“Okay, um, hold on“, Dr. Danner said holding up her hand.
She was staring at me with her mouth hanging open and her eyebrows raised to her hairline. I was used to this look by now.
“I’m sorry, it’s just – what?” she said, obviously perplexed at something I’d said.
“What? Did you not read my file? I’m confused”. I hadn’t even gotten to any of the crazy parts, what the hell was up with this ladies face? She’s a Doctor, or Psychiatrist or something I mean, is she not used to talking to whackjobs?
“Um, well“, she looked uneasy, “apparently I missed some things while reviewing your folder. I read your charges from the jail, but, I didn’t realize that he-”
“Was my boyfriend?” I interrupted.
“Right“. She looked nervous, or uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure.
“Yeah, I know. Sounds like something out of a movie, right?” I laughed. I didn’t find my situation funny it’s just, suddenly I felt really awkward. I mean what are you supposed to say at this point? Like, “OMG I know, I’m a total piece of shit, right? High-five”.
She stared at me over the brim of her glasses for a moment and it reminded me of the look my mother used to give me right before she grounded the shit out of me. I think I’m in trouble.
“Should we, I’m sorry, should we stop? Do you want me to stop? Because if you need to like review my file some more or somet-”
“No. No, we will keep going I apologize. I’m just surprised is all. You can keep going we will just, um, see how far we get. Okay?” she said nervously, glancing at her watch.
“Okay, so, where should I… Um… Start from, then?”
“Well, why don’t you tell me what happened that morning when he showed up at your house, after you relapsed?”.
“Sure” I replied, leaning back in my seat to get comfortable. I wondered for a moment if I should sugar coat it. Maybe she wasn’t prepared for this kind of thing and I certainly didn’t want to overwhelm her. F*** it, I though to myself, might as well get it all out in the open so she actually has a shot at fixing whatever’s broken inside my f***ed up head.
The morning he showed up at my house – uninvited might I add – nothing remarkable happened. He didn’t come in, thankfully, because our home smelled like they were filming “Half-Baked 2” in a back room somewhere.
He had just stopped by to bring me a coffee and we chatted for a bit and parted ways. As I watched his tail lights fade from view I felt a pang of guilt. He looked so happy today. How the hell was I supposed to tell him I relapsed and break his heart? This was going to be harder than I thought.
He was the kindest man I’d ever met and I suddenly felt terrible that he fell for a piece of shit like me. He deserved so much better.
I called off of work because I knew there was no f***ing way I could be nice to strangers when my world was crumbling around me. It was not an ideal day to call off either, as I just received a promotion and was now basically a manager. I was supposed to train to do the end of shift deposits, but that shit was not happening.
Instead I spent the majority of the day laying in bed, smoking weed, and contemplating how I was going to word this break-up.
“Hey babe, remember how I told you I used to be addicted to drugs? Well, surprise!” Shit – no, that wasn’t good.
“Hi honey, quick question, on a scale of 1 – 10, guess who relapsed last night?” Son of a b***h.
“Sweetie, hey, remember how you told me how amazing I was and how you thought you were falling in love with me? Well I snorted a bunch of drugs last night while you were out protecting the community because I’m a f***ing loser and I’m sorry, but we can’t be together”. Sounds about right.
I grabbed my phone and decided to call my best friend. She’s the one who drove me to rehab. Well, technically I drove and she was in the passengers seat crushing pills and lining them up for me so I didn’t have to take my hands off the steering wheel.
We got addicted to pills together and hadn’t really hung out much since I’d gotten out of rehab, she was still using and it was hard for me to be around it. So I’d kept my distance up until this point.
“Hello?” she answered.
“Um, nothing, what’s wrong?” We had a really close bond, she could tell from my voice something was wrong.
“I f***ed up”.
“I’m on my way”.
Now, you would think, she was coming over to give me a shoulder to cry on, maybe give me some words of encouragement, but when I hung up that phone, we both knew why she was coming.
We spent the next 2 hours snorting lines and smoking cigarettes.
I told her what had happened and she laughed and shook her head at my predicament. I mean, I was in a f***ing relationship with a friggin Deputy for Christ’s sake, one whom was about to be dumped by his junkie girlfriend tonight. What the hell is wrong with me?
