When I get home, the flat is littered with cans and bottles, strewn over the floor. I can hardly walk without tripping over the mess. It’s quiet, nobody seems to be home, but I know better. ‘Finn?’ I rap on his door, quickly and loudly. ‘You home?’ God, it really is a mess in here.
The door opens. Finn sits in the computer chair, sliding across the floor to park in front of the wardrobe. ‘What’s going on?’ I’m close enough to hear him breathing: noisy, inconsistent, big spaces between each breath.
I frown. ‘I’m worried about you.’
He’s laughing, almost hysterical, drunker than I’ve ever seen. To be honest I’m quite surprised he’s still conscious. Paisley has come into the flat, I can hear her calling me from the sitting room, I guess she’s left Addie at home, and I don’t blame her. Finn slouches over in the computer chair, head bowed: gargling, retching, I know what’s coming next, and fuck, where’s that plastic bucket?
In the kitchen, Paisley stands and holds a bottle of water. I’m in a hurry, and wave at her. Finn looks at me, head bobbing uncontrollably, a dribble down his chin. ‘What day is it?’ Not a minute later, his head flops forward again. Addie wanted to come over. Now I’m glad she didn’t.
‘Here.’ I hold out the water bottle Paisley left beside me. ‘Have some water.’ He’s not moving. I hear short, distant breaths, and pick up one of his hands. It’s limp, and turning blue. Fuck. ‘Paisley!’ She’s come up behind me, watching from the doorway. ‘Call an ambulance! Finn? Can you hear me?’ He grumbles, breathes a ratty breath, and then falls silent. It takes me a moment to realise he has stopped breathing altogether. ‘Paisley! Did you call an ambulance?’ She stands in the doorway, nodding, holding her phone to her ear. ‘Finn!’ I shake him, a ragdoll. ‘Wake up!’ I already know it’s no use. There is a puddle of whiskey and vomit in the carpet.
I should have known better than to leave him alone.
In the sitting room, Paisley picks up some of the bottles. ‘They’re on their way.’ She looks at me, sympathetic, and somehow that makes me feel worse. I need a fucking smoke. There’s a gargling noise coming from the bedroom, which I run to take care of. Someone is buzzing to get in, already. Paisley runs to the door.
‘Over here,’ I say, and guide the two medics to the bedroom. In the doorway of the flat, a stretcher waits. I feel afraid, suddenly, or maybe I have this whole time and I only just realised. Paisley takes my hand, silent, watching, I think we both feel helpless, and that makes everything so much worse. The medics reappear, carrying Finn to the stretcher, unconscious, blue-tinged hands and lips. Beside me, Paisley lets out her breath. The men disappear, rolling down the hallway. I watch them go.
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