(adj) sorrowful, downcast
// a few days earlier ...
It had been a shit day and I wanted nothing more than to just go home and crash for the night. Thinking about it, it was all shit lately. It was my fault though, seeing how I'd ruined things with Ella because of my own stupidity. All I wanted was to avoid getting hurt, and I ended up causing just that by acting all tough. Ella had left because of my childish behavior and in a way, I totally got that. I hadn't been fair to her, I hadn't been treating her right. I hated myself for that, but what I hated even more was the fact that I wanted her to come back.
I dragged myself up the stairs of the apartment building after smoking a cigarette on the street just outside the front door, already feeling like I needed another one.
I got to the front door, unlocked it and kicked off my shoes as soon as I was inside.
"Dad?" I called out with a sigh before running my fingers through my hair to get it out of my face. I needed a haircut so bad, but I couldn't seem to pull myself together to get anything done these days.
My dad didn't answer so I called out once again but got no response that time around either. Maybe he wasn't home.
I just walked straight down the hallway and into my room, opening the window and throwing myself on my bed immediately. I got out the pack of cigarettes and my lighter that I kept in the back pocket of my jeans, lighting one and placing it between my teeth.
The entire process of getting over her had been so tough it had made me give up on it. I couldn't just suppress what I was feeling like that. There was nothing to do but keep my head down and wait for the storm to pass.
Was it love that I was feeling? If it weren't, I didn't think I'd even experience it and I didn't know if I ever wanted to. If I felt like dying over the loss of her, how would I ever be capable of surviving the loss of something real? It had to be real. Me and her. Her and me. It was probably the realest thing I'd experienced in years and I'd taken it all for granted.
I just laid in silence, thinking, smoking my cigarette. I'd gone through almost an entire pack today, it was pretty bad. It was damn expensive too and I was already running low in the first place.
Eventually the cigarette burned out and I placed it in the ashtray by my bedside. Then I got out of the bed and made my way to the kitchen where I opened the fridge just to find it almost empty. Amazing. Just fantastic. I wasn't that hungry anyway, I'd be fine.
I decided to walk to the livingroom instead. It was dark in there and a few bottles were standing on the coffee table. With a sigh I walked to pick them up and get rid of them, but as I made my way around the couch I came to a sudden stop. My dad was laying there on the floor between the couch and the coffee table, heaving for breath. His eyes were closed and he seemed pale. He'd probably rolled out of the couch at some point, but that wasn't the issue. What on earth was going on?
I suddenly felt completely helpless, almost like a child. Pure panic was rushing through my veins for a solid minute until I finally snapped out of it and pushed the coffee table away to make space. I kneeled down beside him, put a hand on his shoulder and shook him to wake him up.
"Dad? Hey! David?" I was basically shouting straight into his face, but there was absolutely no reaction.
I then carefully opened his right eye, just to see his eyeball being all rolled back. It was a sight that gave me goosebumps, but there was no time to be squeamish.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck ... " I kept whispering to myself as I placed two fingers on his neck, searching for his pulse just to feel his heart beating like crazy. At least there was a heartbeat.
I then grabbed my phone out of my pocket and called for an ambulance, getting extremely irritated at the lady on the other side of the line asking a billion questions. I had to keep my cool though. This wasn't about me, it was about my father who was currently passed out and impossible to get to, so I managed to give her my name and address without shouting too much. She asked me to stay on the phone until the ambulance made it there though, so I had to do that. I put the phone on speaker and placed it on the couch.
"Dad c'mon", I whispered as I shook him once again, not caring that the lady on the phone could hear every word I was saying. Then I opened his eye once again just to see the exact same thing as the last time. I felt so hazed, I could barely think. I'd been like faded all day, but now I felt everything all at once. It was like my head was surrounded by this thick vapor of emotions and thoughts, making it impossible to see more than a few meters around me. Put the things that really shone through it all was the piercing fear and my heart pounding in my chest.
