I lived a life of misery and despair. Drugs were my only escape. Life had always been the same for me. I never was very social, and had many problems socially and mentally growing up. The main reason for my problems was that I never dealt with any of my issues. My parents were rich when I was little, so I never really had to. They were usually just solved with my parents' money. I was involved in many drug busts as a teenager, and after my friends and I discovered drinking, it became less of a party activity for me and more of a hobby. I have never experienced true love, which people have told me in the past would solve all of my problems. I was a worrier my whole life, and that quality of mine went away shortly after getting into drugs. I didn't care much what happened to me or my body, as long as it made me feel better at that moment and time. What is the reason I'm telling you all of this? Oh, I don't know... to share with the world my pain, or some bullshit like that? No way. Recently, I have discovered a new drug that I found accidentally.

I was at a party one night with some of my "friends". We were all druggies and living in bad conditions, so I guess we had something in common. Anyway, I was keeping to myself in another room, while they were all shooting up. I had been trying to keep clean at that point and time, but hadn't done a very good job, according to the needles laying all over my bedroom. I decided to join them, and minutes after, had passed out on the couch near all of my friends.

I awoke the next morning to see only the clock lying on the floor so many feet in front of me. I hazily looked at it to find out that I had only been asleep for around seven hours; it was 6:30AM, still dark, and all of my friends were asleep. Strangely, they all looked quite out of it. I stretched and started to leave when I noticed something on the table, a small containter with a few pills in it. Written in marker on the side of the bottle read, "1 = HAPPY 2 = MORE HAPPY 3 = TRIPPING 4 = ???" I was guessing these numbers stood for the quantity taken. I wasn't much of the worrying type anymore, so I decided to stay a while.

I popped one of the greyish pills into my mouth and swallowed. The pill took a few minutes to act, but soon it felt like a high similar to pot. I was enjoying myself already, and I looked at the clock, which for some reason was still stuck at 6:30. I decided I still had some time for fun, so I downed the next two pills. Again, the pills had taken a few minutes to act, but soon I started seeing colors on my friend's wall. I sat back, and enjoyed the show for a bit. I don't often take hallucinogens because of my usual bad trips, but that time was going surprisingly well. I was seeing brightly shaded, white tinted, happy colors everywhere moving from place to place.

I seemed happy, but I had a hunch this feeling wouldn't last for long. I was right, because feeling happy went to feeling paranoid. I needed to find out what this so called, "4th stage" of this drug would equal. I started itching, coughing, and getting shivers. Given how high I was, I felt the only way I could satisfy my need was to take that last pill. I quickly grabbed it and threw it down my throat. I didn't feel any different, except that my high seemed to be going away progressively. I slowly slipped out of my high and into what seemed like falling asleep. I thought I may have been facing death at first, but couldn't hold back. I fell asleep. I fell asleep.

After what seemed like the blink of an eye, I had reawakened. I felt normal, except for one thing; all of my friends had dissapeared, and the clock on the floor wasn't where it had been before. The messy room that we were in changed into a tidy, normal room. I thought they had simply cleaned up and left, and completely forgot about the drug that I took beforehand. I stood up and started walking into the kitchen, which is where things got weird.

I went towards the fridge to help myself to a drink, but it wouldn't open. Strange, but I figured it had just been jammed or something. I went out on the porch to where he usually kept the beers, but they were all gone. The night before, they had restocked with a ton of drinks.

I decided that I didn't need a drink, but was starving. I went to his pantry, only to find that it was empty. I was now starting to suspect that I might be dreaming, because I was sure that the night before it had lots of food inside. What I had been experiencing was strange, because things felt real, not real enough though. I could touch and feel things, but wasn't feeling hungry or thirsty in the first place once I thought about it. "What is this place..." I muttered to myself after walking back to the couch. I thought that falling asleep again might wake myself up in real life. I fell asleep, this time what felt much longer than before.

I awoke again to find I was back where I had been when I first fell asleep. My friends were all there, but there was only one difference: I watched the clock switch from 6:29 to 6:30, and it was still dark out. At first I thought I might have dreamed all of this, but knew I was sadly mistaken when my hazey eyes fixed themselves on the empty bottle. I got up and ran to the pantry, which was now full and the fridge would now open normally. There were also beers on his porch. I was somewhat intrigued by this whole thing, considering most things don't usually creep me out. I looked around for anymore obvious changes in his house, but couldn't see anything. I laid back on his couch, only to pick up the bottle once more. That is when I noticed something. The bottle didn't originally say "???", there was tape blocking off what had previously been written on it. I peeled off the tape, which exposed one word in place of it: "REACH". I had no idea what reach meant, but I felt uneased when thinking about it. I fell back asleep on his couch moments after.

When I awoke, I seemed yet again very drowsy. I decided that it needed to end that instant, so I tapped on one of my more drug experienced friends. "Hey, what the fuck did I just tak-" That was all I could get out after jumping at least three feet off of that fucking couch. My friend's face was morbid and misshapen. It seemed like day time, so I ran outside. As soon as I opened the door, I realized how much of a mistake it had been. I couldn't breath. Everything was normal outside of his house, except there was no oxygen. I turned back to return inside, but there, standing at the door was my friend, looking me dead in the eye, with his face gored and morbid. He whispered one word to me before shuting the door and locking it: "REACH." I saw my reflection in the door and noticed that something was different; my face looked just like my friend's did. I fainted, right then and there.

I awoke on my friend's couch. Again. These strange dreams just kept looping over and over. I did however notice that the word "REACH" kept reoccuring in these dreams. They went on for what felt like days, until finally, I awoke somewhere new. A small cell, with no door or windows. I felt relived at first, but then started panicing. There was no way out of that cell. I felt like I was going insane. The only thing in the white, dull cell, was a bed, a nightstand, and a toilet. I spent at least three days in that God damned cell. Three fucking days with no food or water. I drank the fucking toilet water. That night I went apeshit and destroyed my nightstand out of sheer anger. I calmed down and noticed something underneath of the broken apart nightstand. Infront of me was a small wooden cigar box. I picked it up and opened it. Inside was a snubbed .38 special with one bullet in it, and a note. I picked up the note, flipped it over, and read it aloud; "REACH". Without hesitation, I picked up the gun, and fired it directly into the side of my head. I slept for a long time.

I woke up, only to see I was on my friend's couch, with no bottle, and my friend's faces were normal. I was more releived than I ever have been in my life. I sprinted to my bag, picked it up and started for the door. I stopped, and decided to look at the clock. I read aloud what the clock said; "REACH". I walked over to it, and threw it into the trash can outside of his house. I got a cab ride home, and immediately fell back onto my bed. I layed there for a few minutes before getting up and walking to my kitchen. When I walked in, I saw the same wooden cigar box as earlier, with the same contents inside as before. The only difference was that the gun inside no longer had a bullet inside. Only a single empty shell. There was a blood stain on the tip of the gun and the box. I set the gun down and turned around only to see my mother and father standing there in the doorway. I jumped, because my parents had died in a car crash three years before. They spoke three words after greeting me. "Welcome home, son."