She wouldn’t do this to me. No matter what was going on with her, she wouldn’t do this to me. That’s the only thought I’m willing to hold on to while the doctor walks into her room and begins checking her vitals. He uses his stethoscope and places it on her chest to check for her heartbeat.
He slowly pulls it away from her and before he can even turn around, I already know what he’s going to say. I know, because I knew from the moment I saw those bottles and saw her lying there.
“I’m so sorry, Knox,” he says with sympathy in his voice. “She’s no longer with us.”
I let out a gut-wrenching scream as I fall to my knees, clutching my face in my hands. Sobs rip out of me. “No! No! She wouldn’t fucking do this to me! She wouldn’t!” I chant as sob after sob rips out of me.
It feels like someone just stabbed me in the chest and the pain gripping me is unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. It’s crushing me from deep within my soul, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get rid of this feeling.
“I’ll call the funeral home for you,” he says, before he walks out of the room. I sit there on the floor, rocking myself back and forth for a few moments before looking over at her lifeless body once again. A fresh wave of tears slips down my face.
“How could you do this to me, Mom?” I scream at her lifeless form, a surge of anger hitting me. “I get that you weren’t happy, but how could you leave me! Wasn’t I enough of a reason for you to stay?” I sob my questions, even though she’ll never respond to me ever again. I’ll never hear her voice again.
I sit there sobbing until the people from the funeral home come to take her away. Dr. Stevens let them in. I thought he had left. Well, he is friends with my parents, so maybe that’s why he’s still here.
“Knox?” Dr. Stevens asks, and I look over at him. My mind is foggy and I can’t pay attention to much else right now. “Would you like me to call your father for you, or would you like to do it yourself?”
“I–I’ll do it,” I tell him. “Can you make sure they get her to the funeral home and everything? I don’t think I have the strength to get it done or drive,” I say in a voice that sounds as hollow and broken as I feel.
“Absolutely. Don’t worry about it, son,” he says. I don’t know if it’s an old people thing, but he’s always called me son whenever he was around.
“Thank you,” I manage to tell him before he walks out of the room once again, leaving to make sure they take care of my mom. I should be the good son she deserves and do it myself, but I feel too fucking raw and shattered right now. I would probably lash out at people.
I look at the time and see that it’s after ten p.m. here. There’s a one-hour time difference between Riverside and New York, so that will make it after eleven. He should still be awake.
Knowing I can’t hold it off any longer, I dial my father’s number. It takes a few minutes before he answers and I’m annoyed that he took so long.
“Knox?” he questions when he answers. “Is everything alright, son?”
“Dad… It–it’s Mom. She’s dead,” I say as a fresh wave of tears stream down my face. In truth, I don’t even know if I’ve stopped crying since I found her body. The image of her like that will forever be burned into my brain.
“Dead? What do you mean dead?” he asks, sounding more alert now.
“She killed herself!” I snap at him through the phone, feeling the anger course through my veins once again. I don’t know what to do with all these feelings bombarding me and I need an outlet for it before it fucking consumes me to the point of dying myself.
“Calm down, son. I’ll be there as soon as I can,” he says as I hear shuffling around as though he’s already on his feet.
“Okay–” I whisper out and then cut the call off.
The next thing I do is call Asher because I don’t think I can be alone in this state, especially with my thoughts of killing myself running through my head. He doesn’t answer on the first try, so I call again.
“What’s up, fucker?” he asks, and I hear music coming from the background. Fuck, I forgot they were going to the party.
“I need you guys to come over now. I-it’s Mom…” I say, trailing off when the sobs threaten to choke me. He definitely picked up on the tone and misery in my voice because he became more alert than when he first answered.
“I’ll be right over,” he says before hanging up.
I take the sheets off her bed. I have no idea why when the housekeepers can do it, but I guess I don’t want anyone else to touch anything of hers. When I lift the pillows, an envelope with my name on it falls off the bed. I pick it up and look at it as I walk into my room. I put it in my nightstand drawer. I don’t think I can bear to read it right now. I need some time before I can handle that. I recognize her handwriting on the envelope.
Once I’m done, I walk downstairs to the kitchen and grab a bottle of scotch from the liquor cabinet and down a shot right from the bottle. I realize I need more, so I keep drinking and drinking until I’m halfway done with the bottle. Just then, the guys come in, all of them—Asher, Axel, and Ezra.
“Knox? What the hell happened, bro?” Asher asks as he walks over to me.
They can instantly tell something is wrong because one—I’m drinking scotch like water, which is rare for me, and two—I’m sure my expression alone must look haunted and pain filled. There is nothing I can do about it. There’s no way to fix this. This will be a lifelong memory with too much pain. I try to will my emotions away, but who the hell am I kidding? I can’t hide from my best friends and right now, I don’t want to. I need them.
“Mom–my mom. She fucking killed herself!” I suddenly roar, entering the kitchen, then guzzle down some more scotch before taking the bottle and flinging it against the wall. It shatters into pieces, just like I am.
“Fuck!” I hear, before they’re all rushing over to me. I’m engulfed with their arms around me, in a tight circle. Emotions fill me again as I break down for what must be the millionth time tonight.