“Ya’know theres more where that came from back at my place.” Chad said with a devilish grin, “we could always stop by there on our way to the bar.”
The room was filled with smoke from menthol cigarettes, candles, and a few other things resting on the living room table. Along with those things were two powdery, snow white lines somehow glistening like crystals in the dimly lit room. Then with a few muffled snorts the young woman sitting in front of the table raised her head, her short black hair flipping back as she continued to try and get the rest of whatever remained in her nasal cavity up into her brain. Maybe that would make this whole charade more bearable she thought.
“Already trying to bed me aye? Usually you wait until were a few more bumps in to pull that crap.”
Jessica was used to this, she understood what Chad wanted. He loved the chase, and that’s why she would always run. Because once the chase was over she could forget about the best connection she ever had. After all you can’t beat a dealer that’s practically shoveling the ice into your nose for free…well kinda free. She still had to act like she was interested in him, and with that act she practically had to change her entire self. She despised people like Chad, but what could she she do. The world’s a twisted place like that when your chasing the pony.
“Oh come on, you’ve been a tease for three weeks now,” he began to run his hand up and down her thigh, “I know you want some of the ‘Chad’.” He gave her a mischievous wink before moving his hand farther up under her skirt.
A sly smile crossed her face. Part of it was real and part of it was a lie. She absolutely loathed his company but at the same time some more free drugs didn’t sound so bad. Besides, half the time his random drug concoctions made him pass out before anything ever happened. That’s when she would rummage through his drawers and cubbies finding his stash, taking what she wanted and leaving. She felt no remorse, this ass hole deserved it and she needed her fix. She only felt shame for having to waste her time with such scum to get by.
“Alright, fine. But your not getting it that easily bucko. Theres still a lot more night ahead of us.” She said hoping that she was wrong.
Jess leaned over and gave him a peck on the cheek for a little convincing. She held back her lunch from coming up. He looked at her and gave her that twisted smile that always made her shiver with disgust. What was she doing, she thought as she found herself walking towards the front door with Chad following.
“Ya we’ll see how long you keep that tone.” The sound of a sudden slap followed his words as his hand connected with the denim of her jeans.
Jess buried her anger deep within thinking of the reward, anything to keep her from punching him in his cock.
Within ten minutes they had already made there way down the few blocks it took to get to there destination. As they entered the side door into the kitchen Jess almost threw up again with the rotten smell of a sink filled with unwashed dishes that she knew for a fact had been sitting there for atleast a month. Upon entering the living room however she discovered a different smell completely, it was as if someone had spilled amonia somewhere nearby. She could tell that the smell had been lingering for a bit but she had never smelled it before now.
“Whats that smell, dude?” She asked as she surveyed the room looking for the source. She noticed a bottle of febreeze sitting on the coffee table and grabbed it spraying it around the room.
“Don’t bother, pissy pants will just do it again.”
Chad’s words made little sense to Jess, which was normal but this time she was curious. He had never had a room mate before. Not that she knew of anyways.
“What the hell are you talking about?” She asked as she eyed his hands as they began to open the cabinet beneath the end table pulling out a baggy of that cure she so desperately wanted.
“My room mate, well sort of room mate.” Chad chuckled a bit as he pulled out his pipe and began dropping a few small crystals into the bowl, “dude’s so pathetic, cant even keep his sleeping bag dry.”
Jess noticed the low quantity of the baggie and immediately began to lose her motivation. She knew there was no point in sticking around now, there wouldn’t be anything to steal tonight. She figured she might as well smoke with him and then maybe she could think of some type of excuse to get away. She would think of something, anything to avoid having to spend the night with this man.
“What do you mean ‘sort of room mate’?” She asked genuinely uninterested as he took a hit and passed the pipe to her. She could already smell the feelings of pleasure that were about to enter her lungs, the feelings of hope.
Chad exhaled the toxic exhaust and blinked his eyes a few times before finally responding, “Its this guy I used to sleep with sometimes, kids a complete loser though. Has no place to go, complete addict. Can’t handle his stuff.” Chad laid his head back smiling proudly over his false security of his own drug habit. “Felt bad for him so I let him stay over for awhile till he can get back on his feet. I’m pretty great, huh?” She almost left right then, she couldn’t stand his bullshit stories of his so called “charity”.
As she raised the glass stem to her mouth and sparked the lighter she heard a door open quietly before seeing a figure emerge from the darkness. The sight made her blood run cold.
“Ah if it isn’t the little baby himself.” Chad exclaimed as the figure walked across the living room towards the kitchen obviously trying to avoid the other occupants of the house. “Where the hell do you think your going?” asked Chad making the person stop immediately. They didn’t turn around, only softly muttered a response almost as if they were scared of saying something wrong.
“I…I was going to go get us smokes. I…I’m almost out.”
“Fine but bring me back some zig zags while your at it, and make it fast. My dick isn’t giong to suck itself later.” The figure winced and nodded before slightly turning his head and whispering, “Yes sir.”, before walking to the door and making his way into the outside world.
