You open your eyes because of the ominous thundering outside. You see the rain rapping against the window harshly, cascading waters flowing heavily. The wind is howling outside. But that is not what you notice first and it is not what you had expected. You expected him to be there, smiling at you as the sun shines into the little flat you shared. But he is not even there, nor has he smiled at you for a long time. You hurriedly get out of bed, ignoring the pain that shoots up your arms covered in needle marks, and calling out for his name hoarsely. Your voice is scratchy and so hoarse that you are almost inaudible. Even if you continue to call for him, he does not respond. You are curious as to why he is nowhere to be found in the flat. You grab the only clean clothes you could find; clean being not covered in blood or vomit. But then you notice that his clothes are gone as well. You look around the bedroom for his things but there is nothing left but the broken picture frame on the night stand.
You are frantic now. Where is he? Where has he gone? Where are his things? Nothing is left to show that he was ever here except for the silver ring on your finger he gave you before you fell in neck-deep. You trip on your own two feet, collapsing on the broken glass of booze from the days before. Shards dig into your skin, breaking it and calling out the blood to flow freely. It hurts. It does, but you do not feel it for you are numb. You are bleeding. And yet, you do not care at all because somehow, deep inside of you, you know that he has left and you do not know when and if he is coming back at all. You struggle to sit up and end up having to lean on the wall and you look at your arms, ribbons of blood intertwining to form patterns here and there. You pull out a new syringe filled with more of those damnable drugs. As you sit there, injecting yourself with them, sitting in a small pool of your own blood, a memory resurfaces.
Late one evening, you sit with him on the bed. He watches you and the syringe as the needle is eased into your pale, red marked skin for the umpteenth time. He's been persuading and nagging you to stop but you tell him, that it is the only way to keep you going. And now, all he can do is watch helplessly. He can lie to himself about his own addiction but it's just the same though you fell in a lot deeper than he.
Another memory comes up.
Now, he's the one injecting it into him and he waits for it to take effect. He's impatient and irritable if he doesn't have his dosage.
You run out of cash for the stash you both keep. You end up yelling and crying and things are broken. Harsh words are spoken. Bruises are made and wounds are cut. Some are not physical. Others are carved into the heart by the sharpness of the words. But it is always the same when everything is gone. You do not know what is real and what the effects of the drugs like Heroin or Ecstasy are.
More memories start to resurface and all you could do is what? Wait them out, is what. Do you know why? Because you want to remember…
Back before you could barely breathe in this lifestyle, when you started to mess around for awhile…you asked him:
"How far are you willing to follow me?"
Your voice was soft and shaky, anxious of his answer.
His answer was immediate, "However far you go…"
But this answer was not expected. You did not know how to feel about this. What if both of you fell too deep to get back up?
You remember the nights of tears and blood and vomit. You remember the days wherein you had nothing else to sell to support your addiction but your own body to be violated. You did anything and everything for those sinful drugs to keep you alive. But were you ever really alive when it is in your system?
And where was he all this time? His arms were around you every night without failure. He was there to hold you when you broke down or when the drugs started taking its toll on your health both physically and mentally. He was there to keep the delusions at bay and the kiss the nightmares away.
You look at the broken picture frame and you see both of you smiling. It was right after graduation when you both decided to travel. A picture on top of the Eiffel Tower, in the city of lights: Paris.
Once you fell in love because of that smile. But he hasn't smiled in awhile right?
And now you wonder about what ifs and the once-upon-a-times. What if you had never taken any of the drugs? What if you had never given in to temptation? What if you never jumped into the sea of recklessness and what if…what if he was still here with you, smiling and happy?
Once upon a time you fell in love. Once upon a time you smiled. Once upon a time you cried because of the right things. Once upon a time you were not broken.
But those were a long time ago. Now you do not know if he even loves you. You do not know how to smile anymore. You cry because of the stupid drugs. You are broken and you do not know how to become whole again.
You do not know how long you sit there but the pain in your arms dulls to a throbbing and the dark scarlet blood has more or less dried already. But the glass is still buried in your pale skin. Your eyes are heavy and the sweet lullabies of sleep call to you. You do not want to fight anymore. You give in to the darkness once more.
You hear your name being called out softly. And you awake, startled, in the middle of the night and your eyes immediately find his.
"Don't cry," he whispers to you as he wipes the tears away.
You realize that you were crying.
"A nightmare?" he asks.
"No…memories…of before…" you reply before burying your face in his chest, trying to stifle the sobs as he cards his hand through your hair.
"Do not think of the past, mon amour, the future alone awaits you and I."
"You fell, we both did. But I caught us in time before we went past the point of no return."
You say nothing. A lot has happened since then. A year or so after he went into rehabilitation, he looked for you. And he found you.
"Sleep." he murmurs.
So, you sleep for now; knowing he will always be there to catch you and he would not leave you.