Afraid of losing her again, Dan reached out to grab her. She backed away from him, eyes sad and weary. She shook her head and Dan burst into tears. Christ, he loved her so much! He got out of bed and stumbled toward her as she backed away toward the open closet.
"Emily." He croaked and reached out for her again.
Emily dodged his groping hands and shook her head again. She would not speak and this in itself drove Dan to the point of rage. Although he couldn't be mad at her. What did she do anyway to deserve malice? Nothing. She was the innocent one here, not he. If he should be mad at someone it should be himself.
"Em, oh Em. I love you." He whispered.
A smile bloomed on her pale face just then and he couldn't help the warmth spreading through his body. She loved him as well. He knew she did, but once, just once he'd like to hear it spoken. He knew that was impossible, of course, but he could wish could he? Yes. Yes, he could wish for it. He could hope. But Emily remained silent, her smile fading.
Dan coughed, turned and took up the half empty bottle of Jack Daniels from the nightstand beside his bed. He spun back around, swaying on his feet. She was still there, looking at him with those large lovely eyes of her. He noted both pity and sorrow swimming in them, but ignored it. Dan wrapped his lips around the mouth of the bottle and upturned it. He chugged down a couple gulps and set the bottle back down on the nightstand.
"Em." He murmured and turned back to look at her.
She was frowning now.
"Em...I. Em I can't stop. I want to. But I can't." For being drunk his words flowed out of him without much slurring.
Emily's frown deepened.
"Em." Dan said and stepped closer to her. "Em, I need...you need to help me. The kids, they see this. They see this and know their daddy's a drunk. Heal me, Em. Please."
He dropped to his knees before her, tears building in his eyes. She looked down at him and for a moment he couldn't tell what she might be thinking or feeling. After a moment, she shook her head. Then she turned to leave.
"No! No Em! Don't go! Don't leave me! Please.."
She turned then. A smile like a billion diamonds lengthened on her face and then her lips puckered as she blew him a kiss.
"No, no, no. Don't go."
But she was gone even before he finished. She simply walked out.
Dan awoke the next morning on the floor of his bedroom. His head thrummed and his stomach felt tired and weak. Had last night even happened? He didn't know, and was afraid to even think about it. He sat up and looked at the digital alarm clock on his night stand. 12:00 PM, it read. Holy Christ, he thought, I over slept! He'd have to call work. But first he needed to see if the kids had gotten up for school today. God he hoped so. Another lecture by their princable just might drive him Loony Tunes.
Then his eyes drift to the bottle of Jack Daniels beside the alarm clock. There they stay. He got up off the floor with a groan and picked the bottle up. He looked at the amber liquid sloshing around inside and grimaced. All of a sudden just the sight of it made him sick to his stomach.
Dan dumped the bottle down the kitchen sink after checking if the kids went to school or not, they did thank God. That done, he went to the refrigerator and took out the six pack of Old Milwaukee he kept in the bottom drawer. HE cracked each open and dumped them too down the drain.
"Back to hell with you." He said and actually laughed at that.
A while later he saton the edge of his bed looking down at a newspaper clipping. The headline read: Wife and Mother of Two Killed in Blizzard
"Thank you Em." He said. "You healed me even though you couldn't. I love you." In his other hand he held their wedding photo. He kissed her and began to weep.