wake up in the hospital, my throat is hurting and I feel like I have
been completely run over. As I stare up at the ceiling, I wonder
exactly what has happened for me to end up in the hospital. Turning
my head, I’m not surprised to see James and Annaleigh sitting
beside me, looking happier than I have seen either of them.
I swallow hard, trying to ease the dryness of my throat, it’s not easy. I feel like I’ve lived in the dessert for a month with no water. Seeing the tears in Annaleigh’s eyes causes me to reach out and weakly and wipe away the one tear I can reach. Anna grins and reaches up and takes my hand and squeezes it. I’ve been happier to see her face.
“What happened?” I ask, looking away from Anna to James who is standing over by the window.
“You overdosed and almost died.” James says and I frown, feeling guilty for what I put them through while I was unconscious. Remembering what I had been like before I’d ended up here, scared me and I knew as soon as I was released I would be entering rehab. I didn’t want to cause Anna any more suffering than I already had. And I could see in her eyes that she has suffered from lack of sleep. The circles under her eyes were dark and ugly, marring skin that was otherwise perfect.
“I’m so sorry” I whisper and I know she instantly knows what I am talking about. She squeezes my hand gently, and leans forward and presses her lips gently to my forehead.
“You have nothing to be sorry about” she says, her words bouncing off my forehead, as her lips remained where they were. “I’m just happy that you came back to us.” Seeing the look she sent James, I knew there was something that she wasn’t telling me. I scowl wondering what she could be keeping from me. Did I try to hurt her before I’d overdosed? Was there something else she wasn’t telling? I want to find out the answers to my questions but my eyes are starting to drift shut again against my will.
“Stay” is the only word that I can manage before sleep reclaims its hold on me.
“I’m not going anywhere” I hear Anna say as I reenter the sleep world.
I awake a few hours later to find Anna’s head lying on my mattress next to my head. I smile as I take my hand and gently run it through her hair. she had never looked more like an angel than she did in the moment, and I wonder how much she suffered because of my addiction. I hated that I had caused her any kind of suffering, and wonder briefly if I could make a clean break and get out of her life. That thought hurts though more than anything else I’ve face, except for the loss of the baby that might not have even been mine.
“What happened?” I ask the shadow standing in front of the window. He scowled at me for a moment before replying.
“You overdosed, had a heart attack that’s left your heart damaged. You took too much for you to handle. What were you thinking?”
“I wasn’t, I was hurting and I only wanted the pain to stop” I reply looking down at the sheet, noticing for the first time that it’s only James and Anna in the room. I wonder if my parents knew about what had happen or even if they cared. They probably didn’t which was fine with me; I never exactly wanted to talk to them again anyways.
“You’re not the only one hurting; do you realize what you done to that girl?” James asks nodding towards Anna. “She’s cried herself to sleep many times during the few weeks you were in a coma and on life support. She fell to pieces in the ER when you were brought in. She didn’t deserve that!” I hated hearing how much my overdose hurt her, James was right she didn’t deserve that, she deserved someone much better than a drug addict.
“I know she deserves someone better than me” I say, my voice broken to my own ears. I’ve always known that, but it’s never stopped me from enjoying being in her presence, she gives me a peace I haven’t known in years.” I look up at James with tears in my eyes. “I want nothing more than to deserve her love, but I don’t think I can ever do that.”
“You didn’t see her when your parents were in here. They were causing trouble, and she lit into them.” James chuckled at the memory and I wonder again what I’m not being told. I had the feeling it had something to do with my parents.
Sighing, I ran my hand over her hair again, this girl made me want the world with her. I didn’t know if I could ever be the man she needed, but that sure as heck didn’t mean that I wouldn’t try.
“You might not deserve her love but you have it nonetheless” James commented “I don’t think there’s anything that she wouldn’t do for you.” somehow I already knew that, because I felt the exact same way. Overdosing on cocaine was a heck of way to figure out how you really feel about someone.
