There was no pedestrian accident. The boyfriend of Donny's mother threw him down a flight of stairs. Donny's mother met this guy Evan, after Donny's father died. Evan and Donny never got along. It was mostly because Evan never accepted Donny as his own son. Donny was leftovers. Being the reserved one, Donny just tried to avoid Evan as much as possible. But Donny turned 18, and Evan began demanding that Donny move out and blaze his own trail. That's what Evan called it anyway. To Donny, he was being deserted by the closest person to him, his mom Cynthia.
They were moving a full size fridge, up to the third floor of Donny's apartment. Their eruption of anger came as a consequence of the laborious task. Donnie was on the lower portion, going up the steps, with Evan holding from the top. It was sweltering hot inside the cramped dormitories. Evan later claimed that his hands were sweaty, and he lost his grip. IT didn't explain the serious trauma that Donny endured.
In actuality, Evan had become infuriated because he had cut his wrist on a door jam when entering the building. Evan wanted to stop and bandage his hand before proceeding further. It was moving day for a lot of the students in the building, and Donny insisted they hurry up and move it first, because they were blocking the entrance. They began shouting at each other, while strangers squeezed around them and the bulky apparatus. At long last, Evan continued moving the stove. By that time, the blood was really flowing from his wound, and Evan was livid. Evan rested the fridge teetering on the top step.
"Okay, let's just break for a sec. My hand is gushing." Evan said sulkily.
"We're almost at my door. Let's just finish up," Donny said irritably. He wanted to get this done, and be rid of Evan. It was a bad idea to have him help move.
"What do you need a full-size fridge for anyway?" Evan cried out, "They give you dorm fridge here free, as part of the lease, right?!?!"
"I'm gonna be staying here for a few more years, 'til school is done," Donny said, "I don't have time to shop all the time. I need to stock up on frozen meat and stuff. Could you please just move these last few feet?!?!"
"My hand--" Evan started.
"FUCK YOUR HAND!!" Donny shouted. His voice reverberated on the cramped stairway, sounding deafening.
Evan snapped. His foot shot out automatically before he had time to process his rage. The fridge teeter-tottered precariously for a split second, then fell.
Totally unprepared, Donny caught the brunt of the fridge's weight on his chest, and broke the fall with his limbs. His center of gravity was upended, and Donny wheeled his arms for balance, finding none. Donny's jaw crashed against the steel banister, breaking it into fragments. His leg was caught in the spacing between the railings supports, and the bottom of the fridge snapped his femur in two. The fridge went hurtling down the stairs like a rectangular missle. It rolled over Donny a final time, end-over-end, and fractured his collarbone. After bowling over Donny, the fridge flipped once on the wooden stairs, the top freezer door swinging open like a stubby wing beating. With a raucous, splintering crash, it cartwheeled a second time on the second floor landing, then burst through the dry wall and plaster.
The white stove was covered with Donny's blood as it squashed him.
Donny had to drop his classes because he was in a hospital bed recovering for three weeks. He had to take a liquid form of opioids because of his shattered jaw. Donny had started out on benzodiazapins, in the form of vicadin. His friend from a local university was majoring in pharmaceuticals, and he hooked Donny up with the Oxy Contin. The pain of bones knitting back together is horrible, and Donny needed something stronger. he snorted the pills because he couldn't swallow when his jaw was wired shut. It became his preferred method of drug induction.
According to Ben, it wasn't the first scuffle Donny had with Evan. But it was the last. Donny broke off all contact from his mom, because she refused to break up with Evan. His mother refused to believe it was on purpose. She took Evan's side, and Donny hardly spoke to her again. Donny attempted to sue Evan in small claims court, but it was hearsay. Neither could prove or disprove anything.
Donny was always quiet, even before the drugs took root. But after the accident, Donny became a mute of sorts. He would always answer questions he was posed, but made absolutely no effort to speak to others. Ben always sat with him at lunch, because Donny had never really related to any of the other employees. Loneliness communicates universally to kind souls, like a collect call of sorts, on a backup line. Ben was always an ear to talk to. Ben began seeing Donny popping pills with regularity. He only grew alarmed when Donny's casts came off, but was still taking the drugs. Then the prescription ran out, and Donny went off the radar. He was MID, missing in drugs. If Donny had really put forth substantial effort, he would've been able to make up his classes. But it reached the point where Donny gave up everything. His lease was called in as delinquent and he was evicted. Donny simply used the money for rent on dope. Once Donny had to find his junk on the black market, the price went up. The risk went up. The cagey characters he ran with became darker. Donny lost everything, and Ben thought there was a deathwish within that kid somewhere. Greg understood the self-betrayal that leads to ones own demise. He had been guilty of such baneful thought processes.
Ben finishes talking. They are on a park bench, in the center of the pedestrian mall. Birds waddle in front of them, aware that this is a primo spot for breadcrumbs.
"So he lied to me," Greg says in frustration.
"I think that's beside the point," Ben says, "I've known Donny for years, and I'm not gonna give up on him. Because I would want someone there for me, if I was in his spot."
"When someone lies," Greg says thoughtfully, "It can put into question everything they've told you before."
Ben is silent at this. Greg didn't know if Donny deserved any more strikes.
LINK TO PART 69: http://www.ebaumsworld.com/blogs/view/82511421/