Who Cares

Who Cares

A Story by Petar Oklobdzija

  I found out last night. It didn’t really come to me as a shock, not surprising in the least. When Freddy told me the news, it seemed like he expected he would have to console me or some s**t. Almost as if I would be hurt by the news. I wasn’t.

            “Don’t you have anything to say?”

            “What is there to say?” I said.

            “I don’t know,” he began, “you two seemed so close. I don’t know. This just wasn’t the reaction I was expecting.”

            “What were you expecting?” I inquired.

            “Something,” he said as he lit a cigarette. “Something man, not nothing.”

            “Well you’re getting nothing, so we can just leave it at that.”

            “Nope, this is troubling. You’re not acting normal.”

            “What the f**k is normal to do in a situation like this?”

            “See you emotional b*****d! There it is, some sign of life. I’m satisfied now.”

            “Whatever.”
            We sat there in silence for a bit. I stole a cigarette from Freddy and sparked it. We continued to watch the world go by, as we sipped our beers on the sidewalk patio of the pub we had met at. It was a groggy night, a bit of rain danced on the street. This was of no concern to us, seeing as we had an awning overhead keeping us dry. It was warm, a little too warm for October in Chicago. Freddy got caught staring at a pretty woman, but his trance was broken by his cigarette ashing on his recently pressed suit.

            “Damnit,” he cursed as he tried to brush off the mess. “Women, even when I look at them from a distance they find a way to f**k me over.”
            “Ain’t that some s**t,” I replied.

            “Damn straight,” he replied.

 

            Anyways, that was last night. Not much of a story I know, but I really just wanted to make it known how miniscule of a s**t I gave about it all. Oh, right, I haven’t even explained what the hell even happened in the first place. It’s not really that big of a deal, trust me. I don’t understand why everyone is making such a fuss about it today. At least twenty different people have called me to see if I was okay. Twenty people! What the hell do they care? What the hell do I care? Its not like I saw this coming. No sir not in the least. But I just don’t get what’s so damn surprising about it. They didn’t know her, if they did they sure as hell wouldn’t be surprised. All of these people who expressed their concern for my emotional well being in the wake of this mess, didn’t even really know her. They didn’t even want to know her. Nobody asked me what she was like, what she meant to me, was I going to miss her. All they said was how sorry they were about it all. But none of these annoying a******s had any idea who the hell they were talking about. I’m trying to enjoy a beautiful God damn Saturday afternoon for f**k’s sake. Leave me alone. Who the f**k is that knocking on my door?

            “What?” I said rather harshly as I swung open the door.

            “Jesus Christ put some clothes on,” said Freddy as he walked into my apartment, a new bottle of whiskey in his hand.

            “What’s that for?” I asked pointing at the bottle.

Freddy shrugged off the question, walking to the kitchen area and grabbing two glasses.

            “Fred man, what are you doing here?” I moaned, “People finally just stopped calling me and I just want to be alone.”

            “F**k that, lets get hammered and go out.”

            “You’ve caught my interest, let me go put a shirt on.”

            I quickly went to my living room and got what looked like the cleanest shirt lying around, while Freddy poured us each a drink. He handed me mine, and then raised his, “To Mags, may she rest in peace.”

            I refused to acknowledge the toast, but shut up and drank it down anyways. The whiskey was good. I took a look at the bottle, “Where the hell did you get this? I’ve never heard of this brand before.”

            “Idunno, Luis downstairs at the store said it was the best for the occasion, he sends his condolences.”

            I slammed my glass down, almost shattering it. Freddy straightened up with a jolt, “What the hell is your problem man?” he said quietly.

            “I am not in any type of mood to talk about her anymore today. She’s f*****g dead. I did what I could. I haven’t f*****g seen her in months. I tried man, I f*****g tried. Some people just don’t want to be saved.”

            Freddy didn’t really know how to respond to that, which gave me a bit of satisfaction.

            “It’s just sad.”

            “Yeah, its sad,” I said, walking away from the kitchen, taking a seat on the couch.

            Freddy joined me on the couch as I turned on the T.V. and looked for the Bulls game. They were playing the Pistons tonight, and at the moment were getting absolutely thrashed.

            “Jeez, good for them,” Freddy said implying the piss poor state of the Bulls.

            “Nothing we aren’t used to,” I replied.

 

            A couple hours had passed. The bottle of whiskey was empty and had been replaced by a twelve pack of Heineken. It had finally gotten dark outside; the clear sky invited us out onto my balcony. As we sat outside sipping our beer and smoking cigarettes, Miles Davis and that damn sweet horn of his echoed in the background.

            “So you really don’t want to talk about it?” Freddy asked me as he tossed his cigarette off the edge, instantly lighting another one. “I mean I know you had to think about it all day, what with all these people calling you and such. But have you really even talked about it yet? Like actually had a conversation and said your piece?”

            “Not really,” I replied. I didn’t know what I wanted to say. There was a lot I wanted to say sure, I was drunk now and it was all coming to me at once.

