To say it changed my life would be an understatement.
To say I was affected would be an under exaggeration.
To say I have learnt from what has happened would be the strongest form of correctness ever written by a 17 year old depressive.
It wasn’t like I was out to hurt everyone and everything; But I would do everything to stop my negative feelings. But I never questioned if it was self inflicted, whether my self-pity hindered my situation.
This isn’t another suicidal story, that ends with me trying to kill myself and then turning round and seeing what I was doing.
I ended up learning a harder way.
I wasn’t always this way I wasn’t one of them people who constantly wallow in their depression, or wear black clothes as a uniform and go to dark places because they hate seeing their own face. I was quite the opposite might even say I was popular. In fact I was, very.
You know the group of girls that walk around skirts hitched high and giggling about everything? I was one of them. Yeah this ruined mess was in a girl gang. The lip-gloss popping drowned in mascara type. Don’t act like you don’t know who I mean. The girls that rule the halls, the staircases, the playground, pretty much anywhere they want and their weapon, their source of personal power is hoisted on their side in the form of the latest cosmetic.
I know you are nodding now, even if you are trying to hide it. You can’t miss them even if you wont acknowledge how much of a part they play in social distortion, depending on the way you look at it.
What happened you may ask? Why is this strange girl telling me all this? Why is she a pool of doom?
You may even ask why I am wallowing in my self-pity?
Which is a bit harsh, but I will allow you that question, as it is a question I keep asking myself, but unlike you I don’t get a response.
You have probably formed your own opinion of me in your head already and that’s fine but maybe I can iron out a few creases and straighten out my reputation, for my sake.
It was all going well, and this sounds stereotypical but it actually was. The girls I hanged with weren’t exactly the sweetest, kindest people but they sure looked after me.
No that’s wrong.
That’s exactly what they didn’t do. Sure in a group we must have looked like some sort of sisterly gang but we weren’t, them gangs likely never are.
There was a hidden rivalry, if any chance came to put someone else down, they would all take it. I don’t even know why I say ‘they’ when I know that I would have taken it as well. That was how it worked, for a while.
It was a girl’s school that we went to but it was attached to Riling Boys school meaning that boys were always outside our school, or practically in it considering our playground was backed onto theirs.
There was the smoking wall that the odd Riling Boy would be at, and our school sort of had our own too, near to theirs.
The leader of our gang, ‘Ashleigh’ would attempt to climb over to their smoking wall, she never got caught, and her boyfriend was in that school. Jackson. I never knew his surname he seemed okay though he was the typical pretty boy, the kind that Ashleigh liked. So our lunchtimes consisted of us lot walking around, hanging around the two lovebirds or just sitting looking like we are totally above everything around us.
But I was slowly getting sick of this girlie gang. Basically we were all fakes.
I had one friend in the gang, Kenny. She was nicer than the rest of them, less of a backstabber. One time it was just us two sitting on the wall at lunchtime. Ashleigh had asked us to walk around with her, but for the first time we had said no.
It felt like our ropes had been untied and the gags taken from our mouths.
We were sick of her and her twisted ways.
We just sat there talking for ages about everything. She was one of them bold types.
The sort of person I wish I could be but am too scared to. She says whatever she thinks and does what she wants. She had black hair, dyed and it was short and spiked.
I remember one day a year 7 ran past and call her a lesbian. But one look from her had the kid running away with fear. She definitely wasn’t a lesbian, she would chat up a lot of the male population but she wasn’t Ashleigh, and that was what mattered.
The first time we broke away from Ashleigh was the first of many.
The other girls in the group were dying to get away from her but they were in fear of her. It was like you had an invisible rein that she would control. Except mine had been let loose.
There was this boy walking along the Riling’s smoking wall on about the 6th day that we were away from Ashleigh. He was one of them types that looked like he hadn’t combed his hair this morning, or yesterday morning, or any other morning in fact.
I had learnt that his name was Draven. But I had also learnt that Draven wasn’t his real name, his real name was Arthur, which to be honest didn’t really fit with his whole persona so I guess that’s why everyone called him Draven. Of course we had never spoken to him, we had learnt all of this by sitting on the wall and listening to peoples conversations.
On this particular day he stopped in front of us.
‘You girls are in Ashleigh’s gang aren’t ya’ he said. He had a sorta slurry voice and he spoke in a lazy way.
