Slim gave me the “green light” to leave for my break. I planned on going home to surprise Scarlett. I had a good half-hour lunch break to drive the two-minute drive home and reveal to her what I had deviously acquired. I knew she would be happy with me because all of it would go to our bills and most importantly, more dope.
I was expecting nothing but hugs and kisses when I arrived. Hell, maybe even a quickie. We could make it happen. I know I could, at least.
The lunchtime traffic wasn’t too bad that day, which didn’t matter anyway, since our apartment was not but two miles from where I worked. I pulled up to a parking spot up front looking at our side porch on the bottom floor. Being on the first floor always makes moving furniture in and out such a breeze. I loved it.
I saw that our blinds had been closed, of course. We didn’t want anybody peeping-in to see what our addict selves were up to inside. I leapt out of my car seat and didn’t hit the lock button on my electronic key lock, so she couldn’t hear my horn, letting her know I was home. I wanted it to be a surprise.
I walked up the paved walkway towards our numbered door. There, standing on our “Welcome Home” mat, I did feel like it was home. My, all too familiar, butterfly friends were at it again, fluttering around, having a damn good time, in my stomach. I reached my hand to the door handle and turned the knob.
Good. I’m glad she kept the door the locked. We can’t afford to be broken into and have all our shit stolen. So I reached into the depths of my right pocket retrieving my ring of keys. Located the silver house key, stuck it into it’s fitted curved hole and turned. I heard it easily unlock, so with my other hand, I quickly turned the handle and walked straight into the closed door. It was still locked.
“What?” I said to myself. “Why would she have the deadbolt locked? …paranoid girl.” I shrugged it off and knocked twice and waited.
I knocked again, against the white metal door. This time four knocks.
“Babe, you home?!”
Maybe she wasn’t there, but then who could have locked the deadbolt?
After another minute, I started to hear a voice. Someone was speaking inside. Then it got louder and louder, until I heard someone unlocking both locks.
The door opened with Scarlett on the other side, surprised. I walked past her, excited to show her what I had burning a hole in my pockets, until I saw—
Mike…? What was he doing here?
I turned around slowly to face Scarlett. “Why were both locks locked?”
But before she could say anything, Mike chirped in quickly, “Oh, that was me, man. I have a habit of locking everything. My bad bro.”
“It’s good,” I said slowly, not knowing what to say or even think.
What had going on here? In my house. Without me knowing. There’s no way Scarlett would cheat on me, especially with Mike. Gross. He was a decent looking guy, but I’d never think she would find him attractive.
I shook off all those nasty thoughts and proceeded to tell them about what I had done at work.
“Check this out, y’all.” I smiled a big, devilish grin and emptied both of my pockets onto the clean kitchen counter top.
“Holy shit, babe. Where did you get all this?” Scarlett asked.
“It’s from something I had been planning for a long time.”
We then counted the stolen loot. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember the exact amount. I just recall it being around four-hundred dollars in 20 and 10 dollar bills, with some 5’s left over.
“I believe we are set, babe,” I told her.
It was Thursday, so we made up a plan for us to buy a bunch of dope and cocaine to do for the upcoming Saturday. So while I worked Friday, Scarlett would drive to Houston to cop the dope, so when I got off work Saturday night, we would get blasted. I’d be off work by eight, then I would head back to the house and join the party. It was a good plan and I couldn’t wait.
Saturday couldn’t have come any slower. I’d say it was long-awaited but it really wasn’t. It was only two days I had to wait, but anyway, I had made it. I was scheduled to come into work at 5 p.m., which wasn’t normal. So walking in, I could sense something was up.
It wasn’t about the safe either. I had been informed the day before they had fired Slim since money was missing and he was the manager on duty. I felt horrible. I didn’t know they’d fire him. They didn’t even talk to me about it. Not asking a single question. Slim was a cool dude. He didn’t deserve to be fired. Although, he did always complain about hating his job, so maybe I did him a favor. Oh well, I’ll put it on my list of amends for the next time I get sober.
Can’t spell addict without being a “dick.” Remember.
Something else was going on inside the store. Everybody who worked there was present. Some dressed casually, and one guy had on his pajamas.
“What’s goin on here?” I had to ask.
Everybody turned to look at me. Some even laugh.
“We’re doin’ inventory tonight. Tha’s why everyone was scheduled so late. Yep. ‘is gon’ be a long night,” replied my manager.
Fuck. I was screwed. I had to be here all night? I had plans. Important, awesome plans. What was I going to do? I had to figure out a way to get out of this. I had about three hours to figure something out.
I had gotten away with many schemes in high school. How would this be any different? Just needed to use the ‘ol noggin.
Three hours later…
My phone rings.
I reach into my left back pocket and pull out my Nokia flip-phone.
“Hello,” a few seconds pass, “Yea… WHAT!… is she okay?…” I turned to find my manager. When I spotted him, he already saw I was on the phone. I hold up my right index finger and rush outside. Everybody saw what happened.
Outside I carry on with my fake conversation as if something had happened to Scarlett. This might work, but I forgot I got dropped off at work. So someone would have to pick me up. Who better than our other heroin friend, Mike. After about two minutes of pretending to be on the phone, I walked back inside looking shocked and worried.
“Something is wrong with Scarlett! She’s wasn’t breathing!” I yelled loud enough so my manager was in earshot. I knew it sounded like a drug overdose but I didn’t care.
Everybody knew who she was. She had come in a couple times to say Hi, while my coworkers ogled her the entire time.
