Julia knew it all too well. It was Nature’s way that people’s hearts were often both “faint” and “feint” in equal measure. She knew it on the boardwalk as she felt him slip her mother’s silver spoon bracelet from her wrist and tuck it away in his jacket pocket. She felt it as he leaned in and whispered in her ear, “Make a wish. Wish for anything. Anything can come true.” It was in his breath, cool smoke slowly boiling in time to the breakers on the beach. A shiver ran down her spine.
She knew it again after the investigation. She knew it like she’d been kicked. He got one hundred dollars for the bracelet. Enough to buy a single brown, plasticized envelope, one last fix.
Julia knows it now yet refuses to grieve a “hippie forever dying!” Still she loves him in a way that makes her understand uniquely how heroin was the only thing that quieted the shouting in his mind, that muted for a time the cacophony of cancerous discord in his body. The only thing in the end that was able to bring him any peace. He embraced the spreading haze and Julia knew it.