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Zach

I've told you about my mother, but I haven't told you about Zach.

Zach was the first man who got mom into meth. I rarely saw him, and when I did, I cringed away in fear. He reeked of it, it emanated off of him in waves every time he walked past. He was thin, but muscular, if that was possible. At twelve years old, I thought he just had really bad acne, or the plague or something. He'd yell when mom told him to stop picking at his face, he'd throw things, shout. I remember sitting down with mom one day and watching her curl herself into a fetal position and just cry. He covered her with bruises, cuts, sometimes even burns. Once or twice, he raised a hand to me or my sisters, but he never hit us like he did mom.

I remember, we had this kitten when Zach was around. We called him Noodle, and he was the runt of the litter. The kitten went through his phase where he'd spray people - you know how cats are. Zach hated Noodle. He came out of the kitchen one day, holding Noodle by his neck, said he'd kill him. Twelve-year-old me cried and cried and cried. Mom just started yelling at Zach until he was so mad at her that he released his grip on the kitten and Noodle fell to the floor.

Zach was arrested around the same time that mom was, but his parents paid his bail and he was released earlier. I remember the day Social Services came and took mom away, and Zach just sat there staring. My grandparents waited for me outside and I remember setting the cat down in front of Zach.

"You'll take care of him," I said in a low voice, riddled with doubt, "won't you?" Zach narrowed his eyes and curled his lip at the kitten. Firmer this time, more resolute: "Won't you?" He looked at me with the same scornful expression and gave a little nod. I didn't believe him of course, but my grandparents wouldn't let me take Noodle with me, so I simply turned and left. I haven't seen Zach or Noodle since.

I didn't know Zach before he got into meth, but I resent him just as much as I resent my mother. If Zach hadn't used, he wouldn't have allowed mom to use, and none of this would've happened.

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