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Friday, January 14, 2011

Her Secret*

It had become more than a necessity.

It was now her crutch.

It was more than taking the edge off, it was her coping mechanism.

She was lonely, tired, stressed out and didn't care.

Beer, wine and the occasional shot of J├Ągermeister wasn't cutting it anymore.

Never much of a drinker before motherhood or all of the disappointments and responsibilities, she learned to acquire a taste.

She used to believe that she wouldn't smell like alcohol if she drank vodka, because vodka is unflavored. It's made from the finest winter wheat and the softest glacier waters.

She soon learned this was nonsense. Vodka is hugely alcoholic (80 proof) and she wreaked of a distillery after drinking it.

She rarely saw her husband, he traveled most weekdays and on the weekends, they tried their best to stay out of each others way. Neither of them could remember the last time they had a conversation which involved looking into each others eyes.

She tended to the children and each of their every single needs; speech therapy, birthday parties, play dates, swimming lessons, laundry, meals... the list was never ending and overwhelming.

She did her best to hide the smell from the children and anyone else she had to come in contact with by carrying Altoids and other minty gums, hard candy and throat lozenges. She claimed she had terrible allergies that gave her a scratchy throat. Halls brand cough drops were the best to disguise the stench.

She was beautiful once. A prom queen. An aspiring attorney, doctor, scientist. She could have been anything, but only completed two and half years of college and married the first guy that asked her to. She was pregnant before their first anniversary and had two more children immediately following. They were 4, 2, and 9 months.

This week's bottle was from Russia with love:

1894 St. Petersburg
Imperia Russian Vodka
Crystal Quartz
Filtered
40% alcohol by volume 750 ml.

It should last her three days.

There were many days that were a complete blur. Days when she couldn't account for a single thing she said or did. She missed lunch dates, doctor appointments, pick-ups and drop offs. She tended to the kids, but her needs always came first. She was numb and she liked it that way.

Hidden way back in the cupboard, behind the multiple boxes of cereal, an old broken coffee maker and the glass cake plate that only was used three times a year, for each of her children's birthdays, is where she kept her secret.

She let out an audible sigh of relief just reaching for it. Except today, is was empty.

She panicked as she wondered, how did that happen? She had just cracked it open the night before.

Scurrying around the house, she knew there had to be another bottle somewhere.

She checked under the sink.

Empty.

Her underwear drawer.

Empty.

The diaper bag.

Empty.

The back of the toilet.

Empty.

How much had she drank today? She didn't want to know.

She only wanted more.

She would have to leave the children alone in front of the television and make a run to the liquor store.

Again.

*While I have been known to enjoy a bloody Mary or cranberry vodka with no less than three limes from time to time, this post is purely fiction. And the bottle I found in my pantry is probably over three years old!

This post is for The Red Dress Club's writing meme, Red Writing Hood. This weeks prompt is: grab something out of your pantry and write a short piece - using all the words in the ingredients. It can be fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose.

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23 Comments:

Blogger Overthinking Mama said...

great writing :-)
sad story because its true for someone! :-(

January 14, 2011 at 7:17 AM  
Anonymous julie said...

Love that you're trying fiction.
My favorite detail was the cake plate she only brings out for her children's birthday.

So good. And sad.

Keep it up, mama~

January 14, 2011 at 7:54 AM  
OpenID jdareg said...

Such an effortless read, loved your details. I too loved the cake plate detail and your use of the ingredients. Great!

January 14, 2011 at 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Stacey said...

What a great story. I was totally intrigued. It's a sad little story though. Makes me want to rescue those fictional children!

January 14, 2011 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Shell said...

Such fabulous writing. I think you captured the thought process of an addict really well.

January 14, 2011 at 10:52 AM  
Anonymous nichole said...

There is so much that I love about this piece.
The cake plate is a perfect touch, but the desperation of keeping alcohol in her diaper bag is so telling.
I also love the way you wove the ingredients through the piece.
I am so proud of you for putting yourself out there any not only trying fiction, but excelling at it!

January 14, 2011 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

LOVED it!

January 14, 2011 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

So proud of you, Tonya, for doing fiction. You captured that desperate feeling so well. Loved the detail of the birthday plate, and how you sprinkled references to kids throughout. Great job, truly.

January 14, 2011 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Hutch said...

This was fantastic! Maybe I shouldn't put so many references to a lack of wine being a sad day out there on the internets :)

January 14, 2011 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger gingerbreadmama said...

Nice foray into fiction, very heartbreaking and you made her so real. I want to give hugs to those children and smack her husband for being so blind.

January 14, 2011 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

Tonya, well written.
And sadly, very familiar.

January 14, 2011 at 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Jessica Anne said...

So sad. Great job showing the descent into alcoholism. The alcohol in the diaper bag made me cringe, in a good way.

January 14, 2011 at 2:55 PM  
Anonymous Daria @ Mom in Management said...

Congrats on your first fiction! I'd say you're off to a great start! And it is a sad story because it was so well written i could picture her in my head...

January 14, 2011 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger cooperl788 said...

Such a well-written piece. It was so easy to lose myself in your words, especially the part about her looking all over the house for another bottle. Great job!

January 14, 2011 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

Tonya, this is great. I can easily lose myself in your words, and I love that you are stretching yourself more and more!

I also love that this isn't about you!

January 14, 2011 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger Victoria KP said...

Absolutely chilling. It sounds so real.

January 14, 2011 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Soge shirts said...

Definitely great writing. I really could feel her panic as there was no more alcohol in the house. Very sad that some people are that addicted.

January 15, 2011 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

OMG, a life like that would be so awful! It makes me sad and not want to think about it, just from reading it.

So, how did it feel do write fiction? I only did it the one time, and the story was 100% based on an evil villian I knew. That's as gutsy as I get. :)

January 15, 2011 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Not Just Another Jennifer said...

It was so real I was worried it might be non-fiction! Nicely done!

January 15, 2011 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger From Tracie said...

Really powerful fiction!
(and a great use of the really hard prompt!)

January 15, 2011 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger purseblogger said...

That is sooo good girl! You are a fantastic writer. I want to read more.

January 15, 2011 at 8:13 PM  
Anonymous Morgan B. said...

Great writing Tonya! I had a pit in my stomach while reading it. So glad it's fiction. You always keep me on my toes!

January 16, 2011 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

This is a great piece of fiction Tonya. It's pretty sad though. So I never knew you enjoyed writing stories. Keep it up!! You should continue with this story. I would love to know what happens with this woman and her family.

January 23, 2011 at 8:24 PM  

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