I hobble up the stairs in the Radisson Hotel. Lorna walks behind me. I’m in stilettos as usual. She’s in flats. As we arrive on the second floor, I take the door key from my hobo bag. Once inside my suite, I slip off my Louboutins. I need to say something. I need to get the smack. I have to be the one who prepares the hits tonight.
I’m determined not to hand over the spoon. I know she’ll be asking for it any minute. I need to ask her for the gear first. Should I do that, or should I wait until she asks for the spoon then suggest she gives me the bag at that point? I’m not sure. I need to decide. I have to get this right. If I mess it up, I won’t die.
“Have you got a dead baby?” I was thinking about that this afternoon. I was going to ask her about it, but then I decided I didn’t want to discuss it. I’m not in the mood. Sometimes I have no control over the words that flow from my lips.
“That’s not a very nice thing to say.” Lorna takes her position, lying on my queen-sized bed.
“I didn’t mean… I was just thinking earlier, most of the working girls I know have had stillborns or terminations. I was just thinking and it just came out my mouth. I’m sorry.”
Lorna looks at me with narrow eyes. “Have you got one?” she snaps.
“Yes,” I say. “Three… Three dead babies.” I didn’t want to think about this now. Why can’t I control my thoughts and words like normal people? I might not want to be dead if I could control my thoughts. I try to remember what Dr Fielding says about my babies. They went back to the eyes of God. That’s all good if you believe in God, but I struggle with that. I really fucking do. If there is a God, how could he or she have allowed such devastation to happen in my family?
“I had an abortion when I was seventeen.” Lorna’s voice is calmer now.
I put my hand out in her direction, palm open. “Pass the smack.”
“I still get sad about it now.” Lorna places the bag of heroin in my hand. “I think about my baby every day. He’d be six now. Do you think about your babies often?”
“Yes.” That’s the truth. But right now, I don’t want to think about anything other than my plan. That’s why I want to die. I’ve been thinking too much. I don’t want to think about my dead babies. I don’t want to think about my dead mum. I don’t want to think about my absent dad. I don’t want to think about what the babysitters did to me. I don’t want to think about what happened to Milly. Poor Milly. I should have got myself sorted so I could help her. But I couldn’t do it. I can’t do it. I’m giving up. I’ve managed to get the gear. Now I can do something else. I can end it. I’ve been thinking about this since I arrived in Sydney last week. This needs to be done carefully. I have to make sure Lorna doesn’t clock on to what I’m doing.
I’m half-listening as Lorna tells me about the father of her baby. He was her ex-boyfriend. Did she say he hit her before she was pregnant or while she was pregnant? I didn’t catch that properly. Something about being in hospital to check the baby’s heartbeat.
I sprinkle enough heroin in the spoon for about five of my standard hits. I add the water. How am I going to do this? I need to make up two hits. One has to be far stronger than the other. I need to use less water and make them up one at a time. Lorna always makes them both up together so that’s how much water I’ve added – the usual amount. Now I have too much water in the spoon.
I open the drawer in the bedside table. I take out the syringe I used last night. I place it next to the box of tissues. “Will you pass me my inhaler from the bathroom,” I say to Lorna.
“Where is it?” She gets off the bed and stands up.
“I can’t remember…on a shelf I think. Give me your needle so I can do your hit.”
Lorna hands me her works. I put hers on the bed. I take my used needle and draw up half the hit. I put it back beside the box of tissues. While Lorna is in the bathroom, I balance the bent spoon on the bedside table. I run over to the bureau. I rummage through the drawer. I’m sure I stashed another syringe in there the other night.
“I can’t see it,” Lorna shouts from the bathroom.
“Look inside my toiletry bag…the pink one,” I shout back.
I still can’t find another syringe. I open Lorna’s handbag, looking for clean works. I can’t tell if hers are used or new. What does it matter if I’m going to die anyway? I steal one from her bag. I rush to the other side of the bed. Holding the spoon, I draw up the other half of my lethal hit. I put the second needle in the drawer of the bedside table.
Lorna pops her head out the bathroom door. “It’s not in here.”
I fake a cough. “I really need it. Can you check again.”
With Lorna back in the bathroom, I quickly make up another hit – a milder one this time. I draw it up into her syringe that I left on the bed. I need to be careful not to confuse the syringes. I put mine in my mouth, leaving the stain of pink lipstick on the barrel.
I still don’t know how I’m going to get both injections in my arm without her noticing I’m having two hits. Maybe I’ll need to take mine into the bathroom. I remove the syringe from the drawer in the bedside table. I slip it under my bra, between my breasts. I hope it doesn’t fall out.
“Never mind,” I call to Lorna. “I want this hit more than my inhaler. Come back through.”
Lorna returns to the suite. She lies back down on the bed. “I’m sorry I couldn’t find it.”
She wouldn’t have done. It was, like I’ll soon be, non-existent.