by Monica

Chapter 1

   "You know that I would jump in front of a bus for you. When I'm upset, who do I come to? You." Alex growled.

His pointer finger plowed into the center of my chest and a sharp pain reminded me how I ended up there in the first place in this argument. Alex's breath was laced with cheap beer. I could smell it when it hit my face. Although the room was dark, in my mind I could see his big brown eyes dancing across my face like he was searching for a response in my expression. Truthfully and almost literally, I was choking on my words. My ribs began to feel as if they were trapped in the grips of a boa constrictor. I sat back on the bed slowly as the tears welled up in my eyes and a bead of sweat was swallowed by my left brow. I was sweating but my body was cold.

"What?" He blurted.

He didn't bother getting up after I went pale. I couldn't control the open faucets that were my tear ducts.

"Here it comes." I thought to myself. My airway tightened and I felt dizzier than what the vodka had already made me. I attempted to squeeze some air into my lungs but it seemed nearly impossible. Alex had rolled over by this time. Too drunk to give a rat's ass.

"Alex." I managed to squeak.

He didn't budge. Through one last full breath that I was able to take, I said his name with as much volume as I could manage. Alex rolled over and up onto his elbow.

"What?" He mumbled. I didn't even have to respond for him to know what was going on. I was jealous of the breath he was able to exhale as he sighed when I was struggling to take full breaths. My mascara was plastered to my cheeks and my eyes were virtually glued shut by the makeup I had spent so much time applying.

"Go get a plastic bag and go in the bathroom. Breath in the bag for ten minutes and you'll be fine." Alex spat on the rug that the bed sat on to keep himself from vomiting due to the excessive amount of alcohol he had consumed. When the string of saliva finally fell from his lip, he rolled back into his position.

"I-I don't know where they are!" I said, using one full breath out. I felt my lungs completely empty just to get those words out. The farther out I breathed, the harder it was to breath back in.

     Alex grumbled and got up. He staggered to a cupboard and shuffled around until he found something. I heard the swishing sound of a plastic bag and I could hear the sounds getting closer to me. Before I could say thank you, the bag was stuck to my face. I didn't see it coming in the dark and when I had breathed in, the thin plastic flooded the inside of my mouth. I yanked it out and ran to the bathroom. I felt the cold porcelain on my skin when I sat down and it sent a shiver up my spine.

    I closed my eyes tight and forced the rest of the tears out. Then, stuck the opening of the bag onto the edges of my lips and took a large gulp of air from the bag. It shrunk into a ball as I breathed in and expanded like a balloon when I exhaled. After a few moments, I was able to control my breathing and the color returned to my face. My eye lids were as heavy as my feet as I walked back to the bed where Alex remained, deep in slumber. He only ever snored when he was drunk. Tonight, was louder than I had ever heard.

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