Slowly, over time, the story of your life was written not in ink but in heroin. The pages are stuck together with blood and are blurred with tears, and the most excruciating part is you hardly remember what they say. You’re the bookmark, the filler, the one placeholder between life and death, but the pages have become increasingly left blank. There is no more ink, there is only heroin. You can’t see your reflection in a burnt spoon, but I see you clearly. The bloodied, used syringes have conspired to barricade you from any future without them; they tell you that you’re safe and that they have you. They reassure you. They whisper the most beautiful things into your ear as they tie your hands behind your back and rob you blind. You tell it to take more, to take everything. I watch in slow motion as you are murdered, helpless. Bound by the same restraints it’s used to bind you, I am also helpless. I have been left to absorb the pain the syringes have promised to rid you of. Your numbness amplifies my suffering; your self-inflicted blood stains write the pages of my own life story. Every time the phone rings, for a brief synaptic moment, you are gone this time. But if not this time, next. Every single fucking time my phone rings, you die. I become terrified of the sound, because it is the sound of losing everything. Of losing my brother. Of losing a piece of my soul. It is the sound of syringes leaving you for dead and whispering into someone else’s ear the same sweet nothings that softly, delicately, and deliberately butchered you all while you asked it for more. When death calls you, the phone to ring next is mine, and those syringes won’t be attending your funeral. They will have long since moved on. It will be me who says goodbye.