Inside the house, The Rolling Stone followed music through some winding hallways and corridors. He avoided large rooms and doors as much as could be done. He found the source of the music in a small bedroom. It was dirty and cluttered, with syringes cast about on the floor. He saw several bongs, two burnt ends of joints, some cocaine spilled on a dresser. And sitting on a bed was Wicked Annabelle. She was pulling a needle out of her arm as he entered. She dropped it to the floor. On a nightstand she had a record player pushing out Barry White.
What had originally attracted The Rolling Stone to Wicked Annabelle was her long, orange-golden hair. You weren’t sure whether to call it red or blond, it was something in-between. She seemed to be the most unique person he’d ever met, but that was before he found out she was an addict. She needed needles, powders, gases, vapors, pills. If it got you high, she wanted it. He came home once to find her trying to get high from a can of bleach, and all the while their son was screaming from his crib for some milk. She was a train wreck.
He stood their examining her unnoticed. She was a short girl, and had a tiny frame, but it was worse now. He could see every bone in her body. If he could remember the names of all the bones, he could scan her body and point out each one as he named it. There were dark rings around her eyes, and he wondered when she had last slept. No point in asking, though, she wouldn’t remember.
She finally saw him. “Eddie? Is that you?”
“Yeah, it’s me.”
She smiled and looked as happy as a child. “I love Barry White.”
“I know.” He sat on the edge of the bed.
She always listened to Barry White when getting high. It was her calling card. If he walked into the apartment and heard Barry, it meant she was up to no good at all. He would find her sitting on her bed in a meditation type stance, with her arms outstretched like wings, swaying to and fro to the music. And he’d have to talk her down gently, remove the temptation, and then let her crash.
But she was passed that now. It was clear she had maybe a day or two left to live.
She looked at him with a huge smile, so big her eyes were slits. “I thought you were dead. Didn’t they kill you?”
She laughed. “I’m seeing ghosts! Woooooooo!”
“I love Barry White.”
“I know. Where’s Junior?”
She closed her eyes, her arms were wings and she was flying. “He makes me fly.”
He grabbed her wings, and brought them down to earth. She opened her eyes and he looked directly into them. “Annabelle. Where’s Junior?”
She closed her eyes and started flapping those wings again. “He’s flying Eddie! Flying! Can’t you see him? He’s an angel! Look! Come fly with us, Eddie! Ghosts can fly too! Woooooo!”
He slapped her hard, knocking her back onto her pillow. He picked her up and shook her. “Is he dead? Junior’s dead!”
She started to cry looking at him, but she tried to smile. “No. He’s an angel.”
“How did he die, Annabelle?”
She pictured something in her head and stared at it as if it were in the room. “I didn’t like seeing him in those vines. I couldn’t take it.” She looked at him. “I told them to take the vines away, Eddie. They took the vines away. And there he was.” She smiled with tears in her eyes. “There he was again… just a boy. Boys shouldn’t be tangled in vines, it’s not right. And, and… they took the vines away. I didn’t like the vines. And then I saw God, Eddie. And he wanted our little Junior for an angel. He told me, ‘That’s a nice boy you have there. He looks right good without those vines. I’d like to have him as an angel, Annabelle.’ That’s what He said, and how could I argue with Him?” She leaned over and whispered to him. “He’s God, Eddie. You can’t argue with God.”
It took a little work, but he pieced it together.
She had pulled the plug.
He picked up some syringes from the bed. “Did God give you these too?”
She turned away.
“He wanted me to feel good. I had to give Him my boy. And He wanted to repay me.” She looked back to him with that big smile again. “God is good, God is great.”
God is Dr. Hook.
“Eddie, I wanna hear my favorite song. Do you know my favorite song?”
He went to the record player and looking at it, he saw the most warn part of the album. He took the needle and placed it where he knew the song started. “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up” started to play, and she raised her wings again.
“Yeah, that’s it. I’m flying.”
He stood behind her, watching her as she slowly flapped her arms up and down. Her head slowly moving left, back to the right, and then back left again. She started to sing as the chorus came.
“Never, never gonna give you up. I’m never, ever gonna stop. Not the way I feel about you. Girl, I just can’t live without you!”
He pulled a pistol from his pocket and slowly took aim at the back of her head. And for the first time in his unnatural life, The Rolling Stone cried.
“I’m never, ever gonna quit, ‘cause quitting just ain’t my shtick. I’m gonna stay right here with you, do all the things you want me to!”
She landed face first on the bed.