Life. What is life? What does it all matter? Two months passed since graduating high school. I passed, and to my folks that meant I could do anything – or so they keep saying. Still, here I was months later “enjoying” the sun out by the pool. Not like I could enjoy the actual pool. Pear, Penny, and Anna were all swimming and having fun. At least someone was having fun.
“Hey stop that!” Anna screamed which took me out of my own self-pitty party. “Pear, I am warning you. Don’t you even think about it.” Pear gave her a wicked grin and before she could protest further he had her underwater. She came up with him and she splashed him. He kissed her back. No one saw those two getting together, especially dad and Uncle Casey. They were shocked. Hell, I was shocked!
“Jamie!” I heard my mom call from the house, “Benny’s calling your cell. Want me to answer it?”
“Nah, I’ll call him back later.” That was something else I had to think about. I knew Benny was heading to Sunset Valley for college and to play baseball in a week. Did I break up with him? Or did I act like everything is fine around him, when really there was no feeling there. Sara already was back in Europe studying at some prestige college. She’s emailed me a few times, but I never replied back. What was the point? She at least was enjoying life, why bring her down with all my crap?
“Okay.” Mom walked back into the house, shaking her head. She must have wished I was going to talk to him, or even see him. I know my parents worried about me, but there wasn’t really anything anyone could do for me. I didn’t even know how I really felt myself. I felt nothing. My heart felt like ice, my brain felt like it was in a deep trance. I just didn’t feel anything, and I didn’t care about anything.
By the time I finally called Benny, it was well after midnight. He wasn’t too thrilled it took me that long to get back to him. To be honest I wasn’t even sure until the moment I hit sent that I was going to call him. Benny wanted to see me before he headed for school. I had been avoiding him all summer long, and he was growing sick of it.
“I’ll pick you up for lunch tomorrow, and Jamie, you will be ready. I haven’t seen you since graduation, and I really miss you.”
“I miss you too.” I didn’t. Not really. I just didn’t have any feelings about anyone, that even trying to miss Benny was a farce.
At lunch the next day I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t do it anymore. I just couldn’t lie to the only person I have ever loved. Past tense, because now I feel nothing for him. So, with that I broke up with him, by telling him the truth. He deserved to know that I didn’t think of him that way anymore. Not really. I just didn’t want him to think he had someone here waiting for him, when really he didn’t. He deserves that much to know, and it was only fair to tell him.
“No, you can’t do this!” he screamed, “I won’t let you!”
“Ben, I am, and yes you are. I can’t keep going like this.” I sipped my espresso outside the little cafe we were at. “Besides you’re heading for college anyway.”
“But I love you, and I know you love me!”
I shrugged. The awkward moment of silence that followed wasn’t what I expected. I figured my heart would feel better, only it felt as if it were breaking more. “I’m sorry Ben but I just can’t be with you or anyone. I just,” I sighed, not sure how much I should divulge to Ben.
“Jamie, baby, I promise you that life will get better. Just come to the university with me. We’ll get an apartment. You can probably get into the school if you apply. Maybe take some acting classes. Please, baby.”
I shook my head. This was the same argument we had during school. Even then I refused, and now that I was breaking up with him I was refusing him one last time. “I’m sorry, but no.” I pulled away from the table, “I have to go. Cait’s rehearsal is in an hour.” He stood and pulled out his wallet, but I stopped him. “Let me. I broke up with you, besides I’ll take the bus.”
“Like hell you will. You don’t want to be lovers that’s fine, Jamie, but I’m still your friend and I am going to drive you home. Besides, Mr. Rain would kill me if I made you take the bus.”
Dad was thankful for Benny bringing me home, even though he clearly saw that something happened.
Dad followed me inside, “What the hell was that all about? Benny looks like someone killed his dog.”
“We broke up. Well, I broke up with him.” I shrugged it off like it didn’t matter, because it didn’t. Or at least too me, clearly it mattered to him.
