaelyn’s pain as my own. It was no wonder why he wanted to end his existence, he didn’t think that he truly mattered to anyone, expect as something to get beaten down, at every opportunity. I truly hadn’t been a good friend to him; I should have shown somehow how much I cared for him. It was sad to think he hadn’t had that much affection given to him. Now he might never know that there were people who truly cared about what happened to him. I wonder if he overdosed because of our fight. I hoped not, I didn’t want to be the one reason he ended his life. I couldn’t stand the thought, in fact it made my heart hurt so bad, I thought I was going to have a heart attack on the spot.
“Please tell me this wasn’t my fault.” I mutter as sit up again, my eyes roam the room, to find James sitting all the way across the room from me. I looked at him and I feel guilty, it sucks to be the one no one ever wants to hang around. It hurts to think that he believes I’m so selfish, that my wanting to help Gaelyn is all about me. I know it’s not; I truly want Gaelyn to beat this, so it doesn’t kill him.
“Your lazy and worthless, it’s no wonder you’re always alone. No one wants to be with you because you’re nothing. You mean nothing to us; you’re the world’s worst friend. It’s a wonder Sophia can even stand to be around you.” Kelly Mead screeched as she entered my bedroom. “Your worthless to everyone around you, you’re so worthless no one can ever love you!”
Feeling a hand on my shoulder, I look up, barely able to see the person in front of me for the tears in my eyes.
“Are you alright?” The elderly man asked gently and softly. I nod and try to swallow the lump in my throat. My stomach starts rolling, and I feel nauseous. The worry over whether Gaelyn would make it or not, was starting to take its toll on me.
“My friend overdosed and I don’t know if he’s going to make it or not” I explain softly, tears still freely falling.
“That’s sad.” he said as he sat down beside me “he must be very special if you’re this upset.” I nod again and look up to see James watching me with a blank expression on his face. I turn away, tears flooding my vision again. I didn’t know how this night could get any worse than it already was.
“You know it’s not good for you to be alone, during this time. Would you like for me to sit with you?” the man asks and I nod, grateful for the presence of someone that was friendly.
I lay my head back on my knees, praying the nausea would go away. The last thing I needed was to get sick while waiting to hear some news on Gaelyn. Eventually though, my stomach couldn’t handle the stress anymore and I was forced to find a restroom, excusing myself I rolled myself into the bathroom, and barely managed to make it to a toilet in time, for my stomach contents to come rising up. I sat there for several minutes, waiting for my stomach to calm down. This was the most miserable I’ve ever been, and I’ve been miserable for much of my life.
Finally, feeling a little better, I wash my hands and make my way back to the waiting room. To my surprise James is waiting for me by the wall I was sitting in front of. Feeling vaguely ashamed, I roll myself to where he was standing.
“Do you know anything?” I ask without looking at him in the eye. I didn’t know how I would ever look at him again. Not after how he’d treated me, and told me more or less that Gaelyn was too good for the likes of me.
“He had a heart attack; luckily for him it wasn’t massive. Unfortunately for him, it damaged his heart, and he’s looking at a heart transplant in the near future.” James said and I wonder how many teeth had been pulled to get him to tell me any of this. “Also unfortunate for him, he’s in a coma because of the amount he took.”
The news tore my heart apart, there was a strong possibility that Gaelyn wouldn’t come out of this. Tears flooded my eyes again and I swallow, trying to ignore the pain in my heart. This couldn’t be happening right now, he didn’t deserve this.
“Would you cut it out?” James snapped “He’s been told what could happen if he messes with drugs. So all of this is his fault, if he dies that’s on him.” I wonder briefly if he’s even aware of how heartless he sounds.
“You say I don’t care” I growl “But you’re the one that sounds like he’s heartless. Some friend you are to not even show a little bit of concern! Why are you even still here if he doesn’t mean anything to you!” he stares at me, shocked into not knowing how to respond.
“You act like it doesn’t matter, if he lives or dies, but let me tell you something: it matters to me, and I would have thought it mattered to you!”