I spend a lot of time thinking about you. Now, don’t get all high and mighty; I don’t write your name on the inside of my notebook or spend my weekends wishing you were a part of it. Instead, I think about how much I resent you.
A lot of people tell me to give you a chance, that you’re actually really great, that you have a way of relaxing the tense, calming the anxious, and easing the pain of brokenness. But those people, the ones who rave about how wonderful you are…they don’t realize that you and I have a long, dark history.
You might not remember meeting me, but I do. We met five years ago when I was a sophomore in high school; my brother brought you home from college in his black, buttoned jacket. My parents didn’t like you; they thought you were a bad influence. But my brother raved about you. You were fun, he said, and you were the one who introduced him to his closest friends. At first, I didn’t mind you because you helped my brother find a close group of friends, which is something he had never really had before. It made me happy to see him happy; it made me happy to know he felt like he belonged.
But then you started causing problems. He started skipping class to hang out with you, and you made him not care about his girlfriend, his future, or his family anymore. You convinced him that you were all he needed to be happy, and he believed you. Why did you have to do that? Why couldn’t you have just left him alone?
My brother dropped out of college because of you, you know that? He failed out of his classes because you took up all of his time. When he moved back home, he told me that he was going to try to get his life back on track. He told mom and dad that he would leave you behind. But, being the attention hog you are, him ignoring you made you really angry. When he tried to cut you out of his life you reminded him of his every mistake, his every heartache, and his every flaw. My brother couldn’t take the pain and, in order to make it stop, he gave in to you.
After taking you back, you decided to introduce my brother to some of your friends. Your friends messed with my brother’s head and you all manipulated him into an identity that I could no longer recognize. Before you, I trusted my brother; I wanted to be like him; I spent a lot of time with him; I liked him. But you changed all of that. You and your friends turned him into an asshole; you turned him into a thief; you turned him into a liar. But, worse than that, you turned him away from me.
You made my brother forget about me. He stopped talking to me because of you. He didn’t come to my graduation because of you. He ignored my invitations to hang out because of you. He stopped telling me he loved me because of you. You stole him from me, and I will never forgive you for that.
Although things are better than they used to be and my brother doesn’t spend much time with you anymore, you have left a permanent mark that will never go away. I wish I could go back in time to the day you and I met so that I could scream at you and tell you to never come near my brother ever again, but it’s too late for that. All I can do now is pray that you leave him alone and that he has the strength to turn you away when you inevitably come crawling back.
Most people don’t know you like I do, Marijuana. I hope they never do. But I also hope they will come to realize that, in addition to relaxing the tense, calming the anxious, and easing the pain, you can, and do, break people.
I will never forgive the pain you caused me, and I will certainly never forget.