Quinn Salazar picked up his medication case and placed his Zyprexa, Depakote, and Abilify onto his hand, reaching for a glass of water at the same time. He popped the pills into his mouth all at once and swallowed them down with a large gulp of water.
“Ah…crap.” He said to the empty kitchen. “Damn pills.” Quinn hated taking his pills. You’d think that after 15 years of taking them, he’d get used to it, but he hated anything having to do with him depending on others(or things(medication)) to help him.
“But Quinn, you need to take your meds. The doctor said so. You want to get healthy don’t you?” Quinn told himself, mocking his mother, He scoffed. “Maybe I don’t want to get healthy. Ever thought about that? What is healthy anyway, mother? Hm? Who are you and those, stuffed up, nosy, professionals to decide what healthy is? You all are nobodies! Nobodies! You have no right to tell me how to live my life! Assholes! Damn you all to hell! TO HELL!!!!” Quinn shouted, breathing heavily. He shook his head and put the glass down before his anger caused him to throw it across the kitchen. Quinn sighed and bent his head down, trying to calm himself. These outbursts were becoming far to frequent for his liking.
“But it’s true .” He said to himself. “They can’t control my life. Maybe I really don’t want to get better. And who says that I’m not healthy? Who says that all those people who are bipolar, depressed, schizophrenic, and such aren’t healthy and the rest of you are sick?” Quinn shook his head, knowing that wasn’t the way it was. He was just trying to convince himself. The truth was, he didn’t know if he did want to get better. And it scared him. He should want to get better, shouldn’t he? Quinn didn’t know. He wasn’t even sure he wanted to find out if he did want to get better. Quinn walked to his room and laid himself down on his bed, closing his eyes and putting a hand on his forehead.
“What is going on with me?” was the last thought the 25 year-old had before drifting off to a fitful sleep.
Quinn slammed a hand down on his alarm clock as it blared in his ear.
“What the FUCK?!” he roared. “It’s the fuckin weekend! Damn alarm!” Quinn growled, unplugging the alarm and throwing it across the room. It hit the wall and landed in a heap of wires and plastic. Quinn sat up and moved his legs off the bed so he was sitting up, feet on the floor. He put his head in his hands and sighed heavily. He would not be able to get back to sleep, he knew that much. Quinn picked up his watch and glanced at the time. It read 6:20.
“Great. Three hours earlier then I had planned.” He said and stood up, stretching to his full height of 5’7”. “I guess my plans can start earlier.” He shrugged and grabbed a towel from the chair at his desk. Quinn walked into his bathroom, closed the door and started the water. When it was the right temperature, he pulled the knob up to switch the water from the faucet to the showerhead, and stepped in.
Ten minutes later, Quinn was dressing himself in a t-shirt and a pair of Mossimo blue jeans. He slipped his studded belt in the loops and buckled it up. Quinn walked into the bathroom, brushed his teeth, his ear-length black-blue hair, and put his hands on the sink, staring into the mirror. The emerald green eyes of his reflection studied him as he stood at the sink, contemplating what he wanted to do today. Quinn walked back to his room, picked up his phone and sent a text his best friend, Blaise Reynolds.
‘Hey man, you up?’ Quinn asked him, not really knowing why he was asking. Blaise was always up early either working out or out in the water, riding some waves. Blaise was a frequent visitor of the ocean. It was his sanctuary. Quinn’s phone buzzed in his hand and he slid it up.
‘yo man, im up whats up?’ Blaise had replied.
‘Meet me at the pier in 20 minutes.’ That’s all Quinn answered before grabbing his messenger bag and turning off his light. He walked into his mother’s room and kissed her on the forehead. His mother was sick, so she had taken up residence in Quinn’s home. He wasn’t quite comfortable with it yet. Especially when he wanted to bring a girl home. Most women weren’t ready to meet his mother when they visited his house.
“I’m going out, ma. I’ll be back later. Call me if you need anything.” He whispered to her. She nodded and rolled over. Quinn slightly smiled and started walking out the room.
