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The Tragic King of Blue Point
On the very edge of Blue Point, centimeters away from certain death, lay a pile of large, jagged rocks. Skyler Elliot sat there as if it was his throne: a throne fit for only the most wretched of kings. For every few crows in the sky that screamed stories of demise, a lone pebble would roll off the cliff’s lip. Skyler admired how easily the insignificant rock disappeared into the dark waters below him. It was magnificently beautiful how fast something could go from existing to simply a paltry object of the past. The evil ocean waters performed a devil’s dance, but to Skyler they resembled a portal to heaven. The troubled boy’s fragile mind was overcome by aches of nostalgia. It felt like he had never left his small town, almost as if the past two years of his life didn‘t happen. Unfortunately, that wasn’t reality and Skyler was unable to take back the terrible events and shame that held his body captive. Even so, the familiar ocean breeze still suffused his black lungs with peace, the air still reeked of adolescence, and the ocean below continued to whisper wonderful tales of escape.
“Jump off and take a dip,” the waves sweet talked in his ear. “You won’t feel a thing. You can end the pain now, you can be free.”
In high school, Skyler spent countless nights on the steep lip of Blue Point. When he first started visiting his tragic kingdom, it was when he needed a place to be alone with the monster in his mind. The boy and his dark thoughts couldn’t be released any place elsewhere. Skyler only found solace when he was 70 feet above the rocky ocean with the Malibu wind rushing through his damaged soul. Blue Point was his place to be vulnerable, for he knew that his secrets were safe within the sharp rocks and graffiti. Unlike anything else in his life, the cliff was decided. A fall into the abyss would certainly result in death. It comforted Skyler to know that one thing was stable and wouldn’t change on him. He had always imagined that if he ever were to end it all, it would be by throwing his body off the brink of Blue Point.
As visits to his throne on the cliff became more frequent, the thought of giving himself to the frigid waters became more than just an infatuation. Often times Skyler would find himself standing on the ledge, toes curled over the boundary, searching for a reason to take a step back. There was always something keeping him from free-falling into the wild waters. Whether it was the worry of leaving his mother alone, letting his team down, or disappointing his friends, his love for others would hold him back. For somebody who had so little value for himself, Skyler cared incredibly deeply for those around him. Even so, each night that he sped the winding road to the cliff he became closer to giving what was left of his sorry life away.
His enervated feet dangling off the rim of Blue Point, Skyler became fully immersed in his own memories. His damaged recollections of two years prior led him back to the night of his “going away” party. His mother had taken the liberty of throwing a sentimental celebration for her son on the eve before he moved from California to the Midwest. No one was as proud of Skyler as his own mom. The Elliot’s two story house was decorated excessively with pictures of the prized young boy. For every photo of his three older sisters, there were ten more of the youngest Elliot son. Two shelves in the suburban household were occupied by Skyler’s massive collection of rugby trophies. The stainless steel on the fridge was barely visible due to multiple newspaper articles, awards, and certificates in Skyler Elliot’s honor. Above the brick fireplace and encased in glass, hung the contract that signed him to a professional travelling rugby team based in the Midwest. When she walked by the contract, the boy’s mother felt better about her last child leaving California alone because he was pursuing his lifelong dreams.
“He’s going to make it big – I know it,” Mrs. Elliot would always promise her peers with the loving tears of a mother in her eyes.
Skyler’s entire family and closest friends attended his party that night. Despite the cheesy appetizers, hearty laughter, and exchanges of small talk, the evening had a lingering sense of melancholy. Nobody present could possibly comprehend losing Skyler. The mysterious teen had a special way of becoming an important part in everyone’s world without trying. People always found themselves moved by his squinty deep brown eyes and captivated by his toothy, sheepish grin. In defiance of his skinny five-foot-nine stature and painfully shy personality, Skyler was always the most noticed and respected in every room.
Away from the chatting adults, Skyler Elliot and his three best friends rested on the L-shaped leather couch by the television.
“Guys,” Rachel Willsburg giggled while crunching on potato chips, “this is our last Friday night together and we’re all sober. What is this madness?” She swept her wavy blonde hair behind one shoulder and rolled her mascara smudged eyes jokingly. Skyler met Rachel in his freshmen year of high school. The playful and flirtatious girl remained one of his only female friends throughout all four years. Their bond was like one of brother and sister; they protected each other and bickered endlessly. With Rachel leaving for university to study psychology and Skyler moving across the country to play rugby, the two teens would be seperated for the first time in four years. Skyler reminisced on one late night when he drove a heartbroken Rachel to the outside of her ex-boyfriend’s house.
“Rachel, I promise you it’s going to feel so much better,” a 17-year-old Skyler convinced his friend and put his car in park, “just like...go for it.” He handed Rachel an egg from the crate lying on the backseat of his Prius. The partners in crime locked eyes and broke into a fit of rebellious laughter.
“Are you sure?” the short teenage girl questioned him, “what if we get caught? Dude, what if I get arrested?”
“Chill, you’re not getting arrested. He deserves this. You’re basically doing a good deed.”
Skyler rolled down the windows in his coup and nodded approvingly toward Rachel. The girl took a deep breath and chucked the egg at the side door of her ex’s parked truck. She watched the taxi-yellow yolk drip down her ex’s pickup truck in awe. The excitement of revenge filled the automobile and seeped out the four doors like blood from a gash. Rachel continued to launch her yolky ammunition at the vehicle belonging to the boy who broke her heart. Skyler clutched an egg and threw it with rage onto the dashboard. Nobody messed with his best friends and got away without a scratch. Anger bubbled in Skyler’s stomach like a crestfallen witch’s cauldron and exploded out of his quivering lips.
“A**HOLE!” he screamed and jumped out of his car, “a**hole, a**hole, a**hole!” The boy cursed while kicking the side door of his target’s property. A dent made itself visible in the metal exterior.
“Sky, stop it,” Rachel grabbed her enraged friend and dragged his slim body by his veiny forearms back inside his car, “he hurt me, not you. Remember?”
“Yeah...crap I’m sorry. I just got kind of riled up, you know? He’s beyond dumb for doing you wrong, Rachel,” Skyler clenched his shaking fists and took a heavy breath. The two best friends embraced in a tight, concerned hug. The drive back home was silent, but it was loud and clear that the pair of teens had an unbreakable bond.
Skyler snapped out of his memories and turned his focus back to his party.
“I’m not,” Jared Savitsky winked, responding to Rachel’s previous comment about the crew of teenagers being sober.
“Did you really show up high to my going away party, Savitsky?” Skyler mocked his unruly 21-year-old neighbor and socked his left shoulder.
“Oh c’mon,” Jared threw his hands into the air and sighed, “do you really expect me to handle you leaving without being a little baked?”
Jared’s small, Armenian family moved next door when the youngest Elliot child was twelve. He promptly became the older brother that Skyler never had. The only thing stopping strangers from believing they were related was Jared’s middle-eastern features and short stature. When he reached his teen years, Jared introduced his previously innocent neighbor to the vast world of drugs and alcohol.
“Just do it man, don’t be a little b****,” Skyler recalled all the times his older friend would say this to convince him into taking part in dangerous habits. Looking back, Jared had no way of knowing that he was at fault for sparking Skyler’s battle with addiction. At the time, Skyler was only a junior in high school everything was in good fun and teenage tradition. Skyler Elliot’s buzzing mind played a flashback from a cold, lonely night after a rugby game.
It was around 11:30 PM and he had suffered through a terrible day. Skyler was in a typical teenage fight with his parents, and the young star athlete had missed the winning point in his rugby game. The distressed boy, 16 at the time, removed himself from the shelter of his queen-sized bed and trudged toward the medicine cabinet in his messy bathroom. Skyler handled the purple bottle of cough syrup that him and Jared had used to get high a couple weeks prior. His hands numbly twisted the child locked cap and opened the bottle of robitussin. Skyler took a long swig and let the sticky syrup travel down his throat like a forbidden faucet. He was preparing to take another drink when he was interrupted by a raspy, booming voice.
“Dude, what the hell do you think you’re doing?” Jared shouted at his best friend and threw his stubby arms in the air.
“What are you doing? Why are you in my house?” Skyler screamed back, his hands in tight fists.
“Your mom let me in. I left my sweatshirt here,” Jared answered and wrinkled his forehead in worry, “why are you taking that stuff? That’s just for us when we’re together and we wanna be stupid. Skyler, you can’t do these kind of things alone. That’s so bad for you.”
“Why not? I had a crap day and I need to chill a little.”
“Chill? You know what you do when you need to chill? You go listen to some music, sit in the hot tub, or you can even call me up. You know what you don’t do? Down a bottle of robitussin alone on a Tuesday night. That’s pathetic, Sky.”
“You’re right, I’m sorry, dude. That was stupid. I won’t do it again.”