“What’s goin on?” My manager asked, trying to calm me down. “What happened?”
“I don’t know… That was my friend… He doesn’t know what to do so I told him to call 911. I’m sorry, but I have to go. I’ve got somebody coming to pick me up.”
“OK. OK. That’s fine. Just go ‘n’ take care uh ya girl.”
I can’t believe it. It worked. Now I just had to wait until Mike came and got me. He should’ve been there any minute.
Ten minutes had passed by with no sign of Mike. What the hell was he doing? He knew what time to be here. I planned this whole thing out to a tea. Of course, someone has to fuck up my plan.
Twenty minutes had now passed. I glanced inside the store and caught eyes with my manager. I almost freaked out. Instead, I stared back at him shrugging my shoulders like I was confused.
After almost thirty minutes he finally showed up. It was about fucking time!
I jumped into his car, and right when he opened his mouth to say something—
“Don’t!… I don’t care what the hell took you so long that you almost fucked everything up. Just drive.” My blood boiled.
So we ended up having our little celebration. A cocaine and heroin party for three. We merely sat around watching movies, taking shots every now and then. It wasn’t anything special. I found out Mike was late because they were finishing a movie. Fucking assholes. The thought of them two being together alone made me sick, so I blocked it out of my mind and forgot about it. I had another moral dilemma surfing around my brain.
I know I should’ve felt horrible about what I did, but I didn’t. I didn’t give two shits. I came back the next day telling everybody that everything was fine. “She was okay. It was merely a complication with her new medication.” They bought it. Suckers.
Not long after that, Scarlett had turned 21. I asked her what she wanted to do. Of course, she wanted to go downtown to drink on Austin’s notorious Sixth street. She didn’t even bother to ask if she could go without me since I was only 20. Nor, if she could go with Mike. It was “Hey, I’m goin’ downtown with Mike tonight.”
The jealousy raged again inside me. I had to take a couple breaths to calm my insides down. I knew she was getting sick of me being the jealous type, so I told myself to forget about it. I shook it off. Besides, I had plans of my own anyway. Some really good friends were having a little get together and they generously invited me despite the “rumors” of me being a heroin addict.
Scarlett and I both left simultaneously, at 9 p.m.
I had arrived at the small one-story house to find some of my closest high school girlfriends, Janey and Tanya, hanging out with some other friends drinking beer. I guess they didn’t believe or even heard I was shooting heroin. We had been friends since third grade. Tanya was a part of our childhood gang, the Smiley Face club, which consisted of a couple girls and I. Back then, I had all the confidence in the world but it suddenly disappeared once middle school started. These girls loved me no matter what, but I was blind to that. Thankfully, I had my ‘don’t-give-a-shit’ medicine, a.k.a. Smack.
I stayed at their house for about two hours, drinking a little bit and watching others smoke pot. I had smoked a little bit. Because of that, I started to get tired and was craving a shot of dope. I knew Scarlett wouldn’t be there, so it would be all mine. Plus, I knew where she hid it.
We always got sticky tar, that came up from Mexico, so it was nasty to handle, so we put it in the freezer to harden it up. And I knew exactly where in the freezer she stashed it.
I got back to the apartment at about 11:45. I figured they wouldn’t be back until much later, so I got comfortable and took my time. But before I got to the dope, my phone rang. It was Scarlett. “Oh God, what now?”
I answered the phone to find her hysterical. She was screaming at me for some reason.
“You cheater! You cheated on me with some slut!” Her words were sort of slurred but I could make out what she said.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, what are you talking about babe?”
“I got a random phone call from some whore telling me that she just fucked you. In a closet!”
Are you joking.
“C’mon babe, I would never do that to you, I promise. Who the hell called you—”
“Don’t you “babe” me , you asshole. She told me everything and even described your dick to me! You fucking cheater!”
“What the fuck Scarlett, I would never do that to you. There wasn’t anybody there that I would’ve had sex with. They’re like my sisters! I’m home right now, so come home. Why would I cheat on you?”
She had hung up. My heart felt heavy. I called her back.
“What?” she answered.
“Babe I am serious, I would never ever do that to you. I love you! Why don’t you believe me??.” Tears started to descend my cheeks. “If you don’t believe me, I have a knife in my hand and I will cut myself, I swear! You have to believe me.” I wasn’t bluffing. I really did have a knife in my hand that I was going to use to cut the dope with.
“You’re cutting yourself?! That’s it, I’m calling EMS.”
“No don’t—” She hung up again.
I tried calling back but it went straight to her voicemail. What the hell was going on? I didn’t sleep with anybody. And who would call saying that and then describe my dick? This all had to be a lie. But what if it wasn’t? What if someone actually called her starting shit? I felt like I was going to lose her forever. Tears were showering down my face.
In the bathroom, looking at my hideous reflection, I took the sharp knife, and gently glided it across the inside of my left wrist.
I started to question why other people did this to themselves. I didn’t feel any high or anything. So I slit it again.
I sat on the floor to try to calm myself down. It was then I heard the sirens, getting louder, then suddenly, knocks on my door.
Without any notice they opened the door and came rushing towards me on the ground. They asked numerous questions but I can’t remember what the hell they were. The last thing I remember, I was thrown into an ambulance right when Scarlett and Mike got home.
I saw her.
Her eyes widened.
No trace of blood in her face.
The drunk living dead.
They closed the back car door and rushed me to the hospital.
**FYI: The next chapter will not be posted online. I may post it later if I have more people ask or sign up, otherwise, you’re gonna have to wait until the book comes out. Sorry.**