Fighting Fear

Wednesday 16th July 2014

There are times when you feel like it all matters, and it’s all you can do not to lose your mind. However, then there are times when you wonder if any of it matters, and all you can do is hope that you can be saved from such insane thoughts. In life, these two constant battles will continue to rage within you in search of balance, but you never will find peace. He knew though why he had finally found the answer and it was simple yet complicated in its own right. The answer was and always would be God.

He hadn’t understood it at first and he was happy that he had asked when he had. In the very first weeks of the Rehab program, he wondered how he would be able to finish it, and the answer he got from one of the Alumni couldn’t have been more clear. Walk into the Chapel and get on your knees whenever he felt like leaving the program. A few weeks later he had rededicated his life to the Lord Jesus, and the rest was history.

It was always interesting the contrast of restlessness he felt then compared to the joy of doing everything in Christ now. The raging storm and dead calm. The wondering about his unrequited love and love everlasting. It was almost like there was an answer for everything, and that the little things all of a sudden became enough. That they seemed to matter more, and just doing them could make him happy.

Unfortunately, he could feel the fear coming. The fear that had led him to feel nothing in the end. It was slowly building up in his gut, very liquid, thick, and dark it made him want to puke. Somehow prayer had kept it at bay, but he found it hard not to rehash the past and all his mistakes. That was the first stage of this cycle of fear and no emotion, and boy, had he a lot to regret in the little time he had been alive. Since there was nothing he could do he looked up from what he was working on and decided he might as well wait for it to begin and end again.

2017

It was too early for this, but lately, he woke up immediately the high was over. the addict was so keyed up lately he didn’t bother hiding behind the huge metal container he was smoking next to. He lied to himself it was to make sure that he could see trouble coming, but it didn’t occur to him that trouble could also see him. It also didn’t occur to him that he wasn’t paying any attention to the road but to the lit joint in his mouth like his life depended on it. So it was no surprise that what happened next almost made his soul do an unexpected exit from his body into the afterlife.

“You!” He heard someone shout. He looked up to see an old man on the dirt path, using what he thought was a walking stick, only it was the entire length of the old man’s body such that he had to hold it at the midway point just to use it. The addict discreetly dropped the joint somewhere he knew only he could find it and walked over, stepping through the dew-wet grass to the side of the path. His gait suggested he calm as a cucumber and the serious look on his face implied he didn’t know what was going on. But in the real sense, his insides were screaming against going back to the cell forever etched in his mind.

“What were you doing over there? Are you one of the thieves who have been stealing from people here?” he asked inquisitively while standing on the side of the beat-up path. The addict frowned trying to look confused. “I live just close to here so I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he answered calmly and evenly. “Suppose I call my friends at the police station and tell them what you were doing over there,” he tried to say threateningly. “What do you mean? I was just looking at my phone,” the addict answered fighting the urge to run away.

He had already pictured several escape routes, and he knew there was no way this sandal-wearing old man could keep up. The fact that it was early in the morning and no one hardly used this path was an added plus. However, he had blown those options out of the water when his face had been seen, and when he had told the creeper that he lived near here. The old man out of options and the unwavering look on the addict’s face instead told the addict to get out of there and that he shouldn’t see him again. They walked their separate ways without another look back.

After five minutes, the addict walked back and took the joint from under a bush near the container. He lit it and continued with his already interrupted session. Somehow that little experience had worked in his favour, and had got the addict thinking that there was a way to beat that fear. He breathed out a plume of smoke in the cold morning air and smiled. He started thinking of ways to fight the fear as his mind was taken away by the high. When he was done, he looked at the already risen sun and realized it was time to open up shop. He threw the butt of the joint on top of the container and walked toward the movie shop an idea already formulating in his mind.

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Cold Dark Fear

Tuesday 8th July 2014

He was more tired than usual since he had been put on kitchen duty, but that was okay. He was happy because he had been to see his family during the weekend for the first time in a while. He was happy and even though the kitchen was demanding, he couldn’t ignore the feeling of contentment flowing through him. He sat alone in the classroom as he savoured every moment of peace he could find in that place. A laugh with friends, an honest word, some good advice, and God’s inexplicable peace.

