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The Blackout

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Ice chips and vanilla flavoring rest like lead in my stomach as the cold slowly works its way through my body. The sun blazes down on me and my sunglasses almost aren't enough to shield my eyes from it. Pushing them up the bridge of my nose, I quickly grab an empty spot on a bench, slumping down. My clothes are rubbing me the wrong way and the slight sheen of sweat that covers my body makes them stick uncomfortably. Jesus fuckin' christ I hate Texas. I almost wish I was back in Washington again, watching the rain pelt against the windows. Watching John watch the rain with that stupid, buck-toothed smile on his face.

"Let's go outside, Dave!"

"Dude, it's raining. Now way. You tryin' to get me sick?" John tugs on my arm pleadingly and bites his lip.

"Please, Dave? You'll have fun! Really..." And of course he smiles up at me like I'm the only thing standing between him and his goddamn happiness. Maybe I am... I sigh eventually and hesitantly go outside like I'm some kind of goddamned cat. Here John let me rub up against your leg. A smirk graces my face at that and he turns to me, grinning at me from ear to ear. "Come on!" He runs around like a lunatic, barefoot and jumping into puddles. I huddle on the porch, not liking this at all. I look up slowly as the thunder starts, small shocks of lightning dancing through the clouds.

"John... Maybe we should go back inside-" Lighting strikes the tree next to John with a thunderous crack, blinding me for a moment and I cry out John's name. When I look again, John's covering his eyes and huddling on the ground right next a tree branch that's fucking on fire. "John!" Lightning cracks again and I run over to him, yanking him up and rushing inside the safety of the house, spots blasting in my vision. I hold him against the wall after I slam the door shut and try to move his hands away from his eyes. "John, lemme see. Come on, man." He finally lets me move his hands and I frown when he blinks rapidly.

"D-Dave! I can't see." That makes me panic and I rub his shoulders, unsure of what to do. Oh shit oh shit what do I do oh shit. "Oh god Dave what if it's permanent! I c-can't see anything!" My eyes are still adjusting as I pull him over to the couch. I sit him down on it and carefully rub his back.

"Man, you gotta calm down. I'm sure it ain't permanent." John continues to cry, heels of his hands pressed against his eyes. I say nothing else and just sit with him, arm slung around his shoulders awkwardly as I rub small circles into his back. Shit when the fuck does Dadbert get home. At no point does it occur to me to call 911 or his father, who's office and cellphone numbers are taped to the refrigerator. I just sit there like a dumbass trying to comfort my best friend when I should've called someone. Anyone. John calms down sometime later and I jump up at the crunch of car tires in the driveway. I run over to the door and fling it open, rushing over to John's dad, who's staring at the charcoaled branch in concern. "Dadbert!" His head snaps up, the concern on his face only increasing as he sees the panic on mine.

"Dave, what's wrong? Are you and John alright?" I frantically shake my head and grab his hand, tugging him inside,

"No! It's John! We were outside and shit it happened so fast and fuck John can't see!" I don't have to tug him anymore as he runs inside and over to John. I stand against the wall awkwardly as John's dad kneels next to him, talking. John shakes or nods his head every so often. After a few minutes he hoists John up and walks over to me with him.

"We need to take him to the hospital." I go cold all over and feel myself go pale. I unconsciously grab my best bro's hand as we slowly walk to the car. The ride is bumpy in places and I hold John close to me, more for my comfort than anything else. I continue to hold his hand, terrified as fuck. Everything almost seems unreal as we reach the hospital. A couple of nurses rushing him off to a room. A room they won't allow us to go into. I quietly sit next to John's dad as he fills out paperwork. The fluorescent lights glare off of the walls, making me feel sick. Sicker. Fuck. Yanking my phone out of my pocket, I shakily open my pesterchum app.

