Friday, August 19, 2005

Too Much

Contains spoilers to A Little Help from my Friends
by J.D.

Why did he have to send him home?  Why couldn't Romano at least have allowed him to lose himself in his work, to lose himself in the one thing that was keeping him from losing himself completely?  As he walked slowly to his car he couldn't free himself of the questions.  Didn't he realize how dangerous it was for him to be alone with the thoughts that were only quieted with work? could he know, how could any of them know just how close to the edge he really was?

As he climbed into the car and brought the engine to life he could feel the thoughts surge with the power of it.  He was the one responsible for almost killing Erin.  He was to blame for the father and son who had almost been killed because of his recklessness.  Why was he always the one to walk away unscathed?  Danijela...the children...Rick... Erin, all of them dead, or dying, or worse, while he remained untouched.

Where was he going?  What did it matter?  Did anyone care?  If he were to leave and never come back...if he were to drive off a bridge and sink to the bottom of the Lake, would anyone notice he was gone?  No...not like this...his mind screamed for the thoughts to leave him...why couldn't he get them to stop?

His route had somehow brought him to the Bishop's Church, and even as he saw it he knew he wouldn't stop, knew he couldn't enter.  How could he admit that he had thrown away the trust the Bishop had placed in him?  How could he admit that he had allowed the man to die thinking that in his last moments he had released him from the burdens he had carried for so many years, when in truth they had remained and if anything only grown stronger?

What did he have now?  Was there anyone in his life who would care if he was gone?  He forced the thoughts to retreat to a dark corner of his mind, but even then he could feel them taunting him.  He had to get the car home before someone else was hurt, or killed by his hand.  Home, what a laugh.  He'd thought he could have that again, he had found the apartment, filled it with all the things he had thought would make it one, all the while knowing that the most important thing it needed he would never likely have again.

Pulling the car into his parking space he shut the engine off and climbed out before moving to the safety of the building.  Safety...was he safe anywhere?  He could feel it all coming again...the fear...the panic...he needed to be working.  Why couldn't anyone see that?  He wasn't safe here...he wasn't safe when he was alone.

As he turned the key in the lock and forced the door open he could feel it building, rising up inside him so tightly he was sure it would strangle him.  He made his way to the cabinet and pulled the bottle of vodka out, seeking to numb it the only way he knew how.  Without even taking time to pour it into a glass he brought it to his lips...needing the burn as it slid down his throat to distract him.  

He had to escape...had to find a way to get away from the endless reminders of the failure he had become.  As he took another swallow his eyes settled on the small prescription bottle on the shelf.  Was this the way?  In the next moment he had it in his hand...was this his means of escape?

Who would care?  He ran his fingers over the bottle before carrying it to the table, then took a long swallow of the vodka before setting both down on it's surface.  How long would it be before anyone noticed?  He uncapped the pills and dumped the contents on the table, arranging them into rows as he contemplated them.  How many to numb?  How many to forget?  How many to stop the thoughts?  How many to put an end to it all?  Maybe this was the solution he had been looking for.  He reached for the vodka and took another long drink.  He could escape it all, but for one that escape he would forever lose the chance to be reunited with Danijela.  In that escape he would forever lose the chance to hold Jasna and Marko in his arms again.

He could almost pretend the anguished groan came from someone else as it broke at the thoughts.  Why couldn't he escape this hell even with death?  His hell...his punishment for, not living, he hadn't lived since that day in Vukovar when he had lost them all.  Surviving, that was all he had done since that day, and even now that was threatened.

He couldn't do this alone..not today...not anymore.  But who could he turn to that would understand?  Who could he turn to that would accept him with all he had become?  Who would overlook the faults, the failures, the grief?  Who would be there to offer him the hold that could keep him from taking that final step?

In that instant he knew and as he rose and reached for the phone the tears from the realization had already begun to fall.  He dialed the number from memory, his hand shaking so badly he was sure he would drop the phone.  The ache in his chest threatened to rip him apart and as the voice broke into his thoughts as it was answered. The grief slamming into him with enough force that he sank to the floor.  It was all he could do to keep the receiver to his ear as the sobs tore into him and the voice on the other end responded as he had known it would, offering the comfort even before he found the words to ask for it or explain. When he finally found his own voice his words were heavy with the pain he was powerless to hide.  "Tata..."  He slid into his native tongue without thought, responding on the deepest levels to the reassurances that filled his ear.  "Tata...I need you."

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