…from my book “Wilted Flowers: A Bouquet of Untold Things” on Google Books and StreetLib.
Devon burst into the tiny motel room, struggling with an armload of bags. “I’ve got beer I’ve got vodka, I’ve got pillllls! …and soon my dear, I’ll be mountin’ all your hillllls!”, he playfully sang out into the room.
“Babe? Don’t be mad, I’m playing!”, he laughed joyfully as he unloaded bags from his arms onto the table by the door.
“…I mean, I’m hopin’, but I’m playin’” he softly sang to himself with a smirk.
“De, what you doing babe? ~ I brought all your favorite goodies! ~”, he sang out,
grabbing a bottle of tequila and box of strawberries out of a bag and walking back towards the bathroom.
“You didn’t get started without me, did you?”, he asked playfully pushing the
bathroom door open with his elbow.
The door creaked slowly back to the wall and Devon’s smile dropped into ghost-white shock.
“Delila!”, he shouted out, dropping both the bottle and the box and rushing into the room.
The bottle seemed to break at the same instant Devon’s knees hit the ground as he slid over to Delila. She appeared to be unconscious and was slumped over the closed toilet, her face and blue nightgown covered in blood, vomit, and foam.
“De, De, De, De, no, no, no, no, no, DE! wake up, what the fuck babe, shhiiiIT!”.
He checked her pulse in two places while he glanced around the small room for the bag or tiny bottle he knew was there.
Faint pulse at the wrist. Stronger at neck. Heart beating. “Good! You’re alive! Okay.
Hang on babe, I got you.”
He gently gathered her into his arms and continued his visual scan, “Where…the, where is it babe…where’s the shit? Did you do it all? …where…”
There. At the base of the sink lay a ripped and nearly empty bag of white, something, now made into a clay by the broken bottle of tequila and nearly washed out.
“SHIT! Sorry babe, okay, I dunno what you took so Imma grab this BULLSHIT! It’s okay, it’s okay Imma take it with us anyway, just in case they can still figure it out at the hospital and we going now babe, I got you, we going now.”
Echoes of his own pleas, “hang on, please don’t die on me De!”, played in his head as Devon sat by her hospital bed, his still blood-stained hand firmly clutching her limp one. As he listened to the respirator, he couldn’t really remember the drive to the hospital or shouting for help as he carried her in.
All he could distinctly remember was that blue gown, hoisting them both off that bathroom floor in one motion, racing toward the car …and the doctor’s words when they finally let him in the room…
“Prepare yourself, you may lose them both…”
It worked! Shit. It worked, and it might be over. They had spent much effort and
money trying to have a baby together over the past year.
Could this be it and the end at the same time?
She told me she was clean. She said she would STAY clean for this, that it was
important to her! Why would she do this now? Did she know? Maybe she didn’t know. Was I careless? Was it my stash? No, I locked it up in the car, he quickly reaches up at his neck, yes, the key is on me, I was in the store. I will kill whoever the fuck supplied my pregnant wife!!…! Shit!
Delila’s hand begins quaking beneath his and Devon looks up to see her quietly
seizing. “Nurse! We need a nurse in here NOW PLEASE!” Using his free hand, Devon removes the pillows from behind her head and tries to keep her head still.
“NUR— “, his panicked words are cut off by a bursting open of the door as medical staff rushes in.
“I’m here babe.” He softly calls before stepping out of the way and to the back of the room. When he looks back at her, he sees blood beginning to pool below her hips and he knows they’ve lost the baby. This he has seen many times. He remains locked in place, praying her safety as another team comes in to assist.
Another eternal lapse of hazy memory later and he is back at her side, but she is awake and stable, and he only has questions.
“Why? What happened?”
“I – I thought it didn’t work…”
“Okay, it worked. But it’s over now cos you overdid it. You said you would stay
clean. What happened?”
“I dunno. I was tired of being sad and wanted to have a good time like you were
“Well yeah, like, you don’t have to be sober and stuff, if you ever are or even know what that means anymore. I just wanted to have some fun too.”
“FUN! Sober! I’m not the one carrying our baby De. What the fuck! Are you serious with this shit! You scared the living shit out of me AND you lost the baby because you wanted to have FUN?!
