The concluding part of the story.
WARNING: contains reference to drug use and strong language.
The pain had subsided.
The itching, the nausea, the sore limbs, the cramps in his guts. It was all gone and peace had finally descendent on him.
Nothing was as heavenly as the moment she was finally flowing through is veins again. Never mind that she would soon turn into a monster that ate him up and killed him little by little. Right now she was his salvation.
Ryan lay on his back, feeling heavy with tiredness and fever, as if he had been firmly glued to the sofa.
He just moved his eyes and saw that Vivienne was still in the room.
“I thought you had gone,” he said.
Standing by the window, Vivienne turned towards him. “I’m not leaving you, I told you.”
Ryan coughed. “You should,” he added when he found his breath again.
Vivienne stepped away from the window and sat at his feet.
“What time is it?” Ryan stirred a little.
“It’s three o’clock in the afternoon.”
“It’s so dark.”
Vivienne held his hand. “It’s just the fever, you’re not well.”
“I had a bit of a rough night… and morning. I need to sleep.”
“You need a doctor.”
“Later, Viv. I want to sleep now. I haven’t slept in ages.”
Vivienne caressed him. “Okay, but you’re coming with me today.”
Ryan nodded. He was too weak to start an argument.
From the moment he had left George in the motel room to the delirious, painful morning, the last twelve hours had been hell.
Finding Vivienne at his side when he had come around had been a surprise. He hadn’t really believed she would turn up and on the very same morning he had called her. But she'd come and had stayed by him during the aftermath of the withdrawals, through the vomiting and the diarrhoea, the convulsions and the injections. Now his body had received what it craved and settled, leaving him to deal with the rest, the chest infection and his injuries.
Lola had brought him some tea and a blanket to warm him up.
She too had sat at his side, walked him to the bathroom, held his head as he puked his guts up, helped him shoot when he was too shaky to hold the syringe.
She was good, Lola. Why she cared so much, he had never understood.
“I’m only a lodger,” he had told her once. “I don’t even pay you enough. I’m a fucking junkie, Lola, not your brother or anything.”
“You are someone’s brother, darling,” she’d replied. “You all are, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. You just got lost.”
Someone’s brother… He had been, once, in another life he had mostly forgotten.
Vivienne was still by him.
Perhaps the time had come and he could keep his promise, he could go home and start again.
You will get out, Ryan.
Hailey’s voice echoed in the room as if she were there, sitting next to Vivienne, watching him too.
“Hailey,” he called her softly.
“What is it, Ryan?” Vivienne squeezed his hand.
He was starting to drift in and out of confused dreams; Hailey, Vivienne, home, children laughing, a summer day, a garden, distant voices…He could almost sense the warmth of the sun on his skin, smell the grass under his feet.
His heart was slowing down and a strange calm took hold of him.
“It’s nice.” He sighed.
He closed his eyes and switched off.
The end? Not quite! There's a little more coming. Stay tuned!