Imani

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He walked up to me and pressed his lips on mine before walking away. I didn't really kiss back, I just sort of sat there, lifeless.

"Bye baby, see you later"

"Bye Damien"

My head was pounding and I felt droplets fall from my nose.

I put my hand to my face and the blood coming from my nose smeared on my mouth and the area around it.

Feeling too weak to move, or to do anything, I felt my eyes roll back and my limbs relaxed as I fell asleep.

When I woke up, I looked in the mirror and what I saw brought a sad wave over me. My long legs were thin and weak. The outline of my ribs was prominent and took away any look of healthiness I had left. My eyes were dull and no longer full of life like before. My thick black hair was frail and cracking. I stared in the mirror, and saw what I had done to myself. For the thousandth time, I had decided I was going to stop. I had to stop, it was my only option if I wanted to stay alive.

I looked at the white dust on the table and became enraged. Why had this happened to me? Why did I let him do this to me? Why had I done this to myself? I blew the powder off the dresser and watched as white filled the air around me. I sunk down to my knees and watched, I knew I could never do this to myself again. I had to change.

Two days later, I sat in the bathtub, I held my knees to my chest tightly and I shivered violently, I pressed my head between my knees trying to control the movements. The water was warm surrounding my body but I felt cold and I couldn't stop my body from shaking.

My memory was faded, because from my bath, to around 8, was a blur of consciousness that made my day seem like it went by fast. I knew Damien was home because I heard loud music coming from the bedroom. I made a quick meal that gave a me bit of strength and energy. I heard a knock on the door and went to go get it.

It was El Vato, a friend of Damien who sold him supply to distribute. I'd seen him many times before and we had a sort of an unspoken relationship. He looked at me in my eyes and I gave him the best smile I could muster. It must've come out weak and sad because he gave me a look I can only describe as pity.

I guess Damien heard the door too, because before either of us could say anything, he started talking.

They talked briefly but the whole time I stared at him, not hearing the words that came out of his mouth.

He had a pale, almost olive skin tone. His dark brown eyes seem worried and full of anxiety. His voice was deep and he had a slight Spanish accent. He had a strong, dominant, demeanor. He wasn't super tall, but he was taller than me, he was strong and had a lean, muscular frame. His body seemed huge compared to mine, my thin bones protruding, visible through my tight clothes.

I fantasized about his arms around me, I wondered how they would feel. I thought about pressing my head to his heart and listening to it beat while he slept. I even imagined how it would feel if he pushed his lips onto mine and kissed me. How it would be if we spent the night together, and we went all the way.

Sometimes when I thought about him, I wondered when he would come
Back. Sometimes it was a while until he came for a delivery, those were the worst because I never knew if he was okay.

I was awakened from my fever dream when I heard Damien say

"Taste that baby" he pushed a small mountain of white powder on the top of a knife, toward my face. I looked into his eyes and felt scared. My heart pounded and I leaned in, inhaling deeply.

"It's good, baby" I said, fighting back tears. I looked back at him and he had a smile on his face that made my stomach turn.

I became aware that Vato was looking at me and when I looked down at his hands, I saw him fold the tiniest piece of paper and place it discreetly. That's when I knew today was my last day here. I mentally smiled to my self because I knew it would only get better from here.

Hours passed and when Damien said

"Imma go shower, make sure you ready for me when I get out" he chuckled and kissed on my neck for a few seconds.

As soon as he got in the shower, I grabbed my phone and searched for the paper Vato left me as if to make sure it hadn't disappeared.

The phone rang once and I almost hung up by the second. "This is a mistake" I told myself. Of course he wouldn't answer, what was I thinking.

"Hello, who is this?" His voice was raspy and deep. The scratchiness lead me to believe he was sleeping or something.

"Vato? Is that you" I said in a rushed whisper. I looked to the side to check that Damien was still busy.

"Imani?" He sounded confused almost.

"I need you to come get me" I said, desperately.

"Are you ok?" I didn't even want to know what he was thinking at the moment. I had to act fast.

"Listen, can you come or not? I don't have anyone else to call" This was my only way out.

"I'm on my way now" when he hung up the phone, I smiled and tears welled in my eyes. I covered my mouth with my hand and let out a sob of relief.

As quiet as possible, I grabbed a duffel bag and stuffed in some changes of  clothes and a pair of sandals. I grabbed my ID, my passport, and 500$ from his nightstand. I put on a hoodie and a pair of sneakers.

I heard the shower curtain shift and the water was turned off. I got nervous and knew I was running out of time.

"I'm here" my phone dinged and that was all I needed. Before the bathroom door was fully open, I closed the front door quietly and left forever. As I ran down the stairway I smiled. 

*********
I really loved writing this one.
Let me know what you think 💗

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