Someone I love very much called me over the weekend. It wasn't the first time they've called, but it was the first time I answered in years, due to their struggles with addiction and mental health issues. You just didn't know which version of this person you'd end up talking to.
But they'd tried to call several times after finding out What Happened, and their voicemails and texts seemed to be coming from the good version. The kind and loving version, the version I desperately miss.
So I answered.
It was the other version.
They were very, very drunk and immediately started talking about suicide. About a bottle of pills and balconies and being in possession of a gun. Maybe it was a super misguided attempt to empathize, but it only made me cry and beg them to stop stop stop. No no no.
Jason grabbed the phone out of my hand and hung up, alarmed at my hysterics and well-versed in this particular person's abuse and manipulation.
"Why did you even answer?" he asked as I sobbed.
Because I thought they were better. I thought they deserved to hear from me that I was better. I thought we could be better together.
And then I called 911 and reported a suicide threat.
I wish I could say that this person got help and is now safe in a rehab facility. I wish I could say that the cops found them, that I'd thought to confirm their location rather than just assuming they were at home, where the police only found a terrified child and their ex, who either didn't know where they were or weren't willing to say. I wish I lived even remotely close to this person so I could've tracked them down myself, rather than multiple states away. I wish this story had a happy ending because I helped, because I did something, because hope and tough love and the human ego and the brutal helplessness of watching someone you love self-destruct from afar.
I wish this person understood that I called because I cared, because I love them and because I will never, ever ignore or downplay a threat of suicide.
Oh, they're just drunk.
Oh, they're just being dramatic.
Oh, they do this all the time.
Fuck that. Even a cry for help is a cry that deserves an answer.
Instead, I woke to one apologetic voicemail from the police saying they were unable to find them. And one from someone who'd also gotten a late-night call full of bizarre, disturbing accusations about me and Jason, concocted out of their fury at him for daring to hang up the phone. And almost two dozen missed calls and voicemails from them, which I deleted without listening to. I did respond to the string of furious HOW DARE YOU WHAT WERE YOU THINKING YOU SCARED MY KID WORK OUT YOUR SHIT text messages, but only to tell them that I was blocking their number and to not contact me again until they're sober.
I hope I hear from them soon, but I have to admit, that hope is wavering, flickering, dimming.
But still. I hope.