This Will Sober You Up
Why did we have to meet at the karaoke bar three years ago? Why were you there, and why did my coworkers drag me? Why did I have all those tequila sunrises and why did you buy me a Buttery Nipple? Why did I give you my real number and not the rejection hotline? What was wrong with me?
Why didn’t I listen to my dad when he said not to marry you? Why didn’t I know you were bad news? You told me about your rap sheet, so why did I stay with you? When did I become so stupid? What encouraged us to elope? Was it my decision, or was it yours?
Why did you need to go out with your coworkers that night two months ago? Was it because I was having my parents over for dinner? Was it because you didn’t want to hear that they’re moving closer? Was it because you won’t even try to get along with them, no matter how much I ask? Why did you need to drink that much? Why did you feel that you had to out-drink Kent? Didn’t you know he could take his liquor? Didn’t you tell me once that he could drink the weight of a cow and still drive sober? Didn’t you know you couldn’t do that?
Why did you get behind the wheel of your Nissan? Why didn’t you call me? Was it because you knew my parents would still be at the house, or because you didn’t feel like leaving your car at the bar overnight? Didn’t you know that I would’ve come to get you? Did you see that red light at the intersection or those people crossing the street? Did you stop right before you hit Daphne—that’s her name, the pregnant woman in her third trimester—or after, or did you just drive away? Did you try not to hit her? Why did you drive away from the scene? Didn’t you know there would be witnesses, sober ones, who could read your license plate and give it to the police? Why didn’t you come home? Why did I need to find this out from a police officer who came to the door to find you?
Were you surprised when the judge didn’t grant bail? Were you surprised when I said I wouldn’t have paid for you to get out anyway? Do you miss me from the holding cell in the county jail? Are you comfortable? Do you wish I would visit you? How much do you regret killing the pregnant woman and her unborn son? You know that’s two counts of murder, right?
Will you go to prison? Will you be spared the punishment the law says you deserve? Will I ever forgive myself—for not insisting you stay for dinner, or not calling you before you left the bar, or not taking your side instead of my parents’ since we met? Am I glad I’m not pregnant?
About the Author: Sarah Sassone is a writer, teacher, master (of fine arts), and a citizen of New York Rangerstown. Her dream is to one day work on a lion conservation in Africa (with an endless supply of bug spray) and to become strong enough to pry lids off jars of salsa. She has also been published in decomP magazinE and Monkeybicycle. Read more about her here.