Some of my longtime followers may remember me mentioning Jay, Kazander’s best friend. They met in junior high, they grew up together, he was the best man at our wedding and even had the guy cry going during his toast.
Then, today happened.
God damn it.
Kazander seemed alright when he got home. He told his family, they arranged to help cover the funeral expenses, and his father is donating his plot (he was going to sell it, since he wants to be buried at the veteran’s cemetery in Boulder City. He really liked my dad’s service there, so no longer wants that plot).
The spawn stayed with the inlaws, and Lia and I kept Kazander company while he proceeded to get fucking plowed.
And then we saw a side of him we’d never seen before.
Kazander is not a “touchy-feely” kind of guy. He’s loud and explosive when he’s angry, but it’s difficult for him to open up otherwise. It took me a long time to get past all that.
Tonight, you’d think I’d never done it at all. He completely shut down and wanted to be left alone. Which I was fine with, and would’ve kept Lia away from him, despite her concern.
Until he grabbed his car keys and went outside. I ran after him, telling Lia to stand in front of his car, while I stood behind it.
It pissed him off, but I didn’t care. He wasn’t going to drive anywhere. He kept telling us, begging us, yelling at us to go inside and leave him alone. I told him we wouldn’t move unless he gave me his car keys or his word that he would not drive. He gave neither, so we stayed until he gave up and went back in the house.
Once he was on the couch, I could handle him, so I sent Lia to bed. She knows that was not normal for him, and she understands why he was behaving the way he was, but she didn’t need to see any more of that than absolutely necessary.
I’d never seen him like that before. He was still asking me to leave him alone, and I was about to give him what he wanted, until he whispered, “I just want to be gone.”
“Just gone. I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of struggling.”
Alright, so nope, I’m not moving my fat ass off this couch, thankyouverymuch.
I told him I wasn’t going anywhere, that I love him, he’s mine, and I’m going to take care of him. Whether the stubborn bastard wants me to or not.
So he asked, if I wouldn’t go to bed and leave him alone, if I could not touch him, not talk, and just sit there.
Alright fair enough. That, I can do. And I did. I sat on the other side of the couch until he fell asleep. Then, I checked his phone to make sure he’d texted his boss (there is no way he is going to go to work tomorrow, and there is no way I am going to let him), set some water on the coffee table in front of him, and turned the lights off.
Jay was better than the life he was dealt. He would’ve been making six figures a year, working with computers, if he had been born in a different neighborhood. I’d never seen anyone as good with computers as he was.
We told him, repeatedly, that he needed to move out here. We’d give him a place to stay, we’d help him find a job, even with the record and the convictions, and we’d help him get on his feet so he could bring his kids out. He was getting clean and was taking some sort of medication to help with the withdrawal when he was out here. We told him we’d help him get clean and stay clean. He always said no.
He was better than the place he was born. He was better than the hand he’d been dealt. And he was better than the drugs that killed him.