-- turntechGodhead [TG] began pestering
tentacleTherapist [TT] --
TG: lalonde hey Lalonde
TG: Rose come on
TG: thats oksy
TG: ill just sit here with dadbert freaking out no big deal
TG: keep writing your wizard porn or w/e
TG: its cool...
TG: i just love sittin here staring at the wall
TG: wondering if johns gonna be alright
TG: fuckin hospital scenes man
TG: johnll wake up from his coma
TG: and ill run into his room
TG: and fling my arms around him all
TG: oh john dont you ever do that to me again
TG: and well kiss and flowers will bloom in the background
TG: itll be the kawaiiest shit ever ok
TG: rose...??
TG: damn

-- turntechGodhead [TG] ceased pestering
> tentacle Therapist [TT] --

I aggressively shut my phone off, shoving it into my pocket with shaking hands. I jump when John's dad lays a hand on my shoulder. Glancing up at him behind my sunglasses, I hunch in on myself a little.

"Dave, Are you alright?" I give a short nod and keep staring ahead at the wall.

"Fine. I'm way cool Dadbert. I'm like an ice cube over here. Chill as hell." He doesn't say anything and neither do I. Preferring silence to awkward waiting room talk. He sighs a little and gives my shoulder a squeeze before going back to fill out paperwork. Some time passes and a doctor comes out, all nervous looking. My stomach drops.

Long fucking story short, John's vision was- is still damaged. Blind on one side and blurry on the other. Even with his special glasses on. On second thought, I shouldn't be anywhere near John. I look down at my iced coffee, melted as shit and steadily growing warm. I let out a sigh and toss it into the garbage next to me. I have no idea how John could still be friends with me-

Shots shots shots shots
Shots shots
Shots shots shots
Shot shots
Shots sho-

I scramble for my phone, cursing Bro in my head. How many fucking times have I told him to not mess with my phone? The top left corner of my phone is blinking with a new text message and I open it without thinking.

Mike: where r u?

I consider my options and quickly text him back.

Me: nowhere
Me: what do you want???

There's a short pause and my phone buzzes again.

Mike: come over

I scoff at that and swiftly tap out my reply.

Me: yeah fucking right
Me: after how you treated me last time??
Me: no dice

Mike: come on babe. I already said I was srry
Mike: what else do u want?
Mike: u want me to write it out or some shit?

Yeah. Or some shit.

Me: leave me alone asshole

He doesn't text me after that and I head home, relieved.

I can already tell Bro isn't home when I open the door to our apartment and try to swallow the aching feeling in my chest at that. I'm sixteen. I can take care of myself... The black eye begs to differ, though. I lock the door and shuffle to the bathroom, avoiding looking at myself in the mirror. The tiles are cool as I sit on the floor, back against the wall.

Don't do it.

I fish my wallet out of my pocket, carefully grabbing out the razor from a card slot. The ache starts up again and I set the razor on my thigh. Rolling my right sleeve up, I blankly look at the scars and scabbed over cuts.

Fuck that.

What's a few more? Not like I don't have a plethora of 'em already. I convince myself, like always, that this is totally a great idea and that is a thing that should continue happening. The cool metal of the razor is like a gift in my hand as I hold it to my arm and breathe through my nose. The first cut has me gasping and I slowly look down to see blood already sliding down my arm. Why isn't he ever fucking home? Jesus, what'd I do that was so fucking bad? Why doesn't he care about me? The ache just grows and I proceed to mutilate the fuck out of my arm. Slicing the blade through my skin and generally making a huge mess of my arm and clothes. Should've taken my clothes off first. The blood seems pour from my arm as I tilt my head back against the wall, mind drifting in the searing pain. The amount of blood makes me ill and it strikes my vision as I look at it. Fuck cleaning up. I'll do it later. A long breath escapes me as I slowly get up with a grunt, replacing the blood flecked razor in my wallet and opening the bathroom door. I feel a lot fucking better now. The apartment is still empty, though. And Bro isn't going to show up anytime soon. Fuck that too. I don't feel better. I don't feel better at all.