Goodbyes 2 by Owen Jones


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Jake sat looking at the phone, it looked back at him with a puzzled expression.
"I wish I had the nerve, sorry mate doesn't look like your getting breathed on today." The phone looked relieved.
"You shouldn't drink mate, it could be bad for your receiver - trust me I should know." The phone nodded sagely.
"Would you ring her for me? I mean I know you've been on the end of some nonsense in the last few years but she means well." The phone shook vigorously and made a whining noise, it, like he, had no intention of going down that road.

The whining grew.

"Bugger."
The phone jumped obediantly into his hand, between the bottles littered around the table.

"Hello?"
"Yes ma I have been drinking a lot, can't you smell it?"
"No I'm not being rude. So what did you want to shout at me for now?"
"Yeah, no that was the old man's fault."
"Sod off. I didn't."

The whining stopped.

"Bugger."

Looking around the room, Jake spied what his mind wanted to take him too. His body however wanted to fall instead, there were no medals for guessing the winner. However where sobriety has the ability to make you understand one's limits, intoxication does not. A thirty-five year old man commando crawling across a shag carpet after forty units of alcohol and a conversation with a phone is a new experience for most. With a herculean effort Jake elbowed his way up into his comfy chair, pulled out a pen and paper from the table drawer and fell asleep.

Blurry eyes revealed the previous night's excesses in technicolour glory, as well as a few words between the dribble on a piece of paper, the incriminating instrument of articulation was nowhere to be seen. The line read:

"Dear Ma
I'm sorry I left like this, I figured it would always be a note, but it still seems cheap."

It was indeed cheap, but it was also the only way Jake knew. So he dug out a spare pen and began to write.

"Dear Ma
I'm sorry I left like this, I figured it would always be a note, but it still seems cheap. I want to say thank you, for loving me in your own way - perhaps it would have all been alright if I was the youngest. Listen ma, you were a decent mother, I'm not sure that you were comfortable with the role or that you quite knew where high school teacher ended and Jake's mom began, but that's ok. I flashed on you several times in the last few years and given how grandpa brought you up, I'd say you come out pretty good. But the thing is ma, it ain't happy homes no more. Junior is like Jekyll and Hyde, some days he's funnier than Eddie Murphy, other days he's a brick wall that I end up bashing my head against. Hard. Each time I walk through that door I lose a bit of myself, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day only I finish at the same place every night. I'm dying ma because there ain't no piece of me that's living. So this is goodbye. I'm sorry if it hurts but you have Junior and anything I did was never quite the same as him, even all those times he messed up.
I heard a man in the bar yesterday (or maybe it was today I dunno) 'Life is a marathon, not a sprint', but even so I think I started later than everyone else. Born late you always used to say. Well now I guess it's time to catch up. This is the hardest thing I ever did but like you always say change ain't never easy ....
xxx
Jake