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Recognition

Recognition

BY MORGAN DOCURRAL

I roll over to my side. My blankets are intertwined with my legs. As I struggle for them to release me, I remember my best friend, Trevor, is asleep on the floor. I stop and call a truce. My phone buzzes. I reach over to grab it when my fingers miss. It falls onto the floor, landing on top of Trevor’s chest. 

“Shit!” I utter, “I’m sorry.” 

Trevor sits up and hands me my phone. He doesn't say a word as he reaches over to his medicine case. 

“How did you sleep?” I ask. 

He takes his medicine and sighs, “I didn't.” 

“Oh...well....” I shouldn't have asked. 

We both lay in our beds, and check our phones. We don't say a word to each other. An hour passes, Trevor finally sits up again and looks over to me. 

“I’m hungry.” Trevor stands up. “I’m going to make some coffee.” He turns away and goes downstairs; I follow him. 

No one else is home in my apartment. My parents are divorced, so my dad is the one who takes care of me. He’s the head manager at “Bundle Up”, so he's always working. Trevor sets up the coffee maker and clicks start. As the coffee is brewing, I open a new box of off-brand cereal. 

“Do you want some?” I start to reach for a second bowl. 

“Not really.” Trevor traces his finger around the mug. “Coffee is good.” 

I continue to pour my cereal into my bowl. The coffee maker makes a sizzle noise. Trevor doesn't break his focus. 

“So...like...do you want to watch some TV?” 

“Not really…”

“Oh…”

Things are really awkward right now. I shouldn't have tried to talk to him before he had his coffee. Trevor is a nice kid I swear, but his mental health has plummetted to the point where I have to make sure he's still alive every morning. It hurts to see your best friend this way. 

Trevor breaks his staring contest with his mug. 

“I think the mug won.” I snicker.       

Trevor ignores my comment and proceeds to pour coffee into his cup. He immediately takes a sip and closes his eyes.

“Did you burn your tongue?” I ask.

“I'm fine,” he replies. “I’m used to it.” 

My phone buzzes. I flip it over so that I could see the screen. It’s a message from my friend Adam.

_

Mornings can be a bit dramatic where I live, but I love it. Before, I had to struggle to find food, while my mother was passed out on the couch. Now, Renee is up before everyone else, and she's the mother I’ve always wanted thanks to Sana. Sana, my boyfriend, is visiting us for winter break. Renee took in Sana as well after his family kicked him out for being gay. She's actually his aunt, but no one else needs to know. 

“...so Dakota decided it would be best if we adopted two cats instead of one.”  I watch Sana take a sip out of his coffee. His eyes are following his aunt around the kitchen. 

“Make sure you guys can afford them. I don't want four cats in this house. Two is enough.” Renee flips another pancake over. Sana smiles and shakes his head. 

“Yeah, we're going to kill two cats. Who do you think I am!” Sana looks over to me. “Do you think I'm a bad cat dad?” 

“Uh…” I look away. Sana’s jaw drops open.

“Wow. I'm going to prove all of you wron-”  

“Morning Jeff!” Renee cuts Sana off and places pancake onto a plate. “I forgot to ask you yesterday, is Eve coming over? Because I wanted to see if she could help-”

“Maybe. She needs to see how she feels after work.” Jeff sits at the table. He looks dead, and he might be. 

Jeff is the only “son” in the house Renee gave birth to. He's younger than Sana and I, but by a year from me and two from Sana. His girlfriend, Eve, has been with Jeff since middle school and Renee loves her. Sana glances over at Jeff.

“You look dead. Wha-” 

“I was thinking the same thing!” I cut him off. He looks at me then looks back at his cousin.

“What...” Sana pauses. He gives everyone around the room a glare. “...were you doing last night?” 

“I had a project and I procrastinated.” Jeff uses his fork to cut out a piece of pancake. 

“Jeff.” Renee shakes her head as Jeff shoves a pancake into his mouth. 

