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I try to convince myself that it will only be one more time, but I don't really believe that. Every single day is filled with another one of my convincing lies
The roll is in my shaking hand, mind deciding the impossible, body craving for one more drag.
When I was young child, I imagined the amazing wonders that the future could hold with open eyes. A sense of undying confidence ran through me, reminding me of my endless hopes and dreams. I could never understand how people would turn to addiction as a distraction from their horrid lives, but now, I understand.
My stomach turns with anticipation - a mix of excitement and dread. Higher. I want to be higher. And in that moment, I only have a single want. My doubt flies away, my thoughts escape me, and I focus on the monster in my hand.
I lift it up to my mouth and my lungs fill with joy as my brain rises to a point of no return.
My name echoes loudly in my ears as the roll flips from my hand and falls onto the carpeted floor. A panicked look crosses my face, but I let the monster take over and try to keep my cool. I whip my hair behind my ear, trying to flatten all the bumps. A sly smile appears on my face. My fingers linger underneath my eye to wipe any remaining makeup that may have rubbed underneath. I lift my eyes to the muscular man in the doorway.
What are you doing?
I flinch again but sit up straight to prove my confidence. I slowly shake my head, laughing while doing so, hoping trouble won't find me, not realizing it already has.
Dylan stands in my doorway with his arms outstretched, hands on each side of the opening. His head tilts forward, and his lips are pressed together tightly. His maroon t-shirt has dirt along the collar and a small dark stain below the pocket near his chest. His hair is equivalent to a bird's nest, and his forehead is crinkled in ragged lines of stress.
Does Mom know? he whispers now, shielding me with his body from the view of anyone that may walk by.
Know what? I laugh. Nothing is wrong. My hands continue to shake, but my eyes are wide open. My brain is switched on, and Dylan knows that it won't be switched off any time soon.
He closes the door behind him and sits next to me on the queen sized bed, wrapping his large arms around me and pulling my head into his shoulder. He rocks forward and backwards in miniature movements, careful not to upset me in any way. He presses hips lips up against my ear.
I can't let you do this. I can't let you go through everything I went through. Stopping is close to impossible, and I love you. I don't want to watch you get hurt.
He strokes my cheek with his soft fingers and then drops his arm next to mine. Our fingers intertwine. He moves his head, forcing me to look into his eyes.
I can help.
But what he does not realize is that help is not what I need.