He thought it was like a movie that was about to end and everyone in the cast is about to take a bow. The credits start rolling and beside them, the bloopers that were made by the actors are shown. Then everyone laughs to the soundtrack and the jokes and funny mistakes. The opportunity to get a second chance, to do it right, and have fun while doing it. That is when he thought to himself how happy he is now and how much he wished it could last forever. However, forever is a concept humans talk about and can never grasp.

2017

He looked blankly at the computer screen, unable to lift the feeling growing in his chest at an alarming rate. His mouth was dry from the constant taste of fear he couldn’t fight. The addict sat in the movie shop watching a movie with Derrick one of his friends, while some movies copied from Derrick’s laptop into the movie shop computer. His friend was on the other side of the wooden partition that separated them, keenly watching the film as well.

The addicts thought about how in films that by the end the main character always found a solution to whatever was placed in from of him. He always had a way out and the film ended and the character lived happily after. But life was messy, there were no second takes to see if you could make up for your mistakes. There was no complete solution to the problems life placed in front of you. Why couldn’t he fight this fear? Why couldn’t he get over the sight and smell of that horrible place? Why couldn’t he wake up from the nightmare already?

He was jolted out of his one-sided interrogation with himself by Derrick telling him that he had a customer. He looked up at the girl who had just walked in and froze, his face a mask of fear. “Maybe I should come back later,” she said upon seeing the addict’s face. “No, it’s fine. Derrick, take care of it and make sure the movies all copy. I need a break,” he announced opening the partition to leave and to let Derrick in.

He walked with his eyes downcast to another abandoned building where he couldn’t be seen. There were walls all around, except for a lone window at the very top. The unfinished brick walls were a welcomed sight to the four well-finished walls of the movie shop. He lit a stick of weed and took a long deep drag. He had been smoking more and more lately because of the cold hard fear stuck in his chest. He couldn’t even serve a customer without thinking that had been sent to get him.

He let out the THC in his lungs with a long sigh of relief. He also needed to restock soon, he was going through his stock more than usual. It wasn’t even the end of the day and he was already on his fourth stick of weed. The addict thought that this was better than the constant feeling of fear that wouldn’t let up. With his fifth puff, he felt the drug take over his mind and a temporary, false sense of peace flooded his chest. It was finally over. Finally, what he had needed was here and he reached out for it with welcome arms.

What he couldn’t see was that he had built up his tolerance to seven sticks of weed a day. He couldn’t see that without it, he couldn’t black-out and fall asleep. He couldn’t see that without he couldn’t hold a conversation with someone. He couldn’t see that without it he couldn’t get an appetite at all. He couldn’t see that without it he couldn’t operate like a normal human being. He couldn’t see that he was about to enter a new phase of addiction; total dependency. If he did, he would have realized that the crushing fear he felt was just child’s play compared to what was coming.

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The Prison of the Mind

2017

The addict sat in the dark cell unable to sleep like the rest of them. He was staring outside the cell window at the stars wondering if he would ever get out. He was hardly able to eat any of the food they had given them, mostly because he couldn’t feel hungry. The only hunger he felt was the hunger for freedom. The jail cell door opened with a loud clang as it struck the inside of the cell wall. Looks like they had another customer, no other customers. A group of eleven people was led into the cell. The last one was apparently searched thoroughly because the guard didn’t trust the smirk on his face. Morning couldn’t come fast enough so that he could at least see their faces.

He woke with a start and realized that he had slept in a sitting position. His neck and shoulders sent sharp signals of pain to his brain every-time he tried to move. Everyone was standing up and the place was being slowly washed by some of the newcomers. He stood up slowly wincing as his muscles protested, and moved with the crowd to a dry spot until the entire cell was “clean”. It still smelled like something had died in there so the term clean was relative. Then two people who had been most troublesome were picked, a sober drunkard and the suspicious-looking guy who had been searched thoroughly, their fate was to clean out the buckets.

