"Oh hey! Did you get out?"
"Yea, I got home last night."
"Feels good to be out huh?"
"So what's up?"
"Nothing really...but you told me to call you if I wanted to hang out, and since I don't really have anything to do today I thought I'd see if you wanna meet up or something."
"Sure thing! I just gotta get dressed."
Stacie smiled to herself hanging up the phone and looking around her house. It seemed different, almost strange to be back here after so much time spent away. She shrugged it off and went upstairs to take a shower.
Her father had lectured her the whole ride home, and made her promise to swear off all drugs for the rest of her life. She did it, but planned to continue using anyway. Maria had given her number to her before she left and surprisingly Stacie found herself wanting to hang out with her rather then her old friends who probably missed her.
"Where are you going!?" Her father demanded as she came down the stairs and reached for her coat.
"Out with a friend..." Stacie said.
"I don't know yet." She said with a chuckle, she wasn't used to this third degree.
"Don't laugh at me!" He yelled. "We're going to make sure you don't fall into you're old habits again." He handed her a cell phone. "Keep this with you at all times, and keep it on at all times so we can call you and check up on you."
Stacie sighed taking the phone and nodded. She guessed she'd better get used to this thanks to getting caught, and wished more now then ever that the plant was legal. "Ok dad, I'll see you later."
He continued to babble at her but she tuned it out as she left the house and down the street. She took in everything, the sun, the sky, the trees, cars revving, people talking and laughing. She had missed all this and was really glad to be out.
It was a funny coincidence that Maria only lived a few blocks away from her, and that they had never met before going into rehab. Within minutes Stacie was there checking the paper one last time to make sure it was the right address and then knocked on the door.
Maria opened it up with a smile and hugged Stacie as the two laughed going inside. "It's great to see you, you got out faster then I thought!"
"Yeah, who knew I was such a great liar." Stacie said sarcastically.
Maria shook her head. "Don't feel bad about lying to those people, you have too...their heads are so far up their asses they eat and **** at the same time."
Stacie laughed at that. "I think that's the first time I heard you curse."
Maria's cheeks seemed to blush. "Yea well, I hate anyone who plays a part in this whole drug war charade."
Stacie smiled and winked. "Well I think you need to calm down."
"Ah that's right, you probably haven't smoked in awhile."
"Do you have any?" Stacie asked trying not to sound to enthusiastic. She didn't want to give the impression that she really was an addict and needed to smoke right away, but to be honest she did miss it a lot.
"Of course!" She exclaimed, raising her hands into the air. "I am the Cannabis Queen!" The two laughed as she led Stacie to a couch in the center of the living room. "But seriously though, I always have weed."
She took out a large zip lock bag that had nice amounts of buds piled in the bottom. Stacie looked around and noticed for the first time the big screen TV hanging up on the wall strait ahead of her. "Holy ****, look at that TV!"
Maria laughed breaking up the weed on the top of a magazine. "That's what everyone says."
Stacie looked around the rest of the place; a pretty nice looking computer was set up to the left of the TV in the corner of the room, with a leather massage chair to the right of the TV. Stairs led up to the back of her and a hallway down to other rooms to the right of the massage chair.
"Can I sit in that?" She asked, her eyes fixed on the chair.
Maria laughed again. "Sure, but wait until we smoke first ok?" She said wiping off her hands and getting up walking to a closet behind the massage chair. Stacie gasped standing up as the cabinet was open to reveal a whole collection of pipes and bongs.
"Guests honor." Maria said enjoying the shocked look on Stacie's face.
"Oh my god! How do you have so many of these? Do your parents know you smoke?"
She nodded. "They smoke too." She picked up a small metal pipe. "We don't really ever smoke out of this but we keep it because it was my dad's first pipe, bought it back in '65."
Stacie smiled looking over all the pipes and bongs, but locked onto one big glass one that took up most of the bottom of the closet. Maria caught her gaze and smiled. "That's Big Ben." She picked it up out of the closet to show a picture in the glass of a watch pointing to 4:20. "We had it made personally for us by a friend of my parents."
"That is beautiful. You know I've only smoked out of a pipe a few times..." she paused for a second. "And I don't think I've ever smoked out of a bong before."
