It was a cold day. The slice of ice burns my hand and I raise my head to the sky in pure ecstasy. I am only young. I know some people may wonder why I am like this. The fact remains that Ashleigh made me this way. She led me through the darkness and left me there. The ice was gone in a flash. Melted onto my hand. Cold. I pull the matches out of my pocket; shove the old Winston into my mouth. American cigarettes. I know what the people who used to know me would think. I always said I would never smoke. But then again, I also said I would never do drugs. Now look at me. I strike the match and watch it burn. The fire contrasts with the ice that was just upon me. I watch the dance, liquid trance. It burns further and further down down. To my fingers. I let it burn me before I drop it to the floor. Littering. It is not a good habit. I strike another and this time hold it to the cigarette. People are looking at me. People I used to know. They can all piss off. The cigarette catches and blackens. I pull in the first drag and try my best not to cough. I crave cigarettes, I spend my life wanting them, but when I light up it is still a shock to my throat. It’s not been long. One, maybe two months. I pull one lungful in and blow it out slowly. The next drag I hold in my mouth and blow. I still can’t smoke a whole cigarette. I can’t pull all of it back into my lungs. It is ecstasy though. The people I smoke with, the doors open to me now. I glare at the whispering voices. Fuck you.


Later. Tonight. I look back over our conversation, me and her. How she said she hated me. I remember our kisses. Her lips were so soft against mine. Kissing girls is so much sweeter. My memories embody themselves, and I can almost taste her once again. Her sweet soft lips, her beautiful face looking at me. I am alone now. I light up my third and final cigarette of the day and pick up the razorblade. I carve into myself. I am the masterpiece a thousand artists are looking for. I am the embodiment of it all. My feelings out. My heart on my sleeve. Well, knee. Fuck up glistening, shiny and new on my arm. It was her, Ashleigh, that helped me with this. I never even thought of carving words before. It stings to holy hell. I smile as I pull the cigarette all the way back. It dwindles down so easily. I stub it out on my arm. A full stop for my new creation. The neighbours can hear my screams.


I let her roll the spliff. I don’t have enough experience rolling fags to trust myself with this precious lime heaven. It’s a three paper one. Huge. Should last a long time. We mix it with tobacco to make it go further. We know the risks. Johnny drives up. He gives us more. We give him money and sexual favours. I wonder why it has come to this. We light it and pass it between the six of us. We all enjoy it. Four drags then pass to your left. Routine. Enjoy it. It lasts for three rounds then we have to go back into the party. Alcohol prevails the rest of the drones. We have some too but we don’t need it as much. It’s better to be stoned. I bask in the smoky atmosphere for a whole minute more than the others. I know who I am, I enjoy this. I breathe in deep, sucking the last smoke particles from the air. I feel better. Ashleigh would have been here if I wasn’t. She would have been smoking this shit. I feel guilty, but not much. She is the one who doesn’t want to be around me anymore. My best friend. I can still remember the first time she handed me some weed. Gave me advice. She knew I hadn’t even smoked cigarettes before; she didn’t want me to look like a fool. I smile at her thoughtfulness and head inside, where they are blaring queen out of the speakers. Classic party tune or some such shit. I retrieve my danoff and creep into a corner, drinking quietly. I am a silent ghost.


We collapse onto the floor some hours later. I disgust myself. In my last threads of consciousness I wonder how it ever got to this. How I became this person. Ashleigh. She encouraged me. Then left me in the dark, alone. I wonder briefly how things would have turned out if...but I am down for the count. The world is black.


The next morning I wake, and I wonder where I am. Some fragments of the previous night return to me. Too much alcohol. Too many cigarettes. Nowhere near enough weed. I want to open my new stash, but I know there is a party this weekend, I know we will want it then. I have to save it. Instead of rolling a joint, I stumble outside to light a fag. The light is harsh upon my eyes. Dawn brightest of all. It makes my head spin. I light myself up anyway and lean against the wall. Georgina won’t mind. Five minutes to myself, no one else is awake yet. I am the only one. I am the best one. The sun is rising slowly but surely, and I let the light burn my eyes. I don’t have anywhere to go after this; an empty flat in a bum town is hardly an exciting prospect. I wonder what everyone else is doing. I wonder to myself how Georgia and Darren afford this place. It is a nice, quiet street, with lots of old people. Hardly quiet last night. I wonder how many complaints she will get. It’s going to be a long day for me. If no one wants to come back with me, or no one wants me to go to theirs, I should probably clean. A long day in bed sounds much more appealing.


