Felicity collapsed on to her couch, settling in even more when Thea plopped down next to her.
“Oh what a night… late September… 2017,” Thea slurred, dissolving into giggles before she could get any further.
Felicity laughed too, helpless to succumb to a giggle attack. She and Thea leaned into each other, limbs slow and clumsy from the alcohol they’d consumed earlier in the evening.
“Alright, drink these,” Dinah said, walking over from the kitchen with two large glasses of water in each hand. Felicity should’ve known the Black Canary would’ve had a high alcohol tolerance. Though Felicity wasn’t sure if a correlation could be made between badass fighting skills and how much someone could drink. It would require a control group, and Oliver, Digg, and the rest of the team were guys so it would be different…
“Yeah, water time,” Dinah repeated, shoving the water into Felicity’s hands and watching as she drank it. “I didn’t believe Oliver when he told me you’d start babbling about scientific experiments.”
“Why not?” Thea asked, having finished her water in one, long gulp. “Ollie knows Felicity better than anyone ‘cause they’re so in love.” Thea turned into Felicity and made a face, then giggled again.
Felicity was indignant. “We are! I love him so much… He’s so wonderful…”
“Okay, okay, that’s nice,” Dinah interrupted. “I think we all know that since you’re marrying him this weekend.”
Felicity broke into a wide, incandescent smile and sighed, throwing herself back on the couch. Dinah quickly grabbed the empty water glass and sat it on the coffee table. “Yeah, I am. We’re getting married. This weekend. He’s going to be my husband,” she said dreamily, staring at the ceiling.
“Finally!” Thea cheered, sitting up on her knees to pump her fist into the sky.
Dinah’s expression softened and she held her hands out to the other women. “Alright, come on, ladies. It’s bed time. The rehearsal dinner isn’t until seven tomorrow, but we have spa appointments starting before noon,” she reminded them.
Felicity was so, so grateful she had Thea and Dinah with her. Caitlin, Iris, and the others would be coming for the actual wedding the day after tomorrow, but they hadn’t been able to take the time to come for the bachelorette festivities. Thea had been with her for years now, and Dinah was a welcome addition to their little girl group. It was so nice having another woman around, and she’d gotten very close to the new vigilante since she joined the team.
Felicity knew Dinah was only acting excited about the spa stuff to make Felicity happy. The other woman wasn’t much for pampering, but she was entirely behind whatever Felicity wanted to do in the days before her wedding.
They moved slowly up the stairs to the master bedroom, where they’d all collapse into the bed together and wake groggily in the morning for a day at Starlight Spa.
“I miss Oliver,” Felicity said into the darkness after they’d all settled in to sleep. Her fiance was out with Digg, Rene, and Curtis and would be spending the night at Digg’s house. They’d barely been apart since they got back together.
“Don’t call him. It’s the rules,” Thea mumbled.
“But I miss him,” she pouted.
Dinah patted her arm. “You’ll see him tomorrow. Go to sleep and it’ll happen faster,” she said sleepily.
With that sound logic, Felicity closed her eyes and drifted to sleep.
A grey morning. Clouds of fog settle across the ground, and there's a slight patter of rain against the window. You sit in bed, clutching your favourite mug, surrounded by blankets and pillows. You stare out the window at the rain, a good book in your hand. The window is slightly open so you can hear the raindrops fall on the ground below, and a slight breeze drifts across your room. The rain isn't supposed to ease up any time today, but that's alright because you haven't got anywhere to be, and you're dying to finish this book.
A warm summer's day. You lie in a field of daisies, your picnic blanket spread out. The wind brushes against your skin, cooling you from the summer's heat. You stare up into the sky, watching the white puffs of clouds form to make different shapes. The air is sweet, and smells floral. Beside you is a radio, playing songs reminiscent of the 20's. You hum along, your lips curling into a small smile as the melody of the music flows along. The sun's warmth rests gently on your skin, settling like liquid gold, warming you at your core. You decided to spend the rest of summer in this very spot, watching the clouds drift by, dreaming of tomorrow.
