I woke up in the morning really pissed off at myself. I was hung over and feeling really crappy about the night before. I really didn’t know what I was going to do.
I had been at Shonda’s all night drinking. In fact Shonda had called Ella because I had refused to leave when it was closing time. Shonda gave me the last of the onion rings so that I could get somewhat sober up, I dunno. All I do know is that Ella was not very pleased. “You gonna go home Dave?” She asked me sitting down across the bar. I could tell just in her tone of voice she was pissed.
“Nope. I need another drink. Shonda, another beer.” I ordered. Both ladies looked at me.
“You’ve had enough David.” Ella said to me. Man I really hate how she calls me David. Its always when she’s upset at me or is disapproving of me. This time it was both. “You are to go home and go to sleep, you understand?”
“If you’ll come with me.” I flirted.
“No, but I’ll give you a ride home.”
So that is how I got home last night. This was the fifth time in two weeks that Ella has picked me up from the bar completely hammered. This was also the last time she said she would do it. We sort of had a fight while in the car. I don’t remember all the details of it, seeing as I was completely wasted when she was screaming at me. But I do remember hearing, “This is it! David, I’m threw! I’ve had it!” And then I remember waking up in my bed next to a pile of puke on my pillow, oops.
At least something good came, my crops were coming in. This is how I was getting my money for the booze at Shonda’s. I was drowning in crops, they were coming in so fast. I was making money everyday, selling the crops at the local market. The owners were thrilled to have another farmer on their payroll. Riverview was all about farming and the people were all about the produce. This was definitely a way to make a living.
Of course since Ella broke it off with me I did what any other guy would do, I headed to the bar and drank my sorrows away. I spent the entire afternoon and evening there. Of course the more I drank the more obnoxious I became. Shonda was ready to kick me out, again.
“Hey, another beer Shonda.” I ordered from the bar.
She stood right in front of me and just glared at me. “No! No more Rain. I am cutting you off. Go home, get sober, and call Ella!” She yelled at me.
“I’m through with her. I want beer!”
“You are not through with her, you’ve just spent the last four hours talking about her. You need to sober up and get with the program.” Of course she was right. I was completely in love with Ella and wanted her back in my life.
I got off the barstool with my drink in hand and started to walk away from Shonda. It was hard walking, but I managed to take a few steps before spilling on myself. Of course what I was completely surprised about was the fact the bar wasn’t completely empty. I saw one guy still there playing shuffle board. What was more surprising is that I recognized the guy, even in my drunken state.
I walked up to him with my drink in hand. “Hey how’s it goin’?” I asked, slurring my words a bit. He just looked up at me, trying to place me. I just acted like I recognized him. “Weren’t you with the 36th Marines a few years back?” I asked.
The light bulb clicked on his head. Reed was always a fun guy to mess with. “Holy Toledo! Rain, is that you!?!” He asked.
“Yup. How you doin’ Reed? I see you’ve left the safety net of the base and got yourself a real job.” I joked.
“I did. How bout yourself? Last time I saw you, you had a calendar with the days marked off till you were out.”
“I got out a year ago. Now I’m spending my days as a farmer an’ my nights at the bar.” I smiled. He could tell I was completely hammered. We stood there for a while and talked. I learned he was married with a daughter and had been a cop for a few years now. I told him about Ella, but I didn’t mention about the recent fight. We ordered a round of drinks, Reed got one and Shonda told me she had totally forgotten to make mine. Like that was the case, she cut me off and I knew it. Reed even knew she had.
Reed ended up giving me a ride home in his cruiser. He was thankful that I didn’t puke in it. I waved goodbye to him and he waved back, I think he was laughing at my futile attempts to walk up the porch steps. I should build me a ramp, it’d be easier to get into my house on nights like these.
The only problem was when I got home the door was open. It was wide open. Now, I might be drunk now, but I distinctly remembered locking my door before leaving home. I was a guy from the projects, I had a thing about locking doors. So why was this door open?
Of course when I walked it, I was completely surprised that my television was gone. I could have sworn I had a television, and a dvd player, and a small iPod player. And where the hell is my cable box!?! I had the last couple of episodes of Dexter still on there. I need to know if Quinn is gonna get the knife! I looked around the rest of the house and soon discovered that I was missing a lot more than my television. I was missing a shower head, a dresser, the lights in my bathroom, and worse my .32 that I hid in my dresser. I was freaked!
