"You don't exactly seem like the kind of person who does drugs," Alex said to me. The empty hallway loomed ahead of us as we walked the back way to lunch.
"What do you mean?" I asked him, turning my head to study his profile. The scar, small and hardly noticeable, I realized I had never asked him about it.
He thought for a moment, then said, "Well, first of all you're smart, and you don't look all scruffy and skanky like most junkies do."
"That's actually just a stereotype," I said adjusting my purse on my shoulder, "some of the richest people are junkies 'cause they are the ones who can afford the heroin."
"I guess, now that you mention it, that kinda makes sense," he nodded his head and met my gaze before continuing, "and then there's that guy you go out with, he fits the stereotype from what I've heard"
"Yeah," I said now throwing a quick glare in his direction, "he has a name, he's not just that guy."
"He doesn't deserve the respect of a name," Alex told me narrowing his eyes, "I can't stand him, and I haven't ever met him."
"Whatever," I said, "enough on this topic, move on."
"No," he said. He stopped walking and turned to face me, "Look at this." He took my hand and pushed up the sleeve of my hoodie to my elbow. I reluctantly looked down at my own arm. I knew he was right.
There was a bruise, shaped distinctly like a handprint around my arm, "You're covered in bruises and we've avoided this topic too many times, and this," he pushed up my sleeve further and touched the inside of my elbow. I saw the track marks from the needles, the heroin.
"It has to stop; and I know how you make the money for the shit. I've seen you on the streets downtown, it has to stop." He looked me in the eyes and let my arm fall back to my side. We both heard footsteps and looked. A kid, a freshman by the looks of him, had just turned into the otherwise empty hallway. Alex quickly took a step away from me, but continued to stare me down. I yanked my sleeve back over my arm, covering the evidence. I turned and ran down the hallway, back towards where we came from. I felt there eyes on my back, both of them; the confused freshman, and Alex. The tears were already stinging my eyes, threatening to overflow onto my cheeks. Alex, being as athletic as he was, caught up to me as I turned into the next hallway. He caught my shoulder and pulled me back to the original hallway, which was empty again.
"Bev," he said, "it will be okay, just let someone help."
"No." I turned away from him, now the tears were falling. I quickly wiped them away and walked away, leaving him standing there. I opened the door to the restroom. I went in and looked at myself in the mirror. At first, I saw the normal thing, a round face, hazel eyes, long brown hair. Then I looked closer, looking for something different. I saw it then, sunken eyes, sunken cheeks, cheekbones sticking out. My eyes, cloudy, pupils small. It was all covered in makeup, but underneath I could see the bruise from just last night forming on my jawbone; and the scar, underneath my eye, again from Jared. I knew I needed help, I knew I needed to stop. Really, I knew Alex was right, but there was always an excuse.