1The ride

Neon lights beckoned, while the bright streetlights screamed out his name. Scorching veins pleaded with him, aching for a fix. Anxiously he stared out of window, searching the streets. His eyes poured over every corner, alley and window. Finally, his gaze fell down upon her. Jaye sighed in bittersweet relief. He smiled as she pranced out of a dismal alleyway, grinning.

Moments later Jaye was maneuvering down the fire escape. Teresia cackled in the distance. She was the most sadistic and bad ass person Jaye had ever known. Teresia dealt everything under the sun, from the monstrous meth to the mellow Mary Jane. Her high quality goods weren't always cheap. However, for Jaye, the ride was always worth the price.

Jaye approached Teresia. She had the horse, and Jaye was itching for a ride. Jaye had been hooked on heroin since his fifteenth birthday, two years previous. Teresia smiled as her pale blonde hair danced in the breeze. Jaye pulled her into a tight embrace and smiled.

"Hey Tiger," she chuckled.

"Hey. Sorry, I don't have much time to chat." He sighed. Jaye glanced up at the window of his room, his father could've been in there right then.

"Aw," Teresia teased, "All work and no play makes Jaye a dull boy."

"Yeah, well I'm on a tight leash these days. Do you have my, uh, order?" Jaye stammered.

"Almost three years and you still can't say it can you, addict?" Teresia paused and gleefully grabbed Jaye's face. "Say it with me now. 'I shoot up heroin. Her-o-in."

"Shut up, T," cursed Jaye tearing himself from her grasp. Jaye began to shiver as the breeze picked back up.

"You junkies are all the same. This shit eats away at your body, your veins, but more than anything it swallows up your entire personality. I've got your shit right here, pay up." Teresia slid a brown paper bag into Jaye's shaking hands.

"T-t-thanks." He smiled, as a wave of relief crashed over him. He glanced at Teresia. A small, soft grin kissed her lips. Concern flashed in her eyes.

"Honey, you're getting pretty bad, ya know? Not as cute as you used to be, either." Teresia sorrowfully smiled.

"Whatever. Don't act like you're not…" Jaye resentfully muttered. He tossed her a wad of cash.

"I just sell this shit, I don't do it. I see a need, I fill it."

"Yeah," Jaye sighed. "Well thanks again. I'll see you next time."

"Whatever…" With her back turned to Jaye, Teresia stalked off. Jaye watched her until she disappeared from sight. A chill shot up his spine as the breeze picked up again. He made his way back up to his window and climbed into his room. Nothing there had been disturbed, meaning no one had known he had been missing.

The following morning Jaye awoke shivering and sweat covered. He sat up and pain flooded his head. His head fell back against the pillow, as a pounding headache forced him to wince. He crawled out of his bed, drained of all energy. Below his feet the floor felt foreign. Jaye barely stood up before his knees buckled beneath him. Jaye tripped backwards and thudded against the bed.

A groan echoed through his room. Mentally, he counted backwards from ten. Slowly, Jaye slid off his bed and gained his footing. He pulled himself upward, and finally he was able to stand. Jaye fumbled his way into the bathroom.

Jaye sobered himself up with a cold shower. After which, he shook himself dry and wrapped a towel around his waist. A reflection smiled at him from the mirror. Jaye studied the figure staring back at him. He saw an average sized teenage boy with dull black hair. His pallid skin stretched tight, holding an outline of his ribs. Needle marks and scars were scattered across his arms. Glazed eyes, engulfed in red, reflected the empty place where a soul used to reside. "Weak and pathetic." He scoffed.

Withdrawal sprung again about an hour after Jaye's shower. Jaye's limbs twitched, body ached and his head pounded. He peaked under his bed and noticed scattered brown bags. The most recent bag hid there, untouched. Jaye reached past it and grabbed an older bag. He dumped its contents onto his bed. From it spilled a small baggy of speed and a vial of horse. With a smile, he tucked away the coke for a later ride.

Liquid evil smiled up at Jaye, tempting him and beckoning to the addiction that thrived inside. Jaye wanted to ride, wanted to taste the immortality. Snatching up the vial, he smiled. Aching muscles and sensitive nerves twitched in agonizing pleasure.

