Snakes and Pills

075 - regret wrong

Meredith slid into the little booth at the fast food restaurant, and Rick followed soon after, carrying the tray of hamburgers, french fries, and drinks. They sat on opposite sides, staring at each other. Meredith looked relaxed, and grabbed at the food, while Rick was tense and completely disinterested in dining.

"So, why the hell are we here?" he asked. "What do you mean? We often meet at restaurants like this," she replied.

He rolled his eyes, apparently somewhat frustrated. "Yeah, but before it's always been a pretty quick affair. Get in, do the deal, get out. We usually don't, you know, sit down and dine."

"Yeah, I know, and that's too bad," Meredith replied, with her mouth half-full of fries and beef. "I don't eat here very often, but this stuff is actually pretty tasty. No wonder everyone in this country is so fat." She kept scarfing food down. "You gonna eat, or what?" she asked Rick.

"I'm not really hungry. I'd rather have something else." The way he said "something else" seemed to imply that Meredith knew what he should be talking about. She picked up a napkin and wiped up the area around her face.

"Yeah, well, about that, I'm not going to be able to help you anymore," she stated, plainly.

"What do you mean?" he asked, his voice raised at first before dropping back down to a very quiet level. "Why not? Is there some sort of shortage or something?" He continued.

Meredith just shook her head. "No, no shortage. I could still supply you if I wanted to, but I don't want to anymore." Rick looked somewhat angry, but altogether confused at what was happening. "You, you don't want to? Why the hell not?"

"Call me crazy, I guess I grew a conscience. Heh. A drug dealer with a conscience." She giggled. "I guess I thought things have been getting too messed up, for you. Rick, you're getting yourself into deep trouble, you know."

He sank back in his seat. She wasn't sure if he was more saddened by the fact that she was right, or the fact that he would not be receiving his hit that he had planned for today. Rick looked at her with the saddest, puppy-dog eyes. Meredith had seen the want of the next fix drive people to some pretty realistic performances, but Rick appeared genuine.

"What can I do? Face this existence? It's fucking terrible, everyday, to wake up to this reality. Can you blame me for wanting to run away from it?" he lamented.

"The reason I felt this way, Rick, is because I knew you before. You were always a decent guy, you had opportunities, and occasionally using this stuff to get yourself higher didn't seem like a problem to me at first. But now it's your whole life, you've squandered it all."

"Thanks, Mom," he said. "What's the point? If I gave it up, went straight and tried my best, I'm still going to have to deal with this same shitty reality. Of not having everything I want, of having to see other shitty people do shitty things every day."

"Rick, we've all got to face that reality. You don't see every person doped out of their mind twenty-four seven," she said. "Well, maybe they ought to be, that's their loss, then," he responded.

"Well, I'm not going to help you, I'm sorry," Meredith said. "Then I'll just have to find someone who will," Rick replied, and he slid out of the booth, stood up, and walked out the door. Meredith ate what was left on the tray.


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