January 18, 2012
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“Come in here stupid!” my dad yelled to me from the other room. “You are worthless!”

Smoking his cigar and drinking his beer, I interrupted him by walking in the room and looking at has his muddy boots on the arm of the other chair. I go over to him to see what he wants.

“What?” I asked innocently.

“Shut up!” he yelled in my face as he spit on me. His dirty dark hand hit my face harder than he’s ever hit me before. Spit flies out of my mouth as if I meant to spit.. I open my eyes to see the carpet, with mud stains stained on it of course. “Get out of here! I don’t want to look at your face!” he yelled and pointed at the door to give me his directions.

“Andy! Time to go, the bus is almost here!” I yelled up the stairs to my son. Andy comes jumping down the stairs and grabs a piece of toast off of the table. “Andy, wait…” I said to him, stopping him before he left without saying goodbye. He turns around and looks at me.

“Bye mom.” He said with his teenage attitude where he pretends like he doesn’t care.

“Wait, is Alex coming over for dinner tonight?” I asked him. Alex was his girlfriend.

“Uh, no. She doesn’t like coming here when you drink…bye.” He said as he shut the door behind him.

I was 17 now. My dad didn’t care about me anymore; he had totally given up on me.

“Hey, pass that over here!” I whispered to my friend who had the vodka. Pomegranate vodka was my favorite. My dad always had at least 3 bottles in the cabinet, so whenever I took one, he wouldn’t even notice because he would just think that he drank it, because he was drunk all the time.

“Why do you have that mask on?” Julie, my friend, asked me.

“I just do…I can’t drink without putting it on…it’s a thing. It’s just a thing, okay?” I snapped back at her.

“Okay, you are just freaking me out, kind of. I mean, I can only see you in the moonlight, and its freaky.” She said to me.

“Whatever…just ignore it.” I said back to her while taking another sip. “You should go, it’s getting late.” I said to Julie. So, Julie left, and I went back inside.

“Take that stupid mask of!” my dad yelled to me a couple inches from my face. “How do you have friends?” he said.

“Take your drunk off.” I snapped back at him. He just looked at me like he didn’t know what I was talking about. My dad was a little different; he wouldn’t wear masks in the house. He only wore his mask when he had to go outside of the house, in public. When he started being an alcoholic, he started putting masks on when he went out because his face got so old and gross from the alcohol and his eyes would droop, so I guess you could say that he was embarrassed.. His true self was an alcoholic, so he always had to have a drink in his hand. Nothing would change him, so why would it be wrong if I wore a mask?

Andy came home and slammed the door behind him.

“Andy? Are you okay?” I asked him, walking behind him because he was ignoring the question. “Andy, stop.” I ordered him. I followed him upstairs and to his room, but the door found my face before I could get another word out. I knocked on his door a couple times, but he kept telling me to leave him be.

“C’mon talk to me.” I slurred. “Now, you listen here, you’re going to listen to me. What the he** is wrong with ya?” I said with alcohol coming out as my voice.

“You’re drunk! You have no idea what you’re talking about!” Andy screamed as I opened the door to him. “You don’t know anything! All you do is drink and wear that stupid mask!” he paused. “Just because grandpa wore a mask when he drank doesn’t mean you need to!” You scare all of my friends and my girlfriend!” he yelled.

“Where is this coming from?” I asked. “You never had a problem with it before…” I said as I realized what he was trying to tell me.

“You just don’t remember me saying anything before because you were always drunk.” He said in a low voice.

I got the lock unlocked and walked into his room ready to rage.

“You don’t know what you ar talkin’ bout!” I slurred again trying to clean up my slurs. “Why does everything have to be about you! I have feelings too, Andy!” I yelled in his face.

“Dad, I am going to go to Katie’s, when should I be home?” I asked my dad.

“Well, who said I wanted you to come back?” he said sarcastically to try to be funny and laughing.

“Very funny. You’re drunk, so why would I even bother asking you?” I told him.

“Shut up! Just leave.” He yelled at me.

“Stop drinking,” I said as I started walking out the door. “Why are you doing this to me!?” I yelled in his face.

“Why are you doing this to me!?” Andy yelled in my face.

Suddenly my mind stopped and time stopped, I was frozen. What have I done? I have followed in my fathers footsteps…when I wanted to do the exact opposite. I walked out of his room slowly taking my mask off, without saying anything. I didn’t want him to see how I was feeling, because when I don’t have my mask on, you can see how I feel.

“I’m not doing anything! You are just ruining things for yourself. Stop judging other people! Leave this house and come back when you are matured.” He said to me.

I walked up to my room and just thought about what I was doing to do for the rest of my life. I needed to get out, and I wanted to prove to my dad that I will always be better than him.

I’m alone, sitting by myself at our kitchen table. Andy needs to know that I am trying to get better. When I was 17, I wanted to be different and I wanted to be nothing like him. I need to make sure that happens.

Me: Plz come down here. @ the table. We need 2 talk.

Andy: No…im good.

Me: u need to hear what I have 2 say. Now.

Andy: I am sick of ur b.s excuses. u will never change so stop lying to urself.

Me: Come down here now!

Andy: Fine. Don’t tell me what 2 do.

I listen upstairs for any movement in Andy’s room. He is walking into the hallway and I can hear him hopping down the stairs. He enters the doorway to the dining room and stares at me with the stare of my father whenever I would come home.

“Sit down.” I ordered him to do, in an angry tone. We were staring at each other across the table and we weren’t talking for a couple minutes. Minutes went by and I had to say something.

“Well…?” Andy said first.