Kenny took the initiative to reply, she was that sort.
‘Not anymore and what’s it to you anyway’ she said practically spitting at him.
‘Nothing really, I didn’t like her anyway her and Jackson are more annoying than.’ he started.
But he never finished this but we all knew no matter what Jackson and Ashleigh were likened to they were annoying.
Kenny’s negativity towards him was almost instantly lifted when she realised that he wasn’t part of Ashleigh’s fan club and she put as much of her hand as she could fit through the metal fence that separated our school from his.
He didn’t shake her hand he just looked at it and nodded, then he took something from his pocket, shook it into his hand and swallowed it.
‘Aren’t you gonna share?’ yelled Kenny to him.
I gave her a stern look. This was one of the problems with Kenny she was too daring for her own good, but this was also one of my favourite qualities about her.
She whispered in my ear, ‘Calm down, just play it cool.’
So I did, well I tried.
He looked up at us both, I had no idea what he had just swallowed but his eyes were going huge and he looked really over happy. He let out a little laugh and said ‘See you later angels’ as he stumbled off.
That was the first time we spoke to him but it wasn’t the last. We went onto talk to him everyday and most days he would swallow that stuff but no matter how much Kenny pleaded he was reluctant to share, until one day.
‘Go on, you’re obviously a chicken to not share whatever you’ve got there’ she said with a twinkle in her eye.
I was worried.
‘You’re right’ he started, ‘I am, but you don’t want this, I can get you better than this.’
‘Whatever’ she said, every word that came out of her mouth was just edging Draven on and gearing him up.
‘My two angels don’t want any of this, but then again, aren’t I stupid, angels have got to have this stuff!’ he said laughing.
I had no idea what he was talking about and I was getting nervous.
He held these two tablet sort of things in his hand and gave them to us, through the fence.
I was shaking.
This is what I had been warned about. I glanced over at Kenny. She had the usual sure of herself look on her face. She wasn’t phased so why was it such a big deal to me?
She winked at me.
I didn’t get it, what was the wink meaning?
Of course, it was Kenny’s way of saying Chill. Go with it. That was practically Kenny’s motto.
So I took the tablet into my hands, although I was shaking so much I nearly dropped it and I swallowed it nearly choking.
It was ok, I didn’t feel any different. I was fine. I was alive.
I saw Kenny wink at me again, but did I see it?
Was she really winking or was that whatever I had just swallowed doing its job.
I felt something happening inside of me.
I was aware of myself leaning towards something but I couldn’t control it, the ground seemed nearer and it was swirling round and round and getting closer to me, suddenly it was like it was alive and it was coming for me, and rather than going away from it I was getting closer and then I heard a thump, it was like the grounds jaws were opening. I then heard a loud laugh; it was so loud it was over powering I felt like screaming at it to shut up. Then I realised it was my laugh and I had felt like screaming shut up and I was.
I looked around. I was on the ground. It was no longer swirling. It wasn’t trying to take me. It was quiet. I tried to stand up, that was a bad idea, and I couldn’t balance.
‘Josie!’ I heard a voice scream, it was Kenny.
Josie, that was me, she was yelling my name!
‘Jo are you okay?’ she asked. I hadn’t seen her look so scared before.
‘Jo’ she said, ‘You fell off the wall’
That was the thump then.
‘Kenny, are you okay?’ I asked, worried for my friend.
‘Yeah’ she said, and then quietly continued. ‘I’m fine, I didn’t swallow it, I threw it on the floor when he weren’t looking!’
I couldn’t believe it.
‘You are such a moo Jo!’
I was confused, why didn’t she tell me she wasn’t going to swallow it!
How could she let me take it? But then again, I can’t blame someone else for my stupid ness, but as a friend shouldn’t she look out for me?
After, I remembered wondering where my senses were, but little did I know that it wouldn’t be the first time I would end up asking myself that question.
Draven had been staring at me ever since I took it. His stare was like no other; it was like his brown eyes bore through me like he was looking at me so intently that I ended up feeling uncomfortable. It made me look at him as I kept thinking he was going to say something and he eventually did.
‘Nasty fall you had there.’ He said calmly, ‘That was a stronger reaction than the norm.’
He looked like he wanted to say more.
‘Come on Jo we better get to class’ said Kenny quickly, since when did Kenny care if we were in class let alone late!
