“Millennial, huh? I hate that word.”
“I’m just using the term as shorthand.”
“I get that, but, they’re just people. You know? I hate those terms. Baby boomers. Latchkey kids. All of that. I don’t even know what they call the newest one.”
George stared down his drink and picked it up, only to put it away again. Half-sipped, and mostly unwanted, but drunk all the same. Drunk the drink, and soon enough drunk in the general sense.
But, something stopped him this time. So many benders, so many days with the worst hangovers. Today, something worse than a hangover.
“You’ll find someone eventually.”
“Yeah, I do. You’ll figure it out.”
George licked his lips, slowly. Something in his eyes was sparking, but he quelled it and pushed the cup away. Moved it until only the edge was nearby him and then shoved out further with the very tip of his fingers.
“I want you to think something happy.”
“I can’t—that won’t help. Stop…stop it.”
“I want you to tell me something you like about yourself.”
“I don’t…I don’t…I mean, I’m okay…”
George almost said something, but then shook his head, smirked. His shoulders relaxed. The clock ticked over his kitchen table, and he full-blown smiled.
“I just want people to not wake up and wonder how they are going to survive. I am sick of seeing people so fucking broken. The systems in place, all these economic constructs, they just are not helping people the way they need. I have to believe that humanity is capable of great things if only given the chance.”
The loaded gun on the table was easy enough to disassemble; he’d learned how a long time ago. He pulled out the bullets, spread out the pieces, and put them back into their case.
“When you start having these thoughts, I want you to tell me, okay? We are around to help, George. We can help you. Please let us—I don’t like seeing you this way, okay?”
“I don’t either,” George muttered. He sighed, barely holding back the tears that would come soon enough. Always that was the way with him, the shock only came after.
But he was not planning on feeling so afraid anymore.
He pulled out his phone, and in the dim of his kitchen, the empty apartment except himself, he did the one thing he had been avoiding: he asked for help.
“Hey mom,” he said, as soon as the line clicked. “I’m not doing so well, can we talk?”
Special thanks to: Bob Gerkin, Collin Pearman, Dylan Alexander, Jerry Banfield, and Michael The Comic Nerd.
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