Characters: Early, Ramon, Memphis, Nathan.
Summary: Early fesses up to his son.
Warnings: teen drug abuse, adult situations & language.
AN: The first chapter of the promised Early-Angel flash. 🙂
Soundtrack: Shaggy – Mr. Bombastic. // Babylon zoo – Spaceman // Las Ketchup //
(cookie for you if you recall the year this was on the hit lists, and here you go , I managed to find something more stupid than Simply Red. 😛 Bow before me! *grins*)
Giving out and in
Selling the don’t belong
Well, what do you say
Do you have a word for giving it away?
Got a song for me?
I got nothing to say I ain’t said before
I bled all I can, I wont bleed no more
I don’t need no one to understand
Why the blood run hold
Sing, child, of right and wrong
Gimme things that don’t last long
Gimme siren, child, and do you hear me call?
-Sisters of Mercy.
Early sat down in the sofa with a deep sigh, he looked at the tv trying to figure out what it was that had captured his eldest son like that. He looked down on his hands wringing in his lap. “Uhm.. Ramon, we need to talk.”
“About what?” Ramon answered disengaged, “Aren’t you supposed to be at work now anyway?”
“I took tonight off” Early said feeling a pang of guilt, that he was never here, but then again, this was why he was never here, he could tell himself he provided for his family when he was at work, but he couldn’t deal with looking his children and wife in the eyes, knowing that he failed. And the feeling of his son slipping through his fingers scared him shitless.
“It is” Early said, his voice low and meek. “You know..” Early started, studying his son as he sat there, “I had prayed to never have to have this talk with any of you, but now that I realised I had to, I have.. I have been trying to do it for a week.. Ramon, would you look at me?”
Ramon slowly turned his head and looked straight at his father, “Spill it Early, I am watching a movie here” he said with a hard tone.
Early bit his lip. “You used to call me daddy”
“I used to piss my bed too” Ramon stated flatly and returned his gaze to the tv.
“Fuck!” Ramon whined. “I’m not doing drugs man, where the hell do you have that crap from? Mr. McKinnon?”
“Not really” Early stated. “Answer me Ramon.”
“Why would I?” Ramon frowned.
“Because I ask you as your dad, and I ask you as your friend, please.” Early knew he was begging, but he didn’t really care. When Ramon was silent Early smiled sadly. “This is important shit Ramon, what do you spend your money on?”
“This and that” Ramon said coldly.
“I’m not stupid, kid.” Closing his eyes shut tight for a moment, massaging the bridge of his nose. “Ask your friends down at the bus station if they know me.” Early turned and looked at Ramon. “I dare you.”
“What about him?” Early asked as neutrally as he could.
“He told you.” Ramon just stated.
“He did.” Early answered, knowing he didn’t need to say more. “Look Ramon, when I was your age, I was..eh..”
“Spiking the punch at the school dance with Martini?” Ramon snorted.
“No, shooting up cocaine.” Early said with a blank expression, but smiled as Ramon turned his head and looked at him.
“Fo’real?” Ramon asked in a whisper.
“Yes.” Early said softly. “I left school in 8th grade because if it, and I really don’t want you to repeat my mistakes. that’s why I ask, not to pass judgement.”
Ramon opened his mouth, but shut it before he said something.
“But all that attention came with a prize, and that was their ambitions.” Early said. “They expected me to be something, to lift my heritage or something, to do better than them. I was clever and work some, but not to that extend. If I was to attend my classes, my sports, and do extracurricular stuff for points, not to mention homework, chores and a private life, I simply didn’t have enough hours in the day.”
“Mum slapped me when my grades started slipping, telling me she would sign me off the football team, and that I could no longer take out my then girlfriend Nina because I had to focus on my education, she expected me to finish college aced out.” Early shook his head. “So one day I discovered some tablets in their medicine cabinet, back then they were called ‘vacation tablets’ basically they were amphetamines as a over the counter drug, they were supposed to keep you from being too tired when you went on vacation, so I figured they’d work for school as well.” Early laughed bitterly. “They worked just fine, and before I knew it they were all gone, and my mum threw a tantrum, giving me the Jesus weeps routine, making me attend church with her and shit.”
“I quickly found that no matter what my mother thought, then I needed those pills to keep me up and alert, without them I would fall asleep in classes again.” Early rubbed his forehead, feeling really uncomfortable with telling his own son this. “I had a friend on the football team, Nathan, he was the one who found me the first time I passed out in the bath, he sat with me till I was feeling better, and then asked what was wrong, I told him about my mums tablets, and with a smile he promised me he could fix that. He told me that he knew this other boy, Memphis, and that he could hook me up with whatever I needed to get through this semester.” Early blushed, “And he did, Memphis was the king of the world, his dad was a drug dealer, and well, I don’t really know if his dad gave him all that shit, or if he really stole it like he claimed, but it didn’t matter. All that mattered was that I suddenly only needed to sleep one day a week and had no trouble getting everything done.”
“Damn..” Ramon mumbled.
“I guess all of us was too young to realise that a substance abuse will escalate we thought we could keep it at this level, and that no one would notice, we were not like ‘that’ guy, you know. We did it to keep up with school. Both Memphis and myself was halfbreed kids and that might not mean allot today, but back then it meant everything, not having an ethnic peer group. I remember this specific evening when Memphis, Nathan and I sat down for a coffee after we finished soccer practice. Memphis looked all wrong somehow, and well, it was just an omen of what was to come I suppose.”
