Large boulders of smoke roll down your throat and coat your breath with the smell of false happiness. Yellow stained fingers cover a frequent cough. You sound more and more like your dog as the days pass. Sometimes I can't tell the two of you apart.
But you weren't always this way. You found your education more important than your dad's drinking problem, but eventually it got the best of you. After one fight too many your mind clearly wasn't aware that you missed yet another stop sign and the bottles of vodka were no help. So a serious accident and a subsequent record kicked you out of school. Now that college was out you retreated to your dark room where you were treated by servings and needles that held you in a way your father never did.
However love walked into your life. She was the apple of your eye. You put her before most things, so it was safe to think your addictions were behind us. But every time you slipped away, her anger rose. Only you were the one always lashing out. When she couldn't take anymore, she left. Taking our last hopes with her. The drugs seemed to have given you a fantasy life that you always longed for. A life apart from us. A world we couldn't see.
Did your fantasy world show you in a hospital bed? Tubes snaking in and out of your body. An IV drip coursing through your veins, instead of heroin. You barely had enough energy to open your eyes. And when you did, all I could see we're two buckets brimming. The drugs had stretched you so thin that you were falling through the cracks of your own mistakes. And you were so weak that if you were to fall through, you might never get back up.
It killed me to see you like this and it killed you knowing that I tried to help. You stood by my side when I was the butt of every joke and you were practically my brother, so I would let you go through this alone. I stood by your side when your dad was drunk and angry, so I'll sit next to you on your hospital bed, realizing that your future is as dark as your lungs.
Drugs are like make up. They only cover up the scars, they don't heal them. Your stress led you to light the end of your cigarette, while our fear kept us from putting it out. I wish I could have told you all of this while you were alive.