Hey everyone, thank you for waiting so patiently. As I promised, here is part two of chapter six. I almost had to split it into three because this second part got out of hand a bit >.<
Anyway, enjoy my friends!
“Human beings like to believe in chance. We may make a game out of probability, we may take a leap of faith, or we may simply roll a die while playing a board game. Each involves taking a chance or a risk. But people don’t think about cause and effect as much as they think about chance.”
I tried my very hardest to keep my focus on the lecture. Lucas seemed mesmerized by Robbins’ lectures, so I wanted to see what the fuss was about. If only the day I chose to pay attention weren’t all about fate and destiny, I might have had an easier time accepting his point of view. Unfortunately, this guy seems to be able to pick my brain and know exactly how to irk me.
“You all know the popular ‘Butterfly Effect’ right?” he asked.
“You mean that movie about the dude who kills his girlfriend?” some random moron said from the back.
“No, I mean the theory that movie was based off of,” he said.
The awkward silence after a question is asked that many people think they know the answer to, but are too afraid to respond always made me laugh on the inside. I’d be willing to bet that every single person in this room has answered a question wrong.
“Anyone?” he asked.
“Newton’s law of motion, every action has a reaction, every force has an equal and opposite force, every choice has a consequence,” I said in a very mundane tone.
“Correct Bright eyes,” he said.
I smiled sarcastically at him. Lucas punched my shoulder and chuckled at me. The smile at Lucas was genuine.
“Like Sunshine here said, every action has a reaction. Therefore, we can assume that everything we do, every motion we make, every path we take, has an effect on the unfolding future around us. The smallest event, like a butterfly flapping its wings, can set off a chain of events, each one being caused by the previous one. “
“How is this related to Psychology?” I whispered to Lucas.
“Because people look for the deeper meaning in certain events to try and explain why something happened. It’s a coping mechanism,” he said.
“Ha, do you do it?” I asked.
“Sometimes…” he said.
He shyly looked away from me for a second with a grin on his face. I could see something bubbling beneath the surface that he was dying to let out. I laughed and poked him in the side to get him to look at me. When he turned his head and looked into my eyes I smiled at him.
“You look like you got something to say,” I said.
“Maybe I do,” he said with a grin.
“Well then you should say it or I might lose interest and just wander off somewhere,” I said.
“Ok, well you know that girl Rachel?” he asked
“Yes for the millionth time…everyone knows ‘that girl Rachel.’ Anyone who doesn’t is a mole person,” I said.
Professor Robbins dismissed the class and Lucas and I got up and started walking outside. The air was cooling off outside as the fall season approached. I looked off into the setting sun as Lucas continued.
“Right,” he said with a chuckle, “Well you know if it weren’t for her, we never would have met.”
“That day, when I bumped into you…I was turning in Jonathan’s fees for him since he was running late,” he said, “And Jonathan was late because he was moving in, which he was only doing because his mom heard about Rachel and the shooting.”
I froze. I didn’t know what to say; he was completely right. If it hadn’t been for that one event, that event I thought was meaningless and had nothing to do with me; I never would have met Lucas. I wouldn’t be standing here right now talking to him and realizing how lucky I was.
“I would have stayed in my spot in the back of class, and you wouldn’t have ever looked back at me,” he said.
“I can’t believe it…you’re absolutely right Lucas,” I said.
“Aaron…please, just call me Luke,” he said with a grin.
“Sorry,” I said grinning back.
We were standing outside my dorm building now, just taking in the relaxing setting. Not the area around us, but the comfort we had developed with each other. It was as if nothing that happened today even mattered when I was around him. All my issues and stress melted away when I was talking to him.
We stood there for a moment, gazing at the horizon. I was more invested in it than he was. My mother always told me that the sunset was one of the most beautiful natural things we got to see every day. One time, I swear I saw her crying while watching a sunset. I never really knew why she loved them so much, but I just assumed that since it was important to her, it should be important to me as well.
I looked back to Lucas and looked at my watch. Before I could catch the time, my phone started buzzing in my pocket. I pulled it out and looked to see who it was calling and saw the name “Henry” displayed on my screen. I silenced it and put it back in my pocket and looked back up to Lucas.
“Who was that?” he asked.
“Henry,” I said.
“Why didn’t you answer?”
