A/N: This is a rather dark story. Nothing gory or anything, but some drug abuse and sex. Normally I wouldn't warn people about it, but I guess it could be triggering if you read too much into it.
It was cold in here. I felt consciousness spark in my brain and my first thoughts concerned the facts that I was freezing cold, lying very still on the pull-out couch, and Stan was repeating my name quietly.
I sat up groggily and glanced across the dark room to where Stan was laying naked on the couch. He was on his front, legs covered by a blanket up to his knees. He grinned and barely managed to lift the arm hanging off the edge of the couch towards the coffee table, moving it slowly as though it were made of lead. Stan let his arm fall back, surely believing that just pointing in the general direction of what he wanted would help me understand him.
My eyelids drooped but didn't close, and I felt thirst manifest in my mouth like a spontaneous fire. I knew instinctively that there was a bottle of water nearby, but I couldn't remember where, and then suddenly, I didn't care anymore.
Panic flooded my veins for a second when I could've sworn I saw Stan's head completely fall off his neck and land on the floor. I closed my eyes tightly and the anxiety passed. I looked back at the completely non-decapitated Stan.
He said again, "Kyle!"
I sighed and woke up a little more. "What, Stan?" I had barely made a sound, to my surprise. I looked around Wendy's apartment without moving, but I couldn't see anything that might clue me into what time it could possibly be. Her computer screen was the only thing lighting up the room.
"Let's split a cigarette." Stan replied, starting to sit up. At first I thought he was slurring, but then I realized it was my own mind slowing down his words.
I rolled onto my back. "I'm too tired," I tried to say, but my mouth wouldn't form the right words. Instead I found myself saying, "You're tired."
Stan laughed and finally stood up, his body half-lit up by the computer, a hazy white on one side quickly being devoured by black as the eye moved across his form. My eyes jumped naturally to his groin before I looked away, opting instead to stare at the coffee table. A bunch of undefined shapes sat on the table – one was the bong, I remembered. A few bottles of alcohol, lube, a couple of glasses of water, I think. The rest I couldn't identify.
Only when Stan walked over to the computer did I notice Wendy lying on her back on the couch where Stan had just been blocking her from my view. Her face twitched in her sleep and her large, bare breasts moved up and down peacefully with each rhythmic breath she drew in. My heart ached.
Stan stood there, staring at the webpage that was open on the screen for a long moment before he stumbled across the room to the bathroom.
I jumped about a foot in the air when I felt a hand on my thigh. "Ky," a deep voice murmured. It took an eternity for my head to roll over to see Kenny sleeping on his back beside me. He breathed contently for a few seconds before I was sure he'd fallen asleep again. I looked away sharply when I thought I saw his facial features rearrange themselves, his eyes and nose swimming around his face.
When Stan came back into the living room he was wearing a pair of jeans. Wendy, who now occupied the entirety of the couch, had kicked the blanket onto the floor to reveal her long, slender legs and bare stomach. Her long black hair was draped over the arm of the couch. My eyes trailed her every curve and I realized that she was completely naked. Her beauty stunned me like it always had. I couldn't look away.
Stan sat on the floor next to me and started to pack a bowl despite it being the middle of the night.
"Want one?" he asked me partway through. I only managed to nod though I knew I should've refused. He smirked at my wastedness and passed me the bong first.
I groaned, having to sit up and look away from the girl across the room to take the hit. Stan lit the bowl for me because I was too numb to feel my fingers and using a lighter would not have been a smart idea. I inhaled from the chamber and held in smoke for what seemed like an hour.
I closed my eyes and exhaled, and when I opened them again, Stan had just taken his hit. I nearly panicked when I suddenly couldn't feel my arms, but it passed a second later, shifting into a pleasant buzz across my skin.
Kenny had woken up at some point and leaned across my body to hit the bong himself. He and Stan had started talking about something, and I heard their voices, but they might as well have been speaking Japanese for all that I understood.
The two of them passed a cigarette back and forth, and Kenny held it out to me each time it went to him, but all I could do was blink.
It took me forever to realize that it wasn't Kenny's knee that had been digging into my back all night. When they'd finished the cigarette, he'd crept a hand up my leg and to my ass, but my skin was completely numb and I was too high and sad at the same time to get hard for him, so he just kissed my shoulder and laid back down. I still stared at Wendy.
I fell asleep and woke up again to the soft sound of her moaning sensually. I thought that it couldn't have been more than a few minutes that I was out, but I didn't see Kenny anywhere, and the room had somehow gotten a little brighter.
I watched, shamelessly and absently, as my best friend penetrated Wendy lazily on the opposite side of the room, clearly unaware of the fact that I was, in only the most scientific sense of the word, awake.
My eyes fixated on Wendy's ample breasts, which moved steadily in time with their tired bodies. She had one hand on Stan's shoulder, one on her own thigh. Stan had his head craned back and was grunting animalistically.
