He never believed her. Never in his wildest dreams did he think it was possible. Although she had told him many times she would do it. As he sat up in bed, the beads of perspiration were slowly trickling down his forehead. He pulled at his pajamas which were damp and sticky. Afraid to switch on the light, for fear of what he might see.
There it was again, the unmistakable scent of her favourite perfume. The third time this week. He cursed himself for the alcohol he had indulged himself with the previous evening, and the evening before that, and so many other evenings. In the darkness he called out to the Lord to protect him, and began to mumble what he could remember of the Lord’s prayer, which he repeated a further four times, at speed. He always asked of the Lord, but never gave to the Lord. He gripped the white bedsheets tightly, perspiration running down his forehead. He nudged the woman who lay beside him, but to no avail. Her overindulengence in a variety of cocktails the previous evening, ensured she would be sleeping for hours. He glanced at her disheveled hair, her fading make up revealing a face ravaged by many years of heavy alcohol use. The black mascara fading from round her eyes, revealing a less than pretty face. At least not as attractive now, as it seemed last evening in the glamorous settings of the 5 star hotel, they had visited, with the other well to do people, they called friends.
While she was alive, she watched him over many years squander the family savings in a self indulgent lifestyle of illicit extra marital affairs. A hedonistic lifestyle of alcohol, the finest of food, expensive holidays, all without her. An uncaring attitude towards his family, and responsibilities he had signed up for when he had married her, and brought their children into the world. As they grew further apart, but because of religion and for appearances sake, they presented to the world, the picture of the happily married couple, and their lovely children. A couple whose life was wonderful, and harmonious. It was anything but.
‘When I die, I will come back to haunt you, You will never have any peace’.
Her voice reverberating around the dull, grey kitchen. Badly in need of updating. But as he was the breadwinner, he had steadfastly refused to spend any of his funds on anything but self indulgent activities and events.
He ignored her, while concentrating on the hearty breakfast he had fixed himself, hoping it would help with the severe hangover he was suffering from.
‘Mark my words ,’ she continued.
He laughed and scoffed at her words. Perhaps in hindsight, not the wisest choice of action. The day passed quickly, as he feared. His lady companion from the previous evening, arose from the bed come mid afternoon, and decided to return to her own home. The drunken fitful sleep, not helping her appearance , or mood in any way, whatsoever. Even though he had tired of her, and was ready to move on from her. Out of fear and insecurity, of what the night would bring, he begged her to stay. Even offering another alcohol fueled day at his expense. She briefly considered his offer. But decided against it.
‘Don’t bother coming back, then’, he shouted at her as she slammed the front door on the way out.
Another relationship, ready for the bin. Unable to settle as the evening wore on, he sat in front of the television, in the darkened room. Looking but not really seeing the flickering pictures. He poured himself a second glass of the red liquid. Holding the glass tightly. It’s strength burning his throat on it’s passage to his brain. He welcomed the effect the alcohol was beginning to have on his mind, his courage and bravado. If ever there was an elixir of life, this was it.
A miracle invention, he mumbled to himself. Contemplating had he being President he would most certainly have awarded these genius, as that’s how him viewed them, at the very least, The Congressional Medal of Honor. How he would have awarded to them the highest scientific accolades the country could offer. Such was his admiration for such a marvellous invention.
The evening passed quickly. Afraid to go to the bedroom alone, he sat in front of the television. Eventually the effects of tiredness, and a further two glasses of the red liquid, forced sleep upon him. Without him being aware of it, he was asleep.
In the dream, she stood before him, laughing. Just as he remembered her, when she was alive. How he hated her effervescent, her vibrant spirit. His attempts to destroy her lively spirit, a failure. How she would continually bounce back, was a complete, and very irritating mystery to him.
‘I told you I’d come back to haunt you’, she laughed.
With alcohol induced bravery and courage, he responded.
‘You’re only a dream, that’s all you are. When I wake up, you will be gone’.
Again she laughed.
The dream finished and he continued to a more peaceful sleep. He was awoken by his body calling to him to use the bathroom. He opened his eyes slowly, reacquainting himself with the room. In the semi darkness, her white shimmering figure, surrounded by a blue haze, hovered above the fireplace. Her vibrant laughter filling the room. He screamed, just like a woman. The more he screamed, the more she laughed. He ran from the room, perspiration dripping from his forehead. His heart beating as fast as it had ever being, if not more so. His legs shaking with fear. He called out to the Lord Jesus to protect him. He ran to the kitchen, now updated of course, and locked the door. He turned from the door breathing heavily and quickly. Again her white shimmering figure stood before him, hovering above the floor, and laughing. He ran for the door, unlocked it and ran upstairs to the spare bedroom. Entered, and locked and bolted the door behind him. Again breathing very heavily and quickly. The chemical concoction in his stomach, wild and on fire. He recognised her laughter, and her fragrance. He did not need to look. He unbolted the door at speed, and ran from the room.
Wide eyed he fled down the stairs taking steps two at a time. Her laughter and fragrance followed him. It was the last four steps that did it. The resounding thump, as his head hit the final step. The slowly seeping blood from his ear. His inability to feel his legs. His breathing becoming slow, and labored. His senses on their final journey. His hearing becoming very faint. But enough to hear her laughter and breath in the scent of her fragrance just one last time.