- Drowning my pain
My phone rings for the hundredth time today. Letty’s name flashes but just like those other times,
I ignore her calls. She’s been trying to call me since yesterday.
I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to talk to her. She was still connected to the world and people I
wanted to stay away from. That left me at crossroads. 1
“Give me another” I ask the bartender immediately after my phone stops ringing.
Today was my birthday and this is how I was celebrating it. Alone in a bar, drinking some fruity kind of concoction, still hurting from Rowan’s vile words.
I’ve tried so much to push those thoughts away. I’ve tried harder to forget every word he threw at me, but it’s hard. They’re imprinted in my damn head like a fucking tattoo.
We’ve been married for years, yet it never crossed my mind that he thought of me as nothing but a slut. That he was using me as a substitute for Emma in bed. My heart has broken over and over again since that day at my house.
I should have been surprised that he chose to believe every single word Emma said but I’m not. It’s typical of him to believe everyone except the woman he has lived with for nine fucking years.
Whoever said that words hurts more than punches was right. This time I fear that Rowan might have broken me beyond repair.
“Here” the cute bartender tells me.
He looks at me in sympathy, probably knowing that I was here to drown my sorrows. He must have seen this kind of thing thousands of time.
I take the drink from him, while avoiding his eyes. I didn’t need his sympathy. What I need is a new brain. A a new heart that isn’t tainted by pain and heartbreak. A soul unmarked by Rowan’s cruelty.
If I knew this was the future that awaited me years back, I would have ran for the hills. If I knew loving Rowan would destroy me in this manner, I would have flee to another continent, hell, another planet, just to escape him.
I wish I could smack some sense into my younger self. Maybe then I could have avoided all this heart ache
Sipping my drink, I stare into nothing. My mind completely lost. I wasn’t drunk yet but I was starting to feel the buzz. That’s what I wanted. I needed a break from the constant pain. Drinking
my ass off was going to give me that reprieve even if it’s just for a few hours.
I down the rest of my drink and look to the dance floor. There were people dancing. I haven’t danced in such a long time. I wanted to let loose. After all, today was my fucking birthday.
Getting up, I move to the floor. I close my eyes and let the music take over. I start to move to the beat. Feeling my problems start to fade for a little bit. Here in this moment I could pretend that I was okay. That I wasn’t a broken vessel walking. Here in this moment I could pretend that I was whole.
I dance song after song. Trying to chase a type of numbness. I feel people come up behind me to dance, I still don’t open my eyes, even when I’m grinding against them.
Some men try to get me to come with them, but I decline. I ignore them and eventually they give up and leave.
When I feel tiredness start to seep into my bones, I stop, open my eyes and head to the bar. I sit down on the barstool and order another drink, just as my phone rings again
I was about to ignore it, thinking it was Letty, but instead I see Ethan’s name flashing.
I decided to accept the call.
“Hi Ethan” I frown because my voice was a little high pitched than normal.
“Where are you Ava, are you okay? Would you mind telling me why Letty woke me up completely out of her mind with worry saying she hasn’t been able to reach you since yesterday?” he asks me worriedly.
I wanted to know how she got his number, but then I remembered that I gave it to her. She had insisted on having it the first day I went out with Ethan, just in case she didn’t hear from me.
“I’m okay I just don’t want to talk to her right now” I muttered loudly.
The music wasn’t too loud but it was loud all the same.
“Are you at a club or something?” he asks just as someone screams that the music playing was their favorite songs.
“Are you drunk?”
“Just tipsy” I answer, though I was planning to drink myself to oblivion this once.
“Do you have a designated driver?”
I giggle at that. His cop character was coming out to play and I liked that. I also liked that he was concerned about how I would get home.
“No, but I plan to take a taxi” I answered.
“No, you won’t Give me ten minutes” he says before hanging up.
I frown at my phone. Wondering why he said that. Deciding that it wasn’t that important, I push it
to the back of my mind. Today was all about forgetting and letting myself go.
I don’t know how long it was when I feel someone sliding in the seat next to mine. I look up and I’m surprised to find Ethan’s blue eyes staring at me.
“Ethan, how are you here?” I ask in confusion
“I told you I’d be here in ten when we talked, don’t you remember?” he asked back
I continue staring at him like he was a dream. Still unable to understand how he was here and how he found me.
“I remember, I just didn’t take you seriously”
He studies me and I study him back. Don’t get me wrong, I liked him, but I just didn’t want to see. him right now. Tonight was my night of drowning my pain.
“What are you doing here, Ava? I’ve never taken you to be the kind of person to be out drinking at this time of night. Especially not on a school night, aren’t you going to work tomorrow?” he frowned. His face etched in worry.
I wasn’t going to work tomorrow. After what happened with Rowan, I didn’t feel like myself. I had asked the school board for an extension of my temporary leave. They had been pretty understanding especially after I lied that I wasn’t fully recovered yet.
“It’s my birthday, I just wanted to celebrate” I tell him instead
By now the music had been turned off so I didn’t have to shout to be heard Majority we
“All alone? In a bar, at almost two in the morning?”
How do I tell him that I had no one to celebrate my birthday with? That no one even remembers the day I was born? Even when I was married to Rowan, he used to forget and ignore my birthday each year. How do I tell him that my family hates me so much that they stopped celebrating my birthdays nine years ago?!
I shrug my shoulders. “There’s no one to celebrate with me. I would have celebrated with Noah but as you know he isn’t here. The rest of my family hates me so much that they don’t care if I turned a year older”
He looks a bit shocked at my words for a moment before recovering. He gets down from his barstool and helps me down. Silently taking my hand, he leads me to a private booth where he helps me sit then sits right next to me.
He then turns and faces. “Why do you say that? I know something happened with your family, it’s written all over your face.” He pauses for a while before continuing. “Does it have something to do with Rowan, what happened? I see the pain you try to hide. Why do you say your family hates you?” the shoot from his mouth like sharp arrows.
I stare at him. If I was going to try and build a relationship with Ethan then I had to come clean. What I did could ruin my image in his eyes but he needed to know the truth either.
I take a deep breath. “It’s because when I was eighteen I slept with Emma’s boyfriend and ended pregnant.”
Please don’t kill me. Ava’s past will be revealed in the next chapter. Bye.