This is a shortish story that I hope you'll like. It's kind of intense, just so you know. Tell me what you think.
My best friend in the whole wide world got me started on heroin when I was thirteen. I remember that birthday well, because it was the day my mom died in a car crash.
My best friend’s name is Andre, and he’s the best because it was him who helped me through the loss. Dad just sort of disappeared. I mean, he was around, just, not like a person is around. He stopped being...normal, I guess. He wallowed in this own misery, leaving me to work through my own alone.
Except I wasn’t alone, because Andre comforted me. He’d given me the little white bag of heroin, telling me his uncle had brought it back from Venezuela. I’d inhaled, and all my grief had faded away...
My hands were shaking as I struggled with the little bag in my hands now. Finally I got it open. I pressed it to my nose and breathed in, feeling the powder tickle my nostrils as it floated into my head...
The effect was pretty instantaneous. I felt energetic, on edge, and cheerful. All the things that made it easy for me to go to school.
Nobody gave me weird looks anymore; my behavior change was old news. Before heroin, I’d been a bit of a scary person. My muscles always tense, a violent look on my face...now, I looked high. Of course.
I had no license, even though I was nearly seventeen. I’d flunked the driving test six times. Heroin and driving tests don’t mix.
I walked to school everyday. It took me ten minutes. A car honked as I crossed a road; I’d not been paying attention. Heroin does that, sometimes. I flipped off the driver.
“Diane,” my boyfriend, Caleb, said, greeting me as we met each other in front of the school.
“Caleb,” I whispered, pressing my lips to his cheek. I let my tongue slide out of my mouth and taste his skin before pulling away. I smiled playfully at him, and then hugged him.
He winced. I hugged him tighter.
There are two things that I love more than anything else in the world: the first is heroin. The second is hurting people. I know what you’re thinking—it’s sick, right? Yeah, yeah. But Caleb didn’t mind; he’d say something if he did, wouldn’t he?
I liked to hurt him. I like punching and bruising and pinching. Even now, my nails were digging into his upper arm, leaving tiny, brown spots. If you pulled his shirt up and looked at his stomach, you’d see a huge splotch of purple, made of many bruises that overlapped. I like to cause people physical pain.
I know exactly how long it takes before a teacher comes over to break up the hug or report me for PDA. Two seconds later, I pulled away, seeing a teacher turn around to look in our direction.
Something seemed off about Caleb today. Caleb is a quiet, caring guy. He’s also innocent, and selfless, and good. I haven’t had the heart to get him on heroin. But surely the guy deserves heroin? Shouldn’t good people get rewards?
Today, he seemed unhappy. Why?
The day passed in a blur, as it often does when I’m high. Before I knew it I was sitting at a lunch table, my foot hooked around Caleb’s, eating some god-awful food the cafeteria demons cooked up.
“D’you wanna go out Friday?” I asked Caleb. And then I had another thought. “Or we could stay inside.” I wiggled my eyebrows suggestively.
As a faint pink colored this “not until marriage” virgin’s face, I could guess he was thanking God that we were the only two at this table.
“C’mon, Caleb,” I whispered seductively. “There’s no way I’m getting married this year, and I’m not waiting forever, so...” I trailed off. It’s always kind of hard to talk when I need to inflict pain. Sometimes I get those kind of cravings—abuse cravings. To satisfy this one and to keep on topic, I pressed my hand into his bruised stomach.
He gritted his teeth against the pain and winced. I pulled my hand back, smiling widely.
“Diane, we need to talk.” Caleb said.
What the H**l. Had he been watching some crappy melodrama on TV?
“I can’t deal with this anymore, Diane,” Caleb said. He looked me in the eyes, and there was sadness there. I cringed. It reminded me of Andre, the day he’d told me he was moving cross country. “I can’t be in this relationship anymore,” Caleb continued. “I can’t watch you hurt yourself by being on drugs and be high all the time.”
?!? I’d never told him I was on heroin!
“I’m sorry, Diane. I care about you a lot. Really. You might not believe it, but it’s true. But I...I can’t be apart of this anymore. I’m sorry.”
I stared at him, dumbstruck. “You’re...breaking up with me?” Caleb, the values guy, the caring, loving guy, was breaking up with me
“I’m sorry, Diane. I’m really sorry.”
I was at a loss for words. Caleb waited for a response until the bell rang. And then he walked away.
He walked away from me.
He walked away.
Time passed. I turned seventeen. I got over Caleb. He was a softie. I needed someone stronger. Someone who wouldn’t be so whimpy over a couple of little bruises.
Things got worse. I needed someone to abuse. Bullying just didn’t satisfy my violent cravings. I couldn’t be me without the combination of heroin and abuse. But who could satisfy my needs?
“We have a new student today,” the math teacher, Mr. Brender, said in February.
My jaw dropped as the new student silently took his seat. He was absolutely gorgeous. Even three rows in front of me, I could tell his face was flawless; it was pale as snow. His hair was a deep, chocolate-like brown; short as it was, it flowed beautifully and shined. As class often does, it passed in a blur. But it was a different blur—I wasn’t simply floating around in the ecstasy of heroin; I was staring at the beautiful guy in the front row. He captivated me.
The bell rang, making me jump. I sped to the door, hoping to see the new guy’s face. Had Mr. Brender said his name? I couldn’t remember.
I did get to see his face as he packed up. His eyes were stunningly golden; they were breathtaking. His jaw was square and set in discomfort. There was something scary about him, as if he was dangerous.
I knew it. I knew that he was the guy who would satisfy my violence. I was already imagining what his lean, muscular arms would look like with bruises on them; purple would contrast with his white skin so strangely. So nicely.
“You’re new here, right?” I asked the student. Before he could answer, I said, “Hi, I’m Diane.”
“My name’s Jethro,” he replied.
I smiled. “What’s your next class? I can help you find it.”
“Science, room 110.”
“That’s my next class!” Perfect! I wondered how many classes we had together. How many classes could I inflict my violence on him? “C’mon, we can walk together.”
Jethro was a silent guy. Mysterious, quiet....oh, how TV melodrama! He was even tall—he fit the Tall-Dark-Mysterious criteria. That was hilarious. I giggled. Or maybe it was the heroin making me giggle.
I grabbed Jethro’s hand, entwining mine with his. He didn’t pull away; he didn’t react when I gasped at his cold, hard skin. It made me shiver, even though we were in the Very Cold Alaska.
It’d been too long since my days of abusing Caleb. I squeezed Jethro’s hand as hard as I could, letting my nails dig into his skin. He didn’t seem to mind at all; he didn’t react at all. Frustrated, I squeezed harder. Jethro looked at me. He smiled. The smile was tender, soft, but it was also mocking.
I was shocked. How could he be immune? How?
Behind my shock, I was starting to feel a little mad. I had to find away to inflict pain on him.
“Do you have any plans tonight?” I asked. “I could show you around town, so you could get to know the place.”
“Oh, er, thanks,” Jethro said, surprised by my forwardness. “Yeah, that would be nice, thank you.”
“It’s no trouble.” I gave him a flirty smile. “Just meet me at the main entrance after school, ‘kay?”
It was weird, but Jethro and I clicked like kindred spirits or something freaky like that. By the time we’d made it to the playground, we were like best friends. No, we were practically already together!
I leaned on his shoulder. He was flawless.
“So where are you from?” I asked.
“My family and I moved here from Juneau,” he answered.
“You moved here from the capital?” I clarified, stunned. Who’d go to a tiny place like this?
“We...prefer small places.”
“Oh. I guess that makes sense, then, to move here.” It didn’t actually make sense. Who likes small towns? “I like you, Jethro.”
Jethro was unsurprised at my forwardness this time. “I noticed,” he answered coolly. “I like you too.”
Good, then he would mind...
I punched him in the stomach. He didn’t gasp or stagger or even look surprised that I’d punched him.
WHAT THE H**L!?!
Instead, I gasped. My knuckles screamed in protest. His stomach was hard.
Jethro smiled tenderly again. “Punch me all you like,” he whispered.
I took him up on that offer, alternating my fists as I tried to make my punches hurt him instead of me. I couldn’t he get hurt?! Tears leaked from my eyes—why? I didn’t cry. I was too old for crying. My punches came slower and slower, more desperate with each attempt. I was sobbing; I gave up on trying to hurt Jethro.
“It’s okay Diane,” Jethro whispered, pulling me into a hug. “I’m going to heal you.”
Note: In no way do I condone the use of drugs or abuse.
Here is the playlist for the story so far. These three songs pretty much introduce what condition Diane is in at the moment. Beneath the PlayList is the explanation for each song:
"Going Under" symbolizes Diane's reaction to losing her mom.
"Haunted" symbolizes Diane's state of mind in the beginning of the story.
"Tourniquet" symbolizes Diane's need to be saved.