Give Blood

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic


This is a story about Charlie, a guy who has been through a rough 27 years and is ready to give up and his mother, an unhappy housewife who has already lost one child and does not plan on losing
another. It is written in a diary entry form.

Submitted: October 11, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 11, 2017

A A A

A A A


GIVE BLOOD

 

Sunday February 19th, 2023

Some days go by without any effort required. In fact, most days have been going by that way for a while now. I used to find it difficult to sit at home and not do anything all day, but lately, there’s nothing I’ve wanted to do more than to sleep my life away. What causes such a change in the mind? Why don’t I want to do things anymore? People have told me that I’m “depressed” but I don’t like labels and I don’t listen to them. To me they are another form of name calling that is not needed and does no good for anyone. I thought I changed because of the occasional slip-ups of heroin withdrawals getting too strong, or because my brother died a year and a half ago. It was a suicide, which makes everything worse. It’s most likely both of those things combined, topped with my inability to communicate with anyone and because I’m lonely.  

I think I used to enjoy life. I would like to hope there was once something to live for. Some days I can’t bear to face the day at all and I stay under my bed sheets and cry. Crying has never been a terrible thing to have to deal with, but it just takes so much energy out of you. I can’t find the strength in me to cry even when it seems like that’s the only that might help me feel like less of a piece of shit. I think my dog just puked, and she’s eating it. Hey, at least I don’t have to clean it up. Some days, instead of crying I result to cutting my wrists; it’s a release of emotions, just like crying. You gotta have variety in life is what I always say. Plus, I think the scars look pretty cool.

Before anyone thinks I’m some low life loser who can’t take care of themselves, I want to let you all know I do have a job. I work at the local hospital in Clackamas County, where I live, as a phlebotomist. I’ve worked here for about seven and a half years and it is an ok job. I get to look at blood which is a plus, but there is really nothing in it that interests me anymore. It pays the bills though so I have no problem with it. Taking other people’s blood used to be sort of satisfying to me because holding a vial of blood and feeling the warmth of it always seemed very intimate. It is like the closest you can get to another person. You get to take something that keeps someone alive away. I think it’s just fascinating; but now when I take blood I feel numb to the warmth and joy it once brought me.

I don’t know why I’m writing my life down but I’ve heard it helps you feel better. As of right now I feel like this is stupid and I sound like a pathetic complainer, but hey I’m gonna keep writing anyways. Cause you never know, one day after I’m long gone probably, someone might find these writings. It’s weirdly nice thinking that someone out there will know my life. No one seems too interested now, but one day someone might be. Even if no one ever reads this I guess it feels good to write down my life, so I can look at it from a different perspective.

I suppose I can introduce myself now; my name is Charles Winmaker, I am 27 years old with no wife or girlfriend, but a four year old black lab that is my best friend. I live in Clackamas; it’s a small, little town in Oregon. I’ve lived here for about eight years, it’s not really a town though and nobody really ever comes here because we are so close to Portland that we get overshadowed; that’s one of the reasons I like it here so much, it’s small and not many people live here. I can hide away from the rest of the world. I grew up in Rocklin, California but I never fit in over there. There were too many people and no one seemed interested in the things that I was interested in. I would stay inside all the time; my mother would always tell me to go out and make friends, but I didn’t want to. It was scary outside. It still is, but I can get away more easily here.

I’ve tried going to therapy for my so-called depression, that was when my brother first passed and in order to get work off and still get paid, I had to go. It was a fucking waste of time. Hey it’s not for everyone I guess, right? I was raised to deal with my problems on my own and not be such a pussy. I’m doin a great job at that aren’t I though?

I have 2 siblings, well I guess one now… I had a brother who was a little over two years older than me. His name was Adam and he was a Biochemical Engineer. He was my closest friend. We told each other everything... of course not everything though, because he killed himself and didn’t bother to tell me any of those plans. I had to find out from my younger sister. I don’t blame him for not telling me. We were both fucked up I guess. He’s the one who got me hooked on heroin. Awe man, when we first started shooting up we felt like we could take on the world. We made so many plans for traveling together, so many thoughts and dreams. He made me feel like I wasn’t alone. When I was around him, I was content with life. We couldn’t have kept doing what we were doing though; it had to stop sooner or later, thankfully it did before either of us OD’d from it, but quitting is just the beginning of the pain. They say doing heroin fucks you up; it’s quitting that’ll kill you. That’s what happened with Adam. He couldn’t handle not being on heroin, but he was too strong willed to go back to it. I could handle the withdrawals with more ease than he could. We both became “depressed” once we stopped. I guess and that’s when we stopped talking too. Three weeks later I get a call from my sister saying Adam was found in his bathroom covered in his own blood. That’s right; he slit his arms open and died a slow death. He had time to think about what he was doing. He had time to fucking call the police, ambulance, me, fucking anyone. He didn’t though. Not even a note. He was just gone. Of course I know why he did it. I’ve wanted to do the exact same thing, but he was a fucking selfish bastard and he beat me to it. Once you’ve tried heroin there’s really no going back because you’ve tasted the dessert. The most delicious fucking dessert you’ll ever try in your whole life. For Adam, since he couldn’t have the dessert anymore, he didn’t see a reason to live. There was no heroin found in his system when he died so that means that he was just heart broken. You fall in love with the dessert once you’ve tried it and it’s hard to let go. Some people can't.

 

Today is now Wednesday February 22nd, 2023

It’s been five days since I last went into work and two since I last shot up. Right now I’m just tired; extremely exhausted actually. I’ve gone without rest for about 40 hours, but I can’t sleep. So I just lie in bed, and think about how ridiculously tormented I feel to still be alive. It’s four in the morning and I’m supposed to go get breakfast with my mother later today. I’m not excited to say the least, I haven’t seen much of my family since Adam’s funeral and that is on purpose. When I see them all in their perfect little lives I get sick to my stomach because they have it so easy. They look down on me because Adam was the favorite son and I’m almost positive that they somehow blame me for his death. They’re probably right in doing so, we fell down the same hole, and apparently I should’ve been the brother who knew that what we were doing was wrong and not support him in the addiction. They don’t know what it’s like though, to have your older brother, someone who you look up to like a second father almost, come to you and say that he has found the key to happiness and that he wants you to join him in all of his adventures and be his right-hand man. That’s what anyone ever wants right? To feel wanted, loved, accepted? That’s all I thought I wanted, and Adam fulfilled all of the above. Once he died I kept thinking why? Why did I allow him to trap me in this world of misery? I realized though that this wasn’t his fault at all. I could’ve said no. I should’ve said no. The whole thing was up to me, but I was stupid and desperate for company. I haven’t ever been the type of person who has friends, so Adam was the closest thing I had to a best friend. I let him rule my life.  

 

I think if anything, I’m confused. I’m confused about life, and what it is. Fuck, I’m 27 years old; I should have everything figured out, right? I wish I could do something, something to just stop. I want to stop the pain. Anything that I can do to make it go away I will. But what the fuck am I supposed to do? Someone please tell me. I’ll give my left big toe to anyone who can tell me how to be at least OK with myself. “Go on antidepressants”. I was raised too stubborn to succumb to that bullshit. My father was always telling me, “If you can’t deal with life on your own, then you probably shouldn’t be living it.” Part of me wishes I would feel comfortable taking prescribed drugs for all these mental illnesses people think I have, but the other part is glad that at least I have a little dignity left, even if it’s false dignity. The other thing people will say is “just give it time”, or, “time heals all”. I don’t see how that can be true though. I mean sure the magical thing about time is that you might slowly learn to forget things. The catch 22 with that is you could forget the things that matter in life. Like I said before; I think I used to  be happy, but the thing is I think that I forgot what makes me happy and how to be happy in general.  I’ve realized that the happiness I felt when being around Adam and being high was fake happiness. It was a sort of feeling that was easily lost and was very delicate. Artificial might be the word that describes the feelings I felt with my brother. That was the last time I remember feeling any kind of good feelings though, so I’m not sure how to get the genuine pleasure back into my life. Time won’t do shit if you aren’t going in the right direction first.

 

It’s 7:30A.M.; I should get up and take a shower. That might feel nice, to feel warmth on my back. It’s so cold here. Of course it is late-February so it’s not surprising but, the bitter frost that I feel is not even from the weather; I can feel the winter chill internally and it gets worse when I try to get up. Stepping on the hardwood floor in my apartment sends chills from the tips of my toes to the back of my neck, stiffening every muscle; it gives me a painful and unwanted ache throughout my body.

When I walked into the little coffee shop and saw my mother for the first time in a year and a half, I turned to stone. I suddenly felt the urge to run out and never look back. “I’m strong” is what I kept saying to myself over and over again in order to make me stay. Even though that is stupid, untrue and doesn’t make any sense, it kept me calm until I was eventually sitting with my mother at a tiny round table that could barely fit two trays with bacon and egg breakfast sandwiches on them along with two cups of coffee. She started off with “How have you been?”

“Um, good I guess. How about you?”

“Charlie, I’m serious, you don’t ever respond to my phone calls or emails. It seems like you have dropped off the face of the earth. Are you on heroin again? Charlie, if you think that what happened to your brother won’t happen to yo-”

“Mom, I’m fine. I just haven’t been sleeping very well lately. And nothing happened to Adam, he made his own decisions. Trust me, I am not Adam.”

After that she backed off a bit. “I know you’re not Adam, I am just worried about you because you don’t communicate with your family. I am here for you, always. I love you Charlie and I want you to be OK.”

“I know mom, and I am OK, I just have been really busy at work and I don’t get that much free time. How is the family doing? Has Dad retired yet?”

Her face finally relaxed and I saw her break out into a small grin. “He’s got about eight more months and then we’re going on a cruise to Costa Rica. Oh we are so excited!”

“Wow, that’s great, you guys deserve a break. How’s Lizzie?” Lizzie is my younger sister and since she is the baby of the family she was spoiled and probably still goes on all the family vacations with my mom and dad. She is only 20 years old, so I was never really close with her especially because I moved out of the house when she was only 12.

“Oh, Lizzie is great, she’s in her second year at the University of Washington; remember she’s going to school to be a doctor? She’s doing so well in school. We are just so proud of her.”

“Oh yeah, she’s still doin that? Good for her. So why exactly did you drive all the way out to Clackamas; just to catch up?”

“Well… I was worried that you had started doing heroin again, so yes I wanted to come see how you were doing and see if you needed any help.”

“Well thanks mom, I appreciate it. As you can see I’m doing great.”

“Yes, well, um, are you still seeing a therapist? How’s that dog of yours? Have you found yourself a lady? Tell me more!” I was being interrogated. This is not a situation I liked putting myself in, but she was my mother so I could at least satisfy her need for knowledge a little bit. Plus no one else asks about my life so why not tell a little story, I need some entertainment somehow.

“Um, OK no, I am not seeing the therapist anymore; I didn’t find it as helpful as I had hoped. But yes, Maleeka, she is great; we go for walks all the time, she is a very energetic dog. I taught her some new tricks like how to shake and how to roll over, she is very smart. I have not found a girl that interests me yet (not that I have looked) but maybe one day mom, maybe one day.”

“That’s great honey, I’m glad to hear you’re doing well. Oh I forgot to tell you, Lizzie has found herself a new boyfriend. We met him just a few months ago when they came back for winter break. He is in her program at UW and he is on the football team. Oh my, he is so kind and I’m very happy for her. You should come over next time they come home.”

“That’s cool mom. Real cool. Yeah maybe I’ll come by if I can get work off, but they really need me so it might be tough. Speaking of, I am supposed to go into work in about an hour so I should probably get going soon.” Once I said that I tried to study her reaction as best I could to see what she would do. She looked sort of relieved that she could finally leave. She was just trying to be a good parent. She didn’t actually care about anything that was happening in my life and that was obvious. That would be why I lied to her: to ease her worry so she could go back to not caring about me for the next couple years.

After I said that the environment became eerie with an awkward silence so almost immediately we both stood up gave each other an artificial hug, then walked out of the dinky coffee shop and went our separate ways.

That’s what is so great about having parents who don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t notice the little things. It’s not like I actually want her to notice the little things but if I’m being honest with myself, I feel like she wouldn’t care if I fell off the face of the Earth and died. She thinks that she is better than me and she has never really approved of the choices I have made, like moving out to Clackamas or getting a job in the field I’m in, or even getting the dog that I have. When I told her about getting Maleeka she said “labs are hard to take care of Charlie, and they make a mess of everything, are you sure you are willing to take on that liability?  You don’t even own your own home. You’ll have to pay for anything she destroys which won’t be cheap!”

I was pretty pissed at her for that for a while but I realized that she doesn’t know me and the little jabs she attacks me with don’t mean anything to me because that shows me her internal issues which I don’t care about so I can laugh a little when she says rude things to me for no reason.

After I left the coffee shop I drove around for about an hour to just think. I already do enough thinking, probably too much, but I think this writing shit down thing is working a little bit. Once I have my thoughts down on a piece of paper they become concrete and I can recognize them as a part of me. I’m learning about myself by doing this thing, I can see that there is no help for me. Something needs to change drastically in order for me to care about anything but I don’t think that will happen unless I make it happen and I won’t. Charlie stop being so dumb. Just stop being an asshole and do something with your life or else the rest of it will be miserable. I understand that. I don’t know what to do though.

Arriving home is the saddest part because I know exactly what I’ll do once I step inside the door: get naked and go to sleep. Oh, and if I have any smack I will indulge with no regret. I feel like I have nothing to live for so if I do heroin every once in awhile I don’t see a problem with it.

I planned on indulging today so I was a little anxious to get home. Seeing my mother put me in an off mood and I wanted away from that. The first few steps inside the house were the same as any other time but then I realized that there was something wrong. Maleeka didn’t come running down to greet me. I was too tired and I was ready to be high so I didn’t think too much into it and carried on routinely until I stepped into the bathroom. Once I pushed the door open, I saw my dog lying on the floor motionless. When she didn’t get up even after I said her name. I quickly knelt down to see if she was breathing. It didn’t look like it, though I didn’t really know how to check a pulse on a dog. I then picked her up and ran to my car. I didn’t know where the vet was but I knew she was going to die if I did nothing. I looked up the nearest animal hospital on the GPS but it would take 45 minutes to get there. The thought popped into my mind that I should just take her to her favorite place—the water, and just sit with her until I knew she was dead. But this dog had been with me for a long time and I cared for her. So, I decided against giving up and drove to the hospital. The whole way there I prayed, I didn’t know who or what I was praying to but that was all I could do. I prayed that she would be ok and that she wouldn’t be already dead. I prayed that the doctors could find what was wrong. This was my fault and I had no excuses. She was my responsibility and I failed her. Maleeka didn’t make a move the whole way and I feared the doctors would say flat out that she was dead. She looked dead. I began sobbing in the parking lot right before I brought her inside and I couldn’t stop, but I had to move quickly. Once inside people immediately noticed me and they took Maleeka from me, I couldn’t answer any of the questions they asked because I didn’t know. I hadn’t paid any attention to her for the last few days. I think I had been feeding her. I remembered that she had puked a few days ago but I didn’t know what was in the puke because she ate it. They took her into a room and I was left to sit and wait. After 10 minutes of waiting the doctor came back out and said that she would need immediate surgery to try to get out whatever she had eaten. They didn’t know what it was but they knew that there was something and that was good enough for me. It was going to cost an ungodly amount but I loved my dog and I agreed. I was told it was going to take a few hours and was recommended to go somewhere to “cool off” and relax.