Late at night, after a long, hard day. You've just run a bath, which is now steaming hot, a pile of fluffy bubbles sitting at the surface. You turn off the lights, and light your best smelling candles, placing them around the bath. The amber light they give off is soft, comforting. You slowly sink into the warmth of the bath, consumed by it's warmth. Your breathing slows ever so slightly, and you can feel your heart in your chest as it beats. The faint sound of the bubbles of the bath surround you as you relax, your mind free of worries. You are at peace.
A late winter's night. Snow is falling outside in large flakes big enough to stick to your eyelashes, but you are bundled up inside. You're wearing your favourite pyjamas and have your warmest blanket bundled up around you. In the fireplace is a large, crackling fire, which makes your whole house smell of pine and a gentle smoke. You sit by the fire, and stick your feet out to warm up your toes. Your cat sits on your lap, purring softly, contentedly. You hold a sketchbook, and draw a doodle of a forest that you remember visiting as a child. Everyone else has already gone to bed, but you remain by the fire, sketching quietly. The crackling of the fire is gentle, comforting, and under the softness of your blanket, as the flames turn to glowing embers, you slowly drift to sleep.
An autumn campfire. The world is exploding in shades of amber, maroon, and topaz, as fall settles in. You stand in the middle of the forest, with your closest friends as they slowly construct the bonfire. Once it is lit, the bunch of you sit on logs surrounding it, watching as the flames dance around each other, almost rhythmically. One of your friends has a guitar, and so you spend the night singing your favourite songs, roasting marshmallows, and making s'mores as you spend time around the fire. By the time the flame's have died down you huddle close together, telling scary stories. Once the final embers have died, you spend the next hour simply staring at the stars through the clearing in the trees. No one says a word, because none of you need to - you're together, and that's what counts.
Early in the morning. You stand atop a big hill, looking out over your city as it slowly wakes from it's slumber. You watch as the hazy purple skyline slowly becomes replaced by pink, and then light blue. The lights of the buildings slowly flick on, one by one, each light marking the start of a new day for a person in the city. The clouds become lit in hues of magenta as the sun begins to peek around the horizon. The traffic of the city slowly grows louder, as more and more people wake. You watch as your breath turns to clouds as it passes your lips, being met by the crispness of the morning. The city wakes, and slowly, you do too.
A Sunday afternoon. Your best friend is over, and the two of you spend the afternoon baking chocolate chip cookies (and eating most of the dough), dancing around to disney songs in the middle of your kitchen. By the time the cookies are in the oven, the entire room is flooded by their sweet, vanilla-y scent. Once they're out of the oven, you both eat at least four, as you sit in front of the television, marathoning your favourite disney movies on VCR. For this afternoon, you've nothing to worry about. There's something about this very reminiscent of your childhood, it makes you feel young again, childish even. But that's okay, it's good to be a child sometimes.
Late one September night. You sit by your spot by the window, a thunderstorm raging on outside. The rain hits the glass of your window hard, and you watch as the droplets race each other down to the bottom. Your dog sleeps beside you, surprisingly unaffected by the loud cracks of thunder outside. The sky lights up every so often, streaks of lighting piercing the purple sky, lighting up your room and filling your heart with a sense of excitement, a form of electricity. You clutch your journal, and write a small poem in the warm light of the candle. You vow to yourself not to fall asleep until the storm is over, because there's nothing that makes you feel quite so alive as the cracks of thunder and streaks of lighting. Nothing is quite so exciting, nothing brings you such life.
Early one summer morning. You walk along a country road, beams of the early morning sun streaming through the trees. There's still a coolness that lingers in the air from the night before, and the dew still remains in the air, like little droplets of mist. You're not wearing any shoes so you can feel the coolness of the cement beneath your feet. The chorus of birdsong from the forest on either side of the road unifies to form one single melody, one perfect song sung by hundreds of birds. You whistle along, enjoying the peace in this moment. You've nothing but the clothes on your back, a pack filled with your belongings, and determination. You don't quite know where you're going, but you know you're going home.
