I remember Phil's accidents like they were yesterday, although both of them were at different times, different places and had different effects. The first one was with his mother. I'm going to tell you what I saw, and then tell you what Phil told me happened.
I was supposed to be going over Phil's house after school, he had come out to his mother as gay a few days prior. I knocked on the door but nobody answered. Without really thinking about it, I let myself in. The place was a mess. Broken ornaments and shards of glass lay everywhere, but the thing that really caught my eyes was Mrs.Lester holding something in the corner sobbing. At closer inspection I saw she was holding a beaten and unconscious Phil. Upon seeing this I didn't hesitate rushing over.
"Mrs.Lester? What Happened?" I asked her as calmly as I could. Phil was out cold. Old and new bruises covered his body, his head was bleeding along with his arms, stomach and chest. Smaller cuts covered his face.
"My baby!" Mrs.Lester cried rocking her son back and forth.
"Mrs.Lester he needs help, please, just tell me who did this to him." I begged.
"It was me..." she whispered. I was taken aback. "I was drinking last night, I remember Phil coming home, then I woke up in my bedroom a few hours later, I walked out here and my Phil was lying in this mess."
"I'm calling an ambulance and the police, stay here."
The ambulance and police showed up awhile later. Mrs.Lester was arrested and Phil was taken to hospital straight away. He was asleep for another 3 days and then he woke up. I thought, he wouldn't remember, but he did. This is what he told me.
I was tired after a day of Uni. Dan was supposed to be coming over once he finished at school so at least I had something to look forward to.
"Hi Mum." I called as I went straight to my room. I was slightly concerned when she didn't say anything back but I didn't bother her more. I had been lying on my bed for about 10 minutes when my bedroom door opened and my mother stood in the doorway. She was drunk.
"Phil come to the living room please." she said hiccuping on the end. Oh yeah, she was definetley drunk. I walked out of my room and sat down on the couch apprehensively.
"Why can't you be normal?" she slurred at me.
"You're gay, you told me a few days ago, be normal!" she was shouting at the end. I was starting to panic. Suddenly she grabbed my hair which made me yelp and threw me on the floor. I tried to get back up but she smashed a vase over my head. Immediately I felt tired and weak, but then she started kicking me. She did things like kicking and punching for about 10 minutes until she stalked off. Thinking she had gone I tried to let myself sleep, but she came back a few moments later. She bent down in front of me and I saw she had a knife.
"Please Mum..." I begged her, but she just smiled.
"People like you need to learn their lesson Phillip." she said quietly. I didn't really know what to expect. She took both my arms and made multiple cuts on both of them, some deeper then others. I screamed in pain but she just laughed. Then she pushed up my shirt and cut all over my stomach and chest. I was bleeding badly and I felt queasy.
"Dan!" I cried trying to get away from my mother, but then, she was sitting on top on my stomach making me once again scream in pain due to my stomach cuts. Eventually her hands found my throat and she began to strangle me.
"Dan's not coming." she said through gritted teeth as I let myself pass out. What felt like hours later I came around. I opened my eyes slightly to see that my mother was holding me and crying. I looked and saw Dan was on the phone to the ambulance. Everything went black again, the next time I regained consciousness, I couldn't open my eyes but I could hear. I was still in my house and the ambulance and Dan were there.
"Phil? Can you hear me?" an unfamiliar voice said, I'd say something back but my body wasn't co-operating with me meaning all I could do was lay there. I felt someone sliding a stretcher underneath me and then I was being lifted up and taken away.
"It'll be okay Phil." I heard Dan walking next to me. Then I let myself slip into unconsciousness.
That though, was the milder of the accidents. The more recent one changed both our lives forever. We'll never be able to go back and live the way we did.
You see, Phil wasn't the same after the first incident. He was always on edge, he'd have really bad nightmares that I couldn't wake him up from no matter how hard I shook him, he hated being touched even the slightest bit, he constantly trembled and twitched, until eventually he became depressed and started self harming. Then one day, he had a mental breakdown. He started throwing things and hitting everything, after, he sobbed in the corner. I couldn't cope, so I sent him to a mental institute, and that is my only regret, because maybe if I hadn't, he'd still be the same Phil. The other accident happened at Greensea Institute.
I got a phone call at about 3:00 in the afternoon. Phil was one of the patients who needed to be watched 24/7 at the institute because he'd breakdown if somebody touched him. I was just sitting on the couch watching T.V when my phone rang.
Hello, this is Greensea Institute, we have reason to believe you know Phillip Lester?
"Yes I do, why?"
Phillip's having a very bad mental breakdown, we don't know how he got it but he has a very sharp knife with him, he says he'll kill himself if he doesn't see you
"Oh my god..."
