Keep Calm And

Every single Monday, at approximately seven thirty in the evening, the 'Community Gathering Center' of the First People's Church in the middle of some nondescript, large city, fills up with men and women seeking 'guidance', 'help', or 'therapy'. Each of these people has a specific problem, and each hopes to find words of wisdom from each other.

They call it Group Therapy; sometimes the words of others are the best way to solve problems.

"So Sam, tell us what's been bugging you."

I shifted nervously in my metal folding chair, it creaking with every movement that I made. My eyes flickered over to the middle-aged woman who had spoken to me, her nametag screaming from bright-markered handwriting that her name was Linda. She was moderating this meeting, making sure that everyone got a chance to speak and that no one got out of line.

My eyes flickered to each and every one of the twenty or so people sitting in the circle. My eyes flickered to the floor. My eyes flickered back to Linda. Stop thinking, just speak.

Keep calm, and...

"I... I caught my son with a half-downed bottle of beer. He was drinking it, right in the middle of the living room. On a goddamned Wednesday night, of all times. A school night. Right in front of me. And." I stopped myself, collecting my thoughts. "I know that it's all my fault, because I know he doesn't think I care, and he thinks it's okay because I drink all of the time, and when I'm sober  I don't pay attention to him because..."

Tears sprung to my eyes; I forced myself to inhale a huge breath of air. "Because... all I can think of is when I'm getting my next drink. I've been going to meetings but it doesn't work for me. But I'm not interested in that... I feel like I'm failing my son. I don't want him to turn into me."

My eyes flickered to the floor.

"I already lost his mother."

My eyes flicker to Linda. A soft smile appears on her face, and she asks, "Does anyone want to say something to Sam?"

The End

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