“Uhm, he and I are kinda going through a rough patch right now,” I said.
“Oh,” he said, “Well I don’t mean to pry but, it seems to me if he’s calling you then he wants to apologize or something.”
“Oh trust me this is something that will take more than a little apology.”
My phone started buzzing again. This time it was alerting me of a new voicemail. I rolled my eyes and stuffed my phone back in my pocket, ignoring what was most likely a last ditch effort to keep me from reporting his stupid ass. Lucas looked at me with concern and it ripped a hole in my heart to see him like that.
“Why don’t you at least see what he has to say?” he asked.
“Oh fine,” I said pulling my phone out of my pocket, “ You know, you shouldn’t be such a good guy…you make me look bad all the time.”
He laughed at me and punched my shoulder as I typed in my password to my voicemail account. I waited for the recording to finish and the message to play while Lucas tried to get within earshot of the speaker. When the message started playing, I heard Henry with wild desperation in his voice. His words were broken apart by sharp breaths and sobs.
“Aaron… I… Please… Help me…”
The fear in his voice stood out the most. I felt a chill go down my spine when I heard the agony he was in, and instantly froze.
“I’m…behind the…old furniture store…”
He screamed in pain after that part and I heard some glass breaking. The scream stopped my breathing and almost made me lose my balance.
“Please come…It’s really bad…I need you…”
“Hey, any change?” Lucas said as he walked into Henry’s room.
“No, not yet,” I said, “He was beat up pretty bad.”
“Yeah it looks like it,” he said, “Is he gonna be ok?”
“The doctor said that he’ll be on crutches for a while, and his arm got pretty messed up from him trying to pull the glass out of it. But he should be fine in a couple months,” I said.
“Do they know what happened yet?” he asked.
“No, he hasn’t been awake long enough to tell anyone,” I said
I looked away from Lucas in an attempt to hide myself again. This was the one side I was afraid to show. My vulnerable anxiety always caused me to over-worry about things, and I had gotten pretty good at hiding it in the past. I walked out of the room and into the hall. As I left, Henry’s doctor went into the room and Lucas followed me out.
“Hey,” he said.
He placed both hands on my shoulders and forced me to look at him. The hazel in his eyes was almost comforting as I felt mine swell with tears. I took in a sharp breath and struggled to maintain my composure, my wall. I could tell I wasn’t fooling Lucas though because his eyes were just as strong and reassuring as ever.
“Sorry,” I said.
“Don’t be sorry,” he said, “Just don’t hide from me.”
“Right,” I said, “I won’t, I promise.”
“Aaron,” he said.
“I promise,” I said.
The doctor came out of the room and looked at both of us.
“Henry’s awake,” he said.
“Thank God,” I said.
I tried to go back into the room but the doctor (and Lucas) stopped me. He had a very firm look on his face and didn’t look like he was about to let me see Henry any time soon.
“He told me what happened to him, and I need to talk to you for a moment Mr. Saunders,” he said.
“Ok,” I said, “Luke, could you go get us a couple sodas?”
“Sure,” Lucas said, in an almost nervous tone. I knew he didn’t want to leave, but I just froze him out until he walked away.
“What happened?” I asked.
“Well first, I need to know if you knew what drugs your friend was taking,” he said.
“I don’t know. I threw them out already,” I said, “What happened?”
“If you could find a sample somewhere, it would really help us in figuring out how big of an addiction we’re helping him fight,” he said.
“I’ll try to find some,” I said, “Now tell me what happened.”
“We really need a sample, otherwise we have no idea how Henry will respond-“
“Would you just freakin tell me what the hell happened to my friend?!” I yelled.
The doctor looked stunned, and took a half step backwards. I could feel the intensity from the eyes of the nurses down the hall at their station burning my skin, but I didn’t care. I stared with a furious scowl on my face, waiting for my answer. Once he regained his stance and shook off my snap, he looked at me with his serious doctor face again.
“He only said that he tried to get some more drugs from a dealer that met him in the abandoned furniture store. He didn’t have enough money and was beaten with a pipe and thrown out of the first story window.”
“He's gonna be okay though, right?” I asked.
“The hospital has a policy about patients with a drug dependency,” he said.
“What’s the policy?”
“He has to spend some time in rehab or we can’t discharge him.”
