Bad Thing (Calum Imagine, Part Two)
Got a lot of requests for this! I hope everyone likes it :)
Truthfully, you didn’t sleep at all during the night.
Your mind spun with the events that had transpired, and numerous times you had fought down lumps in your throat. How could Calum, your beautiful Calum, be on such a road of destruction and for you to have simply ignored it? You watched him sleep off his hangover well into late morning, several times moving his hair off his sweaty forehead. Finally determining he was alright to be left alone, you walked downstairs to find a broken glass shattered on the floor, assuming that that was the clatter that woke you up in the first place last night. You cleaned the mess, grabbing your phone and dialing up Luke’s number, remembering that Calum’s fight with him was part of the problem.
“Y/N?” He answered slowly, sounding groggy and hesitant.
“Hey Luke,” You gnawed on your lip, not sure how to word your thoughts.
“Everything okay?” Luke asked, and you could pick up on the uncertainty in his voice. He knew what you were calling about, he definitely knew.
“I need to talk to you about Calum.”
Your words were rushed out, and silence hung heavy between the two of you until Luke finally spoke.
“Is it okay if I come over? Is Calum there?”
“He’s asleep,” you explained. “Yeah, you can come. Please hurry, I just…” You shut your eyes trying not to cry. “I need to know the truth of what’s going on with him.”
Luke explained that he’d be over soon, and within ten minutes you were answering the door, letting him step into your home. Your greetings were on the tip of your tongue, but turned dry as you took in the tall blonde’s appearance.
Luke had always been undeniably pretty. Yes, of course you were most attracted to Calum, but by general definition, Luke just always looked pretty to everyone, with his big blue eyes, dimpled smile, and broad figure. However, the man that stood before you looked nothing close to pretty. His eyes seemed a dull grey, massive bags underneath, his smile nonexistent, and his shoulders slumped in and small. As he stepped into your house, you noticed his rumpled clothing, looking as though he hadn’t changed for the past two days, and he hadn’t even bothered to tie his shoe laces. He looked wrecked.
“Can I get you coffee?” You asked, as he barely looked awake. He nodded and made his way to the living room, sitting on the couch and placing his head in his hands. You got his drink ready, bringing it to him and setting it on the coffee table, waiting several moments until he finally lifted his head and made eye contact.
“I need to know what’s going on, Luke,” you said softly, watching him rub his red-rimmed eyes. He took a sip of his coffee, hands shaking as you sat across from him, waiting.
“We fought last night,” He spoke sadly, staring at the worn couch. “He just wouldn’t stop-”
“Stop what?” You interrupted.
“Everything!” Luke exploded, quieting down again. “Calum kept drinking. Do you know how much he’s drank this week? Enough to keep the bar in business for another year! Last night, I told him to stop, and he wouldn’t, just started cussing me out right there in the middle of the bar. I told him to go home to you, and he just, like, came at me. I honestly thought he would start throwing punches.”
“He wouldn’t,” you interjected, desperately trying to hold onto the peaceful Calum you loved.
Luke’s tired eyes flicked up to your’s as he swallowed. “I don’t know. He was just wild.” He took a shuddering breath. “There’s something besides the drinking…”
You waited for him to continue, staring intently at the windows as your eyes blurred.
And there it was. And you knew it, but you hadn’t accept it until it spilled from Luke’s chapped lips and seemed to hang in the air, poisoning you and everything in the vicinity.
“How long?” You choked out.
“He started in the middle of the tour,” Luke sniffled. “I tried to stop him, I honestly tried Y/N, but he said he couldn’t deal with the pressure. We would go clubbing, he would meet some people, and suddenly they’d all be hitting joints. I got scared, so I started doing it with him, you know? Because I didn’t want him to be alone. But I don’t like it. I stopped, I don’t like feeling high, it’s fake and I can’t control anything. I mean, it’s amazing, but I know it’s bad, I just couldn’t keep up with Calum.”
By now Luke was full on crying, and you moved closer in order to grip his hand, trying to calm yourself down as well. Calum was into drugs, he was into alcohol, and obviously both were becoming harmful to his life.
“That’s why we fought most,” Luke said suddenly. “I wanted to tell you about the drugs, because you care and you’ll help him quit it and he might listen to you. He thought he could keep it a secret, but fuck it. He said he hates me, so what’s the point.”
You watched as Luke gripped his hair at his roots, tugging hard and crying more. Luke was right, if you couldn’t help Calum, no one could. He was stubborn, but most importantly he was lost, and you had no idea how to paint a map for him to love himself.
“I told him that he’s out of the band. That we don’t want him,” Luke mumbled, wiping at his eyes. “I didn’t mean it. If he wasn’t playing beside me, I’d quit. We aren’t the same without…”
Luke trailed off, staring at a point behind you. Turning around, your eyes focused on your boyfriend’s bloodshot one’s, you took in his wrecked state, his shaking hands that fumbled together, his wobbly bottom lip. Calum stared at Luke, his best friend who had always been there for him, but who probably hated him. And if Luke didn’t, Calum thought that he should. After all, Calum was a bad thing, and said bad things, and he didn’t think he was worth either of your time.
The silence stretched on, and finally Calum stumbled forward, tears tumbling down his cheeks as well.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, standing in front of you two. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” He repeated louder and louder.
