Nearly forty-five minutes had gone by since Evan had disconnected from reality. He managed to turn on his TV and began the search for his phone. Evan struggled at first to get up from the couch, as if he had to relearn how to use his legs. He shuffled around the apartment slowly, stopping occasionally to regain his balance and make a course correction. While searching his bedroom he noticed his drugs on the nightstand. Evan thought he might grab the remaining heroin and flush it. That was only a thought though; he quickly dismissed it because the thought of getting high one more time was a craving he could not dispel.

Evan finally made it to the kitchen and saw his phone on the table. He grabbed it and went to unlock it, it was then that he saw “One New Voicemail: Mom”, “Shit” he muttered out loud as he began to listen to the message. Evan dreaded listening to these messages; he couldn’t bear hearing the despair in his mother’s voice. He had trained his mind to disconnect at these times because the overwhelming feelings of shame and guilt were too much for him. The only way Evan knew how to deal with this was to stuff it deep down within him, down into a vault he had constructed a long time ago where all of his deepest and darkest secrets were kept.

Evan struggled with hearing the sadness in his mother’s voice. He regretted that his mother now had to hunt him down to ensure that he was still alive. He remembered how his mother used to hunt him down when he was growing up; she would search the house playing hide and seek as well as chase him around the yard in a water gun fight. Immediately he was transported right back to that summer day, he could feel the sun on his face and the coolness of the water streaking down his skin. He could hear the laughs echoing throughout the yard. Evan knew of these memories, and could put himself there. Evan was completely detached emotionally from them. The only things he could remember were superficial. He had lost the ability to feel the joy he once had. He also realized how long it had been since his mother was able to feel that joy too. He knew that each night she would go to bed not knowing if her son would be alive when she woke up.

Evan stood in the kitchen staring at the floor. He knew that he should be crying but he was so disconnected from his feelings at this point and the tears never came. He wanted so desperately to feel again. It had been years since Evan had been able to have a human connection; so Evan did what he did best and went back to his bedroom to numb himself all over again.

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