“Okay, well I’ll talk to him,” I said.
“Thank you Mr. Saunders,” he said.
He walked away from me with Henry’s chart under his arm and stopped at the Nurse’s station at the end of the hall. I turned and looked at Henry. He smiled weakly at me and tried to signal me to come in. Forcing my steps, I walked into the room and sat down in the chair next to his bed. I took in a deep breath and then looked at his face.
It was badly bruised, and his left eye was swollen shut. He had bandages around his neck and up the right side of his face. There were tiny marks all over from where the glass cut his face. But despite all of this, he had a smile on his face. It was slight, but it was still a smile and it made me feel better about being there.
“Henry…” I started.
“I know,” he said, “Rehab.”
“Aaron, I’m really sorry about what I said.”
“Don’t be Henry. It wasn’t your fault.”
“Yes it was,” he said, “Because part of me meant it, and I’m sorry.”
“I’m just glad you’re ok,” I said.
“Do you think they can send me somewhere near home?” he asked.
“I wanna see my family…”
“Ok Henry,” I said, “I’ll go ask.”
I stood up and gave him a clap on the shoulder. When I turned towards the door I saw Lucas standing there watching us with a soda bottle in his hand. He smiled at me when I saw him and held the bottle out to me. I smiled back as I approached him.
“Everything ok?” he asked.
I looked back at Henry and took a sigh of relief.
‘Yeah,” I said, “I hope so.”
“You need anything?” he asked.
“Nah, I’m alright,” I said.
“Actually you’re not,” he said.
I shot him a confused look and said, “Why not?”
“Cause you’ve been awake for almost 24 hours Aaron. You need to go home and get some sleep,” he said.
“I know,” I said.
“Want me to take you home?” he asked.
“Yeah…just give me two minutes,” I said.
He half smiled and walked over to the elevator. I turned around and went to find Dr. Haas who was still at the nurse’s station. When I got there, he was clearly flirting with the hot nurse wearing a nameplate that said “Debbie” over her obviously fake left tit. I cleared my throat to get their attention.
“Aaron,” he said.
“Hi, Dr. Haas, I was wondering…Henry was wondering if you would be able to-“
“Aaron I cannot in good conscious or hospital policy release him unless he goes into rehab,” he said.
“No, that’s not what I meant,” I said.
“He wanted to know if it was possible to be sent to a facility in Gilroy,” I said.
“Yeah, I think there’s a facility up there,” he said, “Any particular reason?”
“That’s where his family is,” I said.
“Oh, yeah sure. I’ll do everything I can Aaron,” he said.
“Aaron,” he said, “I can tell how much you care about Henry. I just want you to know that since he is in a very early stage of addiction, it’s going to be easier for him to break it. He won’t be gone for long.”
“Thank you,” I said, “That’s really good to hear,” I said.
“Don’t thank me,” he said, “You’re the one who saved him. If it weren’t for you, he wouldn’t have made it here in time.”
As I walked away, I realized that Dr. Haas was right and wrong at the same time. He was right that I saved Henry’s life and got him here in time. But I wasn’t responsible for him being saved. That responsibility rested on the shoulders of someone else. That someone deserved the thanks, not me. And that someone was sitting in the car outside waiting for me to come out there.
As I walked inside, I took my jacket off and kicked my sneakers across the room. Lucas sat down on my bed and kicked his shoes off. I stared at him with a grin on my face as he leaned back into my pillows and pretended to fall asleep.
“Get up,” I said.
“Can’t hear you…sleeping,” he said.
I lunged forward and grabbed his arms to pull him off my bed. He wrapped his legs around my left arm and pulled out of my grip and grabbed onto the headboard as I pulled at his feet with no success. I let go of him and sighed harshly and he laughed at me with pride as he made himself comfortable.
“Ass,” I said.
“Douche,” he said.
I walked over to the closet and started changing into some gym shorts and a tank top. When I turned around Lucas was standing by the door. He looked tired and I guessed he was about to leave.
“You goin?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said, “You need to get some sleep.”
“So do you,” I said.
“Yeah well, I gotta cram for a test tomorrow anyway,” he said.
“Lucas,” I said.
He looked up at me and I fidgeted in the place I was standing.
“I just wanted to say thank you,” I said.
“No problem Aaron,” he said, “It’s what friends are for.”
