reflections, pt i.
( possibly pt. i of multiple angles to this story. )
i was desperate. so damn desperate, and yet i can't justify what i'd allowed - excused. i needed a taste. i needed to go fast. starvation had vexed me, my bones left sore and my stomach hollow, a crystal remedy the only salve for my soul's covet. my primary dealer had just been raided weeks prior... just my f***ing luck. i was 16. a kid still, to some. but i'd been far gone for some time already, traipsing between the lines of normalcy from tender years; darkness instilled during my earliest memories.
" don't f***ing lie to me. " words spoken with undertones of consequence i couldn't have foreseen. the man that spoke them, covered in blood. an addict as i, maddened at the notion of substances ill-received: drugs not recovered. he was family, by some definition. the father of my cousin's child. age 36. he was aggressive. a prisoner, objectively. free at last from a decade's time on the inside, and yet, still a prisoner to himself. he scared me. he was one of few who have ever scared me. he was tall and built. his lenses abducted, deadly. a soul discarded and enveloped by the devil's fury, more-so than i had seen in any other.
" i wouldn't lie to you, lane. i wouldn't. i promise. the deal went sour! they bailed. they never came back. we sat there and waited. i would've never had a taste before you. i would never do that to you. i would never do that without you . . . " spoken almost as a lover to another, his stare singed my face unmoved and i tried my hardest to limit my hysterics, but it wasn't easy. again, i fell desperate. the man needed to be calmed - soothed - as he never had been before, and jenna didn't think as i. she would've let his fuse run it's course. fueled it. he would've hurt us, hurt the child - hurt the girl he'd held in the backroom since we'd returned from our failed voyage. he tried, too, throwing miscellaneous objects our way, the situation disastrous and escalating since our immediate arrival. over something so silly. so commonplace. meth. it wasn't all that special, that dire. it wasn't the last to be slung or concocted. i just didn't want to want. or to eat. but it wasn't worth another's life. jenna's. an infant's.
" . . . i promise. lane, i promise. listen to me. look at me. i wouldn't lie. " what i'd said was the truth, but he didn't understand. he was used to being burned, i guess, and we'd been holed up in that sh*t-show of a house for hours just before. showing up, in the end, empty-handed. money gone. no dope, no nothing. just fear. i used a payphone sat down the road periodically as we awaited our reward, my cousin gauging his stability and how it teetered with each call. we were gone for over 5 hours, waiting within a cold confine. he was alone with her son. impatient. unraveling. the baby must've been 6 months old. he was helpless. lane's final words, our summon. " there's blood. there's so much blood. " i thought he'd killed the child, and so i began to cry. " would he hurt the baby?! jenna! " i screamed, but jenna was numb. she, too, was under this spell, this curse. meth's rage, so blinding. i couldn't risk another second for the hope of my reward, selfishness at the prospect reminiscent of my mother. but had i already risked too much? " we need to go, jenna. it's not worth it. i'll find another way, but not like this. " and so we did, appearing to his approaching form covered in ruby liquid. a knife held menacingly within a clenched fist. a snarl pasted. his knuckles had been split, the product of walls beaten. he wanted our driver to stay, a girl who'd leisured at the filthy den we'd just returned from. a house populated with emptied bodies. dilapidated. she was just doing us a favor. i knew her from my youth. guess she'd gone down a similar path. . . i felt so guilty, though the baby was okay. unattended, of course. screaming indefinitely; neglected. but not a source of the blood coating his father's form. which became my saving grace. my strength and my will.
" okay. at least you don't lie to me. " hues read like text bolded, he wanted me. loved me, for the power i'd displayed. to allow him to see, believe. trust. the power of conviction. heart. abilities foreign to jenna's comprehension. she could see it, and she hated me for it. in that moment. i'd tamed the beast. pacified an uncharitable and cold-blooded monster. " you can have him, leah. f*** you both. " she was a simple girl, and what i did, i didn't do for him. or for her, even. but for the child endangered and left alone with another. a hostage. but weren't we all, that day?