She tried to help lift me up but I shrugged her off saying, ‘Get of me, it hurts’
It really did.
I eventually stood up and saw Draven quickly putting out his cigarette so he wouldn’t get caught so I saw this as the chance to ask him what I wanted to know.
‘Erm Draven, what was that, that tablet thing?’ I said shyly. I remembered Kenny’s motto to chill, then I made it take an exit, after all she was willing to let me take a tablet in front of her, I could have died for all she cared.
‘I wouldn’t have given it to you if I had known you would go that crazy, I don’t hallucinate anymore when I take that.’ He replied, less calmly than usual, ‘But you took it Jo, now you’re an angel’
I looked at him blissfully confused, my question still wasn’t answered, what had I taken?
‘Angel don’t you get it?’ he said, ‘Angel is your clue’
I don’t think he understood. I hadn’t been introduced to the world of drugs, and I didn’t want a welcoming. I didn’t know what he meant by ‘Angel’ and I wasn’t going to pretend I did, that was something Kenny would do.
‘Angel Dust’ he said, quietly.
‘Oh’ I said, not knowing what to think, I remembered learning about that in form class, but I wasn’t really listening I’m sure it was called something else, beginning with K, Ketamine?
‘See you tomorrow angel’ he said as he walked off.
So that was it. My first encounter. It may seem small but that was it and whether I wanted it or not I had been introduced to drugs and I stupidly had taken the welcoming pack and the membership card.
Each day, Draven would have something new it seemed. He had a powder. A tablet. All sorts. I didn’t try it all. I didn’t want to try any. But I tried some. Just to see what it was like. With everything I tried I tried it for Kenny.
I wish I didn’t, I wish I had more stamina then, I could have stopped it then if I wanted to but I felt I had too much to prove. I wanted to be like Kenny, strong and defiant. I didn’t even like the feeling. But I don’t know how I ever thought she was strong and defiant when now I see she clearly wasn’t. She wasn’t daring. She didn’t even take the angel dust. I did. I can see now that I wanted to get my own back on Kenny for the being the person i thought she was and I didn’t want anything to get in my way.
I can see this now, but I couldn’t see it then.
I even walked about with Draven sometimes, outside school, anywhere.
We didn’t go to a particular place, just wandered around.
I didn’t see Kenny as much as I used too.
We would still sit on our wall at lunchtime though; Draven would be through the fence as usual. One day he asked us to go to the music shop with him after school, it was the place to hang out if you weren’t in the rap music crowd.
We were by the audio section where you can just listen to whatever in the corner, it was quite a cool shop and Draven seemed to know a lot of the people who worked in there. Draven told me to get lost in the music and he said he would give me something to help, if I wanted it. Thinking now it was strange the way he asked, he asked like it was a gracious thing, like it was a friendly favour. I told him no at first. But then I thought, I was okay the first time, it shouldn’t do much damage now. But it was drugs, wasn’t it? I took one look at Kenny and thought why not. I didn’t even like the feeling. I was doing it out of spite.
‘Draven’ I said, and I held my hand out.
She was sort of swirling around and dancing. Other people in the shop started to look at her. I didn’t blame them she looked crazy, just spinning around, and it wasn’t even like a good song was playing.
‘Come on Jojo’ she said, laughing.
‘No Draven, something stronger’ I then said, who was this person talking it didn’t seem like me.
He held out something different in his hand, a square shape thing that I popped into my mouth, I was like a kid with sweets.
It wasn’t a bad thing, was it? Its not like I was some sort of druggie.
Whatever I had swallowed was working quickly; oh it was such a strange feeling.
For starters the music was much louder and people seemed closer to me, everything was getting much closer. Like they were surrounding me. I suddenly remembered being in the playground and when kids had ran past and called Draven and me junkies.
Then I realised I was. Then it went right back I could see Ashleigh in front of me, she was standing right in front of me, and I could smell her hair straightening protection spray.
She stood in front of me and yelled, ‘Junkie’ I was near enough screaming, and I was wasn’t I? I was a Junkie. I was an addict. I was physically dependant on whatever Draven gave me. It was too late to stop, I was now swirling round, everything was really colourful, and it reminded me of when I was a child. I then saw my Dad in front of me, oh it was him all right I recognised that brown wool jacket and the boots.
I had to hide from him. I had to get away. I ran over to Draven.
‘Draven am I still your angel’ I said giggling.
