Randall watched as Martina walked away. After a few steps, she turned and smiled at him like a bully, who had just emotionally gutted someone.
Randall understood how Martina was feeling. She was feeling in control and she was loving it. She was feeling a sense of power and she was loving it, but in reality, she had power and control of nothing.
The drug had the power and control.
After that night, he reached out to her several times, but his efforts were fruitless. When the semester ended, Martina left. No goodbye, no note, no phone call, nothing. She was gone. Just as she said to mother…”Martina has been deleted.”
Mother was beside herself and father was little more than an obtuse bystander, shaking his head and saying his tired, “she’ll be back. Just give her time” statement. Mother angrily conveyed her belief that Callie had successfully ruined Martina, and was instrumental in her change of personality and subsequent disappearance.
Randall didn’t tell them about Callie. He didn’t tell them that Martina was using drugs. He didn’t tell them about his own past. He only told them that he would try to find her.
Putting on his imaginary Deerstalker, he began to look for her. Unbeknownst to Martina, he knew the dark shadowy figure behind the coffee shop. “Joe Blow” had been his drug dealer in the past, and he knew that for the right price, not only could he get drugs, he could get information.
Five large was what it cost Randall to find out that Martina had gone to New York, just as she said. “For another five, I’ll tell you exactly where she went, and I’ll even throw in the name of the dealer I hooked her up with,” Joe said with a laugh. “By the way, I’ve got some ‘ICE’ if you’re interested. It’s as pure as the driven snow. How ’bout it? Been a while, hasn’t it? Come on. I’ll even give you a break on the price…for old time’s sake.”
Randall passed on the information and the drugs. Walking away, he remembered “the shoulder,” he felt after his injection, and for a split second, thought about going back but he knew that like all addicts, the want will always be there, the animal will always try to get control, and the cage must never again be opened.
Gathering his thoughts, he knew Martina would have headed to Manhattan. That’s where all the Broadway star wannabes always go. The question was, could he find her?
Going to New York was not a trip he wanted to make, so he sought the help of a private detective. Having no real information, other than his suspicions as to her whereabouts, the detective said he would do what he could, with basically nothing but a name.
Randall wasn’t sure if she was even using her real name. All he could offer was “Martina or Martine Hamilton.” He wasn’t sure if she had changed her looks, other than the effects of whatever drug she was using. The detective reminded him that one could very successfully hide in New York. “It’s a big place,” he said. “You can move just one block away, and no one will ever find you.”
A month went by, and meager information was all Randall received. A few people said they “thought they had seen her,” and wanted money for information, which of course, might or might not be accurate. In Randall’s experience, most people could be bought, but it didn’t mean that what you were buying was worth the price.
He asked himself what he would do if he found her. Would she talk to him? Would she treat him the way she had before she left? Would she accuse him of stalking her? He was sure of nothing, but felt as though he had a debt. Someone had helped him through his addiction, and he wanted to pay it forward. Someone had saved his life. He wanted to save someone else’s. He wanted to save Martina.
Two months later, a break.
To be continued__________