Friday, October 7, 2016

The Addicted - chapter 2

I pause for a second as a slight hint of what was once my conscience attempts to push through my disease-infected brain.

I violently shake my head of the thought of guilt like a Tourette’s syndrome victim and continue on limping up the stairs. As the adrenaline in my body begins to slow down I feel the burning pain in my broken foot with every step I take. I wince, but re-focus on the goal:
Find the Fix.

I finish the flight of stairs and walk towards Billy’s room. I can’t imagine that his mother hasn’t woken up from all the commotion that has gone on in the last ten minutes, but she is prone to indulging in one too many Xanax and mixing it with a bottle of Vodka, so I might be in the clear. I quietly open Billy’s door and make my way towards the bathroom in his room. I open the medicine cabinet and see a plethora of pills: Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Percocet, Adderall, Xanax, Dexedrine… you name it, he has it.

JACKPOT!

He has always been a pill junkie, and I can see that nothing’s changed. He used to snort them, usually about fifteen to twenty per day.

Probably more now.

I remember when I looked down on him for being so stupid, but look where I am now. I grab all the bottles of pills I can carry and stuff them into my pockets. I then walk over to Billy’s dresser where his wallet sits. I open it up to find about two hundred and fifty dollars of cold hard cash. I snatch it; stuff the cash into my pocket with the pills, and head towards the door.
That’s when I hear it.

His mother screams so loud I guarantee she woke up the whole fucking neighborhood. The sound sends chills down my spine that I’ve only felt once before: as a child in reaction to the sound of nails screeching down a chalkboard. I must have been so enamored and obsessed with attaining the fix that I stopped paying attention to what was going on outside the room. I didn’t even hear her walk down the stairs.

I hear her start to bawl uncontrollably and inarticulately scream and sob for help.

She’s hysterical.

There’s no way I can go past her to the front door and let her see me. She’s known me for the last six years. She’s fed me and clothed me when times were tough. She acted like the mother that I never had.

Here comes that conscience again, prying through the frozen doors of my core. I shake my head again like a nervous tic, trying to get rid of that funny nauseating feeling that I’ve experienced for the second time in the last ten minutes.

I quickly assess my situation and think of my options for alternate exits. I know the house well because I’ve lived here before. There is one window in Billy’s room at the front of the building where he initially looked out to see me, and I remember that there is one in his mom’s room that leads down to a narrow back alleyway. The alleyway is the obvious choice, but then I run the risk of being seen by Billy’s mom. I can’t take the chance of using the front window as an exit though; it’s too conspicuous and I am sure to get busted. If I get busted I can kiss my fix goodbye.

The thought of losing what I killed a former best friend for re-engages my survival instinct and I head for Billy’s bedroom door. I turn the knob gently, pull the door open a crack big enough for me to slip through, carefully let go of the knob, crouch, and slowly move across the hall to Billy’s moms’ room. As I cross the hall it is impossible to ignore his mother’s persistent, distraught cries. I try not to look at her as I move across the hallway.

I open her bedroom door gently and move into the room. I close the door, stand up, and quickly move towards the window. As I’m moving, I no longer care about noise, I just want to get out of there, find a needle, and push off.
That’s when I encounter another obstacle.

I open the window, step through onto the fire escape platform and move towards the ladder when I realize that the ladder going down is broken off.
I survey the scene for options.

I could jump down, but the drop is fifteen feet at least, and with my already broken foot I wouldn’t have a chance of getting away if the police were to come.

What are the chances the cops come? Considering the ceaseless, melancholic nature of Billy’s mothers’ cries, I recognize that the odds are not in my favour. Someone must have called the pigs by now.

The only other way to go is up, so I grab the ladder and begin ascending up towards the rooftop of the building. My body is weak, tired, and sore, and I have lost what’s left of my strength and adrenaline.

I don’t even remember the last time I ate something.

I was lucky not to fall off the ladder to my death let alone make it to the roof. It takes me what felt like an eternity, but eventually I manage to reach the top. The cold night air invigorates my senses as I collapse onto the top of the roof.
Seconds later I hear the sirens begin to wail and echo into the night…

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