Toni carefully moved from Lauren's arms. Her clock read 7.09am. She gingerly dresses herself, her body felt like a truck had run over it, then reversed back over. She had to get away from everything, everyone. She looked down at Lauren, she was peaceful. Toni wanted to touch her, but withdrew her hand. She quietly left Lauren's apartment.

Toni's head was replaying the night's events over and over. She knew it was never going to end, she brings all her problems on herself and she had had enough of the pain. The physical pain she was feeling didn't even register like her emotional pain, and now she had taken the life of someone. It needed to stop and she was the only one that can make it stop.

---

Lauren rolled over and felt nothing. "Toni"

She sat up and looked around the room but Toni wasn't there, her clock was just after 8am. "fuck"

---

It was 8.20am when Toni's mum went into her room and found her bed not slept in "stupid child"

She heads into the dining room to find a note waiting for her, reads it then screws it up. She gets into her work car advertising and slowly reverses.

Lauren pulls her car to a screeching halt in front of Toni's driveway.

Toni's mum slams on her breaks and gets out "what's going on"

Lauren went over to her "is Toni home still" trying to gauge if Toni's mum knew anything.

"umm who are you? and will you move that black thing out of my way, I'm late."

"I'm Lauren, I was in Toni's room the other"

"Oh yeh, no.. she is not here, she's at school"

Lauren thought about it "school... are you sure?" she doubted Toni's mother knew anything about her daughter

"She left me a note saying it was a big day, and I guess she left early."

"Big day, what does that mean?"

"How should I know, obviously something at school is happening. You do go to the same school right?"

"well yeh, just... I wasn't aware"

"I need to go, catch up with her there."

Lauren pulled into school, her mind unable to recall anything that was supposed to be happening at school. She didn't rule out the possibility as she didn't attend many classes. She looked all over the school, twice, but no Toni.

She did something that she would hardly ever do, and that's talk to other students. No one had seen Toni, there was nothing special on that day. Lauren even lowered herself to talk to teachers. She was no closer to working out what Toni meant and it was sending her crazy. She couldn't do anything except sit in class and mull over it.

It was 9.12am, Lauren just scratched the desk not listening to her teacher, just thinking over and over... what big day.... what's so special about this day, about her day.

Lauren stopped scratching the desk 'her... big... day' "fuuuuck" Lauren scream loudly, jumped up and ran from the class room.

Toni waited for her mum and Lauren to drive off. She crept back into her room, clutching the pain in her ribs as she landed on the floor. She walked into her mother's room opening her top bedside table. She fingered through the bottles until she found the tranquillizers. She took the bottle and walked on into her father's study, she looked about in all his bottles of scotch

"Yes... .this one, we'll drink this on a special occasion" impersonating her father's pompous tone. She heads into the kitchen and looks around. Everything was so picture perfect, so sterile. She opened the bottle of pills and took a mouthful washing them down with scotch.

She leaves the pills and takes the scotch bottle outside. She grabs some of the pool hose and snaps it from the filter. She opens the garage door and closes it behind her.

Toni hums a tune while she tapes the hose to the muffler of her mum's car. Her eyes blur and she collapses for a moment.

"wow... they kick in quick"

Toni drags herself to the driver's side and pulls the hose in, closing the door. She turns the key and starts the car. The car soon fills with carbon monoxide. Toni takes another drink of scotch and closes her eyes.

---

Lauren car slams into the driveway of Toni's house, wheels screeching. Lauren jumps out yelling for Toni. She bangs on the front door and window but gets no response. Lauren goes over to the big gates that lead to the back yard but they were locked as well. She jumps up and hangs on but could only get up to look over. She yells for Toni then sees it, smoke coming from the shed, she could hear the faint sound of an idling car.

Lauren screamed Toni's name. Lauren jumps back into her car, puts it in gear and drives through the gates, smashing them down.

A neighbour across the road sees the events and is on the phone immediately.

Lauren opens the garage doors and is brought to her knees coughing from the fumes. She opens the car door, Toni falls into her arms motionless. Lauren coughing turns the car off and drags Toni into fresh air.

Lauren tried stirring Toni, but got no response. She found Toni's not breathing and started CPR, but every exhale from Toni made Lauren to cough until she nearly passes out. In the distance sirens were getting louder.

Lauren shaking hand touched Toni's neck for a pulse. Lauren bit her lips when she couldn't feel it. She didn't give up trying to breathe air into Toni over and over again.

Lauren saw two police officers creeping up. She cried at them "I can't get her to breath.... she won't breath"

The police took over and worked on trying to breathe life back into her. Lauren was crying, calling to Toni "don't give up"

Moments later paramedics had Toni's body. They got no life signs, so injected her with something, then used the paddles, eventually getting a weak pulse. They put her in the ambulance with Lauren and raced her to the hospital.

The doors crash open with people working around Toni. They lifted her from the paramedic's bed, to the hospital and went to work.

Lauren just stood and watched, all she knew was Toni had not moved.

The doctors were all yelling at each other for things

"Her pulse is weak again, like something's suppressing it" called out the nurse

The doctor looked over his shoulder at the girl waiting "you came with her"

Lauren stepped forward "yes...I found her... in the car"

"What did she take, I can smell alcohol, but what else?"