I drove to the nearest bar I could find about 10 minutes away. I don’t usually drink any sort of alcohol but I needed a breather and I got a Guinness. That was the only alcohol that I’ve actually liked ever since I was a teenager. I knew that my face was swollen from crying so people kept staring at me but I didn’t care. I had been sitting in the back corner of the bar for a while, sniffling because I couldn’t keep the snot from rolling out of my nostrils, when a lady about 30 or 40 years older than me walked over and sat down across the table. She just smiled when I looked up at her. I could see something different in her than I had ever seen in anyone before. Her smile was genuine. The first time I made eye contact with her I looked away because it was too much for me. Then when I looked back I asked, “What’re you doing?” I was confused and I didn’t like people making me feel uncomfortable. She was making me feel uncomfortable.

“What happened?” She replied bluntly.

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Yes you do.”

“What?”

“You’ve been sitting here for the past 20 minutes and you have taken one drink from your glass. You have not stopped crying since you stepped in here either. You want to talk about what is on your mind but you don’t know how to start. I came over here to give you that chance.”

“Why do you care?”

“I don’t really. But I’m not the kind of person that will sit and watch someone be in any kind of pain without trying to help”

“Well, I don’t need help.”

“OK, suit yourself.” She was about to get up and walk away, but she noticed that I flinched a little bit. I didn’t mean to but I guess subconsciously I wanted someone who I could let go of everything to. She sat back down and stared at me and I looked down in embarrassment.

“I think my dog is going to die,” I said sniffling.

“What are you gonna do about it?”

“There’s nothing I can do but wait.”

“What happened?”

“I think she ate some of my heroin.” Once I finished my sentence, her face got very serious and I thought she was going to start yelling at me.

“Look lady, I know what I did was irresponsible and I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do now. I don’t want her to die but I think she is going to. I can’t save her. I can’t save anyone. I can’t even save myself.”

This was not the kind of situation that she thought she was getting herself into, I could tell because her frown turned to a perplexed look that wouldn’t go away. She didn’t say anything either and after a while of sitting in silence I started to get self-conscious and extremely uncomfortable so I stood up and started to walk out. The lady grabbed my arm as I walked past her and said, “You will never be able to right this wrong and this will haunt you for the rest of your life, all you can do now is find a way to accept what you’ve done and move on.” I looked back at her in horror, I started shaking and began to run out of the bar, but she still had hold on my arm and for an older lady she was very strong.

“What do you want from me?!”

“Sit back down.”

“Sit down?! Why?”

“Because I just told you something you didn’t want to hear and now you need to calm down or else you will freak out and do something that you will regret.” I wanted to leave that bar so badly, every fiber in me was telling me to pull free and run as far as I could away from this lady. But I stayed. I don’t know exactly why, maybe she was right, I don’t know what I would do once I left so sat back down in my chair still shaking. I took a sip of my drink to try and calm me down and as I set the glass down the lady began talking.

“What is going through your mind?” She asked softly.

“I don’t want my dog to die.”

“She might not die, but she might. What will you do if she does?”

“I don’t know.”

“Think. How will it make you feel?”

“It will break my heart. I will feel even deader than I already do, I don’t think I could live with myself if Maleeka died.”

“Her name is Maleeka? That’s pretty, why’d you name her that?”

“When I was a kid I liked writing fictional stories and Maleeka was always the main character in my stories. She was always the one who saved the day and made everyone happy again.” The lady smiled. I smiled too remembering when Maleeka was a puppy; my life was so different back then.

“So she was your happy place?”

“Yeah…”

“What changed?”

“… I don’t know. When my brother died, I kind of lost sight of everything I guess.”

“How long ago did he die?”

“19 months ago.”

“Oh… I’m sorry for your loss. Would you mind me asking how?”

“Yes, I would mind, I thought we we’re talking about my dog, not my brother.”

“A loss is a loss and when you lose someone or something that you deeply care about, you’re going to handle it all in a similar way. How did you grieve for your brother?”

I was done with the conversation by this point. I was not going to tell this lady, a stranger, my life. I was done and I shut down. “Excuse me but I think it’s getting time for me to go back and check on my dog. Thanks for chatting with me.” I got up and left the bar. When I looked back at her before I opened the door, she was staring at me and shaking her head in disappointment. I don’t know if it was disappointment in me for leaving or in her for not being able to get out all she was trying to say.

 

Thursday March 2nd, 2023

I buried my dog yesterday. It took me a few days because I couldn’t handle it. I can’t believe she’s gone. My companion is gone. She only lived four years and she was full of energy every one of those days. I’m writing this down because I have no one to say it to. Maleeka was probably the best dog in the world and I lost her due to my selfishness.

What I should do is at least vow to never shoot up again but I don’t know. I know that sounds terrible but I don’t know if I can stop. My life before Maleeka died was already fucked and now… I don’t know what.. I don’t even know what to say. All I know is that I am sad. I am lonely. I am helpless.

I told some people at work about Maleeka but I know that no one really gets it. Even if they say “Oh man, I know it’s tough, when my dog died I was devastated” to me those are just words. Feelings can never be truly put into words because they are not words; they are in a whole other category. It’s like trying to have a conversation with a tree; it can’t happen because they have two different ways of communicating. I guess I am just trying to say that I can’t relate to anyone because I feel so alone and disconnected from everyone else. This is such a terrible feeling because it feels like a tunnel; no… more like a cycle that feeds itself. I can’t get away from it because I know I can’t and I know I can’t because I don’t try and I don’t try because I know it won’t do anything. If anything, trying makes me sadder because when I try, I fail.

I’ve been feeling this tunnel-cycle thing even before Maleeka died. I can just feel it to a more intensity now. My insides burn constantly now and the deep ache in my body gets so severe that sometimes my muscles freeze up and I can’t move. It only gets that bad for a few moments. I feel physical pain every single day and I can tell that I won’t live for very much longer. Not only does every single person hate me and think I am annoying but my own body does too. It’s giving up on me, I can feel it; I have felt this for some time now.

I don’t know why I’m writing this all down. I don’t even deserve to, I really hope no one reads this because my life is such a waste and no one should waste their time on me.

After I left the bar last week I drove to hospital and they told me they couldn’t do the surgery. Maleeka died only a few minutes after I left is what they said, but they wanted me to cool off. I don’t get why everyone is so worried when they see me; those doctors, that lady. They all thought that I couldn’t handle it. Maybe they’re right, maybe I can’t. I left the bar in such a rush that day that I forgot my wallet and had to go back for it, luckily the lady was gone by the time I got it back so I didn’t have to see her again.

I’m going to buy heroin today. I’ve already made up my mind. This week has been too hard and I haven’t shot up at all. My tolerance is low enough that I won’t need more than a half gram. It brings me up and takes me away from this hell. It’s really a lifesaver for the time being, and right now that’s all I need; a momentary relief.

I met up with a dealer and bought my half gram. Once I felt the rush of liquid come into my body I was calm. I was happy. I didn’t care that it was the momentary happiness, I felt alive again, and that was good enough for me. I spent the rest of the night dreaming. My dreams were realistic and visually exciting; I even woke up from my own voice yelling. I was yelling for Maleeka. We were running around a large field playing fetch, and I mean both of us were running, as fast as we could. She would tackle me to the ground and lick my face until I threw the ball again. We did that over and over and over again until I threw the ball too far. I couldn’t even see where it landed. Maleeka ran for it though and she disappeared. I started shouting her name when she didn’t come back; I shouted and shouted and then started running towards where she ran. That’s when I woke up for just a moment. I smiled realizing I was with my Maleeka, my eyes became heavy and when I happily let them close again I began floating. I didn’t weigh anything and I was free of all my problems; they still existed but I accepted what they were and I was OK with them. I was OK with Maleeka being gone because I was happy I could see her in my dreams. I was ok with being alone because that’s what I wanted; I knew that no person could make me as happy as I was at that moment.

 

Friday March 3rd, 2023

I woke up this morning with a very nice afterglow. I’ve decided to not go into work today, so I can just have the day to be happy. I know this feeling will only last until tonight, if that, and then I’ll realize how helpless my life is again. This happens every time but to me it’s worth it. It’s all worth it. I’ve come to the conclusion that I probably won’t be happy again in my sober life so whenever I deem it the right time to partake in my drug of choice, I’ll be sure to enjoy it. I’ve made the choice that it’s better for me to get high to be happy and then when I become sober again my life will suck even worse than it did the day before, than to never be happy and not be quite as sad. I guess I don’t want like a constant line of emotions; I like the ups and downs. No...I don’t, but I live for the ups and that’s worth it to me to experience the downs. I’ve spent the whole day in bed, which is no different than any other day, but it is because I am content with myself. My phone began buzzing and it’s the hospital. I am free right now, free of everything. They are calling again. The third time they call I’ve had enough and I turn my phone off.

 

Tuesday March 7th, 2023

I got fired today. Apparently I missed too many days that I was scheduled to come in. I knew it was gonna happen. I didn’t think I would care. God dammit I don’t fucking care. My life is crumbling. It literally is coming to an end right in front of my face and I am recognizing it but I am not doing anything about it because there is nothing that I can do. I don’t have much money saved up so I am going to have find another job soon or else I will get kicked out of my apartment. No one will hire me in the condition I am in. I am frail and I look sickly. I don’t speak to anyone and I guess I look kind of creepy.  I am not moving back in with my parents though. I have been hanging onto my life by a very thin thread and I don’t think I can do it anymore. I only have enough strength in me to die.

I’m going to kill myself.

I’ve thought about this for a long time. I’ve thought about the way that I would go. Adam took the most fun way. About a year ago I think is when I finally made my choice. I’ve gone through all the possibilities; I would never hang myself because that is honestly too much work and too many things could go wrong: The rope could break, or I could not tie the rope tight enough and it could come loose. I mean if you’re neck doesn’t break when you hang yourself, then you’ll go by suffocation. It all sounds too stressful.  I would never shoot myself either, because that is so much pressure and it happens too fast. I have dreamed and desired to die for such a long time and now that it’s finally time, I want to enjoy it. Of course over dosing might be fun, but it could also be terrifying because I could start having a bad trip. I want to die knowing what is going on. I want to die having a clear and focused mind and I don’t believe I can do that on drugs. Bleeding to death has always been fascinating. As a kid the first time I fell and scraped my knee and saw blood come gushing down my leg, I fell in love. Since then, the sight of blood has excited me. That’s why I loved my job at first, I got to see blood all the time. Adam slit his arms open which is fun of course, but I’ve decided to go even further. The way I’m going to go is I’m going to make cuts down every part of my body, starting at my feet. I want to watch me bleed from every limb and every section on my body. I hope to get to the top of my head before I bleed to death but once I start cutting I’ll be happy enough.

Ahhh, this is it.

I am ready.

What am I going to do with this journal? Keep it hidden away?  Someone might find it and learn the reasons for what I’m going to do.

I could just burn it or throw it away. That way no one will know. Hell, it won’t even matter anyways. I’ll just put it where I always do. This journal means nothing. I mean nothing. This is the last and only thing I think I deserve. I am actually pretty excited. I wonder if Adam was this excited when he was about to do it.

Ok this is it. I want to leave, and I am ready to leave. Wish me luck.

?

Tuesday February 21st, 2023

I don’t know how I’ve been living my life before now but I think my old age is changing me. All my kids are out of the house and I feel lonely. I think I’ve done a good job in raising them, but then again, I’m not quite confident. I mean Adam killed himself. Is that my fault? No mother ever wants to hear that one of her children killed themselves. I hadn’t talked to him in six months and then all of a sudden he’s dead. I don’t even remember what our last conversation was. Isn’t that the definition of failure in a parent? You lose the connection with your children?

I’ve felt miserable since the day I found out. All I think I can do is try to connect with my kids now. I had Lizzie pretty late in life and she is young enough to still love me. She has seen me as a parent who had already raised two children so I was an expert I would like to say. She is doing great in life and I am extremely proud of her. She was always easy, she was my girl. Lizzie seemed to never go through the rebellion stage, or she hid it well, either way I never had the chance to get mad at her for any big reason.

Sam and I have been married for 37 years and it definitely has not been easy. He has slept with three other women in that time period and has also become an alcoholic. I’ve always tried to keep everyone together so I forgive him for everything. It’s his life. It’s his choice, and sure, I know he has taken advantage of me multiple times but I made my choice when we married, and I will not give up. I somewhat understand that living with me can be hard, so those are the excuses I give him to do what he does. Underneath it all, I know who I married and I know he’s a good man.

A lot of my family thinks I married Sam for his money because he grew up in a wealthy home and has stayed wealthy his whole life. He hasn’t had to deal with the struggles my family and I had to deal with growing up. I came from a low-income family. I have 7 siblings and my mother supported us with three minimum wage jobs. She worked at a fast food restaurant and then had two retail jobs. She was barely ever home. My siblings and I basically raised ourselves because my dad was rarely there and when he would come home he would be drunk and he would only come to pass out. Most of the time he didn’t even make it in the house, and we would wake up in the morning and open the front door to find him lying on the porch asleep.

I left that house as soon as I graduated high school and turned 18. I always imagined I would have the perfect family whenever I could just escape. It seemed like my dreams came true when I started having kids too.

I don’t know what happened with Adam though. I am scared to think about what is going to happen to Charlie. Oh Charlie… Adam and Charlie were glued at the hip and I always admired the bond between them. They were adorable little boys growing up. Maybe I left them to themselves too much, I don’t know.

Sam never really loved the idea of having kids, but he wasn’t super opposed and he wanted to make me happy, so we did. He didn’t like bonding with the kids though. Basically they were my responsibility is what he told me once when Adam flushed his shirt down the toilet and it got clogged. Sam got very frustrated and overwhelmed and pretty much gave up. I understand that not everyone is meant to have kids but I thought maybe Sam could fake it till he made it. He did eventually, with Lizzie; he became a part of her life when she got into honor roll for the first time in 6th grade. Hey, better late than never, right? Charlie was just about to move out at that time though, so he and Adam never got to have a relationship with their father.

