"Is that so?" dad asked, glancing between the two of us. "Because for some reason I'm having an awful hard time believing a word that comes out of either one of your mouth's."

I was throwing up again before I could comment.

"Look at how sick he is," Terrence said. "Does that seem like a guy who drinks on the regular?"


I'd always gotten rough hangovers, even when I was a practicing alcoholic. They say it gets easier, but I had yet to experience that.

My dad sighed, and I could see his resolve fading a bit.

And then the door opened again, this time Michael coming inside. "You called?" he said to my dad, without sparing a glance in my direction.

"I just wanted us to talk as a family."

Michael glanced toward me, a blank expression on his face. "Looks to me like Adam got trashed."

I flipped him off and Terrence sighed.

"Am I supposed to act surprised?" Michael asked. "Come with words of wisdom and encouragement? Does that really fit my profile, dad?"

This time dad sighed.

And suddenly I was seeing things from my dad's perspective.

He lost one son to a car accident, another to alcohol, and now he was losing his eldest son too.

"I'm sorry," I said, my voice coming out hoarse.

"Save it, son," dad said, with a shake of his head.

I felt the tears stinging my eyes, and I glanced toward Terrence. He sat down next to me, shaking his head in response.

"I really fucked up, okay? I know that."

Dad locked eyes with me. "What do I have to do, Adam?"

I didn't answer, mostly because I didn't know how. I didn't know how to help myself, let alone give advice to others on how to do so.

"You're a smart, talent, young man," dad continued. "And I've done just about everything in my power to get you to see that."

Michael just stared at me, stone-faced.

"What else can I do?" dad asked, his voice breaking at the end.

Michael turned and swiftly walked out the door.

"Michael!" dad called out.

I was to my feet before my dad could stop me, chasing after him.

My brother was halfway down the stairs, his phone in hand.


He turned to look at me, before shaking his head and continuing.

I ran to catch up to him, placing my hands on his shoulders and roughly pulling him back. "Stop."

My hands slid to my knees, and I took a moment to catch my breath. "Just stop for a second."

He sighed, tucking his phone away. "I've got a plane to catch, Adam."

I forced myself to straighten back up. "Why do you always do this?"

"Do what, exactly?"

I threw my hands up in exasperation. "Walk away!"

He offered a small condolence smile. "Because I can't help you."

"Welcome to the club."

His hands slipped into his pockets. "Look, Adam. I tried, okay? I was with you checking into rehab, I went to all of the family therapy sessions, and I even dropped some of my college classes so I could home more often once you were released."

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