|How to Save a Life
Author: Miss Fenway PM
"One is good, but four is better." Maybe if he had listened to their own song, he wouldn't have tried to fix things by himself. Because instead of making things better, he made them worse. NO SLASH!Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Angst - Chapters: 35 - Words: 113,661 - Reviews: 447 - Favs: 80 - Follows: 47 - Updated: 08-21-11 - Published: 02-06-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6721449
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N. Today I watch my yearly football game. The Superbowl. Go Packers! That is all. I'm having a little Writer's Block with 'Head On Collision' so bear with me as I begin yet another multi-chapter story. As usual, I have no idea how long it's going to be. I'm just going to see where it takes me. Yes, it is based after the song 'How to Save a Life' by The Fray and my take on what the lyrics mean. Oh, and I am dedicatng this story to FallingToFly, one of my most loyal reviewers and best friends on this site. I told her about this forever ago but I wouldn't say what it was about because I'm mean and like to tease people. Just ask my friend Lauren lol. Anyway, Merry Christmas, happy birthday and I love you even though this is super late. I fail, you know that. I love you. I don't own anything.
He jerked away from his friend's grasp, stumbling backwards slightly when he was let go more easily than he thought he would be. Tears stung his eyes and blurred his vision but he could still see them all staring at him with their eyes wide in disbelief and their mouths hanging open in shock. He could see the disappointment and the judgment in their expressions and worst of all he could see that they were crying as well. He had made them cry. What kind of person made his best friends cry? A terrible person. He was a terrible person. Terrible people didn't deserve to live.
Yet, he was reached out for once again, the familiar eyes begging him to stay and listen. "Let us help you." His friend said in a broken voice, choked by tears. "Please. Just. . . you need help. Let us help you."
By now his hands were shaking, a classic symptom of withdrawal. His lungs felt tight with panic and inside his chest, his heart raced uncomfortably. He tried to still the nervous tremor in his hands by shoving them in his pockets and found the palms slick with sweat. Another symptom of withdrawal. His head was aching too. And just like that it was easy to forget about his friends. Not completely because they were still standing right in front of him looking as hurt as ever, but enough to have the guilt temporarily eased.
A hand on his shoulder surprised him so much that he jumped what seemed like a foot in the air. No. He couldn't get help now. Not the kind of help they wanted to give him. He needed the help that he had been depending on for months now. He closed his eyes and tried to visualize the tiny pills, in different shapes and sizes and even colors, creating a sort of rainbow in the palm of his hand. That alone was enough to give him his voice back.
He cleared his throat and opened his eyes to see his friends all watching him in concern. Maybe they thought he was hallucinating or something. He wished he was hallucinating. He wished that they were still oblivious to his problem. But now they knew. Just the same he couldn't let them stop him from getting what he needed. He shrugged of the hand and glared at them. It caught them off guard and they stepped back, giving him enough space to bolt past them and run up the stairs.
"Wait!" Instantly, they were on his heels, like dogs tracking a fox at a hunt. They pounded up the stairs after him. He was outnumbered and usually, when they worked as a team they were unbeatable. But they were divided in their panic and tripped over one another giving him just enough time to reach his room and slam the door, locking it behind him. "Let us in!" Their three voices were united as one, demanding and yet pleading at the same time.
"No!" His voice cracked unexpectedly but he was surprised that he could still speak at all. "I don't want or need your help!" Denial. He was a drug addict and he did need their help more than anything else in the world. He wanted it too. But he didn't deserve it and all he could think about right now was getting "help".
D.A.R.E. It stood for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. When they were in middle school, a police officer had come to their health class and gave them a thirty minute lecture on such dangers. They had listened with rapt attention because it was really quite fascinating. But the minute the bell rang they rushed to their next classes, only briefly dwelling on the man's words and wondering how a person could be so stupid. They promised each other that they wouldn't do that to one another. Because the one thing that had stuck to their minds was how drugs didn't just hurt the person using them, but the family members and friends of that person would be hurt as well.
Now he had broken that promise. His friends were in a living hell on earth because of him. He hated himself for damaging that trust they had held in him for all these years. He could still hear them on the other side of the door, threatening to break through if he didn't let them in within five minutes. He was surprised that they were giving him so much time but grateful. Five minutes was plenty of time to d what he needed to do.
Now that he was sure relief was coming, the shaking in his hands had died down enough so that he could overturn his bed mattress and slide his fingers into the slit he had made when they first came back from the tour. He chuckled humorlessly as he thought of the tour. That was when it all started. Because he was too much of a baby and couldn't sleep on the bus. He had been prescribed sleeping pills and it had all gone downhill from there.
