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[ Personal Narratives ]

Once Upon a Time – Cry Baby

As my relationship with W***** got more strenuous, my crack and heroin usage crept from every three days, to every other day, to daily.

I distinctly remember buying gear before going to his, enabling me to cope with his erratic angry moods.

I would drive, with the sky an inky navy sprinkled with twinkling diamonds, in a breathtaking cold November. Each breath exhaled transforming you into Puff the Magic Dragon, credited to my child like, active imagination.

W*****’s jealously was causing tiny chips to erupt into ginormous cracks, in our volatile relationship. My loving, perfect knight in shining armour had a tendency to fear I was smiling, giving a look, flirting, with practically anyone.

Knowingly, my taste was African / West Indian, skinny, slim or muscular. At least my height with minimal facial hair. Yet frequently harsh words and ludicrous accusations where aimed at me, innocently doing nothing but exclaim in shock, they were white, aged 18 and clearly a chav.

In order to cope with these frequent conversations of negativity, the calming effect of crack in my brain and relaxing effect of heroin on my body; thus removing the hyper, manic, wide eyed effects of a stimulant.

I’d make excuses to smoke in my car, or take a bath, using the free time to blaze a couple of rocks on my pipe. This only increased the wild accusations, my requirement for alone time.

I’d laugh when he told tales of friends on crack, and how easily he could identify someone taking this drug. He despised drugs. To this day I don’t know if he was telling me due to him being aware I was on drugs, or if he genuinely was naive to my addiction.

I smoked heroin in a spliff, rolling one skunk spliff and one brown. The former was held inside the window, filling the kitchen with its thick smoke which hung heavy in the air, making swirls and whisps as it rose to the ceiling. The heroin one was hidden in my other hand outside the window.

I puffed and puffed quickly, whilst only toking on the cannabis spliff just enough to keep it alight.

Of course I now needed to smoke during the day in order to function at work. Frequently I would be vomiting, achy, drowsy to the extent of sleeping, until 11am when my dealer switched on his phone.

However of recent I noticed even when I saved a spliff for the morning. My pee had a funny smell and my period was late. Smoking up to £100 of crack and heroin a day, one was under the belief falling pregnant was not possible. However when my sore boobs came and my period didn’t, I knew I had to take a test.

On my lunch break from work I arranged to pick up as usual, but after my initial tokes and two spliffs rolled I drove to a chemist and subsequently a pub. I walked straight to the toilet, my hands shaking as I removed the test from its packaging. I quickly peed, the two minutes wait feeling like hour.

Faintly but with certainty the second blue line proudly came into view. My heart skipped a beat, taking a sharp, sudden breath of air. My head, blank. I was only temping so would not qualify for maternity pay. I had a mortgage. Bills. More importantly I needed drugs.

I couldn’t have a baby.

I fumbled through work, numb, in shock and towards home time my mobile rung. It was W*****, we had argued lately. I cautiously answered.

‘I can’t do it anymore. I’ll give you two hundred to go Christmas shopping as a present from me, but I need a break’

‘What!’ I replied. This was a surprise.

A heated discussion followed.

‘Well! Congratulate yourself. Your sperm are good swimmers! Not only did you get an alcoholic pregnant, but you got the junkie too!’ I shouted as he argued his case. His ex drunk quite a lot of wine and W***** was under the belief I was doing coke a lot of the time I was really doing crack and heroin.

‘What? I’ll call you when I finish’

W***** was clearly shocked. His anger softened. He was totally against abortion. As promised he called me promptly upon finishing work. I told him I was only temping and didn’t want a baby. He wanted me to keep it, but was easily swayed. I knew the reason was not wanting to disclose to his ex that we were an item.

She gave him the ultimatum of seeing his children or being with me. He lied to both of us.

Then, almost as of a switch was flicked, I began to feel a warm, maternal, protective feeling towards my slightly swollen tummy. I knew it was a boy. I have quite a few chin hairs, which I pluck, signifying testosterone. My due date would have been W*****’s birthday.

‘I’ll get a night job in Tesco’s. You can work in the day, me at night?’

‘No’

‘Please, we can make it work’

‘No!’

The more I fell in love, the more W*****’s hatred grew. Naturally, my every two, three day drug addiction firmly cemented itself into a daily, £100 addiction. It enabled me to work, function, as without it, I would crumble into a crying, pathetic mess.

Hormones surged, and although my physical and emotional behaviour was oxymoronic; using damaging drugs whilst hugely loving my baby; I managed to get through the days, arguments, working; rational thought; pouring my heart talk.

The termination was booked.

The night before W***** came, promising to look after me.

‘Look, maybe we can change our minds’

‘WHAT!’ I was shocked at his statement. I had been taking so many drugs to numb my pain, the baby would sure be damaged.

‘I’ve been thinking. We can do it’

‘How can you do this to me. I’ve been taking so many drugs just to survive. OUR child is surely brain damaged!’

The conversation broke my heart. It broke me. I repeated the sentence I had told him, like a mantra, from the start.

‘You know this will be the end of us’

And it was.