“I want you to know something,” I started saying, “I am going to start seeing my counselor…and I am going to be attending an AA class to try and deal with my alcohol.” I stopped and waited for him to say something but he wasn’t saying anything. “Your grandpa abused me, and he was an alcoholic; this is hard for me too He was the exact opposite of me, though. He wore a mask whenever he would leave the house and I wear it when I am in the house, only drinking. He took it off when he drank because that’s who he really was.” I said as Andy leaned closer to me because he wanted to hear more. “Whenever I would drink, with my friends or wherever, I would put a mask on because whenever I drank, I wanted them to know that it wasn’t entirely me, it was my dad who had influence this on me too. It was so confusing back then, just like it is now. My dad never wanted to see my face. He always complained about me looking at him. So, I figured if I wore the mask, I would be like him and he wouldn’t mind it, but he did. He thought I was copying him and only wanted to make fun of him. He would be drunk when he would yell at me for wearing a mask, so whenever I wore it, it would remind me of him in every way. I lived off of his fear of me. When he was scared of me or freaking out, I would be happy because I would have the control and he would be a step down from where I was.” I said.

“Why would you want to be like him then? If you hated him so much.” Andy asked.

“Because I found that alcohol could take all of the stress away. I wanted everything to disappear for awhile while I focused on myself. I wanted an escape, and I thought that alcohol was an escape.” I explained.

“Ok.” Andy said. That was the only thing he had to say.

“I will stop, I promise.” I promised. “You will never see that mask again. I want to change and I want to be sober.

A couple weeks went by and I only saw Andy a couple nights a week because I was taking my night alcohol classes. We were texting and getting closer but he still didn’t trust me. Whenever I wanted to have a drink, I would just think of him, and I would stop right away.

Me: Wont be home 2nite. I have a conference in Chicago for 2 days and I have 2 stay over night @ the hotel. Dinner is in the fridge. Love you. Lock house when you leave always.

Andy: K.

Me: Where are you?

Andy: Home.

Me: Are you alright?

Andy: Yeah. Wait, so you wont be home tonight?

Me: No, I am staying in Chicago. I’m sorry hun.

Andy: Its okay. Have a good time.

Me: Thanks. Xoxo. Love you.

Andy: yep night.

My conference was about alcoholics that have recovered and healed. I didn’t really want to go, but I had to. I had to see the people that were like me and the people that went through the same things as I did.

Andy: Party @ my house. Anyone can come. Tell every 1.

Courtney: I’ll be there! I’m bring people tooo (:

Dylan: See ya there dude.

Robby: Alright. I’ll see who I can talk to.

Alex: What time should I be there babe?

Melanie: Will there be parents?

TJ: Will Ellie be going? Because I don’t want to deal with her drama.

Ellie: I’m coming(: but TJ can’t come because he’s my ex boyfriend…duh.

Micah: Excuse me. This is against God’s plan for us. Lets think about what Jesus would do in this situation. I am positive that there will be consumption of illegal products and underage alcohol consumption. I am a lawyer and I will call you out on what you are doing wrong. If Jesus was right next to you tonight, would you still be doing the same thing as you will be doing?

Karlee: wtf r u talking about, Micah? U r 17 years old…u aren’t a lawyer, so sorry that you can’t handle the first party u were ever invited to.

Micah: Andy, I will be contacting your mother immediately.

Andy: K.

Andy: This Micah kid is harassing me and said that he is calling you…so don’t answer please. He wants to get me in trouble for something stupid.

Me: Alright xoxo Its starting gotta go.

The program was starting and all of the main speakers were going on the stage. There was a very skinny girl in a wheelchair that grabbed the microphone first.

“Lady’s and Gentlemen.” She said to get our attention. “One of our speakers tonight got into a horrible car accident, and she can not make it, obviously. She is in the hospital suffering from a ruptured spleen. We rescheduled everything and this convention will be held in one month on the 6th. I’m so sorry” she said.

I was bummed, but I was hungry and tired and I kind of wanted to go home. The hotel would be boring if I stayed over night, and I want to see Andy.

I am a couple minutes from home and I called Andy to see if he could open the garage for me. He didn’t answer. Maybe he was sleeping. I turn down our road, and there isn’t an open spot on the curb, and the road is filled with cars. Why are there so many cars? Our house is a couple houses down, but I don’t think I would be able to get into the driveway.

Kids were laying on my grass, the neighbors dogs were barking, I heard swear words from inside my house, music was too loud, and Andy was definitely grounded.

I get out of my car and turn around to make sure it is locked. I walk into the house and there are kids everywhere. The pizza guy is even on the couch holding a beer. Where is Andy? I hide my face from the kids because I knew they would notice me and tell Andy right away, so I walked around until I could find him.

I walked up to his room and walked in on some teenagers making out, so I just let them be. My room was empty and Andy wasn’t up here. I walk downstairs and he isn’t in the family room or the dining room or the kitchen. The basement was too small for anyone to go down there so I didn’t even bother.

I walk out the back door and I see some teenagers by the back fence. I grab the black hoodie that is on the ledge of the deck and put it on. The hood is over my head and no one could see my face. I could smell alcohol from the steps of the deck, and the fence was a good half of a football field away.

It wasn’t just any kind of alcohol that I smelt, it was pomegranate vodka. It used to be my favorite and I could smell that drink from a mile away if I had to. I walk up to the first person I see.

“Hey, what’s up?” I said.

“The sky.” A kid that I had never seen before said.

“Where is Andy?” I asked with my normal voice because this kid was too drunk to realize I was a parent.

“Ovr’ thur.” He slurred and pointed. “He’s stressed yo.”

I saw Andy’s back because that was the sweatshirt I got him for his birthday. I reach my hand out to touch his shoulder to let him know that he was caught.

“Andy?” I said as I grabbed his shoulder lightly to turn him around.

His head raised slowly and I could only see the top of his head because he was looking down to close the Rum bottle when I turned him around.

He looked at me. “Mom?” he asked wearing my mask…

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