Dedicated to my mom who passed away ten years ago this Tuesday to a drug overdose.
This story is focused on Amelia with some Addek thrown in, enjoy.
"Hold on baby you're losing it.
The water's high you're jumping into it now
and letting go
and no one knows"
Tied Together With A Smile- Taylor Swift
Lizzie stood at the counter in the kitchen of the Shepherd house, pouring creamer into her coffee. From where she was standing she could see into her parent's room, the big king sized bed where her and her siblings used to crawl into to watch movies with their parents.
She was watching her youngest sister, Amelia who didn't know she was being watched.
Lizzie had came over to drive with her mother to see her sister in New Jersey. Nancy just had another baby, a little girl, and they were going over to help. Carolyn came into the kitchen, dropping a box on the counter of presents for Nancy's children. She opened her mouth to ask what Lizzie was looking at but her daughter held a finger to her lips and pointed toward her youngest child.
Amy was coming down from her high fast. She wasn't sure how she ended up at her childhood home but she was too high to care. She had slipped in through a partially broken screen on the back porch and entered the house through the sliding glass door her mother always had open to let the crisp New York air in.
Amelia licked her lips, running her hand through her knotted hair. Her bank account was below zero. She owed money to more people than she could remember.
Her mother always had a big collection of jewelry she never wore, and the twenty year old figured she wouldn't miss it. She filled the pockets of her ripped jeans with a few necklaces and earrings before spotting her father's watch at the bottom of the drawer. The watch held so many bad memories of her father being killed that she was surprised her mother even got it from the police station. She stuffed it into her pocket before taking out her last oxy and cutting it with a razor blade. Her nose was down to the dresser when her mother and sister entered.
"What do you think you're doing Amelia?" Carolyn demanded.
Her red rimmed eyes searched the room for an exit, like she was a caged animal. She stumbled back a few steps.
Lizzie pushed the crushed bits of OxyContin onto the carpet covered floor, intent to vacuum it up later so long as her sister couldn't take it now. "Answer the question Amy."
"No one can call me Amy except for my brother." She hissed back, wiping the white powder off her nose.
"Amelia why are you stealing?" Carolyn asked though they all new the answer.
"I- I was just leaving. My boyfriend, you'd like this one mom, he's waiting for me. I just wanted to borrow some jewelry for a date thing." She lied badly, wringing her hands as she excessively licked her lips.
"Is this one a drug dealer too?" Lizzie crossed her arms across her chest.
"Hey Elizabeth I don't judge you and you're cheating husband. Leave me and my business alone." Amelia shot back.
"Lizzie, go pack up the car." Carolyn instructed, trying to placate the fight that was brewing. "Now." They watched her leave before Carolyn turned to address her baby. "Amelia are you okay? Are you safe?"
"I'm fine mom, stop worrying."
Carolyn looked over her daughter who was the opposite of fine. Her hair was greasy and knotted, her eyes bloodshot and lips cracked. She had sweat dripping down even though the house was cold and kept wiping her nose on the back of her arm.
"Mom, I'm fine, seriously." She repeated, fidgeting from the withdraws and weight of her mother's gaze.
She put her hand out and Amelia reluctantly pulled most of the jewelry out of her pockets, leaving a few pieces she hoped to sell once her mother finally let her leave. "You don't have to steal honey."
"I told you I am borrowing it for a date." She coughed into her elbow.
"Come to Nancy's with us, all your sisters will be there and we can spend some time together."
"Nancy doesn't want me there, she made that glaringly honest when she kicked me out last year." Amy could still remember her sister yelling at her for being the family disgrace and banning her from seeing her nieces and nephews. To be honest she didn't want to ever see Nancy again, high or not.
"Nancy was just upset."
"Mom I'll come over when you get back and we can have dinner or something." Amelia offered. "You can even meet Anthony, he's a lost soul like Mark and Addie."
Carolyn pulled her baby close, never wanting to let her go. "I love you so much, you know that?"
Carolyn held her husband's watch in her hand and prayed her youngest would get clean soon. She learned early on that you can't force an addict to get clean, they have to want it for themselves.
"You're letting her go?" Lizzie stood next to her mother as they watched Amy drive off.
"What do you want me to do Elizabeth? I can't force her."
"Call Derek and Addison, or even Mark, and just have someone check on her while we're gone. I haven't seen her this bad mom." Lizzie leaned into her mother's embrace.
"Amelia is strong, just like I raised all of you to be." She tried to assure her but she was worried herself. "But I'll tell Derek to check up on her."
Amelia Shepherd stood outside her dealer's apartment. She had a wad of cash in her pocket, about a grand that she got from selling her mother's jewelry.
"Who's there?" A voice came through the speaker.
She heard a buzzer and the doors opened. She climbed the three flights of stairs to the apartment of her best friend, her only friend. He pulled her in and kissed her lips. "How's it going beautiful?"
"Vince." She greeted. "I need my usual hit, I got the cash."
"Chill out and take a hit, I'll set you up." He motioned to the bong sitting in front of the couch while he went into the back to grab 25 pills. "You got a place to stay tonight?"
"Yeah my brother's working so I'm gonna crash at his place." Amelia knew where Derek hides his spare key. "Thanks V." She handed him the cash and took the baggie of pills and stuffed it into her bra.
Amelia pulled her jacket tighter around her as she walked in the direction of Derek and Addison's brownstone. She was thankful they lived by Central Park because everything was pretty much around there. She swallowed two pills dry, relishing in the bitter taste that promised better was to come.
She took her time walking toward the brownstone, the cool air biting her nose. She kept her hood up, her phone rang but she didn't bother to look at who was calling. She wasn't in the mood to talk. She crushed up a few more pills in her mouth as Derek and Addison's came into view. The lights were off and she quickly disabled the security alarm before locking up behind her. She went to the guest room at the far end of the house, knowing the newlyweds barely ventured there so she could keep a few things hidden. The small girl wrapped a blanket around her slight frame.
She regretted not taking her mother up on her offer to tag along, but she didn't want her to see her like this. She couldn't stand the pity in the eyes of her mother or sisters. Addison was a better sister than her actual ones, but she sided with Derek and when he pushed her out of his life than Addie went as well.
She can feel the depression creeping back into her mind, her last dose wearing off quicker than she could remember.
The razor blade in her pocket was unwrapped on the counter before her as she crushed up four oxys at once and put them into two short, neat lines. Her nose was against the counter as she breathed in her next high, feeling it almost instantly. She wanted to make sure this high lasted, so two more pills were ingested the same way as before.
Amelia went to sit on the couch after, relaxing into the warm leather that was much more Derek than Addison. Her eyes drifted shut, a soft smile on her lips.