In The Depths

Loneliness is like a deep dark void, with nowhere to go and nowhere to hide. As much as I try, I just get deeper into the depths of loneliness, and into the depths of my soul. I just want to get out. I don't deserve this.

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23. Abyss of Sorrow

Harry and I immediately rush to Will’s aid, who is curled up into a ball. He hugs his knees to his chest, silent tears traveling down his cheeks. I wince as his face comes into view. A spiderweb of cracks cascades across the lenses of his glasses. Blood is seeping from his nose and lip, a velvety metallic shine that gleams under the ceiling’s light. One of his eyes is swollen shut. Purple and black marks line his eyelid, clearly the start of a very bad black eye.

“Will,” Harry whispers. “Oh my god, Will.” He leans down to Will, sets his hand on Will’s ribcage.

“Ow,” Will sobs. “Ow, dude, my ribs.” Harry quickly takes his hand off.

“D-do we need to call an ambulance?” I say, sitting down on the floor. Will is shaking slightly, clearly the shock just as heavy as the pain.

“No,” Will mutters. “No ambulance. I can’t have any bitchy strangers touching me.”

I sigh. “I’m really sorry.”

Will uses a shaky hand to remove his broken glasses. His swollen eye is clearer for me to see. It throbs with every heartbeat, and I can only imagine the pain Will is in. “It’s not your fault that Jamie is a complete bastard.” He lets out a whine as he moves his arm back down.

Will shakes his head slightly, suddenly crying audibly. With each wrecked sob, his body shakes violently. His eyes are the spawn of a waterfall of tears, and don’t even get me started on the nose snot. Harry and I can’t do anything but watch the poor boy cry and shake.

When he sputters down, Harry offers, “Can you stand up?”

Will almost laughs. He sniffs, “I won’t be able to stand for days, Harry. High heels kicking my balls do not help.” He shudders.

“Okay,” Harry whispers. His eyes dart to me, clearly unsure what to do. “Do you need anything?”

“A girlfriend who doesn’t kiss other girls.”

Harry bites on his fingernail. “I mean… right now.”

Will slowly, painfully, turns onto his back. He bends his knees and wraps his arms around his chest. “Just leave me here. I need some time to think and cry.”

“Okay, man,” I say, standing up. “I hope you feel better. We’re going to do all we can to help.”

And then he smiles, but the smile never reaches his eyes.

 

 

*  *  *

 

 

“He’s been locked up in the guestroom for a week.” Harry’s voice is sharp like glass.

“He won’t let you in?” Mine is like running water.

Harry’s curls fall heavily over his forehead as he looks down. “No. I hope he’s okay.’

“Harry, we have to open that damn door. I mean, for all I know he could have killed himself.”

Too close to home.

Silence.

“Don’t talk like that,” Harry finally mutters, briskly walking to the beige door. The door that drinks in black shadows, sleeping in the isolated corner.

His large hand grips the handle, veins protruding out as he tries to pull it open. With another pair of tugs, he sighs and looks at me with a somber grimace. His green eyes look pale, tired.

“Do you happen to have a paper clip?” I ask. Harry blinks, and, with a lot of frantically looking around, pulls one out of the front table.

I take the metal tool from his hand. The object bends into a straight line and, with my impatience, gently slides into the lock. A satisfying click draws a smile to my lips.

“Now,” I grin. “You do the honors of opening.”

“Aw, man,” Harry says, while walking to the door. “What if he’s jacking off in there?”

I try to blink away the mentally scarring image that makes its way into my brain. The sound of Harry’s raspy sigh fills the room, and I give him a quick glance. “He’s probably just asleep. It’ll be okay.” I stand on my tip-toes and give him a quick kiss on the cheek. He smiles, dimples and all.

The door opens. No sounds come out of the dark room. The air is like a blank canvas of nothingness with no colors, no paint. I slowly make my way into the room, squinting into the dark to make out the scene.

Will is sitting on his bed, big whoop. It’s not just that. He’s hunched over, shirtless and pale. His skin looks pasty white against the dark grey backdrop, like a splatter of glue on black construction paper. Starved is the word that pops into my mind as I see him. His ribs are prominent on his torso, and his stomach looks like it’s been hollowed out and sucked in.

His face is another story. It looks like pain and nightmares and abuse smeared across flesh. His right eye is swollen and purple, but better than before. His nose sits at a crooked angle, and of course, his broken glasses are not on the routinely place. The worst thing is, his skin looks like it’s pressed hard against his skull, with sunken eyes and cheekbones that cast such a shadow that makes it look as if he’s missing parts of his face. His bony chin juts out, white and sickly-pale.

“Will, what on earth are you holding?” Harry’s voice cuts through the silence. Will looks up, my eyes dart down.

His shaky hands hold a bottle of antidepressants. The pills look almost empty. I suck in a breath.

“These bastards don’t work,” Will breaths. His voice is oddly low pitched and fragile. “I-I take like three a day. I’m not happy.”

I swallow audibly and take a long step towards Will. “You’re overdosing, Will.”

“Do you think I fucking care?” He hisses. My heart feels a twinge of pain, like a needle of serum pricked my emotions. “I am tired of crying every night. Tired of biting my nails down to the nail beds, biting on my lips until I bleed, shaking restlessly until I eventually stop crying.”

“We can help you,” Harry whispers. I hope Will finds Harry’s voice as soothing as I do.

“I don’t want your help,” Will spits. He pulls out a large bottle of whiskey from under the duvet. He takes a swig and blinks with harshness. “Just leave me to drown my blood in alcohol.”

“Please,” I sit down next to him, catching a glimpse of his bony back. “Please please please let us help you. We can’t stand seeing you like this.” I scratch my beard in frustration.

“Like what? Like putting drugs in my mouth and swallowing them down with vodka? Like being sad because I fucking can? Look, Louis, you can try to help me by giving me warm hugs and ice cream, but that won’t work. Nothing will.”

“Maybe you should just find some… other women. I mean, everybody has exes, right?”

Will’s death stare is like a tiger stalking its prey. Harry set off the trigger to a big explosion. “I-”

“Y’know what!” I cut off Will’s angry outburst, sparing Harry his heart. “Fine, you want to drown your blood in alchohol? Well, I do too. If you are going to be drunk, so are we. Right Harry?”

“What?”

“Let’s just drink, and forget about the past. Don’t think about the future. Let’s drink to our hearts content and hopefully, just hopefully, you’ll feel better.”

So now, as the stupid young men we are, we drink. 

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