A garden party, late in the spring. Flowers everywhere have just begun to bloom, and the world is alive in the most brilliant hues of yellow, pink, green and purple. The air is fresh, sweet. A group of your best friends surround you, as you eat the meal you'd spent hours preparing together. The sun has just begin to set, and soon the christmas lights you'd strung up in the garden will light up the night. You spend the evening reminiscing over stories from childhood, and laughing at the memories you had together. You won't notice it's late into the night until you look up at the sky to find all the constellations brightly lighting up the night sky. This night will only be added to the list of memories you share with them, there for you to reminisce about some time in the future.
64 days in heaven and hell (72) The rich colours of the night It must have been a weird sight for people passing by late that night in September 1888, to see that strange painter behind his easel with burning candles mounted on his hat. But Van Gogh didn’t mind.
It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly coloured than the day. (Letter 676 of September 8, 1888).
This scene must have been one of the highlighgts in the decoration of Vincent’s Yellow House, I guess.
Vincent Van Gogh, The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum, September 1888. Oil on canvas, 81 x 65.5 cm. Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands (F 467, JH 1580)
She’s spent far too many years as Miranda Lambert.
It’s something she realizes, something she’s probably always known, over tacos and tequila one night. The stereo is softly playing an old George Strait song (from a classic CD she popped in, she doesn’t have much faith in country radio these days). It’s a late night in September, but the weather outside makes it feel a bit more like the middle of November, with its harsh winds and the rustling of the leaves on the trees, and the constant tap, tap, tap of the branches against her kitchen window.
This place has never quite felt like a home to her, but now that there’s pictures on the wall, and food stocked in the fridge, and her favorite pillows and comforter on the bed upstairs, she finds it ironic how it still doesn’t feel much like a place she wants to spend the moments of her life. She’s alone; she’s never felt more alone than she does right now, because twenty-one seems so damn long ago, and she never imagined the feeling of starting her life over ten years after she thought it began. She decides she doesn’t like it.
She’s not sure if it’s something that started recently, or if she’s always been a bit too naïve to realize it, but her phone hasn’t rung in God knows how long. It did for a while, with people wanting to know how she was doing, but that was three weeks ago, and she still felt the same, and she learned a long time ago that people don’t hang around to try and fix broken records.
How could she be such a shell of the person she used to be? Well, maybe she was never really that person at all. Was it possible she put on a façade of the person she wanted to be, rather than the person she really had been the whole time? Did she let somebody else change her into that person, only to preach about not doing that to her fans? Was she as much of a hypocrite as she felt like?
She’s tried, day by day, to look for some sort of silver lining, but she’s failed to remind herself that she’s the one who brought this upon herself. She knows why it happened, at the time, and she knows why she tried to justify it, because trying to be the best version of herself when she doesn’t have anyone encouraging her is so fucking hard, and she wanted to feel important. She wanted to feel like she mattered to someone, not as Miranda Lambert, but as somebody who could be there for somebody else whose problems made her own seem a little less important.
Was she at fault for feeling like she deserved more? Maybe she was meant to be a screw up who deserved nothing more than a half-assed chance at a happy ending, but it never dawned on her that she was foolish for thinking she did. It never dawned on her that she was foolish enough to not realize she was able to lose something that she thought was hers.
She leaves her dinner untouched, placing the plate on the counter, and grabbing the large bag of dog food in the cabinet, because even though she doesn’t feel like eating, doesn’t mean she can avoid responsibility of feeding her animals. They dig in almost immediately, and she finds it kind of ironic, because they still lick her and jump on her and praise her like she’s some God of a human being, and she’s not.
Not by a long shot anymore.
••• // •••
“Hey, you came!”
She forces a smile at her bandmate, because he told her about this gig a while ago, when he first found out about it, but shit happened, and she felt like her life had been torn apart at the seams, but she still somehow seems to remember that her problems aren’t anyone else’s responsibility.
