by Jack Grover
It had been two months, 4 days, and ehhh, around 5 hours since my family sent my mom off. It’s as if she knew she had done something wrong, but she wasn’t quite sure. I’ve prayed every night she would.
My guts felt as if they had turned upside down, and my heart… It sounded as if it was mimicking the drumline at a college football game. It’s ironic, these rehab people really have it figured out. Such a dark time could only provide a dark place, but this dark place was different. It was as if everything was sugar coated. The sidewalks leading up to the building were intricate ruby red squares which matched the red clay of the Utah mountain ranges. Instead of street lights, the sidewalk was lined with antique copper gas-lamps, which had aged to a perfect shade of lime green. The lime green lamp posts were complimented by a warm sulfuric smell.
My family was from New York so the only smell we had grown used to was a mixture of air pollution and hot dog vendors on every corner.
We walked through the doors to my mom, who was glowing with beauty. Two months of sobriety looked great, or so we thought.
The cigarettes and liquor had taken a toll on my mother’s skin, which had started to grow a cherry red swell. She wasn’t herself inside and out.
My dad had been preparing my sister Lucy and I to see mom as if she was some death-ridden patient who was fragilely hanging onto life.
Not like I was surprised, but Lucy picked up her pace briskly jogging into my mom’s arms. My father and I stood in the back making sure not to interrupt the two. A look I hadn’t seen in years, my mom looked up at me with a warm welcoming smile. “Come here,” she said with her arms wide open.
Yeah, I was happy and all in the moment, but just utterly confused.
The last time I saw my mom was in the airport. She “forgot” to say I love you back. Not the biggest thing in the world, but it hurt like hell.
Was everything okay?
I couldn’t remember the last time my mom yelled at me. She was a drunk, but an introverted one. I’ll never forget the day. After multiple friendly hints of concern, her drinking only got worse, and eventually out of hand.
The intervention had an eerie resemblance to one my family had done just a year ago, my own. Well, mine wasn’t full blown, but more of a nice kick in the ass. Ever since I had snuck some friends down to the river house, my parents had been on my ass. If Lucy hadn’t screwed everything up, maybe I would be telling a different story today.