Owner of Esskaye Books, M. Leon Smith has been writing in the independent press for over ten years. He gives this story of addiction based on his own experiences.
They never used to deliver...
In the 'good old days' if you wanted to satisfy the craving, defeat the body's unstoppable demand, you left the house and found what you needed yourself. Now, you picked up the phone and within an hour they knocked on your door.
Minutes after their visit, the screaming need would be dulled. Later, perhaps an hour or two, certainly by morning, regret raised its head.
“Just stop,” the anodyne advice from the 'love' of his life. “You can, if you try.”
That, right there, was the problem. He couldn't. As much as Simon wanted to, he couldn't. Some days he convinced himself he didn't need to pick up the phone and wouldn't make the call.
He always did.
Shame didn't stop Simon. Lack of money never proved to be a problem, he always found a way to pay. Addiction overpowered reason..
They had said forty-five minutes. On the good days, the delivery arrived sooner and filled Simon with happiness. Other days, ones like today, they were late.
Simon checked his phone. He had phoned forty-eight minutes ago.
A car approached his house and Simon's heart raced but the vehicle failed to stop, passing by with the roar of a badly-tuned engine. His heart returned to the normal speed. Disappointment bit hard.
Another check of his phone – fifty-one - minutes. The urge to phone and enquire where they were was so powerful Simon dialled the first three digits before he stopped himself. They had never let him down before, they would be here.
“You called again. Didn't you?” asked Simon's girlfriend, Amanda. She hid her accusing tone poorly.
“Last time. I promise...” he lied.
“You always say that. You paid the rent, at least? Didn't you?"
Simon looked at his shoes.
“How could you? I've had enough We're through!”
A knock at the door called a halt to the fight. Simon jumped to his feet and grabbed the money from the mantelpiece. Within minutes he re-entered the living room.
“Okay, Amanda, okay. I'll stop... I promise.”
Amanda shrugged. She's heard all his lies before.
Simon considered the argument over.
“Anyway, do you want some?” he asked, offering a slice of freshly-delivered pizza to his long-suffering girlfriend.
Copyright 2019 M. Leon Smith