September 21st 2019
I sit alone in my perfectly organized house, immaculate due to an abundance of idle time. I glance at the clock which reads 3am I force myself to get up off the couch. I rinse my ice cream bowl. I wonder to myself what mood will he be in if he chooses to return from this bender on this morning. I start my bedtime routine by going upstairs and washing my face, getting into pajamas and tucking myself into bed. My only company, our loyal dog Waylen who nestles on my feet at the base of the bed. I feel anxious, worried he is dead. But then part of me feels relieved because I don’t have to deal with anything crazy this morning before work.
As I drift off to sleep I am awoken by the muffled sound of a loud exhaust through the dense falling snow. I get up and run to the bedroom window. I see Andy’s truck. Oh no! Trent’s home. I rush downstairs while wrapping my heavy fleece rob around myself. I put on my ugg boots so I can walk onto the front porch.
I stand by in dismay as Andy gets out of his truck. I don’t see anyone in the passenger seat. Then Andy comes around the back of his truck and drops the tailgate. He tugs at something to dislodge it from the deep snow on the bed of his truck. A body comes sliding off the truck and lands with a thud in the snowbank at the end of my driveway. I recognize Trent’s lifeless body. Andy looks at me with a long drawn face. “He’s all yours, I can’t take anymore tonight.”
“What do you mean? What happened?” I yearn for answers. Trent has been gone for over 24 hours and I have had no contact. I had sent a million text messages with no response.
Andy replies “We’ve been at hunting camp. He got into an argument with another guy at camp. So I decided I would offer him a ride home. But in the truck he started pointing his loaded gun out the window and threatening to shoot into random houses as we drove by. Then I wrestled him into the back of the truck which wasn’t much of a fight. His gun is in my truck I’m taking it with me. Tell him he can call me in the morning for it. When he’s sober.”
I look at Trent’s frozen body. His lips are purple. “What am I supposed to do with him? I can’t leave him here and I sure as hell can’t carry him in the house.”
“I will get him in the house. Then I’m done.” Andy states. He then grabs him by the ankles as if he were a dead deer being dragged ready for hanging and butchering. Trent’s body leaves a trail through the fresh fallen snow. Andy doesn’t even hesitate when he reaches the front steps swiftly he drags Trent’s body his head bouncing off each step. He pulls him far enough into the entry way to close the door.
“Andy, I need more information. Who did he get into the fight with? Why was he trying to hurt innocent people on the drive home?”
Andy simply asks “You got a joint?” I quickly retrieve one. We sit together and smoke while Trent’s body thaws on the floor. As he slowly exhales a big cloud of smoke he looks at me with his giant dark eyes and says “I’m just so exhausted. I will tell you more tomorrow. I need to get home to bed.” As Andy pulls away I watch his truck lights disappear in the thick falling snow. Then I kneel down beside Trent and lay my head on his chest. He is breathing and his heart is beating. I decide it’s best to leave him where he lies for the night.
I once again climb into my comfy bed with Waylen at my side. When suddenly I am awoken to a hard cold object pressing on my forehead. I gasp. I open my eyes and there is Trent standing beside our bed with a riffle between my eyes. I slide to the other side of the bed as I sit up. He then points the gun at Waylen and says “I will kill him, then you and then myself.”
My mind starts racing. Where did he get the gun? Andy said he took his gun with him. Then I remember there was another behind the freezer in the laundry room. Fuck. Why is he so mad? Waylen is crouching in fear and shivering. The only thing I know to do is to be normal. So I say “Are you hungry? Can I make you something to eat?”
He screams like there is a demon inside of him. “Fuuuuuck you, you will never understand me!”
“I want to try so please just let me make you something to eat and we can talk about it.” I then get out of bed and head downstairs to the kitchen. He follows close on my heels with the gun tucked under his forearm. He is so drunk he needs to lean against the wall as he stubbles down the stairs. I fumble around the kitchen trying to prepare a grilled cheese but I’m shaking so bad and my mind is spinning. He stands in the doorway to the kitchen swaying trying to focus his eyes. I decide this is my moment I lunge toward him to grab the gun. I get a firm hold with both hands and being twisting and pulling. I rip it free. I run for the front door and throw it into the deep snow.
“You stupid bitch” he slurs. He then tries to push me aside to retrieve the gun. I run ahead of him and try to bury it in the snow. I am in my pajamas and the snow is so cold it burns my finger tips as I vigorously continue to dig. Suddenly I feel the weight of his body on top of me. He presses my face into the freezing snow. It feels like needles are ripping away my skin. Then I feel his fingers dig into my side as he flip me onto my back. He pins my hands down over my head and his face is inches from mine. “Come on honey, let’s go to bed, I want to hold your sexy body.” His breath reeks of alcohol. He gets off me and takes my hand to help me up out of the snow. I take his hand grateful he has stopped trying to find the gun.
We climb into our bed and he spoons me from behind. He falls asleep quickly and I feel his breath on the back of my neck and it sends shivers down my spine with every exhale. I can’t even close my eyes. I just wait for an hour till I have to get up for work.
My alarm sounds at 6am. I get up like any other day and shower, do my hair, do my make-up. I check on him before I leave and he is peacefully snoring under the covers in our bed. As I drive into the clear morning after the storm I blare my music in my shit box 1986 Jetta and I begin to cry. Tears which carry so much pain. Pained not from the traumatic experience of the night before. But rather pained because this is not the first time an incident like this has happened but this is the worst experience thus far. I cry because I know this is the beginning of the end. I cry because I know I must muster up unimaginable strength. I cry because I’m scared of what’s to come if I don’t. And worst of all I cry because I love him.