I smelt stale alcohol in the air as I opened my front door.
“Dad?” I called. He didn’t respond
“Dad!” I shouted, running from room to room, I could feel the panic rising in me. Please, don’t let it be like 3 years ago, having to call an ambulance out because he’d taken an overdose of pills. I never wanted to go through that again.
I ran into his bedroom, thank God, there he was, on the bed. Passed out.
“Dad!” I called, shaking him awake.
He groaned and it took his eyes a few moments to register.
“Ella, darling? You back from school already?” He mumbled
“Yes, Dad. Have a shower and get changed, you stink,” I said, wrinkling up my nose.
I went back downstairs and tried to clear away all the bottles strewn across the house. I couldn’t keep doing this every year.
I was half way through tidying up when there was a knock on the door. I rolled my eyes, it better not be Mrs. Carter from next door, she came round nearly every week, with fake pity and kindness, looking for gossip. I made the mistake of trusting her once, and told her about my dad’s alcoholism, next thing I knew the whole town was talking about it.
I pulled open the door, and stood in shock for a few moments. A truly gorgeous man stood in front of me, a man I’d never seen before.
“Hi,” I said, unsurely
“Hi,” He smiled, “I’m Jared, my family’s moving in next door. My mum wants to know if you and your family want to come round to dinner this Friday?”
”Erm, ok.” I mumbled
“Great. I’ll see you then…” He looked at me questioningly, and it took me a few seconds to understand what he was asking
“Oh, right, I’m Ella.”
“Ella, beautiful name” He smiled again, and I melted. “Friday, six o’clock,”
And he turned and left.
What the hell did I just get myself into? I didn’t do family dinners, meeting strangers or gorgeous men. Brilliant.