To Jared’s dismay, Skyler in fact did it again...and again. By the time he turned 17, Skyler was a regular pill-popper and smoker. His habits only got worse as he grew older, especially when he moved out of California. Jared stayed in his hometown and ran a semi-successful marketing business, so nobody was present to talk Skyler out of taking drugs and putting himself in danger.
Skyler’s concentration snapped back to his going-away party at the sound of his best friend Tony Weber’s voice.
“I can’t believe this is the last time I'm going to see you for two years, Sky,” Tony’s wide blue eyes filled with tears and his puffy lips quivered. Tony was always the most sensitive one in the friend group. His 6-foot-2 and fleshy body served as a teddy bear for his three best friends. Skyler and Tony had a special bond, but the reason for it was kept in an impenetrable vault between them. Skyler’s conscious transported him back to the most emotional night of his life.
It was a dreary Sunday night and Skyler was a pile of broken glass, the sharp and impaling remains of what was once a beautiful vase holding blooming roses. His depression tunneled into every vein in his body and caressed his brain. Like every other night when he felt lost and alone, the teenage boy decided to drive to Blue Point. Except, this time was different than the rest. Instead of feeling the clarity in the ocean air and the freedom in the dirt beneath his black Vans, Skyler was overcome by a powerful sense of impending doom.
“This is it,” Skyler drowned in his dark thoughts, “this is the night I finally do it.” Looking straight out at the stormy horizon, he made his way to the edge of the cliff. Tears filled Skyler’s eyes and his weakening knees shook with desperation. It seemed as if all of Earth’s forces were joining together to pull him off the tip of Blue Point. The boy shut his eyes and clenched every muscle in his quivering body to brace for the deadly fall.
“SKY! SKY, STOP IT!” a terrified voice begged from the bottom of the cliff. A hysterical Tony Weber made his way through the darkness and up the rocks to face his depressed best friend. Wet, flowing tears streamed down his puffy cheeks like a waterfall after a rainy season. Tony reached for Skyler, his arms shaking in fear that his friend wouldn’t reach back.
“Please,” Tony whimpered and looked Skyler in his narrow brown eyes, “come down, you don’t need to do this.”
To the emotional teen’s relief, Skyler Elliot grabbed his hands and let Tony lead him to the shelter of flat land. The boys agreed to keep the intense occurance a secret between them, as long as Skyler promised Tony that he would always tell him when he was feeling hopeless. Having a supportive best friend was an amazing resource to Skyler and he owed Tony his life. When Skyler moved away to the Midwest, he left behind a way to cope with the urges to end his life.
Now, Skyler Elliot was back home in Malibu after two excruciating years in the Midwest. Not a soul knew about his arrival for he thought it would be better not to expose any loved ones to his newfound, destructive life. During his hiatus from the Golden State, he got into all sorts of trouble that his family and friends weren't aware of. Skyler’s addiction consumed him like a raging forest fire and forced him to do things he never imagined being capable of. He moved on from taking prescription pills and drinking Robitussin to shooting up heroin like handguns and skiing snowy mountains of cocaine. The tormented boy’s drug problem grabbed his world by its neck and robbed its pockets. Skyler dove head first into a world of crime and shame to pay for his addiction. He sold drugs to make money to buy more, and when that wasn’t enough he started robbing houses and small stores. Skyler was stuck in a cycle that violently encompassed him like an anxious hurricane. Inevitably, his drug use was uncovered by his rugby coach and Skyler was removed from the team he had worked his whole life to be on. The Midwest reminded him of his failure as a human being, so he used the last of his remaining money to catch the next flight back to his hometown.
So, there he sat on the crumbling throne of his dark palace. Finally, an escape from all the madness and melancholy was possible. Nobody would wonder where he went, he was on his own at last. His body would be forever lost in the dark ocean below Blue Point. He truly was the most damned of royalty: a lost king. Skyler’s pained and bloodshot eyes fell on a graffiti covered rock in the distance.
There, in bleeding red spray paint, were the scribbled words “We miss you, Skyler Elliott.” Skyler’s deteriorating body was overwhelmed with crashing waves of sharp emotion. He knew deep down in his broken heart that his best friends had written those words while he was away. They missed the old Skyler who had dreams and aspirations. They longed for the boy who put his family and friends before anything else. They dreamed for the person they once knew that inspired them to conquer their demons and understand the value of friendship.
“I miss me, too,” whispered the tragic king of Blue Point to the open ears of the dark horizon. For the first time, Skyler was ready to abandon his royal palace and give himself to the deadly waters below, with outstretched and ready arms.
Kingdom come, kingdom come.