Journey of the broken

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Annaleigh

I was very surprised when the nurses let me and James go in and sit with Gaelyn, since it was supposed to be family only. I guess they understood that his family really didn’t care and would probably pull the plug the first chance they got. Or at least his father would, I wasn’t sure about Mrs. Thomas. I wonder how she could allow her husband to do something like that. You couldn’t tell me that she didn’t see what was going on. How could she not have him put in jail for abuse, instead she allowed him to continue beating their children. I saw them in a much different way now that James had somewhat explained things to me. I still wasn’t talking to him, in fact it was getting uncomfortable trying to ignore him and talk to Gaelyn at the same time. I didn’t care though, I didn’t have to be treated the way he’d treated me.

I hated the sight of Gaelyn with tubes coming out of his mouth helping him to breathe. While yet another tube fed into his nose, giving him nutrients that he needed. His condition was painful to see, knowing that I could have somehow put a stop to this from the beginning. If I had been good enough, I could have convinced him that he didn’t need all those drugs to make him feel better. Then again, he had been pretty determined to destroy his life without my help. Depression had a stranglehold on him, and it would be hard to break. Not to say that it couldn’t be done but it would take a very strong person to do it.

Reaching out, I gently take Gaelyn’s hand in mine, the nurses had said to talk to him too, that he could still hear them, but what I had to say I couldn’t say with James in the room, I didn’t exactly feel comfortable with blurting out my feelings with him sitting there judging me.

“You can talk to him you know” James said, standing up from the chair and going over to the window.

“What I have to say, you wouldn’t likely believe me anyways.” I say softly, gently squeezing Gaelyn’s hand, hoping that wherever he is that he can feel me. I also hope that he isn’t feeling any pain right now, because the thought of him hurting was absolute torture. I loved him with everything that was in me, so seeing him like this was hurting me just as much as it was him.

Sitting there I was starting to get a migraine, something I hadn’t experienced in months, not since before the school shooting anyways. Rubbing at my forehead, I groan softly under my breath. I didn’t need my enemy to know that I was starting to feel bad. I just wanted to be here for Gaelyn. He needed our support if he was going to find the strength to pull out of this. If he didn’t, I didn’t know what I was going to do; I needed Gaelyn like I needed air. I would do anything to make sure I could get that air, and that included putting up with Mr. Sourpuss if I had too.

“You know whatever I did to upset you, I apologize” I say to James, not taking my eyes off Gaelyn’s figure. “I’m trying to figure out, exactly what I did to make you mad, but I keep drawing a blank.”

“It’s nothing you’ve actually done” James said gruffly, surprising me. He stayed at the window, not bothering to turn around. “You’ve tried your hardest to help him, despite the fact that he didn’t want you helping him. In spite of all of that, you were all he ever talked about whenever he wasn’t high, which wasn’t often. He only wanted to talk about how sweet you were. How gorgeous you were.” James chuckled. “A person gets tired of hearing about one subject time and time again. I wanted to be able to help get Gaelyn through his depression. I couldn’t make a crack in the wall, however, lately I’ve been noticing some differences in him and I know that it’s because of you.”

I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to say to that. I could understand in a weird way of course, that he was friends with Gaelyn technically longer than I have been, since Gaelyn and I didn’t exactly get along when I was in school.

“I can understand that” I tell him “you’ve been friends with him much longer than I have been. I don’t know when the depression started but he wasn’t really like that when I knew him when I was in middle school. Of course, after I turned 14 things seemed to change after that.”

James chuckled and shook his head.

“You’re a good person, too forgiving. This could cause problems with other people.”

“It’s not like I really go anywhere, when I do Gaelyn usually comes with me” I pause for a moment before finishing “unless we are arguing of course.”

James laughed out loud at that.

“Yeah, he’s not exactly easy to get along with.” James said. I look over at Gaelyn and sigh softly, squeezing his hand again.

“He could be the easiest person to love if he would just let you.” I say.

“Yeah, he does have that problem with not believing that he is worthy.” James said “he’s been like that for as long as I can remember.”

“I’m sure it’s because of his parents.” I say, hating the thought of what they had put him through. “If they get in here, I’m sure they’ll try and pull the plug. We can’t let them get in here.” James nodded and scowled as if he hadn’t thought of that.

“He’s been more of a disappointment to them, since they found out about his drug addiction.” James says “I hate that he feels that he’s not good enough for them, when it’s they’re not good enough for him.”

“I grew up in foster care after my parents were killed, so I know how it is to not be good enough for anyone.” I tell James, shivering at the memories. I hate thinking about that time in my life. It had been hard, but it had made me who I was now.

“Gaelyn has told me about some of that” James said “That kind of sucks.”

“It did, but I am stronger for having gone through it.” I tell me before sitting back in wheelchair and groaning. My back was getting soar from being in the chair for so long, and my head was pounding even worse than it had been. James shook his head in wonderment and said something under his breath.

“Are you feeling okay?” James asks as my moan catches his attention. I nod. I didn’t want to leave Gaelyn alone, although I had the feeling that the nurse would be here in a few minutes to kick us out anyhow.

“Don’t lie to me, you look like your about to get sick” James insists. I roll my eyes; it wasn’t hard to see why Gaelyn argued with James all the time. The man was too stubborn for his own good.

“I’ve had a migraine since we’ve arrived” I finally confess and I ignore the glare he sends my way.

“Why didn’t you say anything? I could have found you something for it!” James grumbles I shrug. It was pretty obvious why I hadn’t said anything to him.
“You were kind of being a jerk” I say and look back towards Gaelyn. James rolls his eyes.

“You didn’t take any my crap, you gave it right back.” He says, as he looks out the window again. I shrug; I’ve always been like that. I wasn’t going to get walked on, not without fighting back anyways.

“Time to go” A nurse sticks her head through the doorway, and I frown looking at Gaelyn. I didn’t want to leave him behind, but I didn’t have any choice.

“I’ll be back to see you soon, Gaelyn, you had better not go anywhere!” I say before turning my wheelchair and wheeling towards the door.

“Hang in there buddy, don’t give me a reason to have to find a way to kick your butt.” I hear James mutter as he exited the room. He went to talk to the nurse for a minute about his parents.

I hoped he could make sure that Gaelyn’s parents didn’t show up, I knew for sure they would try and pull the plug, and right now he needed all of those machines just to survive. If Gaelyn died, I had no reason to survive; he was my world whether or not he knew it. One thing I could learn about this mess was to not wait to tell someone how you felt about them. Nothing good could ever come out of it. I close my eyes and try to remember back to the day when my world changed forever. I could almost still feel his arms go around me, as I grieved for those I had lost. Even though it had been years since that day, I could practically still feel the warmth of his arms, as he let me cry out my pain.

I look back towards the man, lying comatose in the bed, with the breathing tube coming of his mouth. It hurt seeing him like this; it hurt more than anything I’ve ever felt before.

“Don’t quit fighting, Gaelyn whatever you do, stay strong.” I murmured as James came back over, looking irritated. I didn’t need to ask why he was so annoyed because I had the feeling I already knew. There wasn’t going to be anyway we could keep his parents out.

James pushed my wheelchair out to his car, helping me into the seat; he folded my wheelchair and put it in the backseat. It was only after he climbed into the driver’s seat that he said anything.

“We can’t stop them from coming to see him, so if they want to pull the plug and watch him die, they have every right.” James said, his hands clinching into fists.

“They’re going to do it too.” I mutter I wasn’t sure exactly how I knew that, I just did. “They’re going to let their only living child die, because he’s a drug addict. It won’t matter that he was trying to get clean.”

“No, it won’t” James agreed, clinching his jaw. My heart hurt with the pain of knowing that I never got the chance to tell him how I felt before this happened. I close my eyes as I fight against the tears, this wasn’t fair. Gaelyn deserved much better than this. I wonder briefly why I’m acting like I’m already giving up. Gaelyn hasn’t left us yet, and if I have my way he won’t be going anywhere. Taking a deep breath, I exhale slowly. I had to get it in my head that Gaelyn was going to pull through; it’s the only way I would get through this. I had to believe that Gaelyn was going to make it, because if I started doubting his strength, I would be in trouble. So no more doubting him, I had to believe he had what it took to get through this.

“He’s going to make it, and he’s going to help others overcome their addictions.” I tell James while staring out the window, watching the scenery pass by.

“You’re right he is! And he’s going to become so much stronger for having gone through this whole ordeal.” James agrees, as he pulls into my apartment complex.

A few hours later, I was watching TV and I watched as a commercial came on. A man was speaking about how his drug addiction had changed his life, nearly destroyed it. One night while he was trying to get together some money to buy some more drugs, he came to the conclusion that he didn’t’ like how he was living. He didn’t like how his addiction was affecting his family. He decided then and there that he needed help for his addiction, because it was bigger than him, but he was going to fight so he could be the son, and brother everyone expected him to be.

