Rick Henderson was born July 4,, 2009 on a Saturday night. The hospital was virtually empty. Most, of the staff it seemed were out celebrating; drinking, partying, setting off fireworks. But not Ms. Henderson held up in labor. Granted, however, she had been. In the midst of beer bongs and keg stands her water broke. The remaining sober individual who had only just gotten there managed to call an ambulance. Ms. Henderson took it with a grain of salt; texting and planning her next barhop with friends. She accepted as much sedative allowed as the labor went on. If Ms. Henderson felt anything she barely showed it. Facebook consumed more of her attention than the glimpse of her first child. On hearing it later cry, presumably thinking it another baby, she had stated, I sure hope it’s not mine. These were the symbolic beginnings of a man casually, but far from intimately known to the world as Ricky.
He was an only child treated as a middle. Ms. Henderson hardly worked yet she was seldom around. The television raised young Ricky the best that it could, which all things considered was not very. He didn’t get the Discovery or History Channel, merely basics; cartoons, the occasional old movie, etc. Nothing you might call substantial.
You can surmise from this that Ricky was behind in Kindergarten. He hadn’t the advantage of preschool or an involved parental unit. His social skills were atrocious, having had no friends and barely seen another child. It was a small wonder he could talk at all.
The best you could say of Ricky therefore was that he got by, as his second grade teacher Mrs. Wilder had put it. She wanted Ricky to apply himself but in the back of her mind had trouble seeing him amounting to much. The world was just set against him she often thought. Maybe if he lacked merely ten advantages he would have a shot; but poor Ricky seemed to lack them all.
He grew up isolated and unmotivated. Adolescence brought more problems, with Ricky getting into fights. Subconsciously, it was a grab at attention. Physically, it tore him up. He was not a large boy; nor was he fast, quick, good on his feet or anything of that. The pain must have made him happy, feel belonging at some level. It was the only reason any one could think of that he picked on kids so much bigger than himself. Yet, the phase passed as most phases do.
Ricky retreated to other forms of release. He started smoking early on in High School but it never made him cool. He was still a social reject only in it for the rush.
At some point he moved onto other drugs; pot, meth and the like. Pot never did it for him. It was cheaper than the others but couldn’t manage to numb Ricky satisfactorily. Meth helped but never did the job as well as heroine. The needle brought the pain and pleasure needed like no other substance could.
Ricky was lost in it. But he didn’t care. He stole money and no expected better of him. His High School Principle Mr. Chambers went as far to use him as an example in the next assembly on drug prevention. But, sadly, nothing in the assembly was focused on helping those already in Ricky’s condition.
The spiral continued downward. He wasn’t saved. How could he be?
Using gave way to dealing. The heroine and acceptance from customers seemed a dream come true at first. But they were casual friends, uninterested in anything but drugs. Ricky tried pretending otherwise but deep down struggled with the reality, as high as he often was.
They left him just like his mother had. He hadn’t moved beyond the television raising him. It was still there, with the same dull channels; and it was all he had.
Ricky looked over at some cocaine he was getting ready to cut. The razor blades were still out like they always were. They weren’t really there for cutting. Ricky had been building up the courage for some time. “It could be over, right now,” he said to himself.
His mind had a million reasons to end it and only one not to: uncertainty. Was nothingness better? Ricky had never believed in a God. He was an atheist of sorts, but never that vocal of one. It seemed a contradiction, but he was adamant on not being merely agnostic. It seemed stronger, more purposeful to say no completely.
But. He couldn’t go on living like he was. That much was certain. Ricky, dropped his needle on the floor, he wouldn’t need it any longer. Looking at the cocaine and then the razor blades, Ricky took a deep breath and chose nothingness.