“I want to get clean” I tell James my face lacking any kind of expression. “I won’t try a relationship with her without being completely sober, that means I need to find the closest rehab that I can.”
“Whatever you need me to do, I’ll gladly help.” James says sounding and looking serious. “I don’t ever want to see you like that again; it killed me coming to visit you because to put it frankly you looked like crap.”
“If I have my way, I will never end up here again.” I reply “Anna is the reason to keep going when I think it’s too hard, I still have a ton of issues to work out, but because of her. I’m going to start being the man she believes me to be.”
“We’ll be with you every step of the way.” James says, a grin spreading wide across his face. I couldn’t blame him, it wasn’t like every drug addict got a second chance, and decides to use it for something better than finding drugs. I never want to touch cocaine again but I knew eventually that I would be forced to deal with the temptation; I could only hope that I was strong enough to not give in. Wait a minute, I take that back, as long as I have Anna by my side, I know I’ll have the strength to beat, because behind every man is a good woman. I’ll make sure she knows how much I adore her every single minute that I spend with her.
A few hours later Dr. McCheerful came in to see me. I wasn’t sure what it was about him, but he seemed to be about as judgmental as my parents were.
“We didn’t expect you to actually live” he states looking down at my chart, before moving around Anna and checking my vitals.
“Looks like I proved you wrong.” I state, trying to keep my voice calm so that I wouldn’t wake Anna. Looking at the heart monitor the doctor jotted some notes and looks back at me with a serious expression.
“You overdosed on cocaine, which caused you to have a heart attack, I don’t need to tell you that it left your heart badly damaged, and that if you pick up your habit again, it will likely kill you.” I shake my head before replying.
“I’m going straight to rehab, I have a reason to not go back to drugs.” I tell him, and I could tell that I surprised him. “This little girl is all I need, to battle my addictions, without her I’m nothing.” The doctor smile then briefly.
“You’re different from the other overdoses that come in. Most go back out and pick it right back up again.”
“Like I said, I have a good reason not to do any of that again. I’ve made her suffer enough, I’m done with that.”
“It won’t be that easy you know, the withdrawal will make you sick, your muscles will cramp, you will be flat out miserable.” Dr. Allen comments quietly. I nod; I know this because I’ve already been through withdrawal once before I ended up here. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, but I have to go through it if I’m to be who Anna needs me to be. “You have to be careful that it doesn’t put too much stress on your heart, because to be honest, I’m not really sure how long it will be before you end up on the transplant list.” I nod again, I wasn’t afraid of what was coming my way, I was only afraid of losing Anna. The doctor left a few minutes later, leaving me staring up at the ceiling, wondering about the future.
“Hey,” a sleepy voice speaks up from my side; I turn my head and smile at the sight before me. Anna was staring at me, almost like she couldn’t believe I was still here with her.
“Hey, sweet girl, I’m glad you finally woke up” I say as my fingers brush against her cheek gently. She raises hand and wraps her fingers around mine. I smile at the gentle affection I see in her eyes, but the fact that I feel the same way about her makes the moment that much better.
“I love you” I murmur as I stare into her eyes, “I love you so very much.” She smiles and looks down for a moment before bringing her eyes back to mine.
“I’ve longed for you to say that for so long,” she raises my hand to her lips and kisses it softly. The feeling that goes through me is like none other than I have ever experiences and I know that this girl is it for me.
“You know, I’m going to rehab before I start anything with you” I say and I see her frown. “I don’t want you dealing with my crap anymore, you don’t deserve to, and so I’m doing what’s best for you!”
“I’ll wait however long it takes, because I know this is something you need to do, you can’t beat it by yourself but know that I will always be here waiting for when you return. You’ll have to return because where you go, you’re taking my heart with you, and without my heart I can’t survive.” Anna whispers and I can feel how much she loves me in that moment.
I didn’t think my heart could hold as much love as I had for her, while I still don’t believe that I deserve it, I wasn’t about to let her get away, it’s kind of hard to let your heart walk away and not to follow it wherever it goes.
To be continued….
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