“Are you alright Memphis? you look like you saw a fucking ghost” I asked, blowing the steam off my coffee.
“No, I’m not alright.” Memphis whispered. “I don’t know what the hell is wrong, but I see things.” His voice dropped to a whisper. “Things that aren’t there” He looked from Nathan to me all desperate, “Don’t think I’m crazy cause I’m not..”
“I don’t think you’re crazy” I mumbled, “I keep seeing shadows move.”
“Yeah!” Memphis exclaimed. “Like something in the corner of the eye that move, but when you turn around it ain’t there.”
Memphis nodded. We both looked at Nathan who looked away. “My mother found my stash.” He admitted. “Been eating caffeine tablets instead.. so..” He stood up from the table. “I’m grounded and.. and.. I really should be getting home” he rambled.
“But..” Memphis looked like he had been slapped. “Nathan! NATHAN!” he yelled after Nathan who had turned his back to us and made his way to the glass doors. Memphis turned around and looked at us, he looked so sad. “Did you tell her anything?” Memphis asked clearly nervous.
Nathan shook his head.
“Thanks, man.” Memphis sighed in relief. “My dad would kill me.” He looked at me all serious for a moment, “Really, he would.”
I must have looked mortified, to this day I don’t really know why, maybe I wasn’t ready to see myself for what I was, addicted and it was spinning out of control too fast. “Pump?” I repeated like an idiot.
“Tools you know?” Memphis said, and once again he sounded like the king of the world, and I was left feeling stupid. “Your veins” He said with deadly seriousness.
“Look” Memphis whispered, “You have to admit that it’s not working anymore, and unless you want to return to passing out in the showers, we have to come up with something.”
I nodded and blushed. I didn’t want to go back to that, and strangely enough Memphis made sense. I just failed to realise that I stopped doing it for my school work a long time ago, and was chasing a high instead.
Memphis nodded and stood up from his chair, “See you tomorrow” He mumbled and left, leaving me all alone in the school cantina, where I sat for ages before I too went home.
“Nathan was the smart one, would you believe that he is actually a lawyer today?” Early looked straight ahead on the wall without really focussing. “Memphis and I continued as we had said we would, still not realising what we were doing.” He turned and looked at Ramon who was looking up at the ceiling, looking thoughtful. “Honestly, then that first hit, its the high you will spend the rest of your life chasing, and you won’t ever get it again. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, like your first kiss. Your first kiss with death.”
“But you were okay.” Ramon stated cryptically.
“I was, but Memphis wasn’t, he had to go to the E.R, which meant that his dad found out. He wasn’t back in school for a month and when he came back, he was still bruised, guess he wasn’t kidding about his dad.” Early said sombre.
Early laughed bitterly, “I had to find another supplier, and that was my first brush with the people who hung at the bus station.” Early twisted his hands in his lap, “But I was okay, had to quit soccer because I couldn’t take off my shorts.” He turned to Ramon, “Other people starts with the arms, telling themselves that when they have to use the crotch they will quit, I on the other hand started with the crotch, so my mother and teachers wouldn’t notice.”
When Memphis returned it was like no time had passed at all, he wouldn’t talk about the month he had been gone, and I didn’t care, I was just glad to have him back. I wasn’t about to admit that I had a little crush on him, I had a girlfriend, and I was happy like that. I told myself that Memphis and I shared a secret and that was why I would wait for him.
“You quit soccer?” He asked looking genuinely surprised, when we sat down at the schools cantina at the end of the day like we always did.
“Yeah, I figured I could spend that time better on Algebra.” I said, knowing it was a lie.
Memphis shook his head, “Really Angel, why?” He asked softly.
I looked at him and nodded. “So?”
“Cause he’s really expensive.” Memphis scooted closer, his chair screeched as he pulled it across the stone floor. “I know a much cheaper way.”
“Really?” I asked, maybe a little too quickly.
“My dad… well.. I had to find another way.” Memphis voice dropped to a whisper, “I know the guy that sells to Hernandez, its cheaper that way, Hernandez wants a huge cut cause he can, the school is a closed market, and most people don’t know any better, but I do.”
“I used all my savings.” I admitted in a weak tone, like I knew it was wrong, and was disturbed that I didn’t care, but I didn’t really. All I worried about was that I couldn’t afford another hit, not that my college fundings was gone. “And my parents keep an tight eye on their money. so.. Guess I have to drop some of the extracurricular stuff and work.”
“That guy, Abe, let me sell and then pays me off in half money, half bags.” Memphis said seriously. He squirmed a little uncomfortable. “Maybe you could come with me, and if we talked to him he might give you a deal like that too?”
“I think so, yeah.” Memphis said with a slight smile.
(AN II: Incase you don’t know what i am refereeing to with all the ‘that guy’ remarks, then i am thinking of this anti drug campaign they kept giving to Ziggi, and she brought home, one of the booklets had a link to a homesite which i checked out, and found this, even if it was not around when i was a teen, i think its pretty spot on, and a very good anti drug campaign commercial, cause its the truth innit? )