Escape from Oblivion

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It’s inevitable; unavoidable. It’s called small town syndrome at its finest. It’s like a disease, and whomever should catch it is immediately prescribed with an injection of reality and a daily dose of sanity. It’s hard to find but easy to come by; often overlooked though frequently ingested in amounts far too large for anyone to handle. It’s out of control; an epidemic.

I never would have guessed that he was the kind of guy that had allowed himself to become a victim of a massacre such as this, and he couldn’t have known that I would be drawn in as well. I had no intention of turning into a casualty of the infection I had witnessed take it’s toll since childhood, but one taste of the devil and I was fixed; hook, line, sinker. He hadn’t pulled me in, and he wasn’t the one who urged me to take a bite of the forbidden fruit, but he created who I had become, and he hadn’t even known it. He never would have admitted it, but Jake was addicted to the thrill of the life this s*** hole created for him.

He drank like he didn’t have to wake up in the morning, and smoked like it was going out of style, and told us all it was just for fun, but I wasn’t convinced. I knew what he had seen, and the existence he had survived (though “survived” is an understatement). I let him tell me stories about the time he had watched his house burn down, when his mom got cancer, and watching his step dad shoot himself; and with every word I analyzed. I understood. The life he had endured in the past made him prone to the life he was living. The hardships he was forced to accept altered him in such a way that it would have been almost impossible to resist the siren’s song: the escape from reality.

I had seen my hardships as well, with an abusive father who was dead before I hit puberty, and it was only a matter of time until I was hooked. I had been a suicide attempt statistic too many times to count, and I had cuts from my waistline to my feet. I entered Jake’s world as a way to escape mine; and he knew what I was doing and calmly watched like I was some kind of lab rat. So I called him every night and asked him for a fix, and he politely obliged, as if he didn’t know it was my own desperate attempt to escape the pain. As if he didn’t know it was the wrong way to do so. Then reality happened. Jake had a seizure after a long night of partying and long week of cutting weight for wrestling. He was almost sent to rehab and gained temporary short-term memory loss. He’s had five seizures since then, and one opportunity to force his eyes open. Though he swore he never would, though he guaranteed he would go down kicking and screaming, he finally let himself be cured; and with his remedy came my reality. I had let my life get out of control, and I had watched myself fall into a spiraling oblivion, which was only brought to a standstill by a threat to the life of someone I cared about.

He may never know it, but he saved me. He prevented me from digging my hole to deep for me to climb out of, and he unknowingly watched as I filled it back up and stood on flat ground. He was sober, and sane enough to listen to me and comprehend what I was saying. He was clean, and finally willing to let his guard down. He pulled me away from the edge, as I was fighting not to go back. He told me repeatedly how important I was, and how much I mattered. I listened to him say he cared a million times over, and I finally believed it. His fall from grace turned into my long awaited recovery, and his love saved my life.





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PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm
a little bit dark for my taste, but still very good   could you please take a look at and comment on some of my stuff?
 
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