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"Sweet little baby in a world full of pain..."

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Loving an addict is like loving a ghost.

Loving them is cold and empty. Every hug is hollow, every kiss is distant, every encounter grows more and more straining. But your hands will always reach for them. Your lips will always crave their touch. Your soul will continue to yearn for the one you loved so deeply before their body was crippled with disease.

At first you don't notice the problem. It scurries in the middle of the night, hiding in the shadows. At first, the problem will only surface during the night. Some nights you spend alone in your bed, wondering what's taking them so long to return to you. You call and you call, and if you ever get a response, it's not from the same person. Not really.

As time progresses, the addiction grows to something more dominant. The habit seeps into the day and consumes the light out of their eyes. The addiction feeds on everything good that lives inside, until there's nothing left but a walking carcass.

The white in their eyes has faded. The color in their face has flushed. The sound of their voice cracks. The ugliness on the inside overpowers all control, and boils through the surface.

Addiction is like loving a ghost.

You stick around because there's always love for the person that once was. You can still hear their laugh, you can still see their dimples, you can still feel their warmth. But not really.

Loving an addict is like loving a ghost because you don't want to let go.

In fear of forgetting the person they once were.

I laid flat on my back on Lip's bed feeling empty and exhausted. The covers were bunched around my legs as I held his pillow close to my chest and stared at the stain on the ceiling. I slept a full day away and accomplished nothing but stress. When I wasn't tossing and turning, I was dreaming about my addict. On days of stress and anguish, she visits when I'm sleeping. But I know the only reason she's there is because I think about her on purpose.

It's sadistic, I know, but thinking about her sets things in perspective.

Sometimes I see her with people. Tony, mainly. She sits in the corner toying with him like her little doll. Usually he screams or cries, but sometimes he's quiet, almost as if he's submissive to her. Sometimes I see her with Renee, that's when she's happy. Renee sits in her lap with a smile on her face, almost as if she's happy to be there.

It's odd, and often times, they don't make any sense. But last night's dream was different.

This time she was with Julian. I watched as she held his hand and caressed his face before planting a soft kiss on his lips. Once her dead lips met his, that was it. His face drained of color and those once pearly blue eyes diminished to white. He fell to the ground gasping for air, and she stood over him with her foot to his chest and eyes on me.

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