The first thing she remembered about that day was how annoyed she was that she had to come onto campus during the summer. The asshole still lived on campus, even though he was, like her, a senior in a month and a half. Besides, she’d heard he was rich, so if he really felt like isolating himself, he could live anywhere. Whatever. It was one of those stupid fucking things he did to make himself seem cool and unique–kind of like that stupid fucking sweater of his.
Lisa’s relationship with the asshole had cooled by that point, so they could actually take a small amount of comfort in each other. Maybe it was because their mutual presence brought to mind her boyfriend–his best friend. Maybe it was because she couldn’t trust him to be alone with his own thoughts, and vice versa. What mattered was that it was Fourth of July weekend, her boyfriend was back home in Idaho, she was bored, she was hungry, and she was going to drag his skinny ass over to May’s Cafe for a greasy omelet.
When he didn’t answer the door, something she couldn’t put a finger on thought it was a little weird. He was always home, except when he was at her place. Sure he was entitled to go to the restroom or buy cigarettes or something, but not if it inconvenienced her. She knocked again out of spite, and, for a second there, she thought she’d heard something. She knocked one more time, and there it was–a dull moan. She tried the knob, but it was locked. After a quick glance around to make sure no one was watching, she pulled out her men’s wallet and removed a key.
What she was doing with that key was a long story, but the short version was this: before she came to college here, she ran with a pack of hoodlums. The alpha hooligan, a sneaky son of a bitch and aspiring criminal mastermind named Fuentes, taught her dozens of tips and tricks for breaking the law, none of which she’d forgotten. High up on the list was never to let a good skeleton key go to waste. Lucky for her, her boyfriend was an RA, and that meant he had access to every room in this dorm. She made herself a copy, not because she’d been planning on stealing anything, but rather to honor her heritage.
Besides, you never know what that kind of thing might come in handy. And that day, it was really fucking handy.
Inside, the asshole was lying on his back with his eyes half-open and a little stream of drool trickling down his cheek. It didn’t even take her a second to figure out what was going on.
“No!” she whispered. “No, no, no!”
Breathing deeply, she tried to figure out what needed to happen next. “Think,” she muttered, “what would Fuentes do?” He’d figure out what it was that was killing the person in question. That was easy. The asshole was overdosing on something. The next thing would need to get a little more specific. Something about the drool shouted opium, so she’d go with that. Next up was the delivery. It wasn’t a needle, because there wasn’t one lying around anywhere, and he wouldn’t have had enough time to stash it. She was pretty sure that wasn’t possible to smoke that much heroin, and besides, there was no smell. Snorting was out, or there would have been blood coming out of his nose. That left his stomach, and that she could do something about.
She crawled into bed next to him and listened to his chest to make sure he was still breathing. Satisfied, she stuck two fingers in his throat. He gagged, and, just before he threw up, she rolled him over so his head was hanging over the floor. She let him finish, and then repeated the procedure, just in case. When she was sure he was done, she wiped her hand on his stupid sweater and sat him up.
“Hey fuckface!” she yelled.
“Uh?” he mumbled.
Oh, thank God. “Yeah, you, fuckface!”
“You tell me, you rock-stupid motherfucker!”
He shook his head imperceptibly. “No.”
“No, you’re not going to tell me?”
“Don’t,” he coughed. “Stop.”
“This is getting us nowhere. Phone.” Because, honestly, she’d forgotten that hers was in her back pocket.
“Sweat,” he sighed, “er.”
It was right where he said it’d be. She called 911 and told them, “I have someone here that OD’d on something.”
“I need you to calm down, ma’am, and tell me where you are.”
“This is my calm voice!”
After a bit of back and forth, she stayed on the line while at the same time trying to stop him from nodding off. Just when she thought she couldn’t keep it up anymore, the EMTs showed up and did whatever it was that EMTs do, and in no time, he was gone.
They had a lot of questions too: “Do you know what he took? Does he have a history of mental illness? Is he your boyfriend?” Shit like that. She answered the best she could–“No. I think so. Are you fucking kidding me?”–until they left her alone.
She held it in as long as she could, but really, that wasn’t very long at all. She collapsed onto his bed and sobbed like a goddamned baby. Eventually, she pulled her shit together and remembered the phone in her hands. Sniffing, she sat up and scrolled through his contacts. A part of her was disappointed when L went by with no mention of her. That part, as much as she hated it, pushed her back down onto the mattress, where she cried some more.
Finally she returned to the phone and scrolled down to where it said “Mother.” She hit send and waited.
On the other side of the phone, an exasperated voice sighed, “What is it this time, Sean?”
“What the fuck is it then?” Lisa didn’t know why she asked that question.
“That your first or last name?”
“Look,” the voice snapped, “stop wasting my fucking time and tell me why you’re calling me on my son’s fucking phone.”
“I think he tried to kill himself.”
The other end went silent.
“Goddammit!” the voice bellowed. “What the fuck?”
“I can’t keep dropping what I’m doing every time he pulls shit like this?”
“Are you with him right now?”
“No,” Lisa replied.
“Well, where the fuck is he?”
“Are you there with him?”
“No,” Lisa told her, “I–“
“Well get the fuck over there and keep an eye on my son until I get there!”
The call ended, and she stared at the phone for what was probably five minutes before she finally shook her head and muttered, “Asshole doesn’t fall far from the bigger asshole, does it?”