Angels of Anaheim
Author's note: This was written by a dream I had. THIS IS REVISED!! It's not the same as the original, so... Show full author's note »
Chapter OneIt wasn’t the first time I’d seen Mom in this condition. She was almost to the end of her meth crash. When you do it, you’re up for about thirty-six hours, and then you go into a dead sleep for thirty-six. She’d be gone soon. But now, she was in an all-out, hellcat-style screaming fight. There was one problem. She wasn’t really fighting. Not with me, anyway. She’d scream something at me, and I’d say nothing, or say something quietly.
“This is your fault, Madison! Everything is your fault! These stupid - stupid drugs a-and my life! And…and everything else! Your fault!” she screamed.
“How is it my fault?” I asked.
“You were born! If I never married that jerk, and if I never…never had you, I wouldn’t be like this!” she screamed. I noticed she was fading fast. Her speech was slurring. She was getting tired.
“This isn’t my fault. I did not make you marry Dad. I did not make you try meth. I did not make you have me. It is not my deal,” I said, trying not to be sarcastic, but I kind of had to be. She was really starting to tick me off. I just wanted her to go to sleep and leave me in peace for the next two days. If she went on any more, I’d say I wished she wouldn’t wake up. I wanted her to die. That way, I could be alone. At peace.
“IT IS YOUR FAULT! I HATE YOU!” she screamed, fading away. She leaned back on the couch. Her blood-shot eyes were getting tired. That’s it, I thought. Just sleep.
“Well, then,” I said, trying to soothe her to sleep, “I’m sorry for screwing up your life. I’ll try to make it better,” I tried to get her to sleep, and I knew what I was saying would be forgotten when she woke up. She mumbled something inaudible as she curled up on the couch, and went into her thirty-six-hour coma.
I stood and stared at her. I could feel a hot tear run down my cheek. She wasn’t always like this. I wasn’t always like this. We weren’t always like this. This battered woman and broken child used to be a family. A father used to be here. A son used to be here.
I had a brother once. His name was Andrew. He was a year older than I was, and he was my best friend. He looked like my mother; tall, brown hair, grey eyes, a smile that made people at ease. All it took was for me to come home and say that someone said something mean, and Andrew would hug me and tell me that nothing - not even words - could hurt his little sis, Maddie. I was strong. I could handle it.
But this was broken. Broken by a single bullet. My brother was killed in a drive-by that was pointless and had no real target. The police said that he was probably mistaken for someone else. The shooter probably never knew he killed the wrong guy. And he probably never knew that he shattered a family. A father would divorce, a mother would slip into meth addiction, a sister would fall into Purgatory.
Mom got to know meth slowly. She heard rumors of how it made everything seem better. It was the perfect thing for a grieving, newly-divorced mother in Anaheim, California, with a murdered son and a torn daughter. I didn’t realize what it was then. She’d stir little rocks into her coffee in the morning. I’d ask what it was, and she’d say it was candy that made you feel good. When I asked for some, she’d say it was for grown-ups, because it would make little girls’ tummies hurt. I feel stupid, knowing now what it was.
I wiped the tears from my eyes, and went to my bedroom. I shut the door behind me, and went to the stereo. Digging out my box of CDs, I found one that fit the mood; Black Veil Brides. I slipped it into the disc changer, and hit play. I cranked it, knowing I wouldn’t wake Mom, and the neighbors wouldn’t complain because they were too drunk to realize someone was playing loud alternative music.
Fight for all you know when your back’s against the wall. Stand against the liars. Stronger than before. When your life becomes a war, set the world on fire.
I sat on the bed and listened to the music. I closed my eyes. I imaged the life that we used to have - the one that would never again exist. I wasn’t really scared for Mom. I was to the point that I didn’t care. I didn’t care if I found her dead the next morning, drowned in her own vomit. It just didn’t matter. I didn’t care about her anymore. I didn’t care about anything anymore. For all I cared, I could ingest arsenic and die. Suicide is an unforgivable sin that gets you a one-way ticket to Hell, but to me, I was already there.