**Attention** This chapter contains a ton of triggers. I’m serious. There is graphic, detailed descriptions of drug use and other situations that may make you uncomfortable, want to use, or worse. Please…Please proceed with caution, especially if you are in the beginning stages of recovery. It’s important for me to honestly share parts of my story, but I never want to jeopardize anyone’s recovery. Take this warning seriously if you are easily triggered. Me love you long time.***
“I need you to stay really still, okay?” Javier said looking into my eyes.
“You will feel a pinch and you can’t flinch when you do. After I untie the belt, you need to stay seated or you will fall down. Your knees are gonna give out. You ready?”
My heart was pounding out of control. I had heard so many stories about people shooting up. They always end up living under bridges and contracting diseases. Javier wasn’t a doctor, he was a dishwasher at Barron’s Roadhouse for Christ’s sake. What the hell am I doing?
“Are you sure that this will take away the withdrawal? I won’t feel sick anymore?” I asked nervously.
“Tiff, I promise. You know I wouldn’t let him do this if I didn’t think it would help. I promise you will feel better. It’s up to you though, if you don’t want to do it than don’t. I don’t want you to think we are forcing you…” Kayla said.
“No, I know. I’m just scared. I would honestly rather die than feel another second of this s**t. I want to do it–I have to do it, I just. I’m scared.” My legs had been restless for the past 2 hours. I was tapping my foot uncontrollably hoping the muscles would get so tired that they would stop aching.
“I can’t… I can’t take it anymore. Just do it. Hurry up.” I squeezed my eyes shut and took a deep breath.
“You have to stop shaking your leg.” He said, grabbing ahold of my arm.
“F***, I can’t man.” I whimpered in frustration.
“Ready?” he asked.
I nodded furiously while keeping my eyes clenched shut. He tapped the vein in my arm twice then pushed the needle in. My eyes rolled behind my closed eyelids from the pain and I tried not to move. 2 seconds later I felt him untie the belt and I opened my eyes to see that the needle was already out.
Before I could open my mouth to say anything, a wave of liquid relaxation began at the tip of my head, and slowly made it’s way down my body. It was as if I’d been trapped in a snowstorm all day, and someone finally placing a heated blanket on top of me. Every place this blanket touched instantly transformed to jelly. Suddenly— every ounce of pain I’d been experiencing for hours was just — gone. It had disappeared, all of it. I felt normal. I felt… amazing.
I began laughing but the sounds were coming out in slow motion. I could see Kayla and Javier looking at each other and smiling. “I think it worked.” he said, glancing back at me. “Duh, told you she’d love it.” Kayla said, smiling with satisfaction. She was my best friend, she knew me better than anyone.
“Hoooooly s**t, you guys. Thank you so much. I thought I was going to die for a minute there. I feel so much better. I work tomorrow I’ll pay you back I promise. I went to stand up and Javier jumped toward me gently placing a hand on my shoulder to keep me in the seat.
“Easy. You may want to give it a minute.” He said.
“I’m fine, I’m fine.” I assured him as I stood up. I wanted to hug Kayla and thank her for being such a wonderful friend. But when I tried to take a step toward her the world suddenly went black.
I could feel my knees hit the tile and heard a bang as my head fall back into the cabinet. My vision returned and I could see both of them dropping down next to me to check on me.
“Duuuude. I just got so light headed!” I laughed. “I should have listened to you, probably.”
“Are you okay?” Kayla asked while checking me for injuries.. “I’m fine. I just wasn’t expecting that. Why does that happen?” I asked.
“It’s way different than snorting a pill, this goes straight into your bloodstream, it’s a lot stronger.” He said. “Yo Kayla, we gotta go man, I don’t want to be here when her man gets home ya know what I’m sayin?”
“Are you gonna be okay if we go, Tiff?” she asked standing up and reaching to pull me up.
“I am yeah, I’m probably just gonna get some sleep, now that I can. I don’t want to start shooting this s*** all the time, it was just a one time thing–an emergency. I’m actually gonna try to get some Suboxone tomorrow, I’m sick of this s**t.” I said.
