So that is how I ended up here. Here being...
I finally looked up from my hands that were knotted together nervously. I kept rubbing them against each other till they were red and whipping them down my black jeans. The view that greeted me wasn't much improvement on my dark thoughts. Graffiti-covered, decaying, brick walls lined the ally; various piles of old litter collected around a single fading lamppost and around the gutters by the walls; dank mud sloshed underfoot.
I didn't even remember walking down here, let alone leaning against what might just class as a wall. It probably wasn't the best of ideas, being alone in a dark ally, in west London. My shoe got caught in a mix of a tired crisp pack, thick mud and some green brambles - the only things that weren't black and white in the whole street. Including me. Crawling out of their grasp, I stumbled out onto the street, where there was a bit more light and signs of life. The road ran straight before me and disappeared behind a bend and lines of crumpling brick. Over the other side of the road, towered a tree who's branches clawed at the sky, grasping, searing anything that came into contact with the talons. Tangled with an array of coloured leaves, the tree focused my attention to itself, driving it away from my problems and my thoughts. For a second, I forgot about my worries and my loneliness and my brokenness. For a second, my only wonders were for the desperate tree. Did anybody else ever spare a thought for that tree? That tree probably never starved itself. If a plant can sufficiently feed itself then why can't I? Questions, questions, questions. I'm going insane. Too many questions. Infuriating questions.
Ones I wouldn't have got the answers to by standing wondering about a stupid tree.
My biggest question right now?
What if my mum was right again?
I've never know or met my Dad, I didn't even know he was alive until a couple of weeks ago. What if Mum wasn't lying? He could be a drug dealer with an alcohol addiction for all I know. Although, I might have been able to notice that on his Facebook profile picture. He followed me 4 and a half weeks ago. I didn't befriend him back – just stalked him. His friends and new family seem like nice people.
I don't hold anything against him for leaving if he put up with the thing for a decade.
Oh, I'm sorry, that was rude.
It's more descriptive at least.
Too much hatred's been bottled up inside me for too long. Is any of it even my fault?
The pavement suddenly got very far away and the cars sped up and the tree spun away from me, as colours collided into a mess of blurry images that sunk into a grey that deepened into a sharp black. What was happening? I could hear shouting but it was all black. It hurt so bad.
"Someone help him"
"Call an ambulance"
Straight from to black to white. Blinding, unnatural white.
"He's finally stable, but only just. He was on oxygen for a couple hours but looks like his positions more positive now."
"How long was he out?"
"3 and a half hours. Pretty bad for acute heart failure."
“Looks like malnutrition, huh?”
“Yeah, probably self imposed.”
My eyes adjusted slowly and two figures appeared out of the blur.
And... and... It was him.
It was so him.
I've only seen his endless Facebook pictures, but I would recognise that face in any hall-of-mirrors. I had the big eyebrows and slightly goofy front teeth.