*Trigger Warning: Drugs, death substance abuse.*
By Nthabiseng Ntshala
We met, spoke, laughed and fell in love.
We learnt, accepted each other and even got addicted to each other. We took each other’s bad habits and made them our own, individually.
I forgot my values and my beliefs. Her presence in my life mattered so much it became easy to be influenced by it.
First time I said no and got angry at the idea that was placed before me. I was angered by the fact I saw her say yes to these ideas, had she never opened up about it before. The fact that she had never ever hinted at it got to me the most.
She apologized and I accepted, forgave and convinced myself she must have felt embarrased or scared to tell me about her habit entlek her addiction.
We continued our relationship.
She promised to stop, she fought and I watched her in pain.
I cried with her. I got ointments for the marks she left during the cravings.
I was so mad that powder could do this to a person.
One day I came home angry, sad, frustrated yet excited and happy to see her. However the negative emotions and energy made it hard to smile or speak to her that evening. She went to bed early, I listened to music trying to relax.
I smoked my kush but nothing helped.
I then walked out and into the white powder I drowed. I never tried it so i felt weird. I then felt so happy and alive.
That’s when my addiction started.
I didn’t care. I even got her to get back on it.
The pain she went through trying to stop was just another ‘scare story’. My happiness and feeling alive mattered more.
I stopped school, and worked because all I wanted was to stay high and making money was the best solution. We decided to stay in most nights as it would be hard being surrounded and having cravings, excusing ourselves all the time could really irritate our friends.
We believed were one so we shared needles, fed it to each other.
Inflicted each other.
No one had the mind to stop the other.
I got scheduled for night shift so as usual, I made supper early, packed my dinner and showered. I kissed my boo, and took more than usual but I felt no difference at the time so I told her I loved her and she said ‘uyayazi usisithandwa sam, ungaze uyilibale lonto‘ ().
I hugged and kissed her goodbye told her to wait up for me.
I worked the first hour but I felt dizzy and everything became dark. Next thing I felt droplet on my face and asked to be taken home.
We got there to find the white powder everywhere but the scarriest thing was following the blood trail.
I was so scared my whole body was literally shaking as the thought ran through my mind of what could possibly be at the end of the road or in this case the end of the passage. I wanted to run and help but the fear paralysed my body.
I was ready to face reality and face the consequences of my addiction. I had caused her relapse but how we had got there was just a memory of a conversation we had at a moment of highness.
The further we went down the corridor the more red drops were scattered on the floor. The more droplets there were the more my heart felt like a time bomb.
I closed my eyes and asked my hand to be held and be directed.
Now I am going to see her laying there breathless.
Finally we got to the door, and all I heard was a voice screaming. ‘
Call for help, call an ambulance, quickly call someone!’
I froze with panic, her numbness was inflicted in me. I was at the door at the door motionless. I stood looking at her body lying there with no sign of life it. This selfishly transformed me into a victim who also needing medical assistance.
Not sure if it was trauma, fear or the craving that dropped me to the floor.
I awoke thinking it had been a nightmare, only to feel my throbbing head, the smell of medication and sicknesses and the sight of a hospital.
All I wanted was to hear how she was.
I gathered the strength to get up and look for a doctor or a familiar face so I can be taken to see her. I then met the doctor in charge and he had concern written on his face.
He asked ‘how are you feeling?’ and I replied by telling him I want to see her. I was told she had survived but was still in a critical condition because she knocked her head on the bath and overdosed on whatever she took.
The chill that went down my spine and paralyzed me for a few minutes. All I could do was stare with a blank mind. Tears started rolling down as reality started sinking in. How selfish can I be that I made my problems hers, she made sure she makes me happy and she listens to what I say? I asked her to stop as hard as it was she was trying until I made her to start again.
The doctor came to my ward to give the results of the tests taken and to me a shocking life sentence was given
I was HIV positive and she was dead.
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