Based on the poem Dreams by Langston Hughes
“Hold fast to dreams.” This is the phrase that flashes through my mind if I think of the last few days’ decay. “Hold fast to dreams for when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow.” My life caved in about two days ago.
Stress for the exams grips me. I have only barely made it through English with a distinction. Now Science and Maths are ahead. I haven’t studied for either subject. Yet here I am, sitting at a party, as drunk as hell, in the arms of a guy I don’t even know. I’ve never done heavy drugs. Alcohol was the cheapest and easiest to procure. I’m sixteen years old, but look eighteen, so getting into a club isn’t really a problem for me. And the drinks help me to forget. My parents want me to get 90s in my exams. They keep comparing me to their friends’ kids and asking why I can only get 80s. That’s all they care for. Their dreams. I dream of becoming an actor. No, that doesn’t fit into their box. They want a doctor or a lawyer as a son. The fact that I am gay was already too much for them. The thought of that makes my stomach clench. “Order me another tequila.” I whisper into the stranger’s ear as I hop off his lap and head for the bathroom.
I retch my guts over a toilet. I want to forget. I head back to the party and swallow my tequila in one gulp. The stranger starts kissing me on my neck, but I’m too drunk to resist. I need to forget. Someone hands me a cigarette. Why not? It looks homemade. They say that’s dangerous! Oh well. I take a puff. It feels like getting detached from your body. That’s how I met Mandrax, my mistress and drug. That night, as I drove home in my mom’s car, barely able o see what I was doing, I heard it again. “Hold fast to dreams.”
I feel like hell. Science was horrible. I have a huge headache from last night and already crave another dose. “Your drugs are quick.” I mumble to no one in particular. A quote from “Romeo and Juliet”. I have nothing to do, so I head to the school toilets. Everyone knows it’s the school’s drug hub. “Mandrax.” I say to a black kid in a hoodie. “I give you cheap. Three bags 300g for R500.” I pull out the cash and hold it under his nose. “Four for R500.” I say. “Done.” He snatches the money and hands me the drugs. I was going to use the money for drinks, but the white powder gives a much better rush. Right there I roll myself a cigarette. As soon as the smoke enters my body, I’m transported away from this world. ‘Tonight is gonna be a ball.’ I think. “Hold fast to dreams.” My conscience warns.
I step into the party, already high. If you know the clubs, you’ll always have a party to go to. Soon I have my regular poison in my hand and am dancing with a hunk behind me. “This drug is taking you too quickly.” My conscience breaks through the haze. ‘Shut up. Leave me alone. I don’t need a conscience.’ I think. I take another sip of tequila and whisper into the guy’s ear, “I’ll be right back.” I head to the bathroom and smoke my second last cigarette. Wow. I went through 1,2kg like it was nothing. In one day! Maybe this is dangerous. “My body needs it.” My cravings reply. The hesitation disappears. Soon I’m on cloud 9 again, but this cloud has less control. Quickly, before I know what I’m doing, I smoke the last cigarette.
Now I see little creatures on the dance floor with me. The hunk has changed into Orlando Bloom. I’m dancing with Orlando Bloom! “This is perfect.” My twisted mind as he kisses me roughly and hard. He fiddles with my pants. No. I try to resist. No. I won’t let him! No. Orlando Bloom transforms into a devil, pulling down my pants. No. The creatures are demons. Laughing. Staring. No.
“Hold fast to dreams.” I mumble. I’m in an alley somewhere. My jeans are torn. My head hurts. Hell, my whole body hurts. I keep seeing that devil’s face as he touches me. No. please, no. in my mind I hear a voice. ‘Hold fast to dreams For when I die Life is a broken-winged Bird That cannot fly.’