The pull of the bottle

Lazarus lay down beside Melissa, wrapping her in his slender arms. He had wanted to wait until Melissa fell asleep before letting himself drift off, but when she finally let sleep claim her, he found he couldn’t drift off too. Instead his mind flicked to one thing. That vodka in the brown paper bag in the kitchen. He blinked the thought away, snapping out of the thought as Melissa stirred in his arms. She let out a gentle sigh and turned over, facing his chest. A little smile lifted the corners of her lips and seeing this, guilt gripped him as he thought about how he had bought the vodka to block the world out again.

He resisted the pull of the little bottle for as long as he could, but eventually it got the better of him. He quietly disentangled his limbs from hers and closed the door silently behind him, hoping she wouldn’t wake up. He went straight to the vodka, doing his best to keep as quiet as a paper bag can be. He reluctantly smiled as the bottle came out of the bag and the little metal cap was off. He put the glass to his lips and felt the tension leave him as the liquid slipped between his teeth and down his throat.

The alcohol tingled down his throat, widening his hesitant smile. Melissa is gonna flip. He dragged the piano stool over to the window again and sat heavily. His thoughts floated back Melissa lying in his bed, her chocolate brown curls shimmering in the daylight filtering through the blind. Shut up, brain. He chastised himself for caring and roughly pulled his cigarettes out, screwing one between his lips, tipsy anger coursing through him. His hand shook as he lit the cigarette, and he growled, an animalistic quality edging into the sound, the wolf within him waking up. He willed the moon’s cycle to stop, to fade away. He took another glug of the vodka and closed his eyes against the suddenly harsh sunlight cutting through the window beside him.

Tilting the bottle back as far as he could, Lazarus discovered that he had drained the contents as only a dribble rolled into his mouth. He scowled at the carpet and threw the bottle out of the window. The crash of the glass shattering against the pavement was met with a shout from below and Lazarus stuck his head out of the window to see who he might have offended. A man stood on the pavement next to a shock of broken glass, shouting at Lazarus. Lazarus’ response was simply to shout abuse and retreat, throwing the cigarette butt out of the window at the man too.

His eye lids began to droop, the sunlight beating against his skin ruthlessly. He heaved up off the stool and wearily threw himself onto the sofa. He didn’t even realise he was crying. Tears fell violently onto the dark material beneath him as he hugged the cushion relentlessly, crushing it in his grasp, a desperate search for some comfort.

He hadn’t noticed that while he had been drinking himself stupid, Melissa had awoken and was standing in the bedroom doorway, silently watching, sadness and anger burning in her eyes as Lazarus cried himself to sleep.

The End

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