After tearing through his drawers Jaye discovered his bag. Inside the little black bag from hell lived his sawed off pens, syringes and a small leather belt. Jaye tied off his arm, filled the syringe and tested it. Steadying his arm, Jaye attempted to pierce a vein. When none revealed themselves he switched arms. On the first try, he struck gold. Jaye pushed down on the plunger and moments later it hit. The syringe rolled out of Jaye's hand and he let out a long sigh. The ride began and it gifted him with sweet relief. Soon the pain would all be a distant memory.

Jaye dropped down low, really low. He tripped past the deepest and darkest recesses of his mind. His consciousness settled peacefully in the darkness, just past the reach of all outward life.

After returning from his jump off the cliff of reality, Jaye found his cocaine and began drawing lines with his driver's license. He snatched up one of his sawed off pens and snorted his first line. Euphoria exploded in his mind, accelerating his already steep high. Before tucking away the remaining pale powder Jaye snorted another two lines.

Jaye was tweaking pretty bad. He twitched and shivered in excitement. Invincibility pulsed through his veins, and he throbbed with immortality. A grumble escaped from his stomach. Jaye grabbed his keys and flew down the stairs, taking the steps two at a time. He climbed into his Honda. The engine revved and purred with the turn of his key. Following the familiar streets Jaye made his way toward a nearby gas station.

Jaye stumbled into the store, stupidly grinning. Red rimmed eyes hid behind dark glasses. After scanning the shelves Jaye selected a variety of snacks. He tossed them on the counter and smiled at the cute cashier. A moment later, two policemen strutted through the double doors, chatting. Jaye busied himself by fiddling with a lighter.

"Is that all, sir?" The girl behind the register asked.

"Hmm? Um, no, grab me a pack of smokes. Will ya, sweetie?"

"Sure, what kind?" She sighed.

"It don't matter."

"I'll need to see your license."
Jaye pulled out his fake ID as the cops got behind him in line. He smiled at them. Jaye signed the receipt and nodded at the officers as he left. Adrenaline pulsed through his body as he raced out of the parking lot. In a heightened paranoia a series of "what if" scenarios spun through his brain pushing his twitching hysteria to the brink of insanity. Every other second Jaye's eyes flickered up to his rearview mirror, checking for the flashing lights. Jaye accelerated his car and sped into the street. He shot through a red light.

"Shit!" He cursed as the red and blue lights flashed from behind. Jaye sped past parked cars and almost made it home. Jaye slammed hard on the gas, thrusting the car further. The needle on the speedometer bounced. Home was visible, but the cops kept close behind him. Sirens blared loudly, and screamed in Jaye's ears. He cried out in agony as he swerved right and threw the car against the curb, slamming himself against the driver's side door. Jaye scrambled to jump from the vehicle as Fate inched closer. Dread crept up on him as he escaped from the car and sprinted toward his building. Jaye's body collided with the pavement as a heavy body tackled him from behind. More than a million thoughts crashed together in Jaye's mind. His consciousness hazed and vision blurred. A muffled voice echoed in the distance, and then the darkness engulfed him.

Moments, minutes, hours, possibly days later Jaye stirred from his deep slumber. Light flooded through Jaye's reopening eyelids. Air flowed into his lungs. On Jaye's first attempt to sit up he succeeded at failing. On his second attempt Jaye discovered handles on the bed where he laid. He used them to steady himself as he shifted his weight. Jaye's eyes began to focus. White, sterile cleanliness enveloped him. He lay in a foreign place; a frown twitched at his lips. Jaye found himself in a hospital and couldn't have been more displeased. He ran his hands down his body and discovered he was wearing nothing but boxers and a hospital gown. A wave of dread crashed over him.

Suddenly, a loud knock rang through the room, piercing the deathly silence. Someone or two stood outside of his door, waiting. Moments passed a hundred responses flooded through his mind. The pursuer knocked once more.

"Jason?" Called a voice from outside. Fear crawled from his stomach up into his throat, closing it.

"C-come in." coughed out Jaye.

