Every Mistake That I Make

Chapter Seventeen

Mikey’s head snapped up when he heard a soft tap at his bedroom door. He was sat on his bedroom floor, leaning against the foot of his bed and scribbling through a few pages of Maths homework. He knew none of his work was correct, but he didn’t care – his mind was elsewhere...On Dallas, and the hurt in her eyes when she looked at him.

“Yes?” he called out.

“Mikey – can I come in?” It was Gerard. He walked into the room before Mikey could even answer, and sat on the bed.

“I didn’t say you could come in,” Mikey attempted to argue, but it sounded pathetic to his ears. “What do you want?” he growled.

“I wanted to tell you that I just got through to Dallas on the phone.”

Mikey put his work down on the floor and looked up at his brother. “What did she say?”

“A lot of stuff...She seemed a bit worried in case you were mad at her because you got a det.” Gerard made a coughing sound in the back of his throat. “She also...She also wondered if you meant to hit her.”

Mikey leapt up, outrage written clearly on his face. “What are you implying?” he found himself yelling at his brother.

“Nothing. I don’t think you meant to. This is just, what she was talking about.”

“I didn’t. I wouldn’t,” Mikey whispered, and he flopped down on the bed. “God, Gerard. I feel like shit for what I did.”

“Yeah. I feel like shit for arguing with you.”

“Me too.”

“I think you should go and see her,” Gerard then said seriously after a few moments of silence. “She didn’t want any one to go round to hers, but I think she’d make an exception for you. I think she really wanted to see you, actually.”

“I can’t face her.”

“You’ll have to some time.”

“She’ll be really mad with me.”

“She won’t.”

“She might...she might cry.”

“And? I think she’d need to. Just go round, see her. If she won’t talk, then fine; but at least you tried, right?”

Mikey didn’t answer, instead he stood up and grabbed his jacket, shrugging it on and stepping into his shoes.

“You’re going then,” Gerard assumed.

“I suppose I should do it sooner rather than later.”

Gerard nodded. “Shall I tell Mum you’ve just gone over to Dallas’ or...”

“I think that’s the easiest thing to tell her.” Mikey left his room, left his house, walking onto the streets of New Jersey.

Dallas lived a few streets away, and it only took him about five minutes to reach her house. All the way there, he planned what he’d say to her, all the time knowing he’d never say them to her.

Mikey knocked on the door, and waited. There was no reply. He knocked again.

Again, no reply.

Mikey frowned and walked away from the house backwards, glaring up at Dallas’ house. All the curtains were open – Dallas’ bedroom window at the front of the house was propped open, her wind chimes hanging out of it, tinkling with every breath of wind.

“Dallas!” Mikey yelled. He half expected her face to appear at the window, ashen and tired, maybe a bit annoyed...but no, it didn’t, and the door didn’t open.

Mikey strode quickly across the garden lawn to the living room window and peered through the glass. He wasn’t expecting what he saw – a pair of feet clad in black tights sticking out from behind the sofa.

“Oh God,” Mikey muttered, his eyes widening. Without hesitating, he walked round the back of the house like he used to when he was fourteen or fifteen and he and Dallas would sneak out to the park to meet up with Anya and Frankie. Mikey hoisted himself over the McKenzie’s garden fence, found the key to their backdoor that was always kept under the same brick in one of the walls around the flowerbeds and let himself into the house.

“Dallas?” he called, but there was no answer. He hurried through the kitchen, into the hallway, and to the living room.

Lying face down was Dallas, her head resting on the red rug. Her dark brown hair was fanned out around her head, and her eyes were closed. Her skin was deathly pale; even the freckles on her face seemed paler. Mascara was running down her face – dried, now, dried to her skin. One hand and arm rested awkwardly on the sofa. Next to her face was a pool of vomit.

Mikey dropped to his knees next to her and shook her roughly. She didn’t come round.

“Oh, shit...” He struggled to his feet and dived for the McKenzie’s house phone, dialling the number for an ambulance. When the call was made, Mikey sat next to Dallas again, his eyes raking frantically over his friend and the area around her. His eyes fell on a bottle of alcohol and he swore repeatedly, grabbing the bottle and reading the label. He then dropped it on the floor again and used the phone to ring Dallas’ mum, Gerard, and Anya, telling them all what he’d found when he’d gone over.

All that done, there was nothing left for him to do but sit there, waiting for the ambulance to arrive.