CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FIFTY-EIGHT
“I didn’t think it would be like this,” Nash said.
“Everyone says that,” Delphie said with a nod. “We all think it will be bigger or more consuming, that’s why it’s so dangerous.”
Nash numbly looked away from her.
“You know how the cigarette companies made their cigarettes more attractive to people,” Delphie said.
“They put extra stuff into cigarettes to make them more addictive,” Nash said.
“That’s what the companies who make the phone and social media and apps do,” Delphie said. “They intentionally make it addictive. You know that scroll feature?”
“It’s the same motion as using a slot machine,” Delphie said.
“But what am I going to do?” Nash asked. “I can’t… I just…”
Delphie didn’t say anything. She trusted Nash to come up with it himself. He gritted his teeth and looked at her.
“I have now paid a consequence I am unwilling to pay,” Nash said.
“Sandy nearly dying so that you could have your phone?” Delphie asked. Her question was hard but her voice was neutral.
“I just… I mean…” Nash said softly. “I’m going to miss it so much.”
“Well,” Delphie said. She leaned over to him and touched his leg. “What will you fill the void with?”
“Fill the…” Nash said. “Oh. Right. The void. I could… uh… I don’t know.”
“We’ll figure it out as we go,” Delphie said. “Are you ready to do the work?”
“I’m not willing to hurt someone else that I love,” Nash said. “I just won’t do it. I won’t.”
“Even if that person is you?” Delphie asked.
“Me?” Nash asked.
“I know that you and your father talked about you living with your mother,” Delphie said. “You told him that you’d rather live with her than lose your phone.”
Nash gasped. With her words, he remembered this situation more clearly. He had told his father that he would love to live with his crazy, stupid mother if it meant he could keep his phone. Nash let out a breath and started to cry again.
Delphie leaned back in her chair and waited.
Nash had finally realized what was going on. Now the work began. It was okay to feel a little sad at the work you have to do to rebuild your life. It was okay to be sad that you’ve hurt people, including yourself. She waited a few more minutes, before she cleared her throat.
“Suck it up, buttercup,” Delphie said in an imitation of Nash.
Nash gasped and looked at her.
“Isn’t that what you usually say to addicts?” Dephie asked. “What else do you say? Something like…”
“No one cares about your regrets,” Nash said, his numb voice still thick with tears. “All that matters is what you do about it.”
“What are you willing to do?” Delphie asked.
She held out her hand and Nash put the phone into it.
“So we start,” Delphie said. She gave Nash a soft smile. “I love you, Nash. I will do everything I can to help.”
Nash threw himself at Delphie. They fell off the chaise loungers and landed in a lump on the floor.
Delphie held onto the boy while he cried for himself and the start of his journey.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…
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