I am currently at my own funeral. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? It’s weird being here. No one can see me. No one can hear me. No one here knows that I am still in their presence. I’m a ghost, obviously, in case you didn’t figure that out yet. I can see my mom crying for her only daughter… my dad is completely shut down, and my brother is nowhere to be seen.
I died from a crack overdose. Well technically, it was a heart attack, but the heart attack was caused by too much crack.
Honestly, there are two really weird aspects of my new ghost life- if you can call it that- the fact that I can think clearly and freely for the first time in three long years, and the fact that I randomly get flashbacks to my life. Sometimes, I can control it, and sometimes I can’t.
I am 21, and I lost my life because of my own stupidity. Looking back, I really wish I could have said no…
I close my eyes… I can’t bear to keep looking at them. I feel like I’m in my own personal hell hole. I can’t take this! I hear someone speaking, but I keep my eyes closed. Suddenly, I feel like I’m slipping away from everything happening around me. I open my eyes, and I hear a loud sound in my ears, everything is swirling, and I can smell the colors. I am being sucked into a hole, and everything is slipping away. Another flashback. What mistake will be thrown back in my face this time?
Suddenly, I find myself back on campus. I look around, searching for myself. When I get a flash back, I don’t relive it, per say. I watch myself as I do whatever. Among the plethora of college kids, I see myself. Eighteen, clever, and bright eyed. I am completely absorbed in my phycology book and I’m not paying attention to anyone.
I feel a cold chill run down my spine. I know what memory this is. I know what day this is. This is the day I screwed over my own life. I feel a few tears run down my face and I bit my lip. I sighed. I have to face this. I need to accept what happened to me! But that doesn’t mean I want to…
I stay a few yards away and watch my best friend, Jess, approach me, and ask if I want to go to a party with her. I watch us talk about it, and I look skeptical. But I know that I eventually agree to go.
The flash back changes. I know it’s still the same day, but it’s later in the evening. It’s a warm, breezy night, and I am standing just outside the dorm Jess and I both live in. I watch as we stroll down the walk way, talking, laughing, and having no idea what may be ahead of us. I let the two of us get ahead, and then I follow us down to another hall.
I watch as we mill about, talking, laughing, and having a good old time. Eventually, Jess and I separate. I know that I don’t know where she is. And then I see myself see him. The jerk that screwed up everything. Why did old me have to be attracted to him?!
His name is Jacoby, and everything about him screamed “attractive rebel”. He was nicely tanned, and muscular. He had jet black hair and bright blue eyes. He drew me in like a magnet. I followed me and watched my pathetic attempts to hit on Jacoby.
“Uh… hi!” the old me blurted out, “I, uh, saw you standing there and wondered if you wanted to, maybe hang out with me…?” I finished lamely.
Wow. I was really bad at “putting on the moves.”
“Hey there, baby,” he replied with a smooth grin and a wink “Name’s Jacoby. How ya doin’?” I was completely flustered and blushed.
I couldn’t keep listening to this. I walked a few feet away so I couldn’t hear us. After a few minutes, I saw Jacoby take me by the hand, and lead me to a room. Grudgingly, I followed us.
I stood in the door way as he pulled out the stuff and laid out two lines. I stood far enough away so that I couldn’t hear us. I knew by the look on my face that he had just asked me to do the drug with him. I also knew that I asked him what it was. I still couldn’t hear us, but I saw his lips from the word “Crack.” I hesitated. I was about to say no, when Jacoby leaned in and kissed me. It was long and passionate, and I knew I had never truly experienced a kiss like that. I was flustered once again.
I turned away as I leaned in to take my fill…
I was being sucked down a hole again. The flash back was changing.
I see myself flopped on a mattress in the hunk of junk I once called an apartment. The pale winter light creeps through the blinds and I watch the snow fall, trying to ignore myself… but I can’t help but look.
My face is thin and pale, my eyes sunken and dead looking, and I just look broken… Defeated. Judging by the way I’m lying, I’m probably on a crash and in need of more crack. I’m just lying there, breathing slowly, eyes closed. My hair looks like a rat’s nest. There is a knock on the door, and I leap to my feet and dash to answer it. It’s my mom, and Jess is with her.
I look at her shocked, and I look as if I don’t recognize my own mother. My mom’s eyes are puffy and she looks nervous.
“Hi sweetie,” she says clearly scared, “Can we please come in?”
I realized who she was at that moment. I looked at her maliciously and I could see the anger burning in my own eyes.
“Leave.” I commanded, “You shouldn’t be here…GET OUT!” I bellowed
My mom looks like she is going to cry, but she doesn’t move, “Come home with us,” she whispers, beginning to cry, “Please, please come home. You can beat this, I know you can! We love you, we miss you, please come home, Sugar Cube.”
Jess wrapped her arm around my mom, “Please. We need you.”
I look angrily at my mom calling me by her pet name for me. I watched myself as I turned away from my desperate mother, begging her baby girl to come home, and my friend, trying to save me from where I was.
I watch as I walk away from the door towards the bed, and my mom and Jess take this as an invitation inside. I look angrier at this.
“You don’t get it,” I snarl, back still turned, “I can’t come home. This is my life now. I feel alive when I’m high… I feel like I have worth… I feel passionate and loved-“
“Random men practically raping you so that you can feel like you have “worth” is how you want to live your life?!” Jess demands, starting to cry.
I can’t keep watching, so I turn around and close my eyes. I don’t want to watch what I know will happen next. I hear myself whip around, and start screaming at them.
“YOU’LL NEVER UNDERSTAND ME! I NEED THIS STUFF! IT COMPLETES ME, AND I FEEL WHOLE! GET OUT, GET THE F-“
“I won’t leave without you!” my mom said firmly, teary eyed, “You are my daughter and I am taking you home with me.”
