I arrived in Bridgeport in the midst of the night. At the airport I couldn’t help but feel very alert. Everyone was staring and it was putting me on edge. Of course I knew everyone was staring at my eye patch or my cane and wondering why I was needing them. Some probably thought I was dressed up as a pirate or something, others were probably more curious as to the real truth. I didn’t give anyone want they wanted – a peak at my demise. I decided right there I would ditch the cane and get into a cab.
Not even the driver of the taxi couldn’t help himself but gawk at me through the rearview mirror. I tried to ignore the pressing stare, but it irked me all the same. Why couldn’t anyone stop looking? It’s not like I’m missing an arm or a leg, it’s just an eye!
I was so happy when the taxi pulled up in front of the apartment complex. I took the elevator up and hoped that no late night visitors would stop it before the doors closed. When I got in the apartment I wasn’t surprised to see the lights on and hear the television in the living room. Mom and dad often enjoyed a late night movie. As I stood there in the hall I debated whether or not I should just go in and tell them I’m home or if I should wait till morning.
Sleepiness and exhaustion made my decision for me. I decided to tip-toe to my room before anyone would check on the front door.
I got all the way to my door before I heard a sigh. “You aren’t even gonna say hello to your mother?”
“Uh. . .” I froze in my tracks. I wasn’t prepared really to show my parents what had truly happened to me. “Uh, hi mom.” I finally said without turning around. “I was just. . uh. . . heading to bed.”
“Excuse me?” She scoffed. “You leave your family for over a year and you think you can just come in and head to bed without much as a hello or a hug? Parker.”
I gulped. I had to give in. She would probably race into my room and stop me; which would probably knock me on to the floor and cause me to cry out in pain. No, it was better that I just get it over with now.
So I did. I turned around and gave her a half-hearted smile. “Hi mom.”
She screamed. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone screech that loud in my life. She was shocked. “Wha-wha-what happened? Wh-wh-why are you wearing that?”
I took a deep breath and closed my one eye before answering, “My last mission didn’t turn out exactly the way it was suppose to go. I. . . um. . . kinda. . . um. . . lost my eye.”
“What do you mean you lost your eye?”
The concern in her face melted me, and I reacted with a tear. “I. . . uh. . . “ More tears came from my eye. “Momma, they took my eye.” And that’s what sent me over the edge. I was in tears crying as I lifted my patch to show her.
Mom ran to me and hugged me. I held onto her and cried. I could hear her cry as well. “Oh Parker, I’m so sorry.”
“I know.” I cried. “I am too. I can’t believe how stupid –“ A sound to my left drew us apart. I looked over and dad had just walked out of the bedroom.
“What’s going –“ Dad stopped in his tracks when he saw me and my eye-patch. “Parker, Jesus, what the hell happened?”
So it was then that I knew I had to get it all out. I let mom go and stepped back a bit to face both of them. Neither of them missed the limp I had. “What’d you do to your leg?” Dad asked.
It was then I told them what had went down in France with Wednesday – or should I say Amber. I told them what I could about my mission, though most of it was top-secret and need-to-know. As I talked about the party at the mansion I cried. Mom gave me a tight squeeze to my arm to help me continue. I then told the two of them how I woke up and was shot, tied, beaten, and left for dead before SIA and my friend Camille found me in Cairo, Egypt. “And that’s where I’ve been for the last year. In a hospital going through extensive rehab and multiple surgeries on my leg and chest.”
I broke down in tears after my story ended. “I’m such an idiot.”
Dad grabbed hold of me and shook me. “You are not an idiot. You were brave Park. Braver than I could have ever imagine. I’m really proud of you. You were strong-willed and fought to survive. If you hadn’t fought, you’d probably be dead, Parker. You’re a survivor and I can’t help but feel proud of you.”
I nodded but continued to cry.
“Parker, everything will be fine.” Mom assured me. “Go to bed and get some rest. We’ll talk more in the morning.”
I hugged them both and retreated to my room.