His lip trembled as neither you nor Luke spoke, his head hung as if this was it.
“Luke, please,” Calum begged as Luke stared at him. “The band is my life. Please! I need it, and I need you. I’m sorry.” He ended as Luke stood up, and to your and Calum’s surprise, wrapped him in a hug. You watched the two best friends hug it out, and vaguely heard some broken whispers that were shared. When they parted, Calum fell to his knees in front of you so you were relatively the same height. “Baby…?”
“I love you Calum,” his eyes brightened, but you weren’t finished. “But, I’m not going to stand for this shit. You’re better than this, whether you believe it or not, you are. You need to quit the excessive drinking, and the drugs, and I’ll stick around. It’s up to you.” You swallowed your lump, proud for stating your piece. You deserved Calum at his best, but not at his worst, just like Calum.
Calum swallowed, eyes shining. “Anything. I’m done, I want to be done, I’ll do it. Please stay?”
You looked at Luke, and he gave you a watery smile and nodded. Finally, you tugged Calum up so he was basically on your lap, hugging him tightly.
“Okay,” you gave in. “I’ll stay, as long as you promise to get better.”
“I do,” Calum cried into your hair. “I promise.”
It wasn’t as easy as you thought it would be.
You figured Calum would promise to be better, and then he’d quit cold turkey, but you should have known that life didn’t work out that way. It never did.
Three weeks after his promise, you were both at an album release party for some local band, separating because you wanted to stay in the hot tub and he wanted to talk to some friends. Two hours later, you finally found him high as a kite in a bathroom with six other people, all hitting the same blunt.
You almost broke up with him right there, but Michael stopped you.
“Y/N, he’s bound to have slip ups,” The black haired boy told you as you drove your boyfriend home, fuming and crying because he really had been better. “If you break up with him over it, then that’s just one big step backwards.”
You begrudgingly agreed with Michael, but Calum got a true earful once he came back down. You didn’t talk to him for a whole day, but you learned that that’s not how you treat someone who was struggling a self battle. The day ended in plenty of tears from both of you, and you swore that you forgave him and that he wasn’t a fuck up, and apologized profusely for handling it wrong.
It was around three and a half months after that when you were grocery shopping and you got a call. On the line was a sobbing Calum, and all you could understand were repeated wailings of “I’m sorry!” And “Please still love me!”. In a panic, you fled the store, leaving your basket in an aisle and sped home, flinging the door open and repeatedly calling for him. You found him upstairs on the floor of your bedroom, crying and surrounded by two bottles of Jack, one empty and one spilled across the floor. This time, you knew to be careful, and instead tried to sober him up and give him cuddles, knowing he wouldn’t have drunk anything if something didn’t trigger him. Sometime later, he admitted to reading hate and thinking about the band’s hiatus, and it all became too much. You reassured him that he was doing very well, and that slip ups were all a part of getting better. Luke came over the next day and the two of them played Fifa for an ungodly amount of time, but you were glad to see Calum laughing with his best mate.
Currently, you both were sitting in his therapist’s office. When you proposed the idea for therapy, he immediately wrote you off, saying “I don’t need a shrink,” but he came around to it under the condition that you came with him. Although not recommended, it was the only way he would go, so you sat through the appointment with him once a week. It was good, because Calum’s problem never really was about addiction, but about a sense of need and belonging, and talking about his anxieties aloud were helping tremendously.
“So Calum, how long have you been clean of drugs?” His doctor asked, smiling as Calum’s eyes shifted to your’s out of habit.
“Uh, nine months,” Calum responded, grinning as you shot him a proud smile.
“Do you still get a lot of self-deprecating thoughts?”
“Um… sometimes? It’s better.” Calum added, squeezing your hand. He answered several more questions and then you both were walking out, you trying to stifle your giggles because he had gotten a little sassy at the end.
“I can’t believe you straight out told him we had sex last night!” You scolded, slapping his arm but laughing as he rolled his eyes.
“I needed to steer the conversation back to familiar territory,” he explained cockily, holding your hand. “Jesus, I barely knew what self-deprecating meant. He uses such big fucking words.”
“He’s got a PhD,” You giggled.
“That doesn’t mean he needs to talk like like a walking dictionary.” He rolled his eyes. In the afternoon sun, you couldn’t help but notice his beauty. In the past several months, he had come very far, and he just looked healthier in every way. His face was fuller, eyes more alive, skin soft and tan, grin broad and bright. It was difficult sometimes, but his effort shone, and you couldn’t be more proud.
“Stop staring, it’s weird,” he told you, fixing his shades as you laughed.
“You’re weird!” You retorted. He scoffed, climbing into the car and grinning at you, turning up the stereo and singing loudly, laughing and loving you the whole time.
He had figured it out, finally. It took close to a year, but one day, it just clicked for him. There’s no good and bad. He wasn’t a bad thing, he wasn’t a good thing. He was just him. Calum. And he was smart, funny, charismatic, but most of all, worthy of all the love in the world. And sure, sometimes he still felt like a bad thing, but that’s just life, and sometimes being a bad thing wasn’t so bad at all, especially when there’s people who love you constantly reminding you that you are not only a good thing, but the best thing.