Alice comes out just before I finish my fag, for one of her own. She rolls it silently and I do not speak to her. She is far too hung over for me to even consider it. I find it strange how much we talk whilst high, and not at all whilst sober. We hardly ever come into contact except when high. She’s a pretty little thing, blonde and tiny. I shake my head and stub the cigarette out on the side of the house. I sneak back inside. Not to wake the drones. I turn on her TV to see what is on. I channel hop until I find some low brow comedy. It’s all I can stand to barely watch this early in the morning. My bus home will be here in about two hours. I have nothing else to do. I watch some people sleep. Restless. Soulless. I can live without them. I sigh and rub my brows. So long to wait I might as well walk, but I know I would never do that. My head spins as I sigh, a deep depressed sigh. No one stirs. No one hears. I am no one to them. Fuck you for the pain I feel.


My hair feels greasy. My head feels funny. My stomach feels sick. I feel. Shit. Maybe it is the anxiety. Maybe it is the effects of last night. Maybe it is the bus rattling along, swaying, and jolting. I am alone. I knew I would be really. Nothing changes. Nothing ever changes. I am still the same person. So are you. We will never change. We are always this. You enter the world alone and you damn sure die alone. Ash told me this. Her philosophy to live to the fullest. Keep me alive. Keep me strong. Things blur into one continuum. The trees flying past at record speed make me feel woozy. Two minutes to save the world. The bomb living, breathing, dying, turning. Why did I just think that? What is going on with me? A thousand questions and not one answer. Except the single answer. The answer to all of these and none of them. The most recent. The carving on my arm. The world spins and we can’t stop it. I am just an ordinary little fuck up, trying to find my way. Piss off. Don’t judge this person, sat across from you, totally out of it and mentally vacant. You don’t know me and I don’t know you. I start to plan this. Tomorrow. I will get a new harvest. I don’t need to buy weed when I can pick free shrooms. I win at this. I am your master and you shall obey me.


She put these thoughts in my head. She passed me that first joint. And yet I still don’t blame her. I have no idea why. I love her. I want her to be happy with that man. I know she won’t be. But he gives her free weed; they say they are in love. I may have to believe it one day. He is an alright bloke. He gives me free drags on his joints. I just want to know who he is. He doesn’t seem to be the sort of person she would meet in everyday life. That beautiful girl. My beautiful girl. My Ashleigh. My best friend or she was, once upon a dream. I suppose the dream is over now. Who am I? Who are you? Who was she? Questions, no answers. Fuck up.


I go home and log onto twitter. I catch up and thank the world. It’s my last goodbye but no one will know this until it is too late. Ashleigh. Ashleigh. You confuse me. Am I in love with you? What is this feeling I have for you? Can I name it? Can you name it? I would have never thought that I liked girls. Maybe it is just you. Because your soul is so wise. So beautiful. So fucking fucked up. You’re as fucked up as me, if not more. Maybe that is why. Maybe that’s why we were so drawn to one another. Ashleigh you fill my soul, and although I am not sticking around, I am not scared. Because of you. You fill me Ashleigh. You make me smile unlike any other.


I deliberate over the send button. Once I press it there is no going back. I can’t live with the humiliation if I post it. Admitting that I am in love with a girl. I will be killed. If not by her by someone. She won’t even see it. She deleted me. I don’t know what life will be without her. It hasn’t been long, only a few days, but I know she is certain about this. I miss her more than I have missed anything. My being craves for the oneness I once felt with her, that I never felt with another human being. I think it might finally be time. For this life to end. I pick up the box. Filled to the brim with mushrooms. I start to eat. At least I won’t feel anything. I know for a fact there are some poisonous ones in with the hallucinogens. It will be a fucked up, trippy death. Perfect. The embodiment of my whole life summarized in my death. They taste soft, wet, squidgy, a multitude of flavours. Some still have a small amount of mud on, but I do not care. My head starts to whirl and I grin to myself. Yes. This is exactly what I have always wanted. Ashleigh. I laugh to myself as I finally press send.


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