In the beginning, there was the table, me, and a bottle of whiskey. I opened the bottle and let a long chug burn its way down my throat. “Forget,” I mumbled. “Forget all about it, and move on. That’s what they said.” I took a second chug. “Forget my ass.” I growled. “Some things can’t be forgotten.” The third chug burned so much it brought tears to my eyes. I smacked the bottle down on the table, and growled.
I knew the whiskey wouldn’t survive the night. I knew it was the lucky one. It wouldn’t see the sunrise. I would. I considered turning the bottle up, and draining it as quickly as I could, no matter how much it burned. Perhaps if I drained the bottle quickly enough, I’d end up killing myself.
I wouldn’t. I knew that wouldn’t solve a damn thing. I was in another stage of my recovery. Another step through my grief. My Dad told me once, “There’s seven stages of grief.” Seven fucking stages. And no one knows how long each stage lasts, just that it’s different for each person.
I didn’t really want to find out how my grief process worked.
“It takes as long as it takes.” I stared at the bottle, read the label. “Smooth Ambler White Whiskey.” Looked like water. Sure packed a kick water never had. I can’t drink water. God, that stuff’s nasty. But I can drink damn near anything else.
I took another chug, so I could pretend I was crying from the pain of the whiskey burning my throat and didn’t have to admit I was crying because she was gone.
I heard that damn voice in my head again, “God made the rain to fall on the just and the unjust, the good and the evil.” I screamed, and punched another hole in the drywall. Left some skin from my knuckles on the plaster. The pain felt good. Distracting. “If I ever find the ass hole that wrote that, I’m gonna kick him. Right in the nuts.”
Hemorrhagic stroke. They said the blood vessels in her brain exploded and her brain died of oxygen deprivation. By the time they got her to the hospital, it was over.
I used to tell people she was part of me. “If I ever lose her, I’ll never recover. I’ll never be whole again.” I took another chug of the whiskey. She was gone. But she was still the only reason I wasn’t. She wouldn’t want me to stop living. I had to work everything out. Had to find a way to live. Because of her.
But first I had to let the wounds heal. Let my heart stop bleeding. The whiskey wouldn’t survive the night. And I’d hurt like hell when the sun rose. Sometimes, you do what you have to, to find yourself. And I would find myself. Eventually.
The sunrise was gonna hurt like hell.