“It’s a good thing Tony didn’t survive that dose,” she said absently, “because I’d have killed him myself for taking it.”
I glared at her but she wasn’t looking at me yet. She was still staring, zombie-like, at the television at the foot of the bed.
“It wasn’t an overdose,” I said. “You get that, right?”
“The question is, do you get that?” Kacie demanded, finally looking at me. “How do you go around and praise him for his goodness and his honesty? How do you keep saying how wonderful he was, when he did the most selfish thing imaginable?” A tear escaped her eye and dripped down her cheek like melted wax overflowing a candle.
“He was my best friend,” I said quietly.
“And you had no idea,” she said. She looked away, back to the television, to the covers over her lap, fluffed them a little. “Some best friend,” she said.
“So this is my fault?”
“Sure, Brian, it’s your fault.” Her tone was flat. She took a deep breath through tear-clogged nostrils. They could have been sniffles but sounded more like a bad cold.
I let go of the computer mouse and tipped the vodka bottle over the empty tumbler. In one shot, I emptied it again. Then I poured another one and offered it to Kacie. She tugged a tissue from a box of Kleenex sitting next to her and took the glass I offered. The lamplight showed crumpled tissues in her lap that had blended into the covers in the dimness of the TV light.
Kacie dropped her voice to a lower level than the television and said, “All you’ve been able to think about is what Tony meant to you.”
“What am I supposed to think about?”
She sighed a little, took the vodka down with a gulp, and said, “I don’t know, Brian. Try thinking about Tony. Not your magical mystery Tony who took care of you and loved you but the one who got high by himself on weeknights and sold his prescriptions instead of taking them. Think about the one who dropped out of college continually and lived at home because he kept getting fired from jobs for not showing up.” Kacie took a big breath and it sounded like a hiss through her teeth when she said, “Try thinking about the guy who loved one particular redhead, not all of them.”
“Which redhead?” I took the glass from her hand and refilled it.
“The one you’re fucking in San Francisco.” She pinched the Kleenex to her nose and blew, hard, into it. Then she folded it over and pinched and blew again.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish