Drinking Hole – a Short Story

A loud thunk of glass bottle hitting carpet pulled me into consciousness like someone yanking me forward by the front of my shirt. My eyes would have flown open had they not been sealed by the remnants of last night’s mascara. Thankfully I had drawn my shades last night, leaving my room in an eerie darkness. Unfortunately, the gloom left me with little inkling of the time, resigning myself to the assumption it was afternoon already.

As I stretched out my stiff limbs, a deep groan rumbled from the back of my throat, tapering out to a high pitched whine. Smacking my dry, cracked lips, the taste of stale alcohol and morning breath caused me to grimace and reach for my bed stand in search of water. As my fingers found purchase, the crackling sound of my empty water bottle made my heart plummet.

Sitting up was harder than I anticipated. Blood rushed to my head where it began to drum in my ears. My vision was speckled with floating white sparkles, like pieces of torn up tinfoil. I must have taught myself to tango in my sleep given my doona was nowhere to be seen and my legs were so wrapped up in the sheets I resembled a caterpillar mid metamorphosis. Blind hands fumbled across my own skin, registering what little I had fallen asleep wearing and assessing the closest route to clothing.

Soft footsteps neared my door, followed by hushed whispers that only became louder as I was able to make out my parent’s harsh bickering tones. I knew what they were saying, things I’d heard all too many times before. I had already began formulating rebuttals and the best way to dismiss them in my head, something I found myself doing more and more recently.

Detangling myself from my linen, I pushed myself off the bed, placing a hand on the closest surface to steady myself. The cold painted brick was nice but did little to help the speed with which my head was spinning. As I shuffled towards my chest of drawers in search of something to cover my near naked body, I was forced to navigate the debris covering my floor. Something for my mother to lecture me about another time.


I was midway through pulling a singlet over my head when I was blinded by the sudden illumination of my bedroom. Lifting my hands to my eyes, I rubbed my knuckles across my lids, no doubt smudging my left over make up further down my face.

“Shit, give me a little warning next time, would you?” There was more spite in my tone than I had intended, but I wasn’t in any mood to be speaking to my mother in such a state.

Brushing off my words, she continued to talk as she moved towards me, “When did you get home last night?”

I wish I could just close my eyes and wish her away, wish this hangover away, but more importantly, wish away her impending lecture. I forced myself to muster a shrug as I turned back towards my drawers, pulling a pair of shorts from the neat stacks of clean washing I’d promised her I’d put away. “Three, maybe four?”

“Five. You woke me up coming through the front door.” Shit. Why was I cursed with a family of such light sleepers? I tried not to notice her eyes burying into the top of my head as I fumbled to pull my shorts up over shaking legs. Before I could even mutter an apology, she blazed ahead on her warpath, “Jesus Honey, did you drink the entire bar last night or the bottle shop too?”

Meeting her eyes once more I gave her my best sarcastic laugh, “Very funny. It was just drinks after work with the girls.”

I watched as her stance turn more aggressive, her brow pulling down into a tight frown. “Olivia you look like a complete mess. I can smell the alcohol on your breath from here and it was just after work drinks? This is getting out of hand.”

Catching the inside of my bottom lip between my teeth, I bit down hard to keep my anger at bay. “It’s not like I was out doing hard drugs or getting in brawls mum, it was just a few drinks. Get off my back.” All I wanted was to escape this conversation, loose myself in a hot shower and scrub the dirty feeling out of my skin.

Warm fingers grabbed my wrist and I was trapped. I let her pull me back to face her, her features were softer and she looked more concerned than angry now. “Please Sweetpea, just… try to cut down. For me?” The pleading in her voice made my eyes sting and water. The worst thing was that I knew she was just trying to help, she was just being the best mother she could.

I mustered a meek nod, but I couldn’t meet her eyes. Meeting her eyes now would be cementing a promise I knew I couldn’t keep. It wasn’t until she’d left the room that I allowed my legs to give way, falling onto the edge of the bed, tears running lines through my splotched foundation. I never had a firm grip on my emotions when I was hungover.


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