“Are you kidding?” She laughs. “I told you I would come.”
Spencer pulls her into a quick hug, and she tries to remember a time when she didn’t feel so alone, or worn out, or completely broken inside, but she can’t, because maybe she never had. She tries to remember when the last time someone tried to mend her broken pieces was, and she realizes she doesn’t know if that time ever existed, and yeah, being Miranda Lambert sucks when you don’t have anyone to share it with.
He smiles at her, “Thank you.”
She squeezes his hand, and lets him go backstage to finish setting up for his performance, and she wanders around, because she somehow lost Crystal in the crowd of people, but she doesn’t really feel like talking to anybody right now, so she buys a drink, thanks her lucky stars that she isn’t driving home, and tries to forget about the hangover she knows she’s bound to have in the morning.
A few people come up and talk to her, because she is still that person, even if she isn’t sure if she wants to be, and she greets them with a smile and a ‘hi, how are you doing?’ because she’s not rude, whether she’s Miranda Lambert or plain Miranda. She takes a few pictures, forcing a happy face, and she wonders if she’s going to have to do this forever, if she’s going to have to be this person all the time, and only fall and break and crumble when she’s in the privacy of her own home.
She stands, and watches, and talks through two acts, and when Spencer and his bandmate take the stage to go on, she makes sure she’s at the front with a smile plastered onto her face and a drink plastered to her hand. They’re good, but she’s always known that, and they play a few songs, thank the crowd, and exit the stage, and she’s thankful, because she can finally leave, she can finally go back to sulking on her bathroom floor with a bottle of whiskey, and…who the hell is he?
Her eyes land on the man currently on the stage, and she watches as he adjusts his microphone, and tunes the guitar in his hand, and she watches him adjust the leather jacket he’s wearing, and it suddenly feels ten times hotter than it did a moment ago, but she’s not sure why (or maybe she is). Their eyes meet for a split second, and she can’t read the expression on his face, but his eyes are the bluest she’s ever seen.
Hell, maybe she can stay a little longer.
“You’re still here?”
Spencer looks a little surprised when she’s still roaming around forty-five minutes later, as if he didn’t expect her to still be here, and honestly, she doesn’t blame him; she didn’t expect to still be here either. She forces a smile, nods her head, and erupts into some lie about how she wanted to stick around to tell him how great he was on stage (it wasn’t a complete lie, she just bent the truth a little).
“Thank you,” He tells her softly. “Thanks for coming.”
She nods, “Do you need help backstage?”
His eyebrows raise, because he can’t remember the last time she asked him if he needed help. They usually carry her things to and from places, but he shrugs in agreement, “Okay.”
She smiles as he leads her around the corner, and maybe she knows exactly what she’s doing, and maybe it’s all a coincidence, but nobody else needs to know. He talks, and she tries to listen, to give insight on the things he’s talking about, but she honestly has no clue what he’s saying, so she mostly nods and flashes a signature smile his way when he glances over at her.
There’s no part of wrapping up wires she’s actually interested in, but she still does it anyway, and when she sets them down and bumps into a figure walking toward her, it’s a complete accident, it is, but as she looks up to apologize to them, she would be lying if she said she didn’t enjoy how his hand wraps around her arm to steady her.
“I am so sorry,” She tells him.
His blue eyes smile back at her, “No, you’re fine.”
She hears his southern accent from the moment he opens his mouth, and it catches her a bit off guard, but she smiles, because it might be the most beautiful thing she’s ever heard, and her blood runs both hot and cold at the same time. It takes her a moment to realize his hand’s still touching her, but he must realize the same thing, because he immediately backs down and turns to Spencer.
“Awesome set, man.”
Spencer smiles, seemingly unaware of the tension between his boss and his new friend, but he shakes the guy’s hand and nods gratefully, “You too.”
“He’s right,” Miranda finds herself talking before she thinks. “You were amazing.”
