Things seemed to happen in fast-forward after that weekend. Life spun around me like a hurricane of heartbreak and humiliation and pulled and pushed my body in every dark direction.

***

It was two days before New Years, about a week after our Christmas weekend, and I was excited to spend it as I did the year before: near the sea with Hugo and my body, heart and mind at his complete disposal. I rushed to my room, grabbed my cell phone from my desk and dialled Hugo's number. 'The number you have dialled does not exist' said a woman's voice through the phone, the placidity of her voice contrasting the anxiousness rising within me. That was very unusual, Hugo's number always exists! I decided to phone his house number, maybe he'd be there. I dialled his house number and the dialling tone began. It took about a minute before anybody answered.

'Hello,' said Hugo's mother.

'Hi, this is...'

'Alexander, I know and I would appreciate it if you could stop calling here.'

'Excuse,' I said, the harshness of her voice catching me off guard.

'You heard me. Don't call hear anymore,' she maintained

'Can I please speak to Hugo,' I said wanting to hear his deep voice and not his mother's screeching one.

'Hugo is not here. He's in America.'

'Oh!' I exclaimed, 'When is he coming back?'

'He isn't. Now, if you could just stop calling here and get out of his life forever. He needs to be happy.'

And that was it. Hugo's mother hung up. At that instant my legs gave way and I dropped to the floor. After a year of serving up all of my emotions on a silver platter...it was over, Over, OVER, 'OVER!'

I didn't leave my bedroom for a week after that fateful phone call. I spent most of New Year's Eve on the bathroom floor with a blade in my hand. Hurt, heartbreak and hopelessness flowed abundantly from my arms. For seven days I survived on water from my bathroom and yet my frail body still spent a multitude of those emotions that were kept at bay while Hugo was still a reality. I would reassure my parents that I was ill and that when they were asleep I would go to the kitchen and have something to eat. But I didn't have an appetite and the food my mom would leave outside my door was doomed to the toilet. By the seventh day my older brother Stephen kicked my door open and found me naked on the bed, the white she splashed with blood, my wrists slashed.

'Stephen?' I gasped, noticing I was in his arms. I also noticed the sound of hurried footsteps on gravel and the sound of car doors opening.

'It's okay, we're on our way to the hospital, you're going to be okay,' he said.

My eyes closed unwillingly and I felt a tiny drop of something fall from where I last saw Stephen's face.

***

'Hugo's gone,' I began and continued to explain what had happened. My parents and brother sat and absorbed everything from beside my hospital bed. The untidy hair, the bandaged wrists and arms, the protruding collarbone that stabbed out from behind the hospital gown I had on.

'I'm sorry, I know what I have to do know,' I said with finality.

TO BE CONTINUED...

 

Dane du Toit

[email protected]

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