“I’m okay, Alyssa Marie Walters,” he’d say.
“You’re okay, Logan Francis Silverstone,” I’d reply, before falling asleep to the sounds of his breathing.
But lately, we weren’t talking.
When I worried, I couldn’t call him.
When I was scared, his sounds weren’t on the other line.
So that night when the phone rang, I was more afraid than ever before.
“Alyssa?” a voice said into my cell phone, not Logan’s, even though his name was the one that appeared on my screen.
“Who is this?” I asked, sleep still stinging my eyelids.
“It’s Jacob…Logan’s friend. I…” He hesitated. “Look, I’m at this party, and I found Logan. He’s not doing too well. I didn’t know who to call.”
I sat up in bed, wide awake within seconds. “Where is he?” Jacob gave me all of the information, and I scrambled out of the bed, searching for a pen and paper to scribble it all down. “Thanks, Jacob. I’ll be there soon.”
“Yeah okay. Listen, you might want to bring Kellan, too.”
I hurried to Kellan and Erika’s bedroom and banged on the door. My heart pounded against my ribcage, and I bit my tongue to keep from crying. My body wouldn’t stop shaking as I waited to hear Kellan’s voice. When he opened the door and spoke, I took in a pained breath. He sounded so much like Logan, it almost knocked me backwards. It’d been a few weeks since Logan stopped talking to me. All I wanted to do was hear his voice again.
“Alyssa? What’s wrong?” Kellan asked, alarm and alertness filling his tones. He knew just as I did that a late night call when Logan was using again could’ve always been the call that we each feared the most. “Is he…”
“I don’t know,” I replied. I told him everything I knew though, and we were out the door within minutes.
When we arrived to the party, Jacob was standing on the front porch of some broken down house while Logan laid on a bench. His eyes were hardly open, and he was drooling out of the left side of his mouth.
“Jesus,” Kellan muttered, walking up to his brother.
“He’s not that responsive.”
“What did he take?” Kellan asked.
“He was shooting up some heroin, and I think he did blow earlier. I don’t know what else though.”
“Why didn’t you call the cops?!” I screamed. I rushed over to Logan, and tried to lift his body. He cringed at the movement, and started to throw up on the porch.
“I don’t know, man. Listen, normally Logan can handle this shit. But these past few weeks he’s been getting into some deep shit. I couldn’t call the cops because… Look. I didn’t know what to do, so I called you guys.”
I’d known Jacob for a while. Logan didn’t have many people he called friend, but Jacob was one of the rare few that he spoke about in a good light. But I disagreed that night. A real friend—a true friend—would never let someone fall so deeply and not even reach out a hand.
“You should’ve called an ambulance,” I hissed, angered. Scared. Angered and scared.
“Help me get him to the car,” Kellan ordered Jacob. They laid him in the backseat, and I climbed back there with him. “He might throw up again, Alyssa. You might want to sit up front.”
“I’m fine here,” I replied.
Kellan thanked Jacob, and we drove off toward the hospital to get Logan checked out. I’d never seen him like that, and I was seconds away from losing my mind.
“Keep him awake, okay?” Kellan said.
I nodded as my tears fell against Logan’s cheeks. “You have to stay awake, okay? Keep your eyes open, Lo.” He laid his head in my lap in the backseat of Kellan’s car, and I was terrified that if he closed his eyes, they wouldn’t open back up. His whole body was soaked from his own sweat, and every inhale he partook in looked painful. Every exhale, exhausting.
He laughed. “Hi.”
My lips turned down. “Hi, Logan.”
His head shook back and forth, and he sat up on his elbows. “No. Not hi. High. H-I-G-H.” I hated when he talked about being high. I hated the way he lost himself in something that changed him from my best friend into my greatest fear. What happened to you tonight, Logan? What made him go so deeply toward the darkness?
I paused, knowing the answer.
It was me.
I did this to him.
I made him chase his shadows.
I’m sorry, Logan.
My Mom’s words rang in my ears and mind as I stared down into his slatted eyes. He’s an addict, Alyssa. He’s sick, and he’s not going to get better. He’ll drag you down into the flames before you bring him fresh air. You should give up on him. He’s a lost cause. Kellan and you both are his enablers. You’re allowing this to keep happening and it’s only going to get worse…
“You’re high,” Logan whispered, falling back down.
“You call me Lo, which makes sense because I am low. I’m the bottom of the fucking pit. But you?” he chuckled and closed his eyes. “You’re my High. And you broke my fucking heart.”
Tears filled my eyes as I held him in my arms. “Keep your eyes open, Lo. Okay? Just keep your eyes open.” I glanced to the front of the car, where Kellan was wiping at his face. I knew seeing his brother in the shape he was had to be the hardest thing ever.
I knew Kellan’s heart had to be breaking like mine was.
“Take me back,” he muttered, trying to push himself up from the backseat.
“Chill out, Logan. Everything’s okay,” Kellan said.
“No. Take me back,” he hollered, leaping up from my lap and diving at the wheel, making Kellan swerve the car. “Take me back!” We both tried to stop him, to get him to control himself, to get him to calm down, but before we could, Kellan lost control.
The car took a sharp left.
And everything went black.
When my eyes opened, I was in a hospital bed, and sunlight was shining through my window. I tried to turn away, but everything hurt. “Shit,” I muttered.
“You okay?” a voice said. I twisted my head over to see Kellan sitting in a chair with packets in his hand, and a large bandage on his forehead. He was wearing a hoodie, and sweatpants, and missing the smile that was always on his face.