Dropping my second ecstasy pill for the night while number one was still kicking my ass harshly as euphoria crashing in waves of clarity over my body. I sat there next to Toni - my blonde haired, blue eyed drug dealing obsession - that never allowed me to give him cash for his endless supply but instead would swap sex in payment.
With my eyes rolling and my back arching as the drugs made their glorious way through my system. Toni could tell how I was feeling as I remained almost naked with only a black tube bra and black boy shorts on, his hand snaking up my inner thigh, his lips running along my neck, I was lost to a haze of pleasure that consumed my entire being.
It felt as though a burst of pure love and light were seeping through my pores and surrounding the room in magical light. This was the feeling I craved every day, the mind-numbing happiness. Toni handed me the bong with white power on top of the weed in the cone piece.
“What’s this?” I smiled up at him.
“Extra ‘feel good’ measures, it’s only a tiny snow cone, you’ll be fine,” he assured me with blazing lust in his eyes. I knew he was feeling the euphoria just as I was, after all, this is how our sexual relationship started.
He moved to nestle himself in-between my legs, I lifted my hips as he slid my underwear down and covered my already tingling pussy with his warm mouth, his tongue darting out to swipe across my lower lips, burying his face as deep as he could while I mewled breathlessly. “Cone baby,” he ordered and I realised I still held, the bong and lighter in my hand.
“Oh yeah,” I giggled, lighting it up and sucking it back in one solid pull.
I leaned forward to one, place the bong on the table and two, grind my hips into his face more. My orgasm was building - I was locked in by the feeling of his tongue on my clit while his fingers slid in and out of me. Pulling back, I could hear him tearing open the condom while his thumb kept that much-needed pressure on the ball of nerves. Nothing mattered, not the bills that were piling up, not the job I lost three weeks ago, not the eviction notice that I received in the mail, only this feeling mattered, great sex and extreme highs.
And just like that, I came - HARD - all over his thrusting cock. I shuddered as the orgasm ripped through me, my eyes unfocused by rippling pleasure but my body began to thrash and convulse, I could not get a hold of it. Everything was fading to black. I couldn’t stop the shaking - my limbs - useless against the whipping around of my body. In the distance, I could hear the faint sound of Toni’s voice before complete darkness consumed me.
Waking up, I was immediately aware of the annoying continuous beeping, I wanted to smash that noise. I could feel something in my mouth, it was scratching at my throat, making it harder to breathe. I could feel my heartbeat rise and my anxiety kicked in, my eyes were struggling to open as I frantically moaned and tried thrashing my arms and legs about but they seemed to be secured down. My natural flight or fight response kicked in at a rapid rate. Why the fuck couldn’t I move?
“Shhh, don’t fight it Avaleria. We are going to remove the tube from your throat, just relax your jaw, try not to bite down, or bite my fingers off… I need them.” A voice I did not recognise filtered through my panicked haze. Where the fuck am I?
It took a while for my eyes to even slightly adjust to the severely bright room and even longer for my mind to focus on what was happening, but when I did... I immediately regretted waking up at all.
There sat my mother with the biggest scowl on her face, I groaned just as my father came into view, claiming the vacant chair beside her. “Can we turn the lights off please?” My request was granted by my super pissed off father.
“What have you been up to Lyera?” I could hear the judgement in my mother’s tone.
“Mama...” I groaned out.
“No bub, your mama is right - you’ve been in a coma for three weeks.” Shit, shit, shit... three weeks?
“Who’s Toni? That doesn’t happen to be the snake that dropped you in the parking lot of the hospital, does it?” My jaw clenched, surely he wouldn’t have?
“What happened?” I questioned, feeling suddenly vulnerable and nervously fidgeting in the hospital bed.
“Well, we are not sure bub...” My dad began, “we got a call at four in the morning and when we arrived, they explained that a hospital staff member’s shift had ended and he found you - naked - except for a bra which had a note with your name attached to it and your handbag. The asshole didn’t even bother to dress you before dumping your body.” I could feel the anger radiating off of him. Fuck, surely not? Surely I meant more to him than that? Did he really leave my body so exposed?
“When they brought you in, you were foaming at the mouth. They discovered Amphetamines, Cocaine and Marijuana in your system, said the combination and extended use of drugs caused your body to shut down. Cocaine really?” My dad asked with an incredulous look on his face. “Were you trying to kill yourself, bub?”
I was mortified, how could he do this? Clearly, Toni had not been to visit the entire time I’ve been asleep or my parents would know of him. Obviously, I was nothing but a fucken screw, I mean, who doesn’t at least put pants on someone before dumping their vulnerable body? I tried to sink lower into the bed as the eyes of judgement stared blankly at me. Thankfully, they had skimmed over the naked part that had me cowering in shame.
“No… dad, I was just…” I cut myself off, what do you say? I was just having a good time and fucking, a lot of fucking for free drugs?
“Okay,” he softened his tone, inhaling and exhaling deeply, “so... bub, were you... raped?”
“What?” I exclaimed.
“It’s okay, none…” I held up my hands to halt that sentence.
“Stop, before you go somewhere, neither of us wanna talk about.”
