It smelt like Thomas was already one sheet to the wind, as her father would have said. Elizabeth wondered if you could get drunk off fumes alone. Her gaze skimmed to his hands. He wore a thick pair of leather gloves and continually stared behind him like something was going to jump out from the darkness.
Thomas liked a drink – Elizabeth had seen how much champagne he could consume in one sitting. She had never seen him like this though. There was a different person sitting in the car next to her. All that was needed now was lightning and she would be right in the middle of a horror movie.
On their last meal out she suggested they keep to coffee instead. If Thomas didn’t get this job, then they would have to save all their money. If that meant less alcohol then the better for them both. She was worried about his health and didn’t want to lose Thomas to the same thing that had devoured her mother.
Her mind raced so fast, she couldn’t hear a thing but the rain and a car horn beeping. Elizabeth swerved out of the way of the oncoming vehicle. She was relieved the police weren’t behind them.
‘Will you watch where your bloody going woman!’
‘Sorry, perhaps I shouldn’t have driven here. I had one glass of wine with my dinner,’ she said, allowing a brief look, as she stopped at the lights. There were tiny flecks of blood on his shirt. Whisky mixed with wine permeated around the car. One thing was for sure – Thomas wasn’t a happy drunk.
What happened at home, which caused him to run across her path at such speed? She wished him to be at her side, but not like this. Perhaps when he sobered up, they could talk about him finally leaving Martha. To have him with her all the time was a dream come true. She would keep him happy both in the bedroom, and in the kitchen.
The evenings she spent with Thomas, not even having sex, but in each other’s arms were pure bliss. He would talk of what they would do when he left Martha. One day alone with his wife and he had fallen so deep inside the bottle there was nothing more to do.
Maybe now Thomas would see the futility of his toxic relationship. Martha would get the help she needed and with her love and guidance Thomas would change. ‘Let’s get you to mine, you could have a long soak in the bath – it will help you to relax.’
‘I’m perfectly relaxed thank you!’ Thomas said, refusing to accept the olive branch.
Sat in her mother’s chair, Thomas wanted another drink. Elizabeth was reluctant to give him more. There was a look in his eyes when she suggested a coffee. What good would coffee do? A proper drink was needed. She retrieved the bottles of whisky at the back of her cupboard. He poured generous amounts into their glasses, and they drank together.
He was more tolerant of drinking than she was. The bitterness stuck in her throat. One glass and her legs felt a little shaky. Another full glass, her vision became blurred around the edges. The third, and she refused the offer of anymore.
Yet Thomas didn’t stop drinking.