It was Maria's turn to be shocked now as she got a determined look on her face. "Ok we're using Big Ben." Stacie had no objections as they made their way back to the couch and Maria started loading the bowl. "I hardly ever smoke out of a joint, it's so wasteful...and when you smoke as much as me it's a hassle to roll em all."
"You smoke a lot?" She looked to the bag. "How much is in there?"
"That's an ounce, well a little less now. I usually buy by the ounce and that'll last me two to four weeks depending on how many people I have over."
"Yea well as long as I'm not hurting anyone else or myself I don't think it's anyone's business but my own how much I smoke."
"I agree with you."
"I mean medical users get a pound of it a month I think I read somewhere."
"Hey I agree with you, calm down." Liz made a face and handed over the bong.
"Go ahead and take the first rip." She said with a face looking like she had just invented sex.
Stacie licked her lips and carefully took a hit off the bong. She had never done it before so Maria had to show her the carb, and when she exhaled she let out a string of coughs, coughs like she had never coughed before.
"God." She said wiping a tear from her cheek and leaning back into the couch. "Do you have any water?"
"Oh yea sorry!" Maria jumped up and ran down the hall, and a minute later came back with two glasses of water. Stacie happily took it to her already dry mouth as Maria took a hit.
"Jeeze, I'm already high." Stacie said staring at her hand.
Maria laughed. "Well you should be. Do you want another hit?"
Stacie smiled. "Just a lil one."
They went through the process again, Stacie ending up taking two instead of one, while Maria finished the rest and put the bong back. Stacie swayed over to the massage chair and sat down fumbling with the sides. "How do you work this thing?"
"There's a remote on the end of the armrest...no no the inside of the armrest." She said pointing. "There that's it."
"Oh that's goooood." She said playing around with the buttons. "This is nice."
Maria laughed taking a sip of water. "They all say that."
A few hours passed, and the two were now watching TV, eating chips and laughing. "I'll be right back, gotta go to the bathroom." Maria said getting up and walking out of the room, leaving Stacie's full attention to the TV.
It was a beer commercial obviously, with a women sitting at the bar watching TV and a few guys behind her at a table sneaking peeks. One of the guys gathered the courage to walk over to her asking her if she wanted a beer.
"Sure." She said, but held a shot glass out instead. The guy caught onto the idea and ordered two shots, and when they came the women reached out and took both of them, taking them both down fast and leaving the guy with a shocked look on his face.
Stacie had a strange feeling come over her as she watched that...a sense of de ja vu.
"Two beers and two shots of whiskey." The bartender nodded and poured, the guy turned and handed her a bottle, and held up a shot glass offering it to her.
She graciously took it and downed it. She could barley sit strait as she sipped the beer. "Thanks." She shouted rubbing his arm.
Stacie shook her head and stood up her heart rate rising. The commercial was far over and Maria came back and looked concerned seeing her face. "You ok?"
"I don't know..." Stacie said sighing and sitting down. She had tried to forget about that night, but the need to know kept coming back. "Can I tell you something?"
"Yea of course."
Stacie would normally be wary of this, since they just met and all, but for some reason she felt a connection to Maria...almost like the connection she had with Chris that allowed them to become so close so fast. "Remember when I told you about the night I got drunk and forgot what happened?"
"Yea..." Maria didn't like where this was going.
"Well I didn't forget all of it...I mean I have some flashes of what happened but I can't piece them together...and I want to know what happened that night." She sighed. "But at the same time I don't."
"Because it could prove to me that I did something that I'll always regret." Her lower lip shook a bit. "I don't want to know that."
Maria bit her lip. "I think you already do know."
"What do you mean?"
"Somewhere inside there you know, or else you wouldn't be so anxious to find out. You would have just forgotten about it...but you didn't. So you must have some idea and until you find out for sure I think it'll haunt you."
Stacie sighed again. "I guess you're right. But I don't want...I didn't want to do anything like that..."
"This was after you and your boyfriend..."
"After you and Chris fought?" Stacie nodded. "Well I'm not really sure what to say...but I think everyone makes mistakes...and you didn't want to do it, you were drunk and just...lost control."
Stacie swallowed hard closing her eyes, straining her mind for that memory. "How am I supposed to find out what happened? I don't even know where I was..."
"I don't know...but you have to."
*** *** ***
Stacie stayed at Maria's house for another few hours till she was calmed down, but then went home for a restless nights sleep. She dreamt again and again of that night, and the few spotted memories that she had.
