Huey sat as his high dissipated and he was in the real world once more. To his right Jazmine sat cross-legged, glaring white-hot daggers into his skull. She was beyond angry, no words could describe the look she was giving him. Livid comes close, but still the word didn't compare.
Caesar stood to his right at the entrance of the room leaning on the door and rubbing his temples with one hand. The other boy was stressed, far too stressed for someone his age. It saddened Huey immediately that he was the cause of this stress.
In front of him sat Riley in the computer chair, elbows on his knees staring at him intently. Surprisingly not many emotions showed on the usually expressive young Freeman's face but discontent rolled off of him in waves. This worried the elder Freeman slightly, He hadn't ever seen any of his friends or his brother like this… was this all really his fault?
Huey suddenly felt trapped, trapped behind the bars of their anger and disappointment.
"He's sober." Caesar muttered suddenly standing and walking over to his friend. Riley stood as well but Jazmine remained seated. Riley was the first to reach Huey and the elder Freeman watched him with a weary eye… that is until a hard fist nearly broke his jaw. The younger Freeman was about to hit him again but Caesar's arms restraining him stopped any more abuse.
"Man, lemme go!" Riley screamed struggling to land another punch on his brother.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Caesar growled in a strangled voice.
"He's what's wrong wit me!" Riley screamed. "Don't ask me what's wrong wit me when Mr. Crackhead over here is trying to mess wit his and our lives!"
"I don't know what your talking about." Huey's rasped through his now throbbing jaw, his voice seemed to snatch every sound out of the air.
The tense silence was deafening, the emotions of the people caught in it seemed to manifest itself into a mist. The mist swirled in the air of the room as the occupants choked on its foul taste.
"What do you mean you don't know?" Riley hissed breaking the silence.
Huey didn't reply, his frazzled mind was still trying to comprehend what was happening.
Riley shook his head and snatched himself from Caesars hold, but he didn't attack his brother again. Instead he pivoted and left the room with Caesar close behind him.
Jazmine, through this whole emotional display, remained silent. Quietly watching as a bystander would. She didn't move save for each life maintaining breath. The glare she held when Huey's stupor dissipated was still there if not more molten than before.
Huey turned to her as the door of his room slammed shut. He was expecting a slap to the face, or some other kind of infliction of pain as his brother did.
She did nothing.
"Your not going to say anything?" He asked not liking how the usually bubbly Jazmine Dubois was stoic. She held no emotion on her face, no sparkle in her eye, no smile on her lips. His chest constricted painfully with emotion he refused to show.
Such a simple question, but it held so many complicated answers. He could always lie, just say he didn't know and leave it at that… but for some reason… he didn't want to. So he remained silent, not wanting her to know the truth either.
Tears began to fall from her eyes, but her features still held no emotion. Had it not been for the physical manifestation, he wouldn't have been able to tell she was feeling anything at all.
"Answer me!" he voice came in a slightly angered monotone and a spark lit like a single match behind her eyes when in reality an inferno was burning. A match was all she let through he barrier; her tears, a sliver of the anger she actually felt, and her curiosity on the matter.
Still he refused to speak, mesmerized by this new Jazmine. One that held her emotions back instead of letting them all go free like the old Jazmine did… and yet he found himself missing the old happy-go-lucky girl that branded herself on his icy heart, though he would never admit it.
A small feminine hand striking him across his face brought his mind back to the present.
She just… slapped me…? His mind processed slowly as she turned and walked over to his desk. When she returned a small bag of rocks was pinched in between her thumb and index finger. When she returned she shoved it into his face angrily.
"This is what your wasting your life on?" She asked shaking the bag in front of his face, "a bag of rocks?"
"…Why do you care?" He asked suddenly.
"Because I'm your Friend! I love you and you don't seem to understand how much it hurts me and everyone else around you when you do this to yourself!"
"What do you know about hurt?" He hissed meeting her glare with his own, it startled her for a moment but she bounced right back.
Jazmine shook off his comment with a shake of her head, "This," she held up the bag, then pointed between him and herself, "it's not about me. My life is not going to hell and back because I decided I wanted to feel good for a few minutes."
He was silent again.
She shook her head, willing any more tears back behind her eyes, "You know what? Your just like them."
"Just like who?"
"Them! The men that…" she closed her mouth and turned away from his curious stare, "Never mind."
Huey stood and made his way over to her curiosity swimming in his wine pools, "Jazmine?" He touched her wrist only to have the other hand come up and slap him across the face for the second time.
"Don't touch me!" she hissed backing up. The tears were gone and she fixed him with an arctic glare. "My life is not the concern here. I've dealt with that problem and its over with. But you… you don't seem to get that whatever happened to you, whatever made you relapse, is going to eat you alive from the inside out until you deal with it properly." She held up the little bag, "this is not dealing with it properly."
With the bag still in hand she turned and began to walk towards the door. As she reached for the knob a rasped voice called out to her.
"Where are you going with it?" Huey asked taking a step towards her.
"I'm showing you how to deal with it. Starting with getting rid of the crap." Jazmine chucked as she opened the door and exited. Halfway down the hall she paused seeming to remember something and returned to the doorway, "You know? For a guy who cares so much about health… You have a fucking great way of showing it."
With one final sarcastic chuckle she left leaving a dumbfounded Huey in her wake.
*~* Three Days Later*~*
Tom Dubois hummed to himself as he cleaned the living room of his home. There was nothing like cleaning to clear your mind.
He chuckled to himself as he noticed Jazmines pink and black checkered purse. He was so proud of is daughter. She was such a intelligent young woman now, and he knew he could trust her.
He lifted her purse and tossed it on the couch for her to pick up later. Just as he dropped it as he dropped it a small clear bag dropped onto the floor. Curiously he picked it up and immediately recognized the substance inside.
Just then the young Dubois decided to make her way downstairs calling his name.
"Daddy! Have you seen my pu…" she halted as she saw the object her father was holding in the air.
Tom took a deep breath to calm his nerves, "Please tell me this isn't what I think it is."
She bit her lip, "It is what you think it is daddy, b-but daddy I swear I-"
He held up a hand to silence her, "How long have you had this?"
His eyes widened in realization, "You lied to me? You said you skipped school because you were worried about Huey!"
She flinched at the mention future revolutionary's name, "I-I was!"
"Then where did it come from?" The older man hissed.
"…" She was trapped, she couldn't tell her father about Huey's situation, he may not let her see him again… but she couldn't let him think she was doing it herself.
"Stop trying to come up with a lie and tell me the truth Jazmine! Where did this come from?"
That was it, Jazmine made her decision. She let her shoulders droop, "I-I'm sorry Daddy."
Tom took a step back shock sending waves of electricity up his spine. He mentally pinched himself praying that it all was a nightmare. His innocent daughter wasn't a crack addict, and he was curled up against his wife in his bed. He would wake up from his nightmare any second now…
No… It wasn't a dream, he was really watching his daughter cry, and he was really holding a bag of crack rocks in between his fingers.
He dropped the offending bag and wrapped his arms around his daughter trying to comfort himself just as much as he was trying to comfort her.