H A Y E S
I want to get high. That’s all there is to it. I just simply want to get baked in order to feel even the slightest bit content. I’m so sick of being stuck in hypophrenia, I just want to be able to feel happy. But, of course, without a ride that leaves me no other choice than to walk in the frigid cold to the one place that can allow me to escape. My fingers are already numb as I walk down the street, my boots stomping onto the cracked sidewalk as I begin my journey. Thankfully, the house isn’t that far from the college I attend, but still, my walk will feel a hell of a lot longer since I’m walking in the cold.
I blow out a frustrated breath, watching as my warm breath collides with the cold air, and forms into fog, floating away from me. If only that stupid little girl would have given me a ride, Seeder Grove’s good girl, but from what I can see she’s everything other than that. That girl has to be a walking train wreck, which might be why she intrigues me so much. That, and her Winnie the Pooh bra. I can’t help but snicker at the image, but I force my cigarette between my lips quickly. Taking a drag from the stick of cancer, I blow smoke out of my nostrils, enjoying the burning feeling it gives me.
Never had I wanted to become a smoker, never did I even think I would light one of these, but some things just don’t go as planned. I can still vaguely remember the time I tried my first cigarette, I was fifteen, and looking for anything to piss off my parents. Smoking was the first thing on the list, which I’m not quite proud of since it’s hard to pull myself away from the addiction I have for them.
My phone rings, and I groan loudly, catching the attention from bystanders. I catch them judging me, none of them bothering to pull their gaze away, which only seems to piss me off. Then without hesitation, I drop my cigarette onto the concrete, grinding it beneath my boot before throwing up both my middle fingers. Half of them gasp in surprise, others shaking their head in silent disappointment.
“The youth these days.” I hear someone say in disgust.
I roll my eyes, pulling out my ringing phone. My fingers are cramping, and icy cold from the frigid December weather, and I nearly drop my phone onto the sidewalk, but thankfully I manage to get a good grip on the device. What I really need is to get a grip on reality.
“Hi, Mom.” My voice is dripping with distaste.
She’s caught me at a bad time. I need release right now, not another pointless lecture about what I should do with my life. Mother always seems to call at the worst times.
“Hayes? I haven’t talked to you in a while,” her voice is as soft as it has always been, it makes me miss her. “How are you, dear?”
I sigh, pinching the bridge of my nose. How am I? I don’t know. But I can’t tell her that, because that is not what a mother wants to hear. She wants to hear that I’m doing good, she expects for me to tell her I’m doing amazing with no worries. But I’m not. I’m not doing amazing, I’m not even doing good.
“I’ll be okay, Ma’ma.” I scrub a hand through my black hair, which causes it to fall over my forehead. “Don’t worry about me.”
There’s nothing but silence on the other end, but then I hear the shuffling of feet, and I know she’s more than likely walking out onto the front porch. Probably to get away from the rest of the crazy family.
“Don’t lie to me,” her voice is stern now. “How are you really? Is the medication not working? Have you been taking your pills?”
Dammit, she knows me so well.
I stop dead in my tracks on the sidewalk, kicking at the weeds that have grown through the cracks. Breathing in deeply through my nose, the cold air freezes my lungs, causing me to cough. I don’t know how to answer her questions, I don’t know whether to tell her the truth, or lie to her.
“Yeah, I’ve been taking them.” I answer shortly.
She still calls me once a week to make sure I’ve been taking my meds, which is honestly suffocating, but I understand why she does it. After all she is my mom, and the hell I’ve put her through is probably the main reason why she’s always so damn worried.
“Good.” She responds, and I can practically hear her sigh in relief. “How long have you been clean again?”
My jaw clenches.
There’s nothing but silence again, the only sound is her soft breathing on the other end. Some days I wish she would just stop caring so damn much since I’m a grown man, and I’m doing the best I can. I may not be doing great, but I’m working on that. It’s hard to feel okay when you’ve been feeling like total shit your whole life.
“I’m proud of you,” I can hear the smile in her voice. “Now lets see if we can turn that one month into two.”
I flick my tongue against my lip ring, toying with it since it’s the only thing that really keeps me grounded lately. It’s a nervous habit of some sorts, but it appears I have a lot of those. I don’t even have the energy to smile at her words, I don’t even feel happy. But soon. Soon I will feel happy when I pop a pill or two.
“Hayes, you know I love you, right?”
I nod even when I know she can’t see me, kicking at a stray rock that sits on the sidewalk. Pinching the bridge of my nose with my cold-bitten fingertips, I let out a heavy sigh before continuing on walking. I can see the house that holds my release inside just down the street, the lights are on, signaling that he’s home. Thankfully.
“Yeah, I love you too, Ma,” I breathe. “I’m going to go, I have some studying I need to get done.”
But she can’t know where I’m about to go, and what I’m about to do, it would completely crush her. I can’t ever hurt her like I did before, it’s something I still haven’t forgiven myself for. Something I still think about doing to this very day. But she can’t know that either.
“Alright, sweetheart,” I can hear the smile in her voice along with the bickering kids in the background. “Take care.”
Without another word, I hang up, shoving my cellphone into my back pocket as I continue making my way towards the house. My fingers tremble from the cold weather that bites at my skin where my jacket doesn’t cover, and I can’t help but shiver. The sooner I get to his stupid, drug infested house, the better. I need to feel happy.
So when I finally step onto his wooden porch, I waste no time in knocking firmly on the front door. I push all thoughts of my mother, and family back home out of my mind, wiggling my fingers impatiently at my sides. It’s too damned cold out here for this shit, I want my release now. Finally, the door opens after a long, cold moment of waiting, a large, bearded man answering the door. He seems intimating when I meet his dark gaze, but it’s something I’ve grown used to. I’ve known this man for I don’t know how long, he may look terrifying with hundreds of tattoos, and dead eyes, but he’s really the coolest guy I’ve met.
“Bonjour, monsieur!” He opens the door wider, being blasted with the warmth from the inside, and the smell of smoke.
I force a smile, his French accent almost hard to understand. But if you’ve known a man like Amir for four years, then you begin to pick up some French along the way. I find myself peering into the house, finding it completely empty other than large dog lounging on the floor beside the green couch.
“Bonjour, Amir.” My voice is stern, but I can’t stop myself from shivering do to the cold.
The man motions me into his warm, but dirty house, shutting the door behind me. I’m used to the smell in here, the smell of sweat, and weed. Lingering by the entrance, I watch as Amir makes his way towards his couch, patting his lazy dog on the head with a large, fat hand. There’s music, and chattering coming from the basement.
“What is it you would like, Hayes?” He speaks, motioning around the room. “You are not looking like yourself.”
Letting out a breath, I relish in the warmth of his home, feeling my fingers slowly beginning to thaw. I flex my pale fingers at my sides, hoping I can feel happy soon enough. Honestly, I couldn’t care what kind of drug or pill or liquor he gives me, as long as it helps me forget.
“I just want to feel happy.”
He smiles at me. A smile that spreads across his dark face to reveal crooked, yellowing teeth. A menacing, scary smile that would have anyone shivering in fear. This isn’t the first time I have seen this smile. Amir stands to his feet, leading me towards the basement door where the music seems to grow louder. But not too loud to attract attention from outsiders.
“To happiness.” Amir motions down the stairs with the flick of his tattooed hand.