Jimmy ran down the street. He was heading to his best friends house.
Jimmy had gotten a call from Aaron’s girlfriend just minutes earlier. Aaron had come off his meds and was acting crazy, she had said. Jimmy had to get over there. He was to only one Aaron always listened too.
He ran across a street and had to stop dead in his tracks to avoid being hit by a speeding car.
The driver of the car opened his door once the car had stopped and called after Jimmy, but he was already heading towards Aaron’s house.
He didn’t have time to argue with some driver.
He saw the house and ran up the stairs, two at a time until he reached their second-floor apartment.
There he knocked on the door.
Aaron’s girlfriend let him in.
”What’s going on?” Jimmy asked, out of breath.
”I don’t know, he’s behaved like this before” She sounded scared. Jimmy was afraid Aaron had done something to her. If he had, she didn’t want to show it.
She led him down to hallway into their bedroom and left him there.
”He’s in there” She pointed towards the bedroom door.
Jimmy knocked, there was no answer.
”Aaron” He tried ”can you come and open the door for me?”
No answer. On the other side, Jimmy could hear footsteps.
Aaron opened the door. He looked the same way he always did when he was off the meds.
He hadn’t slept for days, and his ordinarily well-kept hair was greasy and disheveled.
”What’s wrong?” Jimmy asked.
”Nothing. I’m fine.”
”You don’t look fine.”
Aaron opened the door for Jimmy. Jimmy took the invitation and sat down on the bed while Aaron locked the door behind them again.
”What’s wrong” Jimmy tried asking again.
”I said nothing’s wrong” Aaron waved his hands around when he said it.
Jimmy saw the kitchen knife Aaron had in his hand and jumped up from the bed.
”Aaron…” He started ”what are you doing with that?”
”Oh, this?” Aaron asked and waved the knife around once more. ”Nothing much, I just felt like having it here.”
”Can you put the knife down? I don’t want you to hurt yourself. Remember what happened last time?”
”This isn’t like last time. I’m fine. Back then I wasn’t.”
”You don’t look fine. Why don’t you put the knife down so we can talk?”
”We can talk while I’m holding it.”
”No, we can’t. Aaron, please put the knife down.”
Aaron sat down on the bed, knife still in his hand. He began crying. Quietly at first but soon it came in long, loud sobs.
”Why does this always happen?” He asked Jimmy.
”Because you keep going off your meds.”
”But I felt fine, why do I need to keep taking them if I’m healthy. If I’m normal?”
”Because they are what’s keeping you normal.” Jimmy felt confident enough that Aaron wasn’t going to hurt him that he sat down next to his friend on the bed.
”Why don’t you put the knife down and we go and get your meds? Huh, what do you say?”
”I’m never taking those pills again. I just want it all to end.”
”Don’t talk like that. Please put the knife down.”
Aaron stopped crying and looked up at Jimmy.
”If I put it down will you promise me that you won’t force me to take those pills?”
”I won’t just put the knife down.”
Aaron let go of the knife and watched as it fell to the floor. Jimmy could breathe again.
”Come here,” Jimmy said and hugged his friend. “Let’s get you back to the hospital. They can make you better.”
”The hospital?” Aaron said breaking their hug ”You told me that you wouldn’t force me to do anything.”
”You need help, Aaron. Help I can’t give you.”
Aaron looked at his friend and then the knife. He didn’t reach for it.
”Why can’t you just leave me alone”? Aaron asked.
”Because I’m your friend.”
”Some friend… I’m not going back there. You can’t make me.”
”I can and I will, you have to get better.”
”No the only thing I have to do is end it all.” Jimmy didn’t have time to grab his friend before he lunged himself out the bedroom window and hit the pavement below.
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Categories: flash fiction