never ending race.
*a reply to Fergie's bulletin. Please check out his work - he's one of the most talented writers I know, and I feel really lucky to be creating with him.
His words seem to cut through me like a knife. There was some truth behind them, of course, but that didn’t make it better. “I’m not Stone, the comparisons need to stop.” He was right - he wasn’t Stone. But I expected him to at the very least, understand. Understand my anger and my fears. Understand WHY I was yelling at him in the first place. Was I being a little hypocritical? Sure. I did like to dip my nose into the white lady every now and then - but I knew when enough was enough, and I knew not to bring it around the kids. Our kids.
“F*** you,” the words flew out of my mouth quicker than I thought they would, but I don’t regret them. He had no right bringing drugs into our home, keeping them around our babies. He had no right throwing my relationship with Stone in my face. He had no right to be angry with me, for being angry with him. My anger builds with each word he speaks, but I try to be understanding. I get what it’s like to want to silence the voices in your head - to put on a mask that hides you from the harsh realities of the world. I know he meant well, and that he wasn’t actively looking to hurt me or our kids, but… his actions said otherwise.
“Do you think it’s fair to Lilah for you to be doing this? Genuine question, Fergie. Because she already lost a dad, and it took a long time for her to get over that. She’s too young to be losing another one. And Apollo?? Do you think it’s fair to him? He’s two months old, don’t you… don’t you think about him?” I take a seat on the edge of the bed, tears staining red cheeks. I didn’t care if he saw me cry, I needed him to feel what I felt. Feel the fear that rushed through my body the second I found the baggie. “You can call me a hypocrite all you want, Ferg. But these kids… OUR kids, they’re my life. I won’t allow them in a situation where their safety is in jeopardy..”
It wasn’t a threat, or an ultimatum. It was the truth.
My head hangs low as he speaks, fingernails picking at the skin around my cuticles. “My feelings don’t matter.” I wanted to stop him - to tell him that they do matter. That he matters. It’s the only reason I brought any of this up, because he matters. But I allow him to continue, watching as he walks to the window on the opposite side of our bedroom.
“I’ll flush it.”
I wasn’t sure I trusted him enough to do it. But I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, to show him that I had faith that he would do the right thing. Exhaling a sigh, my free hand reaches up to wipe at the remaining tears that stained my skin, and I stand, slowly making my way over to my husband. I hesitate with my movements, hands reaching for his face, holding him for a moment so our eyes can meet. “I’m sorry… I know that you’re struggling. I didn’t realize how bad, and I feel awful for that.” My thumb moves across his cheek, caressing his bearded skin. “I love you, and I’m scared - I didn’t.. I didn’t know you were using again. And it brought back bad feelings.”
My hands drop then, and my feet begin to pace in front of him, walking back and forth in an attempt to ease the anxiety that had crept up on me. “I didn’t know Stone was using again when he died. I could have saved him if I did. Not that… Not that I think that would change anything between him and I - we really weren’t good for each other, and I’m sure we would have ended up divorced or something anyway. But.. I could have saved him.”
Word vomit. It was hard to stop once I started.
“And I freaked out because I.. I can’t handle finding you face down on the bathroom floor. It would ruin me. I’m trying to save you, because I couldn’t save him. Don’t you get it? You.. you’re everything to me and I need you to stay alive, okay? Because if you don’t.. If you don’t, then I don’t know what I’ll do with myself or with the kids, or with the dog, or with anything. I need you to stay alive. Please..” My eyes sting from crying as they find his once again, a shaky hand reaching out to hand him the baggy.
“Please…” I plead.
I know my husband is a good man - he has his flaws just like everyone else, and I don’t fault him for that. I don’t fault him for fighting his demons or for giving into the temptation that I’ve narrowly avoided myself. I don’t fault him for falling back into a cycle that’s so difficult to get out of. I don’t fault him for anything, really. I’m scared that one day, he won’t be able to get himself out of this never ending race - that he’ll find euphoria in the presence of only the devil himself.
I don’t need much to live a happy life, but I need him.
I've already lived life without Ferg once, I know I couldn't do it again. And I don't know where we'll go from here, or how we'll make our way out of this cycle - but I'll do anything to keep him safe.