She stared into the mirror at her pale, thin, sunken face. Heroin face. That’s what was whispered behind her back. She glanced around the room; fresh curses and psychotic phrases were strung with dripping ink across the walls. The bed was torn and her black, ripped sheets lay in a bundle on the floor. She breathed in the scent of stale air, smoke and a familiar, sweet, teasing scent that she had smelled so many times before. She put on her stockings, a think grey pair first with fishnets over the top. It was windy and freezing outside and she had begun to lose weight, causing her to be constantly cold and in need of more clothing. Finishing with her ex-boyfriends faded, oversized shirt she picked up her guitar case put on a jacket and turned to face the city.
Turning into the side alley behind the club she pushed open the door and walked along the damp corridor to the backstage dressing rooms with almost worrying ease. At only 18, she had taken a short cut to being fully grown. She had no plans for her career, no job and no permanent house; all she knew was that she was not going to spend the rest of her life working. She was not going to fall into a pointless job or a boring house in a monotonous city for the sake of comfortable living and a steady pay. Her only possession worth anything was the guitar in the hands and the pack of French cigarettes in her back pocket. She made money by playing music, it was all she was good at and it was enough to pay for the room she slept in. Everything else she needed was either stolen or, second-hand or given to her out of charity.
“Neive! You’re looking dashing this morning.”
“Whoa, rough night aye Heroin Face?”
These come flying at her all at once as The Drummer, Bassist and Vocalist glance with loving mockery up at her.
“We’re on in 3 hours babe, do you need a drink or something to dull the ache inside of you?” sighs The Drummer.
“There is no ache, I’m just dull.” She replies.
Sniggers and looks of approval are issued as the band continues with their afternoon of arguments and near paralysing intoxication.
“Oh yeah, Neive, I have been meaning to ask you, remember the forty bucks I gave you the other month for that gift for your pretty girlfriend or whatever? Well, I need it back, I’m outta cash and I need it real bad to score.”
She breathes deeply and replies “ You gave it to me babe, I spent it, it’s gone, I don’t have any money, I told you I’d pay you back just as soon as I’ve got it, you know I wouldn’t cheat you.”
The room was now…