November 27th 2017
Audrey walked home that night.
Calvin had deserted her so she was left without any sort of transport. She couldn’t bring herself to go back into the diner and ask for a ride from Joe. She was already feeling so ashamed.
The diner wasn’t far from her house, and she would be able to walk back home in a little over half an hour, but Audrey needed some time to herself. So, after spending some time sitting on a park bench, alone for a couple of hours and then grabbing some ice cream to cheer herself up, Audrey walked into her house a little past midnight.
She wasn’t surprised to come home to an empty house. Though she had been surprised to find fourteen miscalls from Joe and a couple of texts demanding that she call him back as soon as she read the messages. Sighing, she shoved her phone back in her pocket.
Out of sight, out of mind.
The time that she had spent sitting on the park bench alone in the dark, had been very beneficial. She enjoyed the time to herself and was able to clear her head a little. And to top it all off, she hadn’t cried. Not even once.
She was proud of herself.
There wasn’t long left until the divorce would be final, just a little over two weeks. So, at least Audrey wouldn’t have to suffer by Calvin’s side for much longer. He would be free, and so would she.
Audrey was just afraid of being alone again. Not that she would be completely alone since she had planned to go stay with her brother for a few days until she got back on her feet. Audrey had no doubt that her brother and sister-in-law would welcome her with open arms, but with his pressure at work and their expecting a baby, she didn’t want to intrude any longer than necessary.
Audrey loved her brother, Ryan, and he most definitely loved her. But he also had a life and a family of his own to think about.
Ryan would help her out in any way possible, and she knew that he would go above and beyond to help her get back on her feet. She knew that her brother would give everything away to see her happy, even if it meant sacrificing his own happiness, but she didn’t want that. She didn’t want to prevent him from living his life to fullest just because hers had come to a pause with no clear indication that things were going to change.
They had been close growing up, and they still were. Well, as close as siblings could be that lived as far apart as they did.
Sometimes, Audrey found herself wishing that she had never met Calvin. At least then, she would have been able to save on relationship -the relationship with her brother. Not that there was anything lacking in it, but neither of them could deny that they had drifted apart over these past couple of years that Audrey had gotten married. It was difficult to see each other with the distance, and with everything that was going in on their separate lives. And secretly, Audrey feared seeing him after so much time had passed.
She was scared that he would be disappointed.
Sighing, Audrey headed to the bathroom before she got made her bed on the sofa. It took a while to fall asleep. One, because she had a lot to think about and two, her phone kept on pinging with messages. She had no doubt that they were all from Joe, but she just couldn’t bring herself to ready any of them.
Taking the coward’s choice, she turned off her phone.
When sleep finally came, she welcomed it with open arms.
Audrey didn’t know what the time was when she next woke up, but she did know that it was far from morning. It was dark and she had to blink her eyes several times before they got used to the lack of lighting.
The sound of a crash had ultimately woken her up from her sleep.
Sitting up on the sofa, she watched as he stumbled all over the place. The coffee table in front of the sofa was pushed over onto the side, no doubt that it was his doing. Luckily, nothing seemed like it was broken.
Audrey continued to watch him in silence as he clutched the bottle in his hand while holding onto a plastic bag with his other. He was carrying far too many things for a man who could hardly stand up without falling over.
“Calvin, she called out. When she realised her voice was still croaky from sleep, she cleared it before continuing. “What are you doing?” Her voice was gentler this time, soothing to his sensitive ears.
Calvin just continued to stumble about, muttering incoherent words in response to her previous question.
Sighing, Audrey rubbed her hands down her face to get rid of the sleep. She had a feeling that she wouldn’t be getting much more sleep that night.
When she opened her eyes again, she blinked in surprise at her husband, who was lying on the ground, spread out like a star fish. The bottle was in his hand and the plastic bag laid to the side. He kept on mumbling to himself, the words so slurred together that she couldn’t make anything out.
Calvin was always a stupid drunk.
Audrey shivered at the cold that enveloped her when she got out from under her warm blanket. Walking over to him, she frowned when she noticed the dried tears on his face. Knowing that he wouldn’t want to talk about it, especially in this state, Audrey knelt down on the ground next to him.
Calvin would tell her if he wanted to. There was never any point in pressuring him.
“Let’s get you upstairs.” She whispered under her breath as she placed her hands under his arms and helped him up. Calvin fell over once before Audrey managed to get up straight. But he refused to leave without his bag of beer so she was forced to carry that as well as him.
Audrey wrapped one arm around his torso and helped him lean onto her as they walked. Even with the extra support, Calvin was still very unstable.
Her noses crinkled in disgust at the stench of alcohol that resonated from him. It seemed that he had spilt some on himself as well. She didn’t even want to think about how much he had drank, or why he did it.
It was a struggle, but she did it. Even if there were multiple scares that he would fall onto her and they would both fall down the stairs.
It was even harder to get him into bed seeing as once he had gotten close enough, he had pushed away from Audrey and fallen face down on the bed.
Sighing, she placed the bag of beer down on the bedside table before she moved to get him under the covers. She tucked him in, but once she walked back to the doorway and turned around to face him, he was sat up again, leaning against the headboard as he chugged down some beer. Several other bottles were scattered on the bed sheets surrounding him, no doubt from the bag of beer that he had come home with.
“Why are you still here?” He mumbled, his hands clutching a now empty bottle of beer.
Opting to remain quiet, she reached out to grab at it but he pulled away once he noticed what she was doing. Having not expected it, she barely had a moment to register what was happening before she ducked, narrowly missing the beer bottle that was clearly aimed at her head.
He chucked darkly, spread out on the bed, a further three beer bottles scattered across his bedside table, not counting the several that littered the sheets.
She had never seen him so drunk before, nor so broken or even deranged, for that matter.
“I hate you. You ruined my life.” He slurred, his voice loud and strong but the words all jumbled together under the heavy influence of the alcohol. “I don’t love you.”
Pursing her lips, she reached around him and grabbed the comforter. With a simple flick of her wrist she had removed it from under him. It took some time to get him to move around on the bed so that he was now lying down instead of in his previous position where he was sitting up, leaning against the headboard reeking of alcohol.
Thankfully he remained quiet as she pulled up the duvet to just under his chin, tucking him in as one does to a child.
Grabbing the numerous beer bottles on the ground and on the bed, she allowed herself one last glance at him before she left.
“But I love you.” She exhaled at last, but he was already asleep.