Not soon after they were back than the addict’s name was called out. He followed the guard out of the cell and put on his other shoe. He walked to where they were signing in the trouble makers and was instructed to sign where his crime had been entered. He looked up to see the face of his boss in the process of nursing a hangover, rubbing the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. There was also something else there;pure white anger. Something the addict had never seen before. The policeman at the desk was making fast work of handing back his belongings to him and telling him to get out.

“Sorry sir”, he said, “we didn’t know that he worked for you.” The Owner dismissed this with a wave of his hands and walked out motioning for the addict to follow. As soon as they were in the car, the Owner apologized saying that he had lost yet another phone on this weekend’s bender. He said not to worry and that he would make it up to him. They drove to the movie shop, and as if by magic, the Owner produced a joint and they lit it in silence.

After that, the Owner explained that his brother-in-law was head of the police station there, and if he had known sooner he would have come. However, they were together with him on the weekend bender. The addict turned on the computer and as he waited for it to turn on savoured the feeling of relief in his gut that Monday hadn’t arrived or he would have gone to court. Then he would have ended up in the system. However, there was another feeling he couldn’t put his finger on that was in the back of his head.

He was taken out of his musings by a knock on the door that made him jump. He opened it but didn’t recognize the face staring back at him. He was frozen in place and was not able to hear what the person was saying because his ears were ringing, and there was only one thought in his mind that scared the absolute daylights out of him, “POLICE!”

The Owner stepped in between the two and said something that caused the stranger to go away. The Owner, turned to the addict smiling and said, “Relax, it’s just someone asking for directions. Don’t worry the feeling will pass in a few days and you will be back to normal.” He lit another joint and they got high enough to forget the past day and night that the addict had gone through.

He finally went to his house and turned on his phone while he unlocked his door. The last text was from Duncan warning him not to come to the shop. If only he had looked at his phone. No, don’t think about that! But it was too late he had already thought about it and now his mind was in another constant phase of fear from what he went through. There was no high in the world to fight this fear. This was on another different level from what he had ever experienced. It was irrational and powerful, and started in his mind and made his heart beat faster and the palms of his hands sweaty.

He held his head in his hands as if he could try and squeeze out the images of the cuffs and the cell, but to no avail. It was like he was reliving the nightmare all over again. He hadn’t known how well his single room resembled a cell until now. He might have been free from that cell, but his mind sure wasn’t. He took off all the clothes he had spent the night in a cell with and threw them out. Then prepared for a shower.

Nothing seemed to work, not the shower not the new clothes, not even the weed. He wanted to scream out and let it all out but he had a feeling not even that would work. He sat again in the darkness of his room and wondered when it would all end. He didn’t know it then, but it would take another three months before that fear would dissipate. Until then, the addict would cling to a false sense of hope in the form of more alcohol and weed. Falling deeper into that spiral of addiction than ever before.

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Immeasurable Change

Wednesday 25th June 2014

The students were silent. They had been faced with tough questions before but they had never thought to look at things this way. Even he was surprised at the sudden change in mood brought by these visitors. They had arrived from a different country, but a branch of the same Rehab centre. The students were always told to change but they had yet to wrap their minds around this new concept. He had always thought change was immeasurable as long as he was alive he would always be subject to it. However, they were being told to measure a certain aspect of it.

“You there, how far would you say that you’ve come in terms of your goals?” the visitor asked him. Startled his mind went blank, and he could only respond with a disappointing, “Ummmmm…” The bespectacled and balding visitor, with wise and kind eyes, knowing he had caught him off guard, gave him a chance to redeem himself by saying, “Start with your name, and give a percentage of how far you know you’ve come in terms of achieving your goals here.”

After stating his name, the addict gave a twenty percent, remembering his anxiety and the need to self-medicate a few days ago. He knew it would be an uphill task to beat it, but putting a number to it helped him visualize exactly what he needed to do. Unfortunately, even with this great preparation and analysis, fear is not something quantifiable and anxiety is damn near immeasurable. This made him utter a silent prayer as the visitor continued to explain the importance of measuring change. He hoped this would be enough.

2017

He shouldn’t have said, because when he said he had jinxed it. ‘How could anything go wrong?’ Well, he had several ideas, but this wasn’t on the list of things going wrong, this was on the list of ‘How on earth could things end up like this?’ He sat on the cold concrete floor, looking at the one shoe on his foot like he was trying to process the reality of what was happening. He looked around at the faces of the other men that were with him, but they seemed used to this kind of thing. He tried to ignore the smell, but it was like that stink was sentient, and knew just where to hit your nasal cavity to offer the worst case of pungent odour you had ever experienced. How on earth did the addict end up in Jail?

A few hours earlier, he had come from a light smoke session with his friends. He couldn’t go too far because he still had to go back to work at the movie shop, so he had excused himself in the middle of the session. He was feeling great as he walked back to the shop, not too high, not too sober. He had left his friend, Duncan, manning the station. As soon as he got back, Duncan was surrounded by four men. Customers? That wasn’t likely, these people didn’t look like your top of the mill movie fans. Duncan, gave him a look that looked like he was saying “Why did you come back?”

The addict suddenly felt something stir in the pit of his stomach, not butterflies like you do when you see a girl you like. No, what he felt were vultures, eating away at any ounce of hope left in his soul, and boy were they ravenous. “Hello”, one of the six-foot giant men said, while local Music blared from the speakers. ” You’re the one in charge? Well then, you are under arrest for pirating local music.” A sound he never thought he would hear in his lifetime echoed in his ears putting all ideas of hope out of his mind. It was the sound of hand-cuffs closing tight around his wrists. “So that’s what hopelessness sounds like,” he thought as he was pushed into the back seat of the car.

He kept playing this scenario around and around in his mind as he sat in the cell with about fifteen other men. He knew he couldn’t call his parents because they had already seen enough, and he didn’t want to put them through anything if he could help it. The Owner was nowhere to be found. He was probably on his weekend benders, and would probably recover on Sunday morning. So, the only thing the addict could do was bid his time and wait till tomorrow. He never thought it would have come to this in a thousand years, yet here he was trying not to pass out from the foul stench, and trying to keep his sanity in check. Change sure is interesting.

The Undeniable Truth

The real truth none of us wants to admit,
The ultimate lie and deceit we all fall for,
The perfect moment that neither of us sees,
The long dark age we all seem to succumb to,
And we still have our heavy hearts.

Tuesday 24th June 2014

He wondered why most humans never appreciate whatever is right, and yet when the hard times come, they bulk under the pressure. How long will our heavy hearts keep us from the truth? How much more pain will we allow ourselves to feel before we turn our lives around?

He thought clearly about his life of addiction, and how long he had been in it. He was sure that he understood one thing more than anything, the pain, anguish, and misery were all on him. His own choice led to those consequences. It had nothing to do with his family, friends, or co-workers. It was all him, plain and simple.

Yet he also wanted the pain more than feeling nothing. All, he knew, is that it started with anxiety after making a major mistake. After the anxiety, came the fear. Not just any type of fear, the fear that crushes you so much you can’t speak. At this point, he couldn’t hide it and people were asking him why he was so quiet. The fear, so black and consuming taking over until his body and mind shut it all off.

In the next stage, he felt nothing. Just a blank emotionless feeling, that his mind has used as a defence mechanism to block out unimaginable fear. He knew that there was one thing that could help him escape this fear. Then comes the final stage, medication through self-induced drugs. It could be anything alcohol, weed, anything.

He was lucky, no, he was blessed to be in Rehab this time because if he was outside, there would be no holding back. For now, he would let the emotionless feeling run its course, and try to utter a coherent prayer as best as he could. It was true, sweet excruciating pain was better than this. Nothing better than a little pain when you’re feeling nothing.

2017

It was too late to keep the movie shop open now. It was just his luck, there was no business today either. He couldn’t understand, why this new job wasn’t picking up. He had to think of something and soon. The addict locked the door to the business, and just as he was walking out, he ran into the Owner. “Don’t look so worried, it’s only been five days, it will pick up soon,” he said as he blew a long plume of smoke from his Dunhill.

“By the way let me show you something, follow me.” the Owner said. The Owner led him to a place behind the business, an unfinished building. He dropped the cigarette and crushed it with the heel of his shoe and looked around and chose somewhere to sit down. The addict was wide-eyed, and wondering if what he was seeing was true. The Owner motioned him to also sit down and produced a joint from the cigarette packet.

He gave it to the addict to light and passed an expensive-looking lighter. Once it was lit, the Owner, gave him some sound advice regarding business, and it was to always have friends around there because that will draw other people there. The addict passed the joint back nodding his head in agreement, although he didn’t want to involve his stoner friends at first, this was a good idea. It was time to make some calls. Also, this was a good sign, it looked like the owner of the movie business and, he would understand each other very well.

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Something’s Missing

Friday 20th June 2014

He thought that everyone has those times where sadness overtakes them until they wonder how they are still alive. Then there are those times they are so happy, not even words, actions, and feelings seem futile in trying to elaborate the euphoria. It’s simply indescribable. Often, in those times, they can find that God is involved.

At that moment, he watched as other members of the program were getting hyped up watching the World Cup. Other students were busy trying to call and talk to their families. Some were even indescribably happy. An unexpected miracle might have just taken place.

For him, he felt happy for what he had in his family, as well as hearing that they were alright. That, to him, was a good thing. But. Yeah, but. That’s not something he wanted to think about, but the thought crept into his mind. The thought materialized into his mind as a question, “But what about that part of me that has been missing for years now?” he asked himself.

That was the only question he had and woe unto him for he did not have the answer to it. It’s not one of those things you can sleep on and the instant you wake up it hits you like a car moving at 100 kilometres per hour. You’re not sure whether having it is wrong, or missing it is right. It’s that one thing that hangs in the balance of good and evil, love and hate, or dare he say it, life and death.

He thought that most people just like to travel through life like everything and everyone is just rushing past us. The smooth asphalt driving us through time using the inescapable notion of past, present, and future. Yet we never in that moment of speed, take a pit-stop from the fast-track life to ask, am I missing something, is there something missing in me?

That’s why he thought it prudent to take a break from it all, stop and ask, “Is there hope? Is this real, or just something I am forcing it to be, something I conjured up in my mind from my current situations? This might not be about Paula, or my future, or drugs, or God. It’s about me and the final game. When the chips are down, when the guns are drawn when the time is nigh, and I have to make a choice what will it be?” he questioned himself yet again. That was up to him to make the choice.

2017

So this was the job William was talking about, he hoped it wouldn’t get him into any trouble. He was probably just worried, about nothing. What was the worst that could happen anyway? The owner asked him if there was anything he needed, and got his answer as soon as the addict turned on the computer and speakers and got everything running. Clearly, he didn’t need any help. With that, the owner left, and the addict thought that there would be no trouble at all. Often, that meant that things would definitely go wrong.

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Heartfelt Song

Monday 16th June 2014

The beauty in music is when you hit the right note amid heartfelt lyrics. It’s like the last five seconds in a ball game that will decide whether your team wins or loses. The beats merging over and over into each other, to create a symphony that can only be expressed through music.

Some types will reach down into the deepest part of your soul, not to alleviate the pain, but sympathize with your broken heart. To sing of your heart-break, and to help you grieve even though you still feel the void. It could be the loss of a loved one through death, hate, or even adultery or debauchery.

Yet, as he sat there, staring into nothingness, he knew that the song that appealed to him the most, was that which every note was perfect. The harmony that is brought forth from the love that only a pure heart can feel. It was like light to his soul, lifting him to a different dimension. The only thing that was washing over him in giant waves, was peace. Then a mental image of the one person whose heart was his came to mind with such force, he thought he could barely breathe.

2017

After breakfast, he figured it was time to look for some money. He left his single-room house with a simple goal in mind, get that money. He stopped by William’s place of work, they usually made cabro blocks, waffles, and slabs.

William’s co-worker, Kim, saw him first and called out. William’s eyes shot up from the mixture of cement he was mixing, smiling while saying good morning. Then he asked the familiar question which the addict knew was coming, “Tell me you have some, I’ve been sober for too long?” The addict smiled reaching into his pocket as if answering the question. William dropped the spade faster than you could say, smoke session time.

They sat outside the gate while looking to the main road, just in case any police turned up. He let William do the honours of lighting it, but before he did, he spat out the Kuber that he had between his lower lip and his teeth. The addict hated Kuber more than any drug imaginable and had tried to get William to stop but to no avail. His friend lit it up and took a deep drag, exhaling with a huge sigh, passing it to the addict.

“Any jobs today?” the addict asked as he put the weed to his lips. “Not here though, I could introduce you to someone,” William replied. They sat there in silence quietly watching as the cars passed by, and couldn’t even realize that their life and countless opportunities were also passing by.

Unrequited Love

Wednesday 28th May 2014

He sat there in the rehab classroom, thinking of a girl he believed he was in love with, while the lyrics of Snow Patrol’s Signal fire played in his mind. In his head, he thought that if he finally finished this program, she would finally choose him. In the far reaches of his mind, he had already dubbed this song as “their song”. Even though deep down he knew that his love was unrequited, or not reciprocated in equal measure.

This didn’t stop him from musing and quoting Snow Patrol in that he wouldn’t wait forever. And whether the confusion in her eyes when she finally saw him after the program was over, would she chose him? The truth being that he could be stuck in this program for a thousand years, without her arms to drag him out.

He was torn from his musings by his friend George, who was in the program for alcohol and gambling. What a combination. George had these intelligent eyes which he tried to hide behind his glasses because they looked like they were always scheming. In contrast, he had an innocent smile he kept plastered on his face to draw away any suspicion by the program staff. If anyone asked, George would have been his closest friend.

He got back to his lesson which he had stopped short of finishing, because of her. In fact, he went as far as to lie to himself that he was also undertaking this program for her sake. Her name forever etched in his mind. Paula. Right at that moment, he could do anything because he thought she was waiting for him. A sad notion to strengthen his resolve. He turned back to George and returned the smile, but his friend only shook his head and went back to his work.

2017

He had woken up early because the high had finally come down. He slowly rolled his third stick of weed, as he sat at the table. It had taken him all of thirty minutes to find where he had hidden his stash. Even bloodhounds wouldn’t have found it, hidden in the inner lining of his suitcase. Mary Jane, the only girl who wouldn’t break his heart. He didn’t need any other girl in his life other than the one he was about to go light up in a few minutes.

He looked at the untouched bottle of Chrome vodka that was on the table. His friend had bought it for him after their smoke session in the abandoned building not far from his place. He thought it would be better not to have it on an empty stomach. As soon as he finished rolling the last stick, he headed out to the shops, cooking up a good story to get breakfast from the lady at the shop.

It was a fairly new shop, and since some shops already knew him too well, it was the perfect place. She smiled at him because he would be the first customer of the day, this was going to be too easy. After fifteen seconds he had convinced her to give him a loaf of bread and tea leaves on credit. On the way back he ran into his landlady, who for some reason lived in the same place they did. She was probably in her sixties, and the plot where she lived along with her tenants, was her pride and joy.

“Where were you last night, don’t you know I lock the gate at 10:00 PM?” she asked, obviously feigning anger. “I’m sorry,” he apologized doing his best to look repentant. She let him off with a warning, saying she wouldn’t wait next time. As soon as he had unlocked his door, he took off his jacket and lit up his first wake and bake. He felt it burn his throat soothingly, and thought, “At least this weed will love me back.”

