If You Stay

Chapter Twenty-One


Hours turn into days.

I don't know how many and I don't give a fuck. All I know is that I can't turn the emotions off and I can't un-see the memories that are in my head now.

My father tries to call, but I don't speak with him. Mila answers and turns to me but I look away. I don't want to hear from him. Fuck him.

Dr. Tyler tries to call. But I won't speak with him, either. Mila asks, then she turns away, speaking softly to the doctor. But I don't give a fuck about that, either. They can say what they want.

And Mila.


My stomach clenches at the thought of Mila. I'm causing her pain, too. Because I can't be the person she needs me to be right now. I can't drive back to the doctor's and sit with her while we discuss my feelings. Instead, I'm an asshole. Because that's who I am. That's what I do best. There for a while, I tried to pretend that I wasn't, but my true colors are showing now.

I'm a fucking dick.

Nothing I've done so far, though, has caused her to leave. I don't want to talk, I pace instead of sleep, I drink too fucking much and I even angry-fucked her. She didn't leave. She just looked at me, so understanding and soft, and said she wanted to help me however she could.

What the fuck?

My stomach clenches. As angry as I am at life, I don't want to hurt her.

I turn to her now, to where she is curled up on the couch reading.

"Mila, you really should leave," I tell her abruptly. "I'm not fit company. I think it would be best if you went back to your place while I work through this."

She looks at me, wounded. And my gut clenches again. I know I have to do this. I'm only going to hurt her in the long run anyway. I might as well do it in one fell swoop. A clean break. She starts to protest, but I interrupt.

"It's fine to leave me. I'm through the worst of it. You have a life to get back to, a job. Your sister needs you. Please. I need time alone. You can call me tonight."

She looks uncertain and my heart twinges.

Fuck, how I hate this.

But this is what I deserve. I don't deserve someone like her.

She stands up, reaching up to touch my face. I close my eyes for just a minute, but then steel my resolve and open them again.

I stare down at her and remove her hand. That hurts her, I can see it.

It's for the best.

She finally nods.

"Okay. If that's what you need," she says uncertainly. "But call me if you need anything. And I'll come back tonight after I close my shop and check in with my sister."

I nod. I walk away before I stop her from leaving.

I hear her car pulling out of the drive and I throw my glass of water at the wall. It shatters and I replace it with a bottle of Jack.

This is what I deserve.

My chest feels like it is crushing me and I fight to swallow. There is just so much to deal with. I don't know where to start. So fuck it.

I grab the bottle of Xanax from the counter and head to the couch with my whiskey. I drop into a heap and pop the top off the pill bottle, taking several and washing them down with the Jack.

I drink the rest of the bottle.

I close my eyes and for once, there is nothing there but blackness. I breathe a sigh of relief and I finally sleep.

When I wake, it is morning.

I know that because morning sunlight pours through the windows.

I wince and sit up, rubbing my temples.

I slept through the night. With no nightmares, no thoughts of my mother. I smile, my lips stretching tightly. Suddenly, it's clear. I can't handle the issues on my own. I need my old friend, Jack. And my new friend, Xanax.

X marks the spot.

I pick up my phone and glance at it. Three missed calls, three voicemails and twelve texts, all from Mila.

Are you alright?

Pax, answer your phone.

Please answer your phone.

I'm worried about you, Pax. This isn't fair. Answer your phone.

They pretty much all say the same thing. I punch in one answer.

Don't worry. I'm fine.

After I get a fresh bottle of whiskey from the kitchen, I pop more pills in my mouth, three of them. Then I add two more.

It isn't long before the blackness comes back. I welcome it with open arms. I sing to it, I croon to it. I cradle it in my arms. I do whatever the fuck I want to do to it because it's blackness, the darkest of nights, and it doesn't care. If I am alone in the dark, nothing matters. I can't hurt anyone but myself and I fucking deserve it.

I close my eyes and let the darkness cradle me. It can fuck me for all I care.



I can't think straight. I accidentally didn't charge a customer at the store. So after that, I gave up and turned my sign to Closed.

I sit by the window of my store, staring out at the happy people walking down the sidewalk. They don't know how good they have it. Their lives are so easy.

I try to text Pax again, but like the four days prior, there isn't any answer. I've driven out there, pounded on the door, called him, even cussed into his voicemail.

No answer.

Only once. Don't worry, I'm fine.

He's not fine. And no one seems to care but me.

I've thought about calling the police to have them check on him, but I doubt they would. He's not doing anything illegal, so what can they do? It's not illegal to drink yourself into a stupor. And the only thing he has in the house, to my knowledge, is the prescription Xanax. I once again wonder at the wisdom of prescribing that to Pax.

When I had asked Dr. Tyler about it, he explained that he had prescribed it because Pax isn't an addict.

"He's not addicted to any substance," the doctor had said. "He simply hasn't formed proper coping mechanisms for stress. If he feels like he can't cope, I'd rather him take a Xanax during the short term while we're working on these issues rather than seek out illegal drugs. Plus, you'll be there with him. Everything will be fine, Mila."

But I'm not there anymore. And things aren't fine.

I see an image of Jill's open, dead eyes and shudder.

That could have been Pax. And I'm terrified that if someone doesn't do something, that will be Pax.

With shaking fingers, I pick up the phone and do the only thing I can think of to do.

I call his father.

Copyright © novelfull thefreeonlinenovel.com All Rights Reserved.