She raps her knuckles against the door a few times. Her feet are unsteady beneath her, and the forced movement of her upper body causes her to lose balance. She falls forward – the center of her forehead smacks against the entryway before her. Stars explode behind her eyelids and vomit peaks threateningly at the bottom of her throat.
She waits quietly in the darkness. Cold air whips around her, and her teeth begin to chatter.
The sound of footsteps approaching shatters the night's silence. They get louder and louder until eventually the door swings open.
Her body remains awkwardly bent forward, and as her makeshift headrest loses its stability she finds herself tumbling into the arms of the clearly unsuspecting person who answered. Her legs give out beneath her, and the person now grabs a hold of her as if she is about to fall off the face of the earth.
"Fucking Christ Lola." The boy stifles what was originally planned to be yelled, not wanting to wake his mom and step-dad that are asleep but across the way.
He practically carries her inside his house and closes the door behind her. She suffers an indistinct moan as he struggles to steady her on the floor.
They now stand facing each other, in the boy's welcoming kitchen. He leans sideways against part of the counter-top and stares at her. His eyes are foggy with sleep.
She doesn't look back at him. She wants to; she wants to hug him and tell him how much he's been missed. But she merely stands there with her vision focused on the rubber peeing off her shoes. She feels as if the room is spinning, and about twenty feet under water.
He is disappointed, and she knows that. She feels guilty enough to puke out all of her organs onto the tiled floor beneath them.
"Why did you come here?" he questions, his words are surprisingly soft for the heavy emotions that are brewing deep within him.
But they sound as sharp as knives to her, because she has always been able to see through the front that he sometimes tries to hide himself behind. She knows him too well, and he can see how much that fact is bothering her. Even in her far from sober state she feels regretful for letting him down.
She takes a minute to find her train of thought, and prepare her words. In a small voice she musters out, "Because you know what I did to myself."
His face softens. He wasn't expecting her to be so brutally honest; he assumed she would struggle behind a flimsy, inebriated theory for a few minutes and end up saying something completely irrelevant.
But she knows better by now, and tries hard to keep her grip on reality.
He finds it difficult to swallow. "Just…lie to me, and tell me this is the last time. That's the only thing I want to fucking hear from you right now."
She doesn't follow his request. All she manages to do is apologize – again and again and again.
She begins to falter on her feet again, and he instinctively reaches out to grab a hold of her arm.
He walks closer to her and in his sleep deprived state manages to lift her off of the ground. Her knees hang off one of his arms, and the other wraps supportively around her back. Her body folds like a U shape in his grasp.
She closes her eyes, and rests her head against his chest. The beating of his heart is thunderous beneath his rib cage.
He begins to walk through his inadequately lit house with her. His strides are slow and paced.
He looks down at her, and feels a surge of pity shoot through his stomach. "You're a fucking junkie." He mutters.
But she has already faded off into sleep, and isn't able to feel his lips as they gently kiss her forehead.
He walks up the stairs and carefully lays her down on his bed. She doesn't move, not an inch; she's like a zombie.
He takes off her boots and her jacket and places them on his computer chair in the corner. Although he's mostly thinking about all of this is bullshit, how she has no right to show up at his door completely fucked up - there's also a part in his mind that's glad she came here.
Her house is not a safe place to go, and he'd much rather have her passed out in his room than passed out on a street corner somewhere.
He lays down in his bed and takes a moment to just study the girl beside him. The history they have together is long enough to make into a feature length film. He tries to remember a day when they were truly happy together; but it seems so long ago that it's practically unfathomable now.
He sighs, a messy whirlwind of breath breaking the otherwise silent atmosphere. He turns his back to her, and slowly drifts off into sleep.
The two are like stones for the most of the night and early morning.
The sun light eventually leaks lazily in through the window and the draw curtains. It pools like liquid gold on the carpet.
The clock on the nightstand table now reads half past noon.
Her eyes gradually open, and as she comes to she feels the weight of last night weighing like a rock in her stomach.
She sits up attentively, realizing that she is not in the comfort of her own house.
There are a few playboy posters on the wall, one of which has been scribbled on with sharpie - displaying the lyrics of some punk rock song. A few old bowls of cereal and beer bottles sit on top of the television.
She rubs the sleep from her eyes and feels a sigh burrowing in her chest. She doesn't remember coming here. And now that her head is clear, she completely regrets it.
Her clothes wreak of stale smoke; her body is nicotine deprived and dope hungry.
The old boards underneath the rug creak as she gets out of the bed and walks over to the chair in the corner where her things are placed.
Downstairs, he talks loudly into the receiver of the phone. He is leaning against the counter in front of the coffee machine, where two mugs have been readied.
"I fucking told you to stay away from her." he says, his voice is raw from years of smoking.
"Listen asshole she's a big girl, and as long as she has the money I'm not gonna turn her away." the older boy on the other line replies.
He grits his teeth. He knows that she is no longer his responsibility, but since she keeps coming back to him, he feels obligated to stop her from destroying herself. He's not the kind of boy who will sit idly back and watch her die. "Listen good, okay man? If she buys any more from you - I don't fucking care if it's a ten dollar pill or your entire fucking supply, I will find you."
The guy on the other line chuckles. "Are you threatening me?"
"I'm promising you - stay the fuck away from her, or I'm breaking down your fucking door."
He hangs up, and places the both of his hands on the edge of the counter. The coffee machine in front of him beeps, but he doesn't make a reach for it. He just stands there, as still as a soldier, starring down at the floor.
But as the sound of footsteps descending down the stairs echoes through the walls, he quickly changes his stature and makes it look like he's in the middle of fixing himself the drink.
She smoothes down the edges of her jacket and walks into the kitchen.
As their eyes meet, she forces out a smile. He looks away.
"I'm sorry, London." is the first thing out of her mouth.
He knows that she is. But he just wants to forget about it, there's no point in having the same conversation that they usually suffer through every time they're together.
"You take yours black, right?" He asks as he places a small mug under the spicket.
"Yea. Where are your parents? If they're here then I should just head home."
"They're at work." he says simply.
He fills both of the cups and the two stroll out of the front door.
The early afternoon is cold and windy. She pops up her hood as they sit on opposite sides of the picnic table that's placed on his back porch.
She lights up a cigarette and offers one to London.
He accepts with a grateful nod of his head.
"You look good, London." she starts lightly. It's been a few weeks since she has last seen him. Her words spill into the air joined with spurts of smoke.
He runs a hand across the top of his short, blonde hair. "Thanks, you do too." he lies. The frequent heroin use has made her cheeks hollow, and dark circles surround her eyes.
The cigarette in his hand is only burning into ash, as he forces himself to stomach some of the coffee.
"Why didn't you turn me away, last night?"
"Because if I did then you would've passed out on my doorstep."
There is clearly bitterness laced through out his words. Lola is aware that she has overstayed her welcome.
She studies his face as if it has the meaning of life written on it. Sorrow and regret pierces her gut like a rusty needle. She knows that she isn't good enough for him; she is no longer the young girl that he had fallen in love with.
"I should go." she says, standing up and snubbing her cigarette out in the ashtray beside her mug. "Thanks for the coffee."
He bids her a one word farewell, and watches as she begins to walk away. He thinks of calling out to her, to stop her. There's a lot of things that he feels he should say to her. But as she journeys down the length of his driveway and starts down the ajacent road, he does nothing.
The wind whips violently and he shuffles back into his house, concealing the world away behind him.