Unfortunately, in actual sense, it was eating his life away, disguised as a goddess of relief, but its true nature was a demon sinking its claws deeper into his soul. As he smiled, the demon smiled back.

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A Perfect Day

Friday 23rd May 2014

It was about 7:00 PM. He sat, outside watching as the twilight slowly set in. He was at the rehab center, just from preparing supper with the help of some of the other ‘students’. Some faint Christian rock music was echoing through the door of the open kitchen, the only type of music they were allowed to listen to. He thought it was so peaceful he could sleep.

It was in times like these he just sat and thought how great it was to be alive. The beauty in a day was over in a flash and just like that the night set in, and darkness took over. His life is going great he thought, and he couldn’t complain. He was happy, and he highly appreciated the few moments he was happy. After all, however few those moments of happiness were, there was no choice but to enjoy them to the fullest.

The cold night wind was blowing, and he knew that he would miss moments like these when he went back to the main Rehab center in the city. He would miss the sound of the crickets at night, the darkness that shows the stars shining bright like the first sign of hope, and the clarity that comes with this peace. “This is beauty unseen in the eyes of the ignorant. They fail to embrace bliss, peace, harmony, and happiness,” he said to himself.

2017

He woke with a start, wondering what had woken him up so suddenly. Someone was knocking on the door while calling his name. He slowly woke up, his mind still under the influence of the weed, and opened the door. It was his friend, not just any friend, his stoner friend. And as soon as he opened the door, his friend smiled a knowing smile and declared, “You’re already high, aren’t you?” He nodded, wondering what was going on. “Let’s go to our usual spot. I got something even better than what I can smell in your room right now.”

He grabbed a jacket, put on his shoes, and locked the door. It was pretty late, about 10:00 PM. He wondered what he was dreaming about, before he woke up. All he could tell was that it was a good dream. He followed his friend into the darkness, his heart beating fast, and his hands sweating with the anticipation he already knew too well. He always got like this when he was about to light one up. He smiled as the darkness swallowed them up.

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Lost in the Darkness

He sat there alone in his fifteen by twenty feet single room. The curtains were drawn, the bed unmade, a clutter of dirty dishes everywhere on the floor, and the table. The clothes were strewn at the bottom of the bed, and darkness everywhere. No food left, no money left, the paraffin in his stove had run out. Instead of feeling utterly hopeless, he was happy he at least had some stash of weed somewhere in this mess. He couldn’t exactly remember where, but that’s what he had spent the last of his money on. He was just too high to remember where.

How did it come to this, again? He thought he had beat this. What a joke he was, thinking that he could beat this. He tried to remember where it all went wrong. What point it was that he had managed to throw it all away, but his mind was too fogged up by the high. Instead, his mind went back to three years back in the year 2014. Happier times.

Thursday 15th May, 2014.

He was in rehab two months in, and he was happy. Trying his best to turn his life around. His family was counting on him to beat this once and for all. Surely the time he would spend here wouldn’t be in vain. Especially because he had just come back from his first-ever testimony in front of a group of High School students.

He had tried to make it light-hearted, throwing a few jokes here and there, which earned him a few laughs. It also helped him be more open and less scared. There was nothing like the high of coming from public speaking knowing that you had managed to do it without a hitch. Right then as he arrived back in Rehab, one clear thought ran through his mind “One thing I’m 100% sure of; I’m going to finish this program, come hell or high water!”

How does that saying go, ‘men make plans and the gods laugh’? I can never get it right, it’s something along those lines. If only he knew what awaited beyond those gates of rehab, three years down the line, He would have prepared himself a bit more. However, we can’t see the future and what is to come. That is our lot like humans, all we can do is hope and pray for the best and prepare for the worst, even if the worst is something we can never imagine.

Image by Wadim Kashin follow him on ArtStation.

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