In which our hero’s got a one-way ticket on his last chance ride…
It was early morning and although they weren't usually up at this time, Slash, Steven and Duff were all sat in the living room discussing the blow out between Axl and Izzy a few days ago.
"Stevie, Izzy's as scared as we are. He doesn't hate Axl, he just lashes out because he's so fucking scared." Assured Duff.
"Axl can't have taken that well at all. He must be so down right now." Slash whispered.
"I never thought I'd say this but, their friendship is secondary right now. We need to get Axl help." Duff said.
"Duff we've tried everything!" Steven whispered, "He won't listen to anything that we-"
Just then Axl himself walked into the room, yawning and stretching his limbs out. He was also up unusually early and dressed too, wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
"Morning guys." The singer smiled weakly and sat on the armchair while the others stared.
With the urgency of getting Axl help, fresh in their minds, they noticed just how bad it had gotten now. Once as tight as a second skin, Axl's jeans were loose and his belt wasn't an accessory anymore. The guys all wore skinny fit t-shirts and even girl fit t-shirts which was the case with the one Axl was wearing at the moment, and it was barely hanging on to his shoulders. His hair looked stringy and lifeless, nothing at all like the fiery mane it used to be. His once, flawless and angelic skin was now pale and almost grey, the angles and bones and hollows causing unnatural shadows to linger on his emaciated face. Axl's eyes didn't even look green anymore. They looked black and dead. And he looked exactly how he felt.
"Ax...you look..." Steven couldn't even begin to find the words.
"Axl this has to stop." Said Duff desperately, "You can't do this to yourself anymore."
That was all Axl needed to lose it. He snapped, he freaked out, he completely lost it and then some. The singer stood up and stalked over to his friends and started screaming his lungs out right into the frightened Guns' faces.
"Why don't you just leave me alone?! Why doesn't everybody just leave me the fuck alone?! I can't take this anymore! You're always breathing down my neck, always telling me this and telling me that well you know what? I'm so sick of it all! I'm not skinny enough! I don't wanna eat! I'm not fucking skinny enough!" The singer stormed out of the room and slammed the door shut behind him, making the remaining Gunners flinch and stare on in shock.
After a few moments of stunned silence, Izzy walked in looking as exhausted as Axl.
"What was that all about?" He asked wearily.
"Axl has officially lost it dude. We need to get him some help right now." Said Slash with a strong note of finality.
The two blondes remained silent and were now shaking with anxiety, close to tears. Izzy walked over and sat next to Slash, leaning his head on the guitarist's shoulder and trying not to cry.
"You can't help him anymore. No one can." He whispered.
Slash wrapped his arms around Izzy and tried to soothe him, all the while fighting back his own tears. Duff was desperately wiping at his eyes, refusing to let the tears fall unlike Steven who had curled into a ball and was now quietly sniffling.
"Izzy you can't say that. You can't give up, especially not on your best friend. We're gonna get him help, in fact let's do it right now!" He forced a smile but Izzy couldn't smile back and just kept on crying.
"Steven go get Axl. This all has to change right now." Said Slash.
Steven slowly got up and went upstairs to fetch the singer.
"See Izzy?" Whispered Slash, "It'll all be fine in no time. Axl's gonna be fine..."
Suddenly the door swung open and Steven came rushing in, wide-eyed and scared.
"Somebody call 911!"
He looked like a doll. A tiny little rag doll, limbs lifeless, long and thin. And just like the way in which toys are often strewn all over the floor of a bedroom, haphazardly, his delicate, frail body was laying there, on its side with his face hidden beneath his hair.
It would be a few minutes before the ambulance arrived. Until then the four friends could only wait and worry and cry.
They had been advised over the phone not to move Axl, not to touch him at all. Izzy was on his knees at Axl's head, crying softly as he looked down at Axl. The guitarist fought with every ounce of strength in his body, the urge to wrap his arms around Axl and hold him close. He reached out a hand and it trembled as he moved it towards Axl.
"Izz, he said not to touch..." Slash's voice was full of exhaustion.
The guitarist sat on the bed holding Steven who was crying into Slash's shoulder while Duff was sat at his feet, resting his head on the guitarist's lap.
Izzy ignored Slash and gently brushed the hair away from Axl's face. The blood that had already stained the carpet had now stopped dripping from the corner of Axl's mouth. The singer had finally taken it further than too far and overdosed on the diet pills that had become a saviour and an obsession to him. After blacking out he had choked on his own blood.