He sat on the plastic green chair looking at the table like he was playing a chess game. The scarred table had marks on its surface, some areas blacker than others, scarred by burning candles that were out of wick. It was at knee-height. He was looking down on it inspecting the two items that sat.
Two green pills and a branded whisky glass. His fingers were shaking as they rested on his thighs. He was putting on a loose woolen tracksuit and had no shirt on. The air coming through the broken window was cold. His chest and shoulders were covered in tiny little dots of goosebumps. He was trying to ignore it but it wouldn’t let up.
He was a broad-shouldered middle height man who had just entered the first quarter of a century. His beards were just starting to grow. He had waited quite long for them, enduring a smooth chin and it’s accompanying high school and university taunts. His hair grew as it wanted until a time he was irritated by the pain of strands intertwining with his comb and saw fit to go to the barber. It wasn’t that time yet.
He sat pondering. He was sitting in what was the living room of his L style apartment. The walls were a pale white with creamy patches; the floor a maroon carpet. There were tiles under it but he never liked the icy feeling when he walked with his bare feet. The only furniture was the two plastic chairs, the green one he sat on and the white one for visitors; and the black bookshelf that carried a few titles. It had a green Bible he had received while joining campus, a web design book, Gifted Hands, The Richest Man in Babylon, and A Tale of Two Cities. It was an empty bookshelf. As empty as the room.
He lifted his eyes and saw the Bible and shrugged. Then moved his eyes to the left, to where his mini fridge was standing. He got up, walked towards it and opened it. There was an unfinished bottle of white wine at the bottom which he removed. He took off its cork, walked back to his plastic chair and poured into the whisky glass.
After returning it to the fridge, he returned to his seat and continued staring.
“I just want to sleep. That’s all. Long and deep.” He said aloud as though hoping for a response to change his mind.
“Tuuuu tuuuu tuuu tuuu tuuu tuuu!” A sharp noise came from the bookshelf. His phone.
“3.am. Reminder. Prayer Hour.”
“Hmmmm. I hope someone’s praying for me.”
He looked at the phone and then keyed in some words.
“Effects of alcohol and prescription drugs.”
He pressed one of the results and begun reading..
Moderate alcohol consumption with drugs may produce the following symptoms:
“High risk of depression, mood disorders, agitation
Nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal upset
Significant changes in nervous functioning like lack of coordination, permanent changes in behavior and memory
Sedation, vertigo and recurrent episodes of troubling headache
Elevated risk of enhanced liver damage, higher than either of the agents alone
Acute alcohol syndrome (marked by toxic reaction to moderate alcohol consumption that may prove life-threatening)
Moderate increase in intracranial pressure……..”
He was looking for one word in particular, but did not find it. He then got up, went to the fridge removed the wine bottle, grabbed the two green pills and put the bottle on his mouth and gulped. He held the bottle up waiting for the dregs to touch his tongue and when he was satisfied there was nothing more. He threw it to the floor.
He got up, walked calmly to the next room and slipped into his bed. He took one look at the girl’s picture on the wall as his eyes became hazy. He smiled. He knew he would have a good sleep tonight.
(You can follow up Part 2 here.)