After (Reflection 1)

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Elias

October 1st, 2014

Dear Jersey,

I'm in the hospital--

---again.

Two weeks of nonstop nurses, doctors, check ins, and check ups, but hey, I'm still here.

I'm still breathing.

Two weeks ago, I didn't think I'd be able to say that.

Nobody did.

The night I wrote you that letter, I nearly didn't make it out of the operating room, but hey, I'm a King.

And apparently Kings don't go down that easy.

Only problem with surviving is having to live through all this recovery bullshit.

Getting better sucks, babe. Especially without you around to kick my ass back into shape.

Talking to you would be way better than talking to some of these Brunhilde looking nurses around here.

They watch me, like, twenty-four hours a day which means I barely have any time to fantasize about you much less slap the salami.

So basically, there's zero entertainment in my life right now.

My phone's on lockdown, my TV looks like it's from ancient Egypt, and the food here blows.

I probably shouldn't complain about it though. Scarfing down mouthfuls of mystery meat beats swallowing a half a bottle of mixed pills for dinner any day.

It just took me nearly dying to figure that out.

I don't know how I got here, Jersey.

I don't know how I turned out this messed up.

I was so ready to give up on things, it scares the shit outta of me thinking about where my head was at that night.

The nurses say the meds I was on might have had something to do with it, but I think there's a lot more wrong with me than they realize.

Good news is, I'm finally starting to talk to people about my problems instead of lying to everyone like I used to.

Dr. Perry's gotten me writing stuff down lately. It helps. He even gave me this little leather book to write everything down, so I'll probably have a novel written by the time I get out of here.

He's a better doctor than I gave him credit for. I just didn't wanna give him a chance to help me but I'm grateful for that.

I'm also grateful that no matter what time of day it is, I'm never alone. I get a shit ton of visitors lately.

Mom comes by every day. No joke. She's in my room as soon as the staff allow her to be, and I love her for it 'cause I don't know what I'd do without her right now.

The best part? I get homemade meals all the time.

Tanner's so jealous. But, I'm the baby of the family so I'm top priority by default.

I shouldn't be, though.

She shouldn't be taking care of me like this. It hurts her more than she lets on, but I still feel it. My dad used to be the one who made her cry, but now I'm not too much better than him. But I wanna be.

That's why I gotta get better. For her and Tanner.

This is like, the hundredth time he's had to visit me in a hospital so you can guess how he feels about it.

He thinks the only reason I'm in here is cause I stopped caring about my future--which is pretty on point.

At least it was--until he started shoving college apps down my throat so who knows? Maybe I'll end up making something of myself after all.

He's gonna force me to either way, but I'm glad he's here regardless.

I missed him, Jersey. I'll probably never tell him that to his face, but I'm so happy to have my brother back that I have to remind myself not to smile whenever he walks in the room. I think he knows though, 'cause he spends ninety-nine percent of visiting hours trying to make me laugh--and it works, most of the time.

As great as he is, it hasn't been the same without Caleigh here.

Took her a while to get comfortable with the idea, but she finally came by to see me for the first time today. It was a nice surprise, but I think she's really worried about me.

I mean, she's been worried before, but this was different. She actually cried when she saw me, and I've never seen her cry so that was--well, maybe it's better if we don't talk about it.

Anyway, she brought me something.

At first I thought it was another motivational book or some kind of pre-parenting guide, so I nearly threw her package across the room.

But then I saw your name on it.

I saw your name, and my pulse went so crazy my nurse thought I was having a heart attack.

You should've heard all those hospital bells and beeps ringing out just for you.

I got your journal.

And I told myself I wasn't gonna read it all at once, that I was gonna take things slow and go through it a day at a time, but I finished the whole thing in a little under two hours.

If I could rip out my IVs and hijack the next plane to Trenton I would. Unfortunately, my body's just not up to it yet, but I'll get there.

I promise.

Even if it's just to set the record straight.

I'm coming back for you, Jersey.

I'll always come back for you.

Don't forget it.

-Elias

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