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This Morning: A Short Story

Updated on February 1, 2014
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Crashing Back Down by Author Kristen Hope Mazzola, her debut novel, is now LIVE!! Don't miss out on this awesome read!

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/l8uqhjb
US: http://amzn.com/B00GG1KREQ
Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00GG1KREQ
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00GG1KREQ
Smashwords: http://tinyurl.com/SW-CBD

The smell of coffee mixing with bacon starts wafting under the door and into my room slowly bringing me into the morning consciousness. The sun rays dancing in through the shades remind me that it is supposed to be a beautiful Saturday and the last one of summer vacation. I wasn't sad that my senior years was about to start, I was sad that my older brother, Will, was going to be moving to Chicago for his internship this coming Monday.

Reluctantly pulling myself from the warmth of my covers, I pull my robe on over my pajamas and head for the delicious breakfast my mom had waiting for us. This was our tradition every Saturday since my Dad left, have a huge family breakfast with just the three of us. I shuffle into the bright kitchen to find my mom bouncing away to a James Taylor song playing from her iPad while cutting up pineapple. Her smile is infectious as it takes over her entire face while she greets me warmly.

I take a moment to look at my mom while I pour myself a cup of coffee. She's slender, still athletic looking with light auburn curls and bright green eyes, she is stunning. I think back about how far she had come in the ten years since her husband ran off with his secretary. I huff at the awful cliché that had absorbed most of my adolescence. Smiling still, she asks me if Will was awake. I call up to his room but nothing returns. We both shrug it off knowing that he was out late the night before with his fiancée, Kendall.

Taking a sweet piece of pineapple into my mouth, I sit on the bar-stool across from my mom. We share two cups of coffee while talking about all of the exciting changes that were happening, my last year of high school, applying for college, Will's move and engagement. My mom is beaming with pride and happiness as we giggle away realizing almost an hour had passed. I start to wonder how much longer my big brother was going to take, there's only so long I can smell bacon without going crazy.

My mom slides off her stool and heads to put on another pot of coffee for when Will finally wakes up stating that if he’d been sleeping this long the hang over was going to need some caffeine. I grab a few more pieces of fruit and lean on the counter with both elbows discussing my plans for my last week of summer. We go over the fact that I could not extend my curfew passed twelve and we make plans to head for Long Beach next Saturday. I sigh, thinking again about Will moving and decide that enough was enough; it was time for him to wake up.

My mom agrees saying that she will start cooking the eggs while I coax the hibernating bear from his cave. Trying one last attempt at calling from the bottom of the steps with no reaction, I trudge up the stairs and down the dark hallway to Will’s room. I gently press my ear to the door to listen to the soft tunes of Jim Morrison before banging loudly on the door yelling angrily at the door jamb for Will to finally join us. To my surprise there is not even a grunt of a response. Man, he really must have had too much to drink last night. My mind starts to jog a little making me realize that this has never happened before, yeah sure, Will would party, but never hard enough to not wake up at loud noises.

Suddenly I hear a faint cough from behind the wooden door and try to turn to knob, realizing the door was locked. Panic started to set in as I frantically began banging and shaking the knob, in our family we never locked our doors, we were not allowed to. I hear another cough as my mom rushes to my side. Her eyes wide with worry, she realizes why I am frantic. She rushes to her room, returning in seconds with the skeleton key to open the door.

Right when we flew the door opened, the world stopped. Everything was frozen in a horrible scene of red, black and white. My brother was sprawled on his bed naked on top of his bedding motionless. Blood was oozing from his wrists and coughing up from his lunges onto his pillow. His once gray sheets were crimson and glistening. All of his posters and pictures were torn from the walls and his guitar was smashed to splinters on the floor. I could not believe that my mom and I were peacefully living for the last few hours with this nightmare right next to us behind his closed door.

Before I can register my actions I am talking to a police dispatch operator telling her feverishly that my brother was barely alive and needed help. In the background I could hear my mother’s blood curdling screams as she rocks my brother in her arms. Her emotions flooding from her body, asking Will to not leave her too through broken words; pleading, begging, hysterically. I give the address to the soft, reassuring voice on the other end of the phone, begging them to hurry.

Dropping to my knees, I grasp Will’s slippery right hang to my cheek, his eyes barely open. Suddenly courage washes over me and I run out of the room. Rushing around frantic I gather the largest towels I can find and sprint back to the bed side, wrapping both of his arms as tightly as possible in a feeble attempt to stop the blood. I reach for my mom as the paramedics burst through the door and start to do their work. Gripping onto each other, we sob and pray while Will is carried out. We’re ushered to the ambulance and asked if one of us would like to accompany him to the hospital. My mother nods and asks me to call someone to drive me to join them. I tell her not to worry about me and release her hand after a loving kiss on the cheek.

