Playback | Teen Ink


June 7, 2018
By Theraforever PLATINUM, Dubuque, Iowa
Theraforever PLATINUM, Dubuque, Iowa
20 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
And still I rise.

It should’ve been me. A little girl, needle in arm, eyes a color no one wants to ever recognize… I thought I should hate every second. Every second could be like the second she was putting things in her bloodstream that really should have been my bloodstream. I loved her. I guess I’m sorry, I guess. Now she’s dead. You know, it was wrong for her to be the one on the news. The one that somehow became the freaking poster child for heroin overdoses. Rose is the one who gets her face and name plastered on walls, and I get a text message from a guy we used to smoke with saying when he first heard, he thought it was me.

Bay asked me how I’m doing with her death. I told him I hadn’t thought too hard. I don’t like to think too hard… I do wish Rose didn’t die. I really did love her. We were together for two years. Two full years I would think, well I was. It’s not like it was a big deal though. She always did come back to me. There were times I’d get 2am texts asking to be picked up because she was too f*ed up to walk anywhere and too broke to get a taxi. She’d mumble what she remembered. I knew it wasn’t the best but it was okay.

I first met Rose in the basement of Dean Fryer. He was the guy who sent me the text after getting the news Rose died. He’s an asshole but his dads a drug dealer. That night, it was just me, Dean, Lisa and Bay. Dean was showing off this new pipe he got from his cousin. Nothing special, nothing is special about a pipe. Lisa was quite interested though. They would later perform a sequence of giving each other hand jobs with all of us still in the room. This had not happened yet. But it did. I took the pills resting in the small pocket of my purse out. Swallowed them dry. Bay had given me the stare he continues to give me every time. He doesn’t believe in smoking or drinking or whatever. He says he can't because he has this heart thing called Afib.

The room smelt so heavy. Dean’s basement, as rad as it was, was still a tight space. So we were all pretty close together, sitting on a picnic blanket laying on one another for warmth. With my head lying on Bay’s thigh, I looked up at the ceiling until my vision began to blur.

“Eden, You okay?”


I don’t remember too much after that. I think I played with my tongue for a good half hour. Bay said I tried to make out with him. He said we did for a while to shut me up but then he got paranoid that he would get high off whatever I was on, so we stopped. Bay’s gay. I’m a girl. Apparently the interaction was quite humorous. They said Dean took a video. I’ve never seen it. Bay said I was convinced my tongue was a superhero with powers of seduction. The name was Super Sex. I’m creative, I was told.

Lisa must have gotten a text from Rose saying she would be coming over. Rose is was Lisa's’ cousin. Rose was only 14 then. No one remembers it now, but when Rose walked in she was as beautiful as can be. She had blonde hair, painted by the earth that swung a little past her shoulders. She wore eyes so green and telling. In a grateful dead tye dye shirt and ripped light jeans, she swayed through the door.  Damn was she beautiful.

They said as soon as she walked in I ran up to her. They said I begged her to kiss me. They said after a nervous face and a tinkling laughter she did. I think we danced. I think we did some twirling and laughing. I think we played cards, not successfully. I think we told stories. If we did, I definitely told too many.

I woke up with her in my arms. She woke up too. Her green eyes widened, like shimmering armor.

“Don’t worry we didn’t do anything.” She was quick to say “Well we kissed but that’s it.”

I remember chuckling. Back when I used to chuckle all the time, bad flirting habit.

“Alright.” I said “What’s your name again?”

“Rose.” She said it like it were just so, a rose. “You’re Eden, right?”

“That’s what they say.” I thought I was so clever.


We had fallen asleep on the upper right corner of the picnic blanket with only a stained dark green sheet surrounding us. I guess I wasn’t cold. Sometimes I get that way when I’m on something. I hope she wasn’t cold either. She took the sheet off of herself and grabbed her purse. I was about to get up too but then I realized the picnic blanket was making contact with my bare ass and was too sober to give her full frontal as a goodbye. I'm conservative like that.