‘Yeh course’ he said strangely, his face looked funny.
‘But I don’t want to be your angel, I’m a wild rose!’ I said slurring.
Then he came up to me, Dad, he came up to me and he hugged me and told me he would take me home. Thank goodness. I was saved.
The next thing I knew what Draven holding me in his arms. I had no idea how I had got there.
‘Jo, you blacked out,’ he said worriedly, ‘you turned round and round and started mumbling and you hugged the security guard, who later chucked us out of the shop’
No, I thought, that was my dad.
‘Jo, I had to tell them you had problems or they were going to report you to the police’ he said.
‘It was my dad’ I said loudly.
‘No, Jo, it wasn’t your dad, that was the security guard’ said Draven sadly.
I opened my eyes wider, where was I?
I was at Kenny’s house.
‘Draven why are we here’ I said, suddenly realising the thumping head I had. Oh it hurt so much. It was ticking, ready to explode. Can heads explode?
I looked over to see Kenny. She was laughing hysterically.
‘Draven!’ I said loudly, ‘What did you give her?’
‘Nothing’ he said, ‘I promise to you Jo I gave her nothing.’
Kenny suddenly burst out laughing, she was hysterical.
Draven started rustling around his pockets.
‘Jo, she took it, she’s taken it off me’ he said worried.
Whatever she took out of Draven’s pocket had a strong effect on her.
I tried to talk to her but she shrugged me off, so irresponsibly both me and Draven left.
I didn’t see her for a while after that. She was off school for a few days.
During this time I hung out with Draven at the wall.
Life wasn’t a good as it used to be, when we broke free from Ashleigh.
Without Kenny I didn’t feel strong and Ashleigh was making up all sorts of rumours and so everyone used to call me and Draven names as they walked past.
I decided to go round to see Kenny at her house to see how she was. Our friendship had got really strange and I wanted to see what I could do to patch it up.
Draven came with me.
I knocked on her door and she opened it.
She looked like hell.
‘Hey Kenny’ I said, trying to smile.
We walked into her house. Her parents weren’t there, I would have asked where they were but I didn’t feel like we were on the level for everyday chat. I was aware of
As soon as I sat down my phone rang, I went out of the room to answer it.
It was just my cousin, Gemma, wondering where I was.
As I came back in I noticed Kenny’s face was like thunder and so was Draven.
It was like I had missed something.
Suddenly she started shouting at me, with all her power.
‘You really think I’m some small person who can’t do anything don’t you?’ she said shouting.
‘What?’ I replied, ‘No Kenny I think the opposite’
‘No you don’t you are like the rest of them Jo, you don’t understand no-one does, apart from’ she started.
She turned her back to me and got something out of her pocket and swallowed it.
She swallowed one.
She swallowed two; I didn’t know what she was doing.
‘Don’t you get it’ she screamed, tears coming out her eyes, ‘I don’t have guts, I don’t have anything, not any more, I am a waster, I’m nothing but now its my chance to show you that I’m not’
‘Kenny, you don’t have to prove yourself to me!’ I said honestly.
‘Oh but I am, nothing but a coward, I wouldn’t even take that tablet thing, even you took that’ she said, crying.
‘No you’re not a coward, you’re stronger than me, I’m stupid I gave in and took it’ I said, trying to reason with her.
She may have been having a weak moment, but even when Kenny cried I could
Still see the defiance in her eyes and in her tone of voice.
She held a small bottle in her hand.
‘Erm have a drink then, it might calm you down’ I said, nervous.
She unscrewed the top, and then looked me in the eyes, ‘This is my proof’ she said wearily.
Draven kept calling me, but this was my time with Kenny we needed to patch things up. Draven had done enough damage.
She swallowed every last drop of whatever was in that bottle and then looked up Draven.
He looked terrified.
‘Take good care of her yeah?’ she said, her lips were now blue I noticed and she was sweating.
‘Draven what was that?’ I asked, feeling a lump form in my throat.
‘She didn’t get this from me, I don’t have acid’ he said worriedly.
I suddenly realised, she had swallowed acid. If you take acid you were meant to inhale it not, drink it.
I looked at her and yelled at Draven to call a ambulance, but then I burst into tears as I realised her heart wasn’t beating, and that my persistence had jolted her weakness, and my stupidity had ended up killing my best friend.
This wild rose’s thorns had dug too deep.