Hello, My Name Is...

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story of a woman named Abby who overcomes her alcoholism.

Submitted: May 28, 2011

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Submitted: May 28, 2011

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Hello, My Name Is…
 
The kitchen is dark, and the only light comes from the digital clock on the oven. There’s groaning coming from the floor; Abby is in a drunken stupor, with a bottle still in her hand. Buzzing makes its presence known, and Abby reaches for her purse. She is clumsily searches for the source in the black hole that is her purse. Pouring the contents out of her Prada hand bag, Abby slams her hand over the buzzing phone on the floor, opens it upside down, and answers with a loud “Hello?” she receives no response, “I think you have the wrong number!” She says, and tosses her phone to the floor.
Abby wrestles with gravity and the effects of vodka now as she tries to stand. Abandoning her bottle of booze, she places both hands on the floor for balance. She fails her attempt to stand, and instead curls up on the floor to sleep.
***
Sun shines through the kitchen window, and warms the sleeping face of hung-over Abby. Her face twitches a bit, and she pushes off of the floor, wiping dried saliva from her face with the back of her hand. “Shower,” she says groggily. “I need to shower.”
As Abby climbs out of the shower, and wraps herself in a white fuzzy towel. She begins her walk to her closet, and hits her toe on the corner of the door. Biting her lower lip, and gripping her foot, she holds back on shouting out a long list of profanities.
Abby’s long blonde hair looks brown with its water saturation. Her blue eyes are blood shot, and her skin looks old despite her young age. Tearing through tangles in her hair with a brush, she is able to put it up into a ballerina bun atop her head.
 Blindly, she dresses in her closet for her day off. Even though her bright pink “breast cancer awareness” shirt doesn’t match her navy blue sweats, she makes it work.
Lethargically, she walks to her bed and pulls back the covers. Easing herself into the warmth and comfort her blankets offer her, she curls into a ball, and holds her eyes closed tightly. She’s fighting the tears so close to spilling out through closed lids, she squeezes her eyes tighter; she doesn’t want these tears, they come from self-hatred at how badly she knows she’s failing herself. Abby doesn’t want to drink anymore. She doesn’t want to keep killing herself slowly, and doesn’t want to keep forgetting nights that she goes and parties.
She is relaxing now, and her tears began to stream down her cheeks, over her nose, and then dive to her pillow. Sleep now tugs at Abby’s consciousness, and she drifts off to sleep.
***
Abby’s alarm chimes out at 6 am sharp in an obnoxious, rhythmic screech. From under lumpy covers, a hand flies out and slams down on the alarm. Silence. “Ugh,” groans a sleepy Abby. Covers move a little, and then fly off of her, revealing disheveled hair. “It’s too damn early for work…” Her limbs move like they are stiff as she actuates herself from bed, tossing one leg over the side of the king size bed, then the other. Resting her elbows on her knees, she holds her head for a moment then rubs her face and wills herself to get up and get dressed.
***
Phones ring and keys on keyboards are being tapped. Nothing is being said to one another outside of pure business. On the outside, nobody could tell she has a drinking problem. Her hair is put perfectly into place; on this day it is half up, half down, allowing her bangs to frame her pale face. The rest falls behind her in blonde curls. Abby wears a fitted brown work suit with a cream colored camisole underneath. The pants of the suit covered the tops of her heels, which are most definitely not meant for walking in.
Abby keeps nothing on her desk, nothing but her work computer, keyboard, phone, and a fresh cup of coffee.
A man with an expensive suit stops at the face of the cubical. He leans against the makeshift wall, his arms crossing over his chest.
“Abby, will you come to my office please. We need to have a little chat,” says Mr. Well-dressed.
Abby’s fingers pause on her keys as she turns to him. “Sure thing Mr. Buckley,” says Abby, rising from her chair. Adjusting her suit, she readies herself to follow Mr. Buckley.
***
“How are you today Abby? It’s been a while since we’ve actually spoken. Everything is well I presume?” Mr. Buckley asks with a friendly smile that dances on his mouth as he speaks.
“Why, yes everything is well,” Abby says with a sincere smile touches her lips.
“That’s good to hear,” Mr. Buckley says, his smile fading now.
Mr. Buckley sighs, and touches his hand to his head.
“What’s all of this about Dale?” asks Abby.
He sighs again, and replies to Abby with, “Well, I’m afraid someone has complained about you.”
“Complained of what?”
“Someone has complained that they could smell liquor on you.”
“Are you kidding me? Someone actually said that?”
“Yes, someone did. I have to take this seriously, Abby; I suggest you take some time off while we look into the statements that have been said…” Mr. Buckley says to Abby, a stern look on his face.
“I see…” Abby’s eyes are welling with tears now. Her addiction has never interfered with work, and yet now her world is tumbling down around her.
“I’m sorry, Abby, I really am,” Mr. Buckley is rising from his seat now, and walking toward Abby. “You need to leave the campus now, Abby.” He touches her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her; she shrugs off his hand and rises to her feet.
“Okay, I’ll go,” Abby states, clinging on to what little pride she has left.
“I know you probably won’t call, but if you need anything, you know you can call,” Mr. Buckley says to her, his one last attempt at comforting her.
“Thank you.”
Abby walks toward the door, holding her head up high. She’s not going to let this get to her.
