Three hours… Three hours had passed, and Tony was becoming increasingly anxious.
"HEYY!" His voice rang out through the valley.
"HHEEYYYYYYY!?" It was pointless, and Tony knew it.
The only signs of life were the stars, and as beautiful as they were, those glistening balls of gas offered no solution to his situation.
As he lay there, in a tangled mess of rubber, and scrap metal, he could not help but laugh; his parents were right, he had been the cause of his own demise.
The turning point of Tony’s life had began less than twelve months ago, when an impending realization had occurred, after suffering a debilitating injury. Spending six months essentially sedentary, excluding the frequent trips to the hospital. Months spent lying in his bed, sprawled on the couch, or slumped on the floor had taken their toll on his mental state. Tony figured he was just going through a rough patch; however, his General Practitioner disagreed, slipping a wad of prescription pads in his hand as he ushered Tony and his crutches out of his office.
“What is wrong with me?” He wondered.
“Why is this happening to me?” Anxious thoughts jostling about, which he seemed to have all but lost control of. It was a clear Tuesday afternoon in late April, the sun cast long dark shadows across the concrete jungle. The light piercing Tony’s eyes through the spaces between the buildings brought back fond memories of family camping trips, playing flashlight tag, and the sweet crackle of a perfectly roasted marshmallow. Tony had paused in an opening next to a used car dealership, reminiscing of simpler times.
“Woodstock was 35 years ago ya hippie!” An obscenity yelled from a passing car quickly brought him back to reality. There would be no more family camping trips, and things in life were becoming increasingly complicated by the day.
Glancing down at his watch, Tony figured he had about thirty minutes of daylight left. Quickly doing the math in his head, he set off toward the chemist at a pace he felt he had not travelled at in many months. I’m going to open her up, see what these babies can do! He thought, laughing at the quote from one of his favourite movies. As he neared the chemist, his heart skipped a beat as he contemplated what kind of drugs are they giving me today?
“Hi there, I have these scripts I need filled please.” The lady behind the counter approached cautiously, inspecting every inch of his person,
“Certainly young man, and do you have some form of photo identification on you?” Her pitch seemed to waver as she spoke,
“I do.” He quickly replied,
“Could I see it then?”
“Why do you need to see my ID? My name is written on all four of those scripts.” It had been a long day, and Tony just wanted to be back home, resting his leg.
The lady behind the counter seemed puzzled, but persisted with her request,
“How on earth are we supposed to know that the name on the scripts matches your name? You could have just nabbed these from someone on the street, God knows what people like you would do to get their hands on these meds.” She spat back with a stare that pierced Tony like a needle through a nub of warm cheese.
“Okay… Lady… Maybe next time try speaking in full sentences from the beginning, and we can avoid the embarrassment of you losing it like 2007 Brittney Spears.” Smirking as he handed the chemist clerk his drivers license.
“Take a seat Mr.… Benton” Glancing down at the scripts for a name, “we’ll call you when they’re ready.”
As he slumped into the plastic sofa, a sinking feeling came over him; he knew that he would be waiting for a while.
Tony had always been involved in extreme sports, not letting a day of health go by without pushing his limits. Most recently he had been all engrossed by Downhill Mountain biking. The idea of a man on a two-wheeled horse, traversing the nooks and crannies of a mountainside with immense speed appealed to his adventurous side. The images of his first and only trip on his new bike flashed through his mind; it was at that point he knew he would have to overcome the mountain that stole the last nine months of his life.
Everybody he spoke to said that he was crazy, that he had finally gone and lost his marbles.
Answering his phone without a thought to check who was on the other end, he was assaulted with a familiar voice,
“Now listen here Tone.” A name that only one person had ever called him.
“I hear you’re in a bit of a bad way. Nine months trapped inside a dusty old house’ll do that to a bloke, y’ know.” Uncle Joe was the self-proclaimed family psychiatrist, graduating from the University of Uncle Joe, with a Bachelor of life in 2003.
“He’s just like his father was at that age… Young, dumb and full of completely stupid ideas… He’s gonna get himself killed that boy.” He heard Aunt Rita chime in from the background.
“Listen Joe, this isn’t something that I am considering doing, or something that I might do if the weather permits. This is something that, if I don’t do it, I may not ever be myself again. I know that you, Rita, hell even Mum ‘n Dad think I’m crazy. But I have a conviction that a life lived in fear is a life half lived, and that is not how I want to spend my days on this Earth.” There was silence.
“Tone! Ya still there?”
“Yes, Joe, what? Clenching his eyes to stem the impending onslaught of tears.
“Your Mother, your Father, they said if you ever answered our call, to tell you they love you.” Tony couldn’t hold the floodgates any longer, and tears burst forth. “They are scared that you are turning into your own judge, jury, and executioner. Don’t make the same mistakes that your Father did.” Echoed silence rang out over the phone line.
“You’ll see Uncle…”
BEEP BEEP BEEP
Lachlan is a budding young writer, who's biggest struggle is finding time to put pen to paper. Spending his time studying, working, or out and about Brisbane, Australia. Still relatively new to the writing game, we look forward to future instalments.
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