Love on Gaia: The End (The Beginning)

My entry for Agápē. Ingame name: Drina.

The End (The Beginning)

It was getting worse, Rye could feel it. The want. The need. The craving.

She kept telling herself she had it under control, telling herself she could fight the urge, but every night it was harder and harder to ignore. Pretty soon she couldn’t even fall asleep until she had her fix of Liquid Blue. And then, sweet release and momentary bliss, though they were shorter-lived every time she used.

She broke the cardinal rule of good dealers: don’t sample your product. She held out for so long that when she finally tried that sticky blue liquid, she almost couldn’t see what the obsession was about. Not more than days later, she had run out of her supply and had no money to show for it. She’d used every last drop. She was lucky They didn’t punish her, didn’t kill her. Addiction was common enough that They expected some of their dealers to fall, to become users–at least that’s what she assumed. So They let her live.

They stopped supplying her, though, and They stopped letting her represent Them. They knew she was hooked and that she didn’t have a chance of coming clean. Nobody ever got clean. The drug consumed its users until they were angry, babbling freaks on the streets, unaware of who they were or how they got there, spewing black bile and screaming into the night. Rye had seen this so many times. She knew that’s where she was headed, too. And she knew she deserved it.

After a couple months of use, she had lost nearly everything, including all traces of dignity. She didn’t have money, so she did whatever it took to get more of that sweet, cruel Liquid Blue. Nothing was beneath her, and no matter how many times she thought she’d hit bottom, the world would open up until she fell even further.

In her waking hours, in her brief sober hours, Rye hated herself for what she had become: a junkie. She wanted to beat it, even if nobody believed she could.

Two days of sobriety was nearly killing her. She couldn’t stop convulsing, shaking, crying, vomiting blackness. And the dreams (nightmares) were so vivid, she wasn’t sure when she was awake, and when she was asleep. She fought hard, though, locked in her hole-in-the-wall apartment with the radio turned up so the neighbors couldn’t hear her screams of agony and her cries of pain. After a while, it felt like sleep was nowhere to be found, her mind racing with all the crazed thoughts the after-effects of the drug elicited.

By the third day, she hadn’t slept, and hadn’t been able to keep down anything but water. She was simply waiting to die. Rye was in a daze, her thoughts only half coherent. The lack of sleep and food added to the delusions. The walls were closing in all around her, black tendrils creeping from every crevice, and she was sure they were going to crush her, squeeze her, smother her, snuff out her life.

It was a warm night and she had the window open as she lay in bed, desperately trying to fall asleep, hopefully forever. Her stomach was in knots and beads of sweat gathered all over her skin. Rye closed her eyes, half expecting to see a light ahead of her, calling her to Heaven or Hell. Instead, she finally fell asleep, a deep, heavy, smothering sleep.

And while she slept, a lone bee flew in through the open window, and right into her open mouth, a silent prayer answered, granting her the grace she needed to overcome the drug in her system, blessing her with Gaia’s protection. Whether it was pity, love, or pure need that brought the bee to her that night, Rye would forever be indebted to it.