Laura leant in on Todd’s shoulder. ‘What messes with your head?’
‘Weed, and it don’t mess with anything, if you use it right.’
‘Drugs?’ Laura asked, her legs looped over Todd’s.
‘It ain’t quite drugs, it’s like smoking Loz, only you feel like you’re flying.’
‘I wouldn’t mind a try,’ Laura said, willing to do anything to keep Todd.
‘I don’t reckon it’s a good idea Loz, you wouldn’t know what you were doing for one.’
No detail was needed.
Yet, a few weeks later, with Julie in Durham – Laura had gone to a party by herself. Todd rolled a cigarette, in front of her. At first, heeding Julie’s warning, she had said no. As the morning wore on, and the alcohol inhibited her system, she agreed to take one puff. It was like something had blown her away completely. It was a different feeling than being drunk.
Her mind felt as light as a bubble.
The room span, but at a much slower rate. Music played in her head, and her mind floated like a candyfloss cloud. All her usual methods, of keeping sober, vanished in a flash of lost inhibitions. She woke up, with Todd, naked in the bed, her clothes strewn around the carpet.
Frightened at what she could have done, Laura grabbed all her clothes and put them on. Todd, still sleeping, didn’t move, as she rushed out of the room. Fresh air hit her like a kick from a kangaroo. What had she done? Why didn’t she listen to Julie?
The next morning, another fear hit her like a tornado of shame – what if she were pregnant or worse had caught something? All she could hope for was that Todd used protection. She couldn’t be sure if he had. Even going to the chemist was out of the question. Julie had advised her to go to a sexual health clinic – but again if someone found out. She told a white lie to her friend; said she was neither pregnant or had contracted any sexual disease.
‘You were lucky this time.’
On the steps, leading up to the university, Laura inhaled. ‘My father would have gone mad at the sight of me, and probably would’ve chucked me out.’
‘But think what old Crowthorne would say.’
Laura laughed, and for the first time that morning felt all her worries wash away.
‘Oh Laura, God will be so disappointed in you,’ Laura said, and blew out circles of smoke in the air.
‘Begone foul woman to your den of iniquity.’
‘All joking aside, I don’t think I’ll go back, not on my own anyway.’
‘Good idea, I reckon we all have to move on.’
‘Todd hardly speaks to me now. I reckon he got what he wanted and has gone on to his next victim.’
‘I did warn you about him, he’s a player, and doesn’t settle down with any girl.’
‘I learnt the hard way, but ever since that night, I don’t feel quite the same. I’m paranoid at everything.’
‘It’s like I said to Steve, weed messes with your head Loz.’
‘I won’t have another one and I don’t know why people say they are so great. All I did was lose a few hours I won’t get back. When are you coming for your next visit?’
‘It won’t be for a while, I met someone, and he’s invited me to the cinema next weekend. Sorry Loz, but he’s really nice and someone I might even get serious with.’
‘I don’t mind, I’ve to concentrate on my studies anyway.’
A Rennie taken from her bag she popped it into her mouth. Maybe she would stop feeling sick and be able to go to her last morning class.