“Don’t forget to take your meds.” His mom whispered behind him. Quinn rolled his eyes.
“I already took them.” He lied and walked out of the house into the chill of the early California morning. Quinn tossed his bag in the trunk of the car and got into the drivers seat. He pulled out of the driveway, tuned the radio up, rolled the windows down and started singing along, making his way to the pier.
Quinn rolled his car into the parking space and he turned the car off. He stepped out of the car, popped the trunk, and grabbed his messenger bag. Closing the trunk, he locked the car and walked to the beginning of the pier. He leaned against a nearby pole and waited for the arrival of his friend.
Fifteen minutes later, Quinn spotted Blaise’s blue Mustang rolling down the street.
“Yo!” Blaise called from his car. “I was busy man. Why did you call me out here?” Quinn rolled his eyes, knowing that tone. Blaise had been busy alright; busy trying to find a girl for the day. Blaise was quite popular among the ladies. And boy, did Blaise love them back.
“Busy? Too busy for an old friend? An old friend who’s in the mood to take a few shots and get you a contract with one of the greatest modeling companies ever?” Quinn asked, an eyebrow raised. Blaise grinned.
“Seriously? No joking?”
“No joking.” Quinn patted his bag. “I got everything I need. Do you? You ready for a few hours of posing?”
“You could’ve given me a bit more notice. I look like crap.”
“Blaise, you always look amazing.” Blaise smiled. “Come on. Park the car and come join me on the pier. If you’re not there in seven minutes, my mood might just disappear.” Quinn told him. Blaise nodded and made his way to the parking lot.
The wooden boards thudded under Quinn’s Chuck Taylors as he walked down to the edge of the pier. As he waited for Blaise, his thoughts turned to Quinn’s occupation. Quinn was a photographer. Although he mostly did freelance work, he did a lot of business with modeling and clothing companies. Blaise was one of the many people wanting Quinn as the one to take their photo. Quinn had that talent and skill of pointing out the beauty in everything. Blaise had been bugging Quinn for years to recommend him to the president of Michael’s Models, the biggest modeling agency currently. Quinn had refused simply because he didn’t like to mix his personal life with his business life. What had changed his mind? Quinn didn’t know. And he didn’t care. All he knew was he was going to give Blaise a shot at stardom. Or Modeldom. Or whatever it was.
Blaise came jogging up in black and deep blue board shorts and a sky blue t-shirt.
“I was about ready to give up on you.” Quinn told him, glancing at his watch.
“Thanks for doing this Quinn, you’re awesome.” Blaise told him, grinning widely.
“Yeah, yeah. Just remember this next time you want to ditch me for a couple of girls.” Quinn said and took his camera from his bag. “Ready, pretty boy?” Blaise chuckled and nodded, shedding his shirt and awaiting posing orders.
Quinn sat at his desk, memory card attached to printer. As Blaise’s pictures were printing, Quinn thought about Blaise and his potential for a model. He had it all. The looks, the height, the walk, the stance, the attitude. He just didn’t know how to control all of that. Once he did, he would be one hell of a model. Blaise was 6 foot with dark brown hair and cobalt blue eyes. His features were chiseled and he had a stunning smile. Blaise had a pointed chin, high cheekbones, and full lips. He had that I’m–me-and-if-you-don’t-like-it-too-bad sort of attitude. He wasn’t going to let anyone change him. Which might be a road block in his track to being a model, but Blaise was a quick learner. As Quinn noticed how handsome Blaise was, he chuckled.
“No wonder he always got the girl.” Quinn muttered. He had never really noticed what Blaise looked like until now.
‘You know the happiest day of my life
I swear the happiest day of my life
Is the day that I die’
Quinn’s phone went off and he picked it up, flipping it open.
“Yo.” Blaise’s deep and gentle voice came through the receiver.
“Hey.” Quinn said.
“How do they look? You think they’re good?”
“They look great. Don’t worry. You’ll get that spot in the crew.”
