(a note: if anyone I know in real life is reading this, it was inspired by what happened last night, but everything else is fiction. I don't feel this way towards people, and neither of these characters are supposed to be real people.)

"You can self destruct, that's your right.
But keep it to yourself if you don't mind."

- Bruce Cockburn, "Tell the Universe"

Slow Motion

It's the third time this month she's come to me like this. At about three am last night, I helped her into bed and then washed the puke out of my bathtub, because what else was I going to do? Cass and I have been friends for a few years, and I'm not about to turn her away. Dad always told me you should take every chance you can to help people, because you never know when you yourself might want help. Or need help. There have been quite a few times Cass has needed but not wanted my help, and that always leads to a dramatic morning after.

The first thing she does when she stumbles out of my room in the morning is apologize, and I tell her it's nothing, though it's really a lot. I'm sick of cleaning up after her, and she doesn't even try to make something better of herself. Though she doesn't seem to enjoy the self-destruction, she's the one letting it go on and on.

"Jacob," she mumbles from the couch, with my big yellow blanket wrapped around her (it's summer, why is she shivering like that?).

"Do you want something to eat?" I ask from the kitchen, though I doubt she is. She told me earlier she was starving, but refuses to eat.

"No, no… Come here."

I sit down beside her, and she leans into me. Her smudgy eyes are swollen, and when she blinks them, it looks like slow motion. Every movement she makes is delayed, thought over carefully. She looks scared right now.

"Can I stay here for a while?" she asks. "I'll pay for my own food and shit. Promise."

"Of course, Cass."

I smile, and playfully push some hair back from her face, but her expression hardly brightens. "I'm so tired…" she says.

"Then sleep, silly."

"It's not that easy."

Maybe it's not, you stupid girl, but you can at least try. Sleep and dream, and get better. As much as I don't understand her, and detest her sometimes, I still wish she could get herself better.

"Just sit here with me," I tell her. "I'll be your pillow."

Nothing's easy, you stupid girl, so why do you keep making it harder for yourself? She ranted to me once, while drunk, about how she pitied me. And though she's had that much more 'life experience', it doesn't mean she's any better than me. And I'm not better than her for having less scars. I'm happy how I am. I don't think I'm a fool for saying this, or ignorant; I'm not just ignoring the bad parts. I'm appreciating the good parts, because they are there, and though I love where I am, I'll keep moving forward. I don't need to escape myself…

She half-closes her eyes now and I wonder, why is it so hard for some people to just let themselves be happy?