“Logan. Tell me.”
“I’m just worried, that’s all. Kellan had his chemotherapy a day ago, and since I’ve been back, I’ve never not been there. He sometimes gets sick in the middle of the night, and I’m worried, that’s all.”
I climbed out of bed, and started collecting his things, then I tossed on my clothes.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
A pair of pants slapped him in the face. “Get dressed. We’re going home.”
The drive home was quiet, but he held my hand the whole way. I knew it seemed silly, but on that car ride, I fell even more in love with him. He pulled up to my house to drop me off, and leaned forward to kiss me.
Oh, how I loved his kisses.
“Call me if you need anything,” I said. The sky was still dark, the sun still sleeping. He agreed to keep me updated. “Oh, and I have something for you.” I reached into my oversized purse and pulled out a stack of DVDs. “I collected these over the past years, thinking they might be documentaries you’d be interested in. I watched a few, and loved them. The one on the phoenix was my favorite, and reminded me of you.”
His lips parted, and his voice cracked. “Why didn’t you ever give up on me?”
I shrugged. “Because some things—the best things—are always worth fighting for.” I kissed his lips, and started to climb out of the car.
“Oh, and High?” He reached into the glove compartment of the car, and pulled out a DVD. “This is for you.”
“What is it?”
“I made a documentary while I was in Iowa.”
“What?” I asked. “What is it about?”
“Us,” he replied, a bit shyly. “It’s called Highs and Lows. Every message you left me has a response on that. One thousand and ninety replies. Plus a few in-between moments.”
“It’s not all good, but it’s real. It’s raw. But I thought you should know that I did respond. To every single message. And I want you to know that you’re the one who helped me get through every second of getting clean. Your voice saved me.”
The moment I got into my house, I tossed the DVD into my laptop, and I held my breath for an hour straight. Some of his replies he spoke to me, others he simply spoke to the camera, as if it were a diary of sorts. Each reply told me what I’d wished I could’ve heard all of those years ago. Each reply matching how my heart bled, for five years straight.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so fucking sorry, High…
It’s my fifty-sixth day at rehab, and I’m lonely. I still don’t know what this all means. Being alive, being dead. Inhaling, exhaling. The simple idea of existence was always confusing to me. But then you walked into my life one day, and everything started to make a little more sense.
Maybe the point of life is to teach us that we aren’t always going to be our past mistakes. Maybe the point of life is to open ourselves up to the things that we fear most—like love.
Maybe the whole point of my life was to simply find you, even if it wasn’t meant to be forever.
And that thought alone is enough to get me through each night of loneliness.
The baby would’ve been born this month. You left me a message telling me this, but I already knew. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I can’t stop thinking about lying beside you, holding you close to me. But I’m not better yet. I’m still lost. I’m not strong enough to love you the way you deserve to be loved. So here, I wait. Until I’m something you can be proud of.
So this is my apartment. I don’t know if I’ve shown you before, but here it is. We have all of the basics. Kellan helped me. Over here, you’ll find Jordy the mouse. He comes out to play every now and then. And, that’s pretty much it. It’s small, but it’s mine, I guess.
I know you’re mad at me.
But I miss you so much it hurts to breathe some nights.
You asked me what I do when it rains?
I lie in bed, and think of you.
You said you were done calling me. I’m happy to hear that, but at the same time broken. I want you to be happy. I want you to find someone worthy to love you. I want you to fall in love with a heart that beats like mine beats for you. I want you to laugh so loudly, and I want someone to fall in love with the sound of your laughter, the way I love those sounds.
I want you to have your happy ending.
I want you to move on.
I tell myself each day that I’m not in love with you anymore, that I moved on.
But somehow that’s not true. Each day it happens, right before I close my eyes to sleep. I see your face, your smile, your soul, and in the quiet whispers of the night, I fall in love with you all over again.
I hope that never changes.
And selfishly, I hope a small part of you always loves me too.
Walking into Kellan’s place, I paused a moment when I heard the sound of upchucking. I rushed to the bathroom where the sounds were traveling from, and found Kellan on the floor, his head in the toilet as he threw up everything he had inside of him.
“Jesus, Kel,” I muttered, reaching for a towel to wet. I bent down beside him as he gagged, unable to throw anything up because he hadn’t much left inside of him.
“I’m okay,” he muttered, before the dry heaving began. My hand landed on his back. There wasn’t much I could do, other than be there with him through the pain.
“What’s happening?!” an alarmed Erika said, poking her head in the bathroom. Her eyes widened as she deliberated over which direction she should go—stay in the bathroom with Kellan, or go toward the living room.
“Why didn’t you wake me?” she asked me.
“I just got home.”
Her hands raked through her hair. “Okay. He needs the nausea pills.” She hurried away, her feet hammering against the wooden floors. She came back with a glass of water and a little pink pill. “Here you go, Kellan.”
“No,” he whispered. “I don’t want that.”
“It will help with the nausea.”
“I don’t want that.”
Erika’s chin quivered and she pushed the glass and pill toward him. “Kel, come on. It will—”