Laura returned to work as a nurse at the hospital. She resumed her career.
Laura was back in action, proud of herself. Husband and I were proud of her too.
She drove her car to and from work, up and down the high street, got herself out and about.
Saturday afternoon, Husband was watching a football match on television before he returned to work. Laura telephoned, said she would come to see Dad and me.
Laura got out of her car clutching a bottle of coke-a-cola. She unscrewed the lid, placed her lips around the mouth of the bottle, and gulped down the liquid. The expression on her face was not good.
‘What’s up now?’ I asked.
She stepped into the hall. ‘I’ve been drinking,’ she said.
I moved backwards and sat down on the bottom stair to steady my shaking legs. ‘Oh, Laura. Please no.’
‘I’m sorry.’ ‘
I feel sick,’ I said. I held my hand out for her to witness the tremor, for her to witness what she was doing to me.
‘I know, I feel sick too.’ She squeezed past me and sat on a stair higher than mine. She had got her secret of her chest and made a prisoner of me.
Husband was still watching football, unaware of the tragedy unfolding.
‘It’s terrible, isn’t it?’ She said. Laura did not show one jot of remorse. As though I told her something that I had done wrong and we were commiserating. I turned to look at her, to look at what planet she was on.
‘Go and tell Dad,’ I said.
Laura walked into the living room. ‘Dad, I’ve been drinking.’ His eyes stayed on the television, stayed on the football.
‘Just go,’ he said. ‘I’m not interested.’