A Storm Subsides

The rain tapers off, with the lighting fading on the horizon. The thunder is now just a whisper in the distance. It is drowned out now by the sound of windshield wipers. Calvin focuses on these things. He thinks about the road, the storm washed fields, the smell of the cigarette he just finished, and anything else that keeps his mind of why he is driving to his friend’s house this time of the day on a Sunday.

He had told Carolyn to get someone else to be their couple’s therapist. He was to close to it all, but he knew she was right. Lance would not go to anyone else. So Calvin was stuck with it. He tried, he really tried. For six months he has been listening to them, putting all his training to work, remembering not to take sides, remembering not to over-correct in Carolyn’s “favor.”

He could see it though. He could see Lance sliding into old, bad habits. He recommended he see a psychiatrist, and that was when they guy who used to defend him from the bullies in high school started pushing them both away. He closed off in session. Lance has becoming more and more distant, and this evening Calvin got the call.

Now his friend is locked in his bathroom, his wife unable to draw him out. They both fear the worst. He has shown the signs for weeks, months even. It was one of her complaints when their sessions started, that Lance would not get the help he needed. When it became obvious that it was true, Calvin asked him in private, and made things worse.

He pulls up the long driveway to their farm, his heart in his throat. He wonders if she should have called the cops, he wonders if they are too late. Calvin begs a god he has claimed to doubt that his friend is OK. “Please” he pleads, “give us all a chance to make it right.” As he approaches the house his relaxes a little as he see Lance and Carolyn, an overnight bag at his side. He steps forward as Calvin steps out of his car.

“I’m ready to go now.” Lance forces a smile, and Calvin checks directions to the nearest psych ED on his phone.

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