Is it possible you could come in to help us?
"I'm on my way."
I arrived at the institute 20 minutes later. Staff were waiting for me at the entrance. They took me down the elevator and briefly explained.
"He's by the stairs down to solitary confinement, we chased him through the entire institute, but he eventually went there. We believe some other patients ganged up on him in the canteen and all touched him at once. He freaked out, panicked, grabbed a knife from the kitchen and ran." the nurse said as the elevator doors opened. Phil was there in skinny jeans, a t-shirt and converses. He was holding a knife to his throat and he was crying. Nurses and Doctors were standing a few meters away from him. He said he'd hurt himself if they came any closer.
"Phil!" I cried rushing forward but I was being held back by Nurses and Doctors.
"Don't come any closer Dan! I mean it!" Phil sobbed pressing the knife tighter to his throat. He was standing right on the edge of the stairs. A caution sign on the right said there were 70 steps.
"Please don't do this!" I begged blinking back tears.
"Just stay away from me all of you! They all touched me, I can still feel their dirty fingers all over my arms! They want to hurt me!" he screamed.
"Phil please, they won't hurt you, we won't hurt you. Just please, come back." I asked as calmly as I could. Then I noticed he was losing balance and he dropped the knife.
"I'm think I'm gonna pass out..." he said. Nurses and Doctors ran forward but he'd already fainted and started falling down the stairs. I pushed past all of them and watched as the man I loved fell further and further. I heard something break when his head smashed against the step. Then he reached the bottom, but he was completely still. I ran down the stairs towards him.
"Phil!?" I panted as I reached him. He was completely unconscious, but he was breathing faintly. The next few moments were a blur until the ambulance turned up. I clung onto his hand as he was being taken to hospital in the van. He showed no sign of life apart from the weak rise and fall of his chest. We eventually got to the hospital and he was taken from me.
I had been home for a week now, the only news the hospital had given me was that he was alive but he wasn't 'well enough to see me.' But then I got the phone call.
"Yes that's me."
Phillip has woken up.
"Is he okay?"
We're going to need you to come in, it's not something I want to say over the phone
"...I'll be there in a few minutes."
And so there I was a few minutes later standing outside the door to Phil's room with a doctor.
"What's wrong with him? The receptionist said she couldn't tell me on the phone."
"You see Dan, the fall had a really big effect on Phil's brain, basically, he has severe brain damage, and now has the mental age of a 5-6 year old. He'll need a carer when he goes home, if you're not up for it, we can arrange for him to be given one." the doctor said gently. I was shocked, but I had to accept it. Most people would be in denial, but this doctor knew what he was on about.
"I'll see how I can cope with him." I replied my voice breaking towards the end from the tears I was holding back, but I refused to let them fall.
"I'll leave you to it." the doctor said and he walked off. I braced myself and opened the door. Phil was lying there in a daze. Quietly I walked in and sat down in the chair next to him.
"Hey Phil." I said quietly. He turned to look at me and frowned.
"Who are you?" he asked, his voice was higher than usual.
"I'm Dan, your best friend, we live together."
"Oh. I like you Danny." he replied and went back to his daydream. The fact he called me Danny made me want to cry, but I had to stay strong, for him. A few minutes later Phil's nurse walked in.
"I'm so sorry, he's always in a daze, he doesn't mean it in a rude way." she said sending me an apologetic look.
"It's okay." I mumbled as she walked over to him and shook him lightly out of his daydream. He turned to look at her and laughed.
"You're back!" he said excitedly, she smiled at him.
"Phillip, say hi to Dan." she said and pointed to me.
"Hello Danny!" he laughed. I guessed he liked calling me Danny.
"This is who you're going to live with once you leave here okay Phil? Dan will look after you and I'll check on you every week."
"Do you like stuff Danny?" he asked me
"Phil, you're going to need to be more specific when asking Dan questions about what he likes." the nurse said softly.
"Um...Do you like drawing?" he asked
"Yeah, I like doodling in my spare time." I answered "Do you like drawing?"
"Yes!" he squealed scrunching his eyes up "I love drawing!"
We talked like that for awhile. It was weird seeing my best friend being so childlike and it was hard knowing he'd be like that forever. Eventually he drifted off to sleep and the nurse spoke to me.
"Do you think you can handle looking after him Dan? It's a lot of work." she asked me kindly
"I think I can do it." I replied looking at her.
"He has terrible nightmares, we've tried waking him up from them but nothing works."
"That happened before he was sent away to the institute, I couldn't wake him up either. When is he coming home with me?"
"Is tomorrow okay?"