Her eyes and she sat up wiping sweat from her face and looking at the clock, 5:11. She sighed trying to count the hours that she was asleep in her head, and decided that she got enough sleep...or just didn't want to have to dream that same nightmare again.
Her father had taken the door from her room so she peeked outside into the hall to make sure that their lights were off, and deciding they were asleep went into a small tin that she hid under her mattress.
Inside was a small metal one hitter that Maria let her borrow and a few buds. She went to her window and took a few hits, making sure to hide the tin again and then sat down on her bed taking out the picture of her and Chris from her dresser.
She sighed again; her thoughts racing...she almost wanted to get dressed and go see him right now. She shook her head; he already wanted to break up with her before he knew that she cheated on him...what was the point?
She gingerly put the picture away and went downstairs to make herself some breakfast.
"C'mon baby, take this off."
Stacie strained her eyes trying to see, but couldn't. "No I can't..."
"Yea you can...don't worry."
She saw blurry hands pulling off her pants. "No..." He didn't respond anymore. "Please..."
"What are you doing down here?" Stacie shot up on the couch as her mother came downstairs. She was breathing heavily, figuring that she must have fallen asleep on the couch after she ate.
Her mother came up to her and looked at her pupils. "Are you high right now? Why are you sweating and breathing so heavily?"
"Because you scared me!" Stacie groaned back pushing her away. "And I had a bad dream..."
"And what are you doing down here?"
"I couldn't sleep so I was watching TV." She got up to go to the kitchen.
Her mom shook his head. "You're probably still withdrawing from the reefer."
She rolled her eyes with her back to him. "Yeah...maybe."
She looked at the clock on the microwave surprised to see it almost noon, and reached into the refrigerator for a bottle of water. "You know we're only doing this for your own good right?" her mom said coming up behind her.
Her mom looked her up and down again. "You're not smoking that crap again are you?" She asked more sternly.
"No!" Stacie shouted walking out of the room and upstairs.
"Don't worry honey, you'll feel better soon!" Her mother called back to her.
Stacie walked in her room and went to slam the door before remembering she didn't have one, then huffed and jumped onto her bed lying face down. Her dad came walking past a few seconds later. "I want you to start looking for a job by next week; you need to keep busy to stay off that ****."
"Ok dad." She said, her voice muffled by the pillow. She just said it to get him to go away, but after thinking about it she decided it'd probably be a good idea to get a job, then she might be able to get her own place...and at least one of her problems would be solved.
And to solve another one she finally got up and grabbed the cell phone her parents gave her from her coat pocket. She went downstairs and managed to leave the house without either of her parents noticing, and dialed.
"Jen?" Stacie sighed, feeling embarrassed already.
"Wait a minute...oh my god! Stacey is that you?"
"Holy **** you're out? We have to throw a party or something to celebrate! Wait...why do you sound so sad?"
"I have to talk to you about something...its important."
"You were with us when we got drunk the night before I left right?"
"Uh huh, why?"
"I'm trying to remember what happened..."
Jen laughed, which made Stacie wince. "**** I figured that you'd black out...you were really ****ed up."
"Yea...but can you tell me what happened?"
"What do you mean what happened?"
Stacie sighed, stopping and looking up at the sky. "Well how did I get home?"
"Oh I don't know, you left with some guy."
"I dunno, I never saw him before."
"Did I tell you were I was going?"
"Nope." She was chewing something on the other end of the phone. "We were all dancing then and when I looked back on you you were gone. I thought we left you inside when we left but Tasha said she saw you leave."
"Wait what about a party? My brother's friend says he has some killer E."
Stacie shook her head. "I dunno...I'll get back to you."
Stacie hung up the phone and redialed another number. "Yea?"
"Tasha, its Stacey."
"Wow when did you get out? How are you doing?"
"I'm fine...listen can I ask you something?"
"The night before I went away...did you see me leave that club with anyone?"
"Yea some guy, but by then you were so drunk I couldn't really tell if you were walking with him or being dragged."
"Oh..." Stacie thought to herself, looking up at Maria's door. She was surprised that she just seemed to walk there without even knowing it. "Well thanks...I gotta go."
"Ok, call me later."
Stacie hung up the phone and put it in her pocket just to jump at the sudden ringing of it. She sighed seeing it was her house on caller id but picked it up anyway to avoid a future fight. "Hello."
