Alcohol "Close your eyes." A girl obeys, pining her little palms together to whisper a prayer. "Don't do that, what do you pray for?" The girl peers, the world is spinning. I see her through a dim light from a lamp. A bead of sweat nestles above her lip, the rising feeling of nausea a threat she endures. Eyes closed again the girl explores with her tongue, her pale pink lip; she licks, she sucks, she tastes her teeth, gums and her teeth. "What is this?" She asks. "Milk you fool," my reply. A chuckle is heard, a fluid in a glass is swirled. "It taste's bad," she declares. "God may punish you for this, but it takes the pain away." Majestic black eyes widen in fear. A chuckle is heard and the fluid in the glass is swirled. "But when mother and father come fighting again, all you will do is smile," I say. The girl inhales, dwelling on a scent dry and creamy. Her little fingers wrap around the glass, soon her lips taste again. The girl feels dizzy and feverish, the first is Bailey Irish cream. She laughs and it is nothing mesmerizing. Most of her teeth seem to be missing, the few that remain, stained yellow and large. "What is this?!" She exclaims. "We begin with alcohol darling." Cigarette The girl is older and thin. She wanders with her lamp in a lonely house, her feet tapping softly on wooden floors. I say her name and she comes to a closet. "Close your eyes." The girl is older. She does not obey. I whisper in her ears that I am her only friend. "Father is gone, the mother is a whore," I begin. "Nobody cares, not even God," she says. I place it in her palm, a plain little stick. "You light it and inhale. Your lips, your throat, your lungs...they feel." She feels the stick and holds it like a pearl. The girl's profile is tense, her thoughts I could comprehend. "You light it and inhale its sweet-flavored scent." Her hair falls in waves over a round face, her broad nose sniffs the air...Then the girl picks up her lamp and says, "I know what it is!" I chuckle and nod, "close your eyes, what do you see?" The girl laughs and kisses the stick. "Smokes and happiness." Oxycodone The girl dances with her mother. The sound of her laughter comes in waves Her face is lit up brighter than the dim lamp that sits on a desk. She circles in a gown and wraps her arms around her slim frame. She mumbles and reaches with her hands to touch her mother's face. "You are happy today?" I ask the girl. She pays no attention, staggers to the desk and picks up the lamp. "You are happy today," I say again. She kisses the lamp and whisks away. The girl dances to the center of the room. The lamp in hand and an unseen groom. Her mother slumps on a wooden chair and smokes with little care I chuckle and plague her stage. "Close your eyes, what do you see?" The girl halts in her tracks. The girl feels sick. Her eyes see nothing and her ears sting. The lamp and her knees hit the wooden floors. The girl prays for air, her body shakes. "Close your eyes, what do you see?!" "Pills and happiness," she yells. The girl speaks nothing after, she sleeps around a pool of vomit. The pill had been discovered, the first is Oxycodone. Salvation? The house is gone. We lay before a wall. The girl does not remember, but she wakes in the streets. The lamp is with us, lying on a shabby sheet. Her feet are bare, her clothes stained with vomit. Her fingers tap the ground and her shoulders jerk. We have no closet of our own. The mother sold the home. "You are sad," I say when I see a tear. She ignores and glances away from eyes that come her way. "Do you need alcohol darling?" The girl's hands move to her ears. "No," she cries "I'm sick, I'm dying." "Yes, the father is gone, the mother may still be a whore." "Nobody cares not even-" The girl hesitates, a pair of shoes stand before her face. "Lady, are you lost," comes a voice. The voice speaks, the girl quivers. "The first was alcohol," she stammers. A chuckle is heard and a key jingles. "The next was cigarette." The shoes move closer and long fingers reach out for the girl. "Then came oxycodone," she gasps. "How did it feel?" The voice asked. The girl's eyes are sunken and red. They look up to the light and stare. "It took the pain away," she whispered "Yes, nobody cares, not even-" I begin "Yet, the pain comes again," the voice says. I am forgotten. I relax by the wall and watch the girl stand to her feet. The voice speaks to her about salvation. I do not understand what this means but I am forgotten. She holds the outstretched fingers and picks up the lamp. A chuckle is heard and a key jingles. "Close your eyes, what do you see?" I ask but the girl does not see me anymore. The girls hears my voice no more and perhaps we will never get to try Sativa.
Onyi Igwe is a Nigerian writer. She writes proses and poems and is the author of the award-winning short story IYE. Onyi is currently studying Chemical Engineering at the Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture.