“Ethan, would you please pass the potatoes?” my father asked politely, and I tried to hide the smile on my face. Justin and Cassidy were over for dinner. Let’s just say my parents were a little on edge. Justin was the first guy, in the two years they’d known me, that I had brought home. Justin was very good at small talk and he quickly had my family charmed. Even Ethan, who was in a bit of a surly phase, thought he was cool. Cassidy spoke up, causing my musings to end, “Sabrina, could I have some more of the Scooby Corbanaro.” I smiled at her, before passing the Goopy Carbonara to Justin. He nudged her, “What do you say?” She sighed heavily, before elbowing him in the ribs gently,
“Thank you.” I nodded my head, before going back to the conversation.
The room grew quiet when my phone began to trill loudly in the kitchen. I stood up, my cheeks red, “Excuse me, I’ll go turn that off.” I rushed into the kitchen, knowing that Justin was probably laughing. I grabbed my phone just in time to see Raj’s number flash on the screen. I nearly hung up on him, but it was the first time in three months since he just showed up in the driveway. Hesitantly, I answered, “Hello?”
“Lauryn….you answered…I wasn’t sure you’d pick up…..”
I groaned, “And…..?”
“Oh…uh….well I was going to tell you in the voicemail, but….here goes nothing…. Despite everything I’ve done to you, I can’t accept your forgiveness…the guilt is consuming my life. Every second I’m here, I just want to crawl inside a bottle and drown my sorrows. So…I’m calling to tell you I love you….and goodbye.”
Justin stuck his head in the kitchen but I held up my finger, “Raj, what do you mean goodbye? Where are you going?”
“I’m sorry, I really thought I could just leave a voicemail for you, but I can’t stop thinking about him and what I did. I can’t stand living anymore…..”
I rushed past Justin, mouthing I’m sorry, “No, Raj, stay on the line with me, I’ll come see you to say goodbye, okay? Please don’t go anywhere yet. What’s your address?”
He hung up after assuring me that he wouldn’t do anything yet. I was putting on my coat when I remembered Justin. I was torn inside,. did I stay with Justin and finish my dinner, or make sure that Raj is alright. After everything we’ve been through, hell, despite,
what we’ve been through, I still felt this strong loyalty to him. I would never be in love with him again, but there was no way I could knowingly let him kill himself. I took a deep breath, and prepared to face Justin, hoping by some miracle that he would understand.
I ran back to the kitchen, “I’m so sorry, hon. I can’t just let him kill himself. I know it’s hard to understand, but he saved my life….it’s only right that I save his.” Justin pulled my hand util we were standing on the outside porch, safely away from my parents hearing us, “Do you actually hear yourself, Sabrina?! This is the same man who shot you, and killed your unborn child.” My eyes flashed simultaneously, with an anger and hurt, “You think I don’t know that? I die inside every day when I wake up and think I hear my baby crying. You don’t think I’m upset? Sometimes I’m so mad at him, I just stand there shaking.”
He looked at me incredulously, “Then how the hell, can you justify helping him?! The planet would be better off if he went through with it. What if he’s just trying to manipulate you into falling for him again.” I snorted in the most unladylike fashion, “How naive do you think I am, Justin? I don’t love him anymore, but I want to help him. It’s not his fault that he’s sick. My “mom”, Maria, had the same sickness, and wherever the hell she is, I’m sure she still does. I’m sorry if you can’t understand. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go stop him from killing himself.” Justin held on to my arm as I walked away, his voice hoarse with tears, “Sabrina, I’m falling for you……hard, but I can’t be with you if he’s a part of your life. Cassidy deserves better from me.” A sob escaped from my throat as I nodded, “I understand, Justin, I really do, but if I don’t help him, no one will.” He let go of my hand, a single tear running down his cheek.
I could barely see through my tears as I drove to Raj’s house, if you could call it that, it was more of a shack. I knocked softly before pushing on the door, “Raj? Are you in here?” I stepped inside, but I could barely stop from gagging on the smell. It was dirty, and it smelled as if he hadn’t bathed in weeks. My eyes adjusted to the dim lights before I saw him leaning against the wall, “Raj?” His eyes popped open, and I saw the gleam of the gun in his hand. He lifted his hand shakily, beckoning me closer, and I inched my way towards him. He hung his head and began sobbing, “I can’t do this anymore, baby. I’m so tired….Please let me go….” I shook my head before pulling him close to me, ignoring the urge to gag. I held his face in my lap, stroking his hair, and humming softly. He loosened his grip on the gun, but it was still out of my reach.
He held his head up and focused his gaze on me, “What did you name him?”
I whispered in his ear, “Baby, let’s not talk about that, okay? It’s in the past.”
He grunted, “No! Before I die, I need to know my sons name…”
I held my hand out, “Raj, after what happened to us, I went to a shelter, and while there, I met with a therapist almost every day. She really changed my life, and I think she could help you too.”
He shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t need a shrink….I have my sponsor.”
I smiled, “That’s right, but I bet you, he would say the same thing to you. Raj, I’ll tell you our son’s name, but first, you need to get some rest.” He moved away from me, “I’m not a child, don’t mother me,” but he made his way towards the bedroom. I held out my hand, “Raj, you don’t need your gun if you’re asleep, alright? Let’s put it here on the counter….good job…now lets get you in the tub for a nice, steamy shower, okay? It’ll help you feel better.”
He nodded slowly, following me into the bathroom. I turned on the shower, and grabbed him a fresh towel. As he began to undress, I let him have his privacy. I made my way into the bedroom before stripping the bed. I managed to find a clean sheet, and some comfy pajamas for him. I knocked on the door, before sliding the clean clothes under the door, “I’ll be in the bedroom when you’re done, okay?” I heard him sigh sadly, but I made myself sit on the bed and wait.
When he emerged as a cleaner, fresher man, I smiled gently, “Feels good, huh?” Again, he nodded slowly, but said nothing. He laid down on his pillow and stared at the ceiling. I laid next to him, putting my hand on his forehead, “After I got out of the hospital, I didn’t get out of bed for at least two weeks. Not a night went by that I wanted to die, just to be able to hold our son, but you know what kept me going?”, I waited for him to respond, but he just turned his head to look at me so I continued, “My roommate at the time, Stella, she was such a happy, perky person, and she used to talk to me when I was holed up in bed. Even when I didn’t answer, she would tell me about herself, ask me how my day was. Her life was way worse than mine, and yet, here she was this cheerful and optimistic person. If her life could get better, so could mine………and yours too.” I looked over at Raj. His eyes were filled with tears, and he whispered, “I’m so sorry….” I held him close, “I know, baby, I know you are. Why don’t you try to sleep and when you wake up, we’ll go see the doctor together, okay?” His eyelids were trying to fight the urge to sleep, but I rubbed his forehead, just as my “mom” used to do to me when I couldn’t sleep. Once he was snoring softly, I tiptoed into the kitchen. I grabbed the gun off of the counter, before walking outside and tossing it in the neighbor’s trash. I hurried back inside, calling 911, “911, what your emergency?”
“Hi, my….uh….friend is suicidal, and I managed to get him to sleep, but I’m worried he’ll do something if I leave him. What do I do?”
“You are a great friend, ma’am. When he wakes up, take him to the Sunset Valley Emergency room, and they’ll keep him there for 36 hours or until they feel that he is not a threat to himself.”
“Sounds good. Thank you.”
I waited in the house, cleaning up what I could, until Raj woke up, almost four hours later. I got him to get dressed before driving him to the hospital. As we waited in the waiting room, he sighed deeply, “You never told me his name.” I winced internally, but nodded soothingly. An orderly came over to us, and began to escort Raj to a wheelchair. Raj turned around to me, refusing to move. I took his hand and leaned close to his ear, “I named him Christopher Franklin Kishvi.” Raj broke down into sobs as they wheeled him away. I walked out of the hospital, my whole body trembling. It seemed like it took an eternity to drive home, but when I made it through the front door, my mother took one look at my face and pulled me into her arms. It was only then that I began to sob and cry.
~~~~~IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS CONSIDERING OR THREATENING TO COMMIT SUICIDE, DON’T HESITATE TO CALL 1-800-273-8255, OR 911. SAVE A LIFE, BECAUSE EVERY LIFE MATTERS~~~