I don’t know what prompted me to go visit Annaleigh. In theory I knew she had absolutely nothing to do with Sophia being killed, yet I still blamed her. The crap that had poured out of mouth while seeing her lying helpless in the hospital bed, I have no idea why I said, I was hurting and lashed out at the thing closest to me which of course was Annaleigh. I shouldn’t have said anything about her foster parents or her paralysis being permanent, she’d needed to hear that from her doctor instead of me.
Before any of this had happened, I’d never thought I’d been a cruel person either. Of course, some of it I’m sure was because the high I was on was starting was slowly starting to crash leaving me feeling crappy and in a bad mood. I should go back and apologize for the hell I’ve put her over the years because I knew; I had never been easy on her because of Rachel. Rachel had made all the rumors up to keep me away from her. I didn’t exactly understand why because I was four years older than Annaleigh, and I wasn’t interested in my little sister’s best friend. I was regretting ever believing anything Rachel had told me. I felt stupid to be sure especially since I didn’t know she’d been seeing my friend behind my back.
Clearing my head, I walk towards the exit, hoping it’s not too obvious that I am coming down from a high. I’d stayed high ever since Sophia’s funeral. That had been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, watching my beautiful, highly intelligent little sister being lowered into the ground.
The day of the funeral was here, and as I’d expected ever since we’d gotten the call from the coroner’s office, everyone had gone off to grieve in their own way, instead of sticking together as a family. I’m ashamed to admit but I went to her funeral drunk as humanly possible, I wasn’t sure how else I would get through it.
Tears had poured from my eyes as I watched her casket, slowly get lowered into the ground. How was this fair? My little sisters were dead and the shooters were sitting in jail waiting to go to trial. I prayed they would get stuck on death row, but I knew that wasn’t likely to happen. They were still teenager, but seeing the pain they’d caused, and experiencing it myself. I wanted to kill them, not that I’d want to spend the rest of my life in prison, but still the hate was there.
I had stumbled away from the graveyard before the service had even ended, I couldn’t stand the sight of the box that held Sophia within it, any longer. Of course after the service was over I’d gotten into the mother of all fights with my father.
“I can’t believe you had the nerve to show up to your sister’s funeral drunk. You didn’t have enough respect to say a goodbye sober.” Dad had yelled and I shrugged making him angrier. How could I explain that there was no possible way of getting through that ordeal sober? Not to mention the other news I’d found out right before I was to leave for the funeral. I didn’t bother trying to explain my reasoning; he would only have a different opinion from the one I had anyways.
“I can’t deal with what I’m feeling” I’d finally shouted after ignoring his lecturing on me.
“You think we can?” he’d shouted “Your mother gave birth to her, she was our daughter but you don’t see us turning to alcohol to rid ourselves of the pain.” I snorted because I knew exactly how he was dealing with it, and it wasn’t in any better way than I was.
“Please” I muttered “when you’re dealing in a decent way that’s when you have the right to tell me what to do” I remarked before turning and heading towards the door. I’d had enough; I didn’t have to listen to this anymore.
“You walk out the door and you’re not welcome here anymore!” Dad had shouted at my back.
“Fine!” I’d replied and walked out the door, and got into my car and headed for the hospital.
I guess I wasn’t a nice person by the way I’d handled things, but just because Dad had hurt me, didn’t give me any reason to do what I’d done to Annaleigh. That girl had really paid the price for being my sister’s friend, and to make matter’s worse, she’d never done anything to deserve how I felt about her. Other than claim that she cared about me of course, but could she really considering she was four years younger than me. She really got out of the way when Rachel started talking trash. That was to be expected thought because Rachel was hard to handle under the best of circumstances. I couldn’t believe I’d been taken in by her good looks. I really was stupid if I thought she could be faithful, and that I could believe anything that she said.
Sighing, I start to turn around and head back to Annaleigh’s room, wondering if I should even bother trying to apologize. I’m not sure it would be welcome right now. I couldn’t imagine what she was thinking right now, knowing that she would never walk again and wouldn’t be able to take care of herself. I’m sure she was scared not knowing where she would end up next, because I’d heard, and in their words: They refused to take care of a cripple who couldn’t do anything.” I know I hadn’t made anything easier on her. But to live with people who were clearly so heartless, it made me wonder how she’d survived in the foster care system for so long. If I were here, I’d probably be just as heartless as the people I lived with. It said something about her character that she wasn’t heartless. It also made it harder than hell to hurt her, which considering the way I’ve acted in the past it seemed like it was pretty easy for me to do so. It also provided a good excuse for staying away from her. It had only been a few hours since my sister’s funeral but all I wanted to go was go get high again. The only thing I’d be capable of doing in that state was hurting her. So maybe staying away from her, would help her in the long run.
So instead of heading back up to Annaleigh’s room I turned and went out the exit. Walking down the street, I head for the bar, that’s only a couple blocks away. Which I found convenient, if you could hurt in a bar fight you could take yourself to the hospital. That was the thing about living in Louisville; there were bars, and lounges everywhere. I never really cared about going to the lounges; I didn’t like seeing the girls making ends meet by showing their bodies. To me it just showed how much they disrespected themselves just to survive. I don’t why it bothered me that much; they were adults free to choose as they will. If that’s how they chose to survive then so be it.
Upon entering the scene, I glance to notice, it was its usual rowdy place. A fight was breaking out to the right of me. To my left the pool tables were already surrounded by a bunch of roughneck guys. I head to the bar that rested close to the back of the building.
Sitting down on a stool, I ordered a Jack Daniel’s and waited while the bartender poured my glass. I nodded my thanks as he passed me my drink, and slowly raised the glass to my lips and took a drink. I almost sighed as the bitter drink slid down my throat. This day had literally been hell on me and my emotions. Laying your baby sister to rest totally messed a person up. Then having your family throw you out the house you grew up in wasn’t all that great either. There was nothing I could do about that situation unless I wanted to reveal to my mother, Dad’s extramarital affairs. I wasn’t sure that she would believe me, she agree easily enough that I needed to get out and leave. Then again, that had probably been the grief talking, not that I was going to go back around there anytime soon. It looked like I wouldn’t be returning to Rose County any time soon. Not that I cared all that much that particular county was too small for me. I doubted that I could get more than a dime bag of weed there.
Taking another sip of my Jack Daniel’s, I looked up at the TV that hung on the wall behind the bar. They were still discussing the shooting that had only taken place four days ago.
“Such a tragedy that happened” the bartender said when he noticed where my gaze was. I nodded, feeling sick to my stomach. Why was I sitting at bar drinking, when I knew of something else that would take care of the pain I was feeling? Sighing, I reach into my pocket and pull out a twenty, passing it to the bartender. I tell him to keep the change before I get up off my stool and head for the exit.
I had a stash of cocaine, which I’d recently bought crammed in the glove box of my car, which I’d had to have a friend drive to my apartment because I’d been too drunk to do it myself. It probably had been stupid to get drunk before her funeral; no one had ever accused me of being brilliant. I was only thinking of the fact that I didn’t want to feel the hurt and pain that her death had caused. On top of what I’d found out about Rachel and my former best friend, I wasn’t sure how to handle it. One thing was certain, I’d had one huge self-destruct button and I had pushed it. However, I had done it to myself so I was going to have to live with the consequences of my own actions.
Leaving I took a left out of the bar, I was lucky I lived pretty close to where all the action was. It wasn’t exactly the best side of town, but considering my recent choice of relaxing, I was okay with that.
Ignoring the noise of the traffic that surrounded me, I make my way around the block to where two sets of apartment buildings were. Making my way to the first building, I head into the parking lot and head straight for my car. Unlocking the door, I climb into the driver seat and then lean over the console, and open the glove compartment. Finding what I was looking for I reached in and grabbed the bag of white power.
Getting out of my car, I hit the lock before shutting the door; I shoved the bag of cocaine deep into my jeans pocket, before heading towards the entrance of my building. Once inside, I head up the stairwell to the third floor instead of taking the elevator. It was usually faster to take the stairwell, especially if I didn’t want to get caught with the stuff that was in my pockets. Before any of this had happened, I never thought I would be one to turn to drugs to help me forget. I used to go to the gym and work out my problems in the weight lifting room. However, I’d stopping paying the membership so I could save some money and put that towards school.
I was majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. My goal was to become a published author. Now though, I wasn’t even sure about continuing to go to school. It’s amazing how tragedy can change so much in your life, and make you question the goals you’d once had in your life. I never thought about quitting school before now, now I wasn’t sure what the point was. It seemed kind of pointless to me, working towards graduation and then afterwards spending the rest of your life working. Even if I had enjoyed writing at the time, now I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to chase after that particular dream.
Entering my apartment, I shut the door behind me and flipped the lock. As soon as I heard the lock click, I reached into my pocket and grabbed the bag of cocaine that had cost me a couple hundred dollars. Reaching into the bag, grabbed a small amount on my thumb and then lifted it to nose, and inhaled the drug. It didn’t take long for me to feel the high, I sigh in contentment forgetting that I was supposed to be grieving. I sit down on my worn out couch and lay my head back against the headrest. This was possibly the best feeling I’ve ever had.
The light, peaceful feeling, was nice, I can’t remember the last time I’d felt like this without it being force, and other than being high. You see I’d started my drug habit quite a while before the Rose County High School shooting ever happened.
At first it was just something, I would take to help me get through a full night of studying, and then later, when I’d seen distinct signs that Rachel was cheating on me, I started using it more to help with my moods. If Annaleigh had thought about it, she’d know why I’d treated her so badly, because most of the time she had caught me off guard was when I was coming off of a high. Of course, I’ve been able to hide my addiction quite well; my parents hadn’t even begun to guess what I was addicted to other than alcohol. I could laugh at the fact that they thought I was a much better person than they thought I was. All I had to say about that was that it was very well played. I had proved to be one hell of an actor. No one would ever guess that I struggled with depression along with a nice large drug addiction. If I had my way no one would ever know, because the ability to fool people wasn’t exactly something I was proud of.