I eventually crack Kristine’s hard shell by overdosing. It is a condition I’d stealthily and unintentionally approached over several days of indiscriminate pill popping. When she found me, unconscious and dying, I can only imagine her initial hesitation. Did she weigh her conscience before feeding me salt water that I threw up all over her? Did she wait and watch for a moment when I stopped breathing before pressing her lips against my spew-coated ones and resuscitated me for the second time since we’d met? Maybe she considers keeping me alive is a harsher punishment than letting me slip away unknowingly.
I would have preferred to stay in that calm space of pure bliss while Death gathered me up and took me from this earth. It was the second finest trip of my life. That first being the fateful overdose that resulted in that ill-fated pharmacy trip and a chance meeting with Kristine.
I drift on a horrific sickness which I mark as a new low point in my life. Kristine, who stays at my side, has dark-ringed eyes and a face set in granite.
“Give me my pills, Krissie. I nearly made it that time.”
Kristine has other plans for me. Her clamped lips relax into a deeply saddened frown and her hand gently dissuades mine as I reach for a bedside drawer.
“Please don't go, Sam.”
She says no more than this. No more is required. Looking into her eyes at this moment, I’d crawl through broken glass with my zipper down if she asked me to.
The pressure of tending two hopeless bodies tells on Kristine’s crystalline nerves. I see her difficulty and attempt to regain my feet over the next few days. We’re not overly talkative, though Kristine lowers her wall of silence. Other than this, my recent close call has no far-reaching consequences. The episode seems quite unremarkable given our other problem downstairs, and it would appear that neither of us has diverted from our respective viewpoint. We argue about it once more in short, de-energised fits and bursts, going around in circles. I slip back into bad habits to take the edge off my frustration.