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Adonis breathed far and few through his nose, "Wh-So you have a history with drugs? Just weed? Or...others?"

Gaige shrugged, picking at a string on the cuff of his windbreaker, "Weed, Ecstasy, addy, Ambien, coke. Whatever was around that I could get my hands on," Gaige had severely calmed down since the beginning of this conversation, his eyes looking more and more troubled or tired as they talked. 

Adonis bit his lip, hesitating for a moment, "Did these drugs ever get you...in trouble?" In his mind, Adonis could see flashing images of Gagie passed out, no breath coming out of his cocaine covered nose, ambulance sirens playing widely in his head. His jaw clenched as he waited for the influenced boy to answer. 

Gaige moved his lips side to side in some kind of indecisive moment, "You mean health trouble or law trouble? Because, sure, I've had a bit of both. Lord knows I've woke up with some wicked hang-overs. And let's just say I've had a few rides in the back of a police car," Gaige's face slowly contorted to a smirk.

Adonis' fingers played with the edges of the table, "Do you think these drug or law problems ever influenced your eating problems?"

The boy across the table didn't answer for some time. Gaige ran a hand over his mouth, pulling his pale, cold skin. Gritted his teeth together. Tongue darting out to moisten his lips. 

"My first problem with the law I was 14, right before my 15th birthday. It was a MIP; Minor in possession. I was caught with barely any weed in my pockets. In Florida, it's six-month probation on the first offense. My mom could barely look at me for a week. But I didn't stop. A month before my probation would have ended I was caught drinking with a few upperclassmen, obviously breaking probation. Second offense in a minimum of sixty days in the juvenile correction center. I remember my mom crying while I walked into the cold brick center with colder cuffs on my wrists. That's where it started."

He didn't keep talking. Not voluntarily. And as any good journalist knows, if they don't talk willingly, provoke until they talk, "How'd it start, Gaige? How did the correction center start all this?"

Gaige attempted a smile, "You mean my hatred for anything in my body other than pills and potions? If you've ever ate shitty cafeteria food, imagine it being made by a bunch of 13 to 18-year-olds with limited supplies and no knowledge of how to turn a fucking stove on other than to heat up their heroin. It's borderline unedible. I'd force myself to eat it some days because my mom didn't have money to send me care packages of food. Her boss fired her after her son got caught drinking with me. I felt guilty every night I stared up at the bunk on top of me. I was losing weight that way, not eating prison food. 

"And then one day, a new boy came. He was immediately hot meat. I don't know if you've ever heard of a prison bitch, but in juvie they call it gang bangs because your best chance at luxury in the lockup was fucking someone in the good gangs. I was what I like to call a lone wolf, but I wanted the protection of 'friends'," Gaige rolled his eyes at his own air quoted word, "And when new boys came, it was all shots fired. But this one boy, I guess he had a decent face, just on that he would have been pretty valuable. But what the vultures wanted was his thin waist. The way his hips swayed femininely. It probably reminded them of all the whore they fucked on the outside. I'll never forget all the lunch table conversations about the way the boys wanted to grip the new one's hips in their fingers. How they were sick and tired of 'Fat used meat here'. They wanted skinny. Slim. Soft. That's who they'd protect. That's who I had to become."

Adonis' fingers gripped the edge of the table, swallowing harshly, he continues the interview, "You starved yourself...for protection?"

"Eh," Gaige lets out the tiniest shrug, "I starved myself because of the food. I worked day in day out in the weights room to shred the fat I could. For protection, I guess, but for company too. Mom barely visited, she was on so many job interviews, desperately trying to find a job -not that I would have wanted to see here. Leon and Maddie couldn't come without guardianship permission and they didn't have anyone with time or willing to do that. I was fucking alone. And had already spent days in isolation to only come out to the boys laughing at me as if I looked like some idiot. 

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