Thursday, April 4, 2019

What It Was - Chapter 27

Chapter 27

I pulled out of the parking spot and as I drove out onto the main street I turned to Charlie, “Where do you want me to take you? If you want, you can also come to my place, it’s warm and you can take a shower.”
Charlie replied, “I don’t want to go to your place, Shay, but thanks for the offer. You’re very kind.”

I had expected this answer.

“Then let me at least buy you breakfast. I’m hungry and I’m not ready to go home yet.”
Charlie bit his lip and replied, “That offer I will accept. I’m actually very hungry.”

I drove on and thought out loud, making suggestions where we could eat, “How about Shari’s or IHOP for breakfast? Or Denny’s?”
“You chose Shay; anywhere is fine with me.”

As we drove along, I decided we would go to Shari’s diner. I knew for sure they were open 24 hours and I craved a good full homestyle breakfast. At Shari’s, we were greeted by a friendly but somewhat tired looking waitress, who led us to a table in a booth. I hadn’t missed her glancing suspiciously at Charlie, but it seemed like my being with him, eased her mind to an extent that she didn’t question his presence at their establishment. Just for the shower opportunity, I wish Charlie would have accepted my offer. I was basically used to his odors by now; I had been around him for hours after all.

We sat down in the booth, Charlie thanking the waitress in a friendly manner. She asked right away if we were ready for coffee and we were definitely ready. The waitress returned and poured hot steaming coffee into our mugs and set the bronze colored thermos on the table. We had menus in front of us and started looking over them.

I looked up at Charlie, “Pick whatever you like.”

Charlie mumbled a “Thank you” from over his menu.

As we were waiting, I took a sip of the coffee and it tasted good and going down it also warmed me up from the inside. I realized how cold I had been all night. Charlie drank from his mug and we looked at each other silently for a moment. I was sure we were thinking about the same person.

Charlie asked hesitantly, “Are you all right, Shay?”

I had my cold hands around the cup.

I took a deep breath and looked into my mug, then back up at Charlie, “Considering everything that happened tonight, I’m somewhat all right at the moment. I just couldn’t go home yet.”
Charlie nodded, “I get it. Not that I have an actual home but I’m glad we’re in here right now.”

I took another sip from the coffee and the waitress came and took our food orders. There were only a handful of patrons in the restaurant, sitting far enough apart so no one could overhear anyone else’s conversations.

I asked Charlie, “How long have you actually known Jordan?”

Charlie had his hands under the table and sat somewhat hunched over. He looked up at me and seemed to think for a moment.

He took a deep breath and started, “I met Jordan soon after he had gotten out of the hospital. You know when he had been shot and all that shit. He was in bad shape then. I met him on the street. I had just made my way up here from Portland, so I think this was about eight years ago. He didn’t have a place; he didn’t even have a tent or anything. They had basically released the kid from the hospital without having a place to live and shit.
It was in the summer, so at least it was warm but he had no fucking place. He had his back pack and a sleeping bag and he would hang out by Pike Place Market and panhandle down there by the Pier. I always saw him in his wheelchair, like I never saw him out of it. I didn’t know that he had been shot and was paralyzed because of it, but I always saw him in the wheelchair and thought how persistent and convincing he was. I thought he was faking it.
One day, I stopped when I passed him and asked him if he made a lot of money by using a wheelchair when panhandling. I asked him if it helped with people feeling sorry for him and dropping him a ton of money. He looked at me like I was fucking crazy and he got really angry and basically told me to fuck off. I kind of kept on because I thought he was just a con with his wheelchair and somehow I have a problem with it, you know when some fuckers do this to get people to feel sorry for them and shit and then around the corner they walk away pushing the fucking thing in front of them, walking perfectly fine on two legs. I hate that shit!”

He stopped talking for a moment, then continued, “Well shit…Jordan though…he gave me a quick rundown on his situation and he was so angry with me. I still didn’t believe him all the way though, but a few days later I was down there early in the morning, and I saw him sleeping in a corner on the ground and I hung around and watched him. I witnessed how he barely made it into his wheelchair and how he did it and then I knew he was really depending on the fucking thing because his legs were seriously fucked up and didn’t do anything for him. I realized that he was for real with the wheelchair and all that.
So, over the summer we both kind of hung out down there panhandling, and even though he was still pissed at me, we did sometimes talk a little. I had a tent and when fall came and it got nasty out, one of the days I made my way back over to him and basically just told him where my tent was and told him he could start staying there. He didn’t take me up on it right away, he was too proud but I knew he was struggling and I really hoped he would drop his ego and come stay with me.”

