Releasing October 2014
(Unedited/Subject to change)
The crisp fall air is evident this morning, as the multicolor leaves swirl around in the wind. The grass is slowly turning from yellow to brown, and crunches under my feet as I walk. This is the first time I have been back here, since, well……………………yeah. It has been awhile.
Kneeling on the cold hard ground, I force the gigantic sized lump making its appearance in my throat down, and slowly close my eyes. It is almost too painful to be doing this. My mind still cannot seem to wrap around the logistics of what happened not that long ago. Trying to erase the pain is never going to work; yet, coming back here does not seem to be helping either. How many times can you beat yourself down and expect to be able to rise again in the morning?
Forcing myself to open my eyes, I let the silent tears stream down my cheeks.
“I am so sorry,” I manage to choke out, letting the pain in my heart take control of my emotions once again. This is never going to get any easier, no matter how many times I try and let it go.
I believe in second chances. I also believe in seconds, thirds, and even fourths. We are humans; and with that, come mistakes. No one in the world is perfect, and thinking otherwise will just result in failure and heartbreak. Far too often are people written off before they can show their full potential. If no one believes in someone enough to give them a second chance, then how does one expect the same courtesy extended to them when they screw up? Everyone is entitled to a second chance; however with the current society, most of the time those second chances never come.
Take me for example. I was a horrible child. I did absolutely everything possible to break my mother’s heart. The pain she felt at the hand of my childish behavior goes way beyond simple disappointment. I had truly shattered and destroyed any opportunity at forging that mother-daughter bond that she so desperately wanted and needed. By thirteen, I was sneaking out of our apartment and drinking with people much older. I had never really liked the taste of alcohol, but I continued to drink to simply fit in with the crowd. At age sixteen, I had dropped out of school and became pregnant. My relationship with my mother was so bleak at that point, that there was no way on earth I could even begin to fathom the thought of parenting myself.
Not once did my mother ever give up on me. After countless nights of not knowing where I was, getting calls from the police to come pick me up, and even when I faced shoplifting charges, she stood by my side. Chance after chance, my mother kept throwing me a line. She refused to let me become another statistic in life’s parenting failures. As much as I pushed, screamed, proved her wrong on countless occasions, she continued to extend that long rope of chances. I hung myself with that rope countless times before even realizing what she was doing; giving me chance after chance at becoming a better person.
I should be the one who is dead, and not the woman who tried so hard to make a better life for me.
It’s a funny thing how this world works. Someone who deserves an easy pass in life ends up in the gutter, while the person who has been looking for handouts since day one gets to relish in what life has to offer. Some people have it easy and others get punished daily for things beyond their control.
For whatever reason, things were finally starting to straighten out for me. Everyone is bound to hit rock bottom at some point in their life; sometimes sooner, rather than later. I guess; I need to be thankful for that moment hitting me early on in my life. It could have took me years to realize the destructive path I chose blindly to wander, was only leading me further down the path of heartbreak. I am twenty-one and sober for the first time in years.
I didn’t come out unscathed from the years of devastation; every bad choice came with repercussions brought on later in life. Unfortunately, I have a record, and the desire for alcohol never really leaves my system. Luckily, there are not any felony charges on my record; so I don’t have to check that dreaded box when filling out applications for employment. But, if a background check is ran, my DUI charge shows up. Stupidity at its finest right there. It’s not like I have an explanation to why I chose to drink and drive that night, considering I had done it plenty of times without being caught. I was an alcoholic, and convinced myself that I was invincible. It’s amazing the things one can justify when your head is clouded from awful judgment.
In nothing less than a sheer miracle, I managed to keep my record clean once I turned eighteen. The juvenile court system made a deal with me back in my disgruntled teen years that my record would be sealed once I reached the age of eighteen, if I could manage to keep myself from any further chaos and mayhem. Luckily for me, my shoplifting days were short and few; thus keeping myself out of the court system till my fated DUI incident two years ago.
Having your record sealed meant it is only hidden to employers and the general public. Law enforcement and the courts could still see everything that had been recorded about your unlawful incidents; and unfortunately that came into play when I went up for sentencing. Normally, with a person’s first DUI charge, they get community service, a fine, maybe even their license suspended. That would have been a welcomed punishment considering the reprimand I received. The judge wanted to make an example out of me that morning, giving others waiting in the courtroom something to fear as they watched the ugliness unfold.
