While our adventurers appear to be in for a nasty surprise some time soon, things back home in Mesa are not getting any easier, either
Please note, this chapter includes a lot of swearing
Please note, this chapter includes a lot of swearing
First, I don´t even know what woke me. Alarm didn´t go off yet, that´s for sure
Clock says it´s five to eight, so it´s time to get up I guess
Light´s so bright... how come it´s so bright
Time to... oh
Oh, shit. Right. Remember now
Jesus fucking Christ, no, please, NO
No, please not another one of these days
Blind with panic and pain I fumble for my fix
No time to get water, I just can´t stand it any longer, my head is going to burst any second
Come on now, work work WORK
Fuck, I don´t have TIME for that shit
Carefully keeping my eyes as far shut as possible, I feel my way to the bathroom
Slowly, the pills start to work. Thank God
Try to remember when I last didn´t need that shit to set my head straight in the morning, but somehow I can´t
At times I´m glad that I´m the one to prepare the breakfast- doubt that I would be able hide what mornings are like lately if I wasn´t
Carefully I bend forward to shove the waffles into the oven, expecting another sharp pain
But the pills must have kicked in, all I feel is a little dizzy
Slowly, I enter the master bedroom
"Ma? Wake up Ma, it´s time"
"Mmmmmh what? Malcom? Oh is it morning already..."
Fuck. So she couldn´t sleep, again? I try not to let show that I understand what the meaning of what she just said really is
"Yeah Ma, breakfast is ready and all that. Want some help?"
With the tiniest smile, she reaches out for me
"Yes please. How did I accidentally raise the perfect gentleman, again?"
We both laugh at her favorite joke as I lift her from the bed and carry her over to the wheelchair
"Do you want me to take you to the bathroom first?"
"No thank you, I spent most of the night in there, anyway. Living room suits me just fine"
So I push her towards her favorite parking position and place a plate full of waffles on the coffee table next to her before returning to my room and getting dressed
Just enough time left to wash the tray and my plate before I have to leave her for the day
Fuck. She has not touched hers... yes. It´s one of these days again
"Ma? Need to be off now, is there anything else I can get you before I go?"
"No pup, thank you. Don´t worry, I´ll be fine, I´ll just take it slow today... you go and have a good day at school"
School. Shit. Still have not had that talk with Seam... put on my sunglasses, slip into my hoody and turn to leave
"Yeah sure will. See ya later, Ma"
Hate it to leave her like that, but no way she will allow me to skip school just to keep an eye on her
Checking if there are any more bills from her doc in the mailbox... phew, nope
Just hope there will be none in the mail, today, either
Time to mount the bus. Shit was just about to light my first today
First thing on school grounds, retching my guts out. Great. Fucking love my morning routine
Christ just hope all the meds had already made it into my system, I have nothing on me- can´t risk that, not at school- how am I going to make it through the day if not?!
Hey, just the guy I need right now
"I said, how about we go watch the Llamas play this saturday together. - What is it?"
"Not sure... to many bushes..."
"...but I could swear I see Mac and January over there, and it looks like they are talking"
"Oh come on, don´t be daft. Why would Mac hang out with January? Guy´s scum"
But I don´t like the idea of them talking to each other one bit
"Hey January. Got a minute?"
"Morning, Wright. What can I do for you - today?"
"I need something else, something different"
He tilts his head in mild interest
"What you mean, different? Not satisfied with my latest delivery?"
"Man cut the shit, you know what I am on about, I need something stronger. So how is it, can you provide or not?"
"Man, I dunno... those were pretty strong painkillers I sold you last week, anything stronger... that would be... illegal stuff for real..."
No no NO please don´t let me down
"January, please! The fucking pills don´t work right anymore, what if they stop completely? Man, I need a life raft!"
"Jeeze, come down- didn´t say I had nothing for you, did I? Relax, for chrissake"
"Try these. Twenty simbucks for four, it´s the real thing directly from the hospital"
Relief flooding all through
"Thanks, man. Here´s your cash, dunno what..."
He rolles his eyes up in annoyance
"Yeah I know, I am way to good for this job... just don´t you forget, that stuff´s not your average smarties. Never, ever mix with other stuff, or booze, or even have more than one a day. Gottit?"
Numb with relief I slouch over to our usal spot... guys are already waiting for me...
"Hey Mac, what´s up? Playing cool again?"
"Cool? What the fuck are you talking about?"
"Hey, he was just joking, why so pissed?"
"Yeah, pissed as always lately... you are wearing sunglasses in the morning, mister, that´s what I am talking about. What the hell is wrong with you? Say, did you just speak to January over there?"
"No idea what you are talking about"
"Come on guys, relax. Hear that? First bell. Time to go inside, class will be starting soon"
"Bull, I know what I saw, I am not kidding"
"Leave it be, ´kayes? Your paranoia is fooling you again, man"
"Now watch this and tell me he is ok"
"Yeah, seriously. Take a look! Take a look and tell me he is ok!"
"Right, Shit with an capital S... Mac? Hey Mac!"
"Mac, are you coming now or what?"
"Yeah... sure... be with you in minute, go ahead..."
Fuck. The headaches are coming back already
Third class of the day, Art
Mr. Carter is droning on and on about some historical stuff
Getting harder not the freak out by the minute now
"So what do you think?"
"Not sure man. Seems to be ok now, but back in the hall this morning... dunno. You sure you saw him with that traffickin´ prick?"
"Pretty sure. But hey, I could be wrong, right? Lots of bushes there in that corner"
No way. No way I can take it another minute
"Hey Mac, where you heading, man?"