That night I didn’t sleep. Try as I might, I couldn’t close my eye. When I did, I saw Fournier’s face laughing at me; egging me on for a fight. I grabbed my gun from my luggage that dad carried in from the lobby for me. I held it close to me as I laid there with my eye open. I was too afraid. Sure, dad called me brave and at the time I felt brave, but now I was more terrified than anything else. What happens if Fournier comes looking for me? Could I survive twice? God, I hope so.
Eventually I fell asleep. I don’t know what time it was when I heard my door creak open, but I was ready to kill if the intruder didn’t leave me be. “Parker?” Leslie called out before walking in. “Parker? You awake?”
“Leslie, leave me alone.”
She shook her head. “I can’t. Mom told me I had to get you up. She’s got breakfast on and wants you up out of bed.”
“Tell her no thanks.”
Leslie shook her head and stepped closer to my bed. “I’m going to school soon. I was hoping you could hang out with me at breakfast.”
“Les, leave me alone. I don’t want to hang out. I want to sleep. Now, please, leave me alone before I decide to shoot you.”
She narrowed her eyes. “FINE!” And with that she grabbed my eye-patch, screamed, and snapped it before running out the room.
I was up out of my bed faster than you could say “Bond.” Though the first hobble out of bed had me screaming too with the pain in my leg. I hopped out of the room as fast as I could. “GET BACK HERE YOU LITTLE SHIT!” I screamed as I hopped down the hallway. “I’m gonna so kill you when I get my hands off of you.”
To say I was pissed was an understatement. I couldn’t believe she had done that to me. Worse, with the flick of the elastic, not only did a piercing shooting pain struck the center or what use to be my eye, but it also started one of my massive headaches. So not only did my leg hurt, my “hole” and my head was screaming at me in pain.
“I swear Leslie! I’m gonna fucking kill you!” I said as I hopped into the living room only to find her with mom freaking out.
“He-he-he-he. . . .” She stuttered. She couldn’t even say what she saw it was too shocking.
“Leslie, spit it out.” Mom said. Then she spotted me and my pissed off demeanor. “What did you do Leslie?”
“He-he-he-he. . . .” She continued to stutter.
“I’ll tell you what that bitch did.” I said with enough venom that I dared my mom to yell at me for calling my sister a bitch even at the young age of 13. “She fucking snapped my eye-patch on my head!”
“LESLIE ANNE!” Mom scorned. “Is that true!?!”
“You apologize to your brother, right now!”
“Buuuuuuut mom!” Leslie cried out.
“Don’t test me, young lady. Your brother has been through enough. He doesn’t need you to treat him like that. Now apologize and get ready for school.”
“But he –“
“Doesn’t have an eye, yes I know. Now apologize!”
“Sorry.” She mumbled.
It was my turn to scorn her. I was not going to take a half-ass apologize from my spoiled-rotten little sister who’s been a thorn in my side since the day she was born. No, she was going to apologize it and fucking mean it!
“I don’t think so Les. That shit ain’t gonna cut it. I want a real apology.” I said. “None of this half-ass crap. Do you realize how much pain that cause me? Do you realize how much pain I’ve had to suffer just by chasing you in here? DO you know how much pain I’ve been in the last year? NO you don’t! So, dammit, you are not gonna give me a half-ass apology. I want a real one, and I want it now!”
She backed up from me and looked at me in shock. “Dude, chilax, I said I was sorry and I am.”
“NO, you didn’t you little fucktard!” I lifted Leslie off the ground. “NOW apologize, DAMMIT!”
“Parker!” Mom yelled. “Let her down and go cool off.” I gave mom my dirtiest look and she backed off on me. She looked towards Leslie. “Les, just apologize.”
“I’m sorry, Parker.” She said and smiled. “There happy? Are you gonna let me fucking go?”
I released her. “It’ll do. But mind you little sis, if you ever do that again, mom won’t be around to save your sorry little ass.”
After my run-in with my sister, I made myself scarce around the house. I seemed to always be on edge when I was around my family.
Most days and nights I could be found at the gym. I never gave up my therapy for my leg. I needed to strengthen it if I was ever going to get back out into the field. No matter how hard I tried though, I realized I could and probably would never be able to actually straighten out my knee again.
Working out for the most part kept my stress down. That is until I start thinking about the last time I was on a treadmill. Only then do I think about Hana and how she made me feel. Hana was always on the front of my mind and I hated it. I couldn’t stop but think of her if I found any little spare moment I had.