Anyways, I was trying to talk about rebuilding connections with my kids. Yes, Lizzie and I have a wonderful connection, we speak almost every day and I love hearing all she has to say about what she is doing in school and what her relationship is like and just everything excites me. That’s how I wish it was with Charlie. We haven’t spoken since Adam’s funeral and it’s been heart breaking. I don’t know how I can get him back into my life though. He seems too far gone, and there’s nothing I can say to make him feel like he’s loved or wanted. He thinks I’m a joke. I know he doesn’t believe me when I say it but I love him so much and I just want him to be happy. We’re going to finally meet up tomorrow. I’m nervous because I don’t know what I’m supposed to say to him and what he might take offensively. Charlie is a delicate soul and I’ve never known what is too much. He always cried as a child, he was never all that happy and he didn’t have many friends; only that one year he did have an imaginary friend. I began to really worry and since then I’ve always been worried but now since I haven’t talked to him and he lost his brother I’m even more now.  

I’m writing this down because I am admitting that I don’t know how to connect with my son and I want to try. I need to try, now more than ever because one of my children died, and I don’t want another one to. I hope it’s not too late. I’ve been scared of what might happen for too long. My therapist said this would help me understand my thoughts and from that maybe I can figure out what to say to Charlie to make him trust me again. Oh I just hope it’s not too late.

 

Wednesday February 22, 2023

I just left my meeting with Charlie. I took my journal with me so that I could write about it while it’s still fresh in my mind. I’ve driven to a very nice park in Clackamas. At first I didn’t like that Charlie moved out here because it was so far away from home, but it’s actually beautiful here. It’s a nice, little town and I can see why he likes living here. Meeting up with Charlie was… awkward.  When I began to speak I realized that I had no Idea what to say, so I turned into the person that I turn into when I’m pretending to be happy. I didn’t want to have to do that with Charlie. God Dammit, I know I fucked the whole thing up. I wanted to hear about what he’s been doing for the last year but I freaked out. Charlie doesn’t respect me. I think he lied to me about doing heroin. He looked exhausted, and frankly like he was decaying. It tears me apart that that was my son. He deserves better than to feel like that. I can see the hurt in his eyes. He is like me in a lot of ways. We both can put up fronts that make people think that we are happy. That make people feel like there’s no need to worry, but in all reality we are crying out for help every day to every soul that will stop and care. It’s hard to live that way. It’s almost impossible.

What did I do wrong to have my child be like that? I have always tried my best to keep my kids away from that torture but I guess they can pick up more than you think. Oh my goodness, I have failed as a mother. What am I going to do to fix things? Can I do anything?

 

Friday March 10th, 2023

It’s been a couple weeks since I last talked with Charlie, and I’ve just been thinking about what to do or to say. I’ve been reading a lot of parenting books and going to my therapist almost every day to try and figure out what to do. I think I am ready.

I tried calling him a few times earlier today and he hasn’t answered me. This is something I was warned about. It’s obvious that he doesn’t want me or anyone in his life but I need to force myself into it because I know he needs it and deep down he is crying out for someone. All I can do it keep calling until he answers. Even if he answers once, I know exactly what I need to say. C’mon Charlie, just give me a chance…

 

Monday March 13th, 2023

I’ve been calling him three times every day since Friday and I still haven’t heard anything. I’m trying not to be worried about him but I can’t help it. Why wouldn’t he at least answer me to say he was “too busy” to talk? I know I shouldn’t drive to his apartment but I’m not sure what else I can do right now. I need this to happen, and I need it to happen now. I will not give up because I’m scared of what might happen. I need my son to be OK and I need my son to love himself again because I can see that he doesn’t. He blames himself for Adam's death, and I just want to tell him that it was not his fault and that it’s going to be ok. I know it might be too late to say that might I need to try.

I’ll wait until next Friday but if he won’t answer me then I’ll have no choice but to drive out to Clackamas.

 

Sunday March 19th, 2023

Charlie still hasn’t answered me and I’ve been calling him every day. I told Sam about it and he said not to worry, and that he’s probably fine. I am not very convinced though. I think tomorrow morning I am going to his apartment.

 

Monday March 20, 2023

I just got back from Charlie’s apartment and he wasn’t at home. There was no sign of him or his dog anywhere. The front door wasn’t locked so I walked in and waited for two and a half hours. He never came home though. His car was parked out front though so he must’ve walked somewhere. I don’t understand why he was gone for so long. I feel bad about this part but I looked through his room. Nothing really looked out of the ordinary. I admit that I did look for signs of drug usage but there was nothing. Maybe he had just taken his dog for a hike or something. He did say that he did do that with her. The house seemed to have a sort of rotting smell to it, but I was scared to look through his whole house. I’m thinking that it was just some food that was rotting in his fridge. Maybe he hadn’t been home in a few days.

I’m not sure about anything but I have to say that my visit was not normal so I am definitely worried about my boy. I told Sam about it, but he still seemed nonchalant and said maybe he was at work, maybe he walked to work? The hospital was far away, and where was his dog? When I told him about the smell he just said that could be anything. I don’t know what to think, I don’t know what to do. I guess I’ll just ask my therapist on my next appointment.

?

March ?? 2023

Well… I’m not dead. Sadly. I don’t know what happened. Well, I guess that’s not all true. I mean, I was ready. I still am ready. I remember that I went to the store to get new knives that were sharp because I wanted it to be perfect, ya know? Yeah, well then when I was walking out to my car I started feeling the cool breeze and I could smell the fresh air and it seemed so pure and real and good. It made me sad that I wouldn’t be able to smell that again. I was still ready though, it was just a bitter sweet moment. Anyways, I had stopped in the parking lot to just enjoy the air, which is something that I probably shouldn’t have done because I got hit by a car. Here I was, about to go home and end my suffering when a fucking car comes out of nowhere and hits me. Who did they think they were? Well I actually did know the person who hit me. Well I didn’t really know her, like I didn’t know her name or anything. It was the fucking lady from the bar; the one who tried to learn my life. I was so confused; I mean why would she try to kill me? That was supposed to be my own pleasure. It was the only thing I could do for myself. I’m not gonna let someone else take that away from me.

. . .

Once I fell to the ground she jumped out of her car. “Are you okay??”

I felt like my bones had all broken, like a piece of paper, but I reluctantly opened my eyes due to curiosity of her voice. “What the fuck is your problem lady?” was all I could say. I know that we were in a parking lot and that cars aren’t supposed to go very fast in parking lots, but I was already very weak and I was very ready to be dead. She was at least going 15 or 20 mph so it almost knocked me out.

“I’m sorry; I guess I didn’t see you there. Why were you just standing the middle of the road?”

“It’s not a road… it’s a parking lot.”

“Well, I think you need medical attention.”

“No shit.”

“Do you want me to take you to the hospital?”

I didn’t have the strength to tell the lady to go fuck herself, I didn’t have the strength to say anything so I didn’t. Apparently to her that meant yes of course you can put me in your car and take me to the hospital. I didn’t exactly protest though, I was in too much pain and I was still trying to process what had just happened.

On the way to the hospital I started to realize what exactly was going on. I didn’t have health insurance. I didn’t have any money. I can’t go to the hospital. God dammit I was supposed to die that day. What the fuck. “I can’t go the hospital.”

“Why can’t you? You are in a lot of pain, you can’t just do nothing.”

“Well, I can’t go, could you maybe just take me back to my house?” I had some heroin left so I guess I could’ve been fine with an overdose. Oh well right? We all die somehow.

“You need medical attention.”

“I just can’t go.”

“Why not?”

“Because I just can’t, ok? If you don’t want to drive me to my house just pull over and I’ll find another way ok? Or better yet, just take me back to my fucking car.”

She looked very frustrated, “Fine. I’ll take you back to your car, because when you change your mind from being in so much pain, you’ll have a way to get there.”

“Thank you.”

She turned around and started driving back to the store. After a few minutes the lady broke the silence. “Did you ever get my note?”

“Uh…what note?”

“The one I put in your wallet?”

“What the fuck are you talking about?”

“After you left the bar, I noticed that you left your wallet too. I was going to run after you, but I could tell that you didn’t want to hear anything I had to say anymore. So I left you a note in it and gave it to the bartender.”

“Oh. Yeah well I never did.”

“Oh.”

We sat in silence again until I finally was the one who began talking. “Why did you run me over? What were you even doing in the parking lot? We are a ways away from the bar. Why were you even at the bar? Who the hell are you?”

“You got all the questions, don’t you? I’ll answer everything you want to know if you answer just one thing for me. Deal?”

“What is it?”

“Why did you buy just knives at that store?”

“What do you mean? Buying knives isn’t a crime is it?”

“No I guess not. It depends on what you use them for though doesn’t it? What were you going to use them for?”

“Maybe I was just trying to cook a fancy meal alright? Maybe I didn’t have any knives in my house to cut things with? Maybe I have been feeling threatened so I wanted a little protection. Why does it even matter?”

“OK, so what was the real reason? If it’s not a big deal then just tell me.”

I was starting to get frustrated but I was so weak that I couldn’t convey much emotion. I decided to just tell her.

“I got the knives so that I could slit every part of my body open and watch the blood gush out of my skin and trickle to the ground and so that I could die sitting in a puddle of the only beautiful thing about myself.”

The lady got real quiet. “Well thank you for telling me the truth, Charlie.”

. . .

I wanted to ask how she knew my name but then I realized she probably looked at my ID in my wallet. I still hadn’t looked to see what the note said but I didn’t really care at that point. I was done. I wanted to go home and die, and that was the only thing on my mind.

Once we got back to the store the lady helped me get out of her car and into mine. I tried to tell her I was fine but she helped anyways. Driving didn’t require much movement and I was conscious enough to be able to pay attention to the road so I made it back to my house alright.

I walked inside and I immediately collapsed. I stayed there for a few minutes and then I began to crawl to my room, which is where my emergency stash of heroin was. I didn’t have enough to kill myself but I needed away from the pain as soon as possible. After grabbing it I put it in my pocket so that I could try to lift myself up. I still needed a few things before I would head to the bathroom. I grabbed my belt, and when I was trying to remember where I left my needle, I blacked out. I crashed down to the ground. That was the last thing I remember until I woke up here.

I am sitting in a very dark room and I feel really weak, so weak that I can barely move. I am confused. Am I dead? I don’t know what happened. The only thing I can see are in this room are a bed and my journal. I am too weak to get up to check to see if there is a door and if it is locked. I don’t know where I am but all I want to do is sleep right now so I will. Goodnight.

 

March 2023 (I think)

I woke up shivering because it’s so cold in here. I feel like I have been sleeping for weeks but I think that’s my mind being dramatic. I am very hungry. Am I in hell? I’ve checked my pockets and my wallet is the only thing on me. Someone must have stolen my heroin. It’s starting to feel like I’m dead. Am I in some sort of purgatory, or just straight up Hell? If I’m not dead I will be soon because I’ll probably starve to death. I feel like I’m going to vomit. Yup, that’s what I needed to do. I don’t feel any better though. It’s dark in here. My eyes can only adjust to see what I’m writing but that’s barely true.  I can’t see where the exit might be even if there was one. I’m still tired too; I’ve wasted too much energy on writing.

 

2023 (I don’t know how long I’ve been here)

When I woke up this time the room was lit up with a small, dim lamp in the opposite corner of me. I can actually see my surroundings now. It still didn’t do much. There is no door that I can see, so I’ve come to the conclusion that I am dead. I noticed that I am hooked up to an IV though. Someone or something wants me to stay alive in this tormented reality. If that is even something I can call this place.

?

 

Thursday March 23rd, 2023

I went back to Charlie’s house this morning and thankfully Sam came with me. He didn’t want to but at least he could see what I was seeing. Everything was the same as when I went to his house three whole days ago. He hadn’t been home I could tell that much. When we went back this time, Sam and I checked Charlie’s whole apartment. The smell that I had thought smelt like something had died had almost completely diminished. Sam thinks I’m going crazy, but he also agreed that it was a bit strange. I wanted to call the police but Sam said that I shouldn’t. He said I should wait a few more days to report a missing person. He said to just keep calling him. What good will calling him do if his phone won’t even ring anymore? What good will waiting do if he’s already dead? Sam says that I shouldn’t assume the worst, but I don’t know what else to do. I called Lizzie yesterday and asked her if she had spoken with him recently, she said no. I don’t know if he has spoken with anyone recently. He works at Kaiser Sunnyside Hospital in Clackamas so maybe I’ll go ask them if they’ve heard from if I still don’t.

. . .

?

. . .

 

It’s weird not knowing any concept of time. I mean I can try to guess, but after all my guesses I know that I really have no clue. I don’t know if it’s day or night. Is this what my life will always be like? This is my life now? My lips and throat are so dry that I don’t know if I could cry out for help if I tried. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not dead. I figured this out because I can still feel pain, and because I still have blood. I know this because I pulled out the IV I was connected to and it hurt like a bitch because I bent my arm when I pulled the needle out and blood began pulsing out. It hurt but in a way that was good and I could feel the life leaving me. I was happy. I closed my eyes and waited to die, but I woke up. I woke up with the IV back in my arm and tape wrapped around it. It was too hard to take off. I am going to waste away and die in here, I know it.  


 

Another day

Fuck, I’ve been here for too long. I can’t handle it anymore. I need to at least sit up. I am not going to do this anymore. Where am I? Can I look for any clues? As I look around this place I see a lamp, an IV on a metal stand that I am connected to, I have my journal and a pen, and I have my wallet. I flipped through my journal to see if there was anything that I hadn’t written in it; there wasn’t. Then I looked through my wallet. I still had my ID and credit cards. I also had a little bit of cash in it too. The note that the lady said she put in my wallet was also inside. I took it out and looked at what it said. I knew it would mean something. It said, “Don’t.” Yeah.. I don’t know what she meant by that. I mean, did she already know I was going to try to kill myself? Is that why she hit me with her car? So that she could kidnap me and stop me from ending my life? What the hell?? Or maybe I am giving her too much credit. I mean I met her when Maleeka was about to die. That’s all she knew about me. I told her that I do heroin too but that’s not enough for someone to think that I was going to kill myself, right? She dropped me off at the store. She didn’t even know where I lived. Unless she followed me?? What does “don’t” mean? Don’t do something I will regret? That’s what she thought I was going to do if I left the bar. Don’t do heroin anymore? I mean she could’ve meant it in that way right? Fuck, I don’t know. Why did she ask about the knives? She didn’t answer any of my questions even though I answered hers. What the fuck. Am I in her t?o?r?t?u?r?e? ?c?h?a?m?b?e?r?? What the fuck is going to happen to me? WHO WAS SHE?

No one even knows that I’m missing... but that lady doesn’t know that. I can make it seem I have tons of people out there searching for me. My boss could be, and my co-workers. My loving mother and father are too! They have reported a missing person and so now the police are looking for me too. Yeah, that might freak this lady out. But how will I tell her? I have to get up and bang on the wall. I have to. I need out of here. I am so weak though. It hurts to move. I can feel the contusions on my abdominal area. Maybe I should just wait to heal, then I can plan my escape.