“What! What do you mean you broke up with him? He and you are perfect for each other.” I rolled my eyes and turned to face him. “What? It’s true. He made you happy. He was there for you even after the accident. Not too many guys are like Benny, Jamie. Why in the world would you break up with him?”
“People break up. Its a part of life.” I said nonchalantly. “Besides it’s not like I’m going to be with the first person I fell in love with for the rest of my life. It was time. I’ll move on, and he’ll move on.”
“Now what is wrong with ending up with the first person you fall in love with?” dad asked.
“Nothing. It’s just not practical. Benny deserves to be able to date and not worry about his invalid boyfriend that can hardly get it up.” I rolled away, hoping he get the idea that I didn’t want to talk about it.
“Is that what this is about? Intimacy?” When I didn’t respond dad followed me towards the back of the house. “Jamie, answer me.”
I turned to look at him, “No, it’s not. It’s part of it. I’m okay with the fact that I may never be intimate with anyone, but, no its not why I broke up with Ben. Okay. Now, give it a rest. It’s not as if I’m breaking up with you.”
I left outside only to be confronted with mom, Aunt Rose, Anna, Penny, Cait, and my grandmother. Great. Another wedding meeting before the rehearsal dinner. “Just the guy we were thinking about,” mom piped up. “The singer Cait hired for the service just called and bailed on us. We were wondering if you’d be willing to sing?”
Crap. “Please?” Cait asked with her bright puppy eyes. “It’d mean so much to me.”
Great. I’d have to sing. Something I vowed to not do after I graduated high school. Sure, I enjoyed the Glee club, but singing just made me think back to dancing, and that is something I swear to myself that I’d never even think about. Now, she wanted me up on stage!
“Come on Jamie!” Penny cheered in. “It’d be great!”
“Fine,” I groaned. “It’s your wedding, whatever you want.”
Cait flung herself around my neck, “Thank you so much!” I put up the most fake smile I could muster and went with the flow. I couldn’t let anyone know how much I really hated this. “You are the greatest brother ever.”
I smiled and nodded, trying to not let my eyes roll.
I woke in the middle of the night with the feeling I had to go. Now, in my half-awake, half-asleep state I may have forgotten about my legs. I went to stand and did a total face plant on the floor and against the wheelchair. My face hurt like a son-of-a-bitch, but it was my wrist that got pinned. I screamed in agony and started to swear up a storm that my door flew open. Shit.
Dad ran to my side, “Crap! Jamie, you okay?”
“No, I peed myself.” I looked down at my soaked sweat pants. “Why does this have to be so difficult!”
Dad sighed and held onto me as the tears started, “I know, son, I know,” he repeated as he held me. I hated this! Life was useless just as my legs are! If a guy can’t just get up in the middle of the night to take a piss, then what kind of life is that? Seriously!
“Why don’t we get you cleaned up, and back into bed? We have a huge day tomorrow.”
Fuck me! Cait’s wedding was within hours and I really didn’t want to sing. Dad lifted me onto my bed and started to raid my dresser. “Boxers, briefs, or sweats?”
“Boxers are fine.” Dad tossed me a pair. “Do I really have to sing tomorrow?”
“Yes,” dad stated. “Jamie, it’s Cait’s wedding. She wants you to, and you already said yes.”
I just shook my head as I pulled up my boxers over my useless limbs. I used the strength in one arm to lift myself high enough to pull them over my ass. I hate dressing myself, but I rather be the one doing it than having dad or someone else dressing me. How humiliating would that be? “Dad, do you think grandpa ever misses not being able to see with two eyes?” I asked. Where the hell did that come from? I’m just too tired, that’s it, just too tired that I’m just not thinking straight.
“Honestly, I don’t know. I know he’s lived longer with one eye than two, and that if he was given a chance to see out of two eyes he’d probably decline. You miss dancing, don’t you?”
