Shit. Shit, shit, shit, shit... shit. It's 6 am. Where the fuck is he? I checked in his room to see his bed untouched as usual. I feel the panic rushing around my body, suddenly boosting my energy and fear levels. At this time, he is lying right here. On the floor. Unconscious or barely moving.
I grab my jacket from the cupboard and dash out of the house, praying to God I'll find him outside a pub rather than in a ditch, dead. I don't know what I would do if I found him dead. Wondering the streets, with no plan or direction, I frantically search quiet corners and side-alleys with bars. He has to be around here somewhere.
Please don't be dead. Please don't be dead. Why can't I have a peaceful life? I'm cursed. Please, I can't find him dead.
After searching for a couple of hours, knowing I would be late to school anyway now, I head back home in defeat, but not giving up my search completely. I would find him. I have to.
To my utter shock and horror, there he is. In the kitchen. Standing. Standing. I don't think the man has stood since divorce court.
"Alex," he says, trying to find other words. He opens his mouth again, but quickly closes it, realizing he doesn't yet know my state of mind. In truth, I don't know either. I am just shocked.
"Dad, I was worried. Where the fuck were you?" I snap, edging closer to him. I can sense him becoming nervous at my tone and I decide to take a step back, wanting answers after all.
"What do you mean?"
"You're normally on the floor in the morning. When I didn't see you, I thought the worst."
"I'm sorry, Alex, I didn't mean to scare you." He sits in a chair at the table, looking down into his hands to avoid my eyes. I sense his guilt for all that I had done over the past few months to help him and I know that if I want him to stay marginally together, I can't freak out too much.
I don't need him, but it doesn't mean I don't want him around. I miss him. I miss the way he used to be: loving and full of kindness. He was the sort of father anyone would want, supportive when we were down, strict when we stepped out of line, and just there. He was there. And then he wasn't.
They had sent Matt away, to live here when he was sixteen. Matt always went on about wanting independence, his own place, and after months of begging, they agreed, on a few conditions. Not like they mattered now, whatever they were.
When our parents parted ways, I wished I could live with Matt sooner, even though we weren't overly close then, we were family. Now, it appears Matt has decided to take up the roles of brother and father, which I don't need. It was hell living alone with a broken adult, my dad's state digressing rapidly.
"I'm sorry, I gotta go to school. Can we talk later?" I ask calmly, although I can feel my rage boiling inside. There are so many things I want to shout at him, but I know that will make him run further.
"Sure, I'll be here."
"Yes, now get to school," my dad says, smiling while I can see the sadness inside. I want to stay here with my dad, as I wonder whether he can actually keep the promise he has made. Even if he wanted to, he might not be strong enough. Addiction is rough, I should know.
"Late, Miss Wilde," Mr Reed announces as I walk in, a little flustered. He doesn't turn around from the board, instinctively knowing it was me bursting through the door. "What's the excuse this time? I look forward to student's pathetic responses."
I shoot glares at the back of his head. How dare he? Sure, I've interrupted his lessons a couple of times but there is no need for the rudeness. He's a teacher after all.
"Sorry, sir, I really just lost track of time," I reply, frowning a little. He looks over at me and then nods for me to take a seat.
As class continues, I overhear Kyle and one of his friends talking about Matt.
"You going to his party tonight?" the friend exclaims, "Senior parties are the best."
"Alex," Kyle calls and I turn round to face him with a confused expression. "Sophomores don't generally get invited to senior parties but since you're our in with them, maybe you could invite us."
"I didn't even know there was a party," I reply, pissed I didn't get the memo. It would be happening where I lived after all. "And I have to say, my brother hates all of you."
He smirks a little, raising an eyebrow, "That's why they call it gate-crashing. Please..." He bats his eyelids jokingly and I eventually give in, knowing they would find their way there either way. Honestly, I couldn't care less what they did but giving me a heads up is just courtesy. Where has manners and decency gone these days?
At lunch, I stroll over to where Laurie, Elizabeth and Madison are sitting and place my tray on the table.
"Can I help you?" Madison says, furrowing her eyebrows at my tray on her table.
"Mads, I told her she could sit here. I know you two don't see eye to eye but she is pretty cool," Laurie chirps in, smiling at me as I seat myself next to her, feeling Madison's burning gaze on me.
"Whatever," she replies and I'm surprised by how easily she has given in. It took nothing. "Matt and Kai are throwing a party right?" I look up from my apple for a moment. Everyone knew about the party except from me, and it's in my home.
"Yeah, so I'm told," I reply, nonchalantly, taking a bite into my apple. I glance behind me to notice Kai every so often peering over to me, his expression concerned. They probably assumed I left early this morning for school without seeing either of the boys. I hadn't even thought of telling them anything; I was just so worried. I'm still worried.
Once school had ended, I knew Kai and Matt had football practice, so I couldn't get a ride, not that I wanted one.
I rush back home, hoping my dad would be there. Opening the door, my heart drops, only a little as I knew I shouldn't get my hopes up, and I see the note. Scribbled was the word 'sorry'.
A tear betrayed me, rolling down my cheek. I can't remember the last time I cried. I promised myself I wouldn't. Yet I just can't control it.
But no more will come now. I knew this would happen; I will just move on.
After all, someone mentioned a party.