The sun coming through the window flickers with the shadows of the oak tree’s thousands of leaves. The shadows makes it easy for Solace to groggily open his eyes. It’s been four days since his transplant and the only visitors he’s had were the nurses and a very irritated doctor. He was able to convince a nurse to tell him how Andy was doing, luckily his surgery went fine and he’s being discharged in a day or two. He also found out his friends aren’t speaking to him because they think he has been getting high.

The door slides open and a nurse walks in to check on him. The disappointment of it not being one of the group is too much, the tears roll regardless of how hard he tries. “I’m sorry dear, I know it hurts but I’m not allowed to give you anymore meds. You understand don’t you?” She goes on but he barely pays attention after that.

The rest of the day is the same, the door opens and he hopes, gets disappointed and cries. The barrier of bearable and unbearable is long since passed. The lines of grief on his face sink deeper like the cascade of sand though your fingers. That’s when the hospital’s drugs stop working and the unholy pain starts surging though Solace’s body. Four nurses and a physician on staff are needed to hold him down and administer a sedative.

“There is nothing we did to cause the mental breakdown. We ran all the necessary test and none of the medications we are giving him are conflicting with each other, neither are they causing an allergic reaction.”

“Could it have been the drug abuse?”

“I can’t imagine any other explanation.”

The blurry shape of Jacob in his tweed golf hat standing at the door brings the tiniest of smiles to Solace’s face. He wants to reach out a hand and touch him, but he can only manage to twitch his fingers for now.

Please look over at me, just once more before you leave forever.

“Is there anything else we can do, should I dig though his things for any clues on how you might help him?”

“Son, its best you say good bye while you have the chance.” The doctor leaves the room, Jacobs is left staring at the floor. He walks over to the bed and picks up Solace’s chart. “Chemically induced psychosis.”

Slowly Solace finds him, he ca barely recognize his oldest friend. The tattered pea coat, unshaven face, and swollen eyes all point to a person who desperately wishes they could have stopped giving a shit a long time ago, but cannot.

“Why Solace? Why did you get stoned on your night at watch? If Cas hadn’t gone to take your dinner the Mercs would have made it all the way to the house without us knowing.”

Solace’s lips tremble, he tries to force his words out to no avail. He tries to blink a response to Jacob but he turns in anger before the message is complete.

“You asshole, you fucking asshole. I should just take everyone and leave you here.” He turns back, “shouldn’t I? Say something, don’t just blink like an idiot. You junkie fuck, talk to me!”

Before Jacob could stop himself he throws the Chart in his hand at Solace. The metal clipboard slams directly into Solace’s face, it takes everything in Jacobs’s power to hide the deep feeling of shame. Not from Solace, from himself.  The chart slides off his face, revealing a pouring gash on Solace’s upper lip. Tears stream down his cheeks, he closes his eyes and with tremendous effort, whipers “Tea.”

Shame was replaced by anger, then by utter sadness. His friend was truly gone. He walks past the nurse carrying Solace’s request. He walks down the hall and into a stairwell. A few hours later Patricia will find him, still weeping.


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