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all i ever do

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Matteo lies a lot.

He lies to his mom when she asks where he’s been. He lies to his sister when she asks him how he is. He lies to Jonas when he tells him this is the last time he’ll ask for him to pee. And he lies to the people at NA, he’s not clean. He’ll never be clean.

He remembers he used to. He used to be clean all the time, and he was alright that way. But something changed when he got older, he could feel it, he was hardly happy, and he missed enjoying things. So he turned to something else, something he thought would make him happy enough that everything would be the same way it was. Things just spiraled from there.

He hadn’t really meant to overdose. If he had, then he would’ve done it when no one was around, so there would be no one to call the ambulance until it was too late. And he definitely wouldn’t have done it at home, where Eli could find him.

But it turns out Eli was the one to find him. She was the one that had to call the ambulance.

Matteo ruined his little sister. Which is why he hides this from her. It’s why he lies.

It’s why he’s running to Jonas’s to ask him to pee in a cup again.

He had started his day by going to Carlos’s to get some pills. Carlos had been as stubborn as he usually was when Matteo had just gotten out of rehab, but he gave in soon enough.

When he returned home, an hour later, his mom asked him to take a drug test. He tried to deny it, to get out of it. But he saw Eli watching them from her doorway. It was better if he just complied, Eli didn’t deserve to witness another argument. So he said he was going on a walk, because he’d just peed.

It was a miracle it had worked.

“Are you kidding me? Again?” Jonas asks when he sees him.

“Please?”

Jonas takes the cup, but he scoffs. “I can’t keep doing this. You said you’d try”.

He wants to get angry. He does try. No one ever sees how hard he fucking tries. It’s not his fault he keeps failing. But then he remembers Jonas is doing him a favor. Mateo doesn’t have the right to get angry at him.

“I know,” he says, as he watches Jonas walk away.

His mother insists on watching him pee when he gets back home.

And she’s right to distrust him. But it doesn’t make it less annoying. Eventually, she agrees to turn around.

He carefully pours Jonas’s pee in the cup his mom gave him. Another lie. But it’s for the better good.

“Mom, can I go to a party?” he asks, still pretending to pee.

“If you’re clean, yes”. He’s never fucking clean, not even when he doesn’t do drugs.

“Of course I am” he lies, zipping his pants up and handing her the cup.

“We’ll see”. She drops the dipsticks on the cup, and they both wait in silence. He hates how numb his mom looks while they wait for the results, like she’s already preparing for the worst. It reminds him of how she was before she got help, back when she wasn’t on antidepressants and hadn’t found good therapy. Numb. He hates what he did to her.

Matteo hates hurting people, but he cant help it.

He wants to apologize. He knows it’s his fault, he just wishes he could say something.

His mom speaks first, she reaches for the dipsticks and looks at the result. “Ok” she tells him, “You can go”.

He loves her. He just wishes he could say it. “Thanks”.

***

The party was boring, which is why he got high as soon as he could. He thought about not doing it. His mom trusted him to come here and not get high, a part of him wanted to prove her right. But the coke was right there, what was he supposed to do.

“You’re high,” Amira says. He hadn’t even realized she was next to him. Matteo doesn’t respond, he doesn’t think she expected him to anyways. “Jonas misses you…I miss you. Did you know it makes him sad when you ask him to take your drug tests? He says he feels like he’s enabling you, but he thinks that he’ll lose you if he stops doing this for you. You need to do better, Matteo, you’re hurting everyone around you”.

He knows. All he ever does is make people feel bad. But it’s not like he means to, he can’t stop. People always go on about addiction being a disease until someone they know has it. Then they’re ‘not trying hard enough’. The worst part is, he feels it most times too, he feels like this is all his fault. “Amira…” he starts, but he doesn’t know how to continue. Fuck, Amira should have approached him when he wasn’t high.

Before he can think of what to say, he hears screaming from the kitchen.

“…You want to hurt me? Do it!” the voice is angry and terrified. Matteo stands up from the couch, and goes to see the commotion.

There’s a boy, barely even taller than him, holding a knife, pointing it at Alex. Tall, muscular Alex, who looks like he’s about to shit himself. Good, he thinks, Alex’s always been a prick.

He sees Alex take a step back.

“Chill-” he hears Alex start to say, but before he can continue the boy raises his arm and pulls the knife to his forearm.

“Stay the fuck away from me!”. Blood starts to dribble from the surface and Alex leaves looking like he’s about to be sick. Matteo feels himself smile.

“I’m David, by the way” the boy says, like nothing just happened, “I’m new in town”.

Yeah. He is going to love this boy.