 

Another day

When I opened my journal today I saw it immediately. Fuck, torture chamber is crossed out from my last entry. That means she is reading what I write. This lady is fucking crazy, I have to find somewhere to hide it. What this tells me is that there is a way out of here! She came in here and left that means I can do the same thing, I just have to stay awake. I have to see how she gets in here. This lady is seriously fucking crazy. Why did she cross out torture chamber? Was that her way of telling me that she doesn’t want to torture me? Or she could’ve just crossed out a random word to let me know to be careful of what I write down because she will read it.  

I have a question for you lady. WHY AM I HERE?? can you tell me that? Please, I would love to get in the loop because I am very confused.

 

. . .

“Hello Charlie.” I had been awake for a while just waiting for her to come into the room. I had been closing my eyes so how could she possibly know I was was awake? She must not know.

“Charlie...” I still didn’t reply. She was scaring me and I started shaking instead, god dammit. She knows now.

“Ah, finally you’re actually awake.”

“What’s going on?” I asked as I turned over to face her.

“You don’t know?” She asked sounding not at all surprised.

“C’mon I am tired of playing games with you. I answered all your questions. You said you would answer mine. Who the fuck are you? And what do you want with me?”

“Oh Charlie, I thought you really would’ve figured it out by now. All I’ve been doing this whole time is trying to help you, can’t you see!? I am your guardian angel.”

I was dumbfounded. What the hell was this lady talking about? Are you kidding me? A fucking guardian angel? That cannot be true. That is fiction, so-called “guardian angels” do not exist, and everyone knows that. This was ridiculous, she was just trying to make me go crazy.

“Why are you trying to help me? I haven’t ever asked for it. I can take care of myself.”

“Really? You about to kill yourself tells me that you do not know how to take care of yourself even a little bit. You have lost yourself. People love and care about you, you can’t do that to them.”

“You don’t know me obviously. No one cares about me in the slightest. I go day after day sitting in my own silence, I don’t talk to anyone, and no one tries even a little bit to talk to me; no one cares or loves me. I made my own decision of how I wanted my life to go with clear judgement. You are not God, and you don’t get to decide whether I am right or wrong. I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, so you are taking this a little too seriously and it’s pretty creepy. Will you please let me leave? I appreciate you trying to “save” me, but I don’t need saving.”

“You want me to let you leave?”

“Please.”

“If I tell you that you can leave, you will kill yourself. I will have to live with that for the rest of my life. You say no one cares about you? You would be dead if no one cared about you. People care, you are just so wrapped up in yourself to realize.”

My gaze fell to the floor and I didn’t know what to think anymore. I wanted to leave this place, but she was right. She was right. I didn’t want her to be right. I wanted to give up. I wanted to say “Fuck this” and not have to deal with my laziness.

“Why do you care? Why am I someone worth caring about?” I said back.

“Everyone deserves to be happy. Shitty things happen, I know, but you can always pick yourself back up, and when you do you will appreciate things a little more. People who have experienced more heartbreak than others shouldn’t ever be at a disadvantage. If anything, you have an advantage; you know how cruel the world is, It has showed itself to you, now you have the power to look for the good things, and surround yourself in those. Why are you someone worth caring about? You have experienced heartbreak, that is one thing that I do know about you. You do not deserve to die. I know you want to but that is only because you don't know how to live with what you’ve experienced. I want to at least try to help you understand what good there is and then you can decide to use it or not. Please give it a try; give life one last chance Charlie. It has disappointed you so far but maybe together we can get the world back on your side. What do you say?”

This was her big speech. This is what she has wanted to say to me for a while, I could tell that she gave it her best.

“I have no motivation to try anymore. Everything I do is useless, and I’m a piece of shit. The bad things that happened in my life were my fault, and I’ve realized that I need to suffer because of it.”

“Why do you need to suffer? Will making your life miserable bring your dog back? Bring your brother back? Is that what you think?”

“No.”

“Then why can’t you live your life like you’re living their life too? Would they want to have a good life? Would they want you to be happy?”

“They are the ones that made me happy.”

“Do you think that they would want you to feel like a piece of shit everyday of your life because they are not in your life anymore?”

“No. I can’t just be happy for them though, I’m a failure.”

She was getting frustrated with me. “I am going to leave right now. I want you to know that you are loved and and cared for, if you don’t think so then I will be here to tell you that I do. If you want to eat something and get out this room, then I want you to write down five things you like about yourself.”

. . .

The lady just left. I still don’t know her name. Why would she tell me she is my guardian angel? It’s confusing, but she made me truly believe that she is trying to help me. She is more genuine to me than anyone I’ve met. I think that if there is going to be any help for me she is going to be the answer. I have nothing really to lose so I guess I’ll let her take control of my life.

 

5 things that I like about myself:

  1. I was good at my job

  2. I’m not super ugly, so that’s cool I guess

  3. I was good in school? I was smart i guess.

  4. my blood

  5. I want to die

. . .

“What is this?”

“What do you mean? I wrote down what you asked.”

“You wanting to die is not something that you like about yourself.”

“Well what do you want me to do? You know I hate myself. I tried my best now can I leave?”

The lady sighed, “Yes, I guess so. Just be weary that when you stand up it might be a little weird.”

“What do you mean? How long have I been in this place?”

“Oh, you’ve been here for about a month. It’s not just that though. The IV that you’re connected to is saline mixed with a small amount of Fluoxetine. So, it may be hard for you to get up.”

“What the fuck is Fluoxetine? And what the fuck? You’ve kept me here for a whole fucking month? What the hell dude, that’s fuckin bullshit. You can’t do that!”

“You may know it by its common name, uh, Prozac, it’s an antidepressant. I know, I know what I did was wrong but I hope we can move past this and get the ball rolling for you,” The lady said cheerfully.

“What the fuck?! Why would you do that?” I said while looking down at my arm still getting pumped with this bullshit. I tried to rip the tape off but the lady rushed over to stop me.

“You were barely alive when I picked you up from your house. You needed medical attention is what I told you so I fixed you up and then I began the process early. Your body needed to heal and I gave it some time. I would have let you off as soon as I could but you could still barely move. You also had heroin in your system so I wanted to give that time to get out. I’m sorry Charlie.” She then unwrapped the tape and took out the IV. Then she put a bandaid on the hole in my arm.

“Can I just go now?”

“Leave? No. Please, stay. It would be in your best interest I promise you. I made fresh cookies!”

“This is too weird for me. I don't even know your name. I have to leave, I’m sorry” I said getting up. Once I stood up my legs felt like Jello and I became very light headed. I fell to the floor and the lady knelt down to slow my fall.

“Please. My name is Anne. I am 53 years old, and a retired Psychiatrist from Kaiser in Clackamas. I have lived here my whole life and I just want to help you. Please stay.”  

Then it all clicked. “Oh, so you are forcing me to be one of your patients?” I began to laugh. And I couldn’t stop laughing. This was hysterical. I mean what the fuck? This was getting to be ridiculous.

“No Charlie, I am here as a friend. I am here to help you get back on your feet.”

I stopped laughing and said, “Friend? You’re not my friend. You ran me over with your car and then you kidnapped me and pumped me full drugs for a fucking month. Ma'am, I haven’t had many friends in my life, but I can guarantee you, you are not my friend.”  

She looked down at the floor realizing what I just said was true. “Just admit it, that’s all you have to do, Anne.” I said trying to rub it in her face that I was right.

“Charlie.. I’ve met a lot of people who came to me to help them. I’ve met people just like you, on the verge of suicide, and they ask for my help. A lot of them just come for the drugs, but I can tell when someone just needs a friend. A friend to be there and listen to them. I’ve learned a lot from these people. I know I seemed forceful and I know you said you didn’t want the help, but something in me is telling me, forcing me not to give up. You’ve been alone for a long time, I can tell. So, that’s natural that you find it awkward and uncomfortable that someone wants to be there for you. I’ve seen people get better from what I do for them, I’ve seen people who stop showing up because they lose faith in themselves and in humanity. I’ve been through that too. As a practicing psychiatrist I could not force my help on people, they needed to come to me. They needed to take the first step for themselves, but I am retired now, so I can go to people, people who are crying out for someone, but from the inside. People who want someone, who need someone but just don’t know where to start. If that’s not you I understand. If you think that you have everything figured out and this is what you want to do, then I understand. You can get up and walk out and never have to see me again in your life. Just know that I am doing this for you. I’ve seen too many people that could’ve been helped if they just asked for it, die. I’ve seen too many people that were scared of life, die. I don’t want to see another one die. Please don’t make me see another person who deserves the happiest and most fulfilling life, die.”

“Oh, you’re trying to make me feel sorry for you now? Well that’s real great Miss Anne, but I am not one of those people. I do know what life has to offer me, and it’s a bunch of bullshit nothingness. I don’t know what you can do for me. There is nothing to be done. I’m lost and forgotten about and you are just trying to make yourself feel better by making me your next project. I am a person, and I don't appreciate being held against my will or getting pumped with drugs that I don't want in my body. I’m sorry I can't help you Anne, I can't even help myself. I’ve got to go.” Right after I was done talking I felt like an ass because I knew she was right, I am one of those people. Scared of people, scared of life. I am crying out for someone on the inside and I wished there was someway I could feel better. She was the only answer that I had out of this feeling, so why did I just blow her off? Why did I just tell her I was fine? Have I already given up? Of course I have. Some part of me is saying not to give up. I have found hope again; probably for the last time, and I’m pushing it away. Am I able to do this for myself? I don't know. I thought I would grab it when the chance came, but here it is and I’m pushing it away.  

We both sat on the ground for a while marinating in our own defeats. I didn’t know what to do. I could leave and turn this lady into the police for kidnapping but what would that do for me. She wants to help me. I could get up walk out and waste away once I got back to my own place; until I get kicked out of course. I could also stay here with this lady who is putting her own life on the line to save mine. I could do that, I could indeed.

. . .

?

. . .

 

Friday March 31st, 2023

Well, I went to the police station today and reported a missing person. I gave the police the most recent pictures I could find of Charlie but they were from at least four years ago. They don’t really come close to what he looks like now. I gave a written physical description too, but when I read over what I had described, it sounded like I was describing a homeless person. Maybe he was homeless; I mean I went to the hospital that Charlie works at yesterday, and they told me that he had gotten fired almost a month ago. That made me terrified, On my drive home last night I talked to Lizzy and she told me she was scared for Charlie. She said she shared the same uncomfortable stomach ache. It’s like we both know something bad happened to Charlie. When I arrived home though, Sam wouldn’t say anything about what I had just heard. It was like he wasn’t listening or he didn’t care about his own son.

“Look, Mary. I think you really need to calm down and chill out for just a second.”

“Sam, are you even listening to what I’ve been saying this whole month?? I haven’t heard from Charlie at all! He’s not at home, he got fired from his job, he hasn’t been answering my phone calls! That doesn’t worry you at all?!”

“Honestly, no. Charlie has never been that communicative. You don’t talk to him that often. This could be completely normal for him OK? You don’t know your own son and all because now you’ve decided to take the initiative and “save him” and to “be a better parent” doesn’t mean that he is willing to accept it. He could very well be playing a fucking mind game on you. He is torturing you, don't you see it? Goodness Mary, it’s obvious.”

“No, that can't be true. Charlie would never do that to me, I am his mother.” I said keeping the tears back as best I could. Sam never was the sensitive type.

“Oh don't fool yourself, Charlie stopped caring about us as soon as he could. When he left this house, he never intended to come back. He won’t accept your help, don't you see? He is not missing, he wants you to think he’s missing so you can worry about him. So you will care about him more than you actually do. So he can see the distress in your eyes. Charlie is a sick motherfucker, I saw it in him when he was a kid. He was a punk and he never stopped being one. Mary don’t give him the satisfaction of going to the extreme. He is probably laughing his stupid little ass off. Mary, please he is just being a shit kid. He never grew up.”

“Jesus Sam, fuck you. How the fuck do you know who Charlie is? You’re not the one who raised him. You’re not the one who spent time with him. You ignored our two sons. Who the fuck do you think you are to tell me that my son, MY fucking son is playing a sick game on me. Our other son, you remember Adam don't you? Remember he killed himself? Do you remember how close Charlie and Adam were? They both needed help and it was too late for Adam, but God dammit, I refuse to give up on Charlie.”

“Mary. Honey, think about it for a second please, with a clear mind: Charlie knows how much Adam’s death hurt us, he is trying to hurt us again. He’s punishing us for his childhood or something. I don't know what it is in his sick head that makes him think that he has the right to do this but he knows what happened when Adam died and he is doing his best to hurt you like that again. Mary, please tell me that you think this makes at least a little sense.”

I couldn’t handle Sam after that. I couldn’t stop crying and that made him say that I was pathetic and that I was being dramatic. I refuse to believe the words that came out of his mouth. I refuse. I thought Sam didn’t get involved with the kids because he didn’t know how to interact with children. I see now that he just hated kids. He had no sympathy for them. I couldn’t stand being around him anymore. I grabbed as much as I could and left, still crying. Maybe that’s what he wanted. Maybe that’s what he’s always wanted, for me to leave him. He made so many mistakes but I always forgave him. I can't do it anymore. I need to take control of my life and I will. Without Sam. I love him but I don't feel love back, and I don't deserve it. I don't. It’s been too long that people have manipulated and walked all over me. I will do this for Charlie and Me.

I am at a hotel for the next few days but if I still don’t want to go home then I’m gonna have to find a more permanent place to live. Maybe I can go to Charlie’s and wait for him to come home. I dunno, that must seem sort of creepy so I’ll have to think about that more. Right now I am sort of relieved that I can just focus on what I need to focus on, and that is finding my son.

Tomorrow I’ll probably check in with the police to see if they have found anything. I also meet with my therapist tomorrow which will be such a relief so that I can let go of the things I have been holding in with Sam. I’ve honestly never been truthful about that part of my life because Sam and I had the same therapist and I never really trusted her with the patient-confidentiality because Sam is a businessman and he knows how to throw money at people for information.

Anyways, goodnight.`

 

. . .

?

. . .

Monday April 10th, 2023

Today is the day. I am going to start getting better, or that’s what Anne says. I know that this is my final chance to do something with my life, and this lady seems like she knows what she’s doing. She is a professional after all right? I told her that therapy didn’t ever do anything for me but she said that what she is planning on isn’t therapy, it is something much simpler. This is all happening so fast but I am trying to keep up.

“So, what does this getting better thing look like?” I asked her.

“Well first of all we are going to match your outside with what we want the end product to be inside. You follow?”

“So what? I’m getting like a fucking makeover? Yeah I don’t think so. I look fine now.”

“When you look at yourself in the mirror Charlie, who do you see? Describe yourself.” She then took me over to a wall in her house that was made completely out of mirrors. It was a mirror wall.