Even though I was robbed, nothing was more depressing than not seeing Ella. It had been over two weeks since she and I had the fight in the car. I tried calling her, but all I got was her answering machine,”Hey this is El, leave your name and number and I’ll call you when I want to. He He.”
“El, please, call me. I am sorry. I love you and don’t want to lose you.” I left the same message every time I called. I wanted her back in my life. I wanted her for the rest of my life.
Even at the bar I wasn’t enjoying the drink. I had barely touched my first beer. “Shonda, please tell me she isn’t seeing anyone.” I asked with my head down looking at my completely full beer.
“Honey, she’s devastated. She loves you and just wants you to stop drinking so much.” She told me taking my beer. I gave her a five out of my wallet. It was way more than the drink, but I didn’t care.
“Thanks Shonda.” I told her as I slid off the barstool. I wasn’t thirsty. Hell I wasn’t anything, but numb.
I decided to head to her place one night rather than the bar. I had never been there before, but I knew where it was. The Rose’s were one of the biggest farming families in Riverview. When I got to her place I was totally stunned. The farm was incredible and the house was even more. I had only wished my place looked as stunning as this. If I had more time and it was actually day light I would have just gone and looked around.
Ella’s father greeted me at the door. He looked old, sickly white, pale even. I had this weird vibe about him, and I didn’t like the way he was staring at me. “Can I help you?” He asked coming outside.
“Hi, I’m David Rain.” I put out my hand to greet him. “I’m looking for Ella.”
“Oh I am so sorry to disappoint you, but Ella doesn’t stay here during the night. She practices with her band on the other side of town.”
Wait, what? She’s in a band? Since when?
“Uh, do you know when she’ll be back?”
“Morning probably. She and the guys tend to play all night and then she sleeps during the day on the couch here. You are more than welcome to stay and wait. We could have a drink.” And the way he said drink, with his eyes glazing over and the twitch of a smile made my heart beat ever so slightly. I knew exactly why Ella was out. “Come in, make yourself at home. I’ll go grab a beer for you.”
And that was when I hightailed it out of there. I’ve seen enough of Bridgeport Vamps to know that you don’t ever go into a house with a vampire.
As the days passed, I was becoming more and more depressed. It had been a month since I had kissed Ella, since I had held Ella close in my arms. Her father frightened me, but I didn’t care. I wanted Ella, safe here at home with me. I wanted a family with her. More importantly I wanted to marry her and spend every waking minute with her. As I stood making breakfast for myself, alone, I made a promise to myself and to Ella, that I would stop drinking. That I would stop going to the bars every night. In fact I hadn’t been drinking much in the last week. I’ve been too depressed to go out of the house.
After breakfast I tried Ella’s phone again. ”Hey this is El, leave your name and number and I’ll call you when I want to. He He.”
“Hey Ella, it’s me. Um, look, I’ve been thinking. . . And I’ve decided to quit drinking. I want you and if I have to quit the booze and be sober for the rest of my life so that I can be with you, I will. I dunno about you, but I miss you more than anything in the world. Please call me El. I love you. If I don’t hear from you by tomorrow night, I’ll stop calling. I promise.” I gulped as I hung up. I really hoped she would call. I wanted her to forgive me.
Even though I still had to wait for a phone call, I decided that I should head to the local thrift store and buy a ring. I didn’t have much cash on me, since I still had to save up to buy a new television and a new dresser. Inside, I found a small diamond, but I still thought it was perfect for Ella. If I had my dream wish I would have bought her a rose cut diamond ring, but then I would need a lot more money than what I had.
Just as I was leaving my phone rang. I fumbled with the cellphone, knowing it had to be her. I looked at the caller I.D. and my heart jumped. It read “Ella.”
“El!” I exclaimed as I answered the phone.
“Hey Rain. I think we should talk.” She said. Hey she called me Rain, that had to be a good thing, right?
“Yea, me too. You wanna meet at the park above my place. You know, the one with the pond?”
“Yea. I’ll be there soon.” Click. She hung up on me again without saying much. I didn’t even get the chance to say how much I loved her. I really hope she doesn’t call me David when I see her.
