Sober by Maria Lucas '19
She gets on her tip toes to place the salad bowls in the uppermost kitchen cabinet, the
same cabinet that held her husband’s favorite scotch, Aberlour, a little over one year ago. She returns to the dishes, watching her husband lightly swirl and sip his bottle of cranberry juice before leaving for work, making her wonder if he wishes that alcohol was in it.
He turns to his wife and gives her a quick peck on the cheek, “I’ll be home after work, love you”. He closes the door behind him. A few hours pass, she’s trying to stay busy on her uneventful day off from work. She’s begins brainstorming baby names, “Genevieve... Phoebe... Jaxson... Lincoln...” the dog looks up at her and whines, “Yeah I don’t like them either.” She says with a sigh. She takes the dog for a walk, the cool October breeze hits her neck and chills run down her spine, the same kind of breath-taking and alarming chills she gets when she thinks about her husband driving late at night or her father becoming ill again.
“Come on Dewar!” She calls to the dog when they reach the end of the street. She’s come
to resent the name her husband gave their beautiful golden retriever. She sets her alarm for 7 am to meet her client in court before she cleans out her car trying to get out the stain from the coffee she spilled the morning before. She turns down her bed and climbs in, she turns on the television and watches How to Get Away With Murder, allowing Dewar to lay on the bed. Before she knows it it’s 11pm and her husband has yet to come home. She turns the tv off and flips flat on her back even though she knows she shouldn’t be on her back for long. Should I text him? She asks herself, he always gets so annoyed when I’m on his back... She sends a text anyway asking where he is. 30 minutes pass and she still gets no response. Soon the ticking of the clock on the wall above the closet is ringing in her ears. She looks up to it, it reads 11:18 and he was supposed to be home by 9. A few moments pass and she looks to the wall again, 11:26.
It’s now 12:46 am, Dewar whines at the end of the bed when the front door softly closes
outside the open bedroom door. She turns on her left side, facing the closet away from the door. He stumbles through the the hall and into the room, not wanting to wake his seemingly sleeping wife he lays atop the comforter on his right side without even taking his shoes off. She listens to his staggered breathing, and her eyes shift to the hall in the dark of night noticing his car keys still moving against each other hung up on the wall. She debates rolling over to face him until a warm waft of bourbon hits her nose as it used to many times before. Her forehead scrunches and her stomach swirls, vomit threatening to come up at the stale smell of the liquor. Images of her husband from previous years violently yelling and getting wasted flood her memories. She looks down and places her sweating palm on the soft skin that covers the life growing inside of her. She takes a sharp breath as a single hot tear rolls down her face and into the crease of her neck.