If I wasn’t at the gym, I was practicing my martial arts with my training dummy. Kicking, though it killed my leg, seemed to help more than anything. I could feel the burn in my knee and the muscles getting better and better. Yet it still wouldn’t straighten out all the way.
Mom even joined in on my physical therapy. She found me once watching the P-90X and joined in. We were doing the aerobics while dad snickered at mom behind a book. “Oh shut up, Travis.” She sneered. “I’d like to see you try this.”
I laughed. “Like that would ever happened, mom. Dad’s old and way too out of shape. You should go find a new model, he’s so yesterday.”
My dad narrowed his eyes at me, but without skipping a beat mom kept going. “Yeah, he’s been like an old model car for a long time, hardly running. I mean a few sputters here and there, but the engine just doesn’t get fired up like it use too. But I figured with a bit more hard work and maybe a new paint-job he’d be working again in no time.”
We laughed and dad finally stood. “You guys are just plain mean.”
“HEY DAD!” I yelled as he walked out the room. “You know they do make pills that help in that department!” Mom and I laughed even harder when all we saw was dad’s middle finger before he retreated to his bedroom.
But even with all the teasing and the jokes, I knew my parents were still in love. Dad found his soul mate in marrying Claire, just as I found a mother in her. Every time I saw them in an intimate moment it tore at my heart. Really, I wanted what dad had. I wanted my soul mate in my arms and giving me breath.
Every thought of Hana put me in a rut that nothing could help. I cried every single time I thought about her. I often found myself crying in my bedroom after waking up from a dream about her. I wanted Hana and I still couldn’t stop and think about our final moment together. It made me want to rip out my heart and throw it across the room it hurt so much.
One night after catching my parents making out like teenagers on the couch I finally had enough. I pulled on a shirt and headed towards the closest watering hole. I walked in the dark and empty bar and sat down.
“What are you having?” The bartender asked as he cleaned a glass.
“Martini.” I ordered.
“Shaken or stirred?”
I looked up at the man in my pissed-off, dead-beat state and stared him down. “Does it look like I give a damn?1”
And after my first Martini, I continued to drink. The more I drank the less I thought of Hana. The drunker I got, I also discovered, the less pain I was in. I felt on top of the world as I drank. It felt great not having to deal with the fact that I had a missing eye, a bum leg, and a broken heart. I was on Cloud Nine as I drank.
I found the more I drank, the more I didn’t care that I was heart broken. If a woman walked into a bar, single or taken, I was flirting with her. I always bought two drinks immediately after spotting a hot and gorgeous woman, and I was there to rescue her from her troubles.
Maybe I did go a bit too overboard one evening after a month of hanging out at Waylon’s. I was with this one red-head. She said that she missed the strip-clubs that she went to when she lived in Sim Angeles. So, without thinking I climbed up onto one of the counters and was starting to strip for the red-head.
Ten-minutes later I was in shackles being dragged to a police cruiser. A few hours after that dad was at the station bailing me out.
Dad didn’t take me home right away. Instead he stopped at a park and got out. He told me we were going for a walk and we needed to talk. I dragged my hung-over ass out of his car and hobbled behind him. My leg hurt more after I sobered. Still I walked behind him.
“Dad, what are we doing out here? It’s like four in the morning.” I asked.
“We are walking, son.” He continued on. “I need to calm down before I decide to do something stupid.”
“Like. . . “
“Like, not kill you.”
Okay, that surprised me, though I don’t think he even had the guts to take me on. He looked torn though about the idea. Was he really pissed off at me? I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen him look so. . . defeated. . . pissed. . . . unsure. And, I know I’ve done a lot of stupid shit, but he’s never acted like this.
After walking around for five minutes my leg couldn’t go any longer. I needed to get home and take my pain pills. “Dad, could we stop and rest?” I asked as I closed in on at a bench. “My leg is killing me.”
My dad stood and stared at the bench for a bit before nodding. “Okay. I guess we can.”
We sat for what seemed like hours, though I’m sure it was mere minutes. I had to do something. Dad was never this quiet around me when he was mad. He tended to be the yelling kind of guy, just like grandpa was.