He had tried to keep his secret but they knew him too well and caught on within a month. He denied it and they believed him at first. But when they caught him red-handed things changed and became more difficult. They gave him one last chance and hid all the medications not expecting him to resort to desperate measures. But they were traveling the country at that time, stopping in all sorts of cities. As horrible as it was, it wasn't that hard to find a drug dealer on a street corner that was willing to help him out for a price.
For a price. It had all come at an unimaginable price. The drugs had affected his ability to perform so much that the fans had noticed and the band's popularity went down the tubes. They had affected his school work so that no amount of help could save his plummeting grades. But most importantly, they had affected his relationships. They didn't trust him anymore.
Trust is a very fragile gift. When you wrong someone, they may forgive you right away. But it's not the same with trust. No matter how much that person may love you and forgive you, it will take some time before they can fully trust you again. He knew this. Twelve years of trust and he had thrown it all away for the stupid pills.
His fingers closed around plastic and he yanked the bag out, sighing in relief when he saw his rainbow colored "helpers" dancing around inside. He didn't have that much time. He had to hurry. The bag wouldn't open on it's own right away so he simply tore it open, completely desperate now. Some of the pills flew out and scattered across the floor, He lunged for them like a wild half human and scrambled to collect them.
Once he was sure he had a significant amount clutched in his fist, he sat down on the edge of the bed. He didn't need water anymore. He had been doing this for so long. Two at a time and he would be fine. He looked upward at his ceiling and tossed the first two pills in his mouth. They slid down his throat and immediately, he could feel his senses calming down. That was enough.
But he didn't stop. He could hear one of his friends tell the others that they needed to get the door open right away and he hurried to rid himself of the pills and rid three of the best people in the world of one of the worst people in the world. His brain grew fuzzy and the yelling outside his room was dimmed and drowned out by a roaring in his ears. His vision was blurred and even when he blinked it didn't clear the fog. It was incredibly hard to breathe now and his heart was pounding but the beats were growing slower and slower. The empty bag fell from his hands that were shaking once again and he fell back against his pillows.
Just then the door was flung open and his friends came charging in. He could make out three blurry blobs just ahead of him and he assumed they were the faces of his friends. They were too late. He as dying. Soon they wouldn't have to worry about him anymore. He wouldn't be a burden to them anymore.
But then he heard sobbing. The sound cut through his impaired thinking. They were all sobbing so hard that he could tell it was hard for them to breathe. That was when it came to him. A thought so dim at first because he could hardly think straight. But gradually, that thought cut through the darkness and changed everything.
They didn't hate him. They didn't want him to die. His friends didn't want him to die. They wanted him to live. They wanted him to get better. They didn't care what happened after that. All they wanted was him to be okay again. And with that revelation came another one. It was less clear than the first because he was dying. The life was fading from him even though his friends were screaming at him to hold on. But it came all the same. He didn't want to die either. He wanted to live. He wanted to get better. He didn't care what happened after that. He just wanted to get better.
But by now, the mixed variety of drugs he had so hastily consumed were working their evil magic and killing him. He was scared. He reached out blindly and his fingers closed around someone's hand. His own grasp was weak but his friend wasn't letting him go. "Please," He heard and tears crowded his eyes at the broken voice. "Please just hang on. Help is coming. Don't leave us."
He wanted to tell them so much. He wanted to explain to them why he had done what he had done. It had made so much sense in the beginning. He thought it would help. But now it had only broken things, perhaps beyond repair. What was he leaving behind? He had taken the coward's way out and his friends, his best friends in the entire world, were going to be left behind in pain and suffering and agony. He wanted to tell them that everything would be okay. He wanted to tell them to not be afraid because he would get better. But he didn't have that much time.
He gave the hand a gentle squeeze because he didn't have enough strength left to do anything else. But it worked. He had their attention. A hand came under his head and cradled it gently as he was brought closer to them. He couldn't tell if his face was wet because of his own tears or because of the tears that fell from three pairs of eyes. He shook slightly in his friend's arms because they were both crying so hard. But he forced his mouth open and uttered two words in a voice that was just barely a whisper. "I'm sorry."
Sorry could never be enough for what he had done. But it was all he had. The voices rose in desperation as his eyelids fluttered shut and closed, enveloping him in a darkness. But an even greater darkness tugged at him, pulling him toward unconsciousness and then death. He was so close. He could hear them begging him to stay with them and then he could hear other voices in the room that he somehow figured out were the paramedics his friends had called.
"Don't leave us."
That was the last thing he knew.
A/N. I like prologues. -nods- I also, if you haven't noticed, like writing fictional stories based on real life struggles that people go through. 'How to Save a Life' is a tragic song but an important message that I hope you all realize. So. . . review?