The” haunted house” has always been in my neighborhood. When we were little we stayed away from it. When I became a teenager and my little sister, Dani, would annoy me I would tell her the ghosts from the haunted house would fly in our windows and take her if she wasn’t asleep. I thought it was funny, you know one of those older sister “things.”
When I was 15 I claimed that neglected house as my own. Eventually it became our crack house,but for the first few months it was our hang out. We’d go there every day, cutting Senior year’s “internship” program. We had a tight circle of five or six friends. We all brought drugs, I stole pills from my mother’s medicine cabinet, there was alcohol, weed, all of us brought food, Benny and Steve always had heroin, my best friend Jenny brought cocaine and chocolate chip cookies.
My parents had no idea of who I had become. All they did was fight with each other. It was pathetic how easy lying was. If you wanted to change your life, it was so simple. Assholes. They didn’t even pay attention. My little sister played in her room, alone. She barely came out.
One night, at dinner, the tension between my parents was especially bad, thick like the humid rain forests, we had to study. Hard to breathe. I saw my 7-year-old sister sucking her thumb which she hadn’t done since she was 3. I was fed-up with their non-stop bickering but when I tried to say something both my parents would tersely say “not now Tess.”
I pushed my chair back from the table and left, telling them I had study group and they didn’t even question me about what class or where I was going, so I left. I headed to my real home, the crack house where I knew my friends were.
I sat on the floor next to Danny he lit up a joint and we shared a few beers. It felt so good. I tried to forget about mom and dad but it was hard. Danny said there was one thing that would help me forget all about it as we giggled together and he nuzzled into me and whispered in my ear “I have something special just for you.” He laughed and said “Baby. I promise you, it is the biggest high you will ever have, all your silly problems will melt away in a minute.” He showed me the heroin and the idea of escaping my miserable world was so tempting.”Since it’s your first time, I’ll even stay with you if you want.”
We kissed and I whispered “okay” in his ear. He looked so happy that I let him inject the heroin into my vein. First, from what I can remember, I felt amazing, lots of colors and sounds, I had no idea where I was but it was better than any place I had seen. I remember dancing to the music alone, smiling a lot.
Later on, I got paranoid and scared. I just remember screaming so loudly in my ear. Everywhere people were screaming and I couldn’t take all that noise, I cried from the pain, covered my ears with my hands but it did not go away. Hours later there was nobody left and the screaming remained. Apparently the screaming came from me.
I don’t know what happened after that, someone must have called the police because I just remember an ambulance coming and strapping me down. I screamed when I saw both my parents waiting at the hospital, holding hands? The nurse gave me a shot. I felt asleep in seconds.
When I awakened I pretty much just felt stupid, only realizing then that my problems had just begun.I saw a glimpse of my little sister hiding behind the curtains. I tried to smile but she did not want anything to do with me. I didn’t blame her.
I really was sorry, I guess we all were. My parents decided we would all go to family therapy and they would go to couples counseling. I lived back at home and my relationship with my little sister got better, sometimes I even played with her in her room. The crack house had been gutted and cleared.
I was happy to see it go. More than happy.