I open my eyes and immediately shut them, my head is pounding… I mean, really pounding. Is this what a hangover feels like? I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in my life… maybe I have the flu…
I open my eyes and stare up at the cracked plaster on my bedroom ceiling.
It then occurs to me that I’m not aware of how I got here… how did I get here?
I sit up in panic, how in god’s name?! I look around me, it’s my room, alright… just the same as it always is… I stare at my clock, its 10:45 am… Friday!? The last day I remember was Tuesday… what in the hell?
I jump out of bed and run dash downstairs, taking two steps at a time and misjudging the final three, slipping down them and biting my tongue.
“Dad? Dad?” I yell into the house, I burst into the living room. “Dad-“ I stop.
My dad, Curtis Black, alcoholic, is sat… fully dressed… hair combed, on the sofa with… Ms. Lane?!
“Yves,” Dad puts down his cup of tea (!) on the coffee table and gets up, he looks worried.
“Dad what are yo-?” my father pulls me into a hug and I stare over his shoulder at Ms. Lane who smiles at me.
“I’ve been so worried about you, son,” he says, his voice muffled by my shoulder.
He pulls away, holding me at arm’s length and studying my features, “I’m so sorry about the other night… I never meant to hurt you…”
I’m gob smacked, I mean, completely dumbfounded.
“I haven’t had a drink since Wednesday… I know it’s only Friday but I feel I’m already making progress…” Dad smiles at me, “look, tea!” he gestures toward his steaming mug on the coffee table.
“Two days is an excellent start…” Ms. Dale smiles, she stands and smoothes out her pink camisole.
“Ms. Dale, what are you doing here?” I ask, trying to make sense of this bizarre situation.
“Please, call me Rebecca…”
I raise my eyebrows… “Becky is my sponsor…” Dad explains without really explaining anything, “My counsellor for substance abuse… and my friend…”
Ms. Dale nods, “Well, I’m not his official counsellor,” she smiles, “but I like to think I can help your father recover…”
I stare from one to the other, and shake my head. What in the world happened? A voice in the back of my mind whispers… The spell…
“Ok…” I say, “and… how did I manage to sleep through 2 days…?”
“A lovely old lady brought you back to me,” Dad explains as though it were the most normal occurrence in the world, “You were freezing cold and talking nonsense, so she told me to keep you warm and you’d be right as rain in a few days… we had the doctor out but he couldn’t find anything wrong with you… you just kept jabbering about the month of May or something…”
I feel a part of me die. I was delirious and my father called Maya’s father… who heard me jabbering on about his daughter… great.
“Anyway, it doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you’re OK…” and he hugs me again. I haven’t had this much contact with my father since I was 10 years old… so you can imagine this whole scenario is freaking me out a tad.
“I’m going to get off now,” Ms. Dale smiles, placing her hand on my father’s back.
“So soon?” My dad turns to her, frowning.
“I have to get back to school…” Ms Dale nods at me, “See you on Monday Yves.”
I can’t speak to her, I just watch my dad follow her out of the room.
What… In… The… Hell?!!
The rest of Friday is something of a blur. I’m still feeling a little out of it and confused by my lack of recollection about the previous evening.
I remember Chaska, and I remember the cauldron, but I don’t remember how I got home.
Dad potters around the house and brings me cups of tea… which is really odd. It’s like he’s finally acting like my father. I’m not ungrateful, I think it’s great that he’s finally decided to get his act together… but I can’t help but worry that this will be short lived… he’s promised to change before – there’s no point in getting my hopes up.
As dusk falls, there’s a knock at the door and then the doorbell rings.
I’m laying on the sofa covered by a blanket watching some gardening program on television, to be honest I’m bored out of my skull – T.V really isn’t my thing.
I get up to see who’s visiting… we never get visitors… until Maya rang the bell on Monday I think I’d forgotten what it sounded like.
“Don’t get up!” Dad calls to me, “I’ll get it!”
I’m really not used to this…
Five minutes later he appears with a bottle of Cola and a pizza box, he smiles at me. “Tea up!” he announces, placing the pizza on the coffee table in front of me.
I eye him suspiciously.
“What?” he enquires, “Its safer eating take-out than my cooking,” he chuckles and pulls a pizza slice out of the box, placing his hand underneath it to catch the stringy melted cheese which threatens to stretch onto the floor.
I reach forward and grab a small slice, but I don’t eat it, I just sit and watch my father devour his, he groans as he does so, clearly enjoying his meal.
“It’ll get cold…” he mumbles around a particularly large mouthful.
I take a small nibble. It is quite delicious.
“Dad,” I say, even saying ‘Dad’ feels odd. “What is this?”
“It’s pizza!” Dad chuckles, as though I’ve gone mad.
I roll my eyes, “I know that… I mean… you… you’re all… normal and stuff.”
Dad places the crust of his pizza in the box… I’d forgotten that he hates crusts.
Curtis Black looks at his greasy hands for a moment before reaching forward for a napkin.
“I thought I’d lost you…” he says quietly, “and it was my entire fault…” he rubs his hands on the paper towel.
I say nothing.
“Despite everything, Yves… you’re my son… and I love you.”
I nibble my pizza… I wasn’t counting on some sort of deep and meaningful father-son conversation.
To my utter dismay I see my father is crying… I can’t stand it when he cries, I’d rather he was yelling at me or hitting me than sitting there sobbing.
I place my nibbled pizza slice back into the box and fold my arms uncomfortably… waiting for him to stop his blubbing, after a few moments I realise he’s not going to. I stand up and leave the room.
Next update Sunday, 23rd June 2013 🙂