“Yes,” I sighed. “I miss it more than anything and I just don’t want to do anything that reminds me of my past.”
“Like singing.” It wasn’t a question. “Jamie, I’m sure if you tell Cait, she’d understand. Don’t do something just because its for your sister and it’ll just make you sad. If you really don’t want to sing, because it’ll just remind you of what you lost, then talk to your sister.”
“She’s going to hate me,” I pouted, clean and dressed. “I don’t want her to hate me.”
“Then your going to have to decide who’s happiness is more important tomorrow.” Dad started to tuck me in. It was endearing, but at the same time so fucking annoying. “Night, bud, Love you,” he whispered and kissed my forehead, another annoying habit he had. So gross! I said night back as he closed my door and just stared at the dark ceiling. Sleep never came after that.
I could hear the fighting as I watched from bed as the sun came up. Penny and Pear were fighting about god knows what. Dad was yelling at them to shut it. I heard a pounding at my door and rolled my eyes, like I could just get up and answer it. “Yeah?” I answered the relentless pounding.
Dad stuck his head in, “Just making sure you’re up.”
“After that morning wake-up call I don’t think anyone in the house is asleep,” I joked. “But yeah, I’ve been up since you left my room last night.”
Dad walked in and sat on the edge of my bed, “Couldn’t sleep?”
“You could say that.” I stared at my hands, wondering how much of what I felt should I really voice out loud. Sure I had my insecurities, but it was much more than that. I was depressed. The last year I have tried everything to accept my disability. Breaking up with Benny didn’t help me like I thought it would. I felt dead inside, and I didn’t know what I was going to do after the wedding. I just wanted to give up.
“Jamie, I know it’s been hard. You’re always so quiet now.” Dad tried to smile, but it didn’t work. “I remember before where you had so much life. You were carefree and singing and . . .” He put his head down. He didn’t have to say the word. “God, Jamie, I hate that this happened to you as much as you hate it yourself. Remember when you were eight and you begged me for lessons? I was such an asshole father, and now I’d give anything in the world for those days back.”
“Yeah, me too,” I mumbled. Dad wiped his eyes, clearly he hurt as much as I did. “Dad, what am I going to do?”
“Well, today you’re going to sing. You’re going to go up on stage and sing for Cait because you love her. We’ll figure out your future tomorrow. I’ll help you out, and I know your mother will. Now, get dressed and get ready. We have a wedding to attend.”
“You still plan on bringing grandpa’s gun?” I asked with a laugh.
“Nope, Moron already knows what I expect from him,” dad teased. “Besides, I already know for a fact grandpa has his gun holstered under his jacket. Now, get up, get dressed, and for the love of god shave.”
“Hey I happened to like my beard!”
“It’s Cait’s wedding. Shave it off, you hoodlum,” dad laughed. “Please. And I’ll be even more happy if you put a comb through that hair. When’s the last time you washed it?”
“Hey, I shower.” Dad rolled his eyes at me. “I do. I’ll clean up, okay. Geesh!”
As we all headed towards the door to get into the cars, I watched as grandma stop grandpa at the threshold of the house. “Don’t even think about leaving the house with it, Parker.”
“With what?” Dad who was behind me looked down at me and we both grinned. Like grandpa could really hide anything from grandma, and we knew he was hiding not only a gun but a small metal flask he carried.
“What do you think? You’re gun. I want it locked up in the office. Now.”
Grandpa rolled his eye. “I told you, I don’t leave this house without it, Hana!”
“You will put it away, Parker Rain, or so help me you will need it after I am done with you.”
Grandpa gulped. No one messed with grandma, least of all grandpa. She may look fragile, but that woman can be just as dangerous as grandpa if pushed too far. “Fine! I’ll lock it up. But if someone comes and storms in the church with a weapon aiming to kill us all, I’m putting you in the line of fire.”
“You and your dramatics, Parker Rain. You’re seriously like a little boy when you don’t get your way, you know that? Still the same spoiled Parker.”