“Aidan.” Sana reaches over the island and holds onto my hand. “Do you have any plans today?” 

I check my phone and bring my attention back to Sana. “I have one for later, why?” 

“Want to run a few errands with me?” He smiles. I nod my head. 

_

Trevor and I are currently stoned. We’re sitting on the couch in my basement listening to music. Trevor finishes packing his bong, and flicks his lighter. I watch him inhale and exhale the smoke. Smoking seems to be the only thing that makes him slightly happier. He hands the bong over to me, and I take a hit as we both sink into the couch. I notice my guitar sitting on its stand. 

“I miss band practice,” I tell Trevor. 

“Me too.”  He shuts his eyes.

“Why did we stop it? What happened?” I head towards my guitar. Trevor doesn't answer anyof my questions. 

He tilts his head back and focuses on my ceiling. The little dialog we had earlier fades as the song “Darla (It’s Sad to Say Goodbye)” by Fox Academy fills our silence. Trevor moves over to take another hit from his bong. When he glances over to me, his eyes are a bit puffy from the smoke.

“I love you.” He starts to pick at his thumb. “I really do. I-I really appreciate what you've done for me.” He moves on to pick at a scab on his wrist. 

“I love you too bud, I really do too.” I sit down next to him. 

“I-If…” He focuses on his wrist. I keep my silence. “When I decide it's time for me to leave, I hope you'll be ok.” 

“So...you do plan on leaving at some point?” I knew this conversation was coming. I just didn't realize how fast it would arrive. I feel my throat becoming tighter.

Trevor nods his head, but avoids making eye contact with me. How do I respond to this? He's been to treatment facilities, been hooked on Xanax, and has been closely watched for years. Nothing seems to ever work for him, which is why dying could be the next best thing. I’m too high to even think about the idea of living without him right now. Instead, I keep my mouth shut and inhale deeply. We both continue to listen to the music with both of our heads focused on the ceiling. 

_

I’m checking out a fluffy coat when Sana walks up next to me.

“You'd look really cute in that,” he tells me. 

“Would I?” 

He smiles and holds my hand. He's about to kiss me on the cheek, when an old woman walks by and stops. He quickly loosens his grip and acts casual. 

“I wonder if Ivan’s dad is working today.” I put the coat back. 

“Probably.” Sana reaches over to the coat, and looks at the price. “Did you want this?”

“If I had the money, I’d buy it myself.” I know exactly where this is going. “But, I don't want you to get it for me.” 

“But, I don't want you being cold when I'm not here.” Sana takes the coat and holds it up to me. “It’s my “See You Soon” gift. I like living with the idea my boyfriend is warm.” He places it in the cart. “Plus the coat you have now has a rip in it.” 

“Nuh-Uh. It's just a small hole!” I try removing the coat from the cart, but Sana gently pulls my arm away.  

“Ya-huh. It's only going to get worse. Don't worry about it, I have the money.” Sana pushes the cart while I stay near him. I guess I'll allow him to win this time. 

“About you leaving...when are you going back to Boston again?”  We pass by something soft looking, so we both touch it with the tips of our fingers. 

“The 20th...so in like...a week?” Sana takes out his phone and looks at his calendar. “In six days.” 

“Oh. Ok.” My throat starts to feel tight.

“Why? Is there something coming up?” Sana is about to check his calendar again when I stop him.

“No, no not at all. I’m...I’m just going to miss you.” I hold onto his hand. He looks around to make sure no one sees us. He leans in and kisses me.

“I'm going to miss you too, but I'll be back before you know it.” He smiles at me. His smile brings me comfort. I'm going to miss him like hell. 

“Oh! You need to leave soon right? You don't want to keep Adam waiting.” Sana pushes the cart towards the registers. I rest my hand on his. We both make our way to the check-out as an old lady rolls her eyes towards us. 

_

I exhale and watch the cloud of air come out of my mouth. I'm starting to wish I’d worn something a bit warmer. 

