Pipe cleaner

January 30, 2018
By ,

A loud ringing disrupted my calm Saturday morning. I looked at my mom’s phone screen, it said incoming call from “Mom.” I yelled at Mom, “Your mom is calling!” She walked out of the kitchen to answer it. I didn’t think anything of it, so I continued watching the morning cartoons. I look back at mom, I will never forget the look on her face. She looked like she had just seen a ghost. She tells me to go get James, her voice is shaky and scared. I run upstairs to get James. When we get downstairs mom tells us something that I never wanted to hear. My mom says with sad eyes and a shaky voice “grandpa is dead.” You know that feeling when you can’t feel your heart beating and you can’t remember how to breathe? That’s how I felt. We get in the car and mom is too shaken up to drive, so James drives, speeding the whole way. The normally 10 minute drive to grandma’s feels like it’s taking forever, as if time is frozen. We get to grandma’s house, and there’s police and paramedics. This is really happening. I had so many questions. How? Why him? Why would “God” do this to us? Grandpa doesn’t deserve this. I just lost everything. We saw him on 4th of July, only three days ago.
A month goes by, and time still seems irrelevant. It feels like everything is going in slow motion, but somehow things manage to get worse. James is doing the worst. He doesn’t know how to cope. His behavior is changing; he’s not the brother I remember him being. I found multiple bottles of pills in his room and none of them have his name, they all have Grandpa’s name on them. There’s a collection of Vicodin, Oxycodone, and Morphine. “Why is he taking those?” I ask myself. I don’t say anything about it because he would get mad. This must be why he’s acting so weird. As time goes by James keeps getting worse. I have found random straws with traces of a white substance on the inside. I found a pipe in his bag, but it didn’t look like a normal Marijuana pipe. It looked like a straw but the end of it had a little “bulb”. I looked it up on the internet, and it was a crack pipe. Why would James do this? He knows what it did to Dad. Mom left him because of his addiction. How could he do drugs when he knows the effects they have? How do I bring this up to mom? Will she even believe me? The first time I told mom about dad doing drugs, she didn’t believe me, so why would she believe me this time? I decide not to tell. I’ll give it a few weeks and see what happens.


It’s been two weeks since I found the pipe, and something bad happens. It’s 3 am and I get a call. I answer it half awake. James is calling. He’s talking fast, and he sounds scared. Now I’m fully awake. He says that someone is trying to kill him. I ask him where he is as I grab my keys. I put the keys in the ignition, but the car won’t start. I try again, nothing. I try again, nothing. Once more. It starts. I speed to where he is. I see red and blue lights flashing around him. “Oh f***” I think to myself. I get out of the car. I tell the officers that I’m his sister. Officer Smith tells me that James kept saying “They’re going to kill me! He’s going to kill me!” There was nobody trying to kill him. I thank the officers as I help a strung out James to the car. I turn to him. His body is slumped in the passenger seat and his eyes are barely open. I ask him “what is it? what’s your drug of choice?” He manages to pick up his head and say “It started with Grandpa’s pills and then I got hooked on meth.” I sigh and say “What would grandpa do if he knew what your were doing?” He looks at me with teary eyes and says “He would kick my a**.”






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