“NO! IF YOU DON’T GET OUT, I’LL KILL YOU, I SWEAR I WILL!”
She looked at me in disbelief, but Jess stepped in front of her, “Then you’ll have to kill us, because we don’t want you to be alone in this pit you’ve dug yourself into.” Jess said seriously.
I listened as I screamed and ran at them with a pocket knife, yelling to get out. I knew my mom would shield herself, and Jess would try to protect her, but my mom would still be badly cut. And I knew that Jess would have no choice but to take her to the hospital to make sure she wasn’t infected by anything I may have.
I stood and cried. I really was a monster. I was awful. I tried to kill my own mother and best friend because they tried to help me...
My mother ran out the door, crying and telling me she was sorry she failed me. Jess was close behind her.
Jess was sobbing and looked me dead in the eyes, “I love you too, you know. This is all my fault… and I-I’m so sorry!” she ran off after my mom.
I slammed the door, and collapsed on the floor. I started to cry too. But I knew I was crying because of a need for crack, not for my poor mother or for Jess…Whether I like it or not, this animal was me…
A few minutes pass and trickle away like water when there is a second knock at the door. I answer with caution and then fling it wide open. It’s Jacoby this time.
“Do you have it?” I beg him
“Relax. You know I always have it,” his voice is cold and detached, “But I think you know what has to be done first.”
A strange man walked in behind Jacoby, and handed him a wad of cash. Jacoby split it in half and put each half in separate pockets.
“You know what you have to do,” he said to me, “In an hour, the cash is yours, and you can use it for what you need… though we both know the only thing you’ll be buying.”
He looked at the strange man who was eyeing me hungrily, “See you in an hour.” And Jacoby left.
I couldn’t keep watching. But thankfully, the memory changed again.
Once again, I see me lying on the mattress from before. The sun is bright and peeking through the half closed windows. I look about ten times worse than before. My eyes are bloodshot from lack of sleep, my nose is red and inflamed, I’m thinner than ever, my hair is messy, and I look like I need a bath. I look like a zombie. It’s like I’m dead, but not quite alive… at this point in time, I’m just a lump of flesh.
I am disgusted with myself. Why did I do this to me?
I watch as I lay there staring at the ceiling and mumbling to myself. I’m muttering so quietly that I can barely hear me...
I listen closer, as I don’t remember what I was saying, “I’m sorry Jess, I’m sorry mom, and I want to come home, dad. I love you, mom…” I whisper over and over
I can’t help it, and I start to cry again. Not just out of repulsion, but out of pity. I lead a sad existence… and I notice that I’m covered in bruises and cuts.
There is a knock at the door, and I don’t even bother to open it. The person lets them self in. It’s Jacoby.
“You awake?” he asks me.
I don’t reply. I only let out a soft sigh.
“Look… you, ah, worked really hard last night… I’m sorry things got so rough for you with that guy… will this make up for it?” he tossed a larger bag of crack than normal onto my bed. I said nothing, but I saw a single tear drop down my face. Jacoby said nothing else, and left.
I immediately jumped up and started preparing to get high. I turned around as I set up. I closed my eyes, and started to cry. This was the day. I died on this day. It’s really scary to think it was only a week ago. It’s scary to think that there are others more addicted than I was. I stood very still and listened to the sound of me shuffling around. I heard me take it all in at once.
A few minutes passed, slugging along like molasses.
I still didn’t turn around. I heard myself choking and gasping. I heard myself stand and stumble around.
I had to do it. I spun around, and watched myself die.
I was clutching my chest, wheezing, gasping, and shouting. I squeezed my chest tighter and with a final attempt at a breath, I collapsed, dead.
I opened my eyes again and I was back to spectating my own funeral. I looked at the faces there much closer this time. There was my mom, my dad… my brother…he’s here now… a few cousins, my aunt, Jess… and I thought my heart stopped again. There was Jacoby. I’m not sure about how I feel about him being here. I walked towards him and looked closer at him. He looks almost as bad as I did when I died. He isn’t near my family at all, but he looks like he’s been crying. Through all that, could he have cared? No. No he didn’t. If he cared he wouldn’t have kept feeding my addiction. Jerk.
I notice that there is a man sitting next to Jacoby that I’ve never seen. He looks older, and is wearing a nice shirt and pants. I look closer. He has an ID tag around his neck that says “New Hope Rehabilitation Clinic”. I feel jolted, sad and happy at the same time. Jacoby is getting clean. I smile and more tears fall. He might be a jerk, but I don’t want to see anyone else go the way I did.
I walk over to my parents and my brother. I wrap my arms around all three of them for the last time. I don’t think they know I’m here, but I don’t mind. I just need to say my final goodbye.
“I love you all so much…” I whisper, holding back my tears, “And I’m so sorry… for everything.”
Mom is crying, and dad is hanging his head, arms around my mom and brother. My mom whips around and looks right through me. Could she have heard me? I’ll never know.
I look over at Jess. Her eyes are red and puffy. She buried her face in her hands and cried harder. She blames herself. I know she does.
I walk over to her and I hug her too, “It isn’t your fault,” I mutter, “I don’t blame you. I never have and I never will. But I want you to promise that you’ll try and stop kids from becoming like me… don’t let them turn into statistics.”
“I promise,” she whispered through her tears, “I promise!”
Did she hear me? I hope so…
I sigh softly, and for the first time in a long time, I feel at peace. I feel relaxed, and I feel like everything can fall back into place. Maybe not immediately, but someday…
I feel ready to see if anything lies in that great beyond. And this is where my story must end; for no one can know what truly lies in the great darkness.
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