“I’m doing him a favor, really” I said as I licked the remaining powder off of the card I’d used to crush my pill. “I mean, it’s better that he knows now rather than later. Honestly like, I think part of the reason I relapsed also was like, the pressure you know? Of dating a cop?”
Kayla nodded in slow motion, through squinted eyes. I knew she wasn’t comprehending a word I’d said but it felt good to process my thoughts. I’d decided to get good and high before meeting up with Chuck. It was going to be an incredibly difficult conversation and I needed to take the edge off.
“I’m done after tonight anyway” I said scratching an invisible itch on my arm. “I can’t get addicted again, but I’m still gonna end it with him because I feel like I’m only gonna hurt him mo-“
Before I could finish my sentence a thick stream of vomit spewed from my face like a water hose, landing all over my pants and Tom’s suede couch.
“What…the f***?” Kayla said, suddenly wide awake. “Are you okay?”
I couldn’t stop. Wave after wave of nausea rose up from my belly and I lurched forward attempting to miss the couch. I choked and gagged on my vomit and mid-hurl, I heard the front door slam shut.
Blake, my room mate was home.
“What the hell, Kayla?”
“It’s not me! I didn’t do anything! She just, she’s not feeling good”
“Bullshit. You gotta go, now” he said with authority.
“Oh my God, whatever“. I felt her weight leave the couch as she stood up to leave. “Call me later Tiff, I hope you feel better. And you are an A**hole, Tommy, I had nothing to do with this”, she said, slamming the door behind her.
“Tiff” he said, placing his hand on my back, “I told you that you didn’t need to be hanging out with her anymore, now look at you”.
I leaned back into the couch and took a deep breath, wiping the puke from my mouth. I turned my head to face Tommy and tears started falling. “I know, I didn’t want to do it, I’ve been doing so good. But she just pulled the pills out in front of me. When she asked if I wanted some, I couldn’t say no“. I forced out a couple of sobs and I knew when he shook his head in disappointment, he was buying it.
“Damnit, man. What are you gonna do about Chuck?”
“He gets off in a few hours, I’m gonna shower and then head over there to break the news. I can’t believe this happened. I should have known when she asked to stop by that it was a bad idea, I just missed her, ya know?”
“I know Tiff, this isn’t your fault, she should have known better. I’m sorry this happened” he said, patting my back sympathetically.
As I took one last look at myself in the mirror before heading to Chucks, I couldn’t help but feel disgusted about the person I’d become.
I used to be a happy kid.
I used to be captain of the cheerleading squad.
I was voted class clown and Valentine Queen at my high school dance – and now – I’m a 23 year old junkie piece of s**t with nothing to show for my life. My mom is gone, my sister won’t talk to me and my dad – who the hell knows what’s going on with my dad.
I had pulled my car over on the way to Chucks to do a line. I felt like if I didn’t have something to calm my nerves I wouldn’t have the guts to go. I was going to tell him I was high anyway so it didn’t matter if he noticed.
The walk up to his front door was the most terrifying 30 seconds of my life. I almost turned around twice and my heart felt like it may die from pumping too hard and too fast.
My eyes were swollen from the tears and the disappointment I was bearing made my whole body feel 20 pounds heavier.
I took a deep, deliberate breath and quickly hit the doorbell before I could change my mind. I heard footsteps and things clamoring behind the door as my heart pounded even faster. Here we go, moment of truth.
I heard the metal click as the door unlocked from the inside and as the door swung open I was hit in the face with something, silly string? It all happened in slow motion.
His dad and mom off to the side smiling, his brother laughing and his brothers wife clapping excitedly. There were 10 other people standing behind Chuck but I couldn’t process who they were. Music suddenly started blaring and simultaneously everyone screamed:
I stared in stunned silence and realized the house was adorned with balloons and streamers. Chuck reached out for my hand but I was frozen. He laughed as he pulled me close and placed his lips next to my ear and my jaw dropped in horror when he whispered: “Congratulations on your promotion, Babe, this accomplishment is worthy of a celebration. We are so proud of you“………..