“I hear you, I’m gonna quit soon too. Maybe we can do it together?” She said as she hugged me goodbye. “That sounds good friend. I’ll call you tomorrow, thanks again. Bye Javier!” I called behind them.
As soon as the front door shut, I glanced around the kitchen to make sure there wasn’t any evidence and headed to the room. It felt like I had run a marathon, the twisting in agony, restless legs and stomach cramps from throwing up had really taken a toll on my body.
I laid down in bed and checked my phone, there was a message from Lazarus.
“Wassup girl, I’m straight, you comin’ through?”
“Hell no” I said to myself as I reread the text. I was desperate to stop the pain when I’d sent him that text, I’m fine now. There’s no way I’m going over there to hook up with him.
His text got me thinking though, if this stuff goes straight into my bloodstream, it would probably fade off a lot faster. I would be sick again before the sun came up tomorrow. I should probably make a plan to get more now that I’m feeling normal again. My mind began flipping through it’s rolodex of people I could ask for money. Not my sister, I just borrowed money from her 2 days ago. I can’t ask my dad, he probably has no money…. think, think, think…
Oh, I could ask my friend Meagan. I hadn’t talked to her in awhile, but she had no clue I did drugs, so the call would seem random, but believable.
“Hey Tiff! I haven’t heard from you in forever!” Meagan said excitedly upon answering.
“I knooooow. I’ve been so friggin busy with work it’s been insane. How are you?” I asked, not really giving a s**t how she was.
“I’m great, just working a lot. My mom is sick, so she’s been staying with me. She hurt her back.”
“Damn, that sucks. I’m so sorry to hear that. Hey, so I have a super random question. No pressure at all, I’m just in a bind. I work tomorrow at 3, but I completely freakin’ forgot that my power is about to get shut off. They sent a bunch of late notices and I’ve been so busy it just slipped my mind. They said I have until midnight to pay or we will lose power…Is there ANY way I can borrow like $50 until I get off work tomorrow?”
I felt bad lying to her, but I would feel a lot worse come the morning if I didn’t do this. Besides, I could pay her back when I got off tomorrow.
“Aw friend, of course. You remember where I live, right?” she asked. Thank God.
“I do, oh my God you are a lifesaver, thank you so much…I’m on my way.” I said sprinting to the car.
“What’s up.” Lazarus said answering his phone.
“Hey! Are you still straight?” I asked.
“Cool, can I come through?”
“For sure lil mama.” he hung up before I could respond.
As soon as I hung up, my boyfriends picture popped up on my screen, it was like he was watching me or something. “Hey Babe!” I said cheerfully into the phone.
“Hey, where are you?” he asked. I glanced down at the clock and wondered what he meant. He wasn’t supposed to be home for an hour and a half.
“I’m at Walmart. Where are you?” I lied.
“Well I came home an hour early to surprise you with a Redbox movie but you aren’t here.”
“No way! Aw, Babe. That’s so exciting! I’m leaving now and should be home in like 30, I’m at the Walmart by the house.” God, I was a terrible person. He was doing something nice for me while I was buying drugs. I am such a piece of s***.
“Okay, I’m gonna shower and stuff, I’ll see you when you get here.”
“Okay, see you soon. Bye.”
The guilt was an emotion I’d grown accustomed to. Just about every decision I made in my life was followed with a cloud of guilt. The only way I knew to get rid of the cloud, was to bury it with more drugs. They made it go away, they made everything go away.
As I sped to Laz’s, I gripped the money tightly in my hand. I was so grateful that I wouldn’t have to worry about getting some tomorrow, these pills I was about to get would hold me over until I got off work tomorrow night.
I gently knocked on the door and as soon as Laz swung it open, I was immediately hit with a cloud of smoke. “Jesus.” I said, wafting it away from my face, “Are you guys hot-boxing this place or what?” I said stepping inside behind him.
