The lightness from the phet inside my head gets replaced by darkness. I can feel it; a weight behind my eyes. Suffocating me. Dying on the inside once more. Often, I wish I could close my eyes and never open them again. I don’t want to die; I just want to make it all stop. Something to fill the gaping hole inside.
Karla is in the bathroom while I get dressed in the bedroom. I wonder what I’m doing. Why I’m doing it. I have no desire to be with Karla, but then I have no desire to be with anyone.
I have to leave before someone in her house wakes. She lives with her parents. I don’t want them to catch me. I don’t want them to know my face; to familiarise themselves with who is sleeping with their daughter.
Part of me wishes she would leave me alone. She wants more than I can give. More than I am capable of. She wants the world and I am nothing more than a waste of her time. Yet I cant end it. Part of me craves the fact that she wants me. What if I was to leave fully and it was a mistake?
Karla comes back out of the bathroom and I tell her I have to go.
“Can I see you tomorrow?” She asks. I don’t really know. I give a non-committal nod. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing tomorrow. I just want to go home.
I say my goodbyes, but I don’t end it with a kiss. She waits for one. I feel it. But she’s just like everyone else, waiting for what she wants and not seeing what it is I want. Not that I know. Everything feels pointless.
I get back to our flat and Joanne says nothing as I get in and it’s after 6am. She doesn’t care either. A quick stop off at the fuelling station on my way home for cigarettes and she’s happy. Of course when I walk through the door it’s as though she didn’t notice I was gone. The place is spotless. She and Angela are sat smoking and chatting. The overflowing ash tray sits on the table. I throw her a new pack as I pop my head around the door before going to my own bedroom to gain my happiness again.
Its almost an instant lift as I take the phet. Like pressing a button inside my mind and everything feels great again. The adrenaline up along my spine clears away the darkness and I feel normal once more. Normal enough that I go and join Joanne and Angela. Normal enough that I can sit and talk and I don’t really care what we talk about. Usually men with Joanne. She laughs and jokes.
Between the chaos, the days just go passed. It feels as though we have sat there the entire time. I haven’t seen Maz, but that is not unusual either. She takes days of rest, days away from this life where she sleeps. I don’t blame her. Sometimes I wish I could do the same. To close my eyes and sleep the days away.
Five days I have been going on the phet. I can smell it on my skin. My body sweats it out. We just have a little left now. The money is all gone. Woody came around and gave us what we needed. He went away pleased with almost three hundred pounds in his pocket. I have cigarettes and phet, I don’t need anything else. Will is still at his mother’s. Colin is with us and he doesn’t seem to mind that we have been awake the entire time. Mark has been a few times to take his brother out. Part of me gets on edge when I see him. Maybe today will be the day the police catch him here. I haven’t seen Phil or Becci. I wonder what he thinks of his car.
Joanne and I sit in the lounge. It’s morning. That itself always feel strange to me. When I have been awake all night and we watch the new day come in, it feels as though I’m outside of the world. Like I am watching people on the inside get up and do normal everyday things. They missed the new day come in. How strange for them. They went to bed and when they wake, it’s all different.
“We have a bit of money left,” Joanne says. “Shall we get some more phet?”
My mind screams yes, I want to. I don’t want to feel the darkness. But I know I need to rest. Five days, my jeans are loose. I can feel my bones. Maybe another day and it could fix everything. Fight away the dark. Not listen to my father tell me I am fat.
I sit on the sofa and turn on the television. The week’s daytime television is just beginning. I can hear my cat, Sooty. I haven’t seen him for a few days. He’s crying in the hallway. Joanne is on the sofa opposite putting on her shoes. l go to get the cat while she goes out for more phet. But I turn to stand and he is there. Behind her.
I lose control in that moment. He’s right there. I see his face. Just as I did when I was a child. The bad man. The man of my nightmares. The one who came to my room every night. I scream and back myself away as fast as I can. Joanne stands up. She is screaming at me, but I’m not looking at her. I’m looking at him. His eyes, his smiles. The darkness that is there, it holds his intent. No one can help me. He’s blocking the door and I can’t get away.
I can’t breathe. I clutch my chest. It is tight. Joanne grabs my arms. She shakes me. Asks me what’s wrong. I pull away from her. I have to get away. I look at the door he has gone. I can’t hear sooty. Maybe he killed him. I remember the cat. The one in the woods. Just the same. Its black and it can’t get away and the man killed him.
I move back from Joanne. I can’t get the air in. I’m going to pass out. I know it. I can’t breathe. “I’m calling an ambulance,” she says as I clutch my throat to try and get air. I shake my head and tell her no. They can’t come. They’ll know about the phet.
“What’s wrong?” She yells at me.
I’m shouting. She can’t understand. I can’t get the words out enough for her to get them. I gasp for breath. I shout. “He’s there, and point at the hallway. No one is there.
I get to the window and open it. Joanne yells at me again. “What are you doing?”
“He’s here,” I shout. I can’t shout hard enough to make him go away. I can’t make Joanne understand that he is there. I can see him. In the shadows out in the hallway.
“I’m going to call the ambulance,” she says to me again as I try and hold myself up. The room is spinning. I need air, but I can’t get it. My throat is closing. I can’t breathe deeply enough. Joanne gets the phone and I take it off her.
“No,” I say. I smash it down onto the table so she can’t call. She can’t call anyone. I watch for him at the door. The bad man. I can see him.
“I’m going to get Maz,” she yells at me. She is crying. “Stay here.”
Joanne leaves, but I can see him there. His eyes in the darkness. The silhouette of him. Like in the dark when I was little. The way he stood at the end of my bed before he got me. When I was little and couldn’t fight him off. When he did what he wanted and no one came.
I’m crying and screaming and yelling at him to leave. He doesn’t move. I open the window more and get my foot out of it. I don’t care that it’s the top floor. I need to get out, I won’t fall. It’s a big ledge. I’m half out the window. I can hear him. He’s making sounds like before. Like a growl.
I hear all the noises in the kitchen. I don’t know what it is. I get more out of the window ready to jump. No one can get me if I jump. It’s better than him. Better than his nails and his teeth and the things he’ll do to me.
Maz runs into the room. She doesn’t come very close. She shouts my name, but I can’t come in. But he’s gone. I can’t see him now. Maybe he is hiding. Maz walks slow to me. She puts her hands out. She is crying too. “Please don’t move,” she says to me. Joanne is with her. She stays behind.
Maz moves forwards. She grabs my hand and pulls me in. She wraps her arms around me. I can’t breathe still. She sits me down, she doesn’t let go. She lies down with me and wraps herself around me.
“He was there,” I try and tell her, but my words don’t come out.
“Don’t try to talk,” she tells me. She runs her fingers through my hair. I close my eyes and let go. “You’ve overdosed.”