My hands were trembling, and my stomach was a mess of butterflies as I unbuckled the car seat and bounced my daughter over my hip. I desperately wished I had a drink to calm my nerves. Lately, purse- sized bottles of wine had become my best friend. Just enough to settle the jitters, but not enough to make me sloppy. As we trundled up the short flight of stairs to the mudroom entrance children’s laughter and screams punctuated the crisp fall air. The door opened with a heavy thud.
A small blonde boy of about six announced our arrival, “Mommmmmmmm!”
A few moments later Misty arrived carrying her diaper-clad daughter.
“Here, I can take her while you get your coat off,” she said, removing my child from my arms before I had a chance to reply. I followed her into her cramped living room. We set the girls down on the large area rug before taking a seat on the couch. My surroundings were shocking, to say the last, but I tried my best to hide my dismay for the sake of being polite. A Christmas tree decorated with Halloween decorations stood in one corner of the room. A large heavy oak table dominated the other side of the room, next to the kitchen. It was covered in bits and pieces of arts and crafts, what looked to be bills, and several plates of unfinished food. The floor was littered with piles of toys, and bins of paperwork. But in the midst of it all, Misty appeared unfazed, calm even.
“So tell me what brings you here,” she said as she relaxed into the overstuffed couch cushions.
“Well…well…” I stammered, “I was thinking about getting another tattoo.”
“Why do you want another tattoo?”
“Well, I’m going through a bit of a rough patch right now… I just really want to feel like myself again.”
I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks and I wondered why I had hinted at unhappiness to a total stranger.
“What does your boyfriend think about you getting another tattoo?”
“I haven’t really told him,” I admitted. This part was true, he wasn’t a fan of anything that made me feel attractive or confident. He often reminded me that without him I would amount to nothing in this life. Another tattoo felt rebellious and somewhat reckless, but I was at the point of not caring what he thought. I was instigating change with my behavior and as far as I was concerned, no one could stop me.
“I’m curious why you were on a single moms group on Facebook if you and your boyfriend are still together?” My head snapped back into the present. Damn…nothing gets past this girl, her awareness was flabbergasting!
“I honestly don’t know how much longer we’ll be together, things have been hard for us since our daughter was born,” my face felt like it was on fire now.
“Well, we have a spare room. Cecily is never in there, she always wants to be in my bed where she can nurse 24/7,” Misty chuckled.
I was thrown off-guard by Misty’s offer, I had literally just met the girl and now she was opening her home to me. But somehow, it didn’t feel scary. It felt….possible. Maybe it was desperation, maybe it was curiosity, maybe it was pure insanity, but whatever it was I felt compelled to accept her offer.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes of course! Just give me the rest of the day to clear a few things out and then it’s all yours!” She reached out and touched my arm, giving it a reassuring squeeze before another piercing yell cut through the tenderness of the moment.
“Evan, I swear to god if you slam that door ONE MORE TIME!!!” Misty jumped up from the couch and stomped towards her son’s room. The girls were by the Halloween tree, yanking at some low-hanging decorations. Whatever this is it could really help us baby girl, I thought as I gazed at my giggling daughter. For just a moment the tightness in my chest didn’t feel so oppressive.
About the Author:
Kezia Calvert is a published author, teacher, speaker, wife, mother, recovering people pleaser and perfectionist, and woman in recovery. Kezia graduated from the University of Reading, in the U.K., with an undergrad in English Literature. She later completed a post-graduate certificate in Human Resources Management, and numerous cognitive behavioral therapy coaching certificates. Kezia was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, but has also lived in the U.K., Kelowna, B.C., and Toronto, Ontario. Kezia now resides in sunny Pennsylvania with her husband James, 8 year-old daughter, Harper, and senior cat Cleo. In 2022 Kezia founded her business, Kezia Calvert Creative where she facilitates self-discovery writing workshops for men and women across the globe. Kezia is currently writing her memoir, as well as a work of fiction. Kezia loves connecting with people in the sobriety community, so please feel free to reach out!
You can find Kezia on Instagram@thesoberelephantchronicles Instagram Link where she offers daily sobriety support, motivation, and inspiration. She has been sober since November 1st, 2020.
Website: keziacalvertcreative.com Check out her site here
If anyone would like to order a copy of "My Last Hangover" email me at: Keziacalvertwriter@gmail.com