“I’m gonna go ahead and head out.” Rose said with a hand on the golden door knob. “Tell her I left without a scratch.” She gestured to Lisa and let out a smile. Then she was off.

I tried to find her on facebook that morning. When I did, she looked gorgeous in every picture. I think I messaged her. Or she messaged me. I can’t seem to remember. I never can much anymore.

New Message.

Rose: Hey

Me: Hey

*Or the other way around*

Rose: last night was fun

Me: Ya it was, sorry for being a f-tard

Rose: It’s okay, ur cute enough 2 make up for it ;)

Me: U 2 tho ;p

Me: Wanna hang sometime?

*two days later*

Rose: Sure.

And that about sums up the relationship. I loved her though, I did. I just was wearing these goggles you see. I never did go a day sober because that would make me think too hard.

So Bay is texting me now. He thinks I need to deal with her death. He thinks I should be clean to do that. I said no. So Bay said he would turn me in unless I did something about it, her death.

So I guess I’m going to write about her. I guess I’m going to tell you more. Sorry. Because she is dead now and Bay says I have to deal with it. I don’t think I will ever deal with it. But writing is better than spending nights alone… I guess. Wish she didn’t die.


Rose was her name. Obviously. She was something different. She lived with her dad, he wasn’t too pleasant.  I guess not too many people are really. Rose dealt with it though. She dealt with it like she dealt with a lot of things. She dealt with it like how she dealt with when her mother up and left her. When her mother said that Rose was not a good enough reason to stay. She dealt with it like when she was younger and kids used to tease as kids do, not knowing how Rose took it to her bone every time. She dealt with it like how all the messed up kids do. Well she didn’t yet. But she did.

A while after she did she told me about this time. This time she went to an NA meeting, Narcotics Anonymous. She didn’t need help, she was just fine. Finer than the rest of us but I guess she went anyway. I guess there was a boy there. A boy she somewhat knew before. A boy she somewhat kissed before. The meeting was in a church. One of those old-smelling ones. It had the glass stained windows, the confession closet things, the holy water…

A woman, older than them was speaking. I guess she was telling words too long or maybe not long enough. I can’t remember.

“Not one individual in the audience was listening.” Rose said. “It was like someone just took all of our ears and wouldn’t let her have them. I think I would’ve let her have them but I just couldn’t. You know?” I did know, I thought I did anyway.

The irony of NA meetings is that despite its purpose for being a place people get over an addiction, it actually supplies connections between drug users that can help them obtain more drugs. It’s sad, I’ve been told. I guess the boy Rose knew and Rose herself had been staring at each other this whole time. Through the smoke of some lord's preaching, Rose and this boy just stared. I guess the boy had a name too, Lucas. Rose had given Lucas the look. The, ‘ Hey, let's go have sex in the church basement look. I hadn’t known this look existed. I had known the ‘Let’s have sex’ look and the ‘Let’s not have sex’ look and assumed there was no more. I was wrong.

“It’s like a thing in the eyes.” Rose had said “I really can’t explain it.”

I asked her to show it to me. She did. It looked just like the ‘Let’s have sex’ look but who am I to know the difference I guess. So after receiving this profound look, Lucas apparently returned it with a ‘ Great idea, one tweak though. Confession booth?’ Rose said she couldn’t do that look. It was beyond her skills. That made me laugh.

The meeting ended. Hearing a few people shuffle around allowed everyone to get their ears back I guess. People left while Rose and Lucas stayed.

“He was really familiar. I was pretty sure of his name. I really did know him.” She said.

“Okay.” I said.

She probably met him in a similar way she met me. Who was I to judge? Rose said she was bored. She said he was hot and there was nothing else to do. She didn’t say much after that but here’s what I imagine:

Lucas gave her previously mentioned look. She gave him previously mentioned look. He gave previously mentioned look plus snort coke. She gave him previously mentioned look plus okay.