All said and done, I served seventy-two days in jail, ninety days at an in-patient rehab, thirty-five hundred dollars in fees, and the loss of my license for one year. I guess that’s what happens when you are a little shit during your teen years, and get a DUI before you even reach the legal drinking age. I can’t forget to add that I also got a MIC to add to the fun pile of alphabet soup that now ran behind my name. I would forever be branded as having a DUI on my record; and regrettably, it wasn’t something that went away easily.
Getting slapped with the DUI charge was basically hitting rock bottom. I guess I could have fell further, but I’m pretty sure that is where my downwards spiral into the depths of hell would have ended anyway. For as stupid as I was back then, I didn’t do drugs, nor did I ever have the desire to touch them. My self-medication was alcohol, and it did just fine to dull the constant pain of everyday life.
I was a raving bitch while going through withdrawal in jail. After functioning daily with a pretty large amount of booze, I went to having none at my disposal. There was no way anyone wanted to be friends with me while I was in there. My cellmate didn’t even talk to me for the first thirty days; basically ignoring me from sun up to sun down. I guess that was fine, considering I no longer had those social needs of being friendly. I just wanted to do my time and get out. The glorious seventeen hundred hours didn’t go by as quickly as I would have wanted, but in the end I survived. My interactions with people were awkward, since most of the conversations I had there were with myself about whatever book I was reading.
But, in the end, I was free and that was all that mattered. Technically, I wasn’t free in the sense that I could do anything I wanted, but free of the barb wire fencing and cold grey concrete walls.
The next three months I was stuck in emotional hell. I had already detoxed my system in jail; but knew the cravings and desires were what would be worked on in rehab. A transport worker picked me up the day of my release, and flew with me to the middle of nowhere Colorado. Upon arriving at “The Healing Lodge,” I had already crossed the place off in my mind. I didn’t want to spend the time talking about my addiction, listening to other people’s sob stories, and really admitting that I had a problem to begin with.
I didn’t actually admit to my drinking problem till I was halfway through the court-ordered time. Before that, I ignorantly lived in my wonderful world, blaming everyone else but myself; for my own problems. The first thirty days were the roughest, considering I had no outside contact to the world. There were no visits from my mother, no letters of encouragement, basically no freedom. It was almost like being in a larger jail cell. I walked from my bright yellow single bedroom, to the sterile looking cafeteria, to my assigned therapist every single day. There was no variation to my routine. I woke up, repeated actions, and then went back to bed. Even in jail my mother would come weekly to see me. In rehab, the only contact with someone besides my therapists, nurses, and orderlies, were the other fellow junkies during meal times; and at that stage in the program, no one was really into making friends.
The lodge was split into three sections to accommodate the different phases of healing. The first couple of weeks I was situated in lodge one, otherwise known as the “We are not yet able to join the human race, and talk appropriately” area. Most of the people in this area were coming down from whatever high they chose to partake in. Nights were filled with screaming and crying; people begging someone to help them. I tried to sleep those specific nights with my pillow pressed firmly over my head, but during rounds the orderly would always come rip it off to make sure I was still alive. Luckily, my first transition phase didn’t last long, as I was already sober from doing the little stint in jail. Sure, my body was void of the alcohol, but my mind still wanted the cold liquid goodness to grace my lips once again.
At that point in my life had I been offered a beer, I would have gladly taken a drink. It felt great to be sober, but it still didn’t register upstairs what it truly meant to go without. I really thought that rehab would be a cake walk. I just had to go through the motions and it would be over quickly. I guess my ignorance to my real problem blinded me into thinking it would be all okay. Sadly, reality would hit later on, and just how much damage I had done to myself would be brought to light.
“Are you all set Charlie?” my best friend Samantha asks, closing the hatch to my Ford.
“I think so,” I reply, taking a quick glance around the vehicle. It is the first time since rehab that I will be leaving my mother’s house. Well, technically, I have to leave my mother’s house. The sale is being finalized this afternoon.
“Hey, it is going to be okay.” Samantha wraps her arms around me tightly, firmly squeezing my numb body.
I have yet to feel anything since my mother’s death three months ago. Not a single emotion registers with my body. I am just a mirror image of my former self; one void of compassion and life.
“Guess I better get going,” I softly mutter, glancing down at the cracks in the pavement. I cannot bring myself to look at my mother’s house one last time. There were some great memories we shared in this place. Sadly, most of the ones I remember were during the times I had been a cold hearted bitch. I guess, technically, I can still register pain, since it is the only thing that constantly hangs around anymore.
“Call me when you get there,” Samantha utters out a soft cry, gently wiping the few scattered tears that grace her high cheekbones.
