“So then stop worrying okay? It’s whatever.” He was lying back on our couch, eating the food that Tyler had just made for him, after we picked him up half dead in the rain storm, and he wanted us not to worry? Seriously?!
“No, this isn’t okay! It’s not just whatever!” Tyler grabbed my arm and I shot bullets at him, “Don’t you stick up for him, not again!” I stormed out of the room and slammed the door behind me. I breathed several breaths, calming my head. Okay, I know, he has a tough life, but to make all of us worry, keep all of us on edge like he does – I never will understand why the rest of the band fell in love with this kid. He’s like a lost puppy that refuses any real help, but will take the occasional hand out after life really shits on him. I sighed.
I twisted my lips in thought and marched back into the living room. “I’m sorry. That was rude, you called us because you needed help. And we do love you, it’s just hard to help you when you don’t act like you want it.”
“I never asked for help, I asked for a place to stay. I asked for some food, and yeah, maybe that’s help, but damn it, what the fuck else am I supposed to do?” He sat up and we got into a staring contest. “You want me to just walk back home, hey mom and dad, it’s me, do you love me yet? Can I talk to you about my fucking problems? Sorry, I don’t have a support system.”
My face got hot, “You want to talk to me about support systems, see this?” I held up Tyler’s arm. “This is mine! No parents, no bullshit like that – you don’t like your home life, just get out!”
Anthony rubbed his face with his hands, “Who the hell do you think I go to for support, Jess?”
I was taken aback. It wasn’t the band that wanted to care for Anthony – it wasn’t that they loved him, it was that Anthony needed them. As much as I needed Tyler, he depended on these guys to be there for them. And while it was endearing, it was infuriating to have him bunk with us on so many occasions, have us taxi him around numerous times, play house and act like the adults while he throws away any chance at a normal life.
“Okay, I’m sorry, I got it…” I sat down next to Tyler, “It’s been a long day, and picking you up at 2am didn’t really help. I’m exhausted.”
Anthony uncrossed his arms and moved his hair out of his face, “I guess I really don’t thank you guys as much as I should… so, thank you.” He looked between me and Tyler, “I mean, honestly, I don’t know what else I would do if you two hadn’t come into my life.” The stupid, dark gray-eyed kid had a way of melting your heart for him. Even I wanted to protect him, and sometimes, I absolutely hated him.