Perhaps, Martha had dreams, she wanted to break out of that hellish circle, to find a better life, but boro digested her like a not-so-good-quality pizza is digested. And that thin, emaciated, burned-out woman from constant doses was unfamiliar to Sean. He simply could not imagine her different. Usually, she would do another dose and just fall on the broken sofa, falling into her dreams. And so on until the next time, until the next dose. When she had nothing to shoot up, she went on the streets, offering her ugly body for a zip of icing. Or just trying to find the money somewhere. But Martha had long run out of her credit limit, so Sean was almost always the target. It all ended and began the same. And looking at the groveling expression on her face, Sean felt disgusted. He had seen enough of junkies, for him it was as familiar as the graffiti on the brick walls stitched with multicolored letters. He passed by without noticing them. But they were not his mother. Even if she was just a biological mother.
“Sean, sonny,” Martha’s voice was fawning and throaty. She never knocked, so Sean didn't have a lock on the door. “Honey, your mom needs help.”
Sean hastily pulled on his socks and put on the worn-out sneakers.
Martha leaned on the doorframe, it seemed that her legs did not support her emaciated body. She was ready to fall on her knees in front of a teenager, just to get the coveted white bag, or at least twenty bucks.
“Sonny ... I know you have it. I know. Why don't you want to help me? I raised you…”
Sean rolled his eyes. An old song began. Raised, gave everything for you, and blah blah blah...
“I dedicated my whole life to you…”
The guy inertly laced up his sneakers, not listening to his mother's crackling voice. He had heard all this more than once, every morning began the same way. And if at first, he felt sorry for his mother, he fed her the drugs, covering the finance holes with his own money, even tried to save money for her treatment. Now he seemed to have received his sight. The streets overwhelmed her. Grind. How could Martha end up? Nothing changed, shit took root and devoured what had once been his mother. Sean could not help her and no one could, but he could no longer lay down his life for her. It was time to think about himself.
Ignoring his sobbing mother, Sean walked into the bathroom and closed the door with an unreliable lock.
Quickly unlaced the laces, he slipped his fingers into his left shoe and deftly hooked on the insole. It was made of thin polystyrene sheathed with an ordinary cloth.
Below it, in a hollow niche the size of a matchbox, lay a bag of cocaine. Sean really never kept the stuff at home, and he rarely carried a dose in the same place. His mother searched everything while he was away, or while he was sleeping. Sean quickly put on his shoes, relieved himself, and splashed lukewarm water on his face that smelled of sour rust. The shell was covered with some kind of gray-green mass, riddled with numerous cracks. The drain smelled of slope and rot.
Two doses a day. That was the agreement. Sean had to pay for it out of his pocket, but that’s not what he was worried about. How long will their deal last? He was sure that one day his mother would spill, being stoned. To one of her druggie boyfriends. And then, everything would come to an end. Sean knew for sure that this would be his last day on the block.
Sometimes he even dreamed of nightmares, as if in reality demonstrating what kind of hell awaited him before the last minutes of his life. If anyone finds out. If everyone finds out.
"She'll blurt out," a vile inner voice whispered for the hundredth time as Sean opened the bathroom door. She will surely blab it out.
Martha was sitting on a sagging sofa of an indeterminate color. Bottles and cigarette butts were scattered around. At first, Sean tried to maintain order, at least throwing out the trash. But soon he realized that it was impossible to clear all the crap, which was getting more and more every day.
The world around the boy was drowning in shit. And Sean was drowning with it, but while he still had the fuse of youth to resist it.
The woman did not take her eyes off the cracked table and the yellowish tourniquet with the syringe. A couple of years ago, another motherfucker thumped Martha on the table. By some miracle, both Martha and the table withstood the blow. Only Martha had a concussion and a broken rib, and the tabletop had a wide crack on its top. She clenched her forearms with thin, bony fingers, clutching the unhealthy skin to a whiteness. As if a woman was desperately cold.
She swayed back and forth, being on the verge of depression and hysteria and Sean knew what was happening. He often saw other people's withdrawal, some of them bent at such an inconceivable angle that he was terrified. Sean could not imagine that the human body, bones can bend and curl like that. Endorphin synthesis was stopping. Although the chuck horrors from fast stimulants were different, the first signs were almost the same. Cocaine did not break as much as heroin, but it was very unpleasant in any way. Especially if you have to clean up the vomit after that.