Tuesday, June 18, 2013
I've been sitting on this for a while. I can't even remember what the prompt was, but I'm sure it was related to a bad day.
* * *
He took the scenic route home, stopped at three different pharmacies and one liquor store. As an afterthought, Nate pulled into the convenience store next to his complex. He hadn’t smoked in years, but he needed one tonight.
That and a fucking drink.
Balancing too many paper bags filled with bottles, he managed to unlock the door to his unit, let the door click shut behind him. Without taking off his shoes, Nate went to the kitchen, set the bags on the counter.
With meticulous care, he lined up every bottle on the counter, adjusting them so their labels faced forward, arranged in size from Jack Daniels to prescription cylinder.
He wasn’t a religious man, but he was well aware that taking a life had repercussions. If you believed the Christians—and he couldn’t say he did—you had to know that if you weren’t punished in this life, there would be hell to pay in the next.
Well, he wouldn’t be the only one punished, that was for damn sure. After all, he wasn’t the one found in a compromising position.
Last night, he’d stood frozen in the doorway of his bedroom—their bedroom—unable to speak, unable to move. He watched the scene unfold before him, as though his eyes were propped open in some horrid aversion therapy. If only Beethoven’s Ninth were playing, it would have drowned out the sickening slap of skin against skin.
Instead, he was transfixed, eyes locked on the two of them: Amanda with her face pressed into the feather pillow, perfect round ass up in the air, and Phil—his best friend since middle school—ramming into her from behind.
Nate twisted open the child-proof pill bottles, cracked open the bottles of whiskey. He threw back a shot of Jack.
Better. Downed another. Much better.
He poured the pills out onto the kitchen table, pushed them around, making intricate designs. Taking another shot of JD, he rubbed one between his fingers, enjoyed how the smooth tablet rolled back and forth. Pulling apart the capsule, he let the powder trickle onto the table into a tiny rose-hued anthill. Too small, he thought, so he broke open a few more.
After staring at the scant pile, he decided on using all the pills. He wanted it to be quick. And final.
He poured the powder into the bottle of Wild Turkey. Any discoloration would be masked by the amber liquid. Not that it mattered, of course. There’s no question it would be consumed. He swept the empty capsules into his hand, took them to the bathroom and flushed them down the toilet. Less chance of resuscitation if they couldn’t find the source. He tossed the empty cylinders into the trash and dropped the bag down the garbage chute.
He was just about to pour himself another shot of Jack when he heard the front door open.
“What the fuck are you doing here, Amanda?”
She stood in the doorway, the strap of her dress hanging off one shoulder, her lips curved up in invitation. “Can we talk?”
Not waiting for an answer, she pushed the door closed, brushed past him and breezed into the kitchen. She turned a pouty look at him. “You were partying without me?”
“Isn’t that what you were doing last night?”
She ran a finger down his chest. “Don’t be like that.” Her tongue flicked out, ran across her top lip. She hummed as her eyes dipped down to his mouth. “We can party together now.” She brushed against him and he could tell she wasn’t wearing a bra. Any other time, he’d have her spread on the kitchen table by now.
He gripped her arm. “Leave, Amanda.”
She spun away, the coy smile still playing on her painted lips. “Let’s have a drink.” She picked up the bottle of Wild Turkey. “You know this is my favourite.”
“It’s not for you.”
Her perfectly shaped brow arched up. “Really?” She glanced around the kitchen. “You’re expecting someone else?”
No, he wasn’t, but that wasn’t the point. “Just leave, Amanda. I want to drink alone.”
“Oh, baby. You don’t need to be alone. I had a moment of weakness. Let me show you how sorry I am.” She pressed against him and his traitorous cock responded. Her grin was triumphant. “See, everyone wants to party.”
She nipped at his jaw then stepped away to unscrew the bottle. She poured a shot, lifted it. “Cheers.”
“Amanda, don’t.” He was sure he said the words out loud, was certain he lunged forward to smack the glass out of her hand.
Instead, her eyes grew wide with shock and comprehension when she tossed back the shot, then she slumped to the floor.
Well, he thought, that was much easier than planned.
Monday, June 17, 2013
I'm spending most of my time finishing my novel, and I feel guilty that I haven't been writing here. I thought if I started a new series, it will motivate me.
Alex's series is inspired by a true, on-going story (not mine). I don't know how it will end (neither does Alex*), but I hope I can write a happy ending for her.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.
* * *
Glancing at her watch, Alex noted she had two hours before she had to pick up the boys from school. They both had basketball practice tonight, then she was dropping off Jason for a sleepover at Wayne’s, and taking Simon to stay over at Ethan’s.
Finally a quiet night, she thought as she unloaded the dryer, just her and Ken.
And maybe—oh, please god—they’d have sex. She couldn’t remember the last time Ken had been interested. Then again, it’s not like he was home much.
He stayed late most evenings, went into the office on the weekend. His job was demanding, but money was tight, so the raise that came with this new position was a welcome relief. Maybe they’d stop arguing about money. Then again, they’d been arguing so damn long, she didn’t know if they knew how to play nice.
She folded gym shorts, paired sweat socks. She could remember a faraway time when they were each other’s best friend. They stayed up late just holding hands, knew what the other was thinking.
What happened? she wondered.
Ken had called to this morning to say he wanted to talk. Good. So did she. The kids would be finishing high school soon. They could start planning their retirement to Arizona, buy that RV they wanted, just spend some time getting to know each other again. They would snuggle on the sofa, plan their future. And things would be better. She knew it would. It always was.
Alex swung the laundry basket onto her hip, went upstairs. She was in Jason’s room when she heard the front door open then close.
“In here,” she called out.
When Ken stood in the doorway, she looked up at him, her face already smiling, looking forward to a romantic weekend.
Her lips sagged when he didn’t smile back.
“What?” she said. The moment the word left her mouth, she regretted saying them. Later, she’d ask herself what would have happened if she hadn’t asked?
Ken reached out, gripped the door handle until his knuckles turned white.
“I want a divorce,” he said.
Without giving her a chance to reply, he closed the door behind him.
Alex stood in their oldest son’s bedroom, a pair of balled socks in one hand. Through the deafening thunder in her ears, she heard the front door slam shut.