Chapter: 8 of 43
Other Info: Sequel to Walls
Warnings: Drug-usage, cursing, violence etc
Excerpt: “Mom, I need your help. Come with me, please?” Oddly, he felt clearer headed than he had in weeks. He knew if she didn’t move, he was lost.
His pleading look caused Diana to frown. “What’s the matter honey? What is it?” She noticed the bottle clutched tightly in his fist, and his tearstained face, and quickly got up.
Tossing and turning. Just couldn’t get comfortable. He was so tired he wanted to cry. Why couldn’t he sleep? Why couldn’t he just close his eyes like everyone else and fall asleep? That’s all he wanted to do, to go to bed and sleep like everyone else. He couldn’t take it anymore. His eyes were red and puffy and huge dark bags had formed on top of days old ones. He was so tired. His head, which had ached when he’d gone to bed, now felt as if someone were driving a spike into it, just above his eye. It was faintly nauseating, and only added to his misery. He struggled, vainly, to get comfortable for a few moments more, and then, sighing, climbed out of bed.
“At least…” he thought wearily, “if I can’t get to sleep, I can at least get rid of the headache.”
Taylor got up from his bed and tiptoed his way to the bathroom.
Everything was quiet, so he assumed everyone was asleep. Good.
Once in the bathroom he closed the door and turned on the light. The medicine cabinet was huge and it contained all sorts of colored bottles of liquid and pills. He was looking for a particular one, though. He dug through the many bottles, cough syrups, stomach remedies, allergy pills. Where was the Advil? Two of those, maybe three, would knock the pain back, and take at least one obstacle out of his way. His frustration mounted, as quickly as the pain in his head. There just wasn’t anything in here.
He started to shut the door, pausing when his eye caught the edge of a bottle on it’s side. Was that it? He reached behind a box of alka seltzer, and some old razor blades, and pulled out a bottle, dusty and discolored. He instantly knew it wasn’t the Advil he was seeking, this was a prescription bottle. Curious, he glanced at the label, almost too faded to read. Squinting to make it out, his breath suddenly caught in his throat.
No. It couldn’t be. They wouldn’t. He looked again, convinced sleep deprivation was causing him to hallucinate. No. Right there. Valium. The one thing, he was suddenly sure, was going to help him get to sleep.
Aahhh, there it is, breathed the small, not sane voice in the back of his mind. That’s what you need. Just one. Sleep. Sweet sleep. He looked guiltily at the bottle, after all, it had been the culprit of all his troubles. He started to put it down, when the voice spoke again. Sleep. No more staring at the ceiling, listening to them breathing. Just one. To get to sleep. After the day you’ve had, you need it. He shrugged and opened the bottle. Temptation was big, he took one tablet in his hand and looked at it. Would one be enough? Probably not, better take two.
As he shook the second tablet into his hand, he felt his chin tremble. He stared at his reflection in the mirror. He looked horrible. Hadn’t slept in so long it felt like. The face staring back at him, nearly made him sick. He felt nausea rising in his throat and choked it back. He closed his eyes and swallowed deeply, and the feeling passed. He sagged against the sink and again looked at the two white tablets that lay in his hand. “I can’t,” he thought. Angrily he grabbed the whole bottle and went over to the toilet. He lifted the lid and held the bottle poised over the water. He desperately tried to dump the bottle into the bowl, but he couldn’t.
Insanity spoke to him again. It’s all you’ve got, it’s all there is. Do you want to die of exhaustion? He felt himself cry out, mad at himself, mad at the bottle, most of all mad at the small white pills that had such a hold over him. He felt himself begin to cry now, tears flowing freely over his pale cheeks. He crumpled to the floor and hugged his knees, the bottle still clutched tightly in his fist. Suddenly, just as quickly as the waterworks had started, they stopped. Taylor sat up and sniffed, wiping his nose on the back of his free hand. He climbed off the floor and stood on shaky legs. He left the bathroom, bottle still clutched in fist and headed for the one person he knew would help him.
As quiet as he could, Taylor padded into his parents’ bedroom, and went to his mother’s side of the bed. She was laying, her back to him. Hating to wake her, he just stood over the bed, staring. She looked so peaceful. He was about to leave, but when he saw the bottle still in his hand, he knew he had to wake her or he was going to down some of the pills. It was what he wanted. He wanted those pills so badly he could taste their bitterness sliding down his throat at that very moment. That was why he needed her. She was the only one who would understand.
“Mom,” he whispered. He reached out and gently shook her.
Diana shifted slightly, but didn’t wake.
“Mom,” Taylor said a little more urgently. If she didn’t get up and help him, in about two seconds he would down half the bottle so he could sleep.
Diana rolled over and wearily opened her eyes. “What, what is it Tay?” She muttered thickly.
“Mom, I need your help. Come with me, please?” Oddly, he felt clearer headed than he had in weeks. He knew if she didn’t move, he was lost.
His pleading look caused Diana to frown. “What’s the matter honey? What is it?” She noticed the bottle clutched tightly in his fist, and his tearstained face, and quickly got up. She took his arm and led him out of the room, not wanting to wake Walker.
She led him into the bathroom and flipped on the light, blinking at the harshness of it. Taking the bottle from him, she peered at the label, shock suddenly making her heart race. “Taylor, please tell me you haven’t taken any of those pills, please.”