“I am not! I’m old and wise, woman.”
“Old would be an understatement.”
“Look who’s talking. You’re still two years older than me Mrs. Rain.” Grandma stuck her tongue out at him and he did the same. “Fine, I hate you. You know that right?”
“Love you too, now go put it away. And dump that flask before I really have to think about killing you.”
Cait wore the most exquisite dress as she walked down the isle on dad’s arm. I sat watching them as I sang a wedding hymn she and Aaron picked out. During the service I sang two more songs that meant a lot to the couple, and as I finished up, I wondered to myself if I could end up being a wedding singer? It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do with my life, but it made my sister happy and for the briefest of time it made me happy seeing her smile as I performed. Still, it was hard to do for me, I kept thinking back before the accident and I know if I ended up singing for happy couples like Cait and Aaron I would never truly be happy with my life. No, I couldn’t put myself through this anymore. For Cait, I could because she deserved it, but not for anyone else.
After the wedding we arrived to one of the most famous private clubs in downtown Brooklyn, and held the reception in their most private of rooms. It’s amazing what money can buy, and for once Cait and everyone else was happy to claim that our mother was Riddle Moss. If it wasn’t for the A-star celebrity Cait would have had to throw the reception somewhere not as awesome.
The dinner went smoothed, staff cleared the buffet table leaving the cake behind. Champagne was served to everyone over the legal age, while other were handed cider. I watched and snickered as mom took dad’s champagne and swapped it for cider – grandma did the same with grandpa’s. I know my dad mumbled under his breath about how he paid for it. I vaguely listened to the best man give his speech. I just didn’t care – although when there was a innuendo thrown in I gave a smile. Laughter echoed the room at intermittent points while my dad’s face scarlet more than once.
Dad stood from our table, I turned my head to watch. Dad clinked his cider glass and the room quieted. The father of the groom was giving a speech. “I’m not great at giving speeches, nor can I write them, but for Cait I’ve tried to come up with some words. For almost twenty-two years I watched you grow into this beautiful woman, I’ve raised you and given you guidance – even if sometimes it fell on death ears. Case in point, Aaron.” Some laughter. “I tease, I know. But what I want you to know, the both of you, is that I couldn’t be more proud of you. I still am trying to deal with the fact that I just walked my daughter down the isle. Seeing my princess married off and ready to start a new life isn’t something I’m ready for. And before anyone gasps, Cait’s my princess – always has been. Try calling Penny a princess, you’ll only receive a fist in your face.”
“Hell yeah!” Penny said and laughter erupted in the room.
“Cait, you will always be my princess, and in the eyes of Aaron you’ll always be his queen. I turn my attention to Aaron. Despite my wife’s lack in trust with me not speaking when the reverend ask if there’s anyone that thinks you two shouldn’t wed by holding me down by the collar and cover my mouth, I am actually happy about this union. I kid, I tease, and joke bout how I don’t accept you. Truth is, I do. I just hate someone stealing my little girl from me. I trust that you’ll do right by my daughter, that you’ll respect her and love her like a husband and lover aught to. I know you’ll never hurt her; you’ve met her grandfather. I welcome you to the family. To Cait and Aaron, may my daughter come to her senses, and may my son-in-law run – I mean to the happy couple, may you two live a long and happy life together.” Laughter and cheers came forth, and I smiled in my glass.
Cait walked over and hugged him and I watched dad kiss her cheek and whispered something – probably how much he loved her, that or he has enough money for her to run. Didn’t matter, anyone could see my sister was in love.
Halfway through the reception, and right after dad danced with Cait for the second time that evening, she stopped the music. Cait stood in the middle of the dance floor and quieted her guests down. “Hey all, I know we’ve done the speeches thing, and the dances, and everything, and you all just want to finish enjoying dancing the night away, but I have something to say. First, I just want to thank everyone who made it to the wedding. Thanks to my parents for not only paying for it, but for my mom getting this wonderful venue.
