Chapter 3: The Move (Part 3)
My stomach twisted and churned as I brought the bottle of potent alcohol to my lips.
I missed her.
I missed her more than the words made up by the letters of the English alphabet could describe. No language could sum up what I was feeling at this moment. It wasn’t fair.
It could’ve been me.
It should’ve been me.
Then again, this was not a feeling I would wish on my worst enemy. I wouldn’t even wish this feeling on the motherfucker that caused it for me; there was no way in hell I would want her to experience this. This wasn’t something anyone shouldn’t have to go through.
It never should have happened.
It was her birthday week and she should have been here to enjoy the weeklong events I had planned for months in advance; and now it all would go to waste.
The amusement park tickets with special privilege and the capability to jump the line.
The hotel we were going to stay at with my mom since we still needed a chaperone.
The special, customized swimsuit sets her mom helped me with made specifically for her.
The best-friends forever chains I had engraved.
The stuffed bear, our own little joke, that now sat in my corner haunting me with the rest of her gifts.
It was all for nothing now. I had no interest in any of it anymore and my parents were too busy to even go. I would give it to my girlfriend, but I don’t think it’s right. I only got with her to feel something and for a while I believed being with her was working. My shoulders felt a little lighter with her around, but on days like this the thought of her and I disgusted me.
She deserved more than someone who couldn’t protect her. She deserved for her to be all that they thought about. Someone who wasn’t a screw up and thought about her every once in a while. It was least she deserved, yet she had settled for me. I sighed, closing my eyes as I brought the joint up to my lips. Inhaling it deep, I let myself imagine what it would have been like if my Bear was still alive. If she would have liked her gifts or not. Would she have topped me when it came time for my birthday. Every year, for as long as I could remember, she had managed to top me and do it better. I was positive this year I would win, but I hadn’t expected that it would be by default.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, tears began to fall down my cheeks. For the first time I was accepting that she was gone and finally letting myself cry. I needed to grieve in order to get better. This had always been our week and the fact that I had a girlfriend wasn’t going to change that. I would grieve her this week and for that I would end up better.
The sound of the voice floating through my window knocked me out of thought. I was grateful for the distraction. I hated remembering that day. I hated remembering anything. The girl next door was a welcomed distraction.
Maria was a welcomed distraction.
I made my way over to the window so that I could hear her better. I would be lying if I said that Clarissa’s word didn’t fill my ears and make me wonder, but I knew all too well what rumors could do and I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.
She sounded sad again and maybe this time if I tried really hard to focus, I’d be able to hear clearer. My internal conflict had been torn since that day. A part of me knew not to believe the word of someone who clearly hated her; but another part, one that I had tried so hard to ignore, wanted to believe it. I knew for a fact that looks could be deceiving. Sighing I leaned my head against the wall and listened as her sullen voice surrounded me.
“I just don’t get why everyone hates me Cocoon. It’s not like what happened was my fault. I really wish that I could remember something of that night, but it’s all hazy.” she sighed as I pictured a tear falling down her cheek. “Maybe they’re right and I am what they say I am. What if I did do it? It doesn’t sound a thing like me. I don’t even like the taste of alcohol and I’ve never been blacked out drunk like that before. I wouldn’t go overboard like they claim I did. What if I did though? What if it is my fault? What if they are telling the truth and I am the liar here? I don’t want anyone else to hate me. I honestly don’t know if I can handle complete hatred like that. To make it worse John keeps staring at me. It’s almost like he wants to say something. Does he believe the rumors? Is he waiting for the chance to berate me like everyone else? Or is he on my side and just too scared or something to go against the grain? I don’t know Cocoon. I don’t know how much longer I can do this. I just want it all to stop.”
Silently tears slid my cheeks as I listened to her. I knew that feeling well. I knew what it was like to want to give up and feel like you had no one on your side. I knew what it felt like to feel isolated and lonely. Now more than ever I wanted to protect her. I wanted to stop her from trying to do what I had failed to do. I wanted her to feel like she had someone there for her. I wanted her to know that she had me. Like her, I needed someone too.
I stared at the bottle of pills in my hands contemplating if this was what I wanted to do. It seemed like the obvious choice. I knew it would make things easier for everyone, especially my parents.
My father’s word rang loud in my head. ‘Only cowards put their hands on women. You’ve become a fucking disgrace David’. I cringed again just from the memory of it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard my father call me anything other than Jr.
Everything was playing on repeat in my mind.
My father yelling at me.
My mother refusing to acknowledge me.
Everything I said to my mom shattering her completely.
My failure with Natalie.
My failure with Penelope.
The satisfaction I felt beating Phoenix to a pulp.
I guess I really was a piece of shit. One last glance in the mirror.
“You deserve everything you piece of shit.” I growled at myself. “This world will be better for everyone without you in it. It’s your fault. It’s all your fault.” and with that I tossed back as many pills as I could stomach before chasing it with a bottle or two of cough syrup. Just to make it worse on myself, which was probably overkill, I took the razor to my wrists and made a few dozen little slits that burned like hell. I deserved all the pain I put everyone else through.
I was silently choking, trying to keep my presence hidden. I didn’t want to remember anymore. I didn’t want to think. I grasped at the air as I tried to calm myself from a panic attack. I needed a distraction. I needed someone else to get my mind off of things. Slowly standing up, I saw the car sitting on my dresser.