Shannon Bolithoe : A Writing Life

One More Drink

Why couldn’t she have just got me the drink when I asked her to? Just one more drink. That’s all I asked for.

He sat heavily down on the bed, his chest heaving, beer and adrenaline racing through his blood.

‘Stupid fucking bitch,’ he muttered and leaning forward put his head in his hands.

Was it too much to ask for just one day in the year that I can have for myself? Race day at Bathurst has always been special for me, ever since I was a little kid. Mum always understood. Why doesn’t Sharon? But no, she always has to bitch and complain. Every year it’s the same. Why did he have to control the TV all weekend? Why did she have to get the KFC and beer, when she didn’t even like it? Why couldn’t he get off his fat arse and get it himself? Why did the kids have to spend the weekend at her mother’s place?

He could hear her nagging, irritating voice in his head. ‘Why, why, why?’ It was her crack about his beergut that was the final straw.

It’s not as if she’s any fashion model herself. Who gave her the right to criticise me? Don’t I work two jobs just so she can sit on her fat arse all day minding the kids? I deserve at least one weekend a year without the kids whining in my ear, a cold beer in hand and some KFC to pig out on.

He looked down at where Sharon lay on the floor, her head tilted at an unnatural angle, a streak of blood running from her nose to her swollen mouth.

She looks like one of Cindy’s Barbie dolls after Josh has finished playing with it. 

He felt his temper rising again at the thought of how she had pushed him to do it.

‘I’m not going down the road to get you any more beer. You’ve already had enough, and I have this costume to make for Cindy’s preschool play,’ she’d whined when he asked her to go to the shops.

‘You know I can’t go. I can’t afford to lose my license if I get caught by the coppers,’ he’d explained, trying to stay calm. He thought it was quite a reasonable request and he was completely unprepared when she screamed back at him.

‘No. No. No. Piss off and leave me alone!’

‘Please Sharon, I just need one more six-pack. That will get me to the end of the race.’ He put his arms around her and kissed her neck.

Wasn’t I kind and loving, just like she always says she wants me to be?

‘I said no. Stop mauling me. You’re so disgusting when you’re drunk. You don’t need any more. You’ve already got a big enough beer gut as it is.’ Her face had been bright red and furious as she screamed at him and shoved him away. He had hit his head on the corner of the cupboard as he fell, caught off balance by the strength of her push.

That’s when he snapped. What followed was a blur in his mind now; her screaming and running from him through the house, him punching and chasing her. Just before he hit her the last time he remembered feeling as if his head would explode. Then he’d picked her up and thrown her against the wall.

How was I supposed to know she was going to fall like that? I didn’t mean to kill her.

The rage was gone now, but resentment still simmered in his guts.

Look at what she’s made me do. It was her own fault, though. After all these years, she should have known not to push my buttons.

Why did she have to be such a stuck up bitch about my drinking anyway, just because she doesn’t like to drink? What’s wrong with her? How could she not like a nice cold beer? It always makes me feel so relaxed and happy, ever since the first drink my father gave me when I was a kid; unless someone gives me the shits, of course. But then, if they don’t like getting their heads punched in they shouldn’t annoy me.

The sound of the police siren finally caught his attention.

On no, don’t tell me that stupid old woman next door has called the cops again. Why can’t she keep her nose out of my business?

He lay back on the bed and stared at the ceiling, wondering what was going to happen next.

‘Bitch,’ he said through clenched teeth, beginning to shake with fear and anger. ‘She’s finally succeeded in making me miss the race. Bathurst Day is going to be ruined forever now.’