“Dad? You okay?”
He shook his head no. “Not even close.”
“Pissed off? Mad? Upset?” I asked all the feelings that I was sure he had for me.
He shook his head no. “To tell you the truth, I’m more disappointed in you, Parker. Sure, I’m pissed that I had to bail you out of jail. Though, I’m surprised it took you twenty-four years to get arrested.” He chuckled and I joined. Tis’ true, I wasn’t the easiest kid to tame when I was younger.
“Actually, grandpa Mike once arrested me for ditching school.”
“True.” He nodded before sobering up. “Parker, you know I use to drink. Your grandfather use to drink. Hell, even your great-grandfather had such a bad time with alcohol that he suffered liver cancer.” He paused and I waited. I knew where this was going, but I really didn’t think I was that bad. “All I am saying son, is that drinking isn’t how to fix your problem.”
“And what is my problem?”
“You’re dealing with PTSD. Drinking isn’t the answer. You need to go get professional help. You can’t just drink and hope your problems are going away. Look, go see a shrink, get some help, and hell get cleaned up and start acting like the adventurous, sharp looking kid I know that you are.”
I stood and shook my head. He didn’t get it. He thought that I was still the old me, the naïve kid that thought being James Bond was awesome and amazing. The truth came crashing down after my attack. Life was fragile and I had to smarten up and not fuck-up like I did. I needed to keep my eye open a bit more and realize that there really was no one I could trust in this business. Dad didn’t understand any of this.
Mom, however, didn’t think that my job was the real reason I was so depressed and drinking myself into oblivion. She had been watching me for a while and taking in all my reactions. “Okay, Parker.” She said as she hit the off button on the television. I was watching some re-runs of House. “Spill it. What’s got you so in a rut you have to drink yourself out of your clothes?”
“It’s nothing, mom.”
“Bullshit. I know those looks you have. There’s something that’s killing you worse than the thought of losing an eye or your leg. Now, spill it.
And so, I told her about Hana.
Her reaction was typical. She was shocked to hear that her son found the woman of his dreams only to realize that they could never be. “Oh my God, Parker. That’s. . . that’s. . . Wow.”
“Yeah, I know.” I turned my head down and wiped the tear from my eye. “I really love her mom and I wished she would have said yes.”
“Oh baby.” She pulled me into her arms. “She’s just not seeing what her heart is seeing. She’ll figure it out, you’ll just have to wait.”
“But for how long? My heart is breaking!” I shouted. “Every time I see you and dad kissing or making out, it kills me. I want that. I don’t just want to fuck any bimbo, no I want to love Hana like dad loves you!”
I stood and tore out the room and back to the bars. I needed a drink.
I found myself hung-over and chilling on the sofa watching Quantum Solace when mom walked in and turned off the television. “HEY! I was watching that.”
“Not anymore!” She pointed a finger at me. “I want you up, showered, and cleaned up! I’m sick of you only ever doing two things, drinking and sleeping. Get your ass into gear and get a life!” She stormed out and off to the kitchen. “I mean it Parker!” She shouted from said kitchen.
After my shower I did something I hadn’t done since the shooting, I looked at myself in the mirror. Sure, I noticed a mirror in the bathroom the last couple of months, but I didn’t actually look into it. I saw the mop of hair I had and hated it. I had let myself go, that was clearly visible. My face looked unclean and disgusting. I hated looking like a bum. The worse part was the patch. It just didn’t look. . . well, me.
I took a few deep breaths, I really needed to see it. I slowly placed my hand on the strap of the patch and lowered it. What I saw, nearly caused me to collapse. It was ugly, and deformed. What should have been an eye was scarred up old tissue caved in on itself. Right down the center was a scar from the doctors. They said they had to cut the rest of the eye out when I arrived in the OR. Fournier made a mess of my face, and I really wanted to kill him for it.
After looking myself over in the mirror, I knew I had to do something about it. So, after talking to mom and asking her if she could call the salon she goes to, I headed over there. There were two women waiting for me. One for my hair and the other to pick out my new fashion. They both asked me questions which I answered honestly. Eventually they went to work.