“That’s Gaelyn, in the future.” I mutter to myself, I have no doubt that he could beat it. While it would be rough for a while, I was determined that I would be by his side the entire time. He was going to need a lot of encouragement if he was going to get through this, that and he was going to have a ton of health issues to deal with afterwards. So unless he really wanted to die, I don’t think he would look at anymore drugs. Drugs didn’t just destroy the user; they also destroyed the user’s family. Not that the Thomas family hadn’t been destroyed a long time ago, when Gary Thomas had taken his first drink and had taken a belt to his kids. No, it wasn’t Gaelyn that had started the crack that tore that family apart.

I couldn’t imagine the pain; Gaelyn and Sophia had gone through when they were growing up. It pained me to think of all the times, I had actually enjoyed talking to what had felt like a second father to me. Not, any more my illusions had been destroyed, and they were so far from ever getting repaired. I don’t think I could ever think of them as family anymore. Mrs. Thomas may not have beaten them, but she didn’t do anything about it, which made her just as responsible in my book.

“Sophia, I wish you had trusted me enough back then to tell me about what was going on. Despite my circumstances, I would have found a way to help. You and Gaelyn didn’t deserve to be beaten because you didn’t do something right.” Tears flooded my eyes, and I sob for what feels like hours. I have never missed my best friend more than I did in that moment. I curse the day Tommy and Rodney decided that she didn’t deserve to live. I wonder even as I sit there whatever had happened to them, it’s been a few months now. I know they have been caught, but other than that, I’m not sure. I hope they rot in jail for the rest of their lives; they had a hand in Gaelyn’s increased drug usage. I wonder what could make them be so full of rage that they felt people had to die for the pain they felt. Then again if it hadn’t been for Tommy and Rodney, I never would have met the greatest love of my life. Of course, Gaelyn didn’t know how I felt, but in the short time I’ve lived in these apartments, Gaelyn has somehow made himself, a very important part of my life.

Wiping my eyes, I roll myself over to my bed, drop myself onto it. I wasn’t likely to get much sleep but I had to try. I needed to get as much rest as possible so I could deal with Gaelyn’s parents. I’d never been so ashamed to know someone as I was of them. For years, they had acted like a second family to me, only for me to find out years too late, that they were abusing their own kids. How did that work? How could they care so much about me, but care so little for their own kids? It made me sick thinking about it, because there was nothing I hated more than child abuse. Having spent much of my life in foster care, I had seen plenty of children, who had been bruised by their parent’s hands. There were so many bad parents out there now, that didn’t care about what happened to their children, or they considered them too much trouble to take care of. It made me wonder if there was such thing as good parents, mine had been the best. I was disciplined when I needed it, but other than that neither of them had ever raised their hand to me.

Why was it so many of the worst kind of people can have children, when some of the best cannot? It didn’t seem fair to me, that someone that is hooked on meth and drinking can have a baby, and beat the crap out of it. When another couple has tried for years and can’t have any. The world was a messed up place and getting messier by the minute.

I had no idea what I would say to the Thomas’ but I didn’t think it would be anything good. They had to know they wouldn’t be able to keep that kind of secret forever, eventually all secrets get found out. Too bad, it was too late to do anything about it, because I would have enjoyed seeing Gary go to jail for what he had done.

Closing my eyes, I try to flush the image of Gaelyn, hooked up to a respirator out of my head. It was hard and painful just thinking about it. I wish he could have visitors right because I would have been there, telling him how much I loved him, and encouraging him to fight.

Anna” a voice whispers, as a warm breath warms my cheek, “Anna” I open my eyes to see a grinning Gaelyn, kneeling beside my bed.

Gaelyn?” I’m feeling more than a little confused; Gaelyn was in the hospital last time I had checked, struggling to recover from an overdose. “Why are you here?”

Because I need you to fight for me” he said gently, reaching out and stroking my cheek gently. “I can’t do this without you, so I’m going to need you to fight as hard as you can for me.”

Of course,” I say “You’re my heart; of course I’ll fight for my heart! You’re the reason I’m still breathing when all I want is an end to this world that I live in.”

I love you too, Anna, so much that it hurts” Gaelyn murmurs and leans forward and presses his lips to my forehead. “I’ll see you soon, baby.”

My eyes flash open and I look beside me, wishing it had been more than dream that Gaelyn was with me now. The dream was bittersweet, considering how much I long to hear the words “I love you” come from his lips. I stare up at the ceiling, wondering if it’s possible that he feels a fraction of what I feel for him. I don’t see how it’s possible because I’m not exactly whole, but over the last few months that hadn’t seemed to matter much to him.

“Hang on, Gaelyn, because I’ll fight for you for however long it takes to bring you back.” I mutter as I close my eyes and drift off to sleep once again.


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