“All my life, and my brothers and sister’s life we never really appreciated my mom. Hell, when asked who our parents were or are, we lied through our teeth. But tonight, having my dream wedding that would have never been if I didn’t have the most amazing parents in the world. So please, a round of applause to the lovely Riddle Moss and Kain Raliq, my parents.”
My parents right behind me kissed and smiled to everyone. Hoots and hollers were given, and I heard some gasps from Aaron’s guests. Yeah, we never tell anyone who our parents are. It wasn’t that we were proud of them, it was that we didn’t want any special treatment because we’re their kids. Mom and dad both blew kisses to her, and bowed for the crowd before Cait silenced them again.
“I love you two.” Cait said before continuing on her speech. “As many of you are aware a year ago Aaron and I put our engagement on hold. We were to wed last summer, then one evening in April of last year I received the worst call in my life. My brother was in a car accident.” Cait wiped her eyes as her voice hitched and my heart pounded. Where was she going with this?
“Tonight he’s here and not only is he in attendance he did probably the hardest thing he’s ever done today – sing at my wedding. You see my brother should have been a dancer. A performer on Broadway. That’s where he’s meant to be. That was until three jerks put him in a wheelchair, ruining not only his future but his life. Jamie,” she turned to me, “I know life hasn’t been what you’ve always dreamed of, but tonight I want to show you that dreams still can happen.”
Cait came up after my family’s performance and gave me a kiss on the cheek. “I love you, bro. Don’t ever let the music in here stop,” she patted the left side of my chest, and I held in the tears. Everyone in my family gave me some affection and it was all becoming too much. I knew they were trying to cheer me up, and give me hope, yet in my heart I just couldn’t picture life being a musical number anymore. Life was . . . grey – and it wasn’t fifty shades of it either. It was just one dreary drab of grey.
After everyone gave me their little pep talk and the performance I went in search for a beer and a quiet place to sit outside. I could hear the loud music blaring, people laughing and cheering at who knows what – probably the bride and groom kissing. I snickered thinking of what dad’s reaction all day has been when he sees those two making out.
“Quite the party, huh?” A guy came up to me and lit one up. “Want one?” I declined, and tried to ignore him. “How do you know the lovely couple?”
I rolled my eyes, he must have not seen the whole performance that Cait put on for me. “I’m the bride’s miserable brother, you?”
“Pan Hart, a friend, well acquaintance with your parents.” I gave him a glance, but I didn’t recognize him. I figured he was one of their “Hollywood” friends that showed up. I know a few did. “So, why aren’t you over there enjoying the party?”
Really? He had to ask that? I raised a brow wondering if this guy had any brains at all in that thick head of his.
“You son-of-a-bitch!” I heard dad yell as he came up to us, Pan quickly put his cigarette out. “You sick fuck, what the hell are you doing here?!?”
“Hey Kaliq,” Pan stood and smiled – extending his hand. Dad punched him right in the jaw. Pan started to rub it after a bit and laugh, “Guess nothing’s change.”
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing here?” Dad’s face was getting red, and his fists were turning white.
“I read in the paper Cait was getting married, thought I crash it and see for myself.”
“You fuck! Get out of here! I told you next time I saw you, I’d kill you myself. Now, get out!”
“Kal, she’s my-” Dad grabbed Pan, whirled him around and slammed him into the wall. I backed away in shock and maybe even in fear. Holy hell! People around us turned to watch while the majority of the party had no idea what was going on.
“Fuck you! You gave up that fucking right the moment you raped her mother.” My eyes went wide, what the fuck! What was dad talking about?
“Kal-” Dad punched the guy again. I’ve never seen dad so . . . violent and pissed off.
“I’m warning you Hart. I want you out of here.”
“Not before I give my congrats to the br-” Another punch.