I had been listening to Charlie talk and sadness crept up again.

Charlie drank a large sip from his coffee, then wiped over his mouth with his dirty hand and took a deep breath before he continued, “It was on an especially nasty night when he showed up at my tent, soaked and messed up. I still had my tent in another place then. He asked if the offer was still up and I nodded and he basically had a break down and moved in with me. I realized he was really struggling with the whole fucking paraplegia thing and he was dealing with a lot of pain and shit.
It had only been about a year and a half then since he had been shot and so it was all still new. And of course, there were no charges on anyone and no one looked for the motherfuckers that had done that to him.
Jordan had already started going from the strong pain meds to other heavy shit then. That fall and winter he basically only went out to get money and his dope and weed and he came back to the tent and slept all the time. That’s all he did.
I had to drag him out sometimes to wash off at the shelter or whatever. He was sick a lot and I had to get him to the hospital. He was always dealing with all this stuff with peeing and shitting, so he spent a lot of time in the hospital. Sometimes he had seizures. He was just super exhausted all the time. If I wouldn’t have brought him food, he wouldn’t have eaten a lot. He used to not be this skinny you know. I basically fed that kid through the winter like an animal.
Anyways, he was always dealing with all these fucking health issues, it really sucked for him, you know. Then of course the addiction and so it’s been like this for years now. He kind of tried to get out of it, like find work or something but he just couldn’t catch a break…”

Charlie’s words faded and he lowered his eyes, saying softly with a trembling voice, “If the kid dies tonight, I…I don’t know…fucking shit…it shouldn’t end like this.”

I was sitting there and listened quietly and at that moment, the waitress set two plates in front of us and startled Charlie. When he looked up, tears were running over his weathered face and disappeared into his messy, thick beard.   

He looked at me and shook his head and with a trembling voice he said softly, “I was so fucking happy for him when he told me about you and even though at first I didn’t believe him, I wanted him to catch a fucking break so much, and you know sometimes miracles happen, like good shit out of nowhere. You were something like that for him, like some kind of miracle…”

Charlie’s voice faded and he sniffled his nose and rubbed his hand over it, pulling the snot up in his nose.

He said with a heavy sigh, “Fuck!”
I took a deep breath, “Thank you for your help tonight Charlie. You saved his life back there.”
He sniffled again and with tears still in his eyes, he replied, “Did I though?”

We picked up our utensils and started eating in silence. We were lost in our thoughts about Jordan and everything that had happened. The food was delicious and just a little bit it made me feel better and it made me feel normal. Of course, everything was far from normal. It was five o’clock in the morning and I was eating breakfast with a homeless man who was a friend of my addicted, paraplegic boyfriend, who was fighting for his life in a hospital ICU.

I needed my family and my friends badly. I needed to let people know because I knew now that I couldn’t fight this fight alone and I was not strong enough to go through this by myself. Charlie was good but he was not enough. I needed a lot more support. I decided to find my way home later that day and tell my parents what had happened and what was going on. I was scared and very nervous about the outcome, but I hoped very much that my parents would be on my side and try to understand. I needed Chad to back me up and be my ally in this.

As we left Shari’s, I offered to Charlie once more that he could stay with me or at least take a shower at my place if he wanted to, but he declined the offer again. He wanted to be dropped off closer to the camp and he gave me a phone number of a guy in the camp whom I could call and that guy could keep Charlie in the loop. He also gave me an email address where I could send messages to, and he explained that he sometimes used the computer in the library or at the shelter and checked his email there.

I had told Charlie that I planned on letting my parents in on this and even though he was skeptical, he wished me best of luck with that. I offered to pick him up the next day to see Jordan again but he declined.

“It’s too painful for me to see him like this. I’m sorry Shay.”

Charlie was already outside my car and still had the door open, looking into the car.

