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Powdered Neverland

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“You've got two black eyes from loving too hard, and I'm not even sure I recognize you anymore,” the voice echoed in my head like a mantra.
Somewhere in all the flashing lights, I got wrapped up in the red carpet, and I never went back. I never wanted to go back, and the part of me that did stayed for him, for James.
James was flawless, rounded at every edge just perfectly but sharp to the touch. He made me everything that I was: a celebrity, a star, fame hungry, addicted.
I remembered the first time like it had been singed into my brain. “Just a little bit and everything goes away. All the pain, all the hurt. Just a little can make you fly,” persuaded my impostor Peter Pan as he lined up the white powder before us carefully with a razor blade.
And like Wendy, I flew to Neverland holding the hand of a stranger. It was euphoric, the feeling that came with the drug. My veins throbbed in my arms, lapping up every last morsel greedily with the urgency of a starving stray. And of all the lies that James told me, his description of the feeling I would have was not one of them. It was a pure, comforting numbness, the kind of numbness you feel after being out in the cold for a long time. At the end it felt more like the fizzing sting of a warm fire melting away that same cold.
I had everything: money fame, and love. Or at least the facade of all three. My brother had come to visit once leaving me with my incessant mantra. It was the night after James had had a bad trip, leaving me bruised and bloody. I had refused to leave with my brother that day, and he thought me cruel and stupid for it. He had lurched from the ottoman in disgust, feet pounding hard against the hard wood floors. I followed him, throwing sun glasses over my bruised, swollen sockets.
Heels clicking on the concrete I yell, “David, stop!”
Without turning he sang back to me like a vicious mockingbird, “Black car, black heart, black soul!”
I stopped dead, the words slicing through me as I watched him disappear into the busy streets of Los Angeles. I couldn't give up. Not on the love of my life. My only true joy.
James once again indulged in his addiction. I was on the couch drinking a glass of wine, coming down from my own high, when I heard him opening the blinds.
“They're out there. I know they are,” he rambled, pacing the room. Sweat dripped from his shaky hands.
“James, there's no one there, love,” I spoke calmly.
“You lie! Stop lying!” he screamed.
“James?” I touched his arm, and with that light touch I snapped something in him. His perfectly manicured hands wrapped around my pale throat, and I fell back into the wall. Of all things I took for granted, oxygen was the most neglected. My unblemished skin paled further until it looked nearly translucent. My body struggled to pull in air, my gasps a futile attempt.
With such force that I swore had never existed before, James threw me into the window. Like an angel falling to earth with all the glittering stars around me, I fell three stories from our apartment with a trail of glass in my wake. And I smiled, realizing that's what it felt like to fly.
As I landed on the hood of my black Ferrari, the mantra rang in my ears, a solemn reminder. “You've got two black eyes from loving too hard, and I'm not even sure I recognize you anymore.”
How funny, I thought, the pain fading away to the same numbness I felt that first time, that crimson looks black in this light.

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