Chapter Seventeen

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I never made it to work that night. Or the next one. In fact, I was pretty sure that I didn't have a job to go back to anymore. I had a whole bunch of missed calls and answer phone messages from Alfie, but I'd spent the days too drunk to even bother listening to them. I'd gone far past the point where I even cared anymore.

The more alcohol I consumed, the worse I felt, yet somehow I couldn't seem to stop myself from ordering another one. Just one more. I knew that I was going to have to face my problems head-on at some point, but I wasn't there yet. In fact, I found myself the furthest away I'd ever been, which was why I kept giving in to temptation. This will be my last one, then I'll head home—but of course, there was always another last one waiting to be had.

I'd gone home to sleep briefly twice, but I'd never stayed in bed long enough to go from drunk to hungover, so I kept finding myself at yet another bar during all of my waking hours. I knew that I was pissing away my meagre savings that came from never having a social life, but it felt worth it. At least I couldn't feel anything other than warm and fuzzy—a sensation I was growing to love increasingly with each moment that passed.

I had to keep drinking, to block out my failings. Alcohol was the only thing that could stop the awful thoughts from whirring round and round in my mind. I'd been given a second chance at life, I'd been offered friends, a guy who seemed to actually like me, and I'd thrown it all away with my own stupidity. I'd pissed it all down the drain, and if there was one thing I could be certain of, it was that people like me didn't get a third chance.

I'd blown it, and now I was screwed.




Any moment now, I was going to really lose everything and end up penniless, without even a roof over my head—but even that wasn't enough to stop me. As I stepped through the door to my home and I looked around, I tried to imagine what I'd do when all of it was gone. Would I live on the streets? Would I have to go back to my mum's? I really wanted to picture it, and to take the consequences of my actions seriously, but I was just too wasted and I ended up giggling to myself and staggering across the room to flop onto the sofa instead. I needed a short rest, then I could head back out again for some more fun.

My phone blasted out loudly like it'd been doing for days, and it was only the name plastered across the screen that prevented me from throwing it across the room, never wanting to look at it again.

"Kim...Kimberly?" I hiccupped, holding onto my head, wondering if I could somehow make myself sound sober. I really wanted to talk to my friend, mostly to see if she still wanted to speak with me too.

"Lara?" She replied sharply. "What the hell is going on?"

"Huh?" I honestly had no idea what she was on about. I tried to recall any missed meetings or commitments that I'd failed to show up for, but I was drawing a blank.

"Amy rang me—apparently your boss is freaking out because you haven't been going into work. He asked her to cover for you, which of course she can't." She turned her tone a little kinder, before speaking out once more. "What's going on, you can talk to me you know?"

And I knew that she really believed that. She didn't understand that I couldn't, that I didn't even know where to start, that all of this was even worse than my last revelation. The tears streamed violently down my cheeks, choking me up, preventing me from speaking coherently.

"Yeah, I..." But I couldn't even finish the sentence. I couldn't get any of the words that I needed to, out, I was far too choked up.

"Do you need me to come over? Is there anything I can do?" She wanted to help me, and I couldn't stand that. I needed to push her away before I dragged her down with me. I was no good, and she needed to understand that. I'd made my mess myself, and I needed to let her go before my stupid actions affected her too. I'd spent too much of my life being a burden on everyone else, I wouldn't go there again.

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