"Hello, Jason." Smiled a tall man.

"Please, I prefer Jaye." He requested.

"Sure thing, Jaye. You've been out for just a few hours, any idea why?" the doctor asked.

"Um…no."

"Right. Anyway, we ran a test or two and they proved that you overdosed on illicit drugs. Traces of both, heroin and cocaine were found in your system. The two policemen who brought you were wanted to ask you a few questions. They're on their way."

"They aren't here?" Choked out Jaye.

"Oh no. I told them they could leave after my initial examination. I told them it was probably OD and I'd called them in the event of your awakening. Anything you need until then?" He smiled.

"Do I need to stay here?"

"I would recommend it."

"Can I have my clothes, then?' Jaye requested.

"Of course. All of your belongings are in that box." Chuckled the doctor. He pointed to a cardboard box on a nearby chair, before exiting the room. Jaye laid his head back and cursed his stupidity. I'm so fucked.

Slowly, Jaye swung his legs over the edge of the bed and shifted his weight so that he could evenly stand. Shakily, he walked over to the box and began to dress. Jaye prayed that his legs wouldn't collapse beneath him. Sweat beads swam down his face and he shivered.

As Jaye slid on his shirt the cops entered his room without knocking. He slid his wallet into his back pocket and slid onto the bed. He was glad to have a solid object supporting him.

"Hello Jason," smiled the younger and smaller officer.

"It's Jaye." He replied with a mock smile.

"We'll call you whatever the hell we feel like." The older and much larger officer growled.

"Ah, and you must've been the guy who tackled me."

"I'm officer Addeni and this is my partner officer Muloni. I'd like to keep this as peaceful as possible. If you'd please come down to the station–"

"No way. I'm under eighteen. I'll stay right here until my father show up." Jaye replied.

"No one's called your daddy yet, boy. The fake ID tucked in front of your real license says nineteen. You're coming one way or another." Muloni hissed as he collected his fists.

"Easy, Rich." Addeni added.

Jaye frowned at Addeni. At least if he hit me I could sue. Angrily, Jaye agreed to accompany the officers. They escorted him out of the hospital and Muloni smiled as he shoved Jaye into the patrol car.

Minutes later they arrived at the city's main Narcotics Office. Jaye followed the cops into a cramped office.

"So, Jaye, your two drug possession priors and your OD gives us enough to search your apartment, unless you'd prefer to tell us everything." Officer Addeni smiled. Jaye stayed silent for just a moment.

"Hmm…just let me think…fuck you."

"Listen up, you fucking little punk." Muloni growled, "I don't take shit. Don't try to placate me or my partner. We'll turn your shit up and down. We'll flip your life inside out, pulling out every pathetic detail, so that we can nail your ass to the wall. Do you know you ran two red lights and almost hit three cars and a pedestrian while on your little joyride?" Spat Muloni, who had been surprisingly quiet. Honestly, Jaye had not known any of that. A small sense of guilt crawled up his spine and seeped into his consciousness.

"Jaye," offered Addeni, "All this shit will go easier if you just explain everything. You might not have to do time."

"Bullshit, Ricky!" cried Muloni, slamming his fist on the table. "This punkass needs a night or two in prison." argued Muloni.

Addeni shot Muloni a glare, forcing the livid cop to back off. Jaye considered his options, discovering that he had none. Although he knew that it might've just been the standard good cop/bad cop routine, Jaye couldn't ignore his growing fear and shrinking confidence. Self-hatred flooded his consciousness and sunk in deep.

"If you search my house you'll find some pharmaceuticals, speed and horse. Maybe some pot…I don't remember. I bought smokes underage this morning and yes, my ID is fake." Jaye offered everything with no hope for anything.

"Who is your dealer?" Muloni shot.

"Uh, I-I don't know his name. I g-get my shit from all over the place." Lied Jaye.

"Bullshit, boy." Muloni spat. The burly cop's face was centimeters from Jaye's. Smoke and coffee stained breath surrounded Jaye, making him wince.

"Back off, Rich. We got all we need. He's fucked." Smiled Addeni, and at that moment Jaye agreed.