clean and sober

‘I love you, sweetie. I’ll call you Friday.’ Those words will forever haunt me. I received a call from my mom when school ended. ‘This is the hardest thing I’ll ever tell you.’ I fell to the floor.’

“My heart sank. I could tell by her voice I had to get home. I still hear the words as she fought back breaking down. ‘We have to go. We have to get there!’ I remember having thought, ‘He seems better. He seems more like himself.’ My dad was back. Boy, was I wrong.”

‘Hun, whatcha doing? You ok in there?’ Silence. ‘Hun…?’ I tried turning the knob. Locked. My heartbeat grew faster. My voice got louder. I banged my fists on the door. I couldn’t save him.’

“We went to bed, said our ‘I love you’s.’ He rubbed my back as I drifted off to sleep. At 5:00 a.m., I awoke to use the bathroom. I guess he couldn’t sleep? He wasn’t in bed. He must be downstairs. The TV wasn’t on. No living room lights. Just a faint glow from the bottom of the bathroom door.”

‘I told her, ‘I’m looking for a ‘suit.’ He’s an ex-felon, an addict, covered in ink, going through a divorce, currently unemployed. Yeah, No!’ We married just 3 months later.’

“I clicked into his profile. ‘Hi.’ His response was, ‘Who is this?’ He would disappear for long periods of time – sometimes years – and no one knew if he was alive or dead. Just 6 days after meeting him, I was on pins and needles. I finally called. When he answered, I could hear the difference in his voice. I’m telling you, he was magic.”

‘Miss, I have your father’s autopsy results,’ the coroner said. ‘He felt absolutely nothing.’ I quickly asked, ‘It wasn’t an overdose?!’ ‘No drugs were detected, ma’am.’ I cried hysterically.’

“‘We can’t reach him,’ he said. My grandpa was at my dad’s apartment trying to get in. Police arrived. ‘Do we have permission to break in?’ The officer kicked the door down. ‘Dad!,’ my sister screamed. A police officer held our grandpa back. ‘Dana wake him up, get him up!’ All she could say was, ‘Grandpa, I am so sorry.'”

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