Life doesn’t have to be as easy as a piece in a cake all the time. My life got turned up-side-down when my mum started drinking. She could disappear in the middle of the day and don’t show up again before many days had pasted. There were times when I had to call around to her friends, to ask if they had seen her or if she was at their place. Sometimes she came home drunk as a skunk, and didn’t care anything for the people around her. This went on and on, and no one could help her, until…
As soon as I got into our house, I yelled out:” Mum!!?” to check if she was home.
No one answered me.
I took of my jacket and shoes and looked around. The place looked like a bomb had crashed. It was mess everywhere, not that I wasn’t used to it. I walked silently through the hall which led to the living room.
Five empty bottles and one half-empty bottle was standing on the table, three were lying on the floor. In the corner of the room my little sister Lily was sitting. Fortunately she was unhurt. She just sat there for herself and painted a picture on a piece of paper. Mum was out of sight, but I knew just what she had been up to. I started to clean up the bottles and emptied the one which wasn’t drunk up. The anger started to rise inside me; it filled my heart and soul with a warm, irritating heat that wouldn’t leave. I got angry because I didn’t really understand why she was doing this to herself and the people close to her.
Basically, it all started the day my dad died in a car-accident. He spent four days on hospital, before the doctors confirmed that he had been dead since the first day. They had kept him artificial alive by using machines and oxygen, and the reason was to keep mum calmed down because she got sick of watching him dead. Therefore, my mom became a daily drinker, or more naturally known as an alcoholic.
From the corner I heard a light voice, which called me out of the thought of dad.
“Scottie….look at my painting, isn’t it nice?”
Strangely enough Lily didn’t seem to bother with what mum was doing. Perhaps she was too young to understand anything of it; she was only four.
I went over and lifted her up, while I looked at the picture. It showed a little girl and a bigger boy holding hands under a bright yellow sun who wore a happy smile.
“That’s you…” Lily pointed on the boy and soon moved the finger to the girl and explained:”….and that’s me” She smiled, and her face shined happily just as the sun on the picture. Our relationship was very close, since I was the one who cared the most for her.
“You hungry?” I asked and she nodded so hard that her ponytail went up and down as if she was standing on the ground jumping.
The kitchen wasn’t anymore cleaner than the living-room, so I decided to take Lily with me out and bring her to Mrs. Branson. Mrs. Branson was an old lady who knew about mum’s alcoholic problems. She lived over the street and used to look after Lily, when mum’s condition was bad.
When I had delivered Lily, I took the bike and cycled it down to the town. I went directly to my favourite café: “Polly’s Diner”. Inside it I bought me a burger and a Coke for dinner. While I was ordering I heard a well known voice behind me.
“Hey, Scott!! Come and sit down here!”
I turned around and saw my friend Tommy and his girlfriend Chamber sitting by a table. They were celebrating Chambers new apartment. She’s not really my type, but I decided to sit with them anyway.
“We’re heading for the cinema later, you know… wanna join us?” Tommy’s question came as a bombshell, I couldn’t say yes because of Lily, but I didn’t want to tell them about that.
“Uhh…what movie?” fell out of me.
“The new James Bond movie, its really cool!” Chamber was the one who was talking now.
“Uhm…I’ve already seen it” I lied and started to eat my burger.
“Oh, what’s it about then?”
This was really annoying, I thought, but still I answered the question:
“Nothing special, its just like those other James Bond movies, you know, action and a lot of women.”
Tommy nodded and told me that they had to head for the movie now, if they were going to reach it.
Left as I was, I ate my burger and went home. The clock had turned around half past 8 now.
Mrs. Branson said goodnight to me and Lily as I took her back. At home my mum still hadn’t showed up, and I thought it was best to get Lily in bed.
As I walked in to the living room I saw a note lying on one of the chairs. It was the house bill, and it described that mum hadn’t paid the house for the last three months. Now I knew why she had acted so weird lately. Furthermore I guess she didn’t cared enough to pay it, she didn’t even have a job.
I wished she could only realize that the drinking didn’t drown her sorrows, it made them worse. If only she could realize this, then perhaps we could become a normal family again. When dad lived, we used to go camping up at the mountains and we did stuff that regular family’s do. But now, if I ask mum for a camping-trip or anything, she just go like: “yeah, yeah! Go on and do some camping you”. She just wouldn’t listen, and sometimes she just sat there mumbling out in the air like she was in a small trance.
Dad was the kind of person who liked to live on the edge, he expressed this life-style by saying:
“You gotta live life to the fullest as long as you got a life!” He loved to get the adrenalin pumping, and two of the things he liked the most were sky-diving and rafting.
Next day came and mum still hadn’t arrived back home. However, I started making some food for me and Lily. While I was making the food, I turned on the TV. Lily sat with the table and played with her little doll. Breakfast was something that I thought were the easiest food to make, especially if you got corn-flakes and milk.
We ate our breakfast, and when I was about to clean of the table I heard from the news-reporter on the TV: “…the car drove as fast as 160km/h, and the woman inside died instantly. For our holiday next weekend try a trip to….” I tuned the TV on for some cartoons for Lily, as I thought about what I had already heard. Maybe it was a relative, was the thought I had floating in my mind, but I pushed it away. People died everyday, it happened all the time. Lily was miles away into the “cartoon-world”, so I decided to just take a small trip down to the town to buy some dinner for later.
“Finally” I thought as I saw a car at our house. All I could think about was that now mum was arrived home again. As I got closer the hope turned down a little, it wasn’t mum’s car that was standing in our drive. Perhaps somebody had driven her home.
A police car! The fear started to fill up inside me, as I thought about what the police did at our place. Lily came running toward me, and hid behind me. Soon I saw a policeman appearing in our doorway. He looked over and waved me in; I stood still for a second before I walked over to him with Lily dangling after me.
“Are you Mrs. Granger’s son?”
My trout were dry as a desert, and I had to swallow before I told the man with the badge:
“Yup, that’s me…”
“Your mum was in a car-accident, and I’m sorry to say, she didn’t make it” The man stood there with a too serious look in his face, so I thought he was only joking.
“No …And I’ll have to bring you two down to the Child Service, and they’ll fix a new family for you!”
“What a bastard!” I thought. “How could he just come here, tell us our mum had died, and then tell us to get a new family fixed? And in front of Lily, who understands just as much as I did!”
Lily cried all the way down to the Children Service house. I tried to calm her down, but she only screamed louder, “I want mummy!!!”
On the Children Service house a woman asked us a bunch of question about our mum and our life; I told her about my dad who’d died, but I didn’t mention the alcoholism and beating.
After the “interview” we had to sit in a room and wait for a while. Hours went by, and Lily fell asleep. Suddenly, a woman came in and sat beside me.
“It’s been a misunderstanding…” she told me.
“What kinda misunderstanding?” I asked slowly.
“Well, it wasn’t your mum who was in the car accident…”
“It wasn’t??!” I yelled happy, and saw if I had woken up Lily, but luckily she was still sleeping. “It wasn’t….?” I asked again, with a calmer voice.
“No, she lived in another part of the city than we thought.”
My heart was almost collapsing, it didn’t beat naturally cause of my happiness. I asked carefully if she knew where mum was and she gave someone a sign to come in. Sober and unhurt mum came in; she hugged me and asked if I was okay.
Her behaviour scared me; she was so kind and caring. Lily woke up and ran over to her and mum lifted her up and kissed her. On the way home she told me that she was going to stop drinking, I didn’t quite believe her in the beginning since she had been talking about stopping almost every time she did anything stupid. This time it was serious. She told me that last night she had decided to go to the Anonymous Alcoholic meetings and that’s why she didn’t show up. I didn’t quite understand this but….
Every Monday night she went to the AA meetings down at the Social Centre and I never saw her drinking at home more. Perhaps when she went out, but never in front of me and Lily.