Johnnie Walker

February 7, 2011
Liv and Aaron, Aaron and Liv. Sounds good. Sounded good. As I pick up the tiny pieces of confetti wedged between the confines of my shag rug, I can’t help but wonder who that man is passed out on my couch. In between bending down to pick up shriveled, purple stars, and placing them into my ever growing trash bag, I steal glances at him. He’s lying on his back on our tan La-Z-Boy, one hand flopped over the edge of the couch, the other perched on top of his head, covering his eyes. I realize then that I no longer recognize my husband.

Aaron was different last night. Our house was filled with the buzz of New Years. Champagne was poured, poppers were popped, party hats with sequins and glitter were dispensed. Despite the holiday cheer, I couldn’t help but shake the embarrassing presence of Aaron. He was drunk, more than I’d ever seen him. He trounced around the party, a Johnnie Walker bottle in his hand stealing the place where mine would normally be. I’m forced to play babysitter to my intoxicated husband as I attempt to ease him up the stairs without controversy. But before I can, he dodges me and foolishly fumbles over to one of our neighbors.

“Hey. Rob. Here’s a joke for ya. Really, it’s great just wait...ok, here it is. What, is a dentist’s favorite musical instrument?” He asks, slurring his words, his breath reeking of the contents of the half-empty bottle in his hand.

“Um...I don’t know, Aaron. What?” Rob replies, clearly uncomfortable that the man he borrowed a hedge trimmers from was now standing before him, smashed.

“A tuba...toothpaste!” Aaron then proceeded to laugh...loudly. The other guests shot me glances of pity and confusion, the rouge of embarrassment blatantly splattered across my cheeks.

We had been that couple that everyone thought was perfect. You know, the kind that was “meant to be” or the one that everyone would say, “Oh, Liv and Aaron? They’ll be together forever.” The funny thing is, I thought so too. But here we are.

I couldn’t help but let a few tears fall as I picked up the last few confetti flakes. I miss the man who would make my PB&J’s the specific way I like them, less PB, more J. I miss the man who would wake me up in the middle of night, asking if I wanted to get milkshakes at our favorite diner on the corner. Now that man was just an empty shell, snoring lightly on the couch, a ghost of the vivacious twenty-four year old I had married.

After another hour of puttering around the house, cleaning the remains of my not so celebratory New Years, I hear Aaron stir. Quickly, I brush away the few tears still lingering. I walk into the living room and see him sitting up, rubbing his eyes like a child does when they wake up from a nap.

“ are you?” I ask, setting down the empty wine glass I was going to put away on the coffee table and sitting down next to it.

“Never better!” he replies, with that stupid, beautiful, smirk on his face that got me into this marriage in the first place.

Aaron notices that there’s something wrong, he always knows.

“What’s wrong Livy?” He asks, gently stroking my cheek, brushing away another tear.

“Nothing sweetheart.” I say, lightly pecking him on the cheek before getting up to throw away the trash bag. “Happy New Year.”

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