“My name is Paul and I’m an addict.”
The rest of the self-help group claps. They know how hard it is to speak those words. They’ve been there, on that first evening.
“Welcome, Paul,” the group leader says. “I’m happy that you’re willing to admit that.”
Paul meekly bows his head.
“How long since your last fix?”
“One day and three hours.”
“The first days are always the hardest, aren’t they?” the guy next to him says.
Paul nods. Boy, they sure are.
“So, how long have you guys been on the wagon?”
“Three days,” a thin girl who probably isn’t even sixteen confesses.
“Eight weeks,” a man with a beer belly adds.
Most of the others fall between those ranges. They all have their own story to tell. All have discovered their vice in another way. But the common thread is that once they got hooked, they couldn’t stop. Just like Paul. Just like him they spent days on end indulging in their chosen drug, until their bodies broke down and they just couldn’t take it anymore. Until they realized they had to seek help.
“If you ever feel like you’re going to lapse, don’t hesitate to call,” the girl says at the end of the meeting, handing Paul her number. He also gets a big hug from the beer belly, who adds “I’m proud of you.”
On the subway ride home, Paul is convinced he can beat this. He has friends now. Soul mates.
But once he’s back in his apartment, the trembling starts. The twitching. He wants to call the girl. Say he’s in trouble.
But he doesn’t.
He switches on his laptop and types ‘Mercedes chickens’ in the YouTube search window.
He just can’t resist the addictive allure of that poultry.
He’s off the wagon.
Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.