Caroline

Seated in a drug induced stupor, Tyler swayed his head slowly to the song that seemed to be a thousand miles away. Of course, he was seated merely across the room from the outdated stereo that was set up around his flat screen on a chipped and dented make shift entertainment center made up of two coffee tables that sat atop each other. His couch was tattered and smelled of smoke and bodily filth from days of being seated there without getting up to do something as simple as a shower.


What was the point of a shower anyways? It wasn’t like anyone who did come over was ever sober enough to notice the difference between him being clean or filthy with the grungy style he possessed. The fact that he simply didn’t care either was the biggest reason. The syringe slowly fell from Tyler’s limp hand, fingers twitched slightly as his head drooped to the side. He looked at his opposite arm where the rubber tourniquet was slowly becoming undone. He was terrible at tying those things with just one hand and a tug of the mouth. Then again, he hadn’t shoved a needle into his arm since college, he supposed practice makes perfect. His head slowly drifted before he dropped against the couch cushion. He fell asleep quickly after.


“…Ler… Ty…ler…”


The voice was far away, but the feel of being shook pulled him out of his sleep as he blinked.


“Someone’s quite the sleepy head.” The girl said with a giggle as she held his face in her hands. She tilted her head sideways to look at him, still a smile on her face.


“…Caroline?”


“Oh course silly! Who else would it be down here in this horrific basement of yours? You know no one else will ever come down here.”


“W-When did you…” His words trailed, looking at her confused.


“…When did I get here? Oh Tyler. You are so weird.” She smiled as she tugged him into a seated position, sat beside him, and then lied down in his lap. She crinkled her nose in disgust. “Oh you smell horrible! When did you bathe last?? Or even change your clothes!”


Tyler looked down at her, and ignored her words as he just smiled and took her

hand, his thumb caressed it slowly.


Caroline blushed and leaned into his hands, before she kissed it and squeezed it tighter.


“Stay with me forever.” Tyler whispered.


“Oh Tyler! I told you already I was. Remember! You asked me to marry you just last month! I think you’re going senile far too early.” She teased as she smiled up at him.


“I remember… I just… Just promise you aren’t going to leave me.”


“I promise, Tyler. I promise I’m never going to leave you; never ever again.” She said with a grin as he nodded.


*****


Hours later of silently being seated on the couch, the two hadn’t moved even an inch; between Caroline’s giggles and Tyler's explanations of how terrible the movie he last saw was, they didn’t even want to move away from each other.


“Tyler… Why are you shooting up again?” Caroline finally asked after she glimpsed at the multiple needle marks in the bend of his arm. “You haven’t done that since college…”


“I…I did it because of…of…” His words trailed, his mind raced with a thousand scenes and images he didn’t want to remember as his eyes filled with tears. He blinked them away.


“Tyler?” Caroline asked as she sat up and looked at him with a worried look. “Even like this you remember.”


Tyler moved away from the couch to the corner of the room. He trailed his hands along a faint stain on the wall that ran down to the concrete floor. His teeth gritted as he looked back at Caroline who still sat on the couch and stared at him. “… You will leave me soon… I will wake up from this and you will be gone. This is just a dream.”


Caroline shook her head as she stood and walked towards him as she took his hand. “Tyler… I promised you I would never ever leave. I came back… I just couldn’t stand the way I was then. I’m happy now though, and I am here with you again. It will all work out now. You just wait and see.”


Tyler stared down at her before he groaned. “I just want to wake up now… I can’t handle this.”


“Tyler! This isn’t a dream. I’m here now. I told you already. Stop being so mean to me! This is why I wanted to do it in the first place! Because of you and how mean you were to me!”


Tyler’s hand jerked away from her own as both hands rose to his face. He rubbed his worn hands against his cheeks before he slid down against the wall, and stared at the stain as he raised his hand to the wall to scratch at it slowly. “Caroline…”


“Yep! That’s my name, Tyler!” She bounced as she became bubbly once

more. “Tyler, we should have you take a shower soon. It’s not

healthy to be this filthy.”


“Caroline…”


“Yes Tyler?”


“Caroline…”


“I’m here, Tyler.”


“Caroline…”


“I’m never leaving you, Tyler.” She dropped down to her knees and ran her hand along the dark red stain on the wall. “You know it didn’t hurt like I thought it would.”


“Caroline!” He groaned as if he could beg her to stop.


“Well it didn’t, Tyler. I did it the night you went to Ethan’s house to visit. I thought it would be easier if you weren’t home to try and save me. I did a clean shot too, Tyler. You would have been proud of me. I was so brave, Tyler… Tyler… I wish you would have done it too. You can still do it now, Tyler.” A single stream of deep red blood trickled down from her hair line, down the bridge of her nose before it dripped onto the floor. “Oh, I hate when that happens…” She said with a deep frown.


Tyler pushed himself into the wall as he wished the wall would absorb him as he continued to scratch at the wall; fingers already bloody, nails chipped and torn. “Caroline…”


Caroline just sighed as she stayed beside him, and petted his other hand that gripped at the ground. “I know, Tyler. I’ll just stay quiet for a while, but I won’t be leaving, don’t worry.”


*****


Tyler shuddered against the wall, as he clung to it. What was left of the nails he had worn down continuously clawed down against the wall. Other clawed in marks were all around his hands on the wall. Tyler just mumbled incoherently to those that walked in. His lips shook and moved; the chapped look to them, blood caked in the corners proved to be quite the sight to those that stood a good distance from him.


“Caroline…C-Caroline…” Tyler continued to mumble that name over and over again, his eyes wide, still yet to blink.


“Tyler!” The tall dark haired male that resembled Tyler was the first of the three to dare to walk towards him. Tyler continued the claw like motions at the wall while the mumbles and random rocks in a sporadic rhythm continued. “Tyler.” He said once more as he crouched down in front of him and ran his fingers through his brothers thick, greasy hair.


“Caroline… Caroline… Don’t explain it again, Caroline… Please just stop, Caroline…” Tyler pleaded.


“What’s wrong with him, Ethan?” The blonde female asked. Her tone shaky, her hands clasped against her chest, as she looked down at both of her brothers.


“I don’t know, Anisa.” Ethan spoke back in an even tone.


“I think it’s rather obvious he’s OD’ed…” The third female muttered harshly under her breath, as she rolled her eyes and turned away from the sight.


Ethan breathed out a rough sigh as he looked back at his wife. “Obviously, Stacy! If you have no other help to give, I suggest you make your happy little way back up those stairs and call 911.”


Stacy let out a huff before she stormed up the creaking stairs, and slammed the basement door behind her. The sound of the slammed door jolted Anisa, but Tyler was still unnerved, droning away with his fingernails against the wall.


“Caroline.”




© 2018 - 2020 by Ashlyn Johnson. All Rights Reserved.

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