“Do you think were going to get there too early?” Trevor asks.

“Nah. I don't think so.” I don’t want to admit we’re early. 

We’re both quiet. We’re still slightly stoned and now pretty cold. I wish I had a car. It sucks walking everywhere, especially in the middle of fall.

“What do you think his surprise is?” Trevor is now making eye contact with me again. Usually he’s a bit more functional by mid-afternoon, and is back to being the guy I'm close with.

“I don't know, but knowing Adam it’s probably going to be fairly interesting.” 

We’re silent once again for the next ten minutes. We make it to the baseball field and head towards the dugout. 

When we were all in high school, we use to come to this field every Friday. Adam was a senior when Trevor and I were freshmen, so he's a bit older than us. We’d meet here and if our other friend Aidan could make it, and all four of us would head into Adam’s truck. We would go to his house for band practice. Our band wasn't awful, but it wasn't the best either. We didn't even have an official name. That had to be about four years ago.

“Man. We haven't been here since we were seventeen.” 

I glance over at Trevor. He seems very calm. 

 “I miss high school. I especially miss middle school.” He pauses. “I just miss the past.” 

“Me too bud...me too.” As I’m patting him on the back, we both see Aidan walking towards us. 

“Oh my god, Aidan!” I stand up and run towards him. 

“Ivan?” Aidan jogs over to me, and we both give each other a bear hug. “I didn't know you'd be here! I thought you were in school?”

“Nah! I dropped!” 

“Y-you what! Why?” Aidan steps back a bit from me. 

“Because...fuck it! I'm just glad to see you again! I haven't seen you since you moved!” I look over at Trevor who is still sitting, and staring at us from a distance. Aidan looks over my shoulder, and waves at him. Trevor gives a weak wave back. 

“How’s he doing?” Aidan asks. 

“Not well…” I kick a twig with my shoe. “He plans on doing it.”

I can feel Aidan’s heart drop. He looks over at Trevor again. 

“He told you?” Aidan sounds scared.

“You knew?” I glance at him. He nods his head.

Which I’m not, and I understand his reasoning. It just hurts a lot. 

“W-We should get back over there, and be with him while we still have time.” I turn towards the dugout.

Aidan and I walk over to Trevor. He breaks his focus with the ground, and places it on Aidan. 

“I like your coat.” Trevor reaches his hand out and feels the material. “Feels warm.” He sets his arm back down. 

“Thanks. Sana bought it for me.” Aidan sits next to Trevor. I sit on the other side of him. 

“I'm glad you have him. He's good to you.” Trevor admits. Aidan nods his head, and smiles. 

We become silent again. We didn't talk much in high school, and we still don't as adults. We’re all okay with silence, it just means we're calm. I use to worry about it until I realized that some people just don't have much to say, and that's okay. 

Adam finally arrives at the park. He still has the same beat up truck, and the same hat he’s had since the last time we were all together like this. I think this is going to be the last time we will be together like this. He approaches us with his hands stuffed into his pockets. He sits down on the bench. We all look at him. He looks back at us confused.

“...Hello?” Aidan breaks the awkward silence. Adam sits up and looks over to him. 

“Hey!” He smiles and sits back into his seat. 

“Adam. What did you want?”  Trevor moves his focus onto Adam. Adam stares back at Trevor and gives him a smirk.

“This. I want us to be together. One last time.”  Adam hits Trevor in the knee who gives a gentle smile back. 

We sit back and enjoy the silence. Adam’s right. We should be enjoying those we care about. Even though I don't support the idea of Trevor ever leaving, I don't want him living like this either. Human life is like a timeline. Everyone you meet will come into your life for a reason until you recognize how critical a life can mean to you. It's better to enjoy them while you still can, because one day they may leave. Nonetheless, I'll treat my friendship with Trevor like a treasure and share the memories with the future lives I'll meet. Trevor will be in my life, forever and always in my memories, in my adventures, always.

Grandmother's House

Grandmother's House