“That…that’s your room mate?” Jess said roughly as she coughed a bit from the mere shock of the incident and the choking affect of the drug. Her hands shook as she held the pipe, this wasn’t the reward she wanted.
The figure that had just left was an old friend of Jessica’s, well…more of an acquaintance. Old enemy may be more appropriate. His name was Jack and he and Jess had gone to high school together ever since elementary, but she hadn’t seen him since graduation. The last time they had talked she had shoved him to a locker and gave him a wedgie in front of everyone in the hallway, he had fallen down after that and bawled like a baby before finally escaping her grasp and running away down the hall from the laughter of the other students. She had always bullied Jack, ever since they were kids. She never knew why, that’s just who she was back then. She may have matured a lot since those days but she never forgot that look in his eyes that day. She had actually liked him a bit towards the end of there senior year, but the wedgie incident had ruined the chance of her ever being able to tell him how she felt. Besides, how can you tell someone who’s life you’ve made a living hell ever since you met them that you think you like them.
“Ya something like that.” Chad said taking the pipe from her lighting it himself. “Know him or something?”
As jess stared into the blank grey smoke filling the air she couldn’t get the image out of her head of him standing there like that. He had always been a decent sized fellow in school, not fat by any means but he definetly never looked like he missed a meal, what she saw tonight was the exact opposite. The dead like figure that she had just seen looked like a skeleton of his former self. His Not only that but even in the crap lighting of the room she could tell by the brief glance she got of his face that he had a black eye.
“Ya…we went to school together.” She mumbled taking the pipe from him still staring into the distance of her memories.
A cloud of smoke escaped Chad’s mouth as he began to laugh and slapped his knee. “That’s hilarious, you’re THE Jessica!”
The comment caused Jess to snap out of her past, “What do you mean?”, she asked timidly knowing already what he meant.
“One night when he was tore up he started bawling his eyes out saying how the closest he ever got to a woman in his life was you picking on him every day. It was kinda sad really, he said like he missed it or something. Either way I didn’t hear to much more, his crying was getting on my nerves so I threw his bitch ass in the spare room for the night. Shoulda seen it.” Chad said with no sense of sympathy. “So are you going to hit that or are we going to start banging already?” He put his hand on her leg again possessively.
Jess couldn’t remember much after that, it was as if her brain went on autopilot. She stood up without saying a word and headed towards the door, completely tuning out Chad’s protests as she made her way outside. All she remembered as she exited the hell hole was hearing Chad mutter, “suit yourself, more for me.” and the sounds of a lighter sparking.
It was raining as she walked back home, but she barely noticed. Her mind was to consumed with something else. She couldn’t stop thinking of that boy, or of that look in his eyes. It haunted her. When she finally reached her house she sat down on the porch steps and just stared out into the nothingness that her life was becoming. But even that wasn’t enough to shake the image from her thoughts. All she saw was that look of fear in the face of the frail boy she once knew, and it tore her apart inside.
Jessica paced up and down the same blocks surrounding Chad’s house consuming half a pack of cigarettes and two duggies. She had gotten home at 9:17, she knew the exact time. The uppers and her stupid head wouldn’t let her forget that. She had gotten on her phone to distract herself while she rode through the night until she was able to sleep. She went to open her news app and couldn’t find any solace in it. She simply sat on the steps of her porch staring at the screen as the minutes went by. She just couldn’t get the face out of her mind.
She kept picturing him when they were younger, he was a sweet and gentle type of person. He was a wallflower, and she couldn’t help but love that about him. Though she harassed him during there school years she always kept an eye on him, nobody got to mess with him in school except for her. She had always felt a sense of ownership over him and at the same time rejected her feelings for him. Yet now she felt more rejected then he ever could have felt. She knew when he looked back that he had recognized her, hell he probably heard her voice and said an excuse to leave, she thought. The look gave it away, it was that same one he had that day in the hallway.
Minutes turned to hours and Jessica found herself walking the streets towards the house where she knew he would be. She didn’t know what she was doing, she knew the drugs were having there affect but at the same time she knew there was something else. As midnight started to roll around she began to approach the house again. She just couldn’t go through with going in there. She just wanted to see him. To hear him talk, to say something. She wanted to help him, but felt powerless to do so.
That’s when she heard it. She was three houses away but she heard yelling. She wasn’t close enough to know what was being said but she heard that old familiar sound. The light rumbles of bad flooring and shaky walls, the sudden impacts and silences. Followed by the outbursts. Then she heard a sound that broke her, she found herself a few feet from the front door when something that sounded like a yelp followed by pleading a crying hit her ears. A few seconds later it was as if all the noise and color in the world had been sucked from the world, she felt like she was in some twisted silent film. She heard the front door open and mechanicaly found herself hiding behind the a nearby tree in the front lawn. She hid not because of fear but because she knew she had to get inside. She heard the screen door slam and saw Chad’s tall figure walk down the stairs and onto the street, that’s when she creeped through the shadows and snuck into the house like a snake. She had to find him.
