I am sitting at the bar in Carlito's. Against my better judgement I left you alone while I got dinner for us. We hadn't eaten all day and you were fading fast. I didn't ask you what you wanted because I know you would have said you were OK with a yogurt. Instead I am getting you a grilled chicken breast with veggies because you need all the energy you can get right now. While I wait, several waitresses come over and ask if Fi really turned herself in to the authorities. I tell them the truth. They are walk away with the same sad faces. My favorite waitresses Kaitlin comes over and gives me a hug. Sweet girl. She kisses me on the cheek and says "Tell Michael we all are worried about him and if he needs anything to call. We'll get him anything he needs on the house." I smile and thank her. Carlito brings our order out and tells me that the waitresses all chipped in and bought dinner. I am afraid to talk, afraid my brave front might crumble and I would be reduced to a quivering mess. Instead I smile and nod, feeling all the workers watch me as I walk out the door.
I walk into the loft and set the food down on the workbench. I don't see you, but I do notice Fiona's snow globes, except for one, are all broken. As I look for you, I hear a strangled sob from the kitchen. I round the table and see you sitting on the floor with your back to the sink, Fi's note in one hand and in the other, your gun pressed to your head. This isn't good. I thought if I left you alone, the worst you'd do is just be sitting on the bed, stone faced and solemn. When I came back, I never thought I'd see you like this. I kneel down in front of you and keep telling you to give me the gun. I'm getting no reaction. After a few more times of talking calmly to you, I yell at the top of my lungs. All I get is a response, a sound that I can't even describe, but it breaks my heart and shakes me to the core. Again, I try to get the gun but now you are holding tighter. I thought about wrestling it from you, but then I really did not want to get shot today. So I grab the barrel and pull it away from your head. I manage to get you to rest the handle against your head, so if you shoot, you shoot at the ceiling. I tell you to look at me, telling you over and over that you are ok and that we will get through this, but I need you to give me the gun before I can help you. I am truly terrified because I can't get a response, I can't get you to give me the gun and you are looking at something and nothing at the same time. I grab your face with both my hands and use my thumbs to clear your eyes, hoping something will register if you see me, even if its just for a split second. That's all I need to help you, just that one second, but I can't help until you realize I am here. Finally, you see me. You sob out Fi's name and drop her note. I grab your gun, sliding it across the floor. I am sick of that damn gun today.
I reach out to give you comfort, but you push me back. I fall, crashing into the table behind me. You scurry across the floor and pull your knees to your chest, crying even more than before. You are in a corner, so I get up and get next to you. I snake one arm behind you, the other i wrap around your front. You are shaking and thrashing. The more you shake and thrash, the tighter I hold. If I let go, odds are you are going for that gun and I might not be able to stop you shooting me or yourself this time. I tell you over and over to stop fighting and that I am not letting go. God only knows if you hear me. You give one good final thrash and you stop. You are crying harder than I've ever seen anyone, man or woman, ever cry before. I hold you tight, keeping your head near mine. I keep whispering in your ear that I have you and it's ok brother. All you say over and over, like its a mantra, is "I'm so tired." Eventually, the tears stop and I notice your breathing slows. You are asleep. Thank God.
Once you know you are completely out, I manage to lay you down without waking you up. I get a blanket, a spare one that doesn't smell like Fiona, and cover you with it. I grab a broom and clean up the broken snow globes. Tears come to my eyes. I should have been here when you broke, I should have made you go to Maddie's for the night. Two people I love, you and Fi, are shattered, like the snow globes on the ground. I call your mom and tell her you are in bad shape tonight and we'll come by to check tomorrow on her. She understands and begs me to call her if you need her. I finish cleaning and crash on your bed.
In the morning I wake up and you are still asleep. I make eggs and toast and make you eat. If I didn't, then you wouldn't eat and the day would get worse from there. While I wash dishes, you thank me. Just a simple thanks between men. No need to acknowledge weakness. I just tell you "Anytime brother, anytime." It's true. You are my brother and I'd go to hell and back for you.