Mr. Carter shoots me a confused look as I stride past him, but doesn´t comment
Bathroom. Need to make it to the bathroom
Break into a run when I reach the corridor, tear the door open and rush inside
The PAIN, can´t bear this, will lose my mind when it doesn´t stop right now
January said, don´t mix... way it hurts now, there can´t be anything left of the stuff I took at home, surely? Fuck, I can´t even think straight anymore...
Hell with it, I need this pain to stop before I go crazy and someone gets hurt, again... and make it two, just to be really, really on the safe side
What on earth am I going to do if it doesn´t...
Oh thank God, it works
Still shaky from the panic and the pain, I slowly attempt to make my way back to class
"Shit bro´, don´t do this to me, wake up..."
Know that voice...
"Mac? Do you hear me, bro´?"
SEAMUS?!? Where the hell am I?!
"Seam?! What are you doing..."
Oh, shit. Jumping up like that sure was a crappy idea, the room instantly starts to spin
"Man what are you doing?! Lie down, man!"
I don´t get it... where am I...
"Naw, don´t worry, I´m good... just... need... a minute..."
Fuck he sounds so frightened, almost as bad as when he talked to me up there on the roof
"No, young man, you are NOT GOOD, and you will lie down THIS INSTANT, do you read me?"
Oh shit. The doc
"Yeah, uh, sorry..."
Better not mess with an angry lady doctor
"... sorry M´am..."
"That´s better. Now lie down"
She turns to Seam now
"As your brother..."
she shoots up her eyebrows at this part, signalling that she knows damn well we are not really related
"... is obviously still not coherent, maybe you would care to explain what the matter is?"
Why can´t she leave him out if this? He doesn´t know nothing, I never told him
"I don´t know for sure, doc, but for all I know..."
Which is nothing, lil´ bro´
"...he´s been taking something lately, having mood swings, he has been sick a lot, like, eh, throwing up... has been having a ton of headaches... oh, and he can´t see right sometimes, too"
What?! How the fuck can he tell?!?
"Headaches, you say? Migraines, more likely, from what you are telling... mmmh"
I try pretend to have fallen asleep, but to late
"Malcom, I would like you to try and get up now- carefully, please"
Hesitantly I pull myself into an upright position on the bed, then slowly stand up
Looks like it´s time to stop hiding
"So, Malcom, is your... brother right? You have been severely suffering from migraine symptoms lately? Did you see a doctor about it yet? "
"No, he hasn´t, money is, like, really tight with them right now that his dad is away"
Is there anything in the world this kid doesn´t know ´bout me?!"
"Is that so, Malcom?"
"Eh... yes M´am..."
"Well no problem. I think I have an idea as for what causes all this, and I would like to run some simple tests on you- right now. Are you ready? Fine. Look at this pen..."
"M´am... not to be rude, but I really don´t see..."
She shoots me a reassuring smile
"My point exactly. Now concentrate and follow this pen with your eyes, if you may. Focus and follow..."
"... just as I thought. Now please focus on the moving spiral... do you feel a dizziness, nausea or pain?"
I swallow hard as I feel my stomach heaving
Visibly satisfied, she puts away her instruments and turns to face me again
"Malcom, this might be hard to believe for you now, but I am fairly sure that all your... problems are caused by, to put it simply, eye troubles"
"I´m sorry, I don´t get it?"
"Your eyes, Malcom. You have very bad eyesight for someone your age. It needs additional testing to get certitude on this, naturally, but my guess would be that you need, and have been needing for some time now, to wear significantly strong glasses! Your eyes have been so overworked that you developed a full grown migraine, which caused all your health problems"
Can feel an exceptionally dumb grin spread on my face as her words sink in... and I thought...
"So glasses would do the trick?"
"That´s what she said, bro´. Why so disappointed?"
Seam is smirking like mad, too
Seam is smirking like mad, too
"This is no laughing matter, Malcom. You still need to see an optician asap, do you understand that?"
My heart is already sinking again. Where the hell shall I get the money for that from?
"Hey man, don´t you worry. We´ll figure out something, told you before. Let´s go, huh?"
What? Jeeze is he psychic now or what
In front of the doctor´s room, I am in for the next surprise
"Eh, what are you guys doin´here?"
"You kidding or what?"
"Nope, sorry guys, didn´t have time to tell him you found him in front of the toilet and carried him here in the first place"
"You- carried me? But why..."
"Well, Bull did, obviously- I am no Hercules, right? As for why, when you didn´t come back after rushing out of class, we went looking for you. What did you think?"
"Guess didn´t think at all... thanks Bull..."
"Welcome, man. - ´Kayes, as your bro´ is still not really there, how about you tell us what´s up, Seam?"
"It´s his eyes. He needs to have his eyes checked, that´s all! Doc says, he probably needs glasses"
Kosta doesn´t seem impressed
"Sure. And since when do people drop like flies just because they have bad eyesight? Sorry Mac, I don´t buy it"
What am I doing here, anyway? These guys are my friends, if there is anyone I can trust with this, it´s them, right?
"Right, no... that..."
Fuck, where to begin?!
"...that was because I overdosed on painkillers... new ones, yanno? Stuff knocked me right off my feet"
Swallowing, I lock eyes with Seam, partially to avoid seeing their reaction, partly for backup
"... and now I need to find me some money, somehow, to pay the optician, ´cause if I don´t get those glasses real soon, I´d most likely do it again. Cause the pain is really as bad as that"
The silence that follows my statement is killing me... in the end, I slowly look up to find Bull and Kosta exchanging looks and grinning at me
"Mac no offense, but you must really be almost blind. Both me and Bull have a ton of gold and silver piercings on us, right? There are such places as pawn brokers...Trust me, man. Paying one lousy visit at an optician´s and getting you some glasses should be no problem at all"
What to say but one thing?
"Thank you guys. Thank you so much"
Ha. I just knew it was the right decision to team up with those two
"Seems like we are the Fucking Fantastic Four now, guys"