When I looked in the mirror I saw the disgust of what I had become. I really did look like how I felt. My hair was long and greasy. The frizzy curls above my ears had turned into a big clump of knots. The huge bags underneath my eyes made me look at least twice my age, and my eyes looked like they sunk into my skull and my lips were so dry that the skin was barely attached, it was just waiting to fall off. My cheek bones were poking out of my face, along with the rest of my bones. I have been very unhealthy for quite sometime and it was showing a little too dramatically. It was weird looking at myself and I didn’t like it. I turned away.

“Do you see what I mean?” Anne said when I couldn’t take it anymore.

“I do. But a makeover won’t do much for me, I don’t think. I mean most of the problem with my image is the fact that I look like a barely alive skeleton.”

“I know. We’re gonna get to fixing that as soon as possible alright?”

“How?”

“Charlie, will you please just trust me?”

“Fine, fine, I’ll follow your lead.”

The moment we walked outside, I smelt the same fresh air that I had smelt a month ago, and I was glad that that I could still enjoy something. It was a little warmer too. I can’t believe it’s already April. It seems like it’s been just a few days since I was last with Maleeka. The one thing I didn’t like about going outside was the sun. It was bright, too bright. I had to close my eyes and turn away almost immediately. I think Anne knew that would happen because she pulled out sunglasses for me so that I could keep going. We got into her car and drove a few blocks down from where she lived. The house we pulled up to was small and looked a little creepy, but Anne told me to get out of the car. I guess one of her friends lived at the house. Anne looked excited to be there and the door was answered by another old lady who immediately smiled and embraced Anne with the same kindness. She asked who I was and Anne said that I was her new friend and that I needed a haircut and some new clothes.

“Well alrighty! what is your name young man?”

“Charlie..”

“Oh! What a wonderful name! I'm Mora, your friend Anne and I have been buddies for awhile so don't go thinking she's all yours alright?” she said with a smile.

“haha, I'll try ma'am.”

Mora told me how she had a son about my age who got lung cancer and died a few years ago. She tried to make it seem like she had gotten over it, but I could still see the pain in her eyes when she talked about him. She was happy to give me some of his clothes though and she also gave me a pretty good haircut.

When we were leaving Mora gave me a really big hug and whispered in my in “it’s going to be alright.” that gave me a little courage, and I had a little more courage after that.

Once we got back to Anne's house she suggested that we go for a little walk, and I agreed. We walked to a dog park next to her house. I can’t tell where she lives still, I can tell that it’s not in Clackamas but I’m not quite sure which town.

I think she took me to the dog park to try to get me feel something, because she knew that I loved Maleeka, but I didn’t like it there. The dogs were too energetic and it made everything seem so chaotic and stressful. We stayed there for about 45 minutes and I sat in a chair that was the furthest from anything or anyone I could get. A little black pug ran up to me and smelt my leg. I didn’t want to interact with it so I turned away and put my head down. After a few seconds it became uninterested and walked away. That was when Anne could tell I wasn’t diggin the park so we went back to her house.

Anne was very silent the whole time, I think she was studying and observing me. It felt weird. Almost like I was in some experiment. Ever since I told her I would try, she doesn’t talk to me unless I talk to her. I feel awkward living in a house that is someone else’s life. I mean there is tons of memorabilia everywhere. Tons of books and pictures and priceless items. It’s strange that I don't know what any of it means.

 

Wednesday April 12th, 2023

This morning I woke up and I had a craving for heroin. I only crave it when I feel worthless. I think that I feel worthless today more so than any other day because I woke up this morning crying. I don’t know why I was crying, it was probably just a stupid dream that I can’t remember. I can’t shake the feeling though. I hate that I can’t remember my dreams. The only time I remember them is when I am high. That’s a bonus of getting high. A pretty big bonus actually.

I know that I had some heroin in my pocket when I passed out at my house so Anne must’ve taken it from me. I should ask her for it.

My mind feels like it’s on a never ending treadmill. Somedays the treadmill is on a high speed and I feel like I can’t catch up with my own thoughts. Other days, I think too slow, I can tell when my mind is going too slow because that is when I over-think things. I don't know which speed I like better, they both make me feel like something is wrong with me.

 

Tuesday April 18th, 2023

Happiness. That’s what the end goal is here, right? Enjoyment. To feel like I have a purpose. To feel like I deserve to be alive. These are things that I should feel. Everytime I hear any of those phrases or words, all I feel is a deep ache in my chest. No, more like a deep ache in my heart. I don’t believe that I will feel these things. I don’t believe. That is my biggest mistake, right? How the fuck are you supposed to make someone re-believe in something? -Oh hey Suzie, yeah, you know how I told you that Santa wasn’t real and your parents are the ones that get you gifts? Suzie! I was kidding! Santa IS real and everything you were told as a little kid is actually true. I’m sorry I told you differently.- You can’t fucking do that to someone. Suzie will never truly believe either realities fully now. If you figure it out for yourself, it makes the process even less possible.

Anne knows that this is true, but she doesn’t give up. I don’t get it.

“How did you do it?” I asked during breakfast.

“How did I do what?”

“How have you made it this far in life? How are you not like me? How do you live with yourself?”

“You really wanna know?”

“Yeah, it can’t hurt right?”

“Ok, if you say so. It’s a long story though. You sure you wanna hear it?”

“YES!”

“Well, it started out when I was a kid of course, just like everyone else. I was just like any other girl, I was nice to people, I had friends, I played music, which ya know, was supposed to make you smarter. I had many siblings, who taught me a lot. I was the oldest of my siblings and so I took the role as sort of the second mother. I began to grow a hard shell as a young girl. I wouldn’t take shit from anybody, you might say. I wasn’t rude either though. I was an average girl in my day. The unique thing about me though was that I liked to watch people, and learn about how they react in certain situations. Either in a single interaction, or even how someone changed over the years. Many people, I noticed, seemed to get more sad as they grew up and I couldn’t understand why. I was young and naiive. I realized it was because as you get older, you get more responsibility. Back when I was growing up no one had a therapist you see, everyone had to deal with their own problems, or had a friend that might be able to give you advice. The world that I grew up in was a lot different than it is today, I tell you that. Anyways, back to whatever the hell i was saying. Ok, what was it again? Ahh yes, how have I gotten through life? Well, I guess it’s just because I refused. I refused to give up because I was gonna show everyone that if I can be happy, anyone can. It didn’t work though. Honestly when i was about 26 to 27 years old, I was done and I was ready, I hated where I was in life, I felt like I hadn’t changed the world in any way, and I felt like I had failed. I realized shortly after that, the only thing that I needed to change and to help and fix was myself. I was the only one I had control over, I was the only one that could make a difference in my life. Once I figured that out, I realized what I was going to do with my life from then on, and that was focus completely on myself. Once I did that and got to know myself, I could open myself up to others who were dealing with the same things that I went through, and I could do what I could. You see Charlie, many, many people on this planet feel or have felt the same way you have. No one wants to talk about it though because they feel like it is wrong to feel those feelings and it means that there is something wrong with them, but it is actually completely normal.”

“Woah, did you somehow make your life story turn into a lecture? That’s pretty impressive.”

“Do you see that it’s true though?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean of course I see that it’s true. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with that information though. How to change has always the big question.”

`”No one is saying that you need to change, ya know. I am saying to just accept that what I am saying is true. That’s all, just accept it.”

“Ok... Well then, I accept it! Now are all my problems solved?!” I said as sarcastically as I could.

“Of course not but anytime you’re in a place where you feel like there is nothing left and that nothing will save you and that you don't deserve to live, remember that.”

“Alright, cool. Thanks Anne, sounds like a good plan.”

She could tell that I wasn’t taking anything she said seriously. I just think it’s sort of funny that she wants to help me so badly. I mean if there are a bunch of other people that are feeling the exact same thing as me, why doesn’t she go help someone else? Is it because I am easier to persuade? I mean she kidnapped me and I’m still here. I do want to feel better I really do, but i feel like I can’t. I feel like I’ve hit a flat line that there is no coming back from. No going up; I feel like I will stay in this feeling of nothingness for as long as I am alive.

 

Thursday April 20th, 2023

Last night Anne asked me to think about my childhood. She says a lot of things that happen when people are children stay with them and affect them later in life. She said to think of any traumatic experiences I might have had growing up. She also asked me to write down any memories that stand out in all the different stages of my life that I can remember, like when I was a small child and then maybe when I was a teenager, when I moved out, when I got my dog, when my brother died, and now. She said along with all the memories I write down, I should write down a feeling too. So, here we go...

Small Child: This was a long time ago. I’ll use my first memory for this part. I don't remember how old I was but I was pretty small. I remember that Adam had taken my Dad’s work shirt and tried to flush it down the toilet. We both thought it was the funniest thing. I remember laughing. When the shirt wouldn’t flush we tried to just stuff it down until Adam said that it was as good as flushed down. The reason I remember why we did it was because my dad worked all the time and that day, Adam and I really wanted to go swimming at the lake. Dad said that he was too busy with work. So Adam came up with the idea that he couldn’t work anymore if he didn’t have anything to wear; and then he would have to take us to the lake to get the shirt back. Adam said that’s where everything in the toilet ends up. Anyways, I think I remember this moment because of the reaction my dad had. He started yelling at me and Adam, he was yelling things that I was too young to understand. I just remember his loud voice and how it hurt my head. Then when he could tell that yelling at us wasn’t creating much of a reaction, he grabbed Adam’s shoulders and began to shake him. He kept shaking him faster and faster, still yelling right in his face, until my mother came over and pushed my dad away. Then I remember they started yelling at eachother. They went into their room and kept yelling at eachother for a long time. After that day, my dad didn’t spend much time with me or Adam, and he didn’t really talk to us either. I don’t have a memory of my dad ever smiling at me.

The feeling with that memory was obviously scared, but my internal feeling was very calm and I was happy I think because I was still a clueless little kid that didn’t know anything about anything.

Teenager: As a teenager I never had any friends. I would go days without talking to anyone. I mean anyone, in school I would sit alone at lunch, on the bus, and in class. If anyone tried to talk to me I would turn away or walk away as fast as I could. I was scared of everyone. Some kids would make fun of me and called me a weirdo. I didn’t ever care about school that much though because I had a family that I thought loved me so I cared about them. The memory that stands out is one day I was at home and I was just sitting around probably watching tv or something. My mom came over to me and asked me why I didn’t want to go outside and hang out with friends. I told her it was because I didn’t have any. The next thing she said was stayed very clear in my mind, “Charlie, maybe if you pretended to be like someone else, maybe the other kids would like you. I love who you are Charlie but the other kids don't seem to understand how to react to you. Will you maybe give it a try?” I was very confused at what she said to me; be someone else? I remember asking her how am I supposed to be someone who’s not me? She told me that I could try to be a little nicer and that when I feel scared or uncomfortable with a person or situation then I could turn into a new person, I could put Charlie away and turn into Chester. Chester she told me was someone who loved talking to people, he was someone that was kind and could tell the funniest jokes. He always wanted to go out and hang out with people. I remember being confused as to who Chester really was; I asked my mom if Chester lived inside of me and she told me that yes he did and I could let him take over whenever I was scared. I remember that hearing that got me excited. I thought that I must have a super power. I had never met Chester but I was determined to find him. I asked my mom how do I make Chester take over? She told me to just put Charlie away; to just forget about him and his feelings for a little while. I went in my room and tried over and over again to get Chester to take over my body, but I didn’t understand how. They next day on the bus is when I tried it again. A girl that I never had seen before walked onto the bus and asked to sit next to me. This was the moment I needed Chester to take over.

“Hello, my name is Sarah, what’s yours?”

“Uh.. Uhh.. my name is Ch-Ch-Chester!”

“Oh, it’s nice to meet you Chester.”
“You too Sarah”

She smiled and turned away. I was so excited because Chester did it! He took over for just a moment. I needed it to happen again.

“Are you new?” Chester asked.

“Yup, today is my first day, how long have you lived here?”

“Oh, uhh I lived here my whole life. Where are you from?”

“I’m from Michigan. I know it’s a really long ways away, we moved for my dad’s work.”

“That’s cool.”

By the time the bus arrived at school Chester and Sarah were laughing and making jokes and having a great time. They walked into school together and then Chester went away. I was confused. I couldn’t have that. Chester needed to stay in control. But I began to see faces that Charlie recognized, Chester didn’t recognize them. I tried as hard as I could to be Chester for as long as Sarah was around me. It worked. Sarah was my first friend, and we had good times. Chester only worked on Sarah though. I couldn’t figure out how to make him take over around other people. After the school year ended Sarah moved again to I think like Texas and I never talked to her again. I actually forgot about her pretty quickly because Chester was the one that had all the memories with her and I lost Chester when I lost her so it sort of cancelled everything out.

I asked my mom again a few years later how to get Chester back and she just brushed me off saying that I was too old to pretend and that I needed to make Charlie learn and that I needed to stop hiding from myself. That didn’t mean much to me though because Charlie was a scared person, Chester wasn’t. I knew that I could never turn into Chester because I was a separate person from him.

I still don’t know how I was able to do what I did with Chester because I have never done it again. I have become better with socializing people because of Adam. He had lots of friends and so I got to learn a lot from him.

I guess I got a little off track but oh well I think it’s good enough.

 

When I moved out: Well, I moved out of my parents house right when I turned 18. I had gotten a job immediately after high school working as a Cashier at the Clackamas Bread Plant, and then I began to go to school to get my Phlebotomy certification. I felt like I was pretty busy because I was very determined to do what I wanted to do, which was to work in a hospital as a phlebotomist. I moved away from the only people that I had ever thought cared about me because I realized that they really didn’t the only person that I trusted completely was Adam, and he had moved out of the house already. We both got tired of my mom. She never stood up for herself. She was lazy and she was scared. She didn’t like confrontation and so whenever my dad would yell or lash out at my mom she just stood there and took it.  He never hurt us, but both me and my brother could tell that when we were younger she had bruises and scratches that shouldn’t be there. During my senior year of highschool I couldn’t handle it and I walked into my parents room where my mom was reading and asked her why she was still with him. She told me, there was nothing she could do. That answer pissed me off so much that I didn’t talk to her for the rest of my senior year and then I moved out the day I graduated.

When I got a dog: I got Maleeka after I had gotten the job at the hospital and I felt like I had settled down into a routine. I wanted a change and another excitement to add to my life. When I first got her I was in love and I put most of my energy away from my job towards Maleeka. We had a great first year. I still could feel a happiness that I knew was real. I remember that it was slowly fading though.

