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"I'm peeling the skin off my face...'cause I really hate being safe..." -Melanie Martinez - Mad Hatter

Grey smoke fills the air and it's as if I'm lost in my own little world

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Grey smoke fills the air and it's as if I'm lost in my own little world. In this world there is no anger, no rage, no fury. In this world there's nothing but silence and sublime feelings. This world is filled with serene smells and intoxicating dreams. There's no such thing as yelling or screaming, there's no such thing as hate and fear. In this world I'm not a tiny mouse that people can step on. In this world I am a human being capable of magnificent feelings.

There's nothing to hold me back. There's nothing to belittle me.

In this world I am myself. Beautifully imperfect.

I reach out above me and grab at a butterfly that's taunting me above the hard ground of the hotel floor. My fingers grasp for the beautiful creature as it disappears into smoke leaving behind sparks that fall to my face. My heart slows as everything around me pauses. The smoke in the air stills as everyone becomes silent.

I lift my head to look at the people I don't know. Everything is moving in slow motion. All the guys are who are chugging beers move at a slow pace, all the girls slow while dancing on the kitchen table. The music turns to a soft hum while the lights begin to dim.

Everything is grey and slow including me.

I feel the hair on my arms rise and a surprising giggle shoot out of me. I grab my stomach as it feels like I'm being tickled by an unknown force.

In the blink of an eye, everything moves back into place and Renee falls next to me on the floor as she laughs with black sunglasses covering her red eyes. Music blaring through the sky as people start laughing and chattering, breaking the previous silence.

"Oh my god, Cassandra. Drew just snorted sugar thinking it was coke." She closes her eyes and continues to laugh while holding her stomach. Her hair a curly mess and her cheeks tinted pink.

I smile as I reach over and start fiddling with her curly brown hair.

Suddenly her laugh comes to a stop and she turns to face me with a serious face, "When do you I get to meet your boys?"

My smile fades as she reminds me about the people I've forgotten about. The family that doesn't know who I am anymore. The family that has their own set of problems to worry about. The whole reason I'm even here is because of them and where am I? With Renee living on another planet with disappearing butterflies.

A planet that doesn't know innocence.

She starts playing with my hair in return and I force a smile, "Soon."

The words leave my mouth even though I don't mean them. In my heart I know, I would never introduce them to the devil that raised a monster out of me.

-----

My head is on fire while every bone in my body feels like weak glass. My eyes are burning a hole in their sockets and my nose feels like the desert, everything in my body is feeling the consequence of my stupid decisions. The addict is asleep in the corner of my mind with a grotesque smile is plastered on her face because she's satisfied. She finally has what she's wanted all along. The feeling of guilt begins to creep up on me as well as shame. How did I let this happen again? How did I fall prisoner to the weak parts of my mind? There's only one reasonable answer to that: myself. I did this to myself.

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