Here’s a sneak peek at a book that I have been working on for about 4 years entitled “Life’s Addiction”.
If I just lie still a few more minutes, then this would all be over. I really wished Gia would hurry up and do what she had to do so I could stop holding my breath. I willed the idea of disappearing from this very room. I just knew any second now, I would either be found out or found dead. I hated when Gia brought her street business in our home. This was our safe haven from the cruel world that Gia exposed us to daily. Gia finally finished up and hurried out the room just as quick as she came in. Whew, another episode I survived, I thought as my breathing slowed from the erratic breathing from me being able to finally exhale.
Well, that’s just the beginning of my so-called life. My name is Cheyenne and Gia is my mother or at least she use to be. Sometimes I wonder why God chose me to go through this. I feel so alone in this thing we call a world and I sometimes wonder if it will ever get better. It’s been this way for such a long time, that I can’t even recall when things were good. Gia use to be such a great mother, but somehow something went wrong.
“Cheyenne Harris!” All I could think of as I stood at the sound of my name was please let me make it across this stage without falling. I just knew Gia was beaming in the audience at my milestone accomplishment. She promised this time and I crossed my fingers completely forgetting about trying to concentrate on not falling because I was praying that Gia was here this time. As I mounted the stairs to start my glorious journey across what seemed like a football field, I glanced in the audience at all the glaring lights, flashes, and screaming relatives. I immediately spotted Aunt Bailey and Uncle Edwin. I was even surprised to see cousin Tyler and his long time girlfriend Erin. As I continued to scan the faces of my family, the two faces that beamed at me last was Alex and Andie or what my family called, “The Twins”. At 8 years old, Alex and Andie looked at me for complete guidance and direction because as far as we were concerned, we were all we had in this cruel world. At that instant I knew Gia wasn’t there and I knew that just by the look on Aunt Bailey’s face. All the excitement I had left in me flushed through my body like a river going downstream. I dropped my head and continued across the stage and accepted my diploma. I had just completed elementary school.
At the end of the graduation, my family rushed to me with hugs and kisses. I looked at Aunt Bailey and burst out crying. Aunt Bailey pulled me to the side and I fell into her arms. “Cheyenne, she wanted to be here, but your mom is sick.” Well, tell that to my heart was all I thought because we were both tired of being hurt.
Later on that night, Gia showed up in her most usual fashion; late, last, and lost. Gia was tripping tonight because Gia was so high. Our mom was a drug addict. All I could do is stare at her because there was so much I wanted to say, but I loved her despite all that she has done. I just gathered the twins up and took them to their room because I did not want them to see Gia like this. When I walked back in the room, I could smell this distinct smell that I had memorized so well that if I didn’t know any better, I would have associated it with being normal. There was Gia in the corner of my room doing what seems like she knew best, getting high. I just sighed and left the room. Why does she have to be in my room is what I thought as I walked down the hall to check on the twins.
I stood outside the twins’ door and the emotions took over me. I just slumped to the floor and cried. I prayed what seemed like the millionth time. All I could ask was, why? A child doesn’t deserve this. Why am I forced to grow up so quick? I’m doing all the things Gia should be doing. I’m 12 years old and I am cooking, cleaning, and caring for my 8-year-old brother and sister while my mom spends most of her days strung out on drugs. I cried for the twins, I cried for Gia, and I cried for myself. Finally all cried out, I stood and entered the twins’ room.
They lay fully clothed and obviously tired from today’s events. I just sighed yet again because life should be innocent for them, but I knew better because all of us suffer because of Gia’s drug addiction. Tired as well from today’s activities, I climb in bed with Andie, not quite ready to face Gia. She stirred and opened her eyes and immediately asked for Gia. Hating to lie, “Gia isn’t here yet, Andie.” She stared at me with blank eyes and I felt exactly how her eyes read, empty. I pulled her close to me and said, “It’s all right Andie. I will always be here.” I looked over at Alex and sighed. All I could think was how as an African-American boy, his troubles in the world would be far greater because of the problems he faced at home. The sole troubles of being motherless would place a forever dent in his heart. I tried the best I could, but I knew Gia held the key to make all of our worries obsolete, but because of her addiction, it would never be complete as far as we were concerned.