22. Here goes.
February 14th, 2005. 8:16 a.m., Eastern Standard Time.
"...my brand new fashion of waking up with pants on at four in the afternoon..." No matter how many strange or unpleasant memories it may garner, I will always love this song. I continue singing as I get ready for work, pulling my hair back, putting on my favorite Converse, hunting down my lucky sunglasses. I open the door, look down, and smile. They remembered. I pick up the package with the Glenview return address and set it on the couch. We'll save that for when I get home.
Work passes quickly, mostly me sending emails to the street team leaders and sorting through demo packages from random bands. I stop on the way home to buy myself flowers, partly because my house has gotten a little bland, but mostly just because I love me. I put my flowers in the kitchen and listen to my voicemails as I sort through my laundry. One from Pete, Lucy, and Andy, another from Patrick ("Anna sends her best" my ass), one from Joe, and surprisingly, one more from Tom. I make a mental note to call and thank him, since we haven't spoken in a few weeks. I smile as I flip my phone shut and sit down to open my gift, pretty sure I know what it is and damn excited about it. Sure enough, under the card is a plain silver disc. Yay! The card tells me that the album is clearly still a work in progress, that I am super sexy, and that I should come home yesterday, in that order. The cd itself is maybe half raw or underdeveloped tracks and half finished and mastered ones. I spend the rest of the afternoon with the album on repeat and a smile on my face.
February 16th, 2005. 8:41 a.m., Eastern Standard Time.
I glance at the caller id and flip open the phone. I'm running late but I never did call to say thanks, so I figure I should take this opportunity.
"Hey, Luc. I got the album and I was..."
"Lexi." Lucy's voice cracks and I can feel the blood drain from my face.
"Pete's in the hospital." She breaks down now and I sit down hard, completely speechless. After a few minutes of Lucy sobbing, I manage to choke out a few words.
"Why? What happened?"
She swallows hard and sniffles before speaking. "He ODed on his anxiety meds. He swallowed I don't know how many last night in a goddamn Best Buy parking lot, called his mom, then passed out."
"Lexi... I don't know what to do." Tears threaten her voice and my brain goes into overdrive.
"I will call you in exactly twenty four hours. If anything changes before then, let me know." I can picture her nodding as I hang up.
I dial my old realtor's number, drumming my fingers on my leg as I wait for an answer. "Colleen? It's Alexis Andrews. Hi, yeah I'm okay. Listen, I need an apartment in the city. Tomorrow at the latest. Decent size, decent neighborhood, I don't care how much. Flexible lease if possible, I don't know how long I'll be using it. Just work it out, I'll call you at five your time tonight. Thanks."
Next, I dial Dale's extension at the office. "Hey Dale."
"Howdy Lex, you're kind of..."
"Not coming. Get me John, Adam, anybody. Now."
"Whoa." He puts me on hold and I grab my purse, practically sprinting out the front door. John comes on the line as I'm peeling out of my driveway.
"Lexi, how goes it?"
"Bad. I can't explain right now, but I have to go back home. I don't know how long I'll be, so if you're going to fire me, do it now."
"Heck no, kid. We'll just find someone to pick up the slack."
"Well, Dale's stretched pretty thin as it is. But Adam just brought on a new girl, Kristy I think? She's pretty good. Just don't push her too hard or she'll cry."
"I'll keep that in mind. I'd been meaning to talk to you about a few things, some changes, a promotion I guess. Just call me when things settle down, we'll talk."
"Thanks John. I owe you."
I flip my phone shut and toss it on the passenger seat, pulling into a gas station to fill up my tank and buy the world's worst cup of coffee. I drink the whole thing anyway; I've got a long drive ahead of me.
February 17th, 2005. 10:07 a.m., Central Standard Time.
I pull into the parking lot of Rush Memorial Hospital and look up. Hospitals are such creepy places. Huge white buildings dedicated solely to house the sick and dying. I sigh and turn off the car. As I walk towards the doors I notice my hands are shaking violently, although if it's from terror or just the fact that all I've consumed in the past twenty four hours is caffiene, I'm not quite sure. I head towards the elevator, ignoring the front desk. Last I heard from Lucy, Pete was out of ICU and off of suicide-watch, but still being held until a full psych evaluation could be run.
I watch the little lights flash on and off until the doors ding and I'm on the sixth floor. I'm suddenly dizzy, and I sit down with my head in my hands, shaking and nauseous, until a young nurse crouches down next to me.
"Are you okay dear?"
"I'm just... stressed. You wouldn't know where Peter Wentz is, by chance?"
"Not offhand, but let's check, okay?"
I follow her to a nurse's station and stare blindly at the wall behind her as she flips through some papers. "Okay, here he is. Room 691, just down this hallway. It's near the end, on the left, okay?"
I nod my head and try to smile at her concerned face. I wonder if nurses take the bedside manner classes too, or if that's just natural instinct. I'm so preoccupied with sorting out the difference between nursing school and medical school that I walk right past the waiting area filled with my friends. I jump about a mile when a hand grabs my wrist, and I turn to see Lucy's bloodshot eyes.
"I missed you," she whispers before starting to sob, and I hold her close as my own tears start falling.
"I missed you too. But I'm home now."
Chapter Title from "Absolution" by The Academy Is. I still am unsure as to whether or not they had the elipses when they did the ep, so I'm not including them.
Also, I searched for like two hours and could not find any mention of either the exact date of the OD or the hospital Pete was admitted to. So I took some liberties.