I nodded at his explanation and said, “Do you not think this is painful for me? It’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my whole life.”
Charlie lowered his eyes and I asked tensely, “Do you want to see him if he makes it out of this? Like when he wakes up?”
Charlie shrugged his shoulders and I added, “You’re his best friend Charlie. You can’t leave him hanging. He’ll need you to be there when he wakes up at least. He’ll need all of us.”
Charlie took a deep breath and I asked, “Do you want to know if he doesn’t make it?”

He pressed his lips together and I knew this had touched him.

“Charlie, I know this is difficult for you but I know you love him and you want to know. It’s difficult for me too, but I will not and cannot leave Jordan hanging. I love him and I’ll be there for him all the way. I think you should also consider that.”

Charlie asked softly, “What are you going to do if he dies?”
It was tearing me up to hear this but it was a possibility and I needed to face it, “Then I’ll give him a burial he deserves and I’ll carry his love and his memory with me forever until I die.”

Tears came up in my eyes as I said this and one more time emphasized, “Charlie, you have my number and address. If you need me, call me, come to my place, or get in touch with me somehow. I’ll keep you in the loop, no matter what happens. You’ll know what’s going on with Jordan. You can’t just not be there for him. I won’t allow that for Jordan’s sake.”

A few tears dripped out of Charlie’s eyes again when he looked at me taking a deep breath, “Keep me in the loop. I want to see him again too, so let me know when you go and we can meet there or something. I’ll make it happen, maybe not every day but when I can, I’ll be there.”
I nodded and smiled, “Thank you Charlie. It means a lot.”
He nodded and wiped over his face again, “Good luck with letting your family in on it.”
“I’ll see you later, Shay.”
“Yes, you will.”

We said Good Bye and Charlie shut the door and trudged off toward his camp. 

I drove off and as it was getting daylight; morning traffic picked up as all the commuters started their work day. Life kept on turning and I was just glad that I had not gotten any phone calls from the hospital over the past two hours. Jordan was still alive. Kelly and Dr. Hayes had promised to let me know if anything changed with Jordan. They had my phone number and I would have my phone with me at all times.

The sun came up over the hills of Seattle and it wasn’t raining. It was still cold, only 34 degrees outside displaying on the car temperature control. But it was clear and the sun would come out. I didn’t drive home yet, but instead made my way up to Kerry Park in Queen Anne, not far from where I lived. I got up there and even though it was cold, I parked my car on the side of the road and walked over to the outlook with view of Seattle and its skyline. I had my jacket wrapped tightly around my body and stood at the railing overlooking the city.

It was beautiful; the sky was saturated in a bright orange and yellow with the sun coming up over East Seattle. My breath was visible in front of my face as I inhaled and exhaled. My hands were ice cold in my pockets and the tip of my nose felt cold; the tears that ran out of my eyes travelled slow over my red, cold cheeks. My ears were cold, and my hair was flowing around my face in the breeze that was blowing up from the Sound. I looked over Seattle and it looked so beautiful and so alive. Cranes in various colors were stationed all over the city; signs of a growing and bustling city with people flocking to it for high paying jobs with large corporations and for living a good life. Seattle’s growth had enabled me to live a decent life with a good job and it probably wouldn’t change.

But I knew very well, that the city also had a very different side to it, one that was not visible from this view point and one that was dark and painful. It was the side that was ignored on many levels and a side that regular people had become numb to. There were too many people living on the streets and suffering day in and day out, while others lived in multi-million-dollar homes and penthouses. It was the side of the city that Jordan lived on and survived in. It was the side with the homeless camps all over the city, people sleeping and dying on the streets, and people whom society had forgotten.

I pulled out my camera and brought up the gallery with all my photos and found the shots I had taken with me and Jordan. I looked at him and I lost a few more tears and whispered to the picture, “You’re going to make it through this and I’ll be there waiting for you with my love and my home and you’ll be happy and you won’t suffer anymore. I’ll give you my all and my everything and will love you with every fiber of my body, because you’re exactly the man I’ve been looking for all my life. You’re my heart and my soul and I’ll never let go of you. I love you so much, Jordan.”

I kissed the picture on the phone and even though it was silly, it was all I had of him in these moments. A tear dripped onto Jordan’s image on the phone. I dabbed it dry with a tissue and made the picture of us my phone background.

I looked over the city scape once more and took a picture of the sun rising over the skyline.

