Could've, Would've, Almost Did

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Jeanetta Grey sat in the corner of her room, tear-streaked makeup running down her cheeks, and she shook. Pain was overwhelming her from the pit of her stomach to her curled up toes and back up to the inside of her skull. She had never felt an intense and shockingly constant feeling of pain. It was all because she hadn't used in two days.

She whimpered like a shot dog and pulled at her hair. "Please God," she said, "Please! Make the pain stop. Don't you want me to get clean? Is this punishment for using? Do I deserve this?"

She heard a snort.

"Do you deserve this?" The voice was raspy. "Jeanie, here, I got some stuff with me. Take it, you're a mess."

Jeanetta looked up, "Kristopher?"

Kristopher stepped into the room from the open doorway, "Mhm, it's me babe. Here," he stumbled over and handed a small baggie to Jeanetta.

Jeanetta gave an open-mouthed stare at Kristopher as if he was holding a roach and was asking her to eat it.

"I can't use! Can't you see me suffering to be clean?"

Kristopher sighed and slid down beside Jeanetta. He was high. So very high it took him almost 5 mintues to respond. "Just do it Jeanie."

"Don't call me that. And get out with that stuff, I need to be clean..." She eyed the baggie. Just a few sniffs could solve everything.

"Why are you even trying? What is all this for?"

Jeanetta peeled her eyes away from the coke and pasted them to Kristopher's face, his scruffy beard and laugh lines; his eye bags and unkept hair. "I gotta be clean for me, Kristopher, I gotta."

Kristopher blows air threw his lips, "For nothing, really."

"What do you mean?"

Kristopher sighs and rolls his head. It hangs limply and he pauses, before remembering to speak. "You can have as much of this as you want. I give it to you for free, don't I?"

Jeanetta bites her lip and nods.
"So why turn it down? I give you every single thing you want and if I don't, I try really, really hard. You got a nice apartment, a nice car, food, clothes, you don't have to work...you finished high school and I could probably get you into college...maybe..." He sighed a genuine sigh, not his usual 'guilt sigh' where he could convince her to do just about anything he wanted. "What else do you want, Jeanie?"

Jeanetta's heart broke...he spoke as if he had nothing left to give her. And he was right. He pulled her from the ashes when no one else cared and he took her in and breathed new life into her. Now all he asks is she enjoy herself and stop this self- torture, but all she could do was complain?

Jeanetta looked from the baggie to Kristopher and then to her trembling hands...her withdrawn body. She couldn't handle this, at least not without a final taste of forbidden fruit.

"You know I love you, right, Jeanie? Right?"

Jeanetta nods, "Yes."

"Be happy. For me."

Jeanetta nods again and slowly takes the baggie. She snaps open the zip lock and dips her finger in the powder, brings it to her nose and breathes in...





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