She glances down at the ground, and it’s silent for a second before Spencer speaks up, “Oh, Miranda, this is Anderson East. Anderson, this is Miranda Lambert.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” She smiles, and for the first time in a while, there’s nothing forced about it. He shakes her hand, grinning at her, and she wonders if it’s weird to feel butterflies at this age. A minute later, she has to wonder if doing this is wrong, because she got divorced less than two months ago, and yeah, maybe her marriage had been doomed from the start, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t real. “We should go.”
She turns away to help Spencer continue packing, because she doesn’t want to, but she can’t get out now, and it’s only a minute later when she hears, “Hey, Miranda?”
“Yeah?” She looks back.
He takes a breath, “Would you like to go on a date with me?”
Both her and Spencer’s eyes widen, and she doesn’t know what to say, because her head screams I would love to go on a date with you but her heart is screaming no, no, no and she doesn’t know what to say, how to feel, she isn’t honestly sure if she’s breathing, because does she really know this guy?
“A date?” She asks.
She can’t remember the last time she went on a date, the last time she sat down with someone she had an interest in, and talked, had a conversation about their lives, and their future plans, and what they wanted to do, and she realizes that she doesn’t really know how to date, because she might have been in her twenties the last time that happened, but she’s thirty-one now, and she doesn’t know the first real thing about it.
He nods, “Wherever you want.”
His smile widens, “Really?”
She writes down her number on an old gum wrapper she found in her bag, because she’s not going to ask for his phone, and she’s always been a little bit old school anyway. When he realizes what it is, he looks at her with those signature blue eyes and grins, clenching his fist around it as if it’s his lifeline.
“So, I’ll pick you up tomorrow night, around six-thirty.”
Her eyes widen, “Tomorrow? You don’t even have my address.”
“I guess you’ll have to text it to me.”
She raises an eyebrow, “I don’t have your number.”
“Well then,” He smirks. “You’ll just have to trust that I’m going to text you first.”
She stares at him as he turns to walk away, and Spencer looks between the two, because he’s never been more confused, and she doesn’t blame him, because she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing, but she’s doing it anyway. She misses the smile on his face as he walks away.
“We’re going to be
late if you don’t hurry up, babe.” He calls out to you as you are rushing
around the bedroom trying to find your new shoes, your hands are attempting to
put your earrings in and you are starting to get flustered.
“One second, Calum. I
just can’t find my-“
“Hey, pretty girl.
Fancy coming to an awards show with me tonight?” He sneaks up from behind
and wraps his arms around your waist, pulling you back into his chest. His
voice is low and almost a whisper, you take a second to enjoy the moment and
let your hands encase his until you feel the cool of the metal band around his
wedding finger. Fulfillment. He is everything you have ever wanted and he is all
“Oh of course, but don’t
let your wife find out.” You grin, flashing him a wink. A knock on the door
breaks you from your train of thought.
“Guess the car is
here, baby.” He turns to exit the room and you can’t help but feel like
your insides are about to burst open with pride.
He surprised you. It wasn’t love at first sight, you didn’t take
one look at him and know that he was going to be yours for the rest of your
life, he sneaked up on you. When you first met him you hardly gave him any
attention, he was just another stranger in the room and you spent your evening
far more interested in others. He
surprised you. You got to know him and you found yourself falling, the man who
was once insignificant to you was now your whole world. One minute he meant nothing
and the next he had filled your every thought and his smile was all you saw
when anyone else would laugh. All of a sudden he was the most magnetic being
you have ever known, you were constantly pulled towards him and there was
nothing stopping you. It’s funny really, you didn’t see it coming, it just…
happened. You promised yourself you wouldn’t fall in love with him, but it was
late one September night sat in his apartment and you both were laughing so
hard you couldn’t breathe, that was all it took. You looked over at him and
knew you were screwed. He surprised you.