“You so much speak to her, and you won’t even have to worry about my father escorting you out of this building, cause I’ll launch you over this goddamn roof, Pan.” Dad turned to me, “Get your grandfather and your uncle.”
I wheeled away and back inside where I found grandpa and Casey laughing with drinks in their hands. I smiled thinking that my grandma is going to kill him if she sees. I rolled over to them and looked at grandpa, “Uh gramps, Uncle Case, dad’s got someone outside against the building. He’s bout ready to kill the guy.”
“Fuck,” they both said at the same time. I watched as they placed their drinks on the table and ran out the door.
Grandpa and Casey pulled dad off of Mr. Hart. “Get this fucker out of here, dad.”
Grandpa looked at Pan and shook his head, “I don’t even want to know how you got up here. This is a private occasion Mr. Hart.”
“She’s my da-” It took at of grandpa and Casey’s strength to keep dad from pulverizing the idiot. “She is!”
I finally spoke, “Dude, shut the fuck up and leave. Man, I don’t give a rats ass who you are, but my dad is bout ready to kill you and he will too. With the help of my grandpa, I’m sure. Just leave.”
Pan looked at all of us and I waited to see what he did. He straitened out his jacket and took a deep breath, “Fine, I’m gone.”
Grandpa grabbed his arm, “I’ll help escort you, just to make sure you’re not going to do anything stupid like ruin my granddaughter’s big day.”
Dad started to follow, but Casey stopped him. “Just wait, man. You don’t want to make a bigger scene, Riddle will kill you.”
“Just make sure he’s not going to talk to Cait.”
“Believe me, that’s the last person Park’s going to let him talk to. Her or Riddle.”
“Uh, what the hell was that about?” I interrupted them. Dad turned and looked at me.
“Nothing. Just nothing,” dad started turn to go inside, but I grabbed him. He was not going to keep me out of the loop. “Leave it alone, Jamie.”
“No! You just bout killed a guy, and claimed he raped someone. What the hell, dad. I can’t let that go.”
“You really want to know who that was?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“He’s the fucker that raped your mother when she got pregnant with Cait.” I sat there in stun silence. No way! “Now, I am going to get a drink, and enjoy this party before I explode. Okay?” I nodded. “You want a drink?” Again I gave a nod.
After we both received our drinks mom came over to us and she grabbed the beer out of dad’s hand. “What the hell are you doing?”
“I’m trying to calm the fuck down,” dad said just a bit too loudly. He took the beer back and pounded it. “I’m going to get fucking drunk before I go after the fucker that I just tried to kill. Because I am so ready to kill him.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” mom asked and looked at us both. I quickly took a drink so I wouldn’t have to answer. “Kaliq?”
“Pan fucking Hart just crashed this party! So, no, I am not okay. I am getting drunk!”
“Pan? Pan was here?”
“Yeah he was. So, you’ll excuse me, I need another drink.”
She stopped him, “No, you’re not! You’re going to go back in there and be the father of the bride!”
“The hell I am, Riddler!” Mom glared and dad glared back, I wanted to get the fuck out of this shit storm. “Riddle, I about threw that fucker off the roof. You really want me to entertain a bunch of guests?”
“One more, and that’s it Kaliq.”
“Fuck that. I am getting drunk.”
Mom backed away, clearly giving dad all the room in the world. She turned to look at me and I just wanted to hide. “You’re responsible for your father tonight, Jamie.”
“I don’t need a babysitter, Riddler,” dad said as he took a shot of something.
“Yes, you do.” Mom looked at me, “Watch him, Jamie. I mean it. He even so much as passes out I am not going to be happy, and you don’t want to piss me off. Either of you. Got it?”
“Yes, ma’am.” Damn, if I was going to get into trouble by her. Holy shit. I looked over to see dad taking a double of god knows what. Shit.
