I used to be so naive. I used to think that everyone I came across didn’t have a single bad bone in their body. That is… until I had the pleasure of meeting you. Now, I say pleasure somewhat lightly because although I’ve, since, gained certain knowledge I would have been better off without, I can’t completely say that knowing you altogether has been a regret.
You have a way with words and I deemed you as another sweet talker. For one, we’d never held a conversation which extended beyond, “can I have change for a twenty?” or “what’s the password this week?” I never thought too much about it. In fact, months had passed and just like it had been the previous month, there’d been no progress in our dialogue. We were simply two individuals who didn’t put much effort into getting acquainted with another.
It’s so strange to think back and realize how long we had put off actually holding a real conversation. Somehow, conversations began to happen regularly. You liked to joke around a lot, which I caught onto quickly and willingly played along with. The foundation of our friendship began to spurt just like poppies: laid out there depending only on ourselves to start somewhere. Soon enough, there were days I began to look forward to seeing you; work started to become worthwhile -at least for those five hours.
Over time, as with all relationships, it hits a certain peak and thereafter, it begins to dwindle; sometimes quickly, sometimes not, sometimes it just stops abruptly and other times, it stays lingering. Where ours fall, I’m not too sure…
I met your whole family; at least most of your dad’s side. It was completely random and I was absolutely put in a situation way outside of my comfort zone. Yet, you were there to reassure me that everything was alright and even though your family barely knew who I was and was also taken aback to the fact I was Asian, they welcomed me with open arms. But I haven’t been back to see them since that day.
With all flowers, poppies start from a bud and slowly open up to reveal itself. That was you. You were so mysterious in my eyes and I suppose that’s what I was attracted to; I wanted to break into your shell and figure you out. Eventually, you did and the truth came out… voluntarily. You opened up about your day to day routine of getting high and shooting up every chance you got. You paced around the room giving me details of how hard it was to function without ice; you just couldn’t handle coming down from that type of high.
I can’t forget that night; the more you spilled, the bigger my eyes widened. I knew you had secrets, but never did I imagine they would be this serious. I knew nothing about drugs and most definitely nothing about meth. I guess you realized you were saying too much. I heard the frustration in your voice when you said aloud, “Why am I even telling you this?” I learned a lot that night… and the following nights. I began to make it a habit every night, after we got off, to talk about your past.
I woke up one day with this terrible dream, and I still remember exactly what happened.
I went to the bank to deposit about $300-400. Why was I even carrying around that much cash to begin with? I remember placing my wallet on the teller’s counter, and I suppose I just forgot it. I walked off and it didn’t occur to me until later that I misplaced my wallet. I called the bank about it and when they looked on the cameras, they realized the bank teller was the one who had taken my wallet. Anyway, the bank gave me $600 to make up for the money I lost… even though it made no sense as to why they exceeded the amount I lost to begin with. Next thing I remember, I was home -or at least what I presumed to be my house, although it looked nothing like any home I’d ever been to before. I went up the stairs to the my room and when I opened the door, there was a girl (the bank teller) sitting on my floor with syringe in her hand, getting ready to shoot up. She looks up at me, all sorts of dazed and I completely freaked out. For some strange reason, I ran into my closet and locked myself in there while this woman was sticking herself in my actual bedroom.
The dream completely bothered me and set my day off. I told you about it and all you said was how you’ve traumatized me. The next day, I found myself on Netflix and I somehow brought myself to watch some meth documentary. I kept absorbing all this information about this drug because I was so curious, yet so scared. It started to become a reality to me that people like you existed, and to be honest, it scared the hell out of me. I accepted your past, just as you should accept any extra baggage that anyone you care about has with them. But this sort of baggage was more than I ever expected anyone dumping on me.
Did you know that when poppy flowers bloom, they quickly die? And did you know that right after I felt our friendship was at its highest peak, you lost my trust? All it took was one lie and it just so happen to be a big one.
You told me you scratched your arm putting up Christmas lights at your grandma’s house. But when you finally had the courage to pull up your sleeves, what I saw didn’t resemble scratches. The green, blue and purple ran up your forearms; I touched all the tiny pinholes that surrounded a few of your veins. I cleaned your arms with alcohol wipes while all you could do was avoid looking up at me. After placing those tiny band-aids over the holes that were still seeping from your weekend activities, I started to walk out the door. Still… you hadn’t looked up; you couldn’t face me knowing you disappointed me. “I’m sorry you had to see that,” was all you could say. I stopped at the door and mumbled, “Just don’t lie to me ever again.”
Days, even weeks, after that night… I’d constantly check your arms and ask if you were anywhere near drugs. You would tell me about your cravings and how badly you wanted to give in, but you slowly began to control yourself -something you’d always had trouble with. I knew you wanted to prove to me you were stronger than the drug itself. I could see in you that you were trying.
But like many things in life… there is an end. You quit the job and disappeared. You started hanging out with your junkie cousin and her junkie boyfriend. We all know where that led to. Your whereabouts are unknown to me. I tried to keep tabs on you every now and then. Your own father relied on me for any slight information on you. Now, you’re nothing but a memory to me. From time to time, I think about how you randomly asked me, “you gave up on me, didn’t you?” and how it had caught me off guard. I didn’t give up on you… I was just foolish to think that I trusted you enough not to give in.
But I was wrong.