We met on the bridge. It was a pretty romantic spot. She greeted me with a small wave, and I did the same. I really just wanted to wrap her in my arms. She looked as dreamy as ever. Why had I been such an idiot these last few months? “I want to know if you are serious, Rain?” She asked me when she finally walked up to me. “You said you would quit, are you serious about it or are you just that desperate that you’ll say anything to win me back?”
“No, El. I’m serious.” I took her hand. “Ella I love you and I don’t want anything to get in between us. I’ve come from a broken home. My father was a drunk, and I guess, it just runs in my blood. I don’t want to end up like him. He’s happy now, but for the longest time he wasn’t. I really just want to be happy with you.”
“I’ve talked to Shonda. She said the last time you were in there you didn’t even touch your beer.” I just smiled and nodded. “Just promise me if you do drink, it’s with me and that you’ll stop after one.”
She hugged me and then we held each other. “Now, promise me something,” I asked.
“What.” She said in my arms.
“That you’ll get your father to call off his hunt for me.” I had seen her father outside my place since I ran from his. It gave me the creeps, but I just ignored him. Rule number one, never let a vamp into your home. At least I watched enough television that I could keep the old man at bay.
She went crazy. She took me by the face and moved my neck everywhere, searching me for teeth marks. “Did he? Please tell me he didn’t! I told him he’s not to leave that place at night!!!”
“He didn’t. Relax. I went there a few nights ago to look for you. Why didn’t you tell me El?”
“Because, I’ve been trying to hide him from everyone. Look can we not talk about it. I love my dad, but I don’t want to talk about his illness.” I almost smiled when she said illness. She was really shaken up about me finding out her most inner secret. I promised myself I would never speak of it again to her.
For the longest time I just held her in my arms. She was trying to shake away the conversation about her father. She and I both didn’t talk for a while. I was too busy staring at her eyes. I had the ring in my pocket. I knew I could do it, but I was still unsure if she was ready to accept. We just got back together. How soon is too soon? “Ella, do you love me?” I finally asked.
“Of course I love you. I’ve never stopped loving you. That was never the issue. The drinking was the issue. But now, if you stick to your word, then I have nothing to be mad about.” She smiled. It was the answer I was looking for.
I tried to smile. “Then can I ask you something?”
I slowly let go of her and dropped down on my knee. I took out my ring I had just bought and looked her in the eyes. “Ella Rose, will you spend the rest of your life with me and make me the happiest man in the world?”
She gasped at the sight of the ring. I don’t even think she heard me. She started to cry and I knew her answer was going to be yes. “Ella, marry me.” I said again, making sure she knew I was proposing.
“Yes.” She finally cried softly.
I took her hand and slowly placed the ring on her finger. She was still crying. “I love you Ella Rose.” I told her again.
She was crying and behind her tears I could hear her reply softly, “I love you too.”
I stood and took her back into my arms and kissed her. It had been my first kiss with her for over a month, and it felt like our first all over again. My world felt at peace again. I was engaged to the woman that I loved. I was sober for once. I was happy finally.
“So you wanna go home?” I asked. I tried hinting to her what I had planned, but she just smiled.
Then she took my hands. “I’d love to Rain, I really would. It’s just that. . . Well, you see. . .”
“What is it Ella?” I asked. I was beginning to get nervous. What hasn’t she told me?
“I have band practice with the guys. Mike and Jimmy would kill me if I show up again late.” Wait! What! Who the bloody hell is Mike and Jimmy! “I’ll explain it all to you later, but I really gotta run. We are looking for our fourth member.”
She then gave me a kiss and took off.
I stood in sudden shock for the longest time while I watched Ella take off. MIKE AND JIMMY! Seriously! My blood was boiling with envy and jealousy. She was in a band with two guys, and right now she would rather play then celebrate our engagement. WTF! She had to be joking, right?
“I’ll call you!” I heard her scream from the road.
She was lucky I had promised her that I’d stop drinking, cause this was definitely a moment where I needed a drink. Instead I did something that I hadn’t done in a long time, I went fishing. Fishing is what I use to do before I found booze. It was what helped me calm down when I was a kid. If my father and I had a fight, he knew exactly where to find me. I was always down by the creak. I fished for the rest of the afternoon, and I tried to forget Mike and Jimmy. I didn’t like Mike and Jimmy, they had my girl and I had a fishing pole.