The apartment is too stuffy. I throw open a window. Still stuffy. I open another. October air whips through the place and knocks a few pieces of paper around. The magazine by the window flips its pages.
Sitting on the couch, I finally let go of the baggie. It takes a moment to fall out of my hand and onto my lap. My hand is sweaty. I wipe it on a couch arm next to me. A black sharpied name stares up at me.
“Hey man. Uh.” It’s the first words that he’s said since we left Zeke’s. “Look. Do you want...do you want to do her together?”
I look up at him. The smallest of smiles touches my mouth. It looks like a million pounds is taken off him.
“Yeah. I realize that sounds way worse than I meant.” He looks down at the bag, then back at me. He looks hungry. He flinches. I didn’t realize it, but my fists are clenched.
“You know what. I’ll...I’ll hit the bars tonight.” He makes his way out of the door tossing me a small wave. Closed. Locked.
The bag of human remains in my lap feels heavy. I gently take it and set it next to me. Standing, I strip off my hoodie and go into the kitchen. The sandwich I slap together is made with bread that may have gone bad, but just has that start of it. Hint of decay.
It feels like she is on the couch staring at me. I haven’t turned around since I made it to the kitchen. I get a beer out and finish it facing the sink.
Kira “Krystal” Higgins is sitting on my couch in a baggy. I fight the beer and sandwich back down, and turn.
I thought it would move. Or maybe she would be there. Those cool brown eyes focused on me. Her lips drawn up into a smile, black hair reaching just below her chin. ‘Didn’t make one for me?’ she’d say. I’d laugh and tell her about the bread and we’d go to a taco joint with shitty lightning and greasy food.
Fuck it was cold in here.
I slammed the windows closed then picked up the bag.
(Read more after the jump)
It starts the same. They always start the same. Your stomach gives out and carries the rest of your body with it. You focus on that feeling and it’s like you hit water and begin to bob. The invisible current swirls around you and you drown completely.
Mom is driving off. I’m in a window crying. My dad grabs me roughly and pulls me away and is screaming at me. I know he is angry at her; I just want her back. He hits me. I fall down.
My pen moves quickly. I push hard so that SLUT is in big blue words. I smile andperk up as the bathroom door opens. They come in. I can hear them laughing. They say my name. I grip the pen so hard it could break. They laugh. I look back my work. ‘Janey is a SLUT’. Teach that stupid bitch for making fun of me.
I’m at a party. The music sucks. I paid twelve bucks to get into a fucking house party. My red SOLO cup is full of cheap vodka and ice cubes. I make my way outside. People are smoking. I get handed a joint by this kid and give him a thankful nod. We start talking. Trey.
(Fuck! It feels like getting glass pulled across my skin)We’ve been together for two years. The bed is soft. Softer than it should be. I reach over and pull a gram of Graham out of my purse. I tell that to Trey. He laughs. This is his first time.
We stick Graham up our nose and-
(Christ!)We’re screaming at each other. Fuck him. Fuck this. I’m out.
The bus station smells like piss. I dip into a bathroom and start crying. It must be pretty hard. I leave. My makeup is smeared. A guy starts to talk to me. We go to a bar. Fuck Trey.
Chains. Christ. I’m in my own shit and piss. Haven’t stood up in what feels like forever. My legs are numb. The door opens. Someone screams. Heat.
I wake up covered in vomit and sweating. She was murdered. I’ve never...I’d never. I flip over from the couch and manage to balance myself. My body purges itself again. My hand slips and I fall into my own mess.
I’ve never experienced a death like that. A murder. Most of the ash Zeke sells are ‘go in your sleep’ type shit. Peaceful. I knew there were some dealers out there that specialized in a more...brutal ash. ‘Experience the murder of another human being in the comfort of your own brain!’
Standing up slowly, I wipe the sick off my face and trudge toward the bathroom. There is a radiator just to the side of the couch and as I pass I catch some of the ambient warmth-
Chains. Christ. I’m in my own shit and piss. Haven’t stood up in what feels like forever. My legs are numb. The door opens. Someone screams. Heat
I’m on my ass. My back is throbbing. I must have fallen against our living room table. No. I threw myself against it.
I hear a low moan and it takes me a second to realize I’m making it. Slowly, shakily, I rise again. My legs feel like jelly. Chest feels like it’s about to fold in on itself. I can barely keep my hands from shaking themselves off my body.
I make it into the shower without any more flashbacks. Too hot water makes my shirt cling to me and my jeans heavy.
“Krystal is dead.” I manage and begin to a cry. It’s a good, long cry and I do my best to try and think about her without...touching...does that make sense? Touching what I had just experienced.
Half an hour later I’ve made my way out of the shower, dried off and swapped clothes. Krystal sits in a crack in the couch. I’ve been standing in the living room looking at it. I want to clean up my mess, but I can’t force my body into motion.
The door opens and and a bleary eyed Jack comes in. He closes the door and with great concentration does the locks. He looks over at me. The first beams of sun are blazing through the apartment. Jack tries to wipe the end of his buzz and the start of his hangover away when he rubs his head. He pulls out a kitchen chair and sits.
“What is that smell?” He slouches in the chair.
“I puked.” I motion.
“Fucking sick man.” He sticks his tongue out and wags his head, a motion he looks like he regrets making a moment after.
“Yeah. Tried to get into Aces. Turned away at the door. I guess I need you there with me.” He sits up. “How was...ah...”
The word hangs there. He stands and pours himself a glass of water.
“I saw myself in the trip.”
“What? Like you. You, you? How did it feel?” He sips his water, looks at it and then pours me one from the tap. Moving carefully around the table, I grab it and swallow a gulp.
“It was like, like someone wrapped me in barbed wire and tossed me onto hot sand and rolled me around.” Jack sucks in air through his teeth.
“What happened to her?” There is caution in his voice. I’m too tired to be angry and he his too tired to beat around the bush.
“Murdered.” I finish the water in a few more gulps. Jack watches me.
“Shit, man. I don’t know what to say. Sorry.” He dumps the rest of the water out and puts the glass down by the sink.“Don’t be. You didn’t kill her. I am going to find the bastard who did.” I throw the cup into the sink harder than I should have. Spiderweb cracks crawl across the glass.