There is a reason why I don’t like the holidays, well, Christmas, in particular. I used to love driving up and down the streets, enchanted by the millions of gleaming and blinking lights. Buying gifts for the ones I love and care for, to show them how much I appreciate them. But all the hugs and smiles the season brings seem to diminish when you only have one thing on your mind. It’s hard to be around all the joy and cheer when that thing lives and grows inside of you. It’s the insatiable taste for more, that grows powerful, while it drains your weak, wilting body.
We had been driving back and forth, Austin to Houston and back, for weeks. Scarlett and I were still living with my parents and we managed to buy enough dope to last through Christmas Eve and Christmas day, but were screwed after. We had pawned many different things we found around the house, like old computers and some of my instruments that I never played anymore. We were running out of things though. We needed jobs, but nobody would hire us until after the holidays. That wasn’t our problem though.
We were keeping our eyes on the news to watch for any weather changes when our hearts both stopped. Our stomachs sunk. We were out of dope and now we were expecting an ice storm.
In the past, I would have loved to wake up being blinded by all the ice and snow covering all the rooftops. Knowing not one place was open. Everyplace was shut down, letting us celebrate by playing in the snow and sliding down the iced streets in makeshift sleds.
Instead, I woke up sweating and shaking. Both of us were. This was the first time I ever experienced what being dope sick was like.
I couldn’t take it any longer, and it was only the first day. We prayed for the sun to come out and melt everything, so maybe we would have a chance at scoring. There was no way we could’ve gotten away with driving all the way to Houston and back, but we had met a guy who lived a few minutes away from us. He had a good dope hook-up and had made us a deal for supplying us when we needed it. But the streets were still iced over and it was way too far to walk to.
Eventually, our prayers were answered. The ice melted just enough that we were able to cop later that night. But that day was a brutal one and I never wanted to feel that horrible sickness again. I couldn’t imagine how addicts could go through days of feeling that way.
The ice melted bringing in the new year. A new year brought-in new things for us. For me, I had my family, a potential job in the works, and a new life in Austin with my love, Scarlett.
Oh yeah, and a heroin addiction. Fuck my life.
The new year did bring us some positive things as well, including an apartment, jobs, and a possible baby. Scarlett had told me that she was pregnant. I was shocked, excited and a bit worried. I was still only nineteen at the time and was not ready to take care of a kid. My parents would freak and would have to step in to help out a tremendous amount. But they were not too happy with the both of us at the moment.
They had busted us a week after Christmas while we were coming back from Houston. They had drug tests and everything. I took the drug test thinking some miracle would happen making me clean, but Scarlett wasn’t dumb like me. She straight-up just told them the truth. With that and the drug test, I had to confess too. I couldn’t tell you how angry and upset my parents were, but they definitely kicked us out of the house. By this time we both had jobs, so we were able to afford a decent place.
I was proud, in a way. It wasn’t my first time living away from my parents, but it was my first apartment, and I loved it.
However, not everything was so positive this new year. Along with the drug addiction and possible pregnancy, my mom had been harboring a deep secret.
Both Scarlett and I were at my parent’s house, one night, hanging out with my dad and the dogs. My dad was acting strangely like he was in another world. He kept trying to get ahold of my mom, who was “out with friends,” like she always was.
Every night, my mom would eat dinner, then go out drinking with her girlfriends. Sometimes, not even coming home. This was happening most days out of the week, but I didn’t think anything of it. She was just out, getting away for a couple hours each night. At least, that’s what I thought.
My dad was frantic and I couldn’t figure out why, until Scarlett told me something. When she had been staying there without me, she and my mom became good friends. One day, my mom mentioned to her that she was having an affair. Now, my dad thought he could catch her in the act, which he ended up doing that night. He caught her with her arms around some other man. I guess he took a picture or something, I’m still not sure, and then came home. That’s when Scarlett let it out and told me. This affair had been going on for the past six years.
I should’ve been angry with Scarlett for not telling me, but the hostility towards my mother was overbearing. I completely forgot that Scarlett had been lying to me (which appears to be a common theme in our relationship). All my anger was aimed at my mother, who defiled the holy matrimony between her and my dad. How could she have done this to my dad? My father is a great man. He is the most caring person I have ever met. So, how she could’ve done this to him, was beyond me.
But my dad, being the caring man that he is, forgave her.
I was high on dope, which fueled my anger more. I was livid. At one point, I grabbed a bunch of her clothes and things and threw them outside. Another time, someone told me that the “other man” was coming by to gather her things. I don’t know who told me this, but I waited in my garage with a baseball bat, just in case.
I was the first one to tell my brother about the affair, which was not my place to tell. I had brought him outside one night to tell him. He was almost sixteen at the time. Apparently, my parents had been fighting for a long time, but weren’t going to talk about separating until he was out of high school. I had ruined that. I believe he still resents me for it. He had already hated me, for being an alcoholic, going to rehab, and now being a heroin addict. So this didn’t help.
After I told him, he started to cry. I didn’t understand, so I asked him why he was crying. He should be angry, like me. There, I understood how much he cared, for all of us. What was I doing? I was not in the right telling him my parent’s business. I then, realized I was being a horrible brother and awful son. I still get emotional looking back at this moment.
I still love my mother and brother more than ever today. My father is my hero. For his personality and his huge heart. After all that mess, he still paid for my mom. He paid for her new apartment and her credit card bills.
Shortly, my mom stopped seeing the other guy and started attending church. Her life was now dedicated to our family and God.
Eventually, she was let back into the house with my dad, sleeping in my old room. But there’s a lot that happened before she was let back in. So, in the meantime, for my story’s sake, she’s staying in her new apartment, while Scarlett and I are also in our new place.
The next couple of months are a blur to me. I know they were spent working my job at a commercial video store and getting high with Scarlett, with many trips to Houston and back.
However, I do remember coming across a great deal of money, though…