That night, grandpa helped dad into the back of dad’s car while I sat in front. Dad passed out the second his head hit the seat. We ended up leaving earlier than everyone else. When dad started to puke in the restroom; I called grandpa. No way in hell was I telling mom. While driving grandpa and I heard dad puking in the back seat. “Thank god, this isn’t my car.” Grandpa laughed.
I chuckled, I could only imagine what would happen if dad puked in grandpa’s Austin Martin.
“So, your dad told me the question you asked him last night,” grandpa broke the silence. Dammit, why can’t anyone keep their mouth shut. It was late, I wasn’t thinking. Seriously! Why can’t anyone leave me alone! “The answer is, all the fucking time. A normal person could easily roll their eyes over to the mirror on the left and see if there’s a car in the next lane, or if he can get over. I have to turn my head, look,” He did the motion, “check it out, drive and change lanes. I hate changing lanes and if no one has noticed, I don’t do it often.”
I just rolled my eyes. He equated that to not being able to dance? God, help me but I wanted out of this car!
“I also can’t pull that off very well. Try rolling one eye. Or when you flirt and you give that shy wink to the guy, remember what it looks like on a guy with an eye patch. I’ve had to use the arch of my brow, or the smile on my face to pull off the same flirt, when I use to just dazzle them with my bright blue eyes.”
“Why didn’t you just get a glass eye?”
“The wound was so mangled and grotesque looking that I opted not to let people see it. You’re the only person besides the doctors and nurses, my boss, a friend of mine, and Hana to see behind the eye patch, Jamie.”
That took me by surprise. “You don’t like looking at it, do you?” I asked in a low tone. I knew that feeling, I hated looking below my waist at my useless limbs.
“No. I don’t.” Grandpa said rather stiffly. He pulled up to the house and before he got out, he turned to me in the car and stared into me with his eye, “Tell me, how bad is it?”
“The depression, and don’t bullshit me kid. I know a fake smile when I see it. I’ve been watching you sulk the last few months since you graduated. I saw Benny even fake a smile to you, and I know you two probably have broken up. So, how bad is it?”
“Jamie, you need to tell me. Don’t bullshit someone who’s been there. I’ve been there more than once. I’ve just about killed myself drinking to death multiple times to know what it looks like in others. So, do we have a problem on our hands?”
If I could I would have walked out of the car and ran. Instead I looked out the window and stayed quiet. No way does he know how I am feeling.
“Fine, don’t talk. Just so you know, I am here and I will listen.”
Grandpa got out of the car and helped me into the wheelchair. He managed to help dad get into the house and into the bathroom downstairs while I headed for my bedroom. It didn’t take long before my grandpa walked in. He sat there on my bed with me and squeezed my arm and I felt a teardrop land on my hand. Grandpa was crying. My grandpa, the guy who was tougher than nails was crying. “Just don’t do anything stupid. Promise me, Jamie. Promise me, you won’t drink yourself stupid and do something that will leave everyone here shattered.”
I shook my head and didn’t look at him. I couldn’t promise him that. “I promise not to drink myself to death, but can’t promise anything more.”
Grandpa sighed, “Just give it time. Please.” He stood and walked out the door.
I laid in my bed for a long time. I heard mom, grandma, Penny and Pear come into the house. I heard their voices die down and the house go still. Silent and peaceful. The moon shined bright into my room. Inside I felt dead staring at that picture. Life can’t bring my legs back.
I strolled out of the bedroom and down the elevator with the image of myself dancing on stage my whole life bouncing in my head. I just want to dance again. In this life, there just can’t be any dancing. In the next, I could dance forever, and that was all I wanted. Life in this world isn’t as exciting as the next. It would never be exciting, and it would never be fulfilling. Life here, needed to end so I could be happy.
I made my way to the security room and searched for grandpa’s gun. This was it. This was the end of my miserable being, and the beginning of happiness.
With a whisper of “Goodbye world,” I held the gun up to my head.
Author’s Note: If you or someone you know are contemplating suicide, please get yourself or them help. Use the hotline and call.