Jameson. On the rocks.
She used to joke and call it her apple juice. What fools. Who drinks apple juice at a bar?
She stared into her glass. Three was the limit.
She had done the calculations long ago when she had a friend to count with her.
That was fun. They both knew exactly how long it took before her voiced changed; before it hit her.
She took a sip. Then a drag from her cigarette.
Nights in the summertime were the most pleasant. Cool air combed through her long hair.
She was calm and collected.
She was supposed to do so much this summer. There were plans made, adventures to be had.
She looked into the glass of melting, golden ice. Why now?
The answer was already known. Now because it’s better than later. It would have happened anyway.
Too bad she didn’t feel the same way. She never felt the same way.
It was astonishing to her that she felt at all. Typically, she would cast it all aside and keep walking, wondering.
Who would her next partner be and what would he help her accomplish?
But now, now it was all different. The partner never changes in her mind.
Fantasy, illusion, dreams; it’s always the same lover. Always the same warm eyes, smiling face. Dimples. Like hers.
“Wow, I think this is the first time I actually understand when people talk about cute dimples,” she remembers saying. They look so good on him.
She flicked the ash off of her cigarette, raising the glass to her lips, attempting to obtain the most she could from the last drink. The ice clanked as she put the glass on the table. She reached for the bottle.
One more. She was going to make it worthwhile.
Letting the smoke hang off her lip as she poured, she remembered what pain the delicious drink had caused her.
It had made her angry, made her cry, made her regret.
She realized just how mortal she was the last time she had a drink before this night.
She sobbed and cried in his arms, telling him how she had failed. She was losing the one person she cared for the most in the world. He was leaving her because of her drinking; because of her lack of consideration; because she thought she was invincible and thought he would take it.
Her humanness hit her hard that night and the next morning and the days that followed.
She was human, she pained, she suffered. She couldn’t hide from this one. She couldn’t stand to lose.
He took a huge piece of her heart. It was the truth. She had enough to keep living, had enough love to give to friends around her; to make her happy.
The drink was dark yellow. She could down this whole thing if she wanted, without thinking about it. It would calm her and make her feel invincible again. When no one else was there, this was her savior. This is what made her get through it all.
She looked down. “You’re all I need,” she said. If anyone saw her, they would think she was talking to the glass of Jameson. “You’re all I need,” she repeated. She sipped. She felt like she was talking to a ghost. She could still feel his hand on hers when she drove. She could feel his kisses on her cheek when he was being cute. She could hear his laugh and feel his arms around her. “You’re all I need.”
She began to cry. Slow tears. She thought of him.
“You cry pretty,” he told her. “You’re pretty when you cry that it’s hard for me to even feel bad.” She laughed just thinking about it.
She cried. “You’re all I need.” She looked out into the dark water again. Put the glass down and lit another cigarette. She was doing what she felt at this moment, but in the most responsible way. She turned her phone off. She was close to home. She was only drinking three. There would be no calling of anyone. Only thinking and only her. She bit her lip.
Everything is ok, she thought. I’m ok. I have nothing to worry about. Only three. Self control was her motivation. Although, so was he. He was her secret motivation, inspiration. She did so much because of him.
Faith can move mountains, said her grandmother. She agreed. She had all the faith in the world. All the faith in the known world to continue to believe and stay right where she was. There are worse rocky roads. There are worse. This was the easy battle.
She gulped down a drink of the drink. That was a lot, but the flavor was now subsiding. She was able to taste, but not too much. She was able to drink without wincing. She let it roll over her, drown her pain, make it bearable.