“I don’t have the power to end your life right now. If I do, I’ll set off a paradox and you’ll rip apart the world because you’re eager to die. You have things to do, people to meet, time to spend.” Her words were as hard and cold as her glare. “I am just passing by. I watch people. I watch the interesting ones, like you, Rory Crawford. You caught my attention from the day your father died.”
"The intrest might be because I tease you so much" he said, sarcastically. He took a deep breath. "I’m not important like that. I am what you see right now. I’m scum. I’m… I’m dirt on the sidewalk. My life isn’t worth preserving. I’m- I’m not worth it for anyone." he shook his head, trailing off. "You’re just too lazy."
The dark haired woman looked down to the younger, slowly shaking her head. “Taking you away would be too easy, you’re time will come but your time is not today.” Death felt a shiver run through her body from the cold, the rain soaked her shoes. She had seen people in worse conditions before.
He looked down. “When is my day? It’s never been my day even when I beg…” he breathed looking down. “If it’s not my day you should just leave me be. Not get my hopes up and shit.” he coughed, loudly, his entire body rattling with each wheeze. “I feel like it’s my time. I havent been able to eat in… I don’t know how long. Every time I cough it feels like I’m losing a lung, my body is aching, I can barely think and every night I wake up all covered in sweat. How isn’t it my day. How isn’t it my day when I think I’m talking to death?”
carminadepraeterito is going to die
(but not yet)
“Do you remember me, Rory?” Death whispered in his ear before turning to stand in front of him. She wasn’t sure how she felt about this human, he murdered but she also pitied him. The woman had a sickly grin on her face, crossing her arms over her chest.
Rory looked up at her, shivering slightly and furrowing his brow. He could barely find the strength to think, let alone speak. Too long without food, too long without water, just had gotten the money for a fix. “Are you here to take me away?” he asked, rocking on his feet, his legs almost too weak to support him. His tone was almost hopeful.
As she came upon the boy, Riki’s throat went dry. She could barely find the words to speak, but she managed to choke up, “Come here, come with me!”
Riki had starved herself on numerous occasions to make herself lovely. But, this boy was actually starving and he didn’t want to be. Riki could vividly remember the feeling of not eating for days at a time, and she certainly didn’t like feeling that way.
She had a small room at a nearby Inn, the Tained Inn, and she was most definitely bringing the boy back with her. “Can you stand? Come with me—I’m going to take care of you, I promise.”
"Nonono…" he moved back. "I want- I need money. I don’t want to go with you!" he moved backwards and shook his head. His body needed the food but his mind craved things that would be much harder to get. "M-money so I can save up and uh… get something nice" he stammered. That was mostly the truth. To him the relief he got from drugs was something nice. It would mean just a few seconds of relief from pain and hopelessness. Having enough money would mean not having to do unthinkable things just to get that relief.
“P-please. Just a few spare coins, you know, so a young guy can invest in his future?” he raised an eyebrow a little as he managed to cough up his words. His stomach growled loudly. That probably wouldn’t help him with his point. He sighed and closed his eyes, quickly realizing that this probably wouldn’t go the way he was hoping it would.
From afar the figure on the street corner looked like nothing but a pile of rags. It barely even showed signs of movement at first glance. Upon closer examination, though, it would be recognized as a teenage boy. He was so thin and pale that his body nearly resembled a skeleton. His long, curly hair fell in his face, covering his dark green eyes. Only the deep circles underneath them were visible. His skin, was nearly completely white, if it wasn’t for the ugly bruises that covered his hands and arms.
It had been a month since Rory had been released from the juvenile detention center that he had been confined to for half a year on the charges of possession, assault, and theft. Rory was ignoring the terms of his release completely, mostly because he didn’t really understand it, but also because he didn’t care. “Help” he croaked, shifting a little and holding out a cup that he was trying to gather money from strangers in. It only had a couple pounds. Nothing he could really use, not for his purposes. “Please I’m starving” he yelled at a couple passersby.
He was mostly ignored. Anyone could see he wouldn’t be using their money for food or for a place to stay. He fit the exact description of any junkie, and no one wanted to waste their hard earned cash on drugs. That was common sense. Unfortunatly this left Rory in a bad place. Doing anything and exploiting himself in any way just to get what he thought he needed.
Timeline 1: Rory twenty three years old and is happily engaged to Joanna Watson and has a child, Spencer, with her.
Timeline 2: Rory is seventeen years old and is living on the streets. He is addicted to heroin and would do pretty much anything to get a hit. He’s bouncing from sleeping in shelters and community centers to sleeping in bushes and on park benches.
Jo grabbed Rory’s arm when he started to break down. She tried to comfort him the best she could but he kept talking so she couldn’t say anything. Her lips were pressed into a thin, straight line. All she wanted to do was make him feel better but she didn’t know how. She was always bad with trying to comfort people when they were sad. And Rory was always the toughest of them all.
When Spencer nuzzled into her shoulder, she slowly handed the baby back to Rory but stood close in front of him as if she was holding him too. “Rory… everything will be okay. We still have Spencer, we have a good place to live, and Spencer will be happy. He’s a happy little boy already.” She whispered and leaned over to kiss his cheek.
