Over the sound of sizzling bacon I hear the words, “I’m sorry, Julie.” I can’t tell if he really knows what he’s saying sorry for, or if it’s become part of his morning routine. But as his lips reach mine, I forget as much of last night as he does. I never thought a person could be as addicting as drugs, but when I fell in love with Meyer, I couldn’t tell the difference between his addiction and mine.
“How did you sleep?” I ask, already knowing the answer: much better than me.
“Slept great, thanks,” he replies, clearly unaware of his irregular breathing, excessive sweating, and constant twitching throughout the night. “How did you sleep, darling?”
Easily charmed, I tell him, “If you sleep well, I sleep well.”
He tilts his head up to me as I stand above him loading his plate with his favourite breakfast, looks into my eyes, and sighs, “I love you.”
There it is, my first high of the day. As the words leave his mouth, I feel the serotonin and the dopamine release from my brain and electrify my body. Nothing else seems to matter more to me than that look he gives me. If I ever had to live without it, I’d skip the withdrawal stage and head straight to suicidal.
As I dress myself, I feel Meyer’s bourbon-brown eyes studying my body. I could close my eyes and still be able to feel him watching. It seems as if he’s taking mental photographs of every move I make. His magnetic gaze paralyzes me.
He delicately takes off the shirt I just put on and whispers in my ear, “Let’s call in sick.”
The thought makes me laugh, but he is so persuasive. “Don’t you have a meeting today?” I ask, trying to deflect the pressure.
“Arrangements can be made.” He pushes my hair back from my diffident face. “Please, my sweet girl, indulge me.” With a kiss he breaks any plans I had for the rest of the day.
We lay in bed, our bodies intertwined. I feel intoxicated. No drug could create this euphoria, no money could buy this happiness, and nobody could replace Meyer. I sigh, for it’s the only thing to elucidate my contentment.
Meyer clings to me like I’m his only hope in this world. Running his fingers up and down my back, goose bumps rise on my skin. He chuckles at my sensitivity, but is aroused by the power of his touch. “Whenever I feel powerless, your skin reminds me of my worth.”
I pause and look at him, then ask him the questions that have resonated within me for years, “Then what do opiates do for you that I can’t? Why not indulge in me?”
Meyer looks toward the bathroom, then back at me, and I feel his body start to sweat. “I’ll tell you my secret, my dear. One should never overindulge on one fixation, for when they lose it, they lose themselves.”
Meyer presses his lips to my forehead, slips from the bed to the bathroom and grabs the pill container from the cabinet.
“It’s our day off, and if I only binge on you, I’ll never leave this house again.” There is no sense in arguing; it would only ruin the day more and still have the same result. As much as I wished Meyer could make it through one day without killing his brain cells after every line he takes, I know it’s impossible at this point. His body relies on opiates. Somehow, however, I understand.
I’ve never had to live without Meyer. We grew up in the same neighbourhood, went to the same school, and then the same college. Now we live together and work at the same bank. My whole life, I’ve never been without him, and surely, I rely on the fact that I never have to be.
“No more than two, please Meyer, it’s our day off remember.” If I can’t stop him, at least I can try to limit him.
“Anything for you,” he begins to slur with an unusual confidence, “but in return, you have to shower with me.”
“I guess that’s fair.” I roll out of bed dart to the shower. I turn on the water and wait for it to warm up. I step in first and look back at him crushing and snorting his last pill. “Hurry! I miss you already!” I call, in hopes he leaves his last line for later. Within seconds he is climbing into the shower behind me. He starts running his fingers through my hair. Every kiss he plants on my shoulders is a dose on its own; shooting shivers down my spine. He grabs my hand tight… really tight, as if he was holding on for his life. “Ouch! Meyer, that hurts!” I turn around to see his eyes are rolled back into his head, his nose bleeding over his purple lips, and then we drop. “MEYER!” I’m screaming at the top of my lungs, “MEYER HOW MANY DID YOU TAKE? HOW MANY DID YOU TAKE MEYER?” I bolt to the counter where the pill container stands still three quarters full. I examine the bottle to find that the pills were four times stronger than usual. What have I done? What do I do?
I grab the phone; my hands tremble as I dial 911. I’m standing above Meyer’s cold, limp body screaming at the top of my lungs, “Help us! Please! Help us”
They say withdrawal from heroine can leave you wishing you were dead. The withdrawals from a human start killing you the minute you lose them.
Your body sets limits on what it can handle. Too much of a bad thing will kill you quick, which happened to Meyer. Yet, too much of a good thing kills you slowly, then all at once. It fills you up with temporary rapture; it makes you feel invincible. But when it’s gone, it’s like everything that ever touched your heart turned out to be a knife.
I feel my body become numb as I look into the dead eyes of the only person to ever make me feel something. My heart begins to tighten as if it’s shrinking into nothing… and suddenly, I am nothing.