I remember the story my mother told me on the night that she died from cancer about how I got my name. I sat at her bedside, holding her frail hand in mine and listened to her raspy voice. She wanted to name me Katherine, but my father was insistent on naming me Jodie after his baby sister that died from crib death. Her final words were, ‘I love you, my Katherine...’. I still sat there beside her even though she was no longer breathing. The nurses came in and began to shut off all of the monitors she had been hooked up to. I couldn’t cry. I was too numb to cry. After the nursing staff had cleaned her up and prepared her for the shroud, my father walked in. He had tried like hell to get to the hospital in time, but because his job was 45 minutes away, he didn’t make it. We were allowed to stay with my mother for awhile before they had to take her away. Father had cried like a baby. His beautiful Eve was gone. My beautiful mother was gone. I was gone as well. The night after her funeral, I ran away from home. I miss my mother very much. That was fifteen years ago. Now every time I glance in a mirror or window and see my reflection, it’s not my face that stares back at me, it’s my mother’s.

“Hey, Jodie, how ‘bout passing that pipe over here instead of wasting what little weed we have left.”

I looked down at the smoking purple glass pipe in my hand . Did I take a hit off of it? I was too stoned to remember if I did or not, so I just passed it over to Dex and sat back in the seat of the car and closed my eyes. We were sitting behind the old abandon barn where occasionally we’d live out of when we couldn’t find any other place to live. It wasn’t all that bad. Certainly not the Plaza Hotel, but it was protection from the weather.

Yesterday had been a horrible day. Dex and I had gone to the town near by to see if we could “get” some money and some weed, but things all turned to shit and we had to leave in a big hurry. The man we usually buy our stuff from was so doped up on heroine when we got there that we figured we could “borrow” some money and “borrow” a little baggie full of pot. We would have gotten away with it, if Ian (our dealer) had been alone. Unfortunately, we had no idea that his latest slut was also there shooting up in the bathroom.

“What da fuck do you guys think yer doin’?” She yelled when she stumbled out into the front room.

Dex ignored her and kept grabbing money out of the stash box on the coffee table. I just stood there with my hands in the pockets of my leather jacket. One hand holding the baggie of weed and the other holding the gun I stole from my father when I ran away from home. I had never shot anyone with the gun, but I carried it with me all the time. I felt so much safer with it than without it.

The slut came at us and tripped over a bunch of shit that was lying all over the floor. When she fell, she landed on top of Ian and he woke from his stupor. That’s when Dex grabbed the sleeve of my jacket and yanked me from where I was standing. I followed him out the door of the apartment. Most of the money that Dex had shoved into his pockets had fallen out during our fleeing and left a trail behind us of twenties and fifties down the apartment building stairs and out to the alley where we had our car parked. Ian ran after us, but because he was still fucked up, he fell down the stairs and landed with a thud on the bottom landing and didn’t move. Dex started the car and we drove away.

“I think it’s time to move on, what do you think?” Dex asked me as he passed the pipe back to me.

I shrugged my shoulders and put the pipe up to my lips and took in a long deep drag and held my breath as long as I could.

“It’s up to you, Dex.” I replied after exhaling. “I don’t care one way or another.”

“You know, Jodie,” Dex started “you can be so depressing sometimes.”

I turned my head and looked at him. I had grown accustomed to his pale face, blue eyes and dark hair. He was the only person in my life I gave a shit about.

“I’m sorry, baby,” I said and leaned over and kissed his lips. “I was just thinking about Mom.”

He returned my kiss and held my face.

“I love you, my Katherine.”