Just at that moment my phone played its ring tone with “I am the Highway”.

When I looked at the phone it displayed an unknown number and I pushed the “Answer Call” button, bringing the phone to my ear.
My voice trembled and I looked over to my car, ready to get back in.
“Hi, is this Shay Gallagher?”

My body was shaking from the cold.

“Hi Shay, this is Dr. Hayes again from Harborview.”

My heart dropped at hearing Dr. Hayes on the line. There was a moment of silence and even though I wanted to give her a sign, that I was still on the phone, my voice didn’t work. I couldn’t make a sound.

Dr. Hayes cleared her throat on the other end, then started softly, “Shay, I’m afraid I have some bad news.”

I closed my eyes and took some quick breaths as I felt like I was being strangled by an invisible force. I was suddenly aware again that my body was freezing cold. My heart seemed like it was about to stop.

I didn’t feel any warmth in this moment, everything seemed frozen and cold, my insides just as my outsides. I opened my eyes and looked over the Seattle skyline and I tried to take slower breaths but I couldn’t.

Dr. Hayes spoke again, “We lost Jordan.”

I wanted to speak; I wanted to scream; I wanted to not be alive in this moment; I wanted to be where ever Jordan was. 
I stumbled over to the railing and leaned on it, holding on with one hand, trying to keep from falling. My knees were on the verge of buckling under me. 

“Shay, are you there?”
I barely managed, “Yes.”

I swallowed a lump in my throat just to have it replaced by another seemingly bigger lump. I nervously looked around, taking quick breaths, trying to get air into my lungs but I couldn’t. I still felt like I was being choked.

I heard Dr. Hayes again, “Shay, I’m so sorry.”

I opened my mouth to say something but only a moan escaped from my insides.

“Shay, are you there? Please speak to me.”

I had to cough, the cold in my lungs felt like pins and needles poking at my insides.

I attempted to form a sentence, “I…yes…Jordan…”
Dr. Hayes asked in a worried tone, “Shay, where are you?”
I gasped, trying to prolong my breakdown, “I...I am at Kerry Park…”
Dr. Hayes was concerned on the other end, “I’m going to send an ambulance right now. Do not go anywhere Shay!”

I tried to say something but I was unable to make any normal sounds or form any logical sentences. I started crying and coughing, leading into a full-on sobbing.

I fell to my knees, feeling the cold and hard gravel through my yoga pants tearing the skin on my knees. I dropped the phone on the ground next to me and broke down screaming and crying. I hit my hands to the ground, the grief was unbearable.
I didn’t hear Dr. Hayes on the other end anymore trying to talk to me, but she heard very clearly my cries of anguish and pain. I was hyperventilating and having a panic attack.

As Jordan had died, the sun had risen over Seattle; it was a clear but ice-cold morning. The tears on my face froze as I lay on the ground and passed out. 

I didn’t notice the woman with her dog rushing over to me, squatting down beside me, and draping her jacket over me, telling her dog to sit by me to keep me warm. I didn’t hear anything she was saying. I didn’t notice the ambulance getting there, and quickly wrapping my body into a hypothermia blanket and giving me Oxygen. My system had shut down and only in the ambulance I slowly came to.

A young female EMT hovered over me, “Shay, hi!”

I blinked at her, my eyes were burning and I could barely open them.

“Shay, you’re in an ambulance. We’re taking you to the hospital. My name is Mariah, I’m an EMT.”
The only thing I brought over my lips was, “I need to…to go to Harborview…My boyfriend...”
She nodded and said softly, “That is where we’re taking you.”
She then grabbed something next to me, “Here is your purse and cell phone. Do you want me to call anyone?”

She held my cell phone in her hand.

“My brother Chad.”

Mariah handed me the phone and I unlocked it with shaking hands.

She asked, “Do you want to call him or do you want me to?”
I barely had a voice, “You...please do it.”

I made out how Mariah was on the phone speaking softly and then hanging up and turning to me again, “Your brother will meet you at Harborview.”

I nodded and closed my eyes again.

Time seemed to move in slow motion until we got to the hospital and I really didn’t grasp anything around me. I was in shock. I didn’t know where I was; I barely could open my eyes. My voice was hoarse and weak; my mouth was parched; my body seemed to be burning up under the blanket. Every fiber and every nerve was in overdrive, igniting my inner heat and pumping blood through my veins.