“Great.” Blaise’s voice expressed nervousness and happiness balled into one. “When can you put them in?”
“I’m gonna go to Mister Kent’s place after they finish printing. I’ve got your portfolio and everything I need so we’re set. Don’t worry. It’s me. I can get whatever I want. It’s Quinn. I can get away with anything.” This was true . Quinn had no police record, though he had committed many a crime in his youth. And let’s just say he wasn’t the smoothest criminal. But somehow he had always managed to wiggle out of a difficult situation.
Blaise laughed. “Right. I’m not worried…just nervous.”
“It’ll be fine. Leave it to me.” Quinn picked up the pictures and put them in a manila folder which held all of Blaise’s stuff. “I gotta go. Don’t worry, Blaise.” After Blaise’s shaky good bye, Quinn hung up and picked up his car keys and the folder. His mother was sitting on the couch watching TV Land.
“I’ll be back later, mom. Call me if you need anything.” He kissed her on the forehead, like always, and walked out to his car.
Half an hour later, Quinn rang the door bell on Michael Kent’s mansion of a house. The housekeeper, a young woman dressed in jeans and t-shirt, answered the door.
“Hello, Mister Salazar. Mister Kent is in his office.” She told him. Quinn winked at her as he walked in and she blushed. She was rather taken with Quinn.
“Thanks Sara. Catch ya later.” Quinn said as he walked into Michael’s office.
“What do you want from me, Quinn? Another pay in advance? A car for the weekend? What?” Mister Kent’s gruff voice came from behind a chair.
“Actually, Mister Kent, I’m here to recommend a model. I think he’d do very well at your company.” Quinn said. Michael spun around, revealing a middle-aged man in a business suit with a surprised look on his face.
“Really? You want to recommend a model?” Quinn nodded. “This has never happened before. He must be good if you’re recommending him.” Michael held out his hand for the folder in Quinn’s hands. Mister Kent opened it and looked through the pictures and papers.
“He seems to be of good quality. Bring him in to the office and we’ll see. I shall meet with him myself.”
“Thanks, Mister Kent.” Quinn walked out of office, winked at Sara and walked out to his car.
“Are you serious?!” Blaise screamed into his ear when Quinn called him. “I get to meet Michael Kent himself? How awesome is that? Really awesome! That’s how awesome it is!” Blaise said. Quinn laughed.
“Are you excited? I can’t tell.” He said.
“Are you kidding? I’m uber excited! UBER!!!”
“Alright man, I’ll talk to you later, with the details. I still gotta work those out.” Quinn hung up to Blaise laughing in happiness. Quinn sighed contently and put his phone back in his pocket. Blaise was way more excited then Quinn thought he would be. He knew he’d be happy, but uber excited was way above happy. Quinn chuckled and stood up, stretching. He walked into his mother’s room to check on her. She was taking her daily nap. He kissed her forehead and walked out of her room. As he walked into his room his phone rang in his pocket. Pulling it out, his heart skipped a beat as he saw who was calling. Quinn flipped his phone open.
“Hey, Sara.” He breathed.
“Hey.” Her soft voice made him smile.
“How’s it going?”
“It’s going. Um…I was wondering…I get off in about an hour and I was hoping that you’d wanna hang out when I get off?”
Quinn’s smile grew wider. “Sure. That sounds great. What time? Six at your place?”
“Great! Yeah, that’s great!”
“How does dinner and a movie sound?”
“Great!” Sara replied, happiness seeping from her voice. Quinn chuckled and said, “Alright. I’ll pick you up at six. See ya then.”
“See ya.” Sara said and hung up. Quinn held the phone up to his ear a moment longer before closing his phone. He grinned and nearly jumped for joy.
“Yes!” He exclaimed. “I’ve got a date! Woo!!” He flipped his phone open and sent a text message to Blaise.
‘I got a date with Sara! *dances*’ A few minutes later, his phone buzzed.
‘Sara Michaels?’ Blaise asked. Quinn hit reply and typed in ‘Yeah! Woot!’ Quinn grinned goofily and sprinted to his room to find something to wear.
