You watch her sleeping. Her eyes are sunken in and her cheekbones are prominent and her pallor so sickly pale. Her arms are thin and bony. You see the spidery veins beneath the paleness of her skin. You sigh; your breath creates a small fog in the cold night. It starts to rain outside and you do not really care. You pull your arms away from her and get off the bed. You think it is better this way. One of you has to be the bigger person, has to be the stronger one.
You take what little things you own. But you leave the broken picture frame on the nightstand. You lace up your shoes, haphazardly throw on a pair of jeans and a shirt. You spot a syringe in your things and temptation kicks in. You want to take another dosage before you leave, but you remember that if you do not stop now…how will you ever stop? So you resist it. Placing the plastic syringe filled with God only knows which drug since they tend to blur into one. Was it heroin? Ecstasy? Or maybe Meth? You shake the thoughts out of your head.
You glance once more at her. Her brows have scrunched up. A nightmare perhaps? She whimpers softly, barely audible, in pain. You see the silver ring on her finger, glinting off the moonlight. And you suddenly remember when you first gave it to her.
A warm summer evening in Paris. You smile at her brightly and she laughs at your antics. You go down on one knee and present her with the ring. You know the inscription by heart. "L'amour dans moments d'obscurite," you whisper to her. And she cries in joy.
You see her on the bed, and survey the surroundings once more. You see the glass shards of booze from days before. You see the powder from her addictions and yours on the floor.
The sooner you leave, the sooner you both heal. You kiss her once more on the forehead and leave the room. You hear the soft click of the door as you leave…
You know that in the morning, she would wake up and look for you; only to find you gone. You know she would look for some sort of sign that you would come back but she would be unsure if you would ever come back.
But you would not; come back that is. You would not until you get better. And you promise yourself that you will look for her after. As you sit on the porch steps of your best mate's house, you remember…
You sit on the bed, face to face with her, as she eases in the needle into her pale, red marked skin for the umpteenth time. You have been trying your damndest to tell her to stop but she tells you,
"It is the only way to keep living. I can't go on without it…"
You give in to her, watching her helplessly because you are so tired of fighting her. And no matter how much you lie to yourself about your own addiction, it's the same thing. The difference though? She fell deeper than you, is what it is.
Another memory resurfaces. This time you lie on the couch, grateful for your best mate's efforts.
Now you are the one injecting yourself. What drug is it this time? You are not sure because you don't really care, do you? All you want is to get high but the damn things won't take effect quickly. You are impatient and irritable.
You ran out of cash for the stash. There is yelling and crying and cursing. The window pane is broken. There are broken bottles on the floor. There are wound cut and carved. There are bruises painted on your arms and hers. But it is always the same when everything is gone: what is real? And what is the effects of the drugs?
You remember back before there was barely any space to breathe, when you and she first started messing around; she asked,
"How far are you willing to follow me?"
Her voice was soft and shaky, anxious of your answer.
Your answer was immediate, "However deep and far you go…"
Because you knew, that when you fell in love with her…you would do anything for her. But there was that niggling question in the back of your mind: what if both of you fell too deep to get back up?
You remember the nights of tears and blood; of hazes that were unrealistic. Delusionary nights and even days. You remember the days you watched as she sold her body for a few grams of the sweet sinful drugs to keep you both alive. But where you ever really alive when it was in your system?
You know where you were when everything turned dark. You had your arms around her every night without failure; no matter the words said and the things done. You were there to hold her when she broke down or when the drugs took its toll on her physically and mentally. You were there to keep the delusions at bay and kiss the nightmares away.
You did this all for her…but what did you ever receive in turn? You ponder on this as the night wears on. You start itching for the familiar high the drugs give you. The shortcut solution to your problems: Booze and Drugs.
Why would you do this for her? She was one girl. That was what everyone told you. Parents. Siblings. Friends. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. EVERYONE. But there was one reply to all the repetitive questions: "Because I love her."
You eye the silver ring on your finger. It is the only other connection you have with her. And you are determined to get everything back on the right track. Come hell or high water, you will get better. You will look for her once again. And you will find her for you do not know how you could ever live with yourself if you left her in the dark after promising all those years that you would always be there to light the way for both of you anytime you spiral back down into the abyss of darkness.
You let your eyes close, dreaming about her and of a better future for the both of you. One you are determined to make true.
You snap out of your own stupor as you hear her calling for you. You know she is dreaming about that time, because she is calling out your name frantically. You call out her name softly, coaxing her out of it. Her eyes open and find yours even through the darkness.
"Don't cry…" you whisper as you wipe her tears away.
It is then she realizes that she was crying.
"A nightmare…?" youe asks.
"No…memories…of before…" she replies before burying her face in your chest as you card your hands through her 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 are greeted with silence but it is alright, so you plow on.
"There is only you and I now. And I promised, I would be your light, did I not? I promised to catch you before you fell too far…"
You lapse into silence. So much has happened since that memory came to mind.
"Sleep…" you tell her.
And soon, you are both lulled into slumber's open arms. For tomorrow is a new day.