Henrik was a failure and it seemed everything around him wanted to enforce that point upon him.
First he failed to speak up. He had years to say something, anything at all, and yet he never said a thing. Not during high school, not during collage, not even when he was an adult.
Now his best friend lay heart broken on the floor of his apartment, in the same position he himself was in only a year or two earlier. Trying to drown his feelings in alcohol and bad decisions.
He was in that exact position, so he should be able to say something, comfort him, tell him everything would be alright. But everything wouldn’t be alright, nor was it ever alright.
The two of them had very different ways of handling everything. Chase wallowed and self-loathing, while Henrik shoved everything down, choosing numbness over pain.
After Chase’s divorce, he began to wonder when he started shoving his feelings down. Was it after his own divorce, or much further before that.
Another thing he simply failed to do. He failed to understand and cope.
Now he was sitting across from Chase at his dusty kitchen table. Chase with a bottle in hand and large tears spilling down his face, while Henrik remained silent. He was good at that.
It felt so wrong, to just sit here while his friend suffered. He had no excuse not to say something.
Something about seeing him like this reopened an old wound for the doc. Or rub salt in an unhealed cut he’s learned to disregard.
Without thinking he pried the bottle from his friends grasp.
A moment of unbearable silence filled the room as his eyes bored into the doctor’s soul.
“I can’t let you walk down this path knowing I could’ve stopped this before it started.”
Chase blinked, dumbfounded.
He gulped, hopefully not adubilly. There were a million things he could do right now.
He could take a slip and drown out everything with Chase. He could fall to his knees, admitting the feelings he’s been bottling up for so long. Or he could just give the bottle back and pretend this never happened.
Finally he settled on something simple.
“Why don’t we go lie down, you’ve drunk too much.”
Chase didn’t react, nor did he fight him once he pulled him towards the couch. Henrik took it as a good sign.