I knew I had done wrong. I knew that my mother would not have wanted revenge, especially not in that way. But I was trapped. I tried to move on, did well in my exams and was accepted into college for further study. I was due to start after the summer holidays. I never made it.
Over the summer I searched for a means of escape, for something that would take the pain away. There was great conflict inside me, and my mother had been the only person that I could talk to. Now there was no-one. I tried to talk to Mr Roberts, but as I edged onto the subject of what I had done I could feel his mounting horror. Luckily he ad already had a few drinks and it was an easy thing to mask that memory from his mind. Although from that moment on he always felt slightly uneasy in my company, without knowing why.
And looking back I can see that i more than a little afraid. I had killed a man, not in defence like before. I knew that revenge was not enough to justify his death, but I was afraid of the consequences.
Like him I tried drink to dull the pain, to find some way to stop the feelings. To feel nothing would surely be better than the daily ache that would not fade. But I had no taste for it, I didn’t enjoy the act and while drinking enough would brink oblivion for a few short hours, the pain would be worse the next day. The respite it provided was not worth the price to be paid. So my search continued.
A brilliant idea occurred to me one morning,. I was feeling more than a little worse for wear from the night before. It struck me that with my ability I could dump the pain onto others. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved. I tried it that very day. I poured my grief and revulsion out into the people as they walked by. I learned that it doesn’t work that way, all it meant was a problem shared is a problem felt by more people. Knowing that others could feel what I felt provided no comfort.
I took to sitting in the park, just watching the world go by. Here I suffered a contradiction, I was apart from the world I watched. I was a poisoned thing that could take no part in it. Yet for some short time it did seem to ease my troubles. It was a balm to watch others go about their lives, to see that there was joy in the world. Even if it wasn’t for me.
In the park there was often a small group of young people, I recognized a couple of them from the same year as me at school. A few times they had observed me sitting alone and had tried to get me involved. I had always declined and walked away.
I had seen them on many occasions just enjoying each other’s company. There was something different about them that I couldn’t quite place, their behaviour seemed both over the top and forced, yet completely natural at the same time. They also rolled their own cigarettes and shared them with each other, something else I had not seen before.
One day I accepted their invitation. I reasoned that they couldn’t make anything worse. So I joined their circle. Soon enough they rolled a smoke and after a couple of them had smoked a few puffs, it was offered it to me. At first i was unsure, I’ve never really had the urge to smoke, but something smelled funny and peering into their minds I could see a change. This change intrigued me, and I took a drag. They laughed as I coughed my guts up, but I tried it again.
After a few turns around the group another joint was rolled and smoked. I had a pleasant feeling, my head felt light and fuzzy, almost separated from by body. I lay back in the grass, the sun on my face, thinking nothing and realising that I had forgotten my troubles, they almost seemed a world away.
I spent more time with this group, chilling with them in the park. I also visited them in their homes in the evenings. I kept myself to myself, but they didn’t mind the fact that I was quiet. The smoking sessions in the evening were much heavier than the ones during the day. In the park it was just a light thing, get a little stoned and have a bit of fun. In the evening it took on a different tone, more intense, trying to get high rather than just stoned.
This was back in the day that when you visited a dealer he had a range of good stuff for you try. There were different varieties for providing a different buzz or feeling. One night we tried something new. Whatever it was this hash was laced with, it was a little bit trippy and one of the girls just freaked out.
We were all friends so everyone tried to help, but the more we crowded her, the more she freaked. I dipped into her mind and could see what had frightened her. At the corner of her vision, little things nibbled and squirmed. I radiated calm and cleared the others away, I smothered her panic with the stoned joy I had been feeling and this soothed her and soon she was giggling. And then we were all giggling like children, for no real reason, just for the fun of it.
I soon became well known as the dude to have a smoke with. Everyone had a good buzz if they smoked with me. With the groups as a whole I could just let it wash out of me and into them all. I could take individuals and push their high to a new level.
As I had more than a little money from the inheritance and left Mr Roberts who was frankly relieved to see me go. I didn’t go to college and spent my time in a pleasant fugue with like minded people. For a time I had no dark thoughts, I had suppressed the grief and pushing it deep just enjoyed the moment.