"Where the hell did you go? Are you smoking that ****?" Her father screamed.
"No, Jesus." She held the phone away from her ear. "I'm at a friend's house."
"You have to tell either me or your mother whenever you leave this house do you understand?"
"Be home at five for dinner."
"And don't hang out with any of your druggie friends."
"They aren't druggies..."
"Listen if you wanna talk back you can just come home now. I won't have you doing drugs, if I find them in my house you'll be out of it you understand?"
"Yes dad can I please go?"
"Fine, but be back by five."
"Call if you're going to be late."
"But you better not be late!"
"Fine, ok, yes!" She cried out hanging up the phone and sighing.
"What's going on out here?" Stacie looked up to see Maria there smiling at her, but once seeing her face looked concerned. "What's wrong?"
"My ****ing parents keep hounding me since I got caught. You have no idea how lucky you are to have such cool ones."
"Sure I do." She said, moving aside to give Stacie a pathway inside. "Me and my folks are closer then anyone else that I know. Plus everyone keeps telling me how lucky I am to have such cool parents, so I'll never forget."
Stacie laughed coming in and sitting down, noticing a small glass pipe halfway loaded on the table. "You came just in time." Maria said smiling.
"I remembered something new this morning." Stacie said staring strait ahead at the turned off TV.
Maria sat down and looked at her. "Yea?"
"It was right after I smoked..."
"Well that's not uncommon, pot can help bring out forgotten memories...that's probably why you had forgotten all about it in rehab and then suddenly remember it from that commercial yesterday."
Stacie thought about this. "Maybe..."
"Ok then, so you want to figure this thing out right?" Stacie nodded. "So let's go to this club or wherever you were...maybe he's a regular and you'll recognize him...or we can just ask around."
"I thought you needed to know?"
"I think I do...but I'm not sure."
Maria stood up and got into Stacie's line of sight. "Look at you; you need to know...you can't have this haunting you forever."
"I don't even know what club we were at."
Stacey waited for her to say something else. "...now?"
Stacie didn't want to talk to her friends again about all the happy things they could be doing, especially if her father checked the records of the phone and found out she was still talking to them, but she couldn't think of an excuse, so she took out the phone from her pocket.
"Oh no, you can use my phone."
"Sure." She said getting up and jogging down the hall into another room. She came back a few seconds later carrying a portable phone and she handed it to Stacie going back to loading the pipe.
Stacie sighed calling Jen again. "Hello?"
"Yea Jen its Stacie again."
"Oh hey what's up, you decide about when you wanna have that party?"
"No not yet...I just forgot to ask you something."
"What was that club we went to that night?"
"Some place named Galliano's. You know where that is right?"
"Yea...that's where I thought we would have gone anyway."
"Wow you really were bombed huh?"
Stacie hung up the phone and put it on the couch next to her. "So?" Maria asked packing down the bowl.
"Is that open during the week?"
"Sure why not? Like there's anything else in this town to do besides getting ****ed up." Neither of them laughed at that. "Not till night though."
Maria picked up the pipe. "Well I can't go today, I have to work."
"You'd come with me?"
Maria nodded. "Yea, unless you think you can go alone?"
Stacie shook her head. "Thanks."
"It's ok...do you want some?" She offered the pipe after taking a hit.
Stacie thought. "Sure, maybe it'll get my mind off of this."
*** *** ***
Anthony cursed as his cell phone rang. "Aww come on." Donna complained as he rolled out from under the covers.
"Just a minute!" He said sniffing. "Yea?"
"Anthony, how are you doing these days?"
"Who the hell is this?" Anthony had changed over the past few weeks, he didn't know if it was the drugs, the people he sold and now hung out with or the fact that he just didn't give a **** about anything anymore...but he seemed to be acting a lot tougher, without actually having to act.
"It is Tony, and since when you have that mouth? You're beginning to sound like Lance."
"So? You like Lance don't you?"
"I like Lance because he makes me money, something that I can't really say for you right now."
"Hey I'm still selling."
"You're sniffing a lot more then you're selling."
"C'mon!" Donna whined getting out of bed and walking over to him, kissing his neck.
"Can you get to the point?" Anthony said trying to pay attention. "What are you trying to say...you gunna fire me?"
