After that, I don’t quite know how many times I found love although I’m positive there was at least once more because the very act of meeting this man completely turned my whole world upside-down. And afterward, there was no flipping topside.
John Sadie was a sadist, and I can still remember the first time put the Gun to my head. I felt the cold steel sting against my cheek, made colder by the singe of his Boston accent. “If you ever leave me,” he hissed, “it’ll be the last goddamn move you make.” I remember the fear and the tension in my muscles finally subsiding after the Needle numbed the spot on my temple, still ringing with exhilaration long after he took the Revolver away.
In spite of his madness, Johnny was always my favorite because he made me feel special. Out of everyone, I knew that he loved me the most. He loved me so much that he’d kill me if I left him. He made me feel safe, and yet, I was too blinded by pain to realize that what I really loved was the Needle he kept sticking in my arm. Maybe I knew it all along. Maybe Johnny wasn’t really in love with me and he was just too cracked out to notice. Maybe he knew that I was the only person who could even stand to try and love him back. And maybe that was enough. Regardless, our relationship was the wildest ride I’d ever been on- and I’ve smoked a lot of meth.
I remember our last Christmas together- probably because it was also our first. It was the autumn after I had turned nineteen when I first met him, and it was also the first time I had met my good friend Tina Turner (our codename for meth) who didn’t exactly improve my overall state of mind. Not that it mattered with Johnny. He had a way of altering reality all on his own.
Johnny never liked to stay in one place for too long, and I would have followed him anywhere. I was his passenger, he said, because I was always letting him take the wheel. Sometimes I thought he saw me as nothing more than a pawn in his scheme to utterly destroy his own life. Little did he know, I was actually the one driving.
“Sammy,” he whispered, pressing his lips to my ear, tracing his finger up the definitions in my stomach, “you got the most beautiful ribs.” I felt his tongue slip inside, and I cringed at its clammy touch. He loved to watch me squirm. I grasped at the cheap polyester sheets, trying to ground myself against his advances, but it only made him hunger for more. He reached his bulging arm around and seized my throat, smacking my head into the wall. “Don’t you ever get fat on me.” His eyes burned bright as I watched his pupils dilate.
I laughed. Yeah, right. I didn’t eat enough to gain weight. I barely ate enough to support my skin from caving in on me. I didn’t have much need for food anyway- Tina took care of that for me. Besides, the taste of anything other than gasoline or chocolate made me sick to my stomach. And like he had just said- I’d better not get fat. We all know what happens when someone pisses off Johnny. I would undoubtedly find myself eating the rest of my meals through a straw.