The car braking too harshly pulls you back to reality and
you look over at Calum, he is gazing out of the window and you know he is deep
in thought and doesn’t want to be disturbed so you settle with squeezing his
hand, it is a small gesture but it lets Calum know you are there, you always
will be. Your stomach feels like it might cave in on itself when you let your
eyes wander down his body, black suit, hair full of wild curls and looking the
most sexy you have ever seen him. Apart from your wedding day, you know nothing will
ever beat that. For a moment you let yourself mentally undress him, taking off
his jacket and shirt so you can see his hidden tattoos. They aren’t visible to
you right now but you can feel your lips ghosting over them, kissing his collar
bone and paying attention to every single one.
You have poured your soul into his, trusting him to keep it
safe. You have let your secrets and deepest desires escape your lips when you
lay with him in bed, legs intertwined and heart beating against his own. You
have let him read the clues that lead to the very core of you, unraveling you minute
by minute to reveal a place no one else has ever been. He has made you a piece
of art, calling you his very own masterpiece.
It is starting to get dark outside and the city flashes past
at a hundred miles an hour, the view from the car window has become a blur and
you cannot believe this is your life. Every kiss, every touch, every night
spent sleeping together, every song he has sung to you, every song he has written
about you, every fight you have shared, every spark you have ever felt when he
touches you has set you alight and you know you cannot go back now. You fall in
love with him more and more every day, a constant stream of new things that
amaze you. You were constantly falling, an infinite fall.
The car comes to a stop and Calum clears his throat, you
both know you have no idea how the night is going to end. You wonder if the
band is going to win an award or if you are just going to have a nice meal and
a few too many drinks with your husband and his band mates. Either way, Calum
radiates hope, he is beaming and it is contagious.
“You ready, baby?”
he asks as his eyes search yours for an answer.
“No. But if anyone
asks, lie and tell them we are.” He spits out, his voice stern.
You turn to look at Calum, your mouth is hung wide open and
you are sure you haven’t heard him correctly. He looks tired, dark circles lay
under his eyes and when you meet them, it feels like he isn’t there anymore. He
isn’t your Calum anymore. Turning to enter the room you feel your chest seize
up and struggle to let any breath past your lips, the room is filled with his
band members and tour crew, everyone is celebrating another world tour coming
to an end and the drinks are flowing, the music is loud yet you still feel
alone. Calums body has vanished from beside yours and you don’t have to look to
see where he is. By the bar. Glass of whiskey in hand, just like every other
It was late one September night and you were on the couch in
Calums apartment. You had both drunk way too much, your laughter filled the
room and his smile was so wide you are sure he was the most handsome man you
had ever had the pleasure of knowing. His legs were intertwined with yours and
Calums voice filtered through the air telling you another story from his
adventures. You couldn’t help but grin when you saw his face, how it lit up
when he spoke about performing on stage or how grateful he was for all of his
bands success. He radiated a sense of hope, it set you on fire and coursed
through your veins until you started to dream with him too, you dreamt of him
achieving greatness and making music for the rest of his life, him sharing his
love and passion with the whole world. In return he dreamt for you, he dreamt
for you to finally start on the career path you had always wanted, to finish
college and become who you are meant to be, rather than who your parents wanted
you to be. He made you dream.
But it wasn’t that simple, you could see it in his facial
expression and you could hear it in his voice. He would go silent. He was scared.
“I just want to find
it, do you know what I mean?” His voice startles you, it’s a whole new side
to him, one that he has never shown you.
No words are spoken and it feels like a lifetime. You hear
his breath hitch in his throat and you know he is trying to piece his words
“I want to find that
person, the one who makes me feel like I am who I’m supposed to be when I’m
with them. I want to find that someone who loves me, just me, not Calum Hood
from some band, just Calum from Australia. I want them to love me and accept my
flaws, I want someone who understands how annoying I can be and will still
fight for me when it gets hard.” His hand slips into yours and gives it a
squeeze, you curl your fingers around his and let him know you are there.
