Okay so this week won’t be a rant or a rave, but I really want to show you guys something.
I wrote a story for creative writing and I’ve gotten a ton of good feedback on it. I’m a little proud of it soooo tell me what you think!
P.S. There’s a little bit of swearing and some mildly graphic content dealing with depression and self-harm.
Maybe if I’m still enough time will stop. I don’t even open my eyes in case the sound of my eyelashes fluttering wakes him up. My feet are burning up but I don’t dare move. Why did I wear socks to bed? I never wear socks to bed. I breathe deeply. He smells like clean laundry, stale cigarettes, and sweat. I smile inside my head. Who the hell likes the smell of someone else’s sweat? Man, this guy had me fucked up.
I don’t remember falling asleep here, but I’m glad I did. Nothing is ever as good as when I’m here. I expect my head to be cloudy with the substance of yesterday, but my mind is surprisingly clear. I was getting frighteningly good at blacking out. I really thought I had made it home last night but obviously I had decided to stay. I wonder if my parents know where I am, not like they give a shit.
I hear Andy in the kitchen cleaning up from last night. The sound of glass hitting glass as he collects empty beers seems as intrusive as a baseball bat shattering a grand piano. Shut up shut up shut up! Stop before you steal this fraction of the morning that I’m swimming in. My bones jump at every note, but G barely moves.
I crack an eye open and peek up at him, instantly getting jolts of that good kind of pain all over my body. The sun has started to come up and the frost on the windows looks like a bunch of tiny spiders spent all night webbing, just for me to see this morning. I glance back and forth between G’s warm face and the cold, icy window and pray to a God I don’t believe in for an excuse to stay in bed all day.
Nothing can get me here. Not my dad, still pissed about the burn hole in the seat of his 1991 Dodge Caravan. Not my mom, undoubtedly blowing up my phone all night since I didn’t come home. Again. Not the clipboard at the Cracker Factory and that bitch that’s always asking about my scars.
Not here. Here, I am safe. G and I are all hands and lips, our legs tangled together under the quilt like spaghetti and his fingertips dancing lightly on my bare spine. His other hand rests heavy on his chest in front of my face, fingers twitching as he dreams. I snake my arm out from under the covers and touch his hand, taking one of the callused fingertips and pressing it against my lower lip.
We stay like this for a while, just laying and existing together. I know that any minute now the smooth voice of the radio host will slither into my ears and G’s arm will flop around on the table like a fish out of water trying to find the snooze button. One snooze, then get up. That’s what he did every day. I could never match his self-control.
I was a scrambled egg compared to G. He knew what he wanted and he knew how to get it, he knew what he liked and didn’t like and he knew how to cope. That’s what I envy the most about him, the coping. Not once has his coping put him in a hospital, surrounded by pills and nurses and bandages and a roommate who won’t stop asking for more morphine. No, his coping puts him behind the wheel, driving and driving until his face relaxes and he starts singing to the radio again.
I hear Andy’s phone ring in the next room. He picks it up and says hello, then he doesn’t say anything else for a long while.
“Fuck. Last night? Fuck. No, he’s asleep. Well yeah I’ll wake him up when I get off the fucking phone with you! Fuck. Okay, yeah, see you there.”
What’s wrong? Something with G? Andy doesn’t rush in right away like I expect him to; I hear his feet on the floor and then the sound of ragged breath. Crying? Andy doesn’t cry. What is going on?
Andy opens the door to G’s bedroom and I sit up in bed.
“What’s going on?” I whisper so many times. But Andy ignores me and just shuffles over to G. He stares down at him for a second, takes a deep breath, then begins to nudge G. Softly at first, then harder and harder as the panic on his face seems to multiply with every second.
“It’s Cass, man. We gotta go. Like, right fucking now.”
Cass? I’m Cass. What the fuck?
“What’s going on? What’s going on?” Now I’m screaming. Why isn’t anyone answering me?
G wakes immediately at the mention of my name and sits bolt upright. Why isn’t he as confused as I am? I put my hand on his shoulder but he doesn’t even look at me. He says some angry things that don’t make sense to me and I can see his face is scared. I don’t know this G. I know the G that is smart and calm and knows what to do, not the G with a scrunched up face and shaking hands.
He dresses quickly and runs out of the room, so I put on a sweatshirt and follow him. By the time I have my sneakers on, him and Andy are already in the truck and I see him fumbling with the keys as I jump down the deck stairs. He cranks the wheel and starts to turn around and I know he isn’t going to wait for me. I scramble into the back of the truck and lay down, covering my ears and holding back tears.
What happened to my morning? The quiet comfort of G’s bed and his fingertips. I touched my lip where his fingertip had grazed it earlier. My hands were small and cold, nothing like G’s big, safe working man hands.
The truck stops and I sit up to see that we’re at the hospital. We all hop out and start running and no one is saying anything. Just inside the door is my brother. My brother? Andy and G stop running, but don’t say anything. They nod at David and I realize it was him on the phone this morning.
I keep asking what’s going on but my voice is separated from them somehow, like I’m underwater or on the other side of very thick glass. We go up to the ninth floor and I recognize the halls. David leads us to a room and I see my mom and dad sitting on the bed.
And, in the bed, is me. Well, a version of me. I am skinny and pale and there are bandages wrapped all the way up both arms. Shit, too far this time, too many. My eyes are closed and my hands are resting beside me, palms up, arms outstretched. I look like I’m meditating and this makes me laugh for some reason.
G’s face is like stone, he doesn’t acknowledge the tears dripping off his nose and he walks around the bed so he’s beside me, the meditating version of me. His face changes and I see emotion crash through him like a newspaper being set on fire. He drops to his knees and grabs my shoulders, kissing me everywhere. I like watching this. He kisses my head and my hair, my hands and wrists and all the way up my arms. Everyone is crying.
His fingertips find me. From my forehead to my ears, around my eyes and over my nose, and I can feel it. I can feel his fingertips. He traces my mouth very slowly and looks me up and down, like he’s memorizing me. Fingertips on my neck, my collarbone, fingertips on my poor, victim wrists.
Fingertips, and I’m gone.