He watched her shiver; if only he could help. But right now, there was nothing he could do. The fight was hers alone. It killed him to see her writhe, sweat and tremble but intervening wouldn’t achieve anything. She was in pain; and every moan felt like a knife in his gut.
He shivered too; but not for the same reason. His was the failure; she was paying for his inability to see her distress, her loneliness. He knew he should be grateful: she could have chosen suicide. This… the path she’d taken; it was no less destructive but at least she was still here. His baby girl was fighting for her life, in a way her mother never did.
“She’ll make it through dad. She’s a tough cookie.”
Despite the confident tone, he knew Kate felt as helpless as he did; maybe more. She’d practically raised the little girl who was now screaming at the top of her lungs as if she were being ripped apart. It wasn’t fair what he’d done. Turned his elder daughter into her sister’s mom. Trying to keep it together had been so hard; but he’d deprived Kate of an education. And who knew what consequences the drugs would have on Kelsey?
Kate shivered beside him. He took her hand; she wouldn’t let him hug her. She hated to feel powerless. She’d been the one who forced him to pull it together after Joanna died. He’d sunk into depression and she’d kicked him in the butt. Reminded him that he had two daughters to take care of. She was only 15. She’d looked after the house and Kelsey while he returned to work. It wasn’t fair.
Kelsey might be the one fighting withdrawal symptoms but the pain of his family ran deeper than that. If… No. When Kelsey came out, he would do better by them. They deserved more. The three of them.
In response to the Daily Post writing prompt Shiver