I poured another whisky.
Amber liquid flowing smoothly, small waves licking the side of the tumbler. The aroma rose, oak-wood, peat and alcohol.
Twisting the glass, looking through it, into it, my words came back, like an echo, a haunting.
“I don’t love you”.
But that is what anger does, frustration. Temper.
It makes you a liar.
I twisted the phone in my hands.
I was not sure if I was going to make the call, or if I was waiting, hoping, willing for her to call me.
Of course she wouldn’t. Not after what I had said. Not after those words.
I did not blame her.
I would not call. Not if that was said to me. Not by someone I loved.
Which is where she was at now. Crying. Huddled, cuddling her pillow. Teardrops and mascara soaking into the crisp fresh white linen.
I drank the whisky. All of it. One gulp.
It burnt. All the way down.
I poured another. A large one. Larger than the last.
My heart was heavy for her. But why, oh why…and how can a woman, a woman you love more than life itself, make you so angry, so easily?
Was it me?
Am I an angry man? Do I have a short temper? An uncontrollable rage?
No, I do not.
I am mister average. John Doe. Fred Bloggs. A.N. Other.
I am angry now. Frustrated now. Or am I?
I have so many emotions, questions, feelings spinning around my head, my mind, I do not know what I feel.
I know how I feel.
These sensations are not just in my head; they are flowing through my whole body. I feel sick, hungry, anxious, wild, sad, tearful, from the pit of my stomach to my fingertips and toes.
The whisky should help. It should deaden the senses.
But it doesn’t.
Still, I tip the glass, letting the smoothness of single malt drizzle onto my tongue. I savour it this time, taste it.
It still burns, but a pleasant pleasing burn, warming. Comforting.
I pick up the phone again. My fingers dance over the screen. I am shaking. Scared.
Scared of what I ask myself?
I have lost her already. I have nothing more to lose.
Myself. I chuckle at that. I hold no value of me.
I am worthless. So again I have nothing to lose.
This time, I fill the glass, almost to the rim.
I drink a third. Three quick sips.
There is no burn anymore, just the warmth, a silky warmth tinged with a hint of sadness. A lingering aftertaste of longing.
I slide a cigarette from the pack, resting the filter against my lips as I breath in, pulling the flame closer. The cigarettes end glows red.
I exhale, softly, slowly. Letting the smoke twist its way upwards, towards the ceiling. Here and gone.
As I wish my words had.
The table holds a few items. Whisky bottle, glass, lighter, cigarettes, phone, Colt 45.
I have used four items.
Just the phone and gun to go.
If she says she hates me. No loss.
Nothing of value to lose, except a single shell.
If she does not answer. No loss either.
I will still get the message.
Or not to phone.
Not to chance her wrath.
Just pick up the 45.
Get it over with.
Why do I want to call her? I wonder.
To say sorry?
To say I was wrong?
That I made a mistake?
“I don’t love you” is not a mistake. It is a clear, precise sentence.
A sentence I uttered.
Foolishly. Unmeant. Stupidly. Without thought.
I stroke the black glass of the screen once more, a little to firmly. It lights up and there she is; smiling at me, laughing.
I should delete her picture. I think.
I don’t want to press call.
I am scared, frightened. Yet my finger squeezes down.
I want to stop it.
I cannot move. I cannot function.
“I love you” she says, “I am sorry. I’m missing you”.
I still can’t move.
“Can I come over…like now, right now. Because I need you. I want you to hold me, tight, forever”.
I lift the phone and say…
© Paul White 2016