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I can tell George is sad. I hung up the phone when I could tell he was going to cry. If I hear him cry, I’ll cry. And I don’t want to cry. I should feel sad, or at least feel guilty for not feeling sad.
He says it was his fault. The first time he said so I told him it wasn’t. Now I don’t say anything. Not that I have anything to say. Truthfully, I can think of a hundred ways it could be George’s fault. He could have stopped Daniel from drinking so much that night. He could have stopped Terra from smoking so much weed. He could have driven them home. He could have answered his phone when Daniel called him from the car.
I don’t even think about these things too much though. Because I can also think of a hundred ways it could be my fault. I know what Terra’s like when she’s high. I could have convinced her not to ride with Daniel. I could have convinced her to stay with me at the party and grind on all the sweaty stoned guys.
I haven’t left the house since the accident. I haven’t done much of anything. I haven’t even taken a shower or changed my clothes. God, I’ve been wearing the same disgusting, sweaty, pot-smelling clothes for three days. I keep wanting to call George, but every time I think about it, I find something else to do, like watching Discovery Health or eating pretzels. I want him to call me first. George went to visit Daniel in the hospital yesterday, but he didn’t tell me any details. Just that he went. We haven’t mentioned Terra’s name at all on the phone. I know it’s because George will cry if he does, and I sure don’t want to say it.
I go into the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror for the first time in three days. I’m still wearing the eyeliner I wore to the party, except it’s caked into the corners of my eyes. I’ve got zits covering my chin and a few more covering my forehead. My hair doesn’t look so much dirty as it does messy. I self-consciously run fingers through it, then feel stupid for thinking about it. I pull it back with my hand. I could take a shower. It wouldn’t be too hard. I reach for the shower curtain to pull it back. I turn on the hot water, and begin removing my clothes. They still smell like pot after three days. I stand on the bathroom floor naked, and climb into the shower. The mud my dirty feet make leaves prints on the bathtub. The boiling hot water rushes over me. It burns but feels good. I tilt my head back and begin to wet my hair. Hot water pools in my closed eyelids and its burns. I shoot foreword, gasping and rubbing my burned eyes. It hurts a lot. I begin to cry. I’m sobbing by the time my eyes stop hurting.
I cry for a good long time, without a conscious thought registering in my mind. I grasp the cold plastic of the shower curtain, as if it’s the only thing keeping me from falling. I should go see Daniel. I should call George. I should’ve talked to Terra when I had the chance. I begin sobbing harder than ever. I am screaming and crying with my mouth wide open and my eyes closed. I tilt my head back into the hot water and burn my eyes again. It doesn’t hurt as much this time, but I still cry. When I’ve cried as much as I possibly can, my breath starts coming in short gasps. The tears are still falling, but I’m no longer sobbing. I stagger out of the shower and stand on the bathmat, dripping on top of my disgusting clothes that probably still have some weed in the pockets. The mirror is fogged up. I automatically wipe it clean and stare at my reflection. I wipe my eyes and squeeze the water from my hair. I’m still shaking, but I feel much cleaner than before.





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