At Harborview hospital, I stammered, “I need to...I...ICU."”
“No problem, of course.”

I didn’t comprehend where we entered the hospital. I didn’t care about the people rallying around me, and only when we approached the ICU with me in a hospital wheelchair, I recognized Dr. Hayes intercepting us.

I turned to the EMT pushing me, “I need to get up.”
The EMT didn’t allow me to get up, “You need to stay in the chair Shay. We’ll push you in.”

I tried to hold my tears in. Dr. Hayes came over and without any words she leaned down and hugged me.

She held me for a few moments and turned to the EMT, “I got her, I’ll push her in.”

The EMT made Dr. Hayes sign a paper and we entered through the automatic doors of the ICU. I didn’t see anyone, only the white floor of the hallway and bright white lights shining over me. I didn’t notice the nurses looking at me and knowing exactly who I was here for. I felt like I was the only person in the ICU hallway and Jordan’s room seemed like miles away. I had no concept of time and place at the moment.

At the room, the curtain was drawn and the door was closed. Dr. Hayes opened both just enough for her to push me in. The room was still cast in only a dim light and it was quiet. My heart beat so fast I thought it was going to pop out of my chest.

Dr. Hayes pushed me to the bed. There were no machines beeping, no lights flashing, no IV’s running. Jordan lay completely free from anything in the bed, his hair dark on the pillow, his hands by his sides and thick rolls of material in his fist, keeping his thin fingers from closing all the way.
A sudden calm came over me, my heart beat slowed down, and with Dr. Hayes next to me, I slowly got up from the wheelchair and stood next to the bed.
I looked at her and she nodded at me with sad eyes.

I asked softly, “Did he suffer?”

Dr. Hayes explained softly, “No but soon after you had left this morning, he had a seizure and it triggered another cardiac arrest. We tried to keep him alive, but his body was weak and compromised. I’m assuming there were some infections present that worsened all of this.”
Tears were slowly pushing through and I took Jordan’s cold hand in mine, “Was he conscious?”
Dr. Hayes shook her head, “No, he wasn’t.”

I hung my head and looked at my hand around Jordan’s hand.

Dr. Hayes touched my shoulder, “I’m very sorry Shay. We did all we could.”
I nodded and looked at her, “I’m sure you did. Thank you.”
She nodded again and said softly, “I’ll give you some time with him.”

I watched her walk out and turned my eyes toward Jordan again.

He looked peaceful and calm, like he was sleeping. He didn’t look sick, his face was clear and pale, his lips were slightly parted, a dark shadow of his facial hair was visible, and his eyelashes were just as dark as his hair, his eye lids keeping his beautiful dark eyes closed forever.

He was covered to his mid chest with the sheets. I saw his rib cage and I saw all the tendons in his arms right under his skin. I scanned over the tattoos on his chest and upper arms and I noticed the dark spots on his arms and on top of his hand.

I leaned down to him and kissed his cheek and whispered, “I love you so much Jordan. You’re free now; your body won’t suffer anymore; your soul will soar.”

On the side of his neck I saw a dark spot and I remembered it was where I had kissed him hard and suckled on his skin two nights earlier in the bath tub when we had been so close and so happy. Everything seemed so long ago.

I ran my fingers through his hair and down his arm. His skin was cold to the touch and his body seemed rigid, there was no life in him anymore. I sat down in the wheelchair next to the bed again and lay my head next to Jordan’s body on the bed. I cried while holding his cold fist in my hand. It seemed like I sat there for a long time when all the sudden the curtain was drawn and Chad appeared with Amber right behind him.


I looked up with tear filled eyes but I couldn’t speak.

Chad hurried over and looked at Jordan, then leaned down and hugged me tightly, mumbling in my hair, “I’m so sorry Shay. I’m so very sorry.”

Amber also hugged me saying the same words. I lay my head back down next to Jordan again and Chad and Amber just stood there. Eventually Chad sat on a chair next to me and was softly rubbing over my back while I cried for a long time.


Jordan’s funeral was two weeks later. With the help of my brother, Amber, and my parents we had arranged it all. After looking through Jordan’s records from the hospital, it was clear there was no other family member we could contact. The only phone number that was listed in his old records was disconnected when we tried to call it.  