Quinn rolled up to Sara’s house and parked on the street. He had been here on one other occasion; when she had been sick and Mister Kent had sent Quinn to retrieve some files from her and give her flowers. He took a deep breath, got out of the car, and walked up to the door. Quinn pressed the doorbell and waited. He heard the door unlock and it opened.
“Hey Quinn.” Sara said, a little out of breath.
“Hey. You ready?” He asked her, smiling.
“Yeah. Just let me grab my purse.” Her hand moved to the side and when it reappeared there was a purse in it.
“Great. Lets get going.” Quinn stepped out of the way so she could come outside and lock the door. They walked to his car and he opened the door for her. She blushed.
“Thanks.” Sara said and got in. Quinn closed the door and walked over to his side. He got in, closed his door, and started the car up.
“Where do you want to go to eat?” Quinn asked her.
“How ‘bout Pat’s? It’s this really awesome bar with great food. I love it there.” Sara suggested.
“Cool. Where is it?”
“Down near the park. Over on Campbell.” Sara said. He nodded and started driving. He was driving down the freeway. A Chevy truck had been driving way to close the whole time he was behind Quinn. Finally, the Chevy went into the lane on the right. Quinn decided to speed up so that the truck couldn’t pass them. Two minutes later Quinn and Sara were sideswiped by the Chevy. Quinn was going at about 75 miles per hour so he went into a spin. Suddenly, the car flipped over three times and they landed upside down, right in the pathway of the Chevy. The truck didn’t have enough time to stop and Sara’s side of the car was hit. When it was over Quinn unbuckled himself and crawled out from under the car, pain shooting up from his right leg.
“Sara! Sara! Are you alright?” Quinn limped over to her side of the car. He bent down and unbuckled her. He pulled her out of the car, ignoring the protests his body was shouting. He laid her down on the concrete and checked for a heartbeat. He didn’t hear one.
“No. No. This is not right. No.” Quinn muttered. He tried CPR but got no response. When the paramedics came they took over. Quinn sat on the road, not letting them attend to him. He wanted all of their focus on Sara.
Quinn sat there thinking. It was all my fault. I shouldn’t have tempted the guy. Why did I do this? It’s all my fault. My fault. He thought as he saw an officer coming up to him.
“Are you the husband?” the man asked.
“No, boyfriend.” Quinn replied.
“Oh. Well, I’m sorry sir, but she didn’t make it.” The officer told him solemnly.
“No. No. NO. No she’s not dead. She can’t be. No.” Quinn said, standing up, his leg screaming in protest. The officer just nodded and walked away. As Quinn was put in the ambulance and for the rest of the night all he would say was ‘No. she can’t be.’
Quinn sighed as he put his medication case back in the cupboard. It had been two months since the accident and Quinn still couldn’t get over it. He was still sure that it was all his fault and if he hadn’t tempted the truck Sara would still be alive. Quinn had gone to therapist after therapist, each one trying to convince him that it wasn’t his fault. He didn’t kill Sara. Even Sara’s family told him it wasn’t his fault. But Quinn didn’t believe them. He knew the truth. And Quinn hadn’t been able to go on with his life afterwards.
The interview with Blaise and Mister Kent had gone well for Blaise. But when Quinn set to work at building up Blaise’s portfolio, his pictures never came out like they used to be. His talent was gone. Quinn had been devastated but Blaise had just shrugged and went to find another photographer. Quinn had no job, no girl, and now here he was, sitting at his desk, planning his mother’s funeral. It was almost done. All Quinn needed to do was sign a couple of papers. His mother had died a few days after the accident.
Quinn signed the last paper and put them all into a folder. He walked into his room, turned on the light, and closed the door. Quinn pulled a black case from under his bed and opened it up, revealing a nine-millimeter pistol. Quinn sighed and put it to his temple as he sat down. Quinn had never used his gun and wasn’t even sure it was loaded.
“I’m sorry Sara.” He whispered and pulled the trigger.