He survived. Sometimes, afterwards, I wished he hadn't, but on the whole I'm glad he did. He survived, and it'll soon be three years that I haven't stuttered often when I mention suicide, LSD, psychosis.
We were sixteen. We were on different sides of the country -- he, in Colorado with his father, I, his best friend and the only one he was really talking to, and that barely, in Alaska with obligations of my own. I knew there was something wrong, and I knew it was my responsibility to do something about it, but I didn't know what to do. I tried to hold together, I tried to be strong for myself, I tried to be strong for him, I tried to be strong for both of us. Suicide intervention counselors are trained, and don't get woken up out of what should have been a sound sleep when they're sick. They're supposed to talk calmly to complete strangers and have emergency response staff on call, not be left alone to deal with a hallucinating paranoid teenager.
It still re-visits me. I stopped stuttering and crying when telling the story in March of 2001. Maybe someday I will be able to tell it without the mask that falls over my face and emotions when I recall it now. I remember it at night sometimes. I don't always think of it when I have an ear infection anymore.
I forgave him in 2002, September. I had to. I don't think I've told him that, but I have forgiven him that.