October 2, 2016
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A feeling of repulsion or disgust. A word I had long forgotten was now on the tip of my tongue. Yet I couldn't quite figure out what it was. “Think straight Josephine for two minutes.” My eyes darted from one side of the dining room to the other with paranoia. Hold onto something. My memories started to lose their structure and bend into what seemed to be made up stories in my brain. A thirteen year old girl taking her first but not last shot of whiskey on a simple Saturday gathering with her friends. How was I supposed to know thirty years later I would be here? I was just thirteen it was one drink I didn’t ask for this. Staring at a bottle of Jack Daniel’s interrogatively across the table, hands folded in front of me as my right thumb traced over the space between my left thumb and pointer finger instinctively. Nothing fit together as if my brain were missing a puzzle piece.
The taste of bitter blood filled my mouth, my lips burned from the cool air settling onto my heavy body. It was a drink thirty years ago that triggered endless years of lost memories. It was too late to stop now it was even considered dangerous. “You could die Josephine. Maybe just cut back to one drink a day.” My ignorant cousin Faith murmured across the dinner table as I opted out of a glass of wine for the second time that day. My hand tremored as I raised it in a stopping motion at my mother who offered the bottle to me with remorse. I knew it would end like this on that day. Faith saw the slight tremor but we decided it was just a reflex. 
The family gathering is long over now. The bursting laughter and the clinking glasses had vanished from my large oak dining table. The only object from their presence that remained was the unopened bottle of Jack Daniel’s that Faith had bought for me. My hands trembled more noticeably now. No way to grasp information mentally, and almost no way to grasp materials physically. The mental break came after the physical ability deterioration.
With my right hand curled tightly around the bottle of alcohol and my left hand harshly digging into my rib cage, I threw the bottle to the tile floor with a scream. The feeling of clarity in the few seconds after the loud shattering sound of glass sent me into a frenzy. A tsunami of tears raged from my olive eyes as I threw glasses off of shelves and onto the linoleum. The shards of glass left deep gashes in my hands that felt like a tingling dream.
     Crimson is a very under appreciated color.
     In the dull light hovering over my marble top counters the crimson blood appeared as almost a purple or brown, but I chose to avoid the thought and continue my rampage of destruction. I grabbed a photo from behind the wine in the dry bar. My two beautiful children, Ethan and Anna Marie alongside my ex husband Michael and I at the zoo in front of the exhibit of Alligators. My violently shaking hands clutched the photo close to my chest as my body slumped to the cold floor. I clenched my eyes shut tightly, begging my brain to grasp onto one memory of them. Just one memory of my children and a decent marriage.
I am going to take the children Jo. I am going to take them and leave. All I could muster was a laugh as I took another long sip of my wine. I stared at him with inquisitive eyes.
You are sick Josephine and I have begged you to get help. You’re a drunk. He threw his hands up in disbelief of his own words. My own hands tightened on the glass as my glare darkened towards him.
You knew exactly what I was when you married me. I stood to meet his gaze but he looked over my head unable to meet my bloodshot eyes. In sickness and in health. I snarled as I smacked my free hand hard across his face.
He took the children and he left two weeks after the incident.
I could have gone without grasping that memory. With clenched teeth I smashed the picture framed down onto the floor beside me. That was when I saw Michael for the first time in two years standing in front of my trembling pale body.
“I am so sorry Jo.” His eyes glazed over with icey tears as he bent down to my level and put out a hand for me to grasp.
“How could you do that to me Michael? You vowed, you promised to love me in sickness and in health. This is my sickness!” As I screamed my voice cracked painfully and my raw throat cried out to be drenched in a substance that I would not and could not allow to enter my blood another day of my life. He grabbed my hand but I felt nothing there was no feeling of tugging I just felt my head begin to drift as I was suddenly lifted from my position on the ground. He pulled me into his chest and held a handful of my auburn hair tightly. I couldn’t smell his cologne and my paranoia set in that I was being played by a stranger. Or a hallucination had taken over my brain from withdrawal. I felt nothing as time went on held against his chest. Life had been drained from my enraged body and I felt my heavy heart begin to slow its pace. 
“We can be together now.” Michael’s whisper from far away rang in my ear, “just give into me Josephine I promise we will be better now.” I closed my eyes slowly and watched the color on the inside of my eyelids turn from a usual black to a dull grey, by the time I began to question the slowness and warmness of the situation I could no longer open my eyes or move my weighted body. I had to allow myself to be taken away with Michael. Breathing in and out as long as fate allowed.

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