We say in silence for a few minutes, hugging our coffee to our chests in an attempt to rid the cold that had settled in our guts. Frank was huddled under piles of blankets on my bed, droplets from his fringe slowly dripped onto the sheets. He’d stopped shivering a few minutes ago, but every so often he broke the silence with sobs and sniffles. After a while the silence became maddening, and I was determined to break it...after I figured out what to say. What could I say? I mean, I couldn’t be happy, but I didn’t want to pressure him with concern. My mouth opened and shut a few times which reminded me slightly of a demented goldfish.
“So.” It slipped out involuntarily, my voice sounding weird and husky. Franks terribly empty hazel eyes flickered to my face for a fleeting second, then back to the coffee mug in his hands.
“You shouldn’t have saved me.” He whispered, fresh tears sliding down the tracks of old ones
“What should I have done, watched you die? Whether you want me to or not, I care about you.”
He smirked a little at that, or a crude impersonation of one.
“If you cared about me, you wouldn’t have saved me would you?” I tried to reply, but at first I couldn’t, in some ways – not all ways – but in some his argument made sense.
“I know I barely know anything about you, I don’t know your reasons for...” I glanced at his face and found his eyes fixed on the dumb coffee mug again. “But nothing is worth ending your life for, ever. There’s always something to live for, always some hope of things getting better. Are you listening to me, Frank? I’m not normally this forceful but I did give you a cup of my favourite coffee, so you’re going to tell me everything you feel comfortable telling me about this situation, and what led you to do it. As I said before, I don’t know you, but in the last 5 minutes of silence I’ve made it my life goal to find that thing in your life that’ll keep you living.” The words tumbled out of my mouth and I stood up with a new purpose, and resumed my place by the windowsill where I sat blissfully unaware of this whole thing not 30 minutes before. I realised that he hadn’t replied and my purpose faltered, I bit my lip and stringed together an apology in my head, but Frank twitched his lip and turned to face me, still heaped under blankets, slowly shifted his body to face me too, or as well as he could’ve without spilling coffee everywhere. He sucked on his lip ring thoughtfully, and in a weak voice began to speak.
I rambled on for around an hour, stumbling on some parts, and pausing to debate if the next bit was suitable for me to tell someone who was practically a stranger, but her open and honest face probed me to telling her every detail without her saying a word to pressure me. Her face didn’t show much emotion when I was speaking except she was radiating sympathy and concern, something that comforted me into knowing she wasn’t judging me, but more appraising me to see what she should say when I finished.
“A-and that’s how I ended up...where you found me.” I choked on the last syllable, finding it difficult to swallow against the lump in my throat. My coffee had gone cold, but I drank it anyway, grateful to fill my mouth with anything else than crippling memories. I drained the empty cup and put it on her dresser, closing my eyes in a failed attempt to block out everything, ignoring the tempting lure of the bridge that was only minutes away from where I was sitting...
Before I could become lost in my thoughts, a huge, warm weight crashed into my arms, knocking me flat on my back. Bryony was crushing herself to my chest and I instinctively wrapped my arms around her, choking in the cloud of sweet-smelling hair that had flipped in front of my face. We stayed there for a moment, before she sat up and smiled sheepishly.
“Sorry...I have boundary issues with some people.” She wriggled away and leant her head against the wall “It seems to me, that you need to talk to this...Mikey guy. He obviously means the world to you, and I doubt that he’s doing so great without you either.”
“b-but” I started, it all seemed so simple when she said it, but we both know it was far from it
“Okay, answer me yes or no” She said, her eyes narrowing in a business-like fashion
“Did it help talking about what you’re going through to me, to get it out?”
“Did Mikey love you?”
“If you went through this when you still lived in jersey, would he have helped you through it, made it seem better to cope with?”
“Yes.” I was sure on that one.
“Is there any reason why he would have stopped loving you since you moved?”
“This was a yes or no thing.” She grumbled pointedly
“No...I guess not.”
“Does it make sense to confide in a person you trust and love with your soul with your emotions?”
She smiled and moved closer to me, pressing her lips lightly to my forehead. I closed my eyes and placed my hands over hers that were secured over my temples.
“I think I just found your thing in life to keep you living.” She whispered her breath warm and tickling. “Life goal completed in record time” She pulled away and flashed a lopsided grin, before pressing a button on her stereo and forcing it into life.
I stayed with her all night, talking and listening, until I sauntered home at nearly midnight, feeling not completely healed, but a little closer, like a broken vase being slowly pieced back together, into something beautiful.
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