Chap. Chap. Genny slathered her lips with the little moisture left in her tongue. Her throat had dried out before she’d passed out. And though awake now, she still felt too dizzy to stand up and walk to the kitchen sink. She extended a weak left arm to the bottled water on the table over her head. It’d been standing there where she left it three nights ago, when she returned from Michael’s new apartment. Though she’d gotten the house, the furniture, and the friendly neighbourhood, he’d somehow come out of the divorce far more satisfied than she.
The bottle toppled from the table, plopping on the floor beside her. Luckily, the cap was still on. Twisting it open she drank like she’d never seen the flavourless liquid before. As the insides of her parched throat gulped the water, she remained lying on the floor, her body turned sideways, propped up by her right arm.
When she’d had her fill, she set the bottle down, careful not to tip it over. Then turned around and fell asleep.
Beyond her glass windows, the sun went down again. As the light faded away, it glinted on the dining table china, the framed photos she’d forgotten to dust off, and the wall art her three-year-old had done at school. Darkness engulfed them all.
She hadn’t noticed the sun rise that morning. Or the day before that. She hadn’t heard the cockatoos cawing on her roof, or observed the wintry breeze lashing the surface of the lake across the street.
It’s amazing what a bottle of whisky could do. The stench of stale alcohol had masked the smell from rain water dribbling down her garden soil. She slept peacefully—oblivious to the world revolving around her, forgetting the pain of losing her family, ignoring the aftermath of that drunken accident. The corpse of her bloody child no longer haunted her dreams. Gone were the shrieks and wails of her younger self. Tires screeched no more. Michael’s arm wasn’t round her shoulders anymore. And they weren’t the couple pretending to move on.
No more. Of any of that bullshit. Only sleep.
That’s all she had now.
It didn’t stop until Genny forced herself to sit up. Suffocating darkness pressed around her.
She opened the door to a bright full moon above.
And below, a puppy walked into her life, bringing along a flood of light.