“Leave him alone, Chrissy.”
Chrissy thought it over. Daddy was slumped over and snoring in his recliner again this morning. Mom never acted like it was odd. Although the one time Chrissy started to talk about it in front of Granny Graham, Dad’s tipsy old mother, Mom grabbed her arm and pulled her into the pantry for a talking-to.
“Why doesn’t Daddy sleep upstairs with you, Mom?” Chrissy knew the answer but with the unerring aim of any canny eight-year-old liked watching Mom squirm. Or at least thought she did until this morning when that one got her one of Mom’s icy glares.
“Ask him yourself, you’re so smart. Now get your lunch or you’ll miss the bus again.”
Clive came to in the afternoon, head pounding and mouth grainy. He could tell the house was empty. Good. God willing, by the time Adele was back from whatever good works she was doing these days, he’d be showered and ready for her. As ready as possible, anyway.
He’d made it out of the chair and was halfway up the stairs when he heard the door. So much for God.
“Your daughter wanted to know why her drunken father was slumped over in the recliner this morning. Care to explain things to her or shall I?” Adele stood at the foot of the stairs, immaculate and bloodless. Clive nodded and resumed his shaky way up the stairs. There was never a right answer to Adele’s questions.
“Home, Clive?” This new driver had that hip, young, informal thing down and Clive never argued. Let Adele slap the kid around. Clive simply nodded.
Wasn’t that supposed to be a good thing? Sinking into the plush leather behind the tinted windows, Clive had a searing moment of missing his Ferrari. That red terror made everything he’d given up in this marriage 100% A-ok. But that last DUI with the high five-digit legal bills as well as the other guy’s hospital bills, well, that was the end of the Ferrari. Adele saw to that.
Clive felt his cellphone buzz and checked. Chrissy. He just wasn’t up for whatever she was going to chatter about and let it go to voice mail. He had hoped that as she got older, he would have more in common with her, more to share. Fat chance. Day by day his daughter was becoming a walking, talking copy of Adele, right down to joining The Junior League.
Why he married Adele was no mystery. He’d been pushing 30 and had nothing more than a very old and prestigious name to bring to the party. Adele’s parents, dripping with new real estate money, were more keen about that name business than she was, but by their second date, Adele knew she’d be running things.
She was right.
Clive checked his courier bag for tonight’s bottle. Good.
© Remington Write 2020. All Rights Reserved.
In August 2020, AleXander Hirka set himself the challenge of creating a daily digital collage based on an image and a concept. The image is that of the antique Omega watch that belonged to his Mom and the concept is Time. In September 2020, the Anomalous Duo is challenging themselves to write a short piece of fiction for each collage — the Our Hours project.