Kieran opened his eyes to a room filled with white. For a moment, he was lost, but he soon realized he knew that room. He had been here several times before, and as his memory slowly came back to him, he knew exactly why he was there. He sighed, his chest tight again.
A small television was jammed in the corner of the room, sports news playing in silence. He looked at the table next to him, and noticed a bag. He took it off of the table and examined it. A note on the bag said “For Kieran Sullivan.” He reached inside and pulled out a sketchbook. Checking the bag, he also found a few pencils and an eraser. He laughed.
I bet Finn did this. He looked at the sketchbook. It was the one that Finn bought him, still unused. He opened up the cover and saw another note. “I spent a while picking this out! Don’t just let it sit and collect dust.”
Laughing again, he thought, Yeah. It was definitely him.
He sat quietly, drawing while he waited for something to happen. An hour passed, and a nurse came to check on him. After she left, he heard the door open again a moment later. He looked up from his sketchbook, seeing Finn at the foot of his bed.
“Hey,” Finn said.
Finn took a seat next to his bed, quiet for a few minutes, while Kieran continued to draw.
“Why did you do it?” he asked, quietly.
“What do you mean?”
“You know what I mean,” Finn said firmly. Kieran continued to draw. “Kieran. Please answer me.”
“What do you want me to say? That I’ve ruined my life? That I have no reason to live? That I’m just… a worthless person? And that, because of it, I’m always going to be alone?”
“That’s not true,” Finn said.
“I’ve felt this way for years. I know it. It’s not just some split second decision. And things are only getting worse.”
“You’re wrong,” Finn said. “You haven’t ruined your life. You’re only twenty-seven! We’re young. We always think our lives are blowing by at this age. But really, we’re just at the start. Whatever you’ve dealt with, there’s always a way. People have gotten by with less.”
Kieran stared down at his sketchbook.
“And you’re not worthless! For one thing, you’re an amazing artist. I mean, look,” Finn said, pointing at Kieran’s sketchbook. “Stop for a second and look at that. That’s really good. And you can’t have been at that for long. And, besides that--you’re a really nice person. Sure, you have trouble communicating with people… but you can get past that. And you’ve been doing well, lately.”
Kieran looked at Finn.
“And you’re not alone. You have me. And Liadan, and Devlin, Bianca, Gavin, Jenny. They’re all worried about you. They want you to be happy. I want you to be happy. And we’ll support you. So you don’t have to hide away or keep quiet about things. We want to help.”
Kieran narrowed his eyes and took a breath.
“Thank you,” he said.
“Now, tell me what happened.”
“What got you so upset?”
“I… it was a few things. I don’t like… Liadan. She’s not the person I was talking about. I only tried to date her because I was mad at myself. And I was upset because I can’t… be with the person I want to be with.”
“I can’t tell you,” Kieran said. “Not yet.”
“Alright… what else?”
“You’re apparently familiar with Devlin?”
“She’s not supposed to visit me. Her dad found out. I don’t know what happened, really, but… her dad isn’t exactly a nice guy.”
“She’s fine,” Finn said. “I’ve talked to her. Was there anything else?”
“I’m out of money. I’m not going to have anywhere to live…”
“You can live with me.”
“What?” Kieran asked.
“You could’ve just asked, you know. You’re welcome to stay.”
“Are you sure…?”
“Yeah. And I’m going to make sure we find you a job.”
“Hah… alright. Thanks,” Kieran said, smiling.
“That’s what I like to see!” Finn said, laughing. He stood up from his chair.
“I have to head off, but I’ll be back later. Tell me when they’re going to let you out, if you find out.”
Finn walked around the bed.
“I decided…” Kieran started. Finn looked at him.
“I’m not going to kill myself… I‘m done with that. I‘m… going to live.”
“I‘m looking forward to it!” Finn said.
“Thank you… a lot. I don’t know what would’ve happened to me without your help.”
“Don’t worry about it. Everything’s going to be fine.”
Assorted morning sketches including WIP -
1 week ago