This is a true story. Our story.
“Shoot me,” he screamed. “Just shoot me now. I can’t do this.”
She watched as he writhed on the bed, twisting the sheets in his clenched fists. His knuckles were as white as a corpse’s bones.
God she loved him so but she couldn’t bear to see him suffer. What was she to do? Take him to the hospital? Leave? Bring him a beer and allow the drinking to continue? It would be much easier that way but, no, she couldn’t live like that. He couldn’t live like that.
He clutched his stomach and moaned in pain. Sweat trickled down his furrowed brow.
She began to pace. Should she call someone? Lord, it was two o’clock in the morning.
He screamed again. “My head hurts. Make it stop! Make it stop!” He tried to sit up but she knew he couldn’t. Withdrawal had taken his energy; his vibrancy.
“It’s going to be okay,” she whispered. “You’re going to be okay." But did she truly believe it?
As if on cue, his dark head fell to one side of his pillow and his glassy blue eyes rolled upward.
Her heart beat faster. Oh no! Faster and faster and faster. She laid her head on his chest. Stay with me! Stay with me! Her mind raced in all different directions. She looked into his face again. Ashen. The color of death.
He coughed and sputtered. Drool pooled on his chin.
Picking up the phone she called her mother.
“Leave him,” Mom advised. “Just walk out the door and never look back. After all, you haven’t known him all that long.”
Yet, she couldn’t. She couldn’t leave anyone in that state of despair; especially him.
They made it through the night. Together.
The following morning she drained every ounce of alcohol in the apartment. The amber liquid flowed down the sink and into the sewer where it belonged.
As he walked into the kitchen and eyed the empty bottles, fear washed over her. What if he hates me? What if he hits me? What if? What if…?
He stepped closer. And closer. He enveloped her into a strong embrace. “Thank you.”
My husband Mark and I have been married now for almost eighteen years; intoxicated by love only.