Walking with the MonsterLife was radicalright after I met the monster.Later, life became harder, complicated.Ultimately, a livinghell,like swimmingagainst a riptide, walkingthe wrongdirection in the fastlane of the freeway, wakingfrom sweetest dreams to find yourselfin the middle of a nightmare.You Know My StoryDon't you? All about my diveinto the lair of the monsterdrug some people call crank.Crystal. Tina. Ice.How a summer visitto my dad sent me intothe arms of a boy -- ahot-bodied hunk, myvery first love, who ledme down the path to insanity.How I came home no longerKristina Georgia Snow, gifted high school junior, totaldweeb, and perfect daughter, butinstead a stranger who called herself Bree.How, no matter how hard Kristinafought her, Breewas stronger, brighter,better equipped to dealwith a world where everything moved at lightspeed, everyone mired in ego. Where "everyday" becameanother wordfor making love with the monster.It Wasn't a Long ProcessI went to my dad's in June, met Adam the very first day. It took some time to pry him from his girlfriend's grasp. But within two weeks, he introduced me to the monster. One time was all it took to want more. It's a roller- coaster ride. Catch the downhill thrill, you want to ride again, enough to endure the long, hard climb back up again. In days, I was hooked on Adam, tobacco, and meth, in no particular order. But all summer vacations must end. I had to come home to Reno. And all my new bad habits came with me. It was a hella speed bump, oh yeah. Until I hurt for it, I believed I could leave the crystal behind. But the crash-and-burn was more than I could take. When the jet landed, I was still buzzed from a good-bye binge. My family crowded round me at the airport, discussing summer plans and celebration dinners, and all I wanted to do was skip off for another snort. Mom kept trying to feed me. My stepfa- ther, Scott, kept trying to ask questions about my visit with Dad. My big sister, Leigh, wanted to talk about her new girlfriend, and my little brother, Jake, kept going on about soccer. It didn't take long to figure out I was in serious trouble. Not the Kind of TroubleYou might think I'm talking about. I was pretty sure I could get away with B.S.ing Mom and Scott. I'd always been such a good girl, they wouldn't make thejump to "bad" too quickly.Especially not if I stayed cool. I wasn't worried about getting busted at school or on the street. I'd only justbegun my walk with the monster.I still had meat on my bones,the teeth still looked good. I didn't stutter yet. My mouth could still keep up with my brain.No, the main thing I worriedabout was how I could score there, at home. I'd never even experimented with pot, let alone meth. Where could I go? Who could I trust with mymoney, my secrets? I couldn'task Leigh. She was the prettiest lesbian you've ever seen. But to my knowledge she had never used anything stronger than a hearty glass of wine. Not Sarah, my best friend since fourth grade, or any of myold crowd, all of whom lived bythe code of the D.A.R.E. pledge.I really didn't need to worry,of course. All I had to do was leave things up to Bree, the goddess of persuasion.Before I ContinueI just want to remind youthat turning into Breewas a conscious decisionon my part. I never reallyliked Kristina that much.Oh, some things about her were pretty cool -- how shewas loyal to her familyand friends. How she lovedeasily. How she was goodat any and all things artistic.But she was such a brain,with no sense of fashionor any idea how to have fun.So when fun presenteditself, I decided someonenew would have to take charge. That someone was Bree.I chose her name (not sure whereI got it), chose when to become her.What I didn't expect was discoveringshe had always been there, inside of me.How could Kristina and Breelive inside of one person?How could two such different halves make up the whole of me?How could Bree have possibly survived,stuck in Kristina's daily existence?The Funny Thing WasBree solved the meth dilemma on a family trip to Wild Waters, Scott's annual company picnic. Sarah came The first was along to spend time with a truly gorgeous Kristina. But Bree lifeguard. Turned out had other things Brendan wasn't so pretty in mind. on the inside, but even Bree, who thrived on intuition, was clueless. Hard on the make, Brendan shared booze, cigarettes.But one guy wasn't quite enough. I also ran into Chase Wagner that day. His outside wasn't as I found out attractive, but inside he soon enough that was fine. Of course, both Chase and Brendan I didn't know knew the score -- and both that yet. were interested in me. Brendan only wanted sex; Chase offered love. Either way, I had my path to the monster.My Mom and StepfatherLater, I discovered that Robyn, my old friend Trent's sister (not to mention an "in" cheerleader), It didn't take tweaked to stay thin long to immerse and "pep up." She myself in the lifestyle. taught me how Didn't take long for school to smoke it. to go to shit; for friend-ships and dedication to family to falter. Didn't take long to become a slave to the monster.Tried to stop me beforeit all went completely wrong. Kristina spent almost a wholeyear GUFN -- groundeduntil further notice.But Bree was really goodat prying open windowsat night, lying with a straightface, denying she hadslipped so far downhill.Nothing slowed me down.Not losing my virginityto Brendan's rape. Notspending a few daysin juvenile hall.The only thing that keptme sane was Chase's love,despite all I put him through.He even swore to love mewhen I told him I was pregnant.Pregnant. And Brendanwas the father. Bree consideredabortion. Exorcism. Kristinaunderstood the baby was notthe demon. His father was.But you know this partof the story. You followedme on my journey throughthe monster's territory.We wound up here.Who am I now, threemonths after I left you,standing on the deck with me, listening to mynew baby, crying inside?I told you then, the monsteris a way of life, one it's difficult to leave behind,no matter how hard you try.I have tried, really I have.Maybe if Chase had stayedwith me, instead of runningoff to California, in searchof his dreams. Then again,I told him to go.Maybe if I had dreams of my own to run off insearch of. I did once. But now I have no plansfor a perfect tomorrow.All I have is today.T for TodayI'd really like to tell you I have a nice little place witha white picket fence, flowers in the garden, and Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore, and Tigger, too, on baby blue nursery walls. I'd like to inform you that I am on a fast track to a college degree and a career in computer animation -- something I've aimed for, ever since I found out I could draw. I'd love to let you know I left the monster screaming in my dust, shut my ears, scrambled back to my family, back to my baby, my heart. I could tell you those things, but they'd be lies -- nothing new for me, true. But if all I wrote was lies, you wouldn't really know my story. I want you to know. Not a day passes when I don't think about getting high. Strung. Getting out of this deep well of monotony I'm slowly drowning in.Copyright © 2007 by Ellen Hopkins
Excerpted from Glass
by Ellen Hopkins
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