I simply nod my head and yank my car door open. I force a soft smile at Sam, and quickly duck into my seat. I refuse to look into the rear view mirror, for I know she is standing there on the sidewalk, waiting for me to drive away. I never deserved her friendship over the years. She has always been a much better friend to me than I ever have been to her. She is the perfect daughter I wish I could have been for my mother. She was a straight A student in school, popular, pretty, and a kind soul. If someone was hurting, you could count on Samantha to try and make it better. She is the type of woman you could bring any problem to and she will help you solve it. I swear her life is like a Disney fairytale, complete with little woodlin’ creatures that follow her wherever she goes. Someday she will make a perfect princess, and live out her happily ever after with the most amazing prince. She deserves everything good in this cold, hard, cruel world.
Throwing my hand up in the air, I wiggle my fingers without looking back and pull the car away from the curb. I guess you could say I am running away, then again, I really have nothing keeping me here anymore.
Sitting at the stoplight, staring at the freeway entrance ahead of me, I let out a massive sigh.
“See you later Sacramento,” I mutter, watching the red light turn to green. Taking my foot off the brake, I thrust it upon the gas pedal and speed off into the world unknown; refusing to look back once again.
Everyone has a point in their life when they ask if that’s it. If everything they have been working for their entire existence comes to a peak, and they begin to question if it has all been worth it. My life before my mother died was clouded and bleak. I never thought of planning for the future, and in all honesty, could have cared less what happened. The only difference between then and now is that I’m sober. I still don’t feel things the way I should, and maybe that is something that no ‘program’ can ever fix.
The drive to Coos Bay is only seven hours, and could easily be done in a day. But, I didn’t want to push it; hence driving at barely legal granny speeds. I am not thrilled about heading over to my uncle’s place to crash and “figure out my next step” as he put it. In all actuality, I didn’t really care what could happen next. If I drift through life, it is totally fine by me. There is no purpose to what I am going to be doing; I am simply surviving in the simplest form.
I glance down at my phone ringing in the cup holder, and cringe as the ringtone blares. For some reason, Sam thought uploading happy songs as ringtones would pull me out of this funk when all it really made me want to do is chuck the device out the window.
“Hi Uncle Mark,” I answer, clenching my jaw and forcing a smile across my face. It isn’t like he can see the scowl I am trying hard to fight off from emerging on my face, but I need to make sure I put on a good show when I get there. Practice makes perfect, and I am going to need a whole lot of it if I plan on surviving the next couple of months.
“Hi Sweetie, where are you at?” His voice was warm and sincere. He was an exact copy of my mom, always wanting to extend a hand when ever needed.
“I think I’m about an hour or so out.”
“Alright sweet girl. We are short staffed at the bar tonight, so I won’t be at the house when you get there. I left a key under the red flower pot on the steps. Just let yourself in.”
“Okay,” I mumbled, not breaking my stare at the road ahead of me.
“I’ll see you soon Charlie,” he says, quickly ending the call.
“Yep, see you soon,” I reply to the already dead line. Tossing my phone into the seat next to me; I flick the silent radio on and turn the volume button up as loud as I can stand. The Eagles song ‘Desperado” blares out the speakers and I can’t help but laugh. Well, isn’t that just a dose of reality smacking me in the face.
“Hey Cameron, I don’t have anything on the books for the rest of the evening right?” I yell at our secretary from my room. Today has been nothing but a bitch, and I could really use a tall glass of Crown right about now.
“Nope, your books are empty. Why, you want something?” Cameron calls from the front counter.
“Hell no,” I chuckle, poking my head around the door and flash her a naughty smile. It is a Saturday night, and that means the world is my playground. Two of my clients had been fucking thorns in my sides, whining the whole damn time I was working. Pretty sure that constitutes a free pass to get a little wild tonight.
“Please don’t get too smashed or arrested tonight. You have an appointment on the books Monday at eleven,” she narrows her eyes as I approach.
“I wouldn’t dream of it, Doll,” I wink, placing a soft kiss to the side of her cheek.
“I didn’t stop by the bank today, so I have no bail money if you get arrested.”
“Good thing they accept cards now too,” I crack while tossing open the front door. I have no intentions of getting arrested tonight, but I do plan on getting a little hammered. Clicking the remote on my truck, the alarm beeps and I yank open the door open. Tossing my jacket and phone on the seat next to me, I shove the keys into the ignition and take off to my favorite bar. The night is full of possibilities, and it all starts at a little place I like to call home. The beer is cold, everyone knows my name, and women come in by the truckload. The perfect ending to my otherwise suck ass kind of day.