            “I guess it just, you know, it just sucks.” Where was I going with this? I lit up a cigarette and took a deep drag while rubbing my closed eyes, buying time until I needed to speak again.

            “You know, how f*****g stupid was I to fall in love with an addict? Heroin man, what the f**k?”

            “You didn’t know though.”

            “She knew how to keep it in check I’ll give her that much. I don’t know, I never loved anything before like I loved her. It was so deeply buried in me, it became a part of who I was. Three years we were together, and I didn’t catch her until a year into it. It scared the s**t the out of me it really did. Why did she need it? I couldn’t understand. I mean I’m no saint, I’ve fucked around and experimented with my fair share of drugs. But heroin? What the f**k did I know about heroin? It killed me not knowing how to help her. But then again she didn’t really seem like she needed help. Well not until the end.”

            “Yeah those last two months you were together really were torture, you could see it on your face.”

            “I know. It’s like, once you realize the thing you love the most is so f*****g broken beyond repair, you just feel so helpless. My life became centered around getting her clean. I did everything I could. I read books, called doctors, even dragged her a*s into rehab.”

            “Now that was a s**t show.”

            “F**k yeah it was. I’ve never seen a human being like that, let alone someone I knew. F**k, let alone someone I loved. It sunk me, it really did.”

            “Well what can you do, junkies are junkies. There’s no way around it.”

            “That’s what fucked me, I refused to believe that nothing could work. But then one day, it was like three days into another stint of her being back on the wagon. That day was one of the worst of my life. She was just lying here on this very f*****g couch, zonked out of her mind on the stuff. It just hit me, why the f**k am I doing this? She doesn’t want to be saved so why even bother?”

            “Love man, we refuse to believe that something like that could ever actually happen to us.”

            “Love. Yeah. Love. Well f**k it. I did what I could, I did. That’s all I kept telling myself until I finally tricked myself into believing it.”

            “Feel better?” Freddy asked.

            “What?”

            “Letting it out, do you feel better now?”

            “I guess.”

            “Good, then my job here is done.” Freddy chugged the last of his beer and made a show of getting up. “It’s time I get home, I have some sleep to catch up on.” He put his hands on my shoulders and stared me right in the eye, “You know to call me right? If you need to let it out just call me, no point in letting all this crap build up inside you. It’ll be torture.”

            “Yeah man, thanks. Need me to call you a cab?”

            Freddy looked into his pack of cigarettes, “Nah, I’ve got four left, I nice stroll would do me good.”

            “Alright man,” I said as I stood up and gave him a hug. “Shoot me a text when you get home if you don’t mind.”

            “You got it. Remember, just call me when ya need me.”

            “Will do.”

 

            Another couple hours passed, I was in bed lying on my back, staring at the ceiling.  A cigarette hung from my mouth as Miles continued to play on in the living room. I didn’t know what to think, I was confused. I felt more alone than I ever had before. It didn’t make any sense. Well, of course it made sense, who was I kidding? Three months of pretending to be okay had finally caught up with me. I admit it, I’m not okay. Nothing about me is okay. It’s hard to say that without feeling like an a*****e. I have a good job, friends, a family. I’m better off than most, but still, I don’t know. Sadness had washed over me like a clean coat of black paint some time ago, without anything coming close to washing it away. But who is really to blame for that other than myself? No one. It’s on me to make myself right. Isn’t it? I’m lying here, feeling sorry for myself, and I’m okay with it. The more I think about it, the more I come to realize that maybe it wasn’t love those last few months with her. It was a distraction from myself. I flooded my head with her problems and they were what kept me from working on the most important person in my life, me. I can’t help but feel that’s the whole appeal to being with broken people, people in a worse state of mind than yourself. They assure you that maybe you aren’t so fucked up after all. Here I go again, psyching myself out. Who am I trying to kid, I loved her. I still love her. Every time I’ve closed my eyes I can see it clear as day. Her, just lying there. Needle in her arm, in some s**t whole place, surrounded by who the f**k knows. I’ll just stop, maybe I’ll start working on it tomorrow.


© 2017 Petar Oklobdzija



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Reviews

Excellent work, into the darkness and out again.

Posted 2 Months Ago


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Zoe
Loved the last para. Learned from it as much as I could relate to it. No matter what happens, best friends always do stay by your side...sharing in your sadness, happiness. And some messed up people in our lives who can never be corrected, who have their minds polluted...screw up the lives of the ones they spend time with...Its always better to let go of such people before the damage is done. A lovely write. I enjoyed it!

Posted 2 Months Ago


i like stories involving two friends, one of which is trying to help the other overcome some obstacle in the story. this was no exception. i appreciate you sending me this to read. take care

Posted 2 Months Ago


Petar Oklobdzija

2 Months Ago

thank you for your time bud, much appreciated.
JayG

2 Months Ago

• I found out last night. It didn’t really come to me as a shock, not surprising in the least. W.. read more

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Added on August 9, 2017
Last Updated on August 9, 2017

Author

Petar Oklobdzija
Petar Oklobdzija

Milwaukee, WI



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21. Creative writing major at UW-Milwaukee. more..

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