Miles away from the dingy house, out of the city, where the yards get larger and the houses more lavish, we find Taylor. Taylor is your typical 17 year old girl. Captain of the volleyball team, an amazing gymnast, and lead soprano in choir. Where Taylor differs from other kids her age is she has a secret. A secret life. A secret identity. A secret addiction.
Like most teenagers it started with a little pot. She was 13 when she first smoked a joint. It was after school in the woods behind the football field. Her friend Alyssa had started dating a high school boy and begged Taylor to come with her to the woods where the older, popular kids hang out. How could she say no? Standing awkwardly in the group of high schoolers Taylor did her best to fit in. When a joint magically appeared in front of her she grabbed it without hesitation, taking a long painful drag, immediately convulsing into a fit of coughs. The older kids laughed and cheered her on. That’s all it took. She was one of them now. The next four years were a blur of parties full of alcohol, pot, acid, mushrooms, whipits, cocaine, meth, you name it.
Taylor miraculously maintained her teenage life. She took drugs to help her study. She took drugs to help her compete. She took drugs to help her sleep. She took drugs for everything. No one knew. She was still beautiful. She was still vibrant. But she was slowly dying on the inside. And the drugs she took were no longer working. She needed something new. Something better.
Taylor had just finished her junior year and was getting ready for the end of the year party hosted by her bff Alyssa of course. She finished her makeup, did a bump, and headed out. The party was your typical teenage rager. Music blaring. Kegs, fifths, blunts, lines. Barely dressed girls kissing other barely dressed girls. Bros playing beer pong. Couples making out in the corners.
Taylor made her way through the crowd and found Alyssa.
“Yeeesss Queen! You look amazing!” Alyssa screamed as she reached out to hug Taylor. “Where the fuck you been? Tonight is going to be lit. Josh is bringing over some good shit.”
Taylor’s heart skipped a beat. She had been in love with Josh since freshman year. The idea of partying with him all night made her stomach flip.
“My Aunt is in town so I had to do dinner at the club with the fam. It was so fucking boring. Let me hit that.” Taylor said pulling a blunt out of Alyssa’s mouth. “What’s Josh bringing? I’m sick of this weak ass kid shit.”
“I don’t know.” Alyssa said, hitting the blunt. “He said his brother got it from a friend who got it from this guy. Anyway it’s supposed to be crazy. Like nothing we’ve ever tried before.”
Taylor looked around. Her classmates were spread throughout the house. Drinking, smoking, laughing. This was going to be a great summer. The summer before senior year. The summer before her adult life began.
Taylor and Alyssa walked in the kitchen to make a cocktail. And there was Josh. Tall, lean, beautiful. He was holding something in his hand and excitedly talking to JT, the captain of the lacrosse team. Taylor pretended not to notice him. Alyssa wasn’t as coy.
“Josh! About fucking time! You got it?”
“Yep.” Josh said with a grin. He held his hand out to show a small glass vial with some green murky liquid inside. “Hey Taylor.” He said sheepishly.
“That’s it??” Alyssa said before Taylor could answer. “Dude I gave you $200 and that’s all you came back with?? What the fuck?”
“Trust me.” Josh said, keeping his eyes on Taylor. “This stuff is legit. It will make you feel like you are flying.”
“Well what are we waiting for. Pour it in my drink.” Alyssa said.
“It doesn’t work that way.” Josh said. He pulled the top of the tiny vial and showed the girls a small glass dropper attached. “One drop. That’s all you need.”
“For fucks sake Josh, we’ve done acid before. I can’t believe this is what you got with my money.” Alyssa grumbled.
“It’s not acid!” Josh said. “It’s..it’s..it’s just different, okay? Trust me.”
“It better be the best shit ever.” Alyssa said. “Let’s get this party started.” She opened her mouth and tilted her head back. Taylor followed suit. Josh put the dropper back in the vial, pulled it out, and put a drop in Alyssa’s, Taylor’s, and his mouth.
Taylor instantly felt like she was floating. Her body was as light as a feather. The wall of the kitchen melted into a swirl of colors. The fridge splashed to the floor like an ocean wave. Taylor saw figures floating past her. They resembled her classmates but were distorted and misshapen like clocks in a Dali painting Taylor saw in a museum once. They floated past her one at a time exploding into red ribbons as they passed. The sounds she heard were like muffled police sirens. Long high pitch tones fading into the swirling walls. She thought she could make out Alyssa in the mix of shapes and colors but the distorted figure instantly collided with another figure. More red ribbons fluttered to the ground and muffled sirens sang. Then everything went black.