Kareem looked on as the pills fell down from the sky, pouring like rain. He'd been staying away from them for a long time now. He'd even walked away from a dealer once; it had taken a considerable effort of will.
Things were alright after that initial incident. He'd managed to have almost a normal life for a few weeks. The urge rarely gripped him, and even when it did it was only in minor easily shakeable doses. He'd got a job as a butcher's apprentice with Saleem, a friend of his father's.
Thats when the hallucinations had started.
He'd been a good student and did well in his O/Levels. After his exams, his parents- usually very strict, had given him some leeway as a reward for his studiousness. They no doubt expected great things from him. Kareem, however tooks this as a reward for all the hardwork he'd put in.
He initially started off hanging around with the boys around the neighborhood after an afternoon game of cricket. They'd pass around cigarettes and Kareem took his first tentative drag. Soon he'd tried a joint. Before the year was out, he was roving the streets of Maradana in the nights, searching for his next hit, like a starving hyena.
The first night he saw them was when he had just completed a break-in at Saleem's beef shop. Saleem was crafty and hid his cash when he closed shop. So the haul was not that great. Kareem was cursing his bad luck as he walked out and he looked up and saw them. They were lounging about on the other side of the road, They were green in skin and long in limb. Their antennae waved and green sparks came out of them when they spoke.
They spoke to him in mathematics. The numbers flowed from their mumbling voices right into understanding. Bypassing his brain, as far as he could tell, The numbers told him the logic of going home and quitting the dope.
So he went. And after a long struggle finally managed to clean up his act and gain his family's acceptance. But the numbers stayed with him. They didnt speak to him as much as before but he still felt their presence.