A book that will question your own memories & consciousness...
Nick doesn't understand how his life has reached such a low.
Sitting on the edge of his bathtub, razor blade in hand, he remembers everything that lead him there, from ex-girlfriends to his murdered dog.
As he probes deeper into his own mind, he discovers a dark secret he buried away even from himself...
The Boy Who Found Himself
When you’re at the bottom, the only way is up. That’s what they say, isn’t it? I’m not too sure. I’m sitting on the side of the bath with a razor ready and I know I’m already six feet under. No one’s coming for me, there’s no last minute saviour like there are in the films. I’m wearing my favourite Guns ‘N’ Roses top with the small rip in the side, a reminder of a house party from years ago. Although I’m probably as fucked up as Axl Rose, at least he had good looks and money at my age. My possessions comprise of a small, dingy flat and an old banger I manage to drive around in. Tommy used to joke, when he was in one of his better moods, that it was something out of the Flintstones, that I should just pick it up by the frame and run it around everywhere like Fred used to.
I open the packaging of the bare razor blade I just bought, ironically from my ex-girlfriend, making sure I bought it along with some shaving cream and using cash to make myself less conspicuous. I went out with her some years ago when we had just finished school. I hadn’t spoken to her since, through anger. At a time like this, anger isn’t an issue. There is no time for anything but acceptance and calm. However, everyone has that one person they will always hold a grudge against, for cheating on them or for lying to them or for killing their dog. I haven’t owned a dog since Ludo, just in case.
We had an awkward conversation, Olivia and I. It went something like this.
“Oh, it’s you. I forgot you worked here” – me, cringing and hating myself for forgetting that going to Farmoore Convenience Shop would mean Olivia’s face would be the last I saw before the end of my life as I knew it.
“Yeah, I’ve been here since we left school, Nick. You picked me up from here every day for three months.” – her, looking unamused and probably assuming I actually wanted to talk to her.
“Right. I remember now. How’s Terry?” – me, trying to make polite conversation about her cruel, obnoxious but handsome boyfriend. Dick.
“I haven’t seen Terry for a year. I’m with Walter now. Who are you with?” – her, trying to find gossip she can tell her friends later.
“Walter? He was the sweaty geek from our maths class, wasn’t he?” - me, remembering a morbidly obese Walter sitting at the back of the class alone, with a few of the footballers throwing chewing gum into his long, straggly hair.
“Go home, Walter. You’re obviously drunk.” – her, with a roll of her eyes.
“Seen anything of Tommy recently?” – me, starting to feel prickles of anger running down my spine.
“Now I know you’re drunk. Go and get some sleep, I’ll probably see you soon.” - her, lying.
“I’m sure you will. Have a good life, Olivia.” - me, ignoring her bewildered stare.
When I went home carrying the razor blade in the cheap carrier bag, it felt like a intense, guilty light intent on giving my plan away. I just wanted to be home, away from everyone else and free to do what I liked, to end it all. End all the years of torment.
Tommy knew me better than anyone, and he was the first to notice I was cracking under the pressure. It was very soon after I’d gone out with Olivia, just after she cheated on me. That was when I started going downhill.
Ludo and I spent countless hours playing in my back garden, I loved him and I would have chosen him over any of my friends, apart from Tommy. We were inseparable as children. In all of the same classes and next door neighbours too, we shared a passion for climbing trees and collecting insects. Our rooms were full of empty jam jars infested with crawling worms and snails, leaving a gooey trail as they slithered around. Ludo helped us find the insects, usually. He would pad around slowly, sniffing as he went. Then he would suddenly stop and quietly stare at me until I went over to see what he had found and rewarded him.