When I started using (I thought that this would be a good chunk of my life to add): When I was about 22 Adam came over to my apartment. He was excited to show me something I could tell. He first asked how I was doing.  I was always truthful to my brother so I told him I was going through a sort of sad time. I told him I had gotten tired and that my life had become mundane and I felt like I was wasting my life. I was doing enough. Sure I had my dream job and a great dog, but I still felt like something or someone was missing from my life. Once I told him that he told me that his life was going amazing. He said that just a few months before he was feeling the same way as I was. He said that he felt like nothing mattered any more, so he went on a “quest” to find some sort of meaning. He said that he had found it. He had discovered something, that made him feel amazing, and that made him feel like his life mattered. This sounded like amazing stuff to me so I asked him what he had discovered. He told me to try it for myself. I remember I was pretty confused. I mean how could someone find the meaning to life just in a matter of months? I agreed of course to try whatever my brother was offering. I remember the grin that he made when I said yes, that grin made me feel like I had made him proud and I became excited. When he took a spoon out of his bag, I still didn’t question him. Then, he took out a weird looking lighter, a syringe, and then a tan looking powder. I remember once everything was sitting out on the table I began to get worried. Adam calmed me down by saying, “Dude, Charlie, c’mon man, it really isn’t as bad as you think. Seriously man, this stuff is the real deal. It’s fucking magic Charlie. People fear it because they don’t know what it is. Trust me man, I know it sounds weird, but this stuff will solve all your worries. Try it. All I’m asking is for you to try. If you don’t believe me, and you don’t think that it’s the best time you’ve ever had then I won’t bother you anymore with it.” I was very, very hesitant, I mean it was fucking heroin, a drug that is known to ruin people’s lives and kill them. Heroin and meth were like the worst drugs out there. Adam was my brother though. I trusted him with my life, so I took the chance. I tried heroin that day. It was the best fucking day of my life. After that day Adam would come over almost everyday and we would shoot up and do whatever we wanted. We would listen to Adam’s favorite bands like the Velvet Underground and Black Sabbath. It was amazing. It wasn’t just the drugs I always thought. It was just that I was glad that Adam wanted me to be in his life. He wanted to do heroin with me. He could’ve chosen anyone he wanted, but he chose me. That’s why I didn’t want to stop. I mean sure that drug made my life good and complete, but that was just icing on the top. We never forgot what the drug was actually doing to our bodies though.

 

When I stopped heroin:  From the day that Adam came to my apartment and had me try his key to happiness, to until the day that he ran into my apartment demanding that I give him money, I never questioned my brother’s intentions for doing heroin with me. I always did what he wanted me to do. I think that I did that because he was the only person who never called me names, who never said I was weird or shy, or that I was a loser. He accepted me for who I was and still loved me. I knew that he wanted to be with me just to be with me. Anyways, we had always bought our own dope; we just used together. It worked the best that way so there was no fighting about who owes who money or whose turn it was to buy. I don’t remember how long we shot up together, it was awhile, at least 3 years I think. We were very smart about it though; I mean we became dependant on it yes, but we didn’t over do it. Those years just flew by. Adam was going to school when we first started, and when he finally graduated and got a job, he had became irritable and would get frustrated very easily. It was hard to have a good time with him after that. We still used together, but only occasionally. I started using without him and he did the same. It wasn’t fun for me anymore though, I only did it alone because I would feel like a piece of shit if I didn’t use even for just a few days. I would also start getting withdrawals if I didn’t use. The stomach cramps and constant feeling of having to vomit was pretty intense and it was easier to just use to feel better. Almost all my money would go towards my drug addiction, and I’m sure it was the same for Adam. He got paid a lot more than I did so I was surprised when he came to me for money. That day stays very fresh in my mind.

I had just gotten home from work and I was preparing some atom bomb for me. My favorite thing to pair heroin with was pot because it made me more calm and relaxed. Anyways, yeah so I was doing what I normally do everyday after work when someone bangs on my door as loud as they could. It scared the shit out of me and I dropped everything in my hand “Shit!” I walked over to the door and opened it; only one person ever came to my apartment so I knew that it was Adam. “Shit man, why the hell are you banging on the door?”

“Do you have any?” Adam asked, he didn’t look like himself, his eyes were very wide and he kept shaking.

“Dude, are you ok?”

When he looked at me I could tell that I wasn’t talking to my brother, I was talking to a drug addict that was very high off of something.

“Do you have any?” he asked again.

“Yeah I have a little.”

“Can I have it?”

“What? No... I only have a little bit left and I don’t get paid for another week. Sorry man, you have the fancy job, where’s your stash?”

“Charlie, I need it. Please. I need it right now Charlie, give it to me.” He then ran towards me and tried to tackle me, but I pushed him out of the way.

“What the fuck man?? What’s your problem? Are you high right now? What are you on?”

He got up from the floor with a defensive stance like he was ready for a fight. “It doesn’t matter, just give me your stuff Charlie, if it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t even know it existed and I would have it anyway. So just do what I’m telling you to do and give me what you have.”

I had to take a couple steps back, and try not to laugh because he was being crazy.

“Sorry man, I already mixed it.” Adam didn’t like mixing his heroin with weed because he says it just makes him paranoid.

“God dammit Charlie, what the fuck. Ok, just give me some money.”

“Tell me what you’re on right now and I’ll think about giving you money.”

Adam started laughing at that point; it was a sort of mischievous laugh, like he was hiding something important, something that would change the world, but he wanted to keep it to himself for a little longer. Finally he thought it was time.

“ahaha, duude, you gotta try this.s...it’s pretty much amazing, it’ll do something to you that sex can’t even accomplish, this isn’t even playing around anymore, this is something, something big. This’ll change your life forever. You’ll experience thoughts and feelings that you didn’t even know existed. ahaha seriously man, this is the real shit.”

“Ok, so what is it then?”

“ah, ah, ah” he said shaking his fingers, “I need some money first. I’ll pay you back don’t worry. Plus half of what I buy will be for you. You’re gonna be blown away man, believe me, this will be worth it. I can be back with the stuff in like an hour.”

“I’ll give you money once you tell me what you’re on Adam, how much do you need anyways?”

“It’ll only be like $250 for the both of us to get good and high. I’ll tell you man...Charlie this stuff is called fuckin Apache, this shit will take you on a wild ride. Like I’m serious man you just gotta try it.”

“What is Apache Adam, and why the fuck is it so expensive?”

“Just don’t even worry about it Charlie, I’m not a hundred percent on what it is exactly but, it’s our favorite brown sugar laced with somethin’ that’s pretty fuckin powerful like fenty-somethin’ I think it was. Anyways, just it’s really clean and good stuff man, real pure, it’ll turn your world around. Just gimme the cash and try it with me.”

I gave him the cash. I mean I would have given it to him no matter what probably. He asked me for it and I never said no to him and he knew that. I was such a fucking idiot. I still am.

He never came back to my house that night. I was a little bit worried but I figured that he might do that; I mean if this stuff was really that good I wouldn’t be able to share it either, and drug addicts don’t care about anyone else but themselves. That’s how I knew that I couldn’t do this anymore. I couldn’t live my life like this and Adam couldn’t either.

When I went over to his house the next day I had written down what I needed to say because I knew that I would forget it and lose track if I didn’t.

I knocked on the door and when Adam opened it he looked very down, he looked like a dog that had just pissed on the carpet and now knows that he was about to get yelled at.

“Hey Charlie... It’s good to see ya, how’s it goin’?”

I wasn’t mad about last night, but I wanted to know from him what he was thinking. “Dude, what happened to you last night? I thought you were gonna come back.”

“Yeah.. I know, it’s just, uhh, yeah I got jumped last night..”

“Are you fucking kidding me Adam?? Don’t fucking lie to me. You look fine. God dammit all I’ve ever wanted from you is the truth, I don’t really care that you didn’t give any of your Apache shit, but don’t fucking lie to me.”

“No, Charlie, I’m serious. I mean, I was really high last night, but after I left your place, I called up my buddy, the one who I got that stuff from before. He told me it was going to be $400 for how much I got last time. I only paid like $150 for it before so I got a little pissed off and I.. I don’t know I didn’t want to go back and ask you for more money but I didn’t want to disappoint you either, so I went to pick it up. My plan was just going to be that I hand him the money I had and to walk away before he counted it. He counted it before he gave me the drugs though and he called me a liar and he asked if I took him for stupid. I mean most drug dealers that I’ve dealt with are pretty stupid so I dunno... I gave the wrong answer I guess and then he pushed me on the ground and kicked me until I passed out.”

“Holy shit man, lemme see what happened. Did you go to a doctor?” I asked with my mouth hanging open in disbelief.

Adam lifted up his shirt to show his entire abdominal and chest area covered in huge purple and yellow bruises.

“When I woke up, it was really early in the morning and I immediately vomited up everything that was inside of my stomach along with a little blood, I couldn’t go to the hospital, they would notify mom and dad and I would probably get sent to some shitty treatment center.”

“Holy fuck, Adam you need to see a doctor you could have like broken ribs or some shit, like it could be serious.”

“Nah man, just give it time and I’ll get better. I was actually thinking about taking some of my paid vacation so this gives me a perfect excuse.”

“Adam...”

“No dude, Charlie, I’m fine. Really.”

“No, I came over here today because I wanted to tell you something.”

“Uhh, ok what do ya got?”

“I’m quitting.”

“You’re quitting? Dude, you’ve got to be shitting me. You can’t quit. This is our thing, you don’t get to quit. Dude we’re on the brink of something amazing. Come on man, you can’t do this.”

For the next week after that I went over to Adam’s house everyday and we jolly popped hard. For seven days straight I was the highest I had ever been in my entire life. It was amazing, just like when we first started, we laughed, we talked, we dreamed, we were involved with our surroundings, we were involved with ourselves, and we were so in tune with one another. At the end of the week though, we both agreed we needed to stop. We agreed that we were going to die if we didn’t stop. I could see that our bodies were starting to decay; I had huge bags of death underneath my eyes that made it seem like I had four eyes. My eyes were constantly bloodshot which made it so I couldn’t keep them open for a long period of time. My body felt worn down, I felt like there was a constant mound of rocks resting on top of each of my limbs. We weren’t eating and so every place on my body that had fat to lose was gone. If I actually had cared what I looked like I would’ve never stepped foot outside because of how disgusting I looked. I looked like I was ready to be dissected by an Anatomy class. We contemplated if any of it even mattered but we decided we were too young to die and the point Adam made was that he hadn’t gotten laid nearly enough times so he needed to get his “good looks” back. Whatever the reason was, the result was that we stopped. Just like that. We stopped talking, and we dealt with the withdrawals by ourselves. I don’t remember why we decided that that was the right thing to do, but it must’ve made sense at the time.

A little after that is when Adam killed himself. I’m tired of thinking about Adam. He was such a big part of my life when he was alive, I’m still letting him have the same influence on me even though he is dead. He is gone. So why can’t I accept that? Why can’t I make my life mine?

It’s been a long night, goodnight.

 

Sunday April 23rd, 2023

I’m starting to appreciate Anne more and more as the days go on. At first, I thought she was almost as sad of a case as I am, but now I can see that she really just cares about people. It’s amazing seeing someone who devotes their life to making others happier. I don’t know how effective she is, but hey, at least she tries, right?

Seeing someone who cares so much about life is making me want to appreciate it a little more. Everyday, I have to get up around 9A.M. because that’s when breakfast is. Anne says that getting into a daily routine is the best first step so that I can keep my life organized and it is actually making me feel a little bit more in control of myself. After we eat breakfast, Anne and I go outside for a walk. Most of the time we just walk around the neighborhood and maybe stop at the park near her house or go to Mora’s, but sometimes, we actually get into her car and go for hikes. Those are my favorite times, I am enjoying the outdoors more and more. The smell of fresh air makes my mind clear and I feel good. When I’m hiking my mind and body feel no more pain.

I had never thought about going on hikes before because I’ve never been on any before. We were more the stay at home and watch TV all day kind of family. The places that Anne and I go are beautiful; full of huge trees that seem like they keep going up and up all the way to heaven where they are watered by the gods. Then there are all the different types of leaves and the moss and all the plants that are so unique to this type of place. The forest is magical. I don't mean to sound like a crazy person and talk about believing in magic, but the forest is something that can not be copied and is unlike anywhere else. Every person that I see at the forest is smiling. It is magical to me because it makes me feel happy, just as it is. The air in the environment is so powerful that it changes the chemistry in my brain to make me smile, to make me let go of all the guilt and self-hate that I hold onto in my normal life. It’s like I jump into another reality when I’m surrounded by hundreds of trees that are so old you can tell that they’ve been through some shit, ya know. The trees and I get each other; since Anne is older and slower than I am, I can run ahead of her on our hikes and run around the trees with my hands up in the air yelling. I don’t yell any words, I just yell. It feels exhilarating, I think of it like it’s my song to the trees, I am thanking them for letting me roam around in their kingdom. Anne thinks it’s funny, and I like making her laugh so I do it every time we go to a large area of trees where no one is around.  

After we get back home from our daily exercise, we eat lunch and then I can do whatever I want. I write in my journal some days like today, I can exercise in the little home gym that is in the basement, or I can talk to Anne. She spends most of her days reading. She says it soothes her brain. I’ve never been much of a reader but I can appreciate books so I think that’s pretty cool.

Anne hasn’t really focused on being much of a therapist to me. She says I can talk to her about anything, but only if I want to. It’s a lot less pressure to get better, but I do feel bad that I am using up her resources and I feel like I am sort of intruding on her life, but she makes me feel very comfortable here. So, i’m just going with the flow.

“Hey Anne.” I said walking into the kitchen, she was reading a book.

“What’s up Charlie?”

“Well, I was just wondering how long you expect me to stay here.”

“How long do you want to stay?.”

“Uhh, I don’t know, I thought you would tell me.”

“No, you are the only one who will know when it is time for you to leave Charlie. You’ll know when it’s time.”

I was a little taken back by that but I wanted to play it cool, “Ok, well I just want to say that I really do appreciate everything that you are doing for me. I was in a really low point in my life, and I can seriously feel my spirit rising. It’s been very surprising. I admit, I wasn’t expecting much from you, but Anne, you’re pretty cool.”  

She laughed a little, “Thanks Charlie, ya know you’re pretty cool too. I’m glad that you are starting to feel like yourself again.”

I thought a bit about that; feeling like myself? I didn’t feel like someone I ever was. I felt like I had created a new person inside of me. It reminded me a little of Chester. I feel better than I did with Chester though. I feel like.. Almost like I’m free. No... that’s not exactly it. I mean Chester seemed kind of fake I guess, like he was a show that I put on. I am starting to feel like I am mentally and physically changing. I don’t feel like myself anymore, I feel better.

 

Tuesday May 2nd, 2023

I am starting to make plans for myself. I want to ask Anne to go on an overnight backpacking trip. I have been dreaming about lying beneath the night sky, talking with the trees. I desire to be one with the forest, I really do. It’s a weird desire, I know but I can’t begin to explain the connection I feel with the Earth. I haven’t told Anne about this because I don’t think she really needs to know, but I mean she’s my friend and I guess it might feel good to tell her something new about me. This whole time she has wanted to focus a lot on the person I was growing up, and who I was before she came into my life, but maybe she would be happy to hear that I think that I am growing as a person. That’s a good thing right?

