Rebecca lazily opens her eyes, immediately assuming the sadness that comes with being conscious.
She slowly takes in her apartment room from her bed. White ceiling, white walls, mahogany flooring and minimalist decorations. It has that urban chic look, but really it’s only because she can’t bring herself to care enough to decorate. The only downside is that the brightness of sterility is sometimes too much for her eyes when after a night with her boyfriend, it feels as if someone’s trying to crack her head open from inside.
Perfectly manicured red nails rub her temples. Fuck. It feels as if there’s some small grandmother residing in her forehead yelling at her to get out of bed. Or maybe granny’s saying she shouldn’t have had that fifth drink last night. Either way, she’s right.
She slowly drags her body out of bed, limb by limb, falling like one of those sticky kids’ toys you throw against the wall. After walking over to her countertop in a faded, ripped, oversized t-shirt, she leans against the dark granite. Whether this was to brace herself to handle the massive hangover or to handle the weight of her life, she wasn’t sure.
Looking up from the floor, she instinctively reaches for a bottle of Jack Daniels and a glass she’d emptied over and over again the night before. She pours herself a drink, brings the glass up to her nose, and sighs contentedly. The familiar scent is the sweetest cologne she’s ever known. It’s funny, she thinks, because she doesn’t even have to spray herself to smell like it.
Clumsily, she grasps and opens her bottle of Prozac, cap falling to the floor. She perches on her stiff bar stool and chases the happy-pill with a swish of her life source. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Warren, thinks the drug is what keeps her functioning, but she knows the truth. The only thing keeping her sane is the glass bottle, not the plastic one. And it’s even over the counter!
As she sits there pondering, hands sweetly cuping the delicate glass, she chuckles to herself. Jack Daniels is my boyfriend. My tall, dark, and handsome lover.
She sighs, sliding the glass between her palms. He hurts her, that’s true. He makes her throat burn angrily whenever they greet each other. He makes her head pound every morning as she recovers from their escapades. In a couple of years, her liver is going to hate him as much as her head does. He’s a dark cloud hanging around her, always making her walk through life as if the oxygen in her brain was actually fog.
He’s not all bad though.
She comes home from her corporate job after a long day: something she does to finance her apartment, food, and their ongoing romance, and he’s always there. No matter how much the world changes, he stays the same. Everyone leaves, but not him. He may abuse her both before and after, but while they’re holding each other, everything is rosy.
When they become one, her sad, hemorrhaging heart is replaced with a pillow, and it feels like she’s floating. He takes care of her and makes the world right again. When she’s with him, there’s no such thing as pain.
How can I not grow attached to someone that makes me feel like that? Everyone wants me to leave him, saying I’m too good for him, but how am I supposed to ever live without this while knowing what could be?
She downs the glass and then pours herself another. Just one more though. She’s got to get ready for work. She knows better than to sit there and drink herself away in her urban love nest all day. Maybe that’s where the Prozac comes in.
When she finishes that one, too, she heads to the shower. Removing her hair out of the messy bun and discarding the ratty shirt, she realizes that she can’t leave him even if she tries. Do you think we’ll be in love forever? Do you think we’ll be in love?
As the water that can never wash away her inner turmoil spreads over her, she smiles. Even if he leaves me, I can always shack up with Jim Beam.