I came home at 2 tonight. My wife had passed out on the couch. A bottle of gin in her hand. Her gown bunched up at her chest. She wore no bra at nights. I was embarrassed and I couldn't reckon why. Wasn't she the woman I drove to ecstacy every night? Not anymore. With her addiction getting worse, I swear I didn't touch her in over three months. I came home late deliberately. The disgust over rode the guilt, in my defense.
I left my leather briefcase on the chair. Spilt milk had dried out into a powdery crust on the mahogany table. A packet of bread lay open, with a bottle of mixed fruit jam next to it. The lights were on, so was the television. There were ants lining up in a single file for their dinner. They had a buzzing fly for company.
I struggled to take off my shoes while still standing and almost stepped into piss. My daughter, oh my daughter. I almost forgot we had one. I hope she's okay. I tiptoed towards her room. It was dark. Her night lamp reflected stars all over the walls. Her cinderella bed was empty. I turned on the lights. She wasn't here. A wave of panic hit me.
I rushed towards the kitchen. The fridge door was open. And there lay my little princess - on the cold marble floor. A tub of empty yoghurt clutched in her little hands. I gave her a little peck on her cheek, careful not to wake her. She smelled like fresh strawberries. I carried her in my strong hands. She felt as light as a feather. I lay next to her in her warm bed and sang her the lullaby my mother would sing to me.
I woke up and checked my phone. The clock read 9.04am. My daughter was not in the bed. My thoughts shifted to Reva, my wife. I hoped she had sobered up. I walked up the hallway to the table. Breakfast was being served hot and piping. My daughter in two neat pigtails and her blue uniform looked adorable. Reva was impeccably dressed in her business suit. She showed no signs of any hangover. Just stiff shoulders and a poker face. The house looked immaculate as well, everything in its place. The pillows on the sofa were fluffed and magically there was no stain from last night's gin. Infact, there were even fresh lillies in the vase by the corner table.
I craved for a cup of coffee. My daughter reminded me to brush my teeth. She was laughing at me, telling me I was singing like a baby last night. I went inside the restroom to wash my face. My eyes looked blood shot and my hair disheveled. My face had a shadow to it and my head was being pounded by a hammer. I was still wearing last night's clothes and it smelled funny. I looked down to find salty stains on it. Nothing made sense until now when it all came down to an overwhelming realization. And I swore to myself, that I'm never getting wasted again.