“I want someone who just appreciates me and
tells me everything will be ok when I feel like the whole world has turned
against me. I want someone who will forgive me every time I get too angry and
will forgive me when my job gets in the way of giving them some normality. I
want someone who makes the mundane moments feel extraordinary. I guess I just
want someone who will always be by my side, no matter what. I just want to find
it.” He lets a sigh out and his hands have started to shake.
“Yeah, I want to find
it too.” Your voice comes out as a whisper and you revel in each other’s
company. You feel at home with him.
It was late one September night, you were on the couch in
his apartment. You hadn’t been doing anything important, nothing special or out
of the ordinary. It was when you looked over and saw his silhouette across from
you. That was when you realized you could love him.
You haven’t moved from the floor since last night. The
argument replaying in your head, frustrations had come to a boiling point and
you had both blown.
Calum was drunk, beyond drunk and he had acted like you were
a stranger, you stood with his best friends and put on a smile, tried to
celebrate the tour but all you could focus on was his cold shoulder, how there
was a tension between the both of you that you couldn’t shift. You couldn’t
shift it last night and you hadn’t been able to shift it for months.
The floor is cold and you don’t think you have the energy to
move. You feel his body come sit next to yours and the tears start to fall.
“We both meant what we
said last night, didn’t we?” Silence. The question lingers in the air, you
are sure he doesn’t need a reply. You know you both meant it. You decide to nod
your head briefly, refusing to meet his gaze.
You freeze at his words. Thank you? As your mouth opens to
protest, he speaks again.
“Thank you. I know
it’s stupid for me to say that, especially when I’ve failed you. I failed to
meet you half way in this relationship and I failed us. But thank you.”
Tears are coming thick and fast down your cheeks, they burn
and brand your heartbreak into your face.
“Thank you for giving
me some hope. Thank you for letting me believe in something and thank you for
encouraging me and being proud of me on the days when I’m sure I didn’t deserve
it. You let me believe in love for a little while and you let me hold your hand
when I was unsure about my reason for being on this earth.”
He pulls you closer and the sobs leave your chest, he smells
just like the first night you met him. The scent takes you back a few years and
you remember how excited he was for your future with him.
“I will always
remember you. You taught me how to
live life and that there is good in everything, especially you baby, you are
the goodness which I will never forget. So thank you, thank you for trying.
Thank you for trying with me. Thank you for trying to find it.”
That’s when you realize, you never actually found what you
were looking for.
You both just crossed your fingers and hoped the universe
om the moment Los Angeles police handcuffed him, Jorge Azucena told officers he needed help.
“I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” he pleaded. “I have asthma, I have asthma.”
In the half-hour or so after his arrest late one night last September, Azucena said over and over that he was struggling for breath. Numerous LAPD officers and sergeants heard his pleas for medical attention but ignored them even as his condition visibly worsened.
“You can breathe just fine,” one sergeant told him. “You can talk, so you can breathe.”
Azucena could not walk or stand by the time officers brought him to a South Los Angeles police station for booking. So they carried him into a cell, leaving him lying face-down on the floor. He was soon unconscious. When paramedics arrived shortly after, Azucena’s heart had stopped.
The chilling account of how Azucena died is told in two reports made public this week. After a Times article last year on the circumstances surrounding Azucena’s death, the reports offer new details into the man’s desperate and futile attempts to convince officers his lungs were succumbing to what coroner’s officials determined was most likely an asthma attack.
Nearly a year after Azucena’s death, LAPD officials have not yet determined whether any of the officers involved that night should be disciplined for failing to summon help and, in the case of some officers, for lying to investigators. Nine officers and two sergeants are the subjects of ongoing internal investigations, while another sergeant under scrutiny recently retired, said Capt. Paul Snell, who commands the LAPD’s Southwest Division, where the death occurred. As is customary, prosecutors from the county district attorney’s office are reviewing the case to determine whether the inaction amounts to criminal behavior.
“There should not be any question that when somebody in custody is heard to say ‘I cannot breathe,’ the officers should promptly call for an ambulance,” said Robert Saltzman, a member of the Police Commission that oversees the LAPD.
Through a spokesman, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck declined to comment.