Soon, I was decked out and had an entire new look. I stood in front of the mirror and all I could do was look in awe. No longer did I look unclean and unshaved. Sure I kept part of my goatee, but I still had cleaned up a bit. Wwhen I looked at myself I couldn’t stop picturing a one-eyed Daniel Craig. Hell, even the eye patch worked on me. I thought it made me even more charming and attractive, rather than a circus freak.
I immediately celebrated my new look at the closest bar, Eugi’s. It was rocking and I felt really good after a few drinks. As long as there was vodka, I was drinking it. I noticed a lot of women walking in the bar and I was ready to put on the charm.
In no time I found a girl who wanted to have good time. We danced, did shots together, and made-out right on the dance floor. My body reacted with pleasure after kissing her. Could this be a better way in forgetting Hana? My drunk mind told me to go and test the new baby out. That side won.
In no time I had her in the elevator at Eugi’s, pinned up on the wall with her skirt up and my pants to my knees. I rode her hard and fast. It was a quick and easy fuck and one that I didn’t care to repeat. Sure it was okay, but after I said goodbye to the blonde, I felt more unsatisfied than I wished. I wanted more than that. I don’t know if it was me, or if it was the girl. Sure, she looked and acted like she was getting off, but did she?
For a while it seemed like all I ever did was go to wake-up, hang out, head to the bars, drink, fuck, and pass out somewhere. Hell, it didn’t even have to be in my bed. I’d pass out anywhere and everywhere. I knew I had a problem, sure I could go get help if I really wanted to. But truth of the matter is, I didn’t want help. I wanted Hana and the only way I could numb that emptiness inside me was at the bottom of a bottle.
Dad wasn’t ever pleased with me. He’d find me out in the hallway sleeping in my own puke. He’d kick me to stir me awake, minding my puke while he did. “Park, get up.”
I’d stir and toss him what I hoped was a middle finger as I rolled over. When I was in that stage of drunk it was just best to leave me on the floor.
“Parker.” He’d kick me again, this time where he knew it would hurt.
As soon as I felt the pressure on my left side, I’d scream in pain, waking me out of my drunken stupor. “Fuck.” I whined.
“Parker, get up, cleaned up, and into bed.” He’d point to the apartment door. “Now, before I drag your ass into the shower and sober you up and ship you off to rehab.”
My dad probably wished he had send me off to rehab, because after that he never found me outside the apartment door. I drank so much that I started to get arrested at all hours of the night for drunk and disorderly as well as drunk in public. After being thrown out of Waylon’s the cops dragged my ass to jail for the tenth time.
I called dad. He didn’t answer.
I called mom. She didn’t answer.
I called Ellis. She didn’t answer.
For two days I sat in the police station and waited for someone to bail me out. When they didn’t, I went to court. I was fined ten thousand dollars and sentence to three months in rehab.
I was sent to the Lillian Rain Memorial Hospital in Bridgeport. It was named after my great-grandmother – my grandpa’s real mom. I stayed there for three months as court ordered. I didn’t call mom, dad, or even Ellis. I did my time there, got sobered up. I refused to talk to any of the shrinks about my real problems. Since Ellis wasn’t around and I was SIA, I figured that making shit up would work – it did. I told them I lost my eye in a hunting accident.
I tried to stay sober after rehab, I really did. I took up fishing shortly after my release and found myself enjoying the bit of solitude. It kept me thinking about the good times I had with grandpa before I lost my eye. It did help lessen the pain I was feeling in my heart, though it replaced it with another.
I still missed grandpa like I just lost him. Nothing in my life has been how it was suppose to go. I lost my parents, I lost my grandpa, I lost the love of my life, and I lost my eye. My life has always surrounded itself with loss rather than gain.
After fishing I went to head out and ran into – nearly knocking over – a gorgeous blonde chick. She chuckled as I gawked at her. “Wow, I really must be at ‘Smuggler’s Cove’ cause I just found myself a pirate.” She giggled at the joke. And I had to admit it was funny. I didn’t even think about the name of the beach when I headed there until she pointed it out.
“Arrrrg, you’re right me lass.” I said in the most terrible pirate impression I have ever done. We both laughed hard. She was cute and sexy with her laugh too. “Names Rain, Parker Rain.” (Shut up!)
