Hazel doesn’t speak to me the next morning, and shame has me drinking harder. She doesn’t even come to wake me, just leaves me to sit and mull over the events from the day before. When I come out, she is sitting in the kitchen – and turns her head the other way. As I pass through, she grabs the phone and storms off to her room for another of her phone calls. She makes these more frequently now, and in my more paranoid moments I wonder why.
It has to be one of her school friends, she knows no one else. Sitting in the lounge room, I can’t hear anything. It upsets me that she hasn’t made any effort with me today, and perhaps I’ve run out of luck. Or maybe, she has someone else in her life. Maybe this phone call friend has become more important than me?
Stupid thoughts all of them, and I know it – but it still worries me. I sit and stew in quiet jealousy of an unknown person. I move about the kitchen noisily, trying to call her attention back. I slam my glass down on the table; scrape my chair on the floor. She doesn’t surface.
I shove the drinks down faster, trying to forget the day before – and drown out the new paranoia that has me gripped in this stupid pseudo-competition. When the world starts to spin, I call her name. She doesn’t come out. I stumble about the kitchen, thumping the table and call louder. Her bedroom door stays stubbornly closed. It’s only when I’m swaying involuntarily, gripping the table as everything moved around me.
‘Hazel!’ I called with a sense of urgency now. ‘Hazel, I don’t feel so good…’ I hear the door open. Relief floods through me.
‘You’re just drunk.’ She shouts across the house. ‘You’re just a stupid drunk.’
I can’t walk straight, but the words hit me enough to get a reaction. Just a stupid drunk? It’s clear enough that this doesn’t work anymore. If I want her to keep caring, I need to step up my game. I find the pills from the hospital and take six.
Hearing Hazel run out of her room as I collapse… it’s worth almost dying.