Nighttime has always been my demon. I love the darkness, but as soon as the sun sets, I feel like things are crashing down on me. During the day, I never lusted for the drug as much as I did at night. Some nights were unpleasant, some were hell, there was no way to tell ahead of time, they just were what they were.
One night at work, I was getting increasingly paranoid and nasty to be around. The walls of the warehouse were looming in on me, and the light from the flourescents was making me nervous. Everyone was getting a bit frustrated with my moodiness, and so Cai offered to make up a syringe of heroin for me. Naturally, I accepted. Jeremy protested, but it was obvious that he was irritated with me, and if the drug would calm me down, then he would gladly let Cai stick a needle in my arm. James, who usually frowned upon his workers getting high at work (ironically) merely said, “If she can’t work, then you have to take her run, Cai.”
Unfortunately, the drugs did very little to calm me down, so I reached into my pocket and took out the bottle of painkillers that I always kept there. I popped three, maybe four, and put the bottle away. When even these did nothing to calm my nerves, I took two more. Then there was a line of cocaine and three more painkillers.
It was, by far, the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.
I didn’t realize anything was wrong until I felt that it was impossible to keep my eyes open. My hands weren’t really working, they just felt numb. Jeremy was the first to notice. He shook me, and when that proved fruitless, he slapped me and said, “Come on. You need to stay conscious. We’re going outside. The rain will help clear your head.” Then he grabbed me by the waist and leaned me against his hip as he half walked, half carried me outside.
The rain did prove beneficial, and I leaned against the wall of the warehouse and lifted my face toward the heavens. Jeremy’s idea had been a good one, but he had forgotten that not only was it raining, it was also only thirty-five degrees out. I quickly became extremely cold, but eventually even the cold gave way to numbness. Time passed, I’m not sure how much, but I slowly became aware of the fact that Jeremy was crying.
I tried to ask him why, but my lips wouldn’t work. It was then then that I understood, my clouded mind had finally processed what was going on.
I was dying.
It didn’t take a genius to understand that I was overdosing. My body was shutting down, and there was no way for me to stop it. Jeremy knew that he was about to witness the death of one of his friends, and he could only stand there uselessly. Somehow, I managed to spit out the words, “Go inside.” I didn’t want him to be here when I either choked on my own vomit or collapsed.
“Please. I don’t want you here when it’s time.”
“I’m not leaving.”
I found myself unable to speak again, which I took to be a bad sign. I became unaware of everything but the touch of the rain against my skin. The whole world was black and silent. I was at peace. There was no pain, no fear, just the rain caressing me.
Until Jeremy shattered it.
He had grabbed me and a tight embrace and put his head against my cheek. He managed to say through his tears, “Don’t leave me. Oh god, please don’t leave me.”
“Why?” It was a stupid question, but it was the only thing that I was capable of saying.
“I care about you very much. Promise me that you’ll fight, that you won’t die.”
“I can’t promise that.”
“Please. I’m begging you. Please.”
I was silent for a bit, but eventually the words came.
“And I’m sorry.”
I held him against me, and in my heart, I knew I had just made a promise that I couldn’t keep, so I just kept saying, “I’m sorry.” over and over again.
I was sorry for taking too much.
I was sorry for hurting Jeremy.
I was sorry for making a promise I couldn't keep.
I was sorry for lying.
I was sorry for not saying what I knew I should have said.
But most of all, I was sorry for dying.