Chapter Seven

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Tonight is the same as last night, the night before, and so on for the past nearly two weeks. The obnoxious rap music is vibrating the walls. Lights bright as the sun, running across the packed house. Girls dancing to the vulgar music, barely clothed, with horny-ass guys right behind them.

The only difference between each night is the location. Sometimes I'm at NYU, other times at house parties in Brooklyn. Just five days ago I was smashing a window to get inside of an abandoned building down at the docks.

Tonight, I'm at a friend's house in the Bronx. A shitty apartment, filled with shitty people, doing shitty things. Me, included. I inhale deeply, dragging in the poison of the blunt and exhale the smoke rings. I tap my cheek to make the rings, reveling in my mind slowing everything surrounding me down to a standstill. I can faintly hear the people around me laughing and see them pointing at the smoke rings. The noise of the party slams in my ears before I can get lost in the numbness coursing through me, when the guy on my left pats my shoulder.

"Yo, pass the fucking blunt. Don't hog it," the guy groans.

I want to punch him in the face. But he's one of the kids from NYU. There's a whole bunch of them, and they'd I don't feel like taking on ten guys who think they're the shit. I just want to smoke, relax, and forget. It's the same mission every single night, and it won't ever change, not until I get her back. Swallowing the tears threatening to take form, I shove the blunt into his hand and stare up at the ceiling.

Eleven days. Today makes eleven fucking days since I've last seen Lily. Eleven days since the truth about my dumbass-ery was revealed. Eleven motherfucking days since I lost the only good thing to ever happen to me. Every night I go to sleep wishing everything was a horrible dream, only to wake up in the same nightmare I've been living for days on end.

I didn't know how much losing a person you love hurt because I never had anything in my life, really. I coasted by through the years after my death like a damn ghost. Skipping school to beat up motherfuckers that started drama with my stupid, brash friends. Drinking during classes and from the moment I woke up to the second I fell asleep. I practically drowned one time in booze while I was dreaming of the day my mother's casket. When I wasn't drinking to slip into my own poisonous world away from reality, I was getting high on anything I could get my hands on. Weed, ecstasy, fucking cocaine. If I wasn't such a pussy, I probably would have stared at heroine my friends were messing with a lot longer than I once did.

Long story short, I was a fucking idiot that didn't know how to do anything else than be a fuck up. My dad tried sending me to rehab on more than one occasion. He tried to be the greatest dad in the entire world, but when I refused and continued to lash out, he gave up and married his whore of a girlfriend he'd been cheating on mom with. My brother Elliot was the fucking golden boy. Joined clubs, had proper girlfriends, coughed like an old grandma with laryngitis when he took puffs of joints at party. Those two forced mom's death out of their minds and ran into the light the second they saw darkness approaching. Me, on the other hand, I welcomed it and basked in it like it was a fucking miracle. Because then I didn't have to pretend to be a robot like them.

All throughout my teenage years, I was a mess. I did everything wrong. Everything. I did everything to escape without realizing there was another way without the nasty effects of hangovers and coming down from artificial highs. Love. Loving Lily fucking Lockheart. She was the key to forgetting and being a normal human being. A human with feelings: compassion, and warmth, and passion, and meaning, and serenity. Lily was the fix to my fucked-up life.

When we first met, I hated her. Her and her stupidly adorable ribbons in her hair, her beautiful smile that literally took my breath away, her devoted passion for dancing—just everything about her... or at least that's what I told myself. I couldn't possibly fall in love with the goody two-shoes. She was inexperienced and annoyingly kind and bright. She was just a part of a stupid game. I would get my guitar after I had my fun with her. I thought I wouldn't care about how she felt after she eventually found out.

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