Pulling around back of the bar, I quickly kill the engine and hop out. Setting the alarm, I can’t help but smile. Tonight is a welcome change of pace since I have been busting my ass these last couple of weeks at the shop. Punching the code into the back door, the music slams against my body when I finally get it open. “Perfect,” I grin selfishly. Tonight is going to be exactly what I need.
I shout a couple hellos to the kitchen staff while wandering through the staff doors to the main floor. The place has yet to fill up, but that will change drastically once the clock hits nine.
“Good, you must have gotten the message,” Mark yells over the music when he sees me approaching the back bar.
“What are you talking about old man?” I laugh, sitting down on a bar stool in front of him.
“I need you tonight. Tony called in sick.”
“No way man. I don’t want to be working.”
“Please Greyson, I need the help,” Mark pleads; looking around the back of the bar like he done lost his mind.
“Mark,” I groan. This is not part of my epic night of getting fucked up. My plans include drinking loads of alcohol, finding a chick, knocking one out, and then going home. The night did not include me hopping behind this damn bar and serving people.
“Greyson, please,” Mark begs again.
“Fuck,” I moan, tipping my head back to the ceiling.
“Where in the hell is the salt rim?” Mark babbles, looking around the top of the bar.
“Shit old man, get back to your office,” I laugh pushing myself off the barstool and hoping over the bar top. There is no way he would be able to handle the crowd tonight, unless everyone orders bottles and nothing else.
“I owe you,” Mark sighs, patting my shoulder.
“Damn right you do.” Tossing my keys under the ledge, I turn to wash my hands in the sink.
“Thanks for helping tonight Greyson,” Nate, another bartender at the end of the bar shouts.
“Yep,” I nod, realizing my dreams of getting wasted have now vanished. Wiping my hands off on a towel, I put on my most sinister smile and help the two hot blondes that are now waiting for me on the other side.
“What can I get you ladies tonight, besides me later?” I ask with a wink, knowing damn well the reaction I would be getting. The two blondes giggle as they look back and forth at each other. If I couldn’t get smashed, I am bound to get some ass once this place closes.
The bar is packed a little after nine, and I silently curse Mark while filing another shot glass. If he wasn’t basically family, I would not be helping out right now. It is the last weekend before the college starts back up, hence all the eager bodies tonight, just begging to get smashed before responsibility sets in.
Like I was two hours earlier.
There is not a huge bar selection in town, so most of the younger crowd always ends up here. I normally won’t complain, since the college brought a new crop for the picking every couple of months. And, it was nice to walk out of this place with a couple hundred bucks at the end of the night too. My day job covers all the bills and more, but stashing some away never hurt anyone.
I start to mix my fiftieth Sex On The Beach of the night, and someone catches my eye at the end of the bar. My eyes quickly dart over in her direction, and I slowly take her in. She is absolutely stunning, but fuck, I doubt if the guys at the door carded her coming in. Quickly, I finish my drinks and slide them over to the ladies waiting, placing the drink order on their tab. Rolling my eyes, I knew what needed to be done. Beautiful or not, she was underage and couldn’t be in here. I refuse for Mark or Ito get fined if the state boards try and claim we served her.
I wander down to where she is sitting, watching as she scopes out the crowd on the dance floor. It is a damn shame that I am going to have to be a total dick, but what else am I going to do? Crossing my arms in front of me, I wait for her to turn her attention.
She is totally engrossed with the people grinding on one another out there, oblivious to me standing there, waiting to crush her dreams at getting tipsy in this place tonight. Clearing my voice, she startles and looks directly at me.
“Fuck,” I mumble once our eyes connect.
“Sorry, I must have been spacing,” she says softly. Her voice is so sweet that it is hard to hear over the thumping base coming from the corner of the dance floor. Her eyes are crystal blue, sparkling even in this dark, dingy place. My words are taken back as she continues to meekly smile at me standing there.
Shaking my head, I lower my eyes and direct them at the door. “Do your fucking job, Vance,” I shout, flipping him off with a scowl on my face. Turning back to the pretty little dark-haired beauty on the stool, I prepare myself to flip on dick mode. The question in her eyes is evident, as her face wrinkles in wonder.
“I hate doing this, but all my flags are going up saying you’re not twenty-one,” I sigh, bracing myself on the bar top.
She smirks and starts to dig through her purse. I know the drill. She will continue to dig through that bag for a little while longer, and then exclaim she must have lost it at the door. I release the grip on the bar and rub my eyebrows. I hate doing this shit.
