Chapter Two


July 8th, 2015

                Hadley’s head screamed, her stomach turned. But, the hangover was nothing, not compared to the guilt. She’d fallen off the wagon in spectacular form, as if she’d never missed a step. Glancing to the old Digitex on her night-stand, she sighed in disappointment at the flashing 11:31 AM. Not only had she slept through her morning shift, she’d made it all the way to lunch. At least she still had time before Simon would arrive. He couldn’t know, no one could know she’d done it again, not if she wanted Adam back.

Groaning at the volatile mix of pain and nausea, Hadley struggled to sit up. Looking around the room, her throat tightened as tears welled in her eyes. She pulled herself off the sweat and vomit soaked queen-size bed, wiping her eyes. The room was large, the master of the house. She didn’t have to worry about Simon coming up though, she’d clean it later.

As Hadley struggled to the bathroom adjacent to the bed she tried to remember what she’d taken. I was just going to have three or four whiskies at that club, maybe meet someone. Shannon gave me a hit of E. Why do I feel so shitty? Reaching the door, Hadley pushed it open and set the lights to dim. The bathroom was almost as large as her room. It had two separate baths, one was closer to a hot tub than a bath, the other containing a combined shower-head. The floor was marble, and the walls were bamboo paneled heartwood, as was the sauna entrance directly to her left. She knew this, because she’d redone the bathroom herself. This home had been her and Simons honeymoon, just four years ago. She’d been so excited, as it overlapped with her twenty first birthday. Reaching the sink, her spirits dropped even further. What did you do this for, Hadley? Don’t you care about Adam?

A silver teaspoon sat on the rim of the sink, it had a stained red-black tourniquet draped over the hilt. A brown and red needle with dried blood on the tip rested near the drain. Scrambling, Hadley pulled off her sweatshirt examining her inner elbows. My right is clear, nothing on my left either.  Pulling down her pants, Hadley heart dropped to her stomach. At least I’d had the good sense to try and hide the marks last night. Her left inner thigh had exactly seven track marks, two appeared to be over arteries, thank god, she hadn’t injected into those. Simon won’t know if I just put some makeup on and keep him from feeling the area. I just need to act normal, cover this shit up, and clean that mess.

Her eyes wouldn’t stop watering as she looked at herself in the mirror. She felt older than she was. Her face was sharp, angular. Her high cheekbones, she’d always been so proud of, now made her feel gaunt and vulnerable. Her cheeks had sunken in as she’d lost weight. She had acne from drug use along her left cheekbone. It had faded since she’d quit four months ago, but it looked enflamed now. Her eyes were a piercing green and her hair was a long, disheveled, midnight black. A long scar crossed her flat, pale, lower abdomen from her caesarean section. She hated the scar, it reminded her of what she did to earn it. It’s funny how guilty feelings about drug use always seemed to lead to more drug use. Calm down Hadley, you can do this. Turning, she walked quickly to the shower. She wiped her eyes, removing sleep and tears, before removing the rest of her clothing. She turned the nozzle six tenths of the way to full. It’s a sensitive shower.

Hadley stepped into the shower after testing the warm water. Immediately, she reached for the soap, and started to scrub vigorously. After thirty seconds, she took a break to apply a liberal amount of shampoo. As she soaked it into her long hair, she looked to the stainless-steel nozzle and whispered “I just need to clean last night off of me, and everything will be fine.” She let the shampoo fall over her watering eyes, punishing herself with the sting. Every part of me must be cleaned.


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