I press my forehead against the cool tiles of the bathroom, moaning in my misery. If I was expecting support from my friends, I'm not getting it. When Matthew does help me up and hands me a glass of water, his expression is one of thunder.
"If you're just going to be preaching, you may leave." I say, my voice awfully raspy and my throat painful. Matthew raises a brow at me.
"You're awfully bold, considering Brie and I got you home."
"Would've gotten home fine." I mutter, putting the glass away and grabbing the toilet to help me as I stand up. My foot slips and I fall back to the ground. "Meant to do that." I say to Matthew's glare.
"I don't care that you use drugs, Lucien." He shakes his head. "Hell, we've done cocaine together, so I'm the last person who will judge you on it."
"Then what're you being all...." I wave my hand as I try to find the word. "judgy about?"
"The fact that you're using it as a coping mechanism."
"Oh God, this again." I let my head fall back, which is apparently a bad idea because I barely bend over the bowl quickly enough. Matthew waits patiently while I empty out my stomach even more, but I haven't eaten in forever so it's all just bitter bile. It makes the water Matthew hands me again taste awfully sweet. "I'm not-" I begin, but Matthew cuts me off with another shake of his head.
"I'm not having this conversation here. Take a shower, because you reek. I'll meet you downstairs."

Brie is nowhere to be found when I get downstairs; it's just Matthew on the couch in the seating area.
"He's out for groceries." He says, probably guessing my thoughts as I look around. "Eschieve's with him. I asked them to be out of the house for a while."
"Why?" I know exactly why, and I'm not excited. To my surprise, his face softens.
"Luce, I can't imagine how hard this must be on you. The break-up, the video she put out," I flinch when he mentions it. Seeing her, hearing her voice... it tore me apart. I knew exactly what it was about, but Gabriel warned me not to take my own video down, because it might things worse. That was three days ago. I don't remember much of the time between then and now, which I know isn't healthy but... I'm rather certain that wallowing in my self-pity and letting the darkness swallow me isn't healthy either. "But you are destroying yourself." Matthew continues. "You should see yourself. You're a shell, Luce. I've talked to Brie and Eschieve, and they say you only laugh when you're drunk."
"Where's this going, May?" I inquire, really not in any mood for a speech or an intervention.
"I'm worried about you. We all are." All of them, except the one that really matters. Emma doesn't care. Emma hates me. She'd probably be relieved if I ended up in the gutter somewhere. A part of me believes that is a lie, but it's not enough to convince me.
"There's nothing to worry about. I'm fine." I'm still standing, I realise. So I sink down in one of the chairs across of Matthew, who doesn't look convinced.
"When's the last time you had a proper night's sleep?"
"You know, I can't believe you planned to have this conversation. You just didn't think 'Lucien and I are going to talk about this'. No, you actively planned it by making sure the two other people were out of the house."
"Would you rather have Eschieve be here for it? Because she might see that you're not okay, but I know you're not letting her see how fucked up you really are."
I clench my jaw. "Don't you dare tell her."
"Don't give me a reason to."
"She's finally doing what she wants, Matthew! She's finally following a decision that she made. You can't ruin that by -"
"I can't ruin that?" He interjects sharply, and I recoil, but he's not done. "If anyone is ruining her happiness, it will be you, Lucien! Didn't you tell me how happy you were that you two were finally building a relationship together? If you continue this you're going to throw all of that away! You'd say she's watched enough people in her life die!"
The words knock the air out of me, and they feel like a sharp knife through my stomach. I stare at Matthew in disbelief, who is equally shocked.
"I'm sorry." He whispered. "Lucien, I'm sorry. That... I shouldn't have said that. That was all kinds of not okay."
"No." I remark in a flat voice. "It wasn't."
I expect him to defend himself. To say that while a low blow, it's not far from the truth. But he doesn't. Instead, his expression becomes almost... sad, much like Eschieve's that day in the kitchen. "We just worry about you, Lucien. I, personally, worry about you. I thought I'd seen you at your worst when... when your mother died. But not even then were you like this. I'm not saying that the grief from Madeleine's death is in any way comparible to losing Emma, but - shit, Lucien! I've been here three days and all I've seen you do is trying to destroy yourself! Do you have any idea how hard that is to watch?"
"I'm not destroying myself." I whisper, afraid to look at my friend. "If anything, I'm doing everything in my might to prevent that. You don't know what it's like in my head, Matthew. Every waking moment she's there. I think I see her in the mirror, or I think I hear her laugh. Eschieve might play a song that was in one of the playlists she used to put on and my heart is ripped out of my chest again without a moment's notice. When I sleep, she's with me in my dreams. And for a moment, everything is okay. I dream about having dinner together on my couch, or shopping at the farmer's market where she takes my hand because I'm too much of a spoiled brat to handle normal people. But she helps me, because that's just what she does." My laugh is empty and humorless. "And then I wake up, and I'm alone. But at the same time, I'm never alone, because she haunts me. It only goes away when I drink. And you don't have to tell me that's not healthy. But it's the only way to make life livable, because it's the only time I don't constantly think of her."

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