The first door I came to was the room of the only ‘adult’ in the house, a century old girl named Jessica. On paper, she owned the house and she was our ‘legal guardian’ but that title was just to keep the government happy. I owned much more money than we needed stored away that I used to buy the house, the garden and the acres of land behind it but it was all in Jessica’s name.
Poking my head round the blue door that was slightly ajar, I peered into the room. As usual, it smelled like hair spray and nail polish and it looked like a fabric tornado had hit recently. Lying on her stomach on the unmade double bed was Jessica, reading some dodgy looking magazine and listening to her precious iPod. Although her headphones were in, I could hear that she was listening to some song by MCR that had impressive guitar solos.
“Jess?” I raised my voice a little over the music. She bobbed her head in time with the music and didn’t respond. Jessica!
That got her attention. Yanking the headphones from her ears, she spun round on the bed to face me. “Woops! Sorry Wolvero. I’ve managed to buy a copy of MCR’s ‘Danger Days’; finally!” She grinned at me and discretely closed the magazine.
“Are you coming down to get breakfast? I think there are some eggs and a few bits of bacon left.”
Jess looked at the purple clock on a poster covered wall and her eyes widened. “Ohmygosh! I’ve been in bed that long?” But I could tell she had been out of bed already. She was wearing very short denim shorts; purple tights and an MCR tour t-shirt. Her cropped dyed blonde hair was freshly brushed and sprayed, hence the smell, and her heavy make-up looked like it took half the day to prepare. So, no, she hadn’t been in bed that long. You’ve been doing... other things.
Jess grimaced sheepishly and clambered to her feet. Although she looked old enough to be my mother, she dressed her body and attitude in the style of the new generation. When I first met her, she was wearing a flowery apron and had her long brown hair tied up in a bun. She called her current appearance, ‘blending in’.
I rolled my eyes and smiled as I walked out the door and into the hall again. I passed a couple of doors that had stickers, bits of paper and name plaques on them. They both had two name plaques each; Kane and Sam’s room, Jamie and Regan’s room. Because I knew all four of them were downstairs poking Regan’s healing head, I passed them. I passed a few more doors which were where the others resided. My room was at the end of the hall and I realised that I had left my door open in my haste this morning. I walked over to close it and that’s when felt pain.
The door on the left of mine was also ajar. The curtains were drawn and there was no light emanating from it. There were quiet broken sobs coming from inside Jonathan’s room and I could sense that he was in there. Softly pushing open the door, I dreaded what I could smell he had been doing. A used needle had been thrown across the room in a fit of anger and despair; a black shape was curled up on the floor and was shaking violently.
Walking over to kneel by him, I carefully uncurled Jonathan from his ball and hugged his head and whispered to him. It’s ok. It’ll be over in a while. It won’t last too long, I’m here.
His shaking continued for a few more minutes until, finally, his breathing slowed and his started to sit up. His eyes were red and puffy and his floppy black hair was sticking to his forehead where his tears had flowed before I came by. He sniffed like a child and hugged me in a show of complete openness. Stroking his hair, I gently rocked him until he started drifting into sleep. I put him in his bed as he started to snore softly and I looked down at his still form. I didn’t like what he did to himself any more than he did but yet he persisted to try again and again. Shaking my head sadly, I started to stand up from my kneeling position when I saw Sam. He stood in the doorway looking at Jonathan with a mixed look of sympathy and contempt.
“He’s been through tough times Sam,” I said in answer to his unspoken question.
“But why?” Sam was shivering as if a breeze was blowing down the hall. “He’s just wasting his time.”
I couldn’t answer him; I had no answer.