"No not at all, but I need you for a job we're setting up."
"No, tomorrow...8 pm."
"Come by the club, I'll give you directions."
Anthony hung up the phone and tossed it onto his desk, pushing the giggling Donna onto the bed. "Where were we?"
*** *** ***
My sadness catches up to me a lot during the day as the heroin wears off, which forces me to take it more and more during the day, at ever increasingly higher doses. Every time I run out of a bag I get this terrible fear in the pit of my stomach, that I'll have to face my feelings, that I'll never feel this good again...but always end up getting another bag for pretty much nothing as long as I keep doing what the Irish want me to do.
The bad boy act is working now, but how long can I keep it up? And what will happen to me when I can't anymore?
I'm asleep now...or at least I think I am. I remember it all, sniffing up the rest of my bag...laying down and being taken aback by it. I had wondered if I had taken too much, and if I was going to die as I sank down into my bed. For some reason that thought didn't scare me at all.
I was conscious through it, through the entire process... which was a weird feeling transferring from awake to asleep. Though maybe I didn't fall asleep, maybe I did die...
I'm still conscious now and whiteness surrounds me as my thoughts turn to Stacie. Suddenly she's in front of me. "Stacie?" I'm able to move and talk just as I could if awake, and as far as I could tell...my eyes were open.
"Hi Chris." She seemed so calm.
"Is this a dream?" I asked in awe looking around the whiteness, she nodded. "Too bad."
She smiled at me, that smile that made me feel warm all over...or maybe the heroin was still affecting me as I slept. "Dreams can be a nice thing to have." She said walking up to me and putting her hand to my cheek.
I could feel her warmth, her touch...it was all real. The whiteness was gone and we were back in my house again, sitting on the couch. "Dreams fade..." Was all I could think to say. I pressed my forehead against hers and kissed her. "I don't want you to fade...this is nice."
"It's a good dream...you deserve one."
I looked at her, feeling low again even in her warmth. "Why?"
She took my hands in hers. "You've gone through so much; you're in so much pain." She looked up at me, her eyes meeting mine and as she spoke I was filled with warmth and protection the likes I've never felt...and heard her voice all through my body so crisp, gentle and clear that I never wanted it to end. "You shouldn't worry."
"I've caused a lot more pain then I'm in. I don't deserve anything." And she was gone, and I was suddenly cold. "I'm sorry."
And my thoughts went to my family, and as my vision faded and came back I was standing outside of my mother's house. I turned around as her car pulled into the driveway next to me, and she came out giving me a dirty look.
She said nothing but passed me by into the house, as Anthony came over to me and shoved me down. I felt the pain as he started screaming at me. "What the **** are you doing here?"
"You left this family already, remember? You don't care what happens to us anymore!"
"That's not true."
"Of course it is, why else would you **** over your own mother?"
"I didn't!" I cried. "That was an accident." I toppled over onto my hands and knees as Anthony came over and grabbed the bottom of my neck.
He pulled my head up, forcing me to look at him and as he spoke he spoke louder then I could understand. His voice echoed through my very soul as if coming from someplace else, something dark and demonic. "You should pay."
"...I should..." And it was darkness again. My thoughts raced and I was barraged by images, thousands of images going by so fast I could barley comprehend them. I saw my family, Stacie, my friends, myself...
"What am I supposed to do?" I screamed as loud as I could, closing my eyes and trying to block out the images.
And for a split second I felt almost peaceful, shutting myself away from myself. The images were stopped and I heard nothing. "What should I do?" I begged, dropping to my knees and feeling tears fall down my face.
And the peace lasted as it got brighter, and I felt another presence with me...trying to comfort me. "What am I supposed to do?" I asked again as the light continued to get brighter, making me have to close my eyes again.
And finally it spoke, and as it did I was once again filled with a safe warmness throughout my body, and heard the voice speak as if it was coming from within me, echo all around my body and all known space and then stop dead center in front of me.
"Wake up!" I opened my eyes to see McKensie there at my cell door. Red lights were flashing and a loud alarm rang every few seconds. I looked around hazily not sure if I was truly awake or if this was just another part of the dream.
The sudden intense pain in my stomach made it pretty clear that I was awake so I sat up and rubbed my head. "What the ****s the problem?"
"Look around you man!" McKensie exclaimed. "It's a ****ing riot!"