Saving Quinton

By: Jessica Sorensen

Saving Quinton


Jessica Sorensen


Chapter 1



Quinton


I wake up every morning feeling content that I’m drowning in darkness. Blissfully, mind-numbingly content, without worrying or being haunted by my fucked-up past because I can’t feel a fucking thing. At least after I take my first hit. Once I get the taste of that bitterly sweet, wonderfully toxic, white crystals up my nose, it’ll burn out the back of my throat along with all my emotions. Then I’ll be good to go for days. The guilt that I carry around in me will briefly die and I’ll slowly die right along with it. I’m glad because I want to be dead.

And I’m working on getting there, one numbing line at a time.

I can’t remember the last time I slept, just like I can’t remember the name of the woman lying beside me in my bed, passed out with her top off. I met her last night when she showed up with Dylan and Delilah and somehow we ended up in my room where we had meaningless sex and then she passed out from whatever she’s on. It’s become a routine, a painfully longstanding routine that I’m addicted to. Part of me wishes I wasn’t, but the other part knows that I deserve exactly what I have—nothing.

After struggling all night to shut my eyes, seeking sleep but never getting there, I finally climb off the mattress on the floor. I’ve been going for days, strung out on line after line, my eyes bulging out of my head, my body and mind so tense and worn out from the energy overload, yet still fighting to stay awake. If I don’t get more into my system soon, I’m going to crash.

I grab a pair of jeans from off the chipped linoleum floor and pull them on. My bedroom is about the size of a closet and contains a shitty mattress, a box with stuff that I never look at anymore, a lamp, and a mirror and razor that are always within reach. I pick them both up off the floor and then the empty plastic bag next to it. I must have finished it off last night…although I can barely remember doing it. I can barely remember anything anymore. Days and nights are blurred together in pieces that are quickly fading.

“Shit,” I mutter, wiping my finger along the mirror’s dry surface, and then lick my finger clean, sucking every last drop off it. It doesn’t do anything for the starving beast stirring inside me, ready to wake up and claw at my skin if I don’t feed it. I toss the mirror across the room, watching it shatter against the wall. “Dammit.” I snatch a shirt up off the floor and pull it on as I hurry out into the narrow hall, tripping over a few people passed out on the floor, none of whom I know, but they always seem to be around.

When I reach the door at the end of the hall, the room that belongs to my cousin Tristan, I turn the doorknob but it’s locked, so I hammer my fist against it. “Tristan, open up the fucking door…I need to get in there. Now.”

There’s no response, so I bang on the door harder, slamming my shoulder into the wood. My body starts to shake by the third slam…my mouth salivating by the fifth…by the seventh I feel like I could fucking kill someone if I don’t get my goddamned dose in me.

Finally the door weakens and starts to cave beneath my violent slams, but it won’t give in completely. The need to feed the irrational and unstable monster inside me becomes too much, and I kick the door over and over again as hard as I can. Panic starts to set in as a stream of images of the people I’ve lost flow through my head: Lexi, Ryder, my mom, whom I never met. They all ram me in the chest, sucking the air out of my lungs. Then, at the end of the images, I see Nova’s eyes, which look blue at first unless you look close enough to see the green hidden in them. I don’t know why I see her. It’s not like I lost her. She’s still alive and out there somewhere in the world, hopefully happy. But for some reason I can’t stop thinking about her, even though I barely know her, only spent a couple of months with her last summer during her brief fall into the drug world. Yet I can’t seem to get her out of my head, at least until I get my dose of fake bliss, then all I’ll be thinking about is where to channel the burst of energy. If I could get this fucking door down—

With one last kick, the trimming splinters apart and the door opens. I stumble into the room, sweating and shaking like a rabid dog. Tristan’s passed out on the mattress with a girl lying beside him and her arm draped over his chest. On the floor beside the mattress are a spoon and a needle, but I don’t go for them. It’s not my thing, not what I want. No, what I want is in his top dresser drawer.

I rush over to it, kicking his clothes out of the way, the memories of everyone I lost swarming around me, surrounding me, pounding at my skull and making me feel like I’m going to hurl. Lexi dying on the side of the road, soaked in her own blood, and me beside her with her blood on my hands. The life I never had with my mother, the heartbreaking look in Tristan’s eyes whenever he mentions his sister, Ryder. Nova in that goddamned pond, where I ultimately left her to cry her eyes out alone because she was going to hand her virginity to a piece of shit like me. Then I see her face at the concert when she saw me dealing and then when she got in her car at the trailer park, ready to drive away and leave me forever—the last time I saw her.

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