Don't Bet Drunk
“How did that happen?” Joey asks in regards to Pearse, who is lying in a heap on the bed.
“I’m not entirely sure.” I reply, there’s a knock at the door, not knowing who it is and if they should see Pearse in his current state of unconsciousness, it’s probably for the best to hide him, waking him up we get him to his feet. “Who is it?”
“Just me, I need to borrow your curling tongs mine have decided to hand in their notice.” I breathe a sigh of relief it’s just Alice, and she’s talking to me. Granted she wants to borrow a pair of curling tongs, but it’s a start.
“Sure come on in.” Her expression changes when she sees both Joey and Pearse in my room.
“What’s wrong with him? Like I need to ask. The curling tongs?” She asks in a rather curt tone, pointing to where they are sitting on the vanity table. “Thanks.” Again the tone dry and clipped. There is another knock at the door, what is this grand central station.
“Yes, who is it?”
“Olivia, have you seen Pearse anywhere?” Bugger it’s Eric, why does he assume I would know where Pearse is, even though we do know it peeves me that he thinks I would know.
“In the wardrobe,” Joey suggests, as good a place as any, pushing him into the wardrobe Joey stands in front of it, Alice is standing holding the curling tongs looking like she wants to jump out the window. Opening the bedroom door, I say. “Sorry, Eric, haven’t seen him.”
“Oh, hello, Joey, Alice.” They both nod their heads at him, suddenly struck mute. “Are you sure you haven’t seen him?”
“Yes I’m sure, I’m sure and don’t worry if we do see him we’ll tell him you’re looking for him.”
“Thanks. Something the matter, Alice?” He asks a very guilty looking Alice; he’s far too nosy for his own good.
“No, why?” She asks rather too quickly in reply.
“You look a bit awkward.”
“Do I well umm I saw Joey naked, I was thinking about that.” She blurts out, Joey's mouth drops, Eric looks flabbergasted, and I have no idea what to say. Why couldn’t she have been struck mute now? We stand silent until one of us finally finds something to say.
“Umm any particular reason why you’re looking for him?”
“Well, he is my best man, though calling him that is a bit of a stretch of the word.”
“I wouldn’t say that at all Eric, I’d say it’s rather fitting to call him a better man that you.”
“So typical Olivia running to little Pearsey’s defence, as always.” He comments rather bitterly, well someone has to, no-one ever gives him any credit for doing anything worthwhile they only ever judge him on his fuck ups, which granted a little like myself he has had his fair share of those over the years. “Just keep him out of trouble, one of the presents has already gone missing.”
“Really which one?” Oh god not the napoleon brandy please not the napoleon brandy. I vaguely remember us making a stupid bet last night that no-one would be brave enough or stupid enough to swipe it. “The napoleon brandy, dad gave us.” Of course it is, no wonder he can’t bite his own finger.
“If we see him we’ll send him to you.” Not a hope in hell we’d send him to Eric, not in his current state anyways.
“Don’t let Beatrice know about any of this or she’s likely to…”
“Break your knees.” I’d gladly give her the hammer she needed to break them, might even be persuaded to hold him down for her.
“Don’t worry your knees are safe.”
“Thank you.” He says as I close the door, rather unlike Eric to say thank you for anything.
“Splendid that’s all we need Miss Marple on the case of the missing brandy.”
“Isn’t it just.” Joey replies opening the wardrobe door, Pearse hardly able to hold himself up.
“No-one was serious about that silly bet.” I say he just looks at me using every bit of strength he has to not fall in a heap.
“I’m out of here, I only cam for these.” Alice says holding up the curling tongs and heading for the door. “I want no part of this, I’ve had enough trouble for one visit thank you very nicely.” Slamming the door behind her.
“That was quite the dramatic exit. Are you two ok?” Joey asks wrestling Pearse out of the wardrobe and throwing him over his shoulder.
“I have no idea.”
“You weren’t really going to give that to Esther were you?” He asks as we make our way down to the cellar, which was converted in to a games room many aeons ago when we became teenagers, many a fun evening we all had in there. Taking the secret passageway in the upstairs library, no-one ever goes in there anymore. The only two who ever did were August and I. Which is good means we can avoid any unwanted attention. Depositing him on the ancient sofa August and Simon rescued from a skip, an item of furniture I have never been comfortable sitting on, well when I’m sober that is, who knows what could be nesting in it.
“Of course I wasn’t.”
“Then why buy it?”
“Ask me a question I can answer Red, I really don’t know.”
“I’m gonna be sick.” Pearse says as he dry heaves.
“Have fun sobering him up, give me a buzz if you need a hand.” Joey says waving his phone at me as he ascends the stairs. Great so I’m left holding the baby.
Shaking my head I say. “What am I going to do with you?”
“Take me to bed.” He replies in a rather slurred fashion. Really that’s his solution to the current situation, sex. It’s so typical of him instead of trying to make a bad situation better he insists on making it worse.
Switching on the kettle I say. “As if you would even know what to do with it right now you’re so drunk.” He’s such a idiot sometimes, he seems to be determined to live up to the title of family fuck up.
“So!” He replies flippantly as if he’d asked me if I wanted tea.
“In less than an hour now your brother is getting married and you my dear Pearse, well you should have a warning sign on you in big bold writing, highly flammable.” What on earth made him think we were serious about that bet. I know we do some stupid things but we’ve never stolen anything.
“I heard what you said to Eric upstairs. Thank you.”
“What for I was only stating a fact you’re a better man than Eric will ever be.” It’s true Eric is a little creep he’s getting married to a woman who seems to genuinely care for him and yet he finds it necessary or more to the point appropriate that he can look at every woman he sees in a lecherous fashion.
“I wouldn’t be so sure.”
“Well I would.”
“I can’t do it anymore Oli.” He says rather cryptically.
“This, I can’t go on like this, the three of us you, me, Joey. The fucked up little trio we seem to have created, I don’t want to share you with him or anyone, you’re mine.” What the hell, his he says like I’m some sort of possession that he’s fed up sharing. Men can be unbelievably immature sometimes; they act worse than children when they don’t get their own way, or when they aren’t getting your complete attention. They don’t want wives or girlfriends they want surrogate mothers with benefits.
“I don’t happen to be anyone’s Pearse, yours or Joeys or Ryan’s and if you can’t accept that then you know what the alternative is.” I say pouring the boiling water out of the kettle into the royal Albert tea cup blending with the coffee powder turning it a dark brown. The smell of fresh extra strong ground coffee should be enough to sober up the most hardened of drinkers. Steam rising out of the cup I add no milk, dairy products and spirits swirling around in his gut are the last thing he needs. “Here drink this.” I say handing him the cup of strong black coffee. “Should have you sober in no time.”
“Bloody hell Olivia, are you trying to burn the tongue out of my mouth.” He says taking a sip of the scorching hot coffee.
“Yes, if it sobers you up.”
“Quick hide me.” Joey says as he comes running down the stairs.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“Your cousin Lily. ”
“Ah, say no more. ” Cousin Lily has a thing for Joey, Joey does not have a thing for Cousin Lily. “What time is it?”
“Quarter past.” He says checking his watch.
“Come on gimme a hand with this one.” Hoisting him out of the sofa we head up the stairs.