I need to feel again, I know I do, but everything in me is still numb.
I now know for sure though, I should never have called Antonio. It was a mistake, not because of who he is but because of who I am now. I was using him and there are just too many emotions there from him for that. I don't need emotions. I just want to feel better.
That's how I find myself here, face burrowing into the couch with my ass in the air as one of the boys from Hector's gang stab themselves inside me. I can't even feel him in there anymore.
"I can't believe I'm doing this. I can't believe I'm fucking Brianna Parker... The guys aren't gonna believe me when I tell them.... Oh fuck... I'm....arghhhh..."
He unloads, a tiny spark of pleasure hitting my core but it does nothing to satisfy me, not the way I need it too. Sliding his condom covered dick out of me I glance to the clock by the TV. I'm almost an hour late for work now, that actually took longer than expected.
Sonya hasn't called, she stopped trying to get me to come in on time a week ago. She thinks it’s grief, that it’ll pass. She doesn’t realise that really, I just don’t give a fuck anymore. Stepping off the couch I kick one of the empty glass bottles under the coffee table and pull my clothes back on. I'll just go in like this, who the fuck needs underwear anyway?
"Brie? Are you still here? I saw the bug is still in the drive."
I really need to start locking that fucking back door.
Al walks into the living room, running her eyes over he guy shoving his condom into the kitchen bin with the same disapproval she did the last guy she found in here. Was that yesterday? I can’t fucking remember.
"Get the fuck out of here." Yeah, I knew that was coming after she saw the tats on his face, she knows what he is.
He smirks at her. "You better watch your fucking mouth when you talk to me you little bitch! Bet I could get good money for a fucking white baby. I'll cut that fucker right out of you!"
I launch up from the sofa, grabbing the twat by the back of his neck and hurling him across the room. Al is trying to look un-afraid but she's clutching her stomach so much I'm scared she might go into labour right here.
"Get the fuck out of my house you prick."
The guy moves his smirk to me. "Come on now Brie, I was only messing with her. You know... I've had a thing for you since grade school. We all stayed away because Hector always respected Granny and told us we had to, but now she's gone you're fair game beautiful... You should come down to the club with me one night, you could make more money there than you've dreamed of with a body like that... I'd protect you baby girl, only let you go with the guys I know won't rough you up too bad. Think about it, talent like that is wasted being given away for free."
"Thanks for the offer but my legs are fucking closed right now."
"For now... Call me when you want another ride chica."
Don’t fucking count on it mate.
He grabs his hoodie from the floor and walks out, leaving the door wide open on his way. I hear his bike start and my heart stops. Every time I hear a bike a part of me wishes for it to be the one person I know it won't ever be.
Get a fucking grip Brie, he ain’t coming back.
"You're fucking Poison boys now Brie? You know what those guys are like, and the shit that happens to the girls around them. You said you'd never go near them after what they did to Cindy."
Don’t fucking remind me. "Yeah well, she's fucking dead. Life goes on, isn't that what all you fuckers keep telling me." I'm too sober for this conversation.
I push past her to the fridge and pull out the last of my rum. Poring it into a glass with some coke, as she huffs and puffs like the little steam engine that could.
"Brie, don't do that. It's nine in the morning babe... Why don't you call in sick today? We'll veg out at the new house while Jayce finishes up. I need to unpack the nursery stuff and you know you live for a bit of organisation."
Shit, I can’t imagine anything fucking worse. "Can't. Sonya needs me to meet a client."
I down the contents of my glass in one gulp. I can't remember the last time I ate but this is actually starting to make me feel sick.
"Well at least let me drive you there? You shouldn't be driving like this Brie. I'll drop you off and then pick you up later and we can all go over to the Manor together for dinner, okay?"
Like fuck. "I'm not going."
She looks at me with those fucking sad eyes of hers. "Brie, you can't keep putting this off. May has asked if you to co-"
"May doesn't get to ask me for shit! She fucking left me! She wanted a new family and now she's fucking got one! Just fuck off and worry about yourself Aleah, I'm sure Jayce is fucking waiting to bang your fucking brains out whilst you pretend you’re not secretly thinking about his dead best friend anyway..."
She slumps back against the counter, taking a deep breath before she speaks to me again, although she’s can’t make eye contact and I know that one cut a little too deep. "Brie, I know you’re upset about everything, so I'm going to let that go... You can't push me away as easily as you can everyone else babe. No matter how much you try. Now, get your shit together, I'll take you to work."
I grab my keys off the side, stumbling slightly in my heels as I rush to get to the front door without her. I'd mastered the art of never truly being sober lately but it was starting to take its toll and I don’t need her adding to it with all that fake fucking care.
"Brie, give me your fucking keys."
I stop, standing up straight and putting on a face I know she won't believe but isn't strong enough to fight me on.
"I'm fine Al. I'll just see you later."
She tries to protest but I slam the door on my way out and leave her in that good forsaken house.
I hate it here.
Getting into the car my phone starts to ring. I assume it's going to be Sonya finally growing back that spine of hers to call me out on my shit, but it's not.
I answer the call from the unknown number.
"Hello, is this Brianna Parker, next of kin to a Gloria Parker?"
Why do people keep calling her that now? Granny, she was just Granny.
"Yes. Who's this?"
"Hello Ms Parker, this is Jamie Preston. I'm a receptionist at the coroners office in Westbrooke. We preformed the autopsy on your relative Ms Gloria Parker, we sent the results to you a few weeks ago but have heard no response so this is just a courtesy call to see if you wished to receive them in another format in order to start the legal proceedings."