“Melody. Are you new in town?”
“Nah, I’ve lived here since I was fourteen. How bout yourself?” She nodded and bit her lower lip. “What’s wrong sweet cheeks? Scared of pirates?”
She shook her head. “No. Not really. I’m just really shy.”
“Well, Mel. I was just off to get a drink at the Aquarius, care to join me?”
She shook her head no. “Sorry, I can’t. I’m AA. Maybe later we could hang out.” I nodded and parted from her. She was sweet, though she couldn’t replace my feelings for the one person that my heart belonged to. Although I wish she could have. It’d have helped me get through this much easier.
Sure enough within a month of returning home from rehab, I was drunk, passed out, and hung over. I also was fucking every whore I could find. No one minded that I would bring home a screaming hussy over. Hell, I didn’t care what anyone said.
That was until mom found four condoms in the trash and two women in my bed asleep. I was passed out on the sofa waiting for the girls to leave. Mom started beating me upside the head, and hard. I was awake within seconds. She continued to wail on me after I sat up. “FUCK!” I yelled as I tried to protect my head. “Mom, fuck, stop hitting me!”
“TWO! YOU BROUGHT HOME TWO!” She yelled without stopping her blows on my head.
“Mom, my head!” I yelled. “Still injured!”
“I DON’T CARE! YOU DESERVE A BEATING!” She yelled and continued.
I looked around for help and saw dad ignoring us while he worked on the computer. “DAD, A LITTLE HELP HERE!” I yelled.
“Claire leave the boy alone.” He said without even looking up. “He needs some of those brains left if he’s ever gonna get his head out of his ass.”
Mom sat next to me and I was pissed. My head was screaming in pain thanks to her, and not because of a hangover either. No, my headaches were back after six weeks of absence! “Fuck mom! What the hell did you do that for? Don’t you know how much pain I’m in cause of this?” I pointed to my eye. “Damn!”
She smacked me one last time. “You’re in pain cause your drunk.” She hissed. “Now, I want those two bimbo’s out of my home and if you ever bring home another whore I will kick you out to the street.”
I was back at the Aquarius within the week. You see one of the two hotties that I had in my bed was the bartender, and boy was she HOT! DAYUM!!! Anyways, I found myself over at the Aquarius more and more. She’d have my martini waiting for me when I got there.
Though I could never bring her home with me, I did manage to find other ways of fulfilling both our urges. We fucked like rabbits on the roof of the place. She knew how to use her body in ways I had only a dream a girl could do to me. She knew how to give it like it wasn’t anyone’s business.
But there I was after another hard night in the tub. I was sated and felt relieved, but yet not satisfied. It seemed like no matter how many chicks I fucked I couldn’t get the satisfaction I wanted. Sure my little guy seemed to enjoy it, but my heart never really did. I held onto Candy and felt her hand wonder between my legs. Okay, so maybe I didn’t have to be completely satisfied, as long as it was enjoyable. And “FUCK.” I moaned my own thought. Yup it was definitely enjoyable.
I don’t know how or when, but tonight I found myself with a bottle of vodka at the butterfly sanctuary. I couldn’t really remember what happened before passing out on the hard ground. All I could think about as I tried to ignore the screaming in my head, was the last thing I did actually remember.
I remember going to The Brightmore. I drank heavily in the VIP section. The blonde bartender didn’t really care much for me so I didn’t stay. The girls on the dance floor were all taken with a partner. I remember deciding that I was going to go see Candy back at The Aquarius when I saw the bouncer getting off her shift.
I really don’t know how it happened, but I suddenly remember feeling her tongue on mine out in the hall as we waited for the elevator. I also remember pushing her towards the elevator and inside against the wall. There I pushed her up to the rail inside and pulled her jeans down as I worked my own pants down. We fucked until the elevator stopped and pressed the button to go up. We continued to ride the elevator as we rode each other. Once we were done, we finally stopped the elevator ride.
But how did I wind up here?
“Rain!” There’s that damn voice again. Why won’t my mind let me rest. I just want to sleep and drink.
