Coughing violently, I passed the glass pipe along to the young man beside me, who took a long drag before handing it on the next in the circle. I could feel the foul-tasting smoke tear down my throat and withstood the urge to vomit. The entire room was overflowing with a fetid haze; it grated against the back of my throat as though it were sandpaper. I fought to maintain my composure and appearance of serenity, but if anyone looked close enough they would easily be able to distinguish my sense of discomfort. Just as I began to recover from the last intake of noxious fumes, a nudge on my right shoulder signalled to me that it was my turn. Reluctantly, I took the pipe and began the process again. This was my weekend socialisation. I’d never really fit in with the normal kids, failing to mesh with any of the specific societal groups particularly well. It wasn’t really my choice to hang around with the stoners, but I found that taking the drugs was a sacrifice I was willing to make in order to feel welcome among others. It was tough, changing who I was in order to feel an indistinct sense of homeliness. People now labelled me as a ‘druggo’, but, regardless of the nature of title I received, it felt good to have a title. After a few more hours, and after we’d run out of drugs, I decided to go home. My head spinning bizarrely, mind muddled in response to the drugs. The trip flew by in a blur, shapes whizzing past me like a tape on fast forward. The short walk to my house flew by in unrealistic bursts of time. Reaching my house, I walked under the rusted wrought-iron arch and up the coarse footpath, before stepping through the door. After sauntering down the hall into my room, I headed into the kitchen to check for food. I rounded a corner and came face to face with my father. “There you are you little shit. Where have you been?”
“I just went over to Mike’s house for a bit”, I slurred. “You’re stoned again, aren’t you? You bastard, tell me the...
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