January 1st, New Year’s Day
The glass sits cool in my hand as I feel the burn singing through my mouth before swallowing. What is this? Week five? Four? I can’t even remember what day it is anymore. Everything blues into one long day as I feel darker and more empty, filling my glass again as I drop two cubes of ice in the bottom. I lift up the bottle, staring down into the bottom of the sour whiskey. This day would mark the beginning to the first year I’ll be alone since I met Dante. There’s a chill in the air, cold and biting. It isn’t like I’m a stranger to the quiet; in fact, I know it quite well. Quiet had been my life for so long. No matter what sounds I heard around me or what words were scattered in conversation, my ears were numb to the world until I found him. Thinking back, I can remember so many fonder memories of us during last New Years. Dante had been so excited, the sounds from the television screaming to us that it was almost time for the ball to drop. There were people stuffed into our living room, yelling the seconds down as the ball came to the bottom of our screen.
“5! 4! 3! 2! 1! HAPPY NEW YEAR!” The sounds were ringing all through the house and yet nothing else mattered as he leaned forward and I could feel the smooth balm pressing against my lips as his arms circled behind my neck. There were couples and singles from the kitchen to the living room whistling and cheering, the shouts of jubilation echoing out of the chimney and the windows, shaking the leaves of the trees. Even with all of the possible distractions, I couldn’t take my eyes away from him. The sparkle in his eyes dancing around his pupils, sending jolts of electricity through my cheeks and down my spine as he pulled up again and left another less fleeting kiss planted at the edge of my lips, his teeth nipping along my bottom lip. His laughter brightened up the room, light glittering off of his teeth.
“That’s two kisses already and we are two minutes into the New Year. How many do you think we could make before next New Years?” I didn’t expect we would end with so little, nor did I expect to lose him, too.
I’ve done well to empty this bottle, ditching my glass as I pull a new bottle out of the fridge, dropping a capful of cold water into the bottle before turning it over gently. This is where I’ve been. It’s where I can’t leave. I’m so hungry and then so full of nothing. I turn the bottle up again, the burn no longer stinging as the world feels fuzzy and a little bit distant. As I stumble to the edge of the couch, I collapse into it. I’ll leave our house when I’m in a casket. I can’t leave him. Reaching out, I pull the small garbage can to the side of the couch, deciding to be prepared as I take a heavier swig, my breath being chased away by such a lack of air. When I reach into my back pocket, I pull out the paper I wrote the weeks before my birthday, staring at the rings on my finger as I mumble, “The days feel so full and the nights so bright when I’m with you. The feelings I struggle with each day tell me to let you fly as free as you can so your heart can soar, but the rest of my body is begging, wishing for me to ask. Will you spend the rest of my life with me?”
Red eyes burned as tears streamed from my eyes, already too dry to come anymore. When I curled up, I turned the rings around on my finger.
I’ll never forget how happy I had felt.
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