As she entered the living room she saw the remnants of what once was a decent wooden coffee table. Across the room was rubble from some type of explosive tantrum by some drugged up demon. And by the broken mirror on the wall laid Jack unconscious. After that. She felt her breath run from her lungs as she saw his frail body lying there, she ran to him not able to believe what was before her. He had never hurt anyone in his life, he was a good person. He didn’t deserve this.
She knelt by his side and rolled him over trying to wake him. She felt his pulse, it was there but it was faint.
“Jack…please wake up. Come on Jack…Jack, Wake Up!!! Please Jack, You Have To Wake Up!! PLEASE!!!” She screamed as she held him, shaking his body trying to get some type of motion out of him. Her whole body shook as she held his almost lifeless form.
Finally his lips began to move, his eyes struggling to open even a little.
“Jessie…I missed you…” He gave her an almost happy smile before passing out again in her arms hardly breathing.
Jess saw her tears fall onto Jack’s face before she realized that she was crying. She couldn’t help it. This wasn’t right, she could’ve helped him. She could’ve been there.
As she stared at the bruised and bloodied face of her old crush she realized she would never let this happen again. Nobody would ever hurt her Jackie again. She took her phone out of her pocket and began to write a text to her sister:
“Need to talk, emergency. I’m fine. Will be home soon.”
After seeing the message had gone through she used all of her strength to lift jack up and into her arms, resting part of his body over her shoulder and using her hips to supports his legs like some type of child. For a junkie he had become about has small and fragile as they come and though it wasn’t an easy feat she found herself able to carry him out of the house and down the sidewalk towards her home.
Off in the distance she could hear the hooting and hollering of the drunk college kids leaving the local bars. She knew Chad was out there somewhere, drinking away his conscious. The annoying image of his arrogant face consumed her thoughts, all she could think of was revenge. She would get him back, she wouldn’t let him get away with this.
As she approached her home and climbed the stairs going through the entryway into the living room she was broken from her anger induced trance by a soft whimper from Jack. She rubbed his back cooing to him as she laid him on the couch, she didn’t know what she was doing but it just felt natural. She hadn’t even noticed her sister standing in the hallway across the room her arms crossed, a look of shock on her face. Brooke, Jessica’s sister, wasn’t expecting this to be the emergency. Normally it was her sister using her for money or being drunk and over dramatic. She quickly made her way to her sister’s side trying to help.
“What the hell happened!?” she asked looking over the boy’s wounds. Brooke had been working at a hospital nearby as a nurse for three years now and knew just how bad it looked.
“Chad did this to him…” Jessica said quietly barely noticing her sister. She stroked his hair and held his hand scared of what the damage was.
Brooke looked away from her sister and back at Jack not wanting to tell Jess what it looked like. She knew that there was a good chance the boy had a concussion and that his ankle was broken, maybe even a few ribs. She saw the blood on his clothes and a wet spot on his crotch. The kid didn’t stand a chance. She just hoped there wasn’t any permanent brain damage. One look at the boys arm showed a recent injection of something as well, a sight Brooke was unfortunately familiar with. She had seen multiple people in the ER for overdosing after shooting up. The paleness of his skin and look of his face were all to familiar symptoms of an addict with no insurance and no way of getting better.
“We cant take him to the hospital Jess so we need to keep him awake, if he has a concussion and goes out for to long he might suffer permanent damage. Jess? Jess, are you listening to me?!”
Jessica was shaken from her thoughts by her sisters hand on her forearm.
“I have to go somewhere, please watch him. I’ll be back in a couple hours.” Jess said almost mechanically as she stood up and walked towards the shelf over there fireplace. She saw the orange jar with the white cap and began unscrewing it. Brooke looked alarm and began to protest.
“Jessica, you cant take those right now! Look, I know your scared for Jack and pissed off but if you mix that medication with whateve-”. Jessica bluntly cut her off.
“There not for me…I’ve got a date with Chad that I’m late for.” With those words she took four of the pills out and put them in her pack of cigarettes.
Brooke understood now what Jessica was doing and went back to looking over Jack checking to make sure he was still conscious.
“Be careful.” She said as Jessica grabbed her coat and walked towards the two of them on the couch.
“I will.” She knelt down and kissed jack on the forhead, her hand caressing his cheek.
Jack let out a soft noise almost like a child cooing before weakly raising his hand to touch Jessica’s arm. She could feel his warm touch and grabbed his fingers raising them and lightly nuzzling them with her nose.
“I’ll be back my little prince.” She said before gently laying his hand across his tummy and rising up. She made her way through the entryway once more stepping out into the darkness. And as she made her way towards the noisy bustling mainstreet of the bar scene she felt the damp night air kiss her skin. She pulled the hood of her jacket up over head and everything she saw turned to red.