Kevin rolled on his side and banged his head into the leg of the piano bench. “Oww,” he rubbed his head. Rolling onto his back, he stared at the ceiling. Swiping his hand down his face he rubbed his goatee and stubbled cheeks. He was waiting for the pain to start, his heart to swell and the tears to flood from his eyes. Feeling his chest constrict he frowned as it started. “There you are,” he grumbled as he slowly pulled himself from the floor.
He took note of the blanket that was causing him to get tangled up in his own legs. “Damn A.J. was here again. I gotta get that freakin’ key back, little fucker.” His bladder calling him to be emptied he took the short journey down the hall. Kicking the bathroom door open with his foot, he went to stand over the commode.
“You should really shut the door,” he heard as it closed. He jumped and almost turned around. “Son of a bitch,” he growled at what he had almost done.
Bellowing came from behind the bathroom door as his brothers gathered in the hallway. “You little fucker I almost pissed on myself. Get outta my house!”
A.J. whispered, “Remember when you hear the flush get ready.”
“No can do Kev,” A.J. yelled at the door.
“Listen, you better be gone when I get outta here.... and leave the damn key.”
“Man he ain’t done yet,” Nick whispered. Just then they heard the flush.
Howie, Nick, and Brian carefully had already jammed a chair under the doorknob. Howie and Brian sat in the chair. Hearing the flush Nick and A.J. grabbed for the knob. Leighanne stood back just in case Kevin did get through the door.
Drying his hands with the towel Kevin headed for the door. Tossing the towel on the vanity as he approached the door. Clasping the doorknob, he automatically turned it. It wouldn’t turn. He jimmied it back and forth and tried it again. “A.J. I’m not in the mood for your damn games. Open the fuckin’ door.”
“Take a shower Kev,” A.J. hollered.
“I don’t wanna take a shower I want a drink!” Kevin rattled the handle again.
“No can do Bro... it’s dry out time,” A.J. chirped.
“Fuck you Alex, open the door or I’m coming threw it and then I’m coming for you!”
“Don’t think so Train.”
The door began to jump up and down in the frame. Kevin was going crazy on the other side. He pounded furiously at the one object that was separating him from what he wanted. His body being void of alcohol and craving it. As desperately as he was trying to get out he was fighting back all the emotions, the hurt, the rejection, and the pain.
Nick looked at A.J., “If he comes through that door, I’m outta here.”
The incessant pounding and banging went on for over an hour. They could hear things being broken on the other side of the door. Objects were being hurled at the obstruction with incredible force. Kevin was screaming and cussing the entire time. Then suddenly it stopped. “A.J. please,” Kevin cried from the other side of the door. He was close to the door they could tell. “Let me out I wanna drink, I can’t handle this.”
“No way dude and don’t go looking for the mouthwash either, it’s gone.”
“I know,” came in a whimper from the other side.
Brian got up from the chair. “I can’t do this to him anymore... Let him out.”
“Sit your ass down Frick. We aren’t doing anything to him, he did this to