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Hooked (Mature Content)
Written By: Tammy Ferebee

            I gag repetitively. My entire body is trembling. I rummage through my things. Through my jewelry box, through my top drawers, through the jeans I wore yesterday, through everything. But there’s nothing. Nothing here. 
            I lie down on the floor and hold my stomach. Every second that passes feels like an hour. My nausea worsening with every breath I take. 
            The doorbell rings and I quickly bring myself to my feet. I hurry over to the door and pull it open without first verifying who’s on the other side. 
            “What’s up?”
            He passes by me and I push the door closed.
            “What the hell happened in here?”
            I pick up pieces of broken glass from the floor. “Nothing. I was looking for something.”
            He chuckles. “I know what you’ve been looking for.”
            I continue to gag.
            “What do you have for me?” he asks.
            “I’m running a little short on cash. I was wondering if you could give me a little now and let me pay you for it later.”
            “You know I don’t do that. It’s money up front.”
            “You can’t give me a little credit? You know where I live.”
            “Credit? What the hell do I look like to you? A bank?”
            “I’m sick, Satellite.”
            His careless expression reminds me that to him, this is business. We aren’t friends. 
            “You don’t have any merchandise?”
            I shake my head. “I don’t have anything you’d want.”
            “Well call me when you have something. And don’t ever call me empty handed again.” 
            As he turns for the door, I put an offer on the table. An offer I haven’t had to make in quite some time.
            “We can’t work something out between the two of us?”
            “Something like what?”
            “Whatever you want.” 
            He takes his jacket off and takes a seat on my couch. Again he chuckles. 
            “What do you want me to do?”
            He slowly unzips his jeans and reveals himself to me. “What do you think I want you to do?”
            “I’m going to need a hit first?”
            “You know how I operate. Payment up front.”
            “Satellite, I’m sick. I feel like I’m going to throw up.”
            “Come on now. Stop wasting my time.” He zips his pants. “Call me when you got something for me.” On his way out, he stops and looks into my dining area. “What’s that?”
            I look to where his finger is pointing. “It’s a stroller.” 
            I begin to break into cold sweats. My stomach cramps are worsening.
            “I can see that. Who’s it for? Your little boy aint living here no more.”
            “It’s for my son. I can’t have him back until I have everything on the list CPS gave me.”
            “You don’t have to be clean?”
            “Of course I have to be clean. And I will be when they test me.”
            “When are you getting tested?”
            “Monday. I have a few days.”
            He walks over to the boxed stroller. “My girl is pregnant. We could use a new Graco.”
             “I can’t give you that. There’s no way I’ll be able to buy a new one by Monday.”
            “I’ll leave you a little something extra. A hit for tonight and tomorrow morning.”
            My mind goes to my son. How long it’s been since I’ve seen him. How much I miss him. His face. His baby scent.
            “Come on now. What are you trying to do?”
            I continue to tremble. I’ve tried to quit cold turkey once before. There is no way I’m putting myself through that again.
            “Okay,” I answer softly.
            “Oka, Satellite. Take the damn stroller.”
             He takes a seat at my dining room table. As he goes through his pockets, he lays drug paraphernalia on my table; items I’ve never needed before.
            “What’s that for?”
            “I don’t have anything dry.”
            Tears run from my eyes. “Why did you even come here, Satellite? You know I only do dry. I never shoot up.”
            “Well if you need a hit, you’re going to have to today. My man didn’t come through for me.”
            “Well I’m out of here. I don’t have time for this shit. Take it or leave it!”
            “Alright, alright. Can you tie me off? I’ve never taken it this way.”
            His expression reads no.
            “Please, Satellite. I know I pay at least one of your bills. At least one of them.”
            He grabs a hold of my arm and pushes my sleeve up. I try to control the gagging.
            He points to a belt lying on the floor. “Give me that.”
            I do. He pushes the end of the belt through the buckle and pulls tightly around my upper arm.      
           “Now watch what I do. I’m not doing this for you again.”
            I watch as he prepares to inject me. My body still trembling.
            “Alright, be still. Control that shit. Be still!”
            He brings the needle to my vein and it pinches my skin. Immediately I’m taken over by a feeling of euphoria. A feeling that isn’t as intense when I take it dry. My head lowers. My eyes close.
            I begin to nod off. I can hear him, but can’t find the energy to lift my head and open my eyes. I’ve always wondered why people never go back to snorting once they shoot up. I now have my answer. 
            “I’m out of here. Thanks for the stroller. Say hello to your son if you ever get him back.”
            The door slams. Satellite walked out the door and so did my last chance to get my son back.

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