“No, I mean,” I said, “For saving Henry’s life.”
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“If you didn’t make me check my voicemail, I wouldn’t have gotten to him in time,” I said.
“No,” I said, “Thank you Lucas. I owe you so much.”
I stepped forward and wrapped my arms around his shoulders. He lifted his arms and hugged me back. We stood there for a moment, as I felt Lucas pull me completely out of the figurative water I was drowning in. We were on dry land together and he held me to keep me from falling back in again.
I pulled away from him after a moment and wiped the tears away from my eyes. I looked at his shirt and saw some wet spots where my face was planted and chuckled at myself for being such a baby.
“Sorry,” I said pointing at his shirt.
“Hey, don’t ever be sorry for letting your guard down,” he said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Don’t take this the wrong way Aaron,” he said, “But there are a lot of people that think you’re unpleasant.”
“Thanks?” I said with a confused look.
“No, I mean,” he said, “If you would let your guard down more often, then those people would be able to see what an amazing person you are.”
I looked away from him and tried to zone out. I didn’t want to hear this speech again; I’ve heard it so many times from Carly. He placed his thumb and forefinger on my chin and forced me to look into his eyes. His eyes were the most revealing part of him and every time I looked into them, I could almost hear his angst screaming at me to let go and stop harboring my true self from him.
“Aaron, you’re such an amazing guy. It would be incredibly selfish of you to keep the world from noticing you,” he said.
“Lucas,” I said.
He dropped his hand from my face. He gave me a little half smile and turned towards the door. I grabbed his arm and turned him back to face me. I looked firmly into his eyes and saw myself reflected in them. No words were said between us, I don’t think any needed to be said anyway. I let go of his arm and he walked out the door.
I felt like a little piece of me had gone out with him. Like part of my soul had been torn off and all that was left was a bleeding wound where it was torn from. I took a deep breath to try and exhale the sting that Lucas left me with. It wasn’t caused by him, but by what I was doing to him. It made me sick to be such a boomerang, letting him in, blocking him out, and letting him in again.
I had to get my mind off of Lucas, so I paced around my room for a moment. Then I remembered that I had a paper due in two days. I sat at my computer and realized that the paper I was writing was about Lucas. I stood back up and looked around the room for a moment. I noticed Jonathan’s bag next to his bed and wondered where he was staying. That is…until I noticed something sticking out of his bag.
I leaned down to pick it up and recognized it right away. It was a vial identical to the one I found in Henry’s bag, with pills just like the ones I emptied out of the vial. I looked in disgust as I realized who the first person was that Henry got his drugs from. I had suspected it, but I never had any reason to believe it…until now.
Just then, the door opened and Jonathan walked into the room. He froze in the doorway and stared at me. He didn’t even notice what was in my hand. I stared him down until I could see beads of sweat dripping from his forehead. I could only imagine what my look of death actually looked like. Carly always said it would make a small child cry and wet his pants.
“What the hell are you doing here Jonathan,” I snarled.
“I…thought you’d be asleep,” he said.
“Yeah well that makes two of us,” I said.
He slowly took a step forward, but then retracted it as I felt my face contort in anger. I could smell the fear coming from him.
“Look, I heard about Henry,” he said, “And a part of me was hoping you’d be awake so I could tell you how sorry I am.”
“Sorry?” I yelled, “You better be fucking sorry asshole.”
I threw the vial at his feet and he flinched back into the now closed door.
“It’s your fucking fault he’s in there!” I yelled, “If it weren’t for you, he wouldn’t have been put in this situation!”
“Aaron,” he said.
“He has to go to rehab because of this!” I yelled, “Do you have any idea how much that’s going to screw up his life?!”
“I’m sorry!” he yelled.
“Yeah, that’s right. You ARE sorry. You are the sorriest piece of shit I’ve ever met, so why don’t you go crawl into some dark little hole and die there before I get the chance to strangle you myself!”
“Aaron, if you just give me a chance to explain!”
“The only thing I’m giving you is a 10 second head start,” I said.
He hesitated for a moment. I held up my hands and started counting down with them. When I got close to 5, I took a step forward. He flinched and threw the door open and ran out with tears in his eyes. I flopped down on my bed and massaged my temples after the door slammed shut.
Worthless sack of crap.