Get the fuck out of here De! You’re a fucking grown-up!”
“Sure, you’re not carrying the baby, but we both have addictions, and you know that. What kind of support are you providing me through this while you’re drunk and high all day every day? Of course, I want to play too! I’m not some sow for you to impregnate and lock in the cellar until you get your prize!”
Devon hung his head.
“Dev, I promise, if you go with me, I’ll go to rehab. Let’s do the program together.
We both honestly need it. Let’s get clean together and try again.”
Devon slowly stood up from the chair and let her hand fall out of his.
“You promised me De. You promised you would stay clean this time. Look at you.”
“I can’t get clean without you Dev. You’re stronger than me and no one looks out for me, loves me, or gives a flying fuck about me like you do.” She pleaded, her words breaking and tears streaming down her face.
Devon turned from the bed and dropped his head. “I don’t know what to say. I can’t look at you right now. I love you though.”
He dragged his feet to the door, pushed it open, and was gone.
Delila sank back into the hospital bed, buried her face in the stiff pillows and cried.
What have I done! Just let me die! I deserve to die! Why didn’t I die? Now how will I EVER be able to tell him I cheated, and the baby wasn’t his! I was desperate, but he’ll never understand! I’ll never be forgiven, he’ll never forgive me, he’ll hate me.
He will hate me, and I will deserve it.
When the tears and trembling subsided, Delila made up in her mind that no matter what the outcome, she would tell Devon the whole truth.
She would tell him that she wanted to give him a son so bad she made a deal with his brother, but that she loved him and only him. Then, she would check into Guiding Light, without going on a bender first, no matter what happened, and she would complete the program this time.
With that she fell asleep.
Storms of thought cast up waves of emotion as Devon drove silently through the rain. By the time he reached the motel, he had decided.
I don’t think I have a fucking problem, and I do what I need to function in all this
continual bullshit, BUT if my actions made her feel left out and alone, I am just as responsible for the loss of this kid and maybe I need help too. I’ll go to St. Paul’s. If she’s in the program too, we’ll do it together and we’ll both try again clean.
With that, Devon snorted three lines, chugged a quarter bottle, and started packing up their things. After loading up the car and cleaning the room, he calls his brother to meet and drive him to St Paul’s.
“Absolutely dude! I am so glad that you are getting some help. I’ll have Tina drop me off at the motel and I’ll drive you up there. No problems. Good choice man. – oh, they changed the name of that place by the way. It’s called Guiding Light now. Some local minister took it over in like …”
A blackout of racing thoughts. Anxiety rising. Fear of the cage, the lockdown, lights out. 50 beds. 150 men of all ages in different stages of detox. The screams and wails throughout the night. No sleep. On guard all night, protect yourself, watch your shoes.
I already don’t sleep. That’s why I use. It’s why I drink. Drown the demons in some form of sleep so my mind can rest. Just for a moment. Now to add the evils of others to my own…
Devon is chewing on his thumb tip. No nail exists on any of his fingers and the skin is calloused by the chronic repetition.
His brother is still talking about, something, when the car lurches to a stop in the middle of a four-way intersection.
“What is this old motherfucker doing!!”
An elderly man has stepped out into the street to cross too soon and is slowly picking his way across anyway.
“YO wrap it up old man, I’m in the middle of the fucking street over here! Where’s your fucking glasses old-timer!!?!!”
Devon numbly watches his brother scream and rant at the old man, who either can’t hear or is simply ignoring it all and continues to make his way carefully.
Looking down his side of the street Devon sees a vehicle in the distance. “We need to get moving bruh.”
“NO FUCKING SHIT! You think I wanna be PARKED at a fucking intersection
waiting for this ASSHAT who is clearly stuck in his own century ALL BY
That car is coming too fast. This fool is losing his shit. We need to –
Devon places his hand to the closed widow as if to say slow down and his thoughts are shattered by clear recognition of a face.
His last thought, followed by darkness.
“A horrible accident claimed the life of three young people tonight. At this time the cause is unclear, and it is yet unknown if the use of drugs or alcohol was involved in this horrific scene down here on Jackson and 16th…”