Lauren couldn't think, she wasn't there "I.... I don't know"

"Doctor we losing her again, ahhh shit her breathing stopped." yelled the nurse

Lauren tried to process every conversation she had with Toni

"Sleeping pills, her mum has sleeping pills." Yelled Lauren

The doctor nods and once Toni was breathing they injected something into her stomach.

Lauren smiled when Toni's body convulsed

"Here it comes, roll her, roll her" yelled a nurse

Lauren couldn't see, but heard Toni throw up, and her faint cries then it went quiet again.

---

It took over an hour to stabilize Toni's condition, then she was moved to a private room. Lauren sat next to her, holding her hand and stroking it. A machine was breathing for her.

"I'm sorry I wasn't there sooner, but I'm here now.... I'm not going to abandon you." squeezing Toni's hand tighter

Lauren heard other voices and looked up at the doorway. A doctor, Toni's mum and another man came towards them. Lauren thought it would be the father

"I have been working in this hospital all day, why didn't someone come and get me." growled Toni's father. I am a fucking doctor for christ sake, and this is my daughter you should have paged me."

Lauren got up, feeling invisible. The doctor faced Toni's parents as they moved closer to Toni.

"We don't know if there is any permanent brain damage until we run more tests. At the moment we just want to clean out her lungs of the carbon monoxide and let the sleeping pills work through her system.

Toni's mum cried and went over to her "oh my baby... what happened to you. Why is her face all bruised?"

The doctor shrugged "I don't know, her body is also badly bruised. It looks as if she was in a fight."

"If it wasn't for this young lady, Antonia would be dead."

Toni's mother's eyes lifted to Lauren and recognizes her immediately. Lauren stood still as Toni's mum came towards her. Lauren wanted a hug so much, but what she got was a firm grip and being shaken

"What did you do... what did you do to my baby"

"Nothing.... I"

"She was not messed up until you came into her life, what did you do to her?"

"This wasn't because of me....you have no idea what goes on in your own daughter's life. If you did, you would know of her pain, her guilt... about Hailey. You go about like it doesn't exist and Toni just held it all in until today. How did you not know she was in pain? That she needed help." cries Lauren.

"The first time I met her she had pain written all over her fucking face. Why do you think she would get into fights, do dangerous things? It was to try and feel something... to feel anything, other than the dead, loneliness she was feeling inside." Lauren shakes her head, sobbing loudly "it was you who messed her up"

Toni's mother pushes Lauren away "get out, get out of my daughter's room and if you come anywhere near her again I will call the police."

Lauren ran from the hospital, into her car and drove away

---

Two weeks after her suicide attempt Toni was at home lying on her bed reading a book. She didn't go to school anymore; she was home schooled and was regularly seeing doctors, psychiatrist, psychologist and blood tests.

A small knock came at her window. Toni shifted her head to look. She got up and opened the window. The visitor crawled in and gently closes the door to Toni's room.

"C'mon, get your gear... lets go." Lauren grabs a bag from Toni's wardrobe and throws it on the bed "pack some stuff"

"Why?" Toni was confused

Lauren looked at her "because you are leaving with me tonight"

"ummm I don't know, I'm not allowed to go out after dark, I don't think my parents will let me"

Lauren looks at Toni. Her face softens, hugs and kisses Toni then breaks apart "we are not going to tell them"

"I don't' know" Toni sits on the bed. She rubs her head feeling in a daze

"What's wrong, Toni...." Lauren could now see Toni's glassy eyed look, and confused state.

"What have they done to you?" She looks at the bedside table where two bottles sat. She picks them up

"What are these?"

Toni closes her eyes to concentrate "ummm that's for my depression... and that is to keep me calm, stop me from doing bad things."

Lauren's eyes filled with tears "They've drugged you, this is the help they are giving you. They are doping you up.... oh Toni....this isn't right" Lauren kisses Toni, touches her face tenderly

Lauren's shakes her head, now feeling anger towards Toni's parents. "You have to leave, if you stay here.... this isn't a life. They can't keep you prisoner and drugged for the rest of your life, it's too cruel."

"I don't' know.." Toni couldn't make a decision one way or another

"I'm leaving, tonight" said Lauren

"How long?"

"I'm not coming back."

"Lauren.... no" Toni whines

"Then come with me, you don't need fucking pills. I will take care of you"

"I......" Toni stutters not sure what to say " don't know Lauren, I just don't know"

"Can you tell me something you do know." asked Lauren wanting to hear it

Voices disturbed the moment. "You have to go Lauren"

"You have 5 minutes, meet me at end of the street. If you are not there, I'm going."

The door to Toni's room is opened. "Honey, remember what we talked about, no closing of your door."

"yeh, sorry forgot"

"Have you taken your pills?"

"yes father, both."

---

Lauren looked at her watch, it was nearly 6 minutes. She started the car and drove off. She wiped the slow dropping tears when something appeared in front of her car. She jumped on the brakes bring the car to a screeching stop. She stared at the person standing in front of her car. Lauren leans over and opened the passenger side door.

Toni climbed in and closed the door. She looks over at Lauren "Lauren" she whines

Lauren took the rest of Toni's words in a kiss. "I know.... and it's going to hurt for a while. But by loving and letting someone love you is better than taking any damn fucking pills Toni" she touches her face

"Lauren" Toni wipes away Lauren's tears

"yeh"

"I rather feel this pain of loving you, than the emptiness of the past two years. I want to feel it, cos it means I'm still alive"

"Yes....you are."

The end - coming soon Messed Up part 2 - New Beginnings