Her Secret*

It had become more than a necessity.

It was now her crutch.

It was more than taking the edge off, it was her coping mechanism.

She was lonely, tired, stressed out and didn't care.

Beer, wine and the occasional shot of J├Ągermeister wasn't cutting it anymore.

Never much of a drinker before motherhood or all of the disappointments and responsibilities, she learned to acquire a taste.

She used to believe that she wouldn't smell like alcohol if she drank vodka, because vodka is unflavored. It's made from the finest winter wheat and the softest glacier waters.

She soon learned this was nonsense. Vodka is hugely alcoholic (80 proof) and she wreaked of a distillery after drinking it.

She rarely saw her husband, he traveled most weekdays and on the weekends, they tried their best to stay out of each others way. Neither of them could remember the last time they had a conversation which involved looking into each others eyes.

She tended to the children and each of their every single needs; speech therapy, birthday parties, play dates, swimming lessons, laundry, meals... the list was never ending and overwhelming.

She did her best to hide the smell from the children and anyone else she had to come in contact with by carrying Altoids and other minty gums, hard candy and throat lozenges. She claimed she had terrible allergies that gave her a scratchy throat. Halls brand cough drops were the best to disguise the stench.

She was beautiful once. A prom queen. An aspiring attorney, doctor, scientist. She could have been anything, but only completed two and half years of college and married the first guy that asked her to. She was pregnant before their first anniversary and had two more children immediately following. They were 4, 2, and 9 months.

This week's bottle was from Russia with love:

1894 St. Petersburg
Imperia Russian Vodka
Crystal Quartz
Filtered
40% alcohol by volume 750 ml.

It should last her three days.

There were many days that were a complete blur. Days when she couldn't account for a single thing she said or did. She missed lunch dates, doctor appointments, pick-ups and drop offs. She tended to the kids, but her needs always came first. She was numb and she liked it that way.

Hidden way back in the cupboard, behind the multiple boxes of cereal, an old broken coffee maker and the glass cake plate that only was used three times a year, for each of her children's birthdays, is where she kept her secret.

She let out an audible sigh of relief just reaching for it. Except today, is was empty.

She panicked as she wondered, how did that happen? She had just cracked it open the night before.

Scurrying around the house, she knew there had to be another bottle somewhere.

She checked under the sink.

Empty.

Her underwear drawer.

Empty.

The diaper bag.

Empty.

The back of the toilet.

Empty.

How much had she drank today? She didn't want to know.

She only wanted more.

She would have to leave the children alone in front of the television and make a run to the liquor store.

Again.

*While I have been known to enjoy a bloody Mary or cranberry vodka with no less than three limes from time to time, this post is purely fiction. And the bottle I found in my pantry is probably over three years old!

This post is for The Red Dress Club's writing meme, Red Writing Hood. This weeks prompt is: grab something out of your pantry and write a short piece - using all the words in the ingredients. It can be fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose.

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