by A. E. Ivey

“Goodnight,” he said before leaving the room and shutting his bedroom door behind him. She stood in the kitchen alone now, a shot of vodka poured into a shot glass, and a bottle of coke ready to swig afterwards. 

This didn't make her an alcoholic though. Did it?

Drinking alone.

In the middle of the week. Wednesday.

Sarah pushed the thought from her head; she didn't have time for concerning herself with nonsense such as addiction. She hadn't touched a single drug in years. Not like her senior days of high school when it was ecstasy and oxycottin; a sniff of coke off the back of the toilet…

Sarah didn't think about those things anymore though, it had been years…

A shot of straight vodka and it was back to work. There were bills to pay and spaces in her house to clean that she hadn't cleaned recently. Like her desk. And her workspace that was littered with cans of different paint colors, adhesives, and power tools. But there was something different about this Wednesday that Sarah felt uneasy about, she just hadn't been able to put her finger on it yet. A sense of overwhelming guilt was sitting on her shoulders. Was it because she had been spending the past few days attempting to flirt with a married man who perhaps she had the intention of seducing later on? But the more she thought about it, it couldn't be that, he was going through a divorce…trouble was he was still in love with his wife, but Sarah was exotic, she was interesting…she was trouble.

Sarah was trouble.

She had often been told so by her ex's, which could explain why she was 26 and still single, hadn't been in a long term relationship for nearly 2 years. She just didn't take anything serious anything anymore. Sarah went through friends like she went through clean socks, a new pair every day it felt like to her some days. But she hadn't changed, it was always her friends who changed and suddenly a friendship just didn't fit. The one constant she had had in life for the past 3 years was her cats, her dog, and her roommate. She couldn't say how she still had the same roommate though, it was beyond her.

But Sarah, well…Sarah was still the same Sarah she was 3 years ago: she still drank excessively, she still gambled to a good game of cards, she still had insomnia. Nothing had changed. So why did she feel so overwhelmed this time as she stood in the kitchen ready to chase back the alcohol? She checked her phone thinking, “Maybe he's texted me…” knowing full well he hadn't, knowing full well he wouldn't. Maybe Sarah wasn't as charming and seductive as she thought. She couldn't seem to grasp this guy's attention, though he did admit to her a few days before when they started talking that it was because he thought she belonged to a friend of his that they met through.

From in the other room her computer played melancholy music, random songs put together to fit her mood. It distracted her from the fact that he hadn't texted her again. She forced herself not to care; he could look right through her for all she cared. She had the vodka, and the roommate, and the things that would never change in her life. Like herself, and the Will she used to have that was now gone and had been for some time. And a Wednesday that should feel like any other…except it wasn't, something was different that night — the rain battering the window pane, a quiet house, dog in bed, cat asleep on the couch…

She couldn't see anything out of place that should be creating this atmosphere of regret and unease. She hated to think that it was depression creeping up on her, though she had felt anxious all day she really had nothing to be depressed about. For the most part she had felt content the past few weeks. But then there was the other night when she was trashed drunk and she cried harder than she had in months, contemplating how easy it would be to go Home than to figure out how to live this life. It was just thoughts, thoughts she had had since childhood but she knew she would never act on. Still was that depression sneaking up on her again? Or just a drunks ramblings to her pillow about how lonely she was, how tired; how out of place in this world she felt?

The side of the shot glass began to sweat as it sat on the counter — Sarah staring at it intently. She clicked her teeth together and glanced at her phone. A conversation with her roommate earlier in the evening revealed that she wasn't the only one who woke up in a bad mood that Wednesday. He hadn't quite felt depressed, but some kind of anxiety or uneasiness was in his thoughts, though he couldn't say why exactly. He tried through talking to Sarah to pin point the source of his bad mood, but neither of them could say why that morning when they woke up they wanted nothing to do with that Wednesday in any way.

Still as Sarah poured the shot and prepared to take it, her roommate had lost his resolve to stay up and converse with her, deciding he would rather go to bed than stay up any later and try to salvage his mood.

“Goodnight,” He said and left the room and shut his bedroom door behind him leaving Sarah alone with a poured shot of vodka and a bottle of coke ready to swig afterwards.

Sarah tossed back the clear liquid deep, and inhaled as chills spread up her spine. She poured another.