Holy shit… Holy shit… Holy fucking shit…
Once Randall was safely in his bed, under the covers, I stepped outside his bedroom, pulled the door almost closed, and leaned against the wall. I’d tried to act calm for Randall’s sake, but in reality, my heart had been racing this entire time. And then the whole situation finally hit me. Suddenly, I was drenched in sweat, and my whole body started to shiver.
I needed several minutes to take a breather, and even longer so I could make my way to the living room. I collapsed onto the couch and buried my face behind my hands. I was still shaking, and it seemed to be getting worse now that the adrenaline was wearing off.
Holy. Fucking. Shit.
I knew it. I fucking knew it… The second he left the restaurant, I knew. I knew he was out of his mind, that the fear he’d been carrying had finally broken him. I knew I couldn’t leave him alone. I knew he was going to do something to himself. I knew I had to follow him.
I knew it. Holy shit, he really was going to kill himself…
I lowered my hands and watched them shake uncontrollably. I didn’t dare to look into the kitchen. The knife was still there, on the floor, but I wasn’t able to approach it yet. How I’d been able to stop Randall from hurting himself was beyond me. He threatened me with it. He’d pointed it at me.
I took another deep, deep breath and let it come out slowly.
Yet, I didn’t hesitate. Thank god, I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t even stop to think about myself. He wanted to hurt himself, not me. He just wanted me out of the way so he could end… his own life. He was so scared… I couldn’t stop thinking about his bloodied face, his wild eyes filled with pure fear, or his scared voice when he begged to be left alone.
I had seriously fucked up by pressuring him to come grab a bite with me. He’d told me no, and yet I continued asking. I should’ve known better. I knew he had his limits, and I had pushed past them. For my own selfish reasons. This happened because of me, no matter what he said. I should’ve known things with him were this bad.
I fucked up.
It took me a long time to start calming down as I thought about everything he had revealed to me. He was in desperate need of help. He… To think his own father had tried to kill him. This world was so sick sometimes. Sick with sick people. No wonder he was so scared…
I wanted to help him. Now more than ever. No matter what had just happened, I wasn’t going to turn my back on him. If he’d let me help him, I would. Even if he didn’t let me help him, I still would. I could see a glimpse of a gentle man in him. Under all that terror, there was a gentle human being who was still trying, no matter how horrible his life had been.
I had to help him.
Finally, I was able to stand up. I returned to the kitchen and stopped to stare at the bloodied towels on the table, and then at the knife on the floor. I walked to it and crouched down to take it, but when my fingers reached the cold blade, I pulled my hand back like it was on fire. The memories of my own nightmare tried to resurface, and I had to sit down.
As I sat there on the floor, staring at the knife, I felt nauseated. We’d both nearly lost our lives because of hate. These were the times I had to fight to remember there was still good in this world. I had to remember I was stronger now, much stronger than I was when I got stabbed, both physically and mentally. I was able to defend myself and protect those who needed it.
But at that very moment, I didn’t feel strong enough to pick up the knife in front of me. The idea of what could’ve happened if I hadn’t followed my instincts made me sick. I was making myself sick.
I caused this. He nearly lost his life because I pushed him.
I nearly threw up.
The knife looked like it was mocking me. I scolded myself for being such a scaredy-cat as I drew in a deep breath. It was just a kitchen knife. Finally, I was able to take it and put it away. I turned my back on it almost immediately, trying not to remember Randall holding it, ready to…
I shook my head and turned around to see the bedroom door. It was open, and I could hear Randall tossing and turning in his bed. I had the feeling that neither of us would get any sleep tonight. It was still very early, too.
I got myself a glass of water and drank it in one go, still listening to every sound the poor man made while trying to fall asleep. I put the glass away and tiptoed to the door and peered in. Randall was still in his bed, his back turned on me. He was moving restlessly…
I hated myself so much at that moment. He was in great distress because of me and my selfish actions. I could only hope he’d let me make things right.
I retreated from the door and went to turn off most of the lights, and sat back down on the couch.
The way he’d cried against my shoulder… There was so much pain in him it hurt.
“He called me a sissy. Fag. Pig. Whore… The list goes on. For years, I had to watch my every word, do exactly as he said… I failed so many times I got used to the pain.”
How much torture he’d had to go through? I’d noticed several scars on his body. Were they all caused by that sick fuck? Most likely. He did say the one on his forehead was the first of many.
No wonder he reacted the way he did… He’d been through some really fucked up trauma. Because of what? Because he was gay? And it had lasted for years. Years of horrible abuse. Years! He got used to being in pain!
I stood up in anger, but there was nothing I could do. There was no one I could unleash all that anger on.
At least I could keep him safe, and help him the best I could. He really needed to start seeing a good psychologist, preferably Vaughn, the man who had helped me. I’d find out what happened to his so-called father. If he was still alive… He wouldn’t be for too long.
Again, I tried my best to calm down. I couldn’t sit down yet, so I walked around the living room, stopping by the kitchen every now and then, but seeing the knife made me continue my way. I looked around, starting to notice a lot of things. A lot of things that weren’t there.
No curtains. No carpets. Only a couch and a small stand for an older TV. No pictures, no plants, nothing personal, nothing that showed what kind of person he was. Had he moved in just recently? But still, there should’ve been… more. I checked the kitchen too and saw only the most basic things one would need for cooking.
So empty… It was almost cold.
I returned to his bedroom door. Randall had stopped moving now, but I couldn’t tell if he was asleep. The bedroom had only the bed and a wardrobe in it. The sheets were black, just like most of his clothes.
I retreated back to the couch and lay down on it. There were no pillows or blankets anywhere, but I didn’t really need them. I used the armrest as my pillow and pulled my jacket over me, knowing I wouldn’t get any sleep, anyway. I just listened to the sounds in the apartment. Randall was probably asleep now, since I couldn’t hear him move in a long while.
How I wished I could take back time and not push him past his limits… I just… I’d stupidly assumed… Fuck…
But I’d make things right. I’d call my psychologist first thing in the morning. I’d find someone else to cover my shifts and stay with Randall for as long as he needed. I’d do anything to make things right. I’d do anything to help him, no matter what. Even if he refused the help, I was still going to try.
He came to me, after all. He came to my bar that one night and told me he wasn’t doing well at all. He chose to trust me.
And now I could only hope I hadn’t ruined that trust.
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