I stand in the front yard holding myself while I watch the ambulance pull away. The first person that came to my mind was Kendall. I shudder at the thought of her reaction but knew I had to call her. I grabbed my phone, dialing her number. Just after one short ring, a sharp tongue answers telling me that she doesn't want to talk about the break up and that Will is going to have to deal with it. Without a word I hang up, shaking, realizing what had happened. Rage and sadness boil up from the pit of my stomach, making me sick right where I knelt. Through sobs and heaves on all fours I could not get the image of all of the blood out of my head.

I stayed there for an unknown amount of time, until a familiar voice rang into my ears, asking me to come with her. Looking up, I saw the love and compassion of my mom’s best friend, Candice, offering me her hand to help me to my feet. She embraced me while telling me that my mom had called her from the hospital and asked if she could drive me. With gratitude I climb into the passenger seat of her faded-blue chevelle. I choke out my words of concern and the most beautiful ones came from Candice’s lips in response, my brother was going to make it, I had found him just in time.

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    • khmazz profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Mazzola 

      5 years ago from South Florida

      Nanny it is so true! I hope one day those walls of taboo in our society are smashed down! Take care love!

    • profile image

      Nanny Cool 

      5 years ago

      This subject touches so many people but we rarely know anything about it. xx

    • khmazz profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Mazzola 

      5 years ago from South Florida

      Strumrgrl, I completely agree that more support in general needs to be given to Mental Health Programs in this country. Thank you for reading my story :) and for your kind words!

    • khmazz profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Mazzola 

      5 years ago from South Florida

      Thank you so much my dear!

    • profile image

      Strumrgrl 

      5 years ago

      So little support is given to Mental Health funding. It takes this wonderful heartfelt story to remind us; depression doesn't discriminate. So many act as if suicide is a "choice" and can be avoided. Or that's it's selfish. But if we understand how deep the pain and darkness go perhaps we'll have more compassion. This great story is well written and the descriptions are palpable. Any day in a normal home with a normal family clueless to their own family's plight. Excellent reading & message. Strumrgrl

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 

      5 years ago from australia

      Fiction or non-fiction you write with conviction and that's what draws the reader in. Good work.

    • khmazz profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Mazzola 

      5 years ago from South Florida

      Thankfully this piece was fiction, but written when a huge trauma shook my family...thank you for your kind words and amazing support of my writing! Take care my friend!

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 

      5 years ago from australia

      You did a great job of such a sensitive subject - something so close to your heart. It's a difficult task for a writer but you handled it with ease allowing the reader to become a part of your family and the tragedy you relate too. Life can be difficult for young people. Sometimes we don't recognise how much people we love and are close to are hurting. Hope all is going well now and you are in touch with Bill and some support.

    • khmazz profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Mazzola 

      5 years ago from South Florida

      Hi Bill, I really appreciate your comment. I tried to find you on facebook but without luck! https://www.facebook.com/kristen.mazzola?ref=tn_tn... if you would be so kind I would love a little bit of help and support.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm a sucker for happy endings. Lovely story. I see in your comment that you were afraid to write about this....you did it very well. I normally don't read short stories but I'm glad I did this one.

      I see you are working hard to become a part of this community. It is slow going at first....I can put you in touch with some HP writer's groups on Facebook if you want. It's a good way to get to know quite a few writers and make some connections. If you are interested, friend me on Facebook (Bill Holland) and I'll invite you into the groups.

    • khmazz profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Mazzola 

      5 years ago from South Florida

      Thank you for your comment, this is something that I wanted to write about but was scared to because of how sensitive the subject is.

    • MaeMG profile image

      MaeMG 

      5 years ago

      Wow. Very strong and intense topic. It's very well-written, which brings such a sensitive matter into light with grace. Having dealt with suicide and depression myself, this was tastefully done. Amazing job.

    • khmazz profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Mazzola 

      5 years ago from South Florida

      I agree that this is all too familiar of a topic in our society. Thank you for stopping by and reading my piece

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Well written and engulfing story. Too sad that this is not just a story but becoming a reality for too many. Life is too short and precious to cut it short on purpose.

    • khmazz profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Mazzola 

      5 years ago from South Florida

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      temitoria's blog 

      5 years ago

      Nice piece and interesting... Good one.

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