“Nah, it’s just me here. I just hit the bong, you want some?” he asked holding up a ridiculously oversized glass bong. It was the length of his entire body, and I would be in a damn coma if I hit that thing. “Hell no, thanks.” Ever since I’d moved in with Chuck I hardly smoked. It made me too paranoid.
I followed Laz into his room and glanced around as he shut the door behind us. I’d never been in here before, it was surprisingly neat and tidy, not what I expected of a drug dealer.
“So what you tryin to do, Mama?” he said, giving me a flirty smile. “Just 2 of them please/” I said, staring at the Goodfellas poster above his bed. I didn’t know people still hung posters up.
“Aright, aright. Soooo….what you gonna do for it?”
“What do you mea–” I looked over at him just as he pulled his shirt over his head. Suddenly I realized what was happening.
“Oh, oh no. No I have money. I don’t need… We don’t need to do anything. I can pay. Sorry, I meant to tell you that.” I said awkwardly.
His face fell, and he plopped down on to the edge of his bed. “How much you got?”
“Aight, I’ll give you 4 blues.”
“But, fifty only gets me 2. I was gonna use the leftover $10 for gas because I’m almost out.” I said, feeling confused.
He didn’t say anything, he was staring at the floor. Was he gonna hook me up with extra? Because that would be amazing. He did that sometimes on days he was feeling generous. Today must have been one of those days.
“Give me the $50, I’ll give you 4, and you can give me a b***j**.” he said matter-of-factly.
“Ah. No, that’s okay. Thank you, but I’ll just take the t–”
He was lunging toward me before I could finish my sentence. He wrapped his hands around my arms and squeezed so tightly it felt like my bones were breaking.
“Hey!” I screamed trying to wriggle away. “Stop, man. What the hell are you doing?”
His voice softened and he loosened his grip a bit, but didn’t let go. “You said you wanted to hook up, I been thinkin that’s what was finna happen dis whole time, I mean look,” he said, grabbing his junk, “you got me all excited.”
“Listen Laz, I’m sorry about this, it’s my bad. I should have told you. Maybe we can do this another time. Okay? I just…I have to be somewhere soon so I don’t have time. Let’s just do it tomorrow, cool?” I said trying to diffuse the situation.
He let go of my arm and bounded over to his dresser. For a split second I thought for sure he was about to whip out a pistol and force me to have sex with him, instead he opened up a baggie and scooped out some pills.
“Here, man. Sorry about grabbing you. I just been wantin you for a long time you know? It’s driving me crazy.” he dropped a few pills into my hand and I handed him the fifty. “I’ll call you tomorrow, okay?” I said heading to the door, wanting to run full speed but trying to remain as calm as possible.
“Aight momma.” he said, looking me up and down as he shut the door behind me.
I sprinted to the car and locked the doors as soon as I got in. I was in shock about what had just occurred. I’d been going to Laz for years and he never tried me like that.
I wanted to tell my boyfriend about it, but obviously, couldn’t. I couldn’t tell Kayla either because she was best friends with Laz, and she would probably say something that would piss him off. I couldn’t tell anyone. I would just have to bury it, like I do every other f***ed up thing that has ever happened to me.
As I went to put the pills into the secret compartment of my purse, I realized that Laz had given me 7 of them. I was so shaken up in his room I didn’t even realize it. I’m not going to lie, it made me feel a little better about the situation.
I pulled out of his driveway and headed down the road, I decided to do a pill before the long drive home, I needed to calm my nerves. I pulled over on a dark side street and crushed one up real quick. I was in a really crappy part of town but didn’t want to wait until I got into the main part of town to do one, I needed to get f***ed up as soon as possible after what just happened.
I quickly snorted the pill and licked the remaining powder off the car manual I’d crushed it up on. As I turned the headlights on and hit the gas, the car didn’t move. I pushed the gas again and…nothing.
Panic rose within me as I checked all the lights and switches to see what was happening when suddenly it dawned on me. I never got the $10 from Laz. Oh my God. Chuck was sitting home waiting for me to get back from the store 5 minutes from our house and I just ran out of gas at midnight in the middle of the ghetto on the opposite side of town.… How the hell was I supposed to explain this?