“You had no pants…” I thrust my hands up to stop him from talking again. Jesus Christ, I wonder if this counts as pain? Maybe I could wrangle some great meds out of the nursing staff? I can’t continue this shit straight.
“No, no dad, I was not... raped, at least not to my knowledge, however, as it turns out, I was catatonic at some point there. But he most definitely, has a lot to answer for as to why he couldn’t put pants on me.” My face went bright red, I could feel the heat lighting my cheeks ablaze as I covered my shame with my hands. What a fucken asshole.
“Well, we went to your apartment Lyera - ya know - to collect some fresh clothes and we discover you have not been paying your bills. Why on earth would you do that? We had to pay your outstanding rent in order to get your personal items back, not to mention the stack of bills piled high or your car, that was repossessed due to non-payment. What the hell has been going on? Where is our daughter? We respected your choice to leave, I know Mac broke…” I cut mama off immediately, my anguish as she spoke suddenly turned to anger.
“Don’t… don’t mention that fuckers name to me.” I felt a surge of hatred race through me.
“Is all this because of him? Because your heart was broken? You’re usually so level head…”
“Mama, you need to stop okay, I was having fun and got carried away, that’s it. Don’t try and make this out to be something it isn’t.” I scolded her.
“There is a difference between fun and destruction, Avaleria Jonahson, and you are on the side of destruction. This is your future.” When your mother uses your full name, you know it’s serious, but c’mon, I apparently almost died, you’d think they’d be a little nicer.
I looked up at her unimpressed by her judgement of my behaviour, I mean honestly, I was having fun, isn’t that what young adults do? Have fun? Be irresponsible and make memories?
“We are moving you home...” My top lip curled in defiance, they could tell I was seething. “Apparently, your body has been detoxing while you’ve been asleep but the moment you are released, you are coming home.”
There was no room for argument in her tone but I still tried, I was ready to fight tooth and nail over my freedom... until my Dad stepped in.
“No bub, we gave you the opportunity because of your heart but clearly you cannot be trusted, the detox was so bad, they had to strap you to the table as the drugs left your system. Do you know what it was like for us to watch that? To know how you’d been found, to think you’d been drugged and violated?”
“You make it sound as if I was addicted, I could have stopped anytime Dad, it had no control over me. And please, never mention those sinister scenarios again.” I rolled my eyes at him, clearly pissed at his assumptions on my lifestyle. “I was perfectly safe...”
“Safe? You were dumped on the ground naked?” He snapped.
“My life is not for you to control anymore...”
“Yeah well bub, your actions prove otherwise. We brought you up better than this kid, responsible, your life is a shambles. We don’t hear from you in years and the first phone call we get - all this time - and it’s the fucken hospital.” My father was losing his temper, it takes a lot to push him over the edge and I had managed to do it. “Every night we had wondered if you were okay, whether you missed us, loved us? Wondered, why you wouldn’t answer our calls, texts, emails, Facebook messages or posts, now I see why - you need to get your head sorted and screwed back on tightly, you of all people should know how much it costs for us to leave the farm, we’ve been here for weeks, thinking we would never see our child wake up.” My Dad’s fist collided with the wall.
I was stunned into silence, my mama’s big green eyes glistened with fresh tears and her dark ash blonde hair, lay limp and lifeless around her face, exposing the fact, that I had left them to worry in pain and torment over my stupid decisions.
Looking up to my pacing father, whose hair had greyed over the years but his still, sun-kissed leathery skin, looking even more prominent against this ungodly white backdrop of the hospital room. His Caribbean blue eyes meeting mine with fury and I shrunk back, desperately wishing the bed would swallow me whole. Even I was disappointed by my stupidity.
“Fine, you win but you will see, I had a lapse in judgement and was enjoying the partying so much, that I simply forgot...” trying somewhat to gain an inch of respect back when everyone in the room knew I was completely full of shit.
“We cleared your apartment, there was no option about you coming home,” my mother sneered.
After a couple of days, I was finally released into my parents care and thus, began the long journey back to my home town. Seven hours and twenty-three minutes of listening to my Dad singing country songs and my mama reading. How they managed to do it? I have no idea but what I do know, as I plugged my headphones into my ears and pressed play on my iPhone - was that I was heading back to the town where it all started. Back to the things I’ve tried so hard to run from, to bury where sunlight does not reach. The sooner I proved I was healthy, the quicker I could leave this godforsaken shit-hole of a town and all its traitorous memories behind.
I didn’t need them, those fuckers could keep them all.
Looking at my reflection in the back seat window of Dad’s black truck, the person staring back was unrecognisable. My fake platinum blonde hair had terrible regrowth, my dull empty green eyes had lost their shine, the dark circles and blotchy skin that covered my face... fuck, I couldn’t look any worse if I tried.
At least there was one positive, I didn’t have to drive all the way back - I could just relax and we could count this as a visit, leaving another seven years between this stay and the next.
I wonder how my siblings would react to my being home? Or if in fact, they knew of my return? There was only one way to find out and as we entered familiar landscape and I saw the sign that said ‘Welcome to Chadwick County,’ I internally knew my life was about to get a whole lot worse, despite the illusions I had fed myself.