. . .

?

. . .

Friday April 7th, 2023

I can’t understand why this is happening to me. The police have found nothing. I mean c’mon, I know that I am not going crazy. I know that something terrible has happened to my son. I don't know who else to turn to though. I put up flyers all around Clackamas with my phone number, but no one has contacted me. I am trying to live my life without thinking about it all the time, I mean I don’t know if I should just assume he is dead. I don’t think he would be able to go to an undetectable place without anyone seeing him. I mean it really shouldn’t be this hard to find someone right? I mean we have developed so much as a society, right? I should be able to find my fucking son! I am just really frustrated with the way I have been treated throughout all my attempts.

Sam has tried to call me a few times. He even called my therapist and told her to tell me that he needs me to call him. I haven’t though. These past couple weeks have been hazy, and I feel like I haven’t had time to think about myself. At this point, I really don’t want to think about myself. Have I lost myself? Am I trying to be too involved with Charlie? I mean, all this worry could very well be for nothing. My gut feeling is telling me that it is not though. My gut is telling me that my son is suffering somewhere, and that he is alone, and that I need to help him. I’m not a detective though so I don’t know how to find him. I could really use some help but it doesn’t seem like anyone is willing. I have run out of ideas though, so it’s hard to imagine not giving up because that seems like the only choice I have. My therapist told me that I should focus more on my marriage right now and all the worries I have for Charlie should come after my own life is figured out. It seems a little selfish to me, but that might be what I have to do.

Sam. I don't know how I feel about him anymore; I mean I feel like we haven’t been married for awhile. He thinks that I need him though, so he knows I will call once I run out of money. I don't want to give him that power over me anymore. I feel like I haven’t been living my life; only watching it pass me by. He doesn’t make me happy and I know that I don’t make him happy. I stay with him for the money but I don’t know why he stays with me. I think that he’s focused on the image of a family rather than actually engaging and trying to be one. He shows me off to his work friends, making them think that he has it all; his life is complete. At the end of the day we both are miserable.

Maybe it’s time to be done with it all. I mean I could get a job and start making my way. I would be free to do whatever I want. I am not a teenager anymore though... I am older and maybe no one will want to hire me. I don’t have much schooling so maybe I can talk with a career specialist or go to a job fair or something.

Ok, well I think that it’s settled. It’s time for me to get my life together. Charlie, if you are out there suffering somewhere, well I hope that you were raised to take care of yourself until I can fully focus on you. I love you and I hope to see you soon.

. . .

?

. . .

Thursday May 4th, 2023

Anne and I are going backpacking tomorrow for “cinco de mayo” and I gotta say that I am pretty excited. The past week has been really warm weather; not the warm that makes the air stuffy and humid, but the type of warmth that makes the air smell fresh and makes you want to go outside just to feel the wind lightly brush along your face and listen to the leaves of the trees singing their song of welcoming this weather that will be around for the next few months.

I don’t know if this is normal but when I am out and in nature I don’t feel like a human, I don't feel like I have a beating heart or a brain. I feel more like I am apart of the earth. I mean I feel the wind touch my face but I more than just feel it; it seems like the wind moves through my body. I don't really know how to describe it but it feels amazing and unlike anything I’ve felt before. If this is what normal people feel then damn, I am so glad that I at least am getting a chance at this. It’s all thanks to Anne too. She seems to be my literal life saver.

Anne reminds me of my mother; not because my mom and Anne are really anything alike in their appearance or personality. They are only similar in their... their aura, or like the energy around them. It’s crazy to realize but I kind of miss my mom. I haven’t thought about my family much in the last couple weeks. I have been thinking more of myself. It feels good but also sort of unfamiliar. It seems like I don’t know myself as well as I thought I did. Before now I saw myself as sort of a coaster; like someone who coasts through life because I had nothing to live for anymore. I didn’t even want to live to do heroin. I craved it but it made me feel even worse when I could feel the withdrawals and side effects kicking in. That’s why I was always so ashamed to face my family. I could see it in their eyes: the disappointment. Especially in my mom. Growing up she seemed to have my back no matter what happened. She was I guess protective of me, which makes sense because I was basically a loser growing up and I think she didn’t want me to be a loser, or I don’t know maybe she was just trying to show me her love. I didn’t really accept it ever though, so maybe she was either doing it wrong or I was doing it wrong. All because I don’t necessarily love her though, I do care about her and I remember the last time I saw her she seemed sort of out of it. I hope it wasn’t my fault, but I don’t know what I could’ve done if it was my fault. I blame myself for everything bad that has happened in my life. I don’t know if that is right or wrong and I’ve always wanted to know.

“You know Charlie, it’s not about whether it’s right or wrong, it’s more about working to improve yourself. Learning to blame yourself for everything will only bring you down until you think that since everything is your fault it would all be better off if you weren’t here. You will seclude yourself to being only in your own mind and begin judging people almost as bad as you judge yourself trying to connect to people even though you think so little of yourself. Learning to blame others is almost just as bad though because you will think that you can do no wrong so you will offend other people and make them upset so you will also become an outcast. What you need to figure out for yourself is that everyone is somehow at fault for everything that happens in their life. There’s no point in deducting exactly who has the most fault in any given situation. The only thing you have to think about is how you’re going to move past the situation that you’re in.”

I nodded my head, “Yeah, that seems like it should be so easy but Anne, it is a lot of harder to do than say I think.”

“You are completely right Charlie, and you have to handle every situation differently, but if you just start trying to move forward and not let your past decisions or actions affect your life then you might start to see positive changes.”

“So I’m just supposed to let go of everything that happens to me?” I asked sort of sarcastically. I like hearing the way Anne explains things even if I can tell what she’s trying to explain to me. When I ask questions that I think I already know the answer to, sometimes Anne makes me open my eyes just a little more and see something that I hadn’t seen before.

“It would be impossible to completely let go of the things that happen to you, everything will affect you in some way but you are the decider in how big the impact is. There are a lot of decisions that you need to make in your life Charlie, some more obvious than others; but you always will have the choice.”  

That really stuck with me, I mean I had never really thought I had a say in things that happened to me. Now that I know though, it seems so obvious. That’s kind of Anne’s thing; to say something that sounds so obvious but I just hadn’t ever thought about it. Why hadn’t I thought about life like that before? I have the choice, meaning I am supposed to make my life mine. I can’t depend on people to make me happy. That is what I have been doing I think ever since I was a child; I depended on my mom to make me feel better when I was feeling down and then I depended on Adam to guide me through what he thought my life was supposed to be like. I made Adam’s interests my own. I have spent my whole life in a shell of someone who isn’t even real. So, that must mean that the depressed and self-hating person wasn’t really ever me? Well, it was me I guess, but I just mean to say that I haven’t ever gotten to know myself. I haven’t ever gotten know what I like to do and what makes me happy. The only thing I can think of that I really did on my own and for me was to get Maleeka, but even then, I think that I got her because I didn’t want to focus on myself and it was easier to just focus on her when I wasn’t focusing on Adam. Being a phlebotomist was always a passion of mine though, but I didn’t put my job first; I didn’t put myself first. I put everyone before me, and that made me lose who I really was.

This all kind of blows my mind, but in a good way. I can see that I am starting to think more positively because I could think that well I’ve just wasted all this time and that I was a fucking pathetic excuse for a human being for basically my whole life, but instead I am thinking that now that I have finally figured out one of my biggest problems I can figure out a way to change. It makes me more excited for life, which is something I don’t remember ever feeling. I will have to re-evaluate almost everything I think I know about myself, but at least it’s a step forward, right?

Anne says that it’s really good what I have learned and what I am going to do. She told me that it is a very reasonable goal that she thinks that I can accomplish it and I think that I can too. I got to get to sleep though, cause we are going backpacking tomorrow, and I am even more excited now because I know that that is something that I enjoy doing for myself, and it is something that I see myself doing for the rest of my life.  

Goodnight.

. . .

?

. . .

 

Monday May 29th, 2023

My life was is actually coming together. I feel better than I have in so long! I got a job in a dental office as a receptionist and I even got my own little apartment closer to Clackamas. I’ve had Charlie in the back of my mind for the past two months, but I have convinced myself that he is okay. I don’t know how I managed too because I was so worried but I took the advice of my therapist and began to focus on myself and things just started to come together.

The best decision of my life has been to leave Sam. It feels exhilarating to be in control of myself again. We haven’t finalized the divorce yet but we came to the agreement that it was the best choice. He knew that I wasn’t going to change my mind, and I know that he hasn’t loved me for years. It was an easy decision, and honestly, I don’t know why we didn’t do it before. Oh well, I’m living my life now and I am making friends and I love every second of it!

Lizzie said that she is proud of me, and this whole time I have just wanted one little message from Charlie, telling me everything is okay with him. I want to tell him how I made the decision to change my life for the better. I can actually be an example for my kids now, I don’t have to be ashamed of the life I’m living.

I’ve accepted what kind of parent I was for Charlie and Adam and it wasn’t good, but there’s nothing I can do now except for try now. I now understand that it might be too late for Charlie and me. I’m ok with that though, he has learned to live his life without me and if that makes him happier then there’s nothing I can do but move on. Forcing a relationship on someone won’t help and it probably pushed him away from me even more. I still hope that one day he might forgive me for the way I treated him, but that’s something that is up to him.

Enjoying life is all I can do right now, and I’m totally okay with that!

I have work tomorrow though, it’s one of the dental hygienists last day tomorrow and so we’re having a party! It’ll be exciting.  I’m bringing fruit salad.

Goodnight!!

. . .

?

. . .

Friday June 2nd, 2023

Well, we still haven’t gone backpacking. In fact, we haven’t gone hiking in almost a month. Anne got sick the day we were supposed to go and so I have been kind of taking care of her. It feels nice to take care of someone instead of always being taken care of. She hasn’t gotten better yet though and I’m getting a little worried. She says not to worry and that since she’s old, her immune system isn’t that great and doesn’t fight off infections that easily. It must be a pretty nasty infection though because she can barely ever get out of bed. I tell her that we should go to the hospital but she doesn’t want to; she says that she just needs time to get better and that the doctors can’t do anything for her.

She stays in her room all day and only let’s me come into her room to give her food which she barely eats. She tells me not to leave the house either. I’m surprised we haven’t run out of food, but she seems to have a never ending pantry of Cheerios and tomato soup. It’s not like I feel like I’m ready to leave her but I am sort of getting cabin fever. We are sort of connected now though, I can’t just leave her in her time of need when she’s helped me so much, ya know?

To pass the days I read. Anne has a huge library of different books. She’s into some weird stuff, but I gotta say it’s pretty interesting. There are books about different religions and I’ve been reading some of them, I might start believing in one of them, who knows? It’s weird to think of becoming religious though because I never thought that any of that shit was real, it seemed like a way for civilizations and governments to brainwash their people to do whatever they wanted. It all seemed like a mind game that I wanted nothing to do with, but now I dunno... Some of this stuff makes a little bit of sense, and it’s kind of fun learning all the ways they thought the world began. Like God created the world in only seven days? It’s amusing. Greek mythology makes the most sense to me. I know that it is the one thing that has been proven impossible, but I like reading the stories that people made up of how the universe was made. If i could chose to believe that love was created from people with two heads getting punished by a god and cut in half then scattered around the world left to search endlessly for their other half, then I would. It makes perfect sense too. All the myths can relate to something in the world today and that’s what I love about reading them.

Anne also has some other interesting books. A couple days ago I opened a book that was talking about some kind of Wicken shit and it kind of freaked me out a little. There were like spells and shit and it looked pretty legit too, I can’t believe that some people believe in magic. Worshipping the devil seems too hard core for me as well.

Time to go make Anne some more tomato soup! I might even attempt to make some grilled cheese too, I hope we still have cheese...

 

Wednesday, June 14th, 2023

It was amazing! Anne seemed like she was never going to get better and I was starting to lose hope but this morning when I was eating breakfast she walked out of her room looking like she did a month ago and she sat down and began reading a book and eating cereal like she used to before.

“Anne? Are you ok? What are you doing up?”

“What? Oh yeah, I’m feeling a lot better. Do you want to go for a walk today?” She said looking up for only a second.

“Uhh.. are you sure? You’ve been like deathly sick for awhile. Are you sure you’re alright?”

“Yes, Charlie, can’t you see? Do I look deathly to you?”

“No...but... you did yesterday... Anne, I don’t understand; how is this happening?”

“Well I don’t really know what you’re talking about. I guess God looked upon me and decided it was time to get better. Are you hungry?”

“Uhh... does that even happen? And no thanks, I ate cereal.”

“Suit yourself”, she said as she disappeared into the pantry. She came back out a few minutes later with pancake mix and a skillet.

“Oh and yes Charlie, miracles happen all the time, I’m fortunate enough to have one happen to me, we should both be grateful. So, what do you say that after we eat some breakfast we go out for that walk, and then finish making the plans to go backpacking?”

I couldn’t disagree, it was definitely a miracle. It was like she got better over night. Man, the human body is so spontaneous; and God must be a fuckin badass. This means that the backpacking trip is back on. Fuck, this is all so sudden but i’m excited. I hope she can handle it, I’ll remind her to take it easy tomorrow. Yeah, she thinks she’s ready to go tomorrow.. We’ll see if it actually happens. In the back of my mind I keep thinking that she isn’t better but she knows that she is going to die. This backpacking trip might be her last hurrah... I’m tempted to not let her leave the house, but I can respect the want to not die indoors in bed, and to enjoy the last breaths of life somewhere that is made up of such beauty and never-ending life. When I eventually die, I think I would like it to be in the forest with the trees..

I should get ready for the walk though, I’m excited to finally leave the house and just spend time with Anne, I missed her company and I think that she missed mine.

. . .

?

. . .

Saturday June 17th, 2023

I don’t really understand what is going on right now. I just received a phone call from the Clackamas police department claiming they found someone who could be Charlie... I don’t know if he is dead or alive, they just told me to come down to the station as soon as I could.

How could this be happening right now? Charlie has been living his own life and having a great time doing it, right? I’ve been searching for him for three months and now all of a sudden they want to tell me that they found him? This isn’t happening.. This can’t possibly be happening, right? I don’t understand.

What have I done wrong in my life to deserve this?

I should try not to make assumptions until I get to the station, I’ll have to call out of work... I just can’t believe this is happening now of all times. I have finally moved on and started my life over.

Hopefully Charlie can still be apart of it...

. . .

?

. . .