***
She pushes open the barred door, and the bell gives a little jingle as it is jostled with movement.
“Hey, Patty,” the store owner with dreadlocks says to her.
“It’s Abby,” she says curtly, and walks down an aisle of liquor in fancy bottles.
“Abby, Patty, it’s really all the same thing in reality.”
“No, Phil, not really…”
Abby picks one bottle up, looks at the date, and sets it back down. She ventures down into the next aisle, finally finding what she wants. Grabbing four bottles of ABSOLUT vodka, she walks back to the counter where Phil is flipping through an outdated cars magazine.
“You ready Abbs?” Phil asks her, his sparkling green eyes never leaving the page.
“Yes, I am, and I’m in a hurry,” Abby says while tapping her foot at a perfect, yet impatient pace.
***
Home alone, Abby cracks the seal on one of the four bottles. Tears spill over her cheeks, and a sour look is pasted onto her face. The cap spins off, and Abby’s hand tightly grips the neck of the clear glass bottle. She puts the bottle to her lips, and drinks for a long moment.
Taking off her heels, and begins to walk toward the living room. She walks sluggishly, weighed down by sadness. Abby unbuttons her work jacket, pulls it from her shoulders, and drops it on the floor. Pushing one foot in front of the other, she makes it to her destination, and lands rather hard on her leather couch; she sighs, allows her head to roll back, and then decides to drink a little more.
“I can’t believe this,” Abby says to herself quietly, and as she says it, she has tears rolling down her face. Picking her head up, she lifts the bottle to her lips, and take another long pull.
The sadness is now changing to rage; rage that is probably caused by denial of her problem, or from being caught and sent home.
“He has no idea what he has done. Dale is such an idiot,” Abby says, anger tinges her words.
“That place will fall apart without me; I do the most work there,” Abby‘s anger is rising, and she drinks more; her words are slurring now.
Abby gets up quickly, and starts pacing the room. She staggers even though in her mind she thinks she’s walking with her purpose like anyone else who’s ever paced a room. Another pull from the bottle and it’s empty. She turns quickly, tripping over her own feet as her mind set is changing to just getting her next drink.
 Abby makes her way to the kitchen, and once her foot makes contact with the smooth granite, she slips. On the way down, she is able to pull a bottle down with her, the phone, and a glass bowl the smashes and imbeds itself into her leg; as she falls, and she lands on her wrist. She lies there, with blue eyes that the alcohol intensifies, making them ever so striking; staring at the ceiling which she now realizes needs to be cleaned. Abby makes a mental note.
There’s a dial tone, and seconds later the operator answers with a “Hello,” and receives no response. The operator sounds worried after waiting a few moments and hearing grunting induced by pain on Abby’s end. The operator hangs up, and dials 911.
Lights flash, and Abby is looking ill. Her eyes search the unfamiliar faces as they come into her line of sight. In the distance she can hear the sirens, and sees blue and red flash into her house. They start to move Abby from the floor to the stretcher, her head lolls to one side, and she loses consciousness.
***
It seems like days, but truth be told it’s only been a few hours. Cords and monitors are connected to her, an IV line drips slowly. She seems serene; a silent peace draping over her in a light veil as her chest rises and falls in perfect rhythm.
The room surrounding the sleeping Abby is cream colored and sterile. Warm air spills in through open windows, causing her to wrinkle her nose in her unconsciousness. A doctor with a vacant face walks in, flipping through the pages in the clip board he holds, he shows a snarky smile, and then he checks her vitals and leaves the room.
Abby’s eyes flutter open, and Mr. Buckley is sitting in the chair adjacent to the railed hospital bed that she is laying in.
“Wh-what happened?” Abby asks with a raspy voice.
“You were drinking, I’m assuming from anger since it’s only eight pm, and you left work seven hours ago. You fell, and knocked over a phone at the same time; you got some pretty nice bruises going on there Abby,” Mr. Buckley looks at Abby with irked interest.
“Oh… I’m sorry they called you in here,” Abby says, her voice a bit stronger than before.
“Not to worry, I was only eating dinner when I got the call,” he says, a crooked grin taking the place of his serious, tight lipped expression.
“Way to make me feel worse Dale…” Abby says, only mildly irritated by his remark. “When do I get to leave?”
“A few more moments, and they say your vitals are stable and that your liver isn’t too damaged,” He gets quiet, and his eyes look as if the thoughts running through his mind are taking him to a faraway place. “Will you hear me out Abby? I need you to get better, I need you to go to rehab, or AA, or something, but I can’t lose you. You’re not just my employee; you’re also one of my friends.”
A tear or two traces the curve of Abby’s cheek, “I need to. I know… It’s going to be really hard. Will you help me?”
“I wouldn’t be here if I weren’t ready to help you,” and with that, Dale Buckley leaves the room.
***
It’s cold, and her eyes are tinged with red. Withdrawal; Abby’s hands are shaking, and all she can do to lessen the look of what’s happening is to knot her fingers together repeatedly, almost like a nervous habit, which is what it probably is.
As she stands the chair she is sitting in scrapes the floor causing an unpleasant sound, she makes eye contact with every single person in the circle, and in her stomach all she can feel is fear. She takes a deep breath, and slowly, ever so slowly, releases it.
She drops her hands and says, “Hello, my name is Abby, and I’m an alcoholic.”

The group of men and women alike sing out in understanding, “Hi Abby."


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