Rory looked up at her and smiled. “Yeah. Sorry. Dumb.” he breathed, blinking back the tears. “God. I can see why anyone would think I’m not… A fit parent I mean.” he looked at the ground. “I guess it’s gonna be okay, though. I calmed him down that time. He’s fine because I calmed him down” he smiled softly. “I calmed him down so that means I can” a chuckle. “That means I can be a good dad I just have to work at it.”
He kissed the top of Spencers head and whispered. “I love you baby boy.” he looked up. “And I love you, Jo. Forever. We’ll be a family for ever. We don’t have to worry. He was sort of just outwardly reassuring himself to feel better about the whole situation. “We just need to do what she says. We take care of the baby well and than… counseling More counseling I hate psychiatrists” he mumbled
When Rory made his way down the stairs, she stood up again and walked over to him. A smile formed on her lips when she saw Spencer reach for Rory, she helped him and showed Spencer he could play with his collar gently. There were times when Jo was proud of Rory, she couldn’t help it. She knew things were hard for Rory, hell, going out to the super market was hard for him. So when she saw Rory able to calm Spencer down, which was hard, she would smile like an idiot. Her hand pressed to his cheek and she kissed the other softly.
“I’m so proud of you, sweetie.” Jo smiled at him, dropping her hand down and pulling away from him to look at the woman. “Yes, we will. Thank you.” It was the first kind thing Jo has said to the woman and, to her surprise, it didn’t make her internally cringe. She was sincere with her thank you, grateful that she would keep her child. A giggle escaped her lips and she looked back to Rory.
“You need to shave, stupid.” Jo would sometimes call him that but in the nicest way possible. She pressed her forehead to his and ran her hand along his cheek gently. “Tell Daddy to shave.” She giggled down at Spencer and played with his hands gently.
Spencer giggled and reached out to put his hand on his mothers face. Rory shook his head and handed him to her. He didn’t want to let on but there were tears in his eyes. He’d been terrified that he’d lose something again. He didn’t want to lost family. He always lost family and he couldn’t stand feeling that ache ever again. He stepped back and stared at his fiancee and his child.
That’s when he sort of broke down, beginning to sob softly. “My mum hates me.” he breathed, biting down on his lip. “I thought maybe I was getting things together with my family but… No. She still wants to take away everything I’ve earned. She thinks I’m still that dumb fifteen year old she kicked out and sent to prison eight years ago!” he shook his head and began to rock on his feet.
"I’m not… I’m not! And I can take care of this baby too! He’s mine and I… I can deal with him it’s just so hard sometimes-" he stopped, his lip quivering and his body shaking. His green eyes met Spencers. The little boy had frozen and was now staring at Rory. The expression on the small features nearly matched Rory’s exactly. A slightly pouted, quivering lip, tears brimming over large, green eyes, flared nostrils.
Rory sighed, pulling himself together, faster than he ever had before. He forced a smile at the baby. “Its okay Spencer… Daddies okay. Everythings gonna be alright and mamma and dadda love you” he smiled, taking more deep breaths. Spencer turned himself and nuzzled into Jo’s shoulder, scared and confused.
“Seven. Seven minutes he had been crying. I-I had been counting and seeing if he could…” Joanna stopped herself and rubbed her cheek with her palm. For a moment, she let the words sink in slowly and she bit her lip hard before looking back up. “I don’t… I…” She wasn’t even sure what she was trying to say anymore. Excuses, excuses, excuses. That’s all it ever was anymore. Suddenly, she heard a few short cries then loud crying coming from upstairs. Always, Jo was the one to run up and calm him but she stopped. She wanted to prove that Rory could do it. Without saying a word to the other woman, she nodded and hummed “uh huh” as if barely agreeing with her.
She ran into the other room. “Rory… Rory.” Jo grabbed his hand and pulled him so he was looking at her. “Please, calm him down. You have to, understand?” Her hand cupped his face and she pulled him down to her a little. “Rock him slowly, not fast or shakily. And hum to him. Hum the song I always hum. You must know it by now. The one about the moon. Hold him tight, hold him like you have to protect him.” She said, almost sternly but her voice was still soft. “I love you.” She breathed and kissed his forehead.
Rory did as Jo had told him. He cradled Spencer gently, trying to calm the shaking that she had warned him against. He hummed Jo’s song softly. Not only did it soothe Spencer but it soothed him too. It had always been what Jo had sang to him in the worst times of panic. “Hush. It’s okay sweetheart. You’ll always be mommy and daddies. No one’s going to ever take you away” he whispered and the baby slowly calmed down. That filled Rory’s heart with warmth. He wasn’t totally incapable and maybe, just maybe his mother was wrong about him. “Let’s go down, love” he muttered, rocking the baby slowly in his arms and starting out the door and down the stairs. “Hey” Rory muttered, staring at the intruder.
Her gaze softened. He looked so happy holding that little boy and the way the small child reached to touch his father was too much. She could never take that away from either of them. “Rory. Are you in therapy?” she asked.
Rory nodded. “Yes. Court mandated. And I was anyhow” he breathed, shaking his head a little bit and pressing his lips together.
“Alright” said the woman. I think for I’m going to leave Spencer in your custody but I’m watching still so… Take care of yourselves and take care of him” her voice was a little stern but she seemed compassionate at the same time.