Cara? it’s me, Janie.
Car, I fucked up. I fucked up bad and now I’m sitting on the floor in the living room and I look like one of those bunched up rubber band balls we used to make in junior high. Why do you have to ask me that every time? Fine, I had some wine and a few beers. A lot of wine. I don’t remember it all, damn it!
Little Keith, he isn’t here now, he went to Grandma’s. No, I didn’t send him, he left. I can’t stop crying because there’s more. Car, I’m so cold I’m shaking and I’m covered by all my blankets and the red shawl you crocheted for me for my birthday.
I know we made a promise to love each as best friends always but I did something really, really bad. I made a mistake, but this was the worst one because little Keith saw it and I didn’t know he was in the room.
I’m TRYING TO CALM DOWN, I don’t need a lecture, Cara, I can just hang up. Fine, yes, I am taking a deep breath. Everything just got to me all at once: Johnny’s unemployment, my shift got canceled, all our overdue bills, taking care of my parents, not enough money for food… I swear I never thought we would end up this way and I couldn’t handle it. I didn’t buy the wine or beer, it had been in the house from a long time ago when we had a party and I stashed it there, yes I hid it.
I drank too much and my head hurts bad, real bad, yes I am drinking coffee. I knew I shouldn’t have been drinking again but I FELT so furious and hopeless that I threw the empty wine bottle across the room, hard, and it hit the wall and it sounded like a bomb had gone off. There are shards of glass everywhere.
The worst part was little Keith had come into the room and saw it all. I could tell he had been there a while, yes, with me drinking. I said I was sorry but I knew I had scared him and he backed away from me. I saw it in his eyes and he ran to his room and slammed his door. He wouldn’t let me in, I couldn’t even apologize. A few minutes later he went next door to Grandma’s, without even looking at me. The worst part was I knew I was the one who caused his pain and I couldn’t take it back.
Cara, you’re right. I need help. I need to do this for me and I mean it. I can’t go on like this, hurting everyone. I lied when I told you that I hadn’t read the brochure about the in-patient program in Ellis but I know I need to go. Yes, I mean it. I promised you and now I have to do it for me, me and Keith. Yes, whatever you say, soon is okay. What details? I can’t think with a pounding head. Do whatever you need to do, just let my head get better. I will take aspirin and drink water I am sitting in the black chair, I won’t move. I want it to be like the old days when the boys would play and we would drink lemonade and make oatmeal raisin cookies together and sit on the porch laughing. Do you think that could happen again? Why aren’t you answering me?!
Cara? I am still on the phone, I need to clean up the glass. What do you mean no, it’s dangerous. Oh fine, I’ll leave it till the morning. What do you mean you are here? Is that you knocking on the door? Oh, honey, thank you so much for coming. WHAT? NO, Cara, NOW? I thought we were going tomorrow, not now. Please, just one more night? Can’t I just start tomorrow, after all it’s just another day. Please? No? But I’m scared, Cara. My head is aching so badly. You took care of everything, I don’t know what that means. One more day, Cara, I beg of you. You won’t change your mind? Don’t you dare call the police, you don’t mean you will leave me alone forever if I don’t come with you. Cara, I can’t take that. I have no one. Yes, I promised. God, please forgive me and give me strength.