Charlie had been in contact with me the whole time and he was also the one who told us that Jordan had always talked about wanting to be cremated if he would die. He also told me, that Jordan had always been worried that he would die alone somewhere in an alley where no one would know and he wouldn’t actually get cremated but buried by strangers in the ground.  So, we arranged for his wish to be cremated, but prior to that on a Friday afternoon a week before Thanksgiving, we had a memorial service for Jordan at a funeral home.  

I spent a long time standing next to Jordan’s body in the coffin. He looked peaceful and I knew he was now free from all the pain and suffering. It was difficult for me, but I also felt a distant relief I couldn’t completely understand.  

Only my parents, Chad, Amber, and Charlie were there for the memorial. I stood there and talked about the things I knew about Jordan from such a short period of time. I cried the whole time. Behind me was the enlarged picture of Jordan and I at my apartment, the one I had drawn a heart on and the words “I love you”.

Charlie also spoke a few words about Jordan. Jordan didn’t have a particular faith or religion; Charlie had told us about this, so we kept the ceremony merely spiritual but not religious. We had contacted a non-denominational minister to say a few words and basically bless Jordan’s body more related to a native theme and how death only meant that we go back into the circle of life and nature where we also originate from. It was moving and emotional nonetheless, and in the end, we played “I am the Highway” again when we all said “Good Bye” to Jordan. I really don’t know how I made it through all of it; I felt like I was in a permanent state of shock.
I really had loved Jordan so much. 

It was after the memorial dinner when I stood outside the restaurant with Charlie. He was clean-shaven, he didn’t smell, and he looked twenty years younger.

He smiled at me, “Are you going to be okay, Shay?”
I nodded, “I think so.”
He lowered his eyes, then looked back up, “What are you going to do?”
I shrugged my shoulders, “I really don’t know what I’ll do without him. I had planned a future with him but it had probably been naïve of me to think like that.”

Charlie’s cross eyes were on me, “It wasn’t naïve. Jordan talked a lot about a better life and a life where he would be well and where he would maybe have someone to settle down with. He was still dreaming of a better life sometimes, you know. I always laughed it off and told him that for people like us, there was no real future and he sometimes got angry and told me I was such a negative person. And he actually used harsher names than that for me.”

Charlie seemed to remember and laughed softly before he continued, “So, yeah, even though with all the shit he had been through, he still had dreams you know. He was a good kid.”
I nodded, “He was special to me and I would have dreamed with him for as long as it would have taken for those dreams to come true.”

Charlie nodded and took a deep breath, “I took my tent down at the camp. I’m heading out.”
I wasn’t all the way surprised at this, “Where are you going?”
“I’m going back to Portland. I’ve some stuff to take care of down there.”
I looked over his face, “Are you going to find your daughter?”
Charlie nodded, “I know where she is. I just have to gather up the guts and go there and hope she’ll give me a chance to be in her life again. I checked into rehab down there, starting next week.”
I smiled, “That’s wonderful Charlie. Please stay in touch. I want to know how you’re doing.”

I had given Charlie the phone I had bought for Jordan.
Charlie leaned over and we hugged for a long time.
He mumbled into my hair, “Jordan loved you Shay. You were the closest he ever came to making his dreams come true.”
I nodded in Charlie’s embrace, “I know.”

We let go of the hug but held hands for a moment and Charlie smiled, “Take care Shay. You’re a good person. Don’t ever change.”
I shrugged my shoulders, “I’m just a person trying to do what’s right.”

Charlie nodded, pressed his lips together and walked away. I looked after him until he turned the corner and disappeared from my view.

Chad came out and put his arm around me. I leaned my head on his shoulder.

He remarked, “Well, dad paid. Everyone is done. You ready to head to mom and dad’s place for a bit.”
I nodded, “Yes, I want to be with my family right now.”
Chad pulled me to him, nodding in agreement.

My parents had been supportive from the moment Chad had filled them in while we were still at the hospital, next to Jordan’s dead body. After Chad had called them that morning, they had come to Harborview as quick as they could, they had not asked weird questions, but instead took me into their open arms and held me while I cried thousands of tears. They had held me and loved me without judgement. My family had been behind me all the way and I was sure they would always support me for a long time to come.