A mischievous look flashes across her face while she slaps her ID down on the bar. Grabbing the card, I quickly bring it up to my face, glancing back and forth at the picture and her sitting on the bar stool.
“No problem right?” she spoke, still sitting there with a shit eating grin.
I smirk at her little comment and hand her back the ID. Either she has a badass hook up for a fake one, or she really is twenty-one.
“What can I get you sweetie?” I ask, licking my lips slowly.
“Is Mark here?”
“Yep, but he is really busy tonight,” I respond, watching her eyes for her reaction.
“Can you just let him know Charlie is here?” She offers me a sweet smile that makes my dick stand at attention. This really can’t be good.
“Charlie you said?” I question, silently cursing at my dick to abandon ship.
“That is what I said,” Charlie laughs, tossing her hair back over her shoulders.
“Isn’t that a man’s name?”
“If that is your way of asking if I have a cock, well, then no. Sorry if you thought you found a butt buddy tonight,” she grins, an evil tone threads through her words.
“Touché,” I laugh, holding my hands up in surrender. I nod my head and duck around the bar for Mark’s office. Knocking quickly on the molding, I wait for him to look up from his computer.
“There is a Charlie here to see you?” I comment, giving him a puzzled look.
“Oh,” he responds, hopping up from his desk and hurrying out the door.
My curiosity peaks as I can’t seem to figure out why a beautiful girl like that would be looking for Mark. Not that Mark couldn’t get himself some young pussy, but she just doesn’t strike me as the type of girl who digs older men. I watch as her eyes light up when Mark comes around the corner. Obviously I am wrong, and that lucky bastard just scored big.
Shaking my head, I wander back behind the bar and start filling the never ending orders.
“What time are you off tonight Greyson,” a red head says suggestively. I give her a quick glance over, and normally would take her up on the offer she is implying. But, then I hear that damn little dark hair stunner down the bar laugh, and my dick no longer wants to come out and play with the redhead sporting fake tits. Fuck.
“Hey Greyson, will you get Charlie a water here?” Mark calls down to me.
I smile and swiftly grab a glass and fill it. Walking it down to the end of the bar, I slide it in front of Charlie and force myself to stay silent.
“Greyson, I would like to introduce you to my niece, Charlie. Charlie, this is Greyson. He helps out behind the bar sometimes when I need it,” Mark announces, beaming like a fricken idiot.
“We met Uncle Mark. Greyson carded me then insinuated that I have a penis,” she says simply, showing no emotion on her face what-so-ever.
My eyes grow wide as my brain sputters to figure out what I could possibly say to explain the situation. Suddenly, laughter tore through the both of them, and Charlie lets a smile crack across her face.
“Nice,” I chuckle, knowing damn well this woman got the better of me.
“I’m just kidding,” Charlie grins, bring the water up to her lips.
“I’m going to get back to work,” I add, tipping my head back to the line of customers waiting for drinks.
Mark shoos me away with his hand and leans back on the bar to talk with Charlie. I can’t help but look over my shoulder at her, and catch her looking at me. Smirking, I lean back against the bar and take the next order.
“Well hello ladies,” I snicker, taking full advantage of their tits they have on display tonight.
I kept stealing glances down at Charlie and Mark for the next hour or so. There is something completely different about that girl, something that I can’t quite place my finger on yet. She is not like the rest of the woman that prance around this place. Her pale skin and deep dark hair with blue eyes is a striking contrast to the sea of blonde invading the bar tonight. Her simple long sleeve white shirt and jeans are also something abnormal, considering most of the women in here have at least seventy percent of their skin showing. I get at least three sets of tits and a pussy or two flashed in my direction the nights I work behind the bar, and Charlie was completely covered. Strange girl.
I look back down at the bar once the crowd has drastically thinned out, and am surprised she isn’t there. Scanning around the now half empty bar, I look for her quickly, and realize she isn’t here.
“Go ahead and check out Greyson, thanks for the help,” Mark’s head popped around the bar corner, giving me a smile.
Tossing a towel underneath the bar, I nod my head and give a two finger salute to Nate. Grabbing my keys I head down the hallway to my truck. Tonight’s epic mission at getting drunk and having sex is a complete bust. I only took two shots and my dick decided to be a Sally after meeting Charlie.
Storming out the back door, I sulk over to my truck and yank the door open. “Fucking stupid night,” I grumble while firing it up. The radio comes on blasting some sappy ass love song and I reach over to smash the damn thing till it turns off. There will be none of that tonight.