By, Wendiann Alfieri
It’s three am when I open my eyes and shoot up into a sitting position, gasping for air. My wife is next to me, sitting up with a hand on my back, her skin soft and her fingers subtly rubbing circles just under my shoulder blades. “ It’s ok, babe, it’s ok. Just take in a deep breath ok? You are here. Ok?”
Gasp gasp inhale loudly
“ it’s 2039 now you say it gharnef”
I feel the words wheeze out as my chest is burning
“ it’s 2039” I say
“ it’s 2039, you are right keep saying that” my wife assures me. A few minutes go by before I get myself together.
Nightmares again. This happens all the time since I haven’t had my “ fix” in a while. I wake up sweating and drooling, being deprived of something that used to be legal. I work with my therapist, but the need is still there, the fear it will be gone forever. It got me through college days when I needed a pick me up while walking from one side of campus to another in the frigid cold. Sue understands as we share our issues as much as our interests. But she has the same issues as me, and as much as she tries to help, I know how she can be with her cravings. I got to be careful around her, or else we both would go under
“ I’m going to go get you some water” sue says, getting up, slipping on a robe.
“ Thank you Sue”
I hear crying, and I throw on some shorts and stumble through the darkness to get to a light
I go to my daughters room, bleary eyed as my head births a migraine.
“ shh, Bloom, shh” I pick her up. She is crying as I hold her, but by some miracle it’s only a minute till she’s back asleep.
She’ll never try anything like I have in my past. Things are different now and I’m not going to jeopardize my daughters future
I just can’t let go of the cravings
Neither can Sue
We have a kid to protect now, we can’t break together again we can’t have anymore days of buying from the streets, and I haven’t had a “piece” in three years
I just am leaving the room when I bump into Sue, with a glass of water that she drops and it smashes onto the floor, glass everywhere as our baby starts screaming and crying and our dog barks and I gotta say, I can really use some right now
after sweeping up the last of the glass pieces. My phone rings, and I see the number, a blessing Courtesy of the Devil himself.
I think of my stress. I think of my family and future. I think of now. No one has to know. so i answer it.
I hang up the phone, and head back to bed, my wife already half asleep. I can sneak out, I think
I can pull up out of savings and meet Marble at the usual spot.
But.. my family my child. I can’t share with them the happiness I get in return for a small fee.
I think of how relieved I would be if I just had a little bit. It’s not as bad as it used to be and it would be a treat to myself
But then again, it’s illegal
I can afford it now but what about next time? Prices are high for this shit.
I need to be stronger
I need to fight it
I can’t put us in jeopardy.
The need is in my veins
The pressure is making me sweat.
I wait an hour before sending a text,
And I grab my keys and I’m out the door.
When I come back home I’m very careful. Slowly opening the door that doesn’t creak one bit.
I hear grumbling and I turn to see Sue there.
“ why didn’t you tell me?”
“ it’s just a little something to help me”I rush.
There’s no point in hiding it.
“ I thought there was no more available, how’d you get some?”
“ listen Sue, Marble called me, she just got a stock sent in, and she gave me a discount”
“ I thought we agreed that when we fall we fall together”
“ yeah Sue but that’s worse, YOU were my introduction to finding a dealer, and unlike you, I can limit myself”
“ and THIS is? Limit doesn’t matter You know the law.”
“ you don’t seem to care if I break it, you only care when we aren’t breaking it together”
“ then let’s do it”
“ no Sue no”
“ please. You can’t tell me to say no when ten minutes ago you couldn’t say it either”
“ it’s not fair that it’s illegal,” I say
“ it’s only illegal as a punishment” I say louder
Sues eyes brighten
“ and it wasn’t illegal, there’s no proof as to why it should be”
“ Fine” I say.
Her grin is wide and I grin back
Sometimes it’s ok to indulge. Except this time it’s not. But that doesn’t stop me. Sues eyes are wide and pleading and she pulls me in for a kiss. Us, I mentally correct myself. It doesn’t stop Us.
A couple hours later, we are deep into this. We can’t stop. It’s such a relief to just... just have this.
“ we need more” Sue says.
“ I’ll call Marble,” she adds, “ she won’t sell you another batch, but maybe she’ll sell one to me.”
I nod my head vigorously. She walks to go into the baby’s room, where she left her phone. I don’t even hear a sound from her on the baby monitor. I hear her now, on the phone in the hallway. She’s a stealthy one.
“ Yes, I’ll take it. Wait... you have more?”
I lick my lips, and pick her “leftovers” up, hoping she won’t notice
I take a piece, and I see her watching me.
She nods her ok, though, and soon hangs up the phone and jumps onto the bed.
“ I can’t believe they made this illegal”
I narrow my eyes
“ Because of the desperation of others when there was a shortage?”
She rolls her eyes.
“ Just shut up and eat,”
I giggle at that, and unwrap the rest of the bar, and take a piece
I think of, (as I open the Snickers bar wrapper) what life was like before the revolt from Karen’s, before Karens became a political party, before their beliefs of chocolate being evil was validated, inciting the stopping of production of candy bars stopped back in 2025 to avoid lawsuits. I Think of the slogan, the Snickers bar tag line on old commercials. It’s true, that tagline, as I chew the chocolate and let out a sigh of relief, I reflect, coming to the conclusion that
the tagline could made sense literally.
and also figuratively, in a way that references the need/ fight for justice. Against the Karen’s.
“ Your not you when you’re hungry”