"Dad", I repeated as I grabbed the fabric of his shirt and pulled him until he was sitting upright. I then moved him so that he was leaned up against the couch.
It didn't take long before the paramedics arrived, but at that point it was like I'd burned out emotionally. I opened the door and showed them to the living room, then I just kept my distance as they tried to get through to my dad. I knew that it wasn't possible right then though. They asked me a bunch of questions too, but I weren't there when it had happened and I probably didn't help much so eventually they just told me that they'd take him to the hospital, and I told them that I was going with him. Maybe my dad was one of the main sources of my misery, but he was still my dad. I couldn't loose him like this.
I stayed in the hospital all night, not getting as much as an hour of sleep. I restlessly wandered the halls of the hospital for what felt like eternity until a nurse came to tell me that my dad had overdosed on some kind of pills. And alcohol of course, but I already knew that. My heart was constantly pounding like crazy and I felt like I was going insane too. What the hell was this? How could this be my life? I was twenty years old and I was living with my alcoholic dad, having to worry about him every second of the day. I'd just fucked up my relationship with the only girl who'd ever gotten me, and none of my friends seemed to care too much about the fact that I was suffering a great deal. Realizing the reality of it all was almost too much, almost pushing me over the edge.
It was about 10 AM when my dad regained consciousness. He was still not completely sober but at least he was alive, and I was more than thankful for that. I'd kept myself going on crappy coffee from the vending machine down the hall until now, and I really wasn't doing that well, but I had a thing or two to talk to him about. Hospitalized or not.
I made my way to the room he was put in and got inside. There was no nurses there currently, but I would probably only have a few more moments alone with him before somebody would show up.
"You awake?" I asked as I went through the door.
"Mhm", I heard from the bed and I couldn't help but sigh. That must've been a yes.
I made my way to the bed and just stood there for a second with my hands in my pockets as he laid there with his eyes closed.
"What happened?" I continued. I had to know.
"Calum... Another time..." he mumbled with a raspy voice but I just shook my head even though he clearly couldn't see.
Then there was just quiet for a while, and for a second I thought he'd gone back to sleep, but then he finally opened his eyes and looked at me. He looked tired but that was probably reasonable, keeping the situation in mind.
"I can't do this anymore Calum."
He couldn't do this anymore? What couldn't he do? What...
Then it suddenly hit me. He'd intentionally overdosed. He'd tried to kill himself.
"Are you serious?" I whispered as a frown made it's way upon my face. How did that make any sense? He was the one waking up every morning, deciding to grab the bottle once again. He was the one who'd ruined my life for years and he was the one who couldn't take it anymore.
"Would you stop with the excuses?" I said in a harsh tone. "Do you have any idea of how many times I've thought about ending it? Because of mom. Because of you. But every single time I decide to stay too. For you."
I felt like the walls were crashing down around me. I never spoke about that kind of things with anyone. Not even Ella. They would all think I was crazy, or put me on some kind of suicide-watch. It wasn't like that at all, but you know, the thought had passed me a time or two.
My dad just looked at me for a long while and I could see him tearing up which made me regret my harsh words. I just had to get through to him somehow. I had to make him realize what he was doing to himself and the people around him.
"Look, dad. I know you're in hell, but you can't keep living like this. Mom would be so disappointed if she saw us right now, could you imagine?"
I hated talking about mom, but we both loved her so dearly. That was one of the only things we had in common. We were both living with this huge emptiness in our lives because of what happened to her. He wasn't alone in that and I wasn't either. We just had to realize that all we had was each other.
"I-I love you, Calum", he suddenly whispered. "I know that I don't show it... And that I've messed up real bad... But I do. I love you son."
His words hurt. Every single one of them. But it was a new kind of hurt. It was mixed with relief and surprise and a lot of other things. Love. I loved him too. He was my father after all, none of us could change that, and in the end I didn't want to change it. I just wanted my dad back.
"I love you too", I whispered.