My dear readers, 
I feel I need to make a statement at this point. I hope you're not angry with me that Jordan passed away. As I had written this a few weeks ago, I was just writing along and it is where my heart took me, it seemed the natural course of events. I cried while I wrote this chapter. I don't really plan my stories out, I just follow my moods and my heart and sometimes the story just takes me...
For Jordan to recover would have taken a lot and it would have taken a long time and he may not have made it after all. Unfortunately addiction is ugly and difficult and people die, especially if they have no support system behind them as in my character Jordan's case living on the streets and being an addict and dealing with other health issues on top of the addiction and homelessness. 
Unfortunately addiction and homelessness go hand in hand and are all too common here. I work in health care and see stuff often.
Yes, Shay loved him and she would have been there for him, but I felt it was more realistic to let Jordan die. 
It just happened that lately I've been hit with some sad news concerning addiction and suicide as I already stated last week and so this chapter was again difficult for me to edit and post. Talking about bad timing for this chapter coming up...  
But I still care about my character Shay a lot and I feel she deserves happiness, so please stay tuned for more of Shay and what will happen to her. I have more written and just saying...she may meet someone...
Thanks so much for reading and commenting, 
Hugs, Dani


  1. Jordan's dead:(

  2. Wow. That was unexpected..... But really something new. Your writing improves a lot.

    1. Thanks for commenting, I enjoy writing and am always learning

  3. Dani, this was extremely shocking, sad and unexpected. I would like to believe that everyone with an addiction can recover, but it doesn't always happen. I have a longtime friend trapped in a cocaine addiction and every day she loses more. Thank you for such an honest and sensitive chapter. I just hope Shay can meet someone and be happy.

    1. Hi Ana, thanks so much for your comment. I know it was a sad chapter. I am sorry about your friend, addiction is such a difficult disease and takes a lot of strength to overcome. I have happiness planned for Shay, stay tuned

  4. wow... just wow. heartbreaking stuff. so beautiful, but so sad. Well done Dani, this story seriously was a feat. I'm so glad I was with you the whole way (as much as I could be).

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi Queenkala, so happy you are reading my story. It's not over yet, I have a few more chapters, so stay tuned if you would like to. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. Wow. So sad and unexpected but that's also what makes for a great story and keeps me coming back. Can't wait to read what happens next.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. I am glad you like my writing, it means a lot. Yes, stay tuned for more of Shay.

  6. This was from a reader who allowed me to post this here from an email I got from the reader:

    "I wanted to thank you for writing this story even in times when you actually have a lot of personal stuff going on, and I have to say I agree a lot with the recent tragic development of the story. I have to admit I was worrying that for Shay this whole committment and effort for J. would become too much, and it was going to be extremely difficult for her to cope with his physical and mental issues. Also, I think a relationship is mature when BOTH parties contribute to enrich, in their own ways, the other's existence. Of course it is diffuclt to reach a perfect balance all the time, but I had the feeling that up to now the burden on Shay's shoulders has been too heavy in order for them to achieve a happy relationship eventually.
    Moreover, after reading this latest chapter, I felt extremely sad but kind of appreciated this touch of realism which gave an enormous depth to this story. Unfortunately his situation and the epilogue of it is a tragic example of many lives out in the streets, everywhere in the world, and for lots of them no happy end is foreseen. So I totally agree with this narrative choice. Thank you so much for writing and looking forward to reading again soon".

  7. Agreeing with all the previous comments. Jordan's death was both unexpected and expected. Despite his huge health issues, I thought that he'd pull through but on the other hand, being such a long-time addict, it makes sense that he didn't...
    However, I'm happy for him that he did experience at least some short moments of unconditional love before passing away. I hope a happy ending for Shay too but I'll be patient to see how the story would unfold for her.
    Thank you for this emotional story!

    1. Thank you so much for this comment, I enjoy reading the opinions on the story, especially since this was such a tough chapter to write and also to read for you. Thank you for reading! Means a lot!

  8. So tender and sad. Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable story, Dani. I hope that writing it has been comforting to you during this crazy time. I was so sad to read about your friend and your sister-in-law before - I hope your family and friends have been able to support one another from afar.

    1. Hi Rowan, thanks for your sweet comment, it means a lot to me. Crazy times right now but writing is always an outlet.