Legal proceedings? "I have no fucking clue what you're talking about love, there’s no legal proceedings. Do you mean like the death certificate? I thought the paramedics said she'd had a heart attack or something? Something to do with her diabetes?"
There's silence on the end of the line and I can hear the woman typing away on her computer.
"Ms Parker I'm having these emailed to you again, it's very important you look at the results. Can I confirm the address as [email protected]"
"Will you just tell me what it fucking says?!"
The woman goes silent, letting out a deep breath before I hear her typing again.
"Of course Ms Parker... It appears the medical professionals who saw her at the time of her discovery were correct, her heart stopping is what ended her life, I'm incredibly sorry for your loss." That's it? All this fuss to tell me something I already fucking know! "However Ms Parker, it had nothing to do with her diabetes. It appears her diabetes had actually been under control for a while, she must have been taking good care of herself. There was however a large dose of a drug to counteract the diabetes in her system, one she should not have been taking. It appears from these findings she was prescribed something unnecessarily, that when taken over the last few months placed a great strain on her heart. This unfortunately is what we believe led to her death."
Unnecessary medication? But she'd been on all those tablets for years. All of them except... the new ones from Dr Hale...
"I believe this is a case of medical negligence Ms Parker. Had she not been taking those drugs, or had seen another doctor who had picked up on her condition, she very well might still be with us. I'm so sorry Ms Parker. She must have been very tired over these last few weeks with the toll they were taking, did you take her to see a doctor?"
The tears fall down my face as the phone slips form my hand.
"Ms Parker? Ms Parker?"
The distant sound of her voice calls out to me, its nothing but a cry in the distance now as I begin to let the pain and guilt ride freely throughout my body.
I knew something wasn't right. I fucking knew she was too tired. I wanted her to see someone else, I asked her but she said no. I should've insisted, I should’ve just made the appointment and dragged her there kicking and fucking screaming... but a part of me was better when she kept sleeping... it was easier to deal with everything I had to do if knew she was safe in her bed...
That’s why I didn’t make her. It was easier for me that way.
This is my fault. I wanted a break, I wanted her resting, so I did nothing. I let her fucking die so I could have some peace.
I killed my grandmother.
The tears stream down my face. I punch the wheel of my car again and again trying to rid myself of all this shit I can’t handle. The horn blares but I just keep punching until I can't feel anything else but the pain in my hand. Fuck, it fucking hurts now!
There's the rustle of a black bag full of empty glass bottles coming from outside the house before my passenger door is swung open.
"Brie? Oh fuck Brie, what happened?"
I can't even talk, my whole body burning with a rage I'll never be able to extinguish. I hate myself.
Al sits and tries to pull me into her arms but her touch just scorches my skin. I try to wiggle free but I can't concentrate through all the crying.
"Brie, come here."
She tries again but I don't want to be comforted, I don't deserve to be comforted... I didn't know she was so close to me, I just needed her to give me space.
I swear I didn't realise how hard I pushed her, until I saw her head snap back after hitting the hard glass if the window behind it. Her eyes fall shut for a minute but as she pulls them back open I see the tears in them.
Clutching her stomach for reassurance, I look on in horror the second she pulls her hand back to face her after stroking the injury to her head. A layer of red blood on the palm.
"Al... I'm so..."
I reach out to touch her but she flinches back from me. She’s afraid of me... she’s afraid of me too...
Oh god, what did I do?
Slowly and unsteadily she opens the passenger door and steps out onto her shaky legs. I don't know if it's the hit her head took or the shock that I hurt her like that, but she isn't stable on her feet and it’s ripping apart my soul to know I’ve done this too her.
The baby... Oh god, what if something happens to her...
She stands still for a moment. The tears falling down her face now as she looks at me. How could I do that to her?
Taking a deep breath she steps back from the car but continues to face me, the sadness in her voice mixing with a fear I hoped would never ever be directed at me from her.
"I'm so sorry for what you’re going through Brie. I love you, I love you so much and I wish I could take it all away from you. But I can't babe, I can only be here. It's you that needs to let me in...”
I want to stop her, I want to tell her I’m sorry and I love her too but I just can’t stand the way she’s looking at me, the pity in her eyes.
“Brie, you need help. It took me twenty minutes just to pick up all the bottles coating the floor in that house, you even had water bottles filled with vodka next to your bed for gods sake. This isn't just about losing Granny anymore Brie, it's all of it. It's seeing that fucking monster again and letting all that trauma resurface, it's finally letting your guard down with a guy just to watch him stomp all over it. It's watching May walk away from you. You need help Brie, you need to deal with this pain if you want any hope of making a life for yourself. You need to learn to love yourself again, because right now, you look like you hate yourself."
"I'm gonna go back over to mine now babes, my head feels like it's about to fall off and I’m not sure how much longer I can stay upright. I hope to fuck you'll get out of this car and come over too. We'll get you all the help you need Brie, I swear we will, but you have to want it for it to work. The second you ask, we’ll get it. We love you."
She tries to wait for my response but I think she knows deep down she won’t get one. Walking back towards the front door, I watch her holding into the walls for support as she makes her way through to the house with her shiny blonde ringlets making way for the crimson liquid poring into it.
I know I should go with her. I should get out of this car and do exactly what she's saying. I just can’t. I'm not ready to face this yet.
I still just want to run, keep running and never come back.
The tears stop, my hands throb as they attempt to hold the wheel.
There is now one thought clear above all others.
I need another drink.