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Chapter 7

Some suicides are never recorded.

They’ll try to say addicts had “accidental” overdoses, but in reality, there aren’t accidents. My mom knew what she was doing every time she stuck a needle into her veins or snorted a line of white powder. She could have chosen between us and her drugs, but we didn’t mean anything to her in comparison of a high. She didn’t want to be a mom anymore. We needed her, but she needed that fucking needle even if it was the very thing to put her six feet under. She knew that it would eventually destroy her. She didn’t care that she had four children to leave behind alone and scared in this world.

So, no. It wasn’t an accident. If you asked me, my mom committed the slowest form of suicide and let her children watch.

11 years ago

Something was off the second I walked into the house. It gives me chills thinking about it now, but I had a gut feeling something wasn’t right when I came back home that night. I had been out with Mark and Seth, only to come home to check on my little sister. She was the reason I hadn’t left home and the reason why I bothered to come back at all.

I was only eleven years old, but I had spent a fair bit of time on the streets already-sleeping in the park, wandering aimlessly through darkened alleyways until dawn; hoping my mom had finally sobered up and would let me back in the house. That day was one of those nights I spent wandering the streets with Mark. Mom had gotten high and drunk and hit me in the face, screaming at me to get out of the house with her creepy boyfriend leering in the background.

Tyler had Kristen and Landon in his room so I took off and didn’t come back.

However, when I came home that night, the house was eerily quiet. Normally you had to shout to make yourself heard, or the tv would be blaring. Hell, half the time I could hear my mother and her piece of shit boyfriends yelling from outside before I even stepped foot in the house.

“Tyler?” I called out, kicking my shoes off.


“Landon?” I tried, but still nothing.

I turned the corner into the living room, almost jumping out of my skin when I saw Kristen sitting on the couch by herself. She had her knees tucked to her chest, eyes wide.

“Kristen! Where is everyone?”

She shrugged.

“Where’s Mom?”

Kristen pointed down the hallway to the last door on the left. “She’s in bed, she won’t wake up.”

My heart sunk and my pulse started to race faster, but I tried to be as calm with her as I could.

One of my biggest fears.

“Kristen, what do you mean she’s not waking up?”

“I tried to wake her up but she won’t open her eyes. She’s real pale. Is she okay?”


“You wait here.” I told her, taking off down the hallway and kicking the door open.

It smelt like sweat, sour alcohol and a bleachy odour that I really wished eleven years later that I could forget.

My mother was on her back, her skin had gone purplish and a white substance was staining the side of her mouth, which was slightly ajar and there was a blue tint to her lips.

Her chest was still.

I jumped on the bed, putting my hand to her chest, listening for anything-a pulse, a breath.


I threw back the blanket to try and shake her awake, but stopped in my tracks when I saw her hands and feet were blue in colour. Her body was rigid and stiff.

“Fuck. Mom-” My voice cracked, my eyes starting to well up with tears. “Mom, wake up!”

But my mother didn’t move.

I ran to the phone, pushing past Kristen who was waiting outside the room.

“Shane!” A panic screeched came from her when she realized how upset I was.

The phone rang twice. “911, what’s your emergency?”

“My mom isn’t breathing and her heart isn’t beating.”

“Okay, son. Stay on the line with me. What’s your address?”

Kristen was tugging on my jeans as I gave the operator my information.

“What do you mean mommy isn’t breathing?” She cried out.

I dialed another number, Tyler picking up on the first ring.

“Ty- you gotta come home.” It all fell out in a ramble. “Like right now, I need you.”

“Bro, what’s going on?”

Kristen wailed in the background when she clued in to what was going on.

“It’s, it’s Mom. She’s gone.”

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