Thursday June 15th, 2023

We’re up here in the trees. I feel so calm and happy in this kind of place. Anne said that we are going to make a fire tonight too, I’ve never made a fire before so i’m excited! We got here a few hours ago and i’ve just been exploring the area around us. Anne made sure that we set up camp where no one is around so that I can feel more comfortable. She has been just sitting by a tree and reading the whole time. I was worried about her on the way up here, it was a five mile hike, but she did just fine. It only took us about six and half hours too. The smell of the trees fills my lungs and when I exhale I can’t help but smile. This is my home. I wish that I could stay here forever. I actually began to cry looking at one of these trees here because it was beautiful. The curves of it and the bark were perfect. Then looking up at it, the branches and leaves... I really can’t put into words the familiarity i see in them, like my own arms and legs are made of the same life that keeps them growing and blooming. I climbed the tree and took a nap. When I woke up and realized that I was a separate entity, it was a little surprising. Sitting here and writing reminds me of being a little kid and writing my little fictional stories. They were all so lame... Maleeka was a superhero and her power was to be able to touch someone and either heal them or kill them; so she would go around and find trouble and kill the bad people and heal the ones that were injured. Like I said it was pretty lame, but maybe my writing has matured now... I could try to start writing again.

I gotta get back out into the world again though, ya know, like get a new job. I am gonna have to leave Anne sooner or later, right? I’m scared she might die soon too, I’ll have to keep my head up through it all, she has taught me enough so that I can get through hopefully any situation without going back to my pool of misery.

“Hey Anne, how’s your reading going?” I said walking back up to our campsite.

“Oh Charlie, it’s wonderful. Did you have a good time running with the trees?”

“Yes! I love it here so much, I wish we could just stay up here.”

She smiled, “Are you ready to learn how to make that fire now?”

“Yeah, is it difficult? Did you bring a lighter? I’m not about to learn the stick rubbing method Anne.”

“Oh, c’mon Charlie it’s not that hard. I’ll help you out.”

Anne had me run back into the forest to pick up as many sticks as I could. I came back with a stack that almost went over my head, I think she was impressed.

I made a nice little pile of sticks in the form of a little teepee, per Anne’s directions.

“Alright, now get two sticks and start rubbing.”

I looked at her in disbelief, “I really don’t think I’ll be able to do this.”

“Just do it Charlie, I promise it’s not that hard.”

So, I grabbed two sticks and began to rub them together. After rubbing them for about minute I saw Anne blow onto the sticks and suddenly a big flame erupted from the sticks. I was so shocked I immediately jumped up, dropping the sticks as I did. The flames slowly went out.

“What the fuck was that?!”

“Charlie, I’m gonna need you to sit back down. I need to tell you a few things, but can we just make this fire? It’s getting dark and I’m a little chilly. So please, just try one more time for me.”

“But how did you make the fire start like that? I’m pretty sure that isn’t what normally happens.”

“You will know everything once you just sit the fuck down and start the fucking fire!” Anne yelled for the first time. I could tell that she was losing her energy and was having a hard time breathing. I sat back down and began rubbing the two sticks together again. Then, again after about a minute Anne blew on the sticks and flames were struck again. This time I carefully set the sticks down on the teepee I had already made. Anne blew once more onto the rest of the sticks and then a larger fire burst into flames. I had to jump back a little because I started to burn.

“What are you?” I asked.

“I’m just a human, like you Charlie. Except, I was graciously gifted with a little extra control when I was born.”

“What do you mean by a little extra control?”

“It’s a little hard to explain. I’ll try my best to tell you though...” She took a deep breath and then began...

“Well, when I was around 17 my mother decided to tell me about her secret life she had been living. She told me that she was gifted with this...this ”specialness” and that I had it too. We had this different type of energy inside of us that no one else had. It is sort of stronger I guess, too strong for us to handle on our own so we had to give out our energy on other things, you see? So, then from then on my mother started to teach me how to give out the extra energy my body was creating.”

I interrupted her saying, “So what, you were like a really hyper child or something? I mean I think a lot of people have that Anne, it’s called ADHD.”

“No, that’s not the type of energy i’m talking about... I’m saying that our souls gave out an energy that was too much for us to handle on our own. It didn’t have anything to do with our body functions, it had to do with the life force we are all born with. Do you understand?”

“Not really... but keep going..”

“Ok, well what my mother taught me to do was give out my energy to little things. For example, the fire; I gave some of my energy to start the fire. One of my favorite things to do was to give life to dying things. Seeing dried up, dying flowers, I could make a connection with them and they would regrow almost instantly. My mother warned me to never try to give out my energy to a human though. She said that they would suck the energy out of my soul until I was nothing but a shell of a body. I listened to her advice until I realized how much help people needed and the lack of energy was in their soul...” She stopped talking to take a deep breath and then looked up at me.

“Anne... what are you saying? Did you give your energy to all those people that came to you for help? Did you give me some of your energy? Is that why you’ve been sick? I don’t need your energy anymore! I’m all better Anne. I was actually thinking that I might move away and start my li-”

“Charlie... Let me finish please. So, I did give out my energy to a few people that came to me when I was a psychiatrist. They were in the worst condition I had ever seen; extremely suicidal. I realized though that by me giving my energy out to a person, it connected us. I could feel all their pain and my soul began to drain as my mother had warned me. I stopped immediately, but that was like killing their life force, and they ended up committing suicide anyways. It took a long time for me to get over that, and I vowed to never use my gift on any other living human. I began reading more about my gift though, my mother had given me mounds of books to help me understand my full potential.

Then I met Mora.”

“The lady who gave me a haircut? What happened with her?”

“Yes, her. Well, she has the same gift that I do. I was surprised when I found out because my mother told me that we were the only ones that could do this and we couldn’t tell anyone. Mora taught me a lot about our gift. She told me that there is a difference giving energy out to things that are alive, things that are dead, and things that are almost dead. It’s a bit difficult to understand but I’ll try to explain as best I can.

Things that are alive drain the most energy because they have the most capability to take. Things that are on the brink of dying, like the ones that don’t have much time, they don’t take much out because they become dependent on me; the bond that builds is mainly on me, and I can control them more. I know it doesn’t make much sense but that’s how it is. Now, with things that are already dead, I can’t give out energy to them because that would be like transferring my soul into something else, you can’t create energy you see.

So, as you can see, it was easiest for me to give energy out to things that were just about to die. So, that’s why I liked giving to flowers and different plants because they were connected to the Earth, which always has some energy.”

“Okay, that’s cool Anne. I mean that is incredible, thank you for telling me. I don’t understand why you have been sick for the last month, or why you are telling me all this...”

“Charlie... this is going to be very hard for you to hear... I just want you to listen and I want you to try to understand what I’m telling you.

I learned a lot from Mora, a lot of what she taught me was how to use my gift on people, but I never tried to use my gift on any person ever again because I was too scared of the consequences. But you see the day we met in that tiny bar, I felt the urge to try once more because I could see the pain you were in and I knew that I could do something to help you. I couldn’t though, I knew that I wasn’t strong enough to use my energy on another living human. I thought of you every day hoping that you wouldn’t do anything rash but when I saw you walking out of that grocery store with knives, the look on your face told me everything I needed to know. I had to try, even if it drained my whole soul I had to try one last time. Once I hit you with my car I had the perfect excuse. You were going to die right there if you didn’t go to the hospital, your soul was slowly leaving you and I could feel it. I thought quickly and put you in my car and began to bond our souls. Your soul accepted me to take over quite easily, I was actually a little surprised. I had never tried to take a soul from a body before but yours was willing. I was able to alter your mind to think that you went home and passed out. From then on I thought it was going to be simple.

I got your car towed to a dumpsite and i saw it crush, I took your license plates off and took them with me. Then I buried your body. I buried you up here, in this forest.”

I stared at Anne in complete disbelief. Her mind must be gone from her illness or something.

“Anne, you know that I am sitting right here in front of you? I’m still alive... how could you have buried my body?”

“I’m telling you, just listen please. Once I buried you, Mora taught me how to keep your soul alive, she gave me the strength to re-create you as you once were but you are really only here because I am constantly giving your soul enough energy to keep functioning. I am the only one who can see you Charlie, you don’t actually exist.”

“What about Mora? She gave me a fuckin haircut for god’s sake! How could she do that if I didn’t exist?”

“Charlie, she is giving you some of her energy too, so of course she could see you. Normal people can’t see energy but with our gift we are able to see it and make it into what we want. I’m sorry that I have to tell you this Charlie but it’s true.”

“If it’s true, show me my body.”

Anne looked at me, shrugged her shoulders and stood up, “Follow me.”

She had a hard time walking but after 10 minutes of walking through rough terrain we arrived a small plot of dirt. She pointed at the ground and said, “If you want to see, go ahead.”  I kneeled down and began to dig with my hands. I was worried that what she was saying might be true. It all seemed so impossible. I began feeling things that resembled something other than rocks and dirt. I started to dig faster and faster and tears began rolling down my face. I finally uncovered what was buried beneath the dirt and to my disbelief it was a body that had started to decay, it smelled foul. I recognized the few facial features that were left. I looked up at Anne and screamed, “What have you done?!” I stood up and began to run away as far as I could.

I fell over a root, and when I landed I started wailing, the sounds weren’t human, but hey I guess I wasn’t even human anymore. I laid on the ground until I had no more breath left. Sitting up against a tree made me feel a little better, when I took a breath in I could feel the dirt around my body and the bugs crawling in and eating away at my insides. Puking just made everything worse. Then I heard Anne’s voice.

“Charlie... I need you to come back to the fire. I have more to tell you.”

I looked around and I couldn’t see anything, she was inside my head. I hated this, I hated the control she had over me, I belonged to her and there was nothing I could do about it. I got up and walked back to the fire because there was nothing else that I could do.

“Charlie, I didn’t do this to hurt you, I want you to know that. Can I tell you what I wanted?”

“Go for it, I mean you control me anyways, so I can’t do anything you don’t want.”


“That’s not true, I just kept your soul going, I never controlled your thoughts or actions while you were with me, I didn’t lie to you either, all I wanted to do was to help you.”

“How can you still say that you only wanted to help? You realize that you killed me? Like I can’t be helped anymore. So why I am still here?”

“I want you to think about yourself when you were about to kill yourself. Think of how much you hated life and how you didn’t appreciate anything or care about anything. Can you see the change in yourself? When I look at you I see a whole new person, I can guarantee that I didn’t force you to feel that way.”

I took time to think about what she was saying. Even though I wanted to hate this person so much, there was something inside of me that knew that she was right and that I do feel a lot better about myself. It didn’t happen overnight either, it took a lot of time and understanding myself to get where I am right now. She was also right, I would be dead anyways, even if she hadn’t hit me with her car, I would’ve killed myself that day.

“Charlie, I wanted you to be able to pass on into whatever lies ahead with a happy spirit and be okay with being done with this life.”

“This isn’t fair, I’m not ok with being done with this life. I was okay with it back then but now I’m better. I’m ready to go out and live my life a better me! Why did this have to happen?”

“I’m sorry Charlie, I truly am, I can feel your soul gaining it’s own energy back and that’s what’s been making me sick. It’s something I didn’t expect would happen, Mora never told me about it. It seems like your soul wants to live on it’s own and it’s been trying to, but that can’t happen Charlie. It just can’t, your body is gone. I’m sorry.”

“Can’t you do something?? Use your powers to make me human? If my soul is strong enough put me into something that can hold it. Something Anne, anything please!”

She looked down at the ground like she was thinking really hard. Then she shook her head, and said “Charlie, you are still only a half of a person, you’ll never be strong enough to go into another human body.”

I thought for a second, “Can you put my soul into the trees? Yeah! Because aren’t souls just made out of energy? So, just let me pick a tree and then I can still be alive somehow. Is that possible?”

She looked down again to think then said, “Are you sure you want to do that?”

“I love being here Anne, I don’t want to leave. Yes, that’s what I want.”

“Okay Charlie, are you ready?”

“Wait, could I write down something for my mom? I want someone to know that I am okay.”

“Of course.”

 

. . .

?

. . .

Saturday July 1st, 2023

Charlie’s funeral was yesterday... I still don’t know how all this happened. The police got a call from two hikers who were near Devil’s Peak when they found a body that looked like it had been unburied. They said the body had been decaying for about 3 months. When I drove the police station they had me identify him. It was horrifying. I couldn’t stand that image of my baby. What evil would do this to him? They said that they couldn’t determine the cause of death for sure, there could have been some sort of trauma, because there was some bruising on the abdomen area.

I knew that there was something not quite right when I saw him last. I don’t know what I am supposed to do now.

Someone that I had never seen before came to the funeral, she was an older woman, it was strange.

“Hello ma’am, I’m so sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you, I’m sorry too... Were you one of Charlie’s co-workers?”

“Actually no. I met your son while ago, we became pretty good friends, and then this happened... I’m sorry, my name is Anne.”

“Oh hello Anne, I’m Charlie’s mother, Mary. You said you knew Charlie? When was the last time you saw him?”

“I think it was when his dog got sick, he really needed a friend. He was devastated about Maleeka. I just came here today to say goodbye to Charlie, and also, I got this letter in the mail a while ago. I wasn’t really sure what it meant until now, but it’s addressed to you. I’m sorry I couldn’t get it to you sooner. I didn’t know how to contact you.”

I took the letter and thanked her for coming. I wonder why Charlie never mentioned having a friend... but i’m thankful that he had someone to talk to.

Dear Mom,

You’re probably really confused right now. I’m sorry that I can’t be with you anymore, but you can always find me. I want you to know that I don’t blame you for anything and that you shouldn’t blame yourself either. You did all you could and I know that you tried. I want you to know that I am leaving as happy as I have ever been, I know it doesn’t make any sense because I am dying but just know that I am going to be ok. I hope you learn to live life as happy as you can be because you deserve more than what life has given you. I love you mom and I want to thank you for giving me life, it’s too bad I realized how good it can be when it was too late, but I’m okay now and I will always be from now on. Have a good life, I’ll see you one day.

Love,

Charlie

The letter also had a picture of a tree in it. It was a beautiful tree, and I don’t know what it was about it but it made me want to see it in real life. On the back of the picture it said

Devil’s Peak, Mt. Hood

I hiked up and found the tree. It was the tallest tree in the whole forest, the leaves were the brightest green I had ever seen a tree, even though it’s mid summer. The bark on the tree was so strong and the branches made the tree easy to climb. As I’m sitting here,  in this big green tree and I don’t know what it is about it but I feel so calm. My son just died and I feel calm? Maybe his letter put my mind at ease. I feel more than calm though, I feel...happy. Tears are dropping on the paper as I’m writing but I don’t care because I’m laughing. I can’t stop. My life has been such a whirlwind of emotions, and especially now. But I’m happy? I feel like I’m being hugged with such positivity and it’s making me laugh. I think I might be going crazy, but everything seems so clear now. I don’t have to worry about what happens next, for some reason I know everything will be alright.

This is where they found my son’s body, maybe he is still up here somehow, watching over me, making sure I am happy. I love you Charlie, and I’ll miss you and your brother forever, but if you are out there somewhere, thank you.

Thank you.

 

The end.








 


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