“RAIN!” This time the yelling was accompanied by a jolting pain in my knee. I tore open my eyes and saw someone nudging my knee. “RAIN!”
I screamed in agony while I looked up and into Ells’ eyes. Oh shit, I’m totally screwed.
“Get up Rain!” She ordered. I tried to stand, when I couldn’t I held up my hand, asking for assistance.
“How much have you had tonight?” She asked as she smelled the booze flowing off of me.
“Women or Vodka?”
She blinked at me, surprised at the smart-ass remark I made. “Christ! You’re a Delta, Rain. Start acting like one!” She yelled.
I straightened up and nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”
Ellis packed me into her car and drove me home. I slept most of the way. She didn’t say anything the entire car ride home. I didn’t care. The less she talked, the more I could concentrate on my sleep.
Ellis didn’t drop me off in front of the apartment complex. Nope, she dragged me, and I mean physically dragged me till we got to the elevators. When they opened, she dragged me inside.
Now I don’t know how much I had that night, but I knew I was beyond wasted. So, really I blame what I did next on the booze. I looked her over and though in a right state of mind I would have never dared do what I did, but I did it. I was too drunk to realize what I was doing. I looked at Ellis, checked her out and smiled. “So, you know babe, we could, you know, like hit that emergen –”
“Utter one more syllable and I’ll have you killed.1”
I stood back up straight as a broken arrow and kept my peace. I couldn’t believe I just tried to hit on Ellis! What the fuck’s wrong with me?
Ellis rang the doorbell and knocked softly as I stood behind her. Dad opened the door and the two of us stepped in. It was nearly five in the morning. He took one look at me and shook his head. He turned his attention to Ellis. “Thanks for bringing him home. . . Miss?”
“Ellis, Parker’s boss.” The two shook hands. “I’ve come here to discuss a matter with you and your wife.”
Dad showed Ellis into the living room before waking mom out of bed. Mom just glared at me as she sat down. Dad held onto her as she tried to battle her sleep deprived mind. Ellis cleared the air with her cough. “Your son has a problem.” She said. No one in the room, not even me, disagreed with that statement.
“We’ve been trying to get him to stop, but he’s just as stubborn as any Rain man in my family.” dad told Ellis. “It’s part of who we are.”
Ellis didn’t say anything to that. She knew my family history. I wouldn’t be surprised that she already knew about my lineage and how every Rain for four generations have had some type of drinking problem. “He’s either to shape up or he’ll lose his Delta status.”
I was shocked! I mean, how could she!?! After everything I had done for SIA! I was beyond pissed off after that announcement. What the hell was I going to do if I couldn’t be part of SIA? I couldn’t lose my Delta status, that’s like taking Bond’s 00 status. THIS ISN’T FAIR!
I moaned out my disapproval. I didn’t want to go get some help. I wanted to. . . . what? What did I want to do with the rest of my life?
Ellis, though, was on me faster than I could think another thought. “You ARE to get help Agent Rain!” She shouted.
“NO BUTS! If you want to work for SIA again, you will get sober and the help you need to do this job. I don’t need you to risk your damn life again!” She shouted and I gave her a dirty look. “Don’t you dare look at me like that Rain! I’ve been more lax on you lately than I should have. Now it’s time to man up.”
“She’s right, Parker. You need to get some help.” Dad added. “If you don’t go, you’re out of here. I won’t be supporting a dunk any longer.”
“Same goes with me.” Mom chimed in. “I love you Parker, but I can’t watch you drink yourself to an early grave.”
“Don’t I get a say at all?” I asked.
“NO!” They all yelled.
So, that was that. My almost nine month drinking spree was coming to an end. I was about to be shipped off to some rehab center. This time I knew it had to stick if I was ever going to work for SIA. Ellis had that fire in her eyes. This was not going to be a negotiation, this was an order I couldn’t refuse. It was to clean up or get lost.
I stood there and started to cry as I watched mom help Ellis gather things for me. Dad stared at me but didn’t say anything. He was just as pissed off as Ellis. I knew I had to show them I could get sober. Hell, maybe this time I should actually try to get the help I need rather than fight everyone about it.
1. Craig, D. (Actor). (2006). Casino Royale. [DVD].