“Hey.” Lucas said as if a goddess lifted his chin only slightly with her longest finger.

“Hey” Rose responded with a face that belonged to a shy small child and a body that only spoke woman.

“First meeting?” Lucas asked.

“Ya.” Rose lied.

“Same.” Lucas truthed. (Not a word? Just made it one.)

“Your name's’ Lucas, right?”

“Ya.” Lucas was tall. He had sideburns only a mother could love and curly dirty blonde hair. His shirt was a size too small which only made his baggy jeans look bigger. He wore scooby doo boxers and a rotten baseball cap backwards. Any girls wet dream I assure you.  

“Rose.” She answered his look.

“Ya. Right.” Lucas nodded.

Silence. I assume.

“So... court ordered?” Lucas asked.

“Ya.” Rose lied.

“Same.” Lucas truthed.

“Well, I don't wanna get you in trouble or anything like with probation… but like if you wanna, we can go back there and like hang or have fun.” He gestured towards the confession booth.

“My probation officer is really chill so ya. I could probably hang with you if you want.” Rose lied. She didn’t have a probation officer.  Oh but she was telling the truth about probably hanging with him. She did, not yet. But she did.

“Chill.” Lucas looked around. The church was now empty. Lucas couldn’t take Rose back to the tiny hole in a wall he lived in because he shared it with 7 other drug addicts, worse off than him. Therefore, he had mentioned said confession booth. Rose followed because, well she said, she was bored and he was hot and there was nothing else to do. She could’ve gone home to her father, who would be asking where she had been and not fearing that punches would answer his questions. She could’ve.

They got to the confession booth and Lucas pulled a crumpled cheetos bag out of his side pocket. He reached into the bag and pulled out a clear plastic bag that contained a precious white angel. Rose moved toward him so he set it aside. I assume it was dark. Rose’s lips would then hug his lips for what everyone had thought was a second time. Her hands already there, ignoring his clothes that I imagine, smelt like rat piss. Lucas followed her lead and so on.  I don’t remember much after that.

Just that this was the story Rose told me when I jokingly told her to go snort coke of some guy's dick and she responded with,

“Well, I already did.”

I still don’t know why Rose would be with me though. Even if we weren’t exclusive. I’m the only one she ever called her girlfriend. I’m the only one she let call her that too. I’m the only one she ever stayed with. I really couldn’t tell you why. I’m not special. Bay said Rose truly loved me. That I was the one she actually had feelings for and all the others were just tools she used to destroy herself. Sometimes I would wonder though, if they are all tools but she only has them around for a little while. Well maybe I am her biggest tool and I destroy her the most.

When we first met, I was the broken one I assure you. She was just a little girl. Back in the day Mommy and Daddy were only thinking about getting a divorce. I’m sure she would’ve gone to a better place if she hadn’t met me.

The night of Dean’s basement she was barely 14, a freshman in high school. I was 16, already in junior year, already been tossed and torn through my first two years in high school. People like Bay called me an addict and I'm sure not only that. I called myself a sigh. Let's say a man created the world, when creating the human race, he got disappointed a few times. When he got disappointed, he sighed. His sighs turned into souls themselves and I was one. I was just a sigh of a life and I lived accordingly. I told Bay too. He said I needed to stop.

Every night is forgotten. I don’t keep stories often. Bay has told me some. I don’t care to remember what he says. It’s weird when people tell stories, supposed to be yours, back to you. I never know how they expect me to respond. Like thanks? Thank you for telling me a time I thought time didn’t have to tag along again. Thanks for reminding me there isn’t breaks or pauses and there is only play until a stupid child scratched your life's DVD. I guess that’s what I’m doing to Rose though. I guess I’m just telling her story back to her. But she’s not even here. That, I remember sometimes.

The author's comments:

This peice was inspired by the herion epidemic and is about relationships between young addicts and how they live their lives. 

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