"So Ash,what mess have you gotten yourself into this time?" Ashland looked up at the police officer staring down at her. "Stuff it up your ass Brody. I'm not in the mood for it." One of her oldest childhood friends cracked a smile,and he sat next to her. "Well you know,it's not every day that I get told my best friend is sitting in the hospital after dragging some random suicide attempt in. So,I thought I'd stop by and see what was going on. So spill woman."
So Ash spilled the story,telling Brody about leaving the center and how her dog had nearly broken her arm to grab the man back. She didn't tell him what he had said when he looked up at her. It seemed too private, too personal,like not even something she was supposed to hear from him. Then she told him about dragging the man back into the center,where it wasn't pouring down rain on him and calling an ambulance. She had followed it in after making sure her dog would be fine at the house without her,and had been sitting here for a little bit,waiting on news about the man. Her father had once said she placed far too much invested emotions in broken things. And that was true. As soon as she had seen the look in his eyes,she had invested in him. As she finished,Brody nodded.
"Sounds like he'd be a good candidate for that program you want to start. That is,if he actually wants help. A lot of suicides are a call for help,but something tells me that doing it on a dark bridge,in a storm,in the middle of the night isn't exactly doing it because you hope someone would save you."
Ash smirked at him. "Really?Mark teach you that little bit of psychology?"
"Oh haha mean ass. Mark doesn't talk about work when we're at home. I don't either." At this point Brody smiled a little,"But I have read some of his textbooks. It's really interesting stuff."
They chatted for a few more minutes,mainly about the shelter and the next time Brody and Mark would be able to come in to do some volunteer work. He had supported her in the beginning,and his support was still just as stalwart in it as he was when it first began. When his phone rang,he stepped outside of the waiting room to answer it. Ash was actually getting ready to leave soon. Wanting to know what had happened or not,she did have a life to live,animals to feed,and other things she had to take care of. It was late as is,and she had to be up early. Brody walked back into the room,but the grim set to his eyes and mouth made her goodbye die on her lips.
"They know who he is. He's out of jail on drug charges,hasn't checked in with his parole officer in a few weeks. Chief wants me to handcuff him to the hospital bed."
Ash just stared at him. "Well... that's interesting."
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It had been six weeks since he had almost killed himself. According to the doctors,he hadn't caught any kind of disease,but he had been dangerously undernourished and dehydrated. At the point he had been saved, he had been unable to find a good vein in his arm,and had been injecting drugs into the veins between his toes. It was bad,that was for sure. They had him in the courtroom,handcuffed to a wheelchair. The judge who had passed his sentence had droned on about personal responsibility and the need to have a strong will to kick his habits,and then sentenced him to six weeks detoxification and rehab. After that,he was to take part in a rehabilitation program that they hadn't told him very much about. All they had asked was if he was allergic to any animals. When he said no,the judge had told him that he was to be given a place to stay, he would go through the program,and if at any time he used drugs or tried to run out on it,he would be going to jail for at least 3 years. Simple as that. He could do it. Well,he thought he could do it anyways. Hopefully he would be able to.
He didn't want to fail again,but he knew he would. Just stay strong enough to get through the bullshit,then the moment they cut him loose,he was gone. No more half measures. A handful of pills to make him dull and brave. Then take a gun to his head,spray the walls with his worthless brains. He just had to get a hold of the gun. And hell,if he couldn't rope was a dollar a foot at most stores. Find a sturdy tree in the deep woods,and no one would find him until he was rotted to a pile of bones at the foot of it. Ever since his vision had cleared and the shakes had stopped,he had been looking forward to his suicide. It wasn't like he had to dress nice or anything. No one was supposed to find him. Where ever he went to when he died,if there even was an afterlife,surely there wouldn't be any drugs there. Except he was probably going to hell for what he had done,but even there,wouldn't they just make him want drugs and keep 'em out of his reach?
Didn't really matter anyways. Hell didn't exist,and anyone who kidded themselves about that shit was as blind as anyone. That's what he hated about his damn programs. They all had these groups, and they all talked about giving it up to the higher power. There was no higher fucking power. You either believed in yourself,or you didn't. He didn't believe in himself,so that was that.
He resisted the urge to be bitter as they handed him some clothes. He had at least gained weight in the facility,and his old clothes had been ruined that night anyways. They were his though. And who ever had picked out his little get up was stuck in the 70's still. The jeans were alright,but a flannel shirt and a baseball shirt?Whatever. It was wintertime now anyways;the flannel would probably be a good idea. He had watched the snow falling through the barred windows. He had loved snow as a child,loved playing in it. Snow always made him think of his son. He hoped he never got to see him again. He had a real chance to grow up to be a good man,a good kid. Not with JB in his life though. His kid didn't need that kind of shit. Didn't need some strung out junkie dad in his life. If he asked,he hoped his mother told his son he was dead. Make it easier on everyone. Otis would lie;tell his son his dad was a good man. JB wasn't a good man. He was weak. A good man had to be strong,because it was so easy to be a bad man. Took strength to be good. Strength he didn't,and never would,have. Otis had that strength. He had shrugged off some things that would have destroyed other men,and then he had survived things that should have killed him without a doubt. Because he was strong,and a good man. That's how he kept all that anger and rage that was so deep inside locked up. JB couldn't do that.
He walked out of the doorways into the brisk November winds. It wasn't snowing yet,but it would be soon. He hunched his head down,lifting his shoulders and walking to the bus stop. He'd get to the address they had given him,and hopefully whoever was in charge would let him warm up and rest first. It was fucking cold. He sat down on the cold metal bench,but it was like he was only there for a few seconds before a cop car stopped in front of it. Fuck. The window rolled down,and JB glared into what was obviously a warm car. He could see the cop inside,it was the same one who had handcuffed him to the bed,the wheelchair, and dropped him off at the detox center.
"Hey man,I ain't done anything wrong. I'm just waiting on the bus." The cop nodded. "I know. And the bus isn't coming. They closed them down because of the snow coming in. Supposed to get six inches tonight."
"Fuck." JB spat the curse word out. Now he'd have to walk.
"Get in. I'm giving you a ride."
"Thanks,but no thanks pal. I ain't getting in no cop car."
The cop shrugged. "Fine. Freeze your feet off then. See if I care."
"Shit." JB stood up and grabbed the back door handle. Opening the door and climbing in,he felt the warm air of the heater begin to creep into his bones. "Where are you going to take me?"
"To the shelter you're going to be working at." The cop caught JBs eyes in the rearview mirror. "The woman you'll be working for is a very close friend of mine,so I'll be checking in. A lot. I also volunteer at the shelter."
"Look man, they didn't tell me anything. What shelter?"
"You'll be working at the Last Chance. Its a shelter for abandoned dogs, especially those that are considered dangerous, or would just be put down at any other shelter. Run by a woman named Ashland Pierce."
JB thought about it. Last Chance huh? Sounded like the perfect place for someone like him.