It took me a couple hours but eventually I picked up the courage to go to the diner and tell Graham to fuck his job and his drugs and to give me my money before I called the cops on him. Even if doing so would land me in jail as well. I marched down there, storming into the diner with my head held high. Except the place was almost empty. I wandered into the back room, heading for the office but it was locked. Okay then, that’s not too weird. Graham was always in there during the day. I wandered back out, grabbing the attention of one of the day waitresses. I didn’t know them so well, according to Cindy they were the classier, less desperate whores who were doing it more for fun than money.
“Where’s Graham?” I asked, still confused by everything.
“You didn’t hear?” she asked and I shook my head. Obviously I didn’t, you daft cow. “He got busted by the cops”
I froze. What? That... That’s not possible...
She pushed past me as a guy I recognised from school walked in. He barely glanced at me as I left, heading back to Damien’s place. There was only one explanation for it; Phil. Phil had ratted Graham out just to spite me. I burst through the front door once I got back, seeing Phil chillaxing in front of the TV. You can play it cool all you like, bitch, I’m onto you.
"You" I glared.
He looked up and I kept glaring.
"I don't know how you did it without evidence but I better get my fucking money"
"What're you talking about?" he asked, acting all confused.
"Graham got arrested last night" I said angrily.
"Right... and what makes you think that's because of me?"
"Weren't you the one asking me this morning what I'd do if he got arrested?"
"That doesn't mean I got him arrested. I hadn't even considered the possibility of getting him arrested til earlier when I mentioned it"
I glared at him again.
"I'm not the one that hates you being a prostitute. Could've been Damien for all you know"
“Have you seen him since he went out earlier?"
I shook my head.
"Well there you go. We're both as likely as each other to have gotten him arrested, but you're willing to jump to the conclusion that it was me?" he asked, returning the glare.
I pulled out the grumpy face and he shrugged.
"It wasn't me, and Damien wouldn't be brave enough to go to the cops. But whoever it was, I'd like to buy them a drink" he said and turned his attention back to the TV.
I stood in front of the TV, keeping up the grumpy face. He looked at me.
"What? It wasn't me"
I stormed upstairs at that. Phil stayed downstairs and I paced around Damien’s room, grumbling to myself about Graham getting arrested and not having any money for drugs. I’d given up pacing after a few hours and was sulking on Damien’s bed when Phil came up.
"Have you heard anything from Damien?" he asked and I shook my head.
"In case you hadn't noticed, he hasn't been back all day, even though he said he was only going to get some weed" he scowled.
I instantly thought the worst had happened. Phil sighed and I followed him as he went downstairs. He tried calling Damien and I felt myself get that little bit more worried when there was no answer. I bit my lip when Phil tried him again, still not getting an answer.
"Feel free to try calling him too"
I tried him a few times, almost having a panic attack when there was still no answer. Phil seemed more pissed off than worried, though.
"Are we gonna go look for him?” I asked.
"Any idea where he'd be?"
"With Rayn? At the bar? I don't know”
He let out a frustrated sigh. "You go look in places you think he'd be. I'll see if any of the drug dens are still where they used to be"
I nodded, searching all the places I thought he might’ve gone but he was nowhere to be found. I jumped as my phone started ringing. I wasn’t sure whether to feel worried or relieved when I saw it was Damien calling me.
"Damien? Where are you?"
"It's Phil. I found him"
"Where is he? Is he okay?"
"I got him in the car. I think he's okay. He's breathing, at least" I heard the sound of a car engine starting and guessed he was taking Damien somewhere.
"Are you taking him back home?"
"I'll be there as soon as I can"
"'Kay" he said and hung up.
I rushed upstairs the second I got to Damien’s place, finding him laid out on the bed and Phil sat with him. He kind of opened his eyes and gave me this weird stoned smile.
"There's a party in my head"
I smothered him in a hug, pulling back when he didn’t hug back. It hurt but I just had to hope it was because he was too stoned to really do anything.
"That's because you spent fuck knows how long passed out in an alley with nothing on" Phil said, not looking all that pleased about it.
Phil shrugged. "He was lying in an alley with nothing on when I found him"
Wait, what? So he probably got molested at some point as well. Great.
"Sold my clothes for a hit" Damien mumbled, flashing that stoned smile again.
"What happened to the money I gave you?"
"I spent it on weed. And then I wanted some smack" he hummed.
I said nothing and Phil just sat there all scowley.
"Should've gone to Rayn's" Damien giggled, "he'd have given me smack to keep my clothes on "
I smiled slightly and he hummed, snuggling his pillow. I stood there, unsure of what to do.
"And then they kicked me out 'cause I couldn't afford any more. And then Phil found me" Damien mumbled, smiling, "he always comes back for me"
I felt the corners of my mouth tug down slightly. "I'll just..." I whispered, backing out of the room quietly.
I left the house as quietly as possible, following my feet along the sidewalk to nowhere in particular. At least they’d be happier without me, right? I mean, Phil would get what he wanted and Damien would have someone better to fall back on. Someone more reliable, more sensible. Someone who wasn't like me...