Alicia laid on the floor, tears rolling down her cheek. Vision clouded from the smog lingering in the room, she stripped to her underwear, escaping the heat the smog accompanied. The constant thumping from the music did nothing to ease her headache. A sudden chill ran down her spine as a voice called out to her.
“Want another hit?” the voice called out.
“I wanna go home, Derek.”
“What are you talking about? You are home.”
She scoffed, rolling her eyes.
“You always get like this. One minute you’re down to hit it, the next you’re up ranting about how you want to go home. You complain about how the world is moving too fast and wish for a button to pause time. When will you understand the world doesn’t revolve around you?”
Grinding her teeth, she rose, stumbling around the room that twisted and turned with every step. Raising her hand, she slapped the pipe from Derek’s hand.
“You know nothing about me!” she snapped. This is not me. This is not who I am. I’m better than this. I used to have dreams, goals, aspirations, I—“
“You threw it all away for a little blower dust. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Take a look around. Tell me what you see.”
She scanned the room, struggling against the gravity that weighed on her eyelids. His words replayed like a broken recorder. She swayed back and fourth as the poison worked itself into her system. A rancid odor hovered over the dirty dishes stacked in the sink. A naked bed rested in the middle of the room as spoons and broken needles littered the floor.
“Nothing, I don’t see anything out of the ordinary.”
“That is where you are wrong. This is a paradise, a place where all you have to do is relax, take a hit, and allow the blower to handle the rest. Alicia, the pain and agony of the outside world don’t exist here. The blower takes it all away.”
His words strangled her. Now, drug induced memories flooded her head. Back then she had everything she could have ever wanted—friends, popularity, even a future—but somewhere in the midst of it all, she began to falter. The pressure became too unbearable to handle as the responsibilities weighed heavy on her shoulders.
That is when Derek came into the picture with his devilish grin. Walking up to her with slick black hair and an I-don’t-care attitude, he was a recipe for disaster. She should have the seen the signs. Everyone warned her, yet he hid his malicious intent behind his tenderness. The white powder promised a better life, a way to escape the pain residing in her heart. He was nothing more than a false prophet carrying not an escape, but a toxin capable of destroying the mind and putting the poor fools who consumed it in a hypnotic state. Shivering, the word paradise sickened her to the core. No paradise existed here, only hell accompanied by misery. Alicia, coming to her senses, scurried across the room, gathering her belongings.
“What are you doing?” Derek asked.
“I’m leaving. All of this is wrong, I should not be here.”
“You’re not making any—
“You tricked me! You lied to me! This is all your fault!”
“Oh come now, let’s not be so naïve, shall we? Let’s think for a moment, everyone told you I was bad news. They said avoid him, he’s useless, but you wanted this. You wanted to be with the bad boy. You knew what you were getting yourself into. You chose to stay. Like a moth to a flame, you were drawn to me. Now, every once in awhile, little Miss Alicia cannot handle the depths of this inferno—the depths of your own hell. Face it this is your fault.”
Derek’s words hit hard for there were truths behind them. Alicia questioned herself. Is she the one who lived in denial this entire time? The blower provided her sanctuary, sending her into a realm of eternal bliss. There, right and wrong were nonexistent. Only happiness and peace could be found. She stumbled while getting dressed, fighting off the toxins plaguing her mind and filling her head with delusions. Tears continued to fall as the truth sank in. This is her fault. Leaving everything behind, she chose the dust to bring an end to her pain. She collapsed on the floor.
Derek sighed. “Alicia, baby, c’mere,” he said, pulling her close. “Now, you know you’re my girl. Yeah, the things I said a minute ago, they weren’t true. I knew you wanted this and I should’ve stopped you before things got out of hand. You have an entire future ahead of you. If you want to leave I will not stop you.”
Alicia’s heart raced. Thoughts rushed into her head. The door seemed so close. Freedom was so close. She bolted.
“I love you,” he said.
Ignoring him, she continued into the darkness. The cold winter air stung her cheek, freezing the fallen tears. She couldn’t feel the broken tree branches tear away at her soles. The moon hovering above illuminated her path and the howling of wolves in the distance fueled her to hasten. Soon, she stopped. Disoriented, Alicia glances to the left, then the right. I have to escape. I have to. She thought to herself. If I don’t then I will never be free. Suddenly, the moon became a bloodshot red as the trees took on faces. The hanging limbs reached out to her, pulling her close, chanting her name, constantly taunting her. Haunted by these visions she continued on, rushing through the forest, trying to escape the voices ringing in her ears.
A cabin emerged ahead. Overwhelmed with bliss, she ran towards the door. A man with slick black hair answered.
“I love you,” he said, handing her a pipe.
“I love you too baby.”
Alicia and has left her life behind for her boyfriend who has gotten her hooked on drugs. When she realizes that this life is one she does not want to live. She soon finds that some addictions can't be broken.