It was a Tuesday. I sat down on the red, leather stool. The cold, brisk wind hit my skin and I shivered. I asked for a coffee with cream, but the waitress forgot the cream. I looked at the coffee, swirling it with my spoon. I got up from the stool and left a handful of crumpled bills. I entered my car and locked my door. The radio turned on but I could not hear the music. I drove down the empty highway as the rain hit my windshield. Pitter Patter. I got home and opened the door. My wife screamed at me but I could not hear her. I went to my room and grabbed a suitcase and packed a bag. My wife jumped on me, as if she was trying to stop me. She was the one who said I should leave. Tears ran down her face but I knew I was doing the right thing. I was protecting her. I drove to the liquor store and got a bottle of whiskey. The clerk stopped me and handed me an AA pamphlet. I took out money and gave it to the clerk, but he shook his head no. I dropped the whiskey, causing the bottle to shatter into a million pieces. It was as if this bottle was representing me. Broken; Unfixable. I left the store and entered my car. I drove to my brother’s house. He lived in the big red house on Summer Ave. The grass was a vibrant green and for that, I was mad. I rang the doorbell. Ding, Dong! I saw the dirty Honda Pilot in the garage. He was home. I rang the bell again. He opened the door and frowned when he saw me. He asked questions, but yet, I could not hear him. I saw Mom with the oxygen tanks, staring blankly at the tv. I tried to speak, but I could not work up the courage. She knew what I became. A shell of what I once was. I saw a family picture and picked it up. I saw a red X over my face. They were trying to forget me. But I could not blame them. I grabbed my bags and put them into the guest room. I went to mom and sat down next to her. Silence. I looked over to the tv and saw the show my mom was interested in. Cooking. She was an amazing cook back in the day. But that was awhile ago. I walked into the kitchen and saw my brother staring at me, shaking his head no. But I did not listen. I grabbed a glass and poured whiskey. My brother walked away without saying anything. I sipped the whiskey and I felt the disgust from my family. The doorbell rang and I walked over to the door. I opened the door and it was my sister. Her jaw dropped and words came out, yet I could not hear. I knew I was a disappointment. I went into the guest room and I saw all of mom’s creepy dolls. I sat on the bed staring at them and I wondered the appeal. But she could say the same about my interests. I saw boxes and I opened them. I found books of family pictures. But there were going to be none of me. I was correct. I went back out and I tried to apologize, but the words didn’t come out. I took my car keys and drove to a restaurant. I sat down at a table for one. The waiter judged, but it was okay. I am used to this. I ordered and waited for the food. Nothing came out. I walked to the bar and got a couple of drinks to ease the pain. Drink after drink after drink. I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. I walked out into the parking lot and saw my wife with another man. She stared at me, like she could not recognize me. Like I was not the man she married. It was true. I changed. She whispered to the man she was with and she giggled when he talked. The anger inside me grew. I made fists with my hands and walked over to the man. I shoved him but he just laughed it off. He threw a punch but I dodged it. My wife cried and the man punched my in the stomach. I fell into a cold puddle. I got up but I saw my reflection. I did not want to be this man I became. I tried to apologize to the man but he hit me again. Blood dripped from my nose and I wiped it away. The two entered the restaurant and I felt abandoned. I walked to my car and drove to my brother’s home. I entered the door and saw my brother cutting red peppers. I remembered how much I liked red peppers, but yet I forgot the taste. I walked over to mom who was still watching cooking. I went into my room and laid down. I heard my phone ring but I didn’t answer. I picked up my phone and saw it was my wife. Probably trying to apologize. But I didn’t care. I got up and got the whiskey. I poured a glass and grabbed my keys. I drove on the highway and saw a truck driving the wrong way. But maybe I was driving the wrong way. The lights got brighter and brighter. Nobody will remember me. Nobody will miss me. Nobody cares.
April 7, 2017