|Just as Scourge was gathering his thoughts again and trying to decide whether or not to get more dope, he heard a knock at his door. He checked the clock. It wasn’t 1 a.m. yet. The spirit was either early or someone knew where he lived. Wishing he had a baseball bat, he moved towards the front door.
Fuck me, he thought. What is she doing here? How long had Scourge known Mary? Three, perhaps four years? She was a decent person – more decent than most of the people he knew. Yet lately, she had become more desperate. She had wanted more and more dope. And she could always pay, so of course, he was happy to sell to her even if her demands sometime cut into his personal supply. But the troubling part is that lately she had wanted fronts. He had given them to her because she had been a loyal customer who always came to him, and because they were small. Only $20, $30 at a time.
He swung the door open wide and thrust himself to the edge of the doorway. “Bitch, how did you find out where I live?”
The shaky woman at the door ignored his question. She had apparently also ignored the mirror while she was getting dressed. She wore a thin, white tank top covered by a plaid flannel shirt that was buttoned wrongly. She wore shorts that looked three sizes too big for her and hung loosely around her waist. She had managed to tie most of her hair back in a ponytail, but key sections of her once pretty tresses escaped the snare and hung around her haggard face. She took a quick puff of her cigarette, met his eyes with her vacuous stare and said, “I need more.” For a moment, Scourge flashed back to what he’d just seen. With the look he’d just given her, Scourge expected Mary to be scared, but she looked desperate and undaunted.
Ignoring the fact he didn’t have any, he said, “You got money?”
“I can pay you tomorrow.”
“Then you can have some tomorrow.’
“But I need it now,” she was starting to whine. “I am spending Christmas alone because I am too ashamed to see my family this way. Please, I have been a good customer for so long,”
“Then get to a street corner.”Tears filled her eyes.
“Bitch, don’t come to me crying. Don’t come here at all anymore. What are you doing here?” Scourge asked. “I have not invited you here. I never even told you where I live! How did you find out?”
Mary began to sob. Scourge sighed. He briefly thought about bringing Mary along with him to exchange for the product, but then she may begin to show up at his dealer’s house and that would be entirely unacceptable. His dealer was a dangerous man. While Scourge’s supplier would not have minded a nice piece like Mary showing up with him, he might mind it if she showed up alone – and take out his dissatisfaction on Scourge.
To get her to leave, Scourge tried telling the part of the truth. “I’m out, honey. Honestly. I didn’t get any for tonight because I thought business would be slow.” He did not want to admit to her that he had spilled his supply all over the floor, and he could not explain ‘the disturbing incident with his cell phone.’ “Come back tomorrow morning, and I will hook you up.”
“Okay,” she said, realizing that any repeated requests were pointless. “But make sure you call me first thing after you get it.”
She ambled off without even saying goodbye to Scourge, but was muttering under her breath, “Where can I get more?” Mary may be the only customer he had with any soul at all, and hers was just plain crushed.