“What the hell happened?” she asked in a stern but quiet voice, so her parents couldn’t hear what exactly was being said. “Tom and Bryan called me in a panic Saturday night and told me they found you in the driveway, on top of your car. They said they couldn’t wake you up no matter what they did and that you would start twitching and jerking like you were having some kind of convulsion and then go still again.”
“So you found me out there?”
“No, they did. By the time I got here, it couldn’t have been more than five minutes later, you had apparently gotten up and went inside. You were on your bed when I found you. I figured you must have gotten up and moved yourself there. You weren’t twitching or anything. It just looked like you were sleeping, but I couldn’t get you to wake up or respond to anything. Your face was all pale and you looked terrible. You still do…but you look better than you did. At least you have some color back. The house was in shambles. I cleaned it up while mom and dad were heading up here. They would be even more ticked than they are right now if they had seen it that way –at you and at me – I was supposed to make sure you were staying out of trouble. I guess I didn’t do a very good job. Anyway, I hung around here to keep an eye on you until I had to go to work. I guess you were gone when mom and dad got here.”
“Yeah, I had to get something to eat. They were here when I got back.”
“Sorry that I called mom and dad, but I had to. I was worried about you. I still am. They left right after I called them. If I had known you’d be up and about like you are now…”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s all good.”
“You know they’re taking you with them when they go back.”
“Yeah, I know. It’s cool. I want to get away from here…I need to.”
“Is everything okay? Are you in any trouble or danger? What the hell happened?”
“No. Everything is fine. At least it is now. Things just got out of control a little bit…I got out of control. I really don’t want to talk about it. I want to forget it ever happened. I’ll never let it happen again.” Karen could tell by the way he said it, he meant it. She knew her little brother well.
There was a short pause. Karen was about to say something, but Paul spoke first. “Karen…I think I almost died…I almost killed myself.” His voice was trembling. “I don’t know how I didn’t…” Karen hugged her little brother. He started sobbing on her shoulder. Karen couldn’t help but do the same.
Once they both regained their composure, Karen looked Paul dead in the eyes and said sternly, yet gently at the same time “I know you said you want to, but I don’t think you should ever forget what happened – whatever it was. If you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine, but don’t ever forget it happened.” Paul nodded his head. “Give me a few minutes to talk with mom and dad, Okay?”
“Sure. Thanks.” As Karen turned to leave, Paul stopped her. “Karen, can you do me a favor?”
“Sure. What is it?”
I probably won’t see Bryan or Tom before I leave. Can you explain to them…all this?”
“Of course I will.”
Karen hugged her brother again and left the room, closing the door quietly behind her. Paul could hear her talking to their parents, but like earlier, couldn’t make out what was actually being said; only this time he was certain he was the topic of the discussion. Shortly after he heard their conversation go silent, there was a knock at his bedroom door. When Paul opened it, his dad was standing right outside the doorway. “Okay” he said “We won’t talk about it. I’ll give you this one. Can you have your clothes packed in an hour or two? We don’t want to leave too late. It’s a long drive.”
“An hour is fine.” Paul told his dad. His dad nodded and started to turn away. “Dad?”
“I’m…I’m sorry.” Paul’s voice trembled as the words left his mouth. His dad hugged him and for the second time that morning Paul began to cry uncontrollably. His dad held him until he could tell Paul had recomposed himself.
As Paul and his parents pulled out of the driveway, he wondered if he would return with them when his dad’s temporary work assignment had completed. “Only if it feels right” he thought to himself. Paul knew he had been lucky. He thought “If there really is a God, he must be watching over me for some reason.” Paul knew that for whatever reason, he had been given a second chance. He was determined not to blow it.
Copyright © 2015 Mr. Flying Pig