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There’s nothing better. Nothing better than feeling nothing. Nothing better than forgetting everything. And nothing better than not giving a crap about anything. But even after using all of Jeb’s “supplies” I still feel it. Feel the heat, the pain, the guilt. I’ve shot up enough to kill a man three times over and all I have to show for it is a dull numbness that seems to have permanently settled itself in my head. Not enough to kill me. Not enough to make me forget. Not even enough to make me pass out.
“I think you’ve had enough.” Jeb says walking into the living room. He passes me the glass of water in his hands.
“No, I haven’t”
“I’m not giving you anymore. With that much heroin in your system you should be dead.”
“I feel the same.”
“I’m not giving you anymore.” He says more firmly.
For a moment The Monster is out. It’s ready to kill Jeb, ready to tear him to pieces, but then just as suddenly as it appeared, it vanishes. And for another moment, I’m left wondering if it was really me that had been so ready to kill him.
“Jeb, I thought I was going to kill you.” I nearly whisper.
“But you didn’t, Jay. That’s all that matters.”
“He’ll find me.”
Jeb takes a seat on the couch next to me. “Not if I can help it.”
“I’m not the only fighter who was different.” I feel Jeb shift uncomfortably next to me. “There was girl named Sega. I never fought her, but I know she was different.”
“You mean different like you?”
“No, not exactly like me. But she was special. She could find people. Anywhere in the world, she could track them. It’s how Hans used to find new fighters.”
“She can track you?” Jeb whispers.
“There’s no place far enough Hans wouldn’t find me.”
Jeb grow silent next to me. I can tell he’s trying to come up with something to say that will make me feel better, but he and I both know nothing he could say would change anything.
“Reese is going to kill me.” I finally say, breaking through the silence.
“I’ll take you home.”
I shake my head. “I think maybe it’s time for me to leave. Go someplace else. Maybe somewhere colder than Newark. I was thinking Alaska.”
“What are you going to do in Alaska?”
“With any luck, feel cold again. Or at least, not hot.”
“You know maybe your shrink is right. Crack isn’t going to solve your problems. Maybe you should talk to someone. Maybe there’s a doctor out there who can help you–”
“I’m not sick!” I cut in angrily. “This thing I feel, whatever it is isn’t a disease. And I don’t need you of all people telling me I should become some Crazy’s lab rat!”
“Fine, but maybe talking about the Cage, about the things you were forced to do, maybe it will help.”
I stand up from the couch and point a finger at Jeb’s chest. “Don’t ever say that word again! I swear I’ll kill you, Jeb. Never say it again!”
“Jeb holds up his hands in a peace gesture. “I’m sorry, I won’t. But Jocelyn, maybe you do need some help. ”
“I need another hit.” I reply angrily.
“I’m not giving you anymore.”
“Fine, then I’ll go find someone who will.” I make for the door, stumble a second, then regain my balance.
“Jay, you’re not leaving like this.” Jeb says stepping in front of me.
“Move,” I warn him. “Or I’ll make you move.”
Jeb hesitates a moment, then steps to the side letting me through. I walk past him and into the hallway. My head is spinning and I’m starting to feel dizzy. I was so close. Just a few more hits and maybe I would finally feel nothing. I open the door to Jeb’s house and a gust of wind blows in. Not cold, but not hot either. Carefully, I make my way down the steps to his porch and onto the empty street. My feet manage to carry me forward, though I don’t know how because the numbness in my head is getting stronger and spreading. Still not enough to forget. Still not enough to quench the Fiery Hot, but I was close.
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