“No I didn’t. I want to. I have to. I can’t sleep!!! I have to sleep. I really want to. But I didn’t. I haven’t. I need help. You have to help me. You have to help, please, I just I can’t…” Taylor trailed off, losing all words. He just stared at her helplessly, tears welling in his eyes again.
“Okay, shhh, it’s okay. What do you want me to do? How do you want me to help you?” She held him to her and he began to sob, wetting the front of her nightgown.
“I need you to get rid of these. I tried, I can’t. I can’t do it. I’m not strong enough. Please, you have to do this for me, I need you to do this for me,” he was gasping the words out, near hyperventilating.
“Taylor, calm down, sweetie, calm down. You’re ok, you’re fine, shhh,” Diana clutched him tighter, and fought back her own tears.
Taylor pulled away from her suddenly and grabbed her hand. Pressing the bottle into her fist, he implored her. “Do something with them, now! Please!”
Diana took the bottle and walked to the toilet, Taylor grabbing onto her again and clinging to her arm as she went. She turned the bottle upside down and dumped the contents into the toilet.
Taylor watched, transfixed, as the pills swirled in the current then just like that… were gone.
He looked up at her, relief and horror competing for room on his face. His mind was a whirl of conflicting emotions. Relief that they were gone, and no longer a threat.
Fear that now there was nothing to make this bearable. The horrible thought that he would never sleep, just lie there awake night after night forever, until he died or went crazy.
He grabbed for her, desperate, as his legs began to tremble. He was fighting to stay on his feet, struggling with he knew not what, a terrible searing pain that ripped through his head… Unable to stop it, his head fell back, and he screamed, incoherent and wordless, as his legs gave in to the shaking.
Diana caught him, and held him close to her, not speaking, there were no words to sooth this. She held on, not letting him fall, praying that this would end, that he hadn’t just snapped for good.
Walker bolted upright in bed, Taylor’s insane howl of rage, and grief having ripped through the wall of sleep like a knife. Not having any idea what was going on, he was out of bed and down the hall before he was even aware he was moving.
The scene that greeted him halted him in his tracks, and wiped the last vestiges of sleep from his mind.
Seeing Diana struggling to keep a limp and trembling Taylor on his feet, he stepped in swiftly, picking the boy up, and signaled his wife to follow him.
Walker bypassed Taylor’s room, in favor of his own. He wasn’t sure why he did this, instinct was screaming at him that this was crisis… to keep him close. He gently laid his son down on his bed, thinking at first that he was unconscious, so limp did he feel. He was surprised to see blue eyes staring up at him, wild eyes filled with fear, and tears. His hands moved to Taylor’s hair, his face, somehow knowing that physical contact was what would hold him here. Something inside him was screaming that they were losing him, that whatever was going on here… unable to think, he started to look to Diana for an explanation, when his son’s hands suddenly gripped his, the nails digging in, bringing blood.
Taylor was desperate. He just didn’t know what to do anymore. He clutched his dad’s hands, panicky, unaware that he was hurting him, and the words he’d been holding in, afraid to speak, tumbled out, uncontrollable.
“Dad, I’m sorry…” His voice was barely coherent, choked with sobs… “I didn’t mean it, I swear to you, I didn’t mean it, I didn’t take any, I just couldn’t sleep, I have to sleep, Please…” His words dissolved into hysterical crying, he couldn’t keep going.
Not understanding what was going on, he looked to Diana. Wordless, she held out the empty Valium bottle. The color drained out of his face, and she read the unspoken question there. She shook her head.
“He didn’t take any. He woke me up. He was going to… He made me throw them away…”
Walker’s eyes were huge, as he pulled Taylor up, holding him tightly. Wordless, his own heart breaking, he held the boy close. Taylor’s arms went around him, almost painfully tight, and Walker heard whispered words.
Taylor didn’t really know he was talking. Some wall in him had finally crumbled, and everything he’d been afraid of, everything he’d hidden, was spilling out. He grabbed out blindly, for his mother, and pulled her in close to him, holding them both, praying that they were really here. Unable to help himself, the words flooded out.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t take any. You won’t make me leave will you? Please don’t make me leave, I love you, I won’t do it again, I want to stay… God, I didn’t mean it…”
Puzzled, Diana gently pushed him back a little, to look at him.
“Taylor!” She raised her voice, she wanted him to hear her. Her firm tone slowed his hysterical babble, and he managed to look into her eye. She continued, “Taylor what is this? Why would we make you leave? What is it you’re afraid of?”
He shook his head, “No, no, they told me, they told me…”
Walker interrupted him this time. “Who Tay? Who told you what?” Taylor couldn’t answer, his words dissolved again into sobs, and he clung to them.
Looking at each other, their eyes showing their helplessness and confusion, they sat with him, waiting.
Walker sat watching his son sleep. As his sobs had begun to taper off, Diana had laid down next to him, stroking his hair and singing softly. She’d sung him to sleep when he was little, and she still did whenever he was sick, or upset. True to form, it had worked this time too. When she’d been certain he was completely out, she’d quietly left the bedroom. Walker didn’t know where she’d gone. He knew she’d want to be alone, and he respected it. He sat here, watching his son’s uneasy sleep, and prayed that his dreams were more peaceful than the knit brow and restlessness let on.