I continued to watch, feeling like I was in someone else's dream, jealousy somehow not enveloping my soul. But I didn't feel like a voyeur or a creep, not only because I was chasing, not only because I was high as a kite, but because I felt like I was witnessing something beautiful, not something private and shameful. Not all sex could happen like that, I knew, but theirs did.
When I opened my eyes after what I'd taken for a blink, it seemed that everything was normal again, nothing had ever been wrong. Wendy, Stan and Kenny all sat on the couch watching television and laughing in sync, all wearing clothes and being very much normal people and very much not drunk, hungover, high or tripping.
But as soon as they realized that I'd woken up, Kenny hurried over to me and handed me a bucket I hadn't known I'd needed until I was holding it, my knuckles white from grasping it so tightly, and then I'd thrown up. Everyone was talking to me, but I still couldn't understand them properly.
Then finally, words started to register, but only Kenny's. "Kyle, do you want us to take you to the hospital?" I couldn't make out what his face was saying, but his voice sounded like he was being serious. He said it again, more urgently.
I got a little bit of something Wendy said, too: "He's having another seizure."
"No I'm not," I blurted out suddenly. They all seemed astonished, but calmed down immediately upon realizing that I was okay.
Stan and Wendy retreated to the couch to watch me from there, not wanting to crowd me, but Kenny stayed, sitting on the floor and holding my hand as I came out of it. I wished he would've gone away.
I felt embarrassed, but I wasn't sure why. I murmured to the blonde while Wendy went into the kitchen to get me a coffee, "What's wrong?"
He just gave me a reassuring smile that didn't look sure of itself.
"I need a toke," I said, surprised at the neediness of my tone and the falseness in my statement.
"In a little bit, okay?"
I took the mug of coffee from Wendy, but I almost spilled it so I put it down on the coffee table and never ended up drinking it. I watched the other three more than the TV, but I forced laughs every time they did.
After a half hour, I realized that my entire body was coming out of a state of numbness and I needed to piss terribly. Someone had put clothes and a blanket on me, I noticed – though not very well, as my pants were only halfway on. Kenny helped me get up so I could go to the bathroom.
When I came back and sat down, I felt memories begin to return to me. Just snippets of last night that felt like another life, and other world. We'd had Chinese food for dinner, ripped through two grams of weed in three hours, finished nearly an entire bottle of rum and then... The previously-unidentifiable objects on the coffee table brought fear to my face.
They'd all noticed my eyes going blank and wide. "Are you okay, Kyle?" Wendy asked soothingly, muting the TV.
I shook my head.
"Do you remember what happened?"
Another shake of my head.
Kenny and Stan couldn't look me in the eye when I looked over to them to clarify. In the end it was Wendy who said, "You just had a bad trip. But it's over now, it's okay now."
I nodded. Swallowed. Then I managed to say, "Sorry I had a seizure." I didn't remember it, but I remembered her half-distant, half-terrified eyes when she'd asked if I was epileptic last night. I wasn't.
"Three seizures," Stan corrected me automatically.
Kenny just hugged me and patted me on the shoulder. "Don't worry about it. We... it's our fault, we weren't careful enough."
This worried me, but I didn't let it show. "Did I OD?"
Stan forced a laugh. "Of course not."
Wendy shot him a look that screamed 'this is serious!'. "We thought you had, though."
We let the discomfort hang in the air and I realized that it wasn't my fault. I was embarrassed still, but I had finally just gotten the most important memory returned to me. Kenny lighting the lighter and holding the spoon above the flame. "I can't remember if it's fifty or a hundred for a first-timer," he'd said.
"Fifty. Or a hundred..." I said out loud to no one in particular.
Kenny turned red. "You remember. Sorry. Should've been fifty."
Wendy glared daggers at him. "Fucking idiot," she murmured. I wished she wouldn't care about me so much because it just made it harder.
The blonde scowled. "Okay, I fucked up! I said I was sorry, he's fine now, okay?"
"Shut up," Stan said with a hand on the bridge of his nose. He turned to me. "You're sure you're okay, Kyle? You don't feel sick anymore?"
I shook my head, but I did, in fact, feel very sick. I just stared at the heroin needle on the coffee table and wished I could've talked myself out of being such a moron last night. I was numb for a while longer before we started up again with a few shots of liquor. By noon, we'd all hit the bong twice, and by three o'clock, Stan and Wendy had fallen asleep and Kenny was shooting me up. I winced as he slid the needle into my arm, but didn't look away.
My mind floated away again as I watched him shoot up right afterward. It amazed me how much I could hate something and love it, need it, so much at the same time. But it wasn't the drugs or the booze I meant, no. I was just using them to wean myself off of her. Because even though heroin gave me seizures and it was bound to ruin my life not too far down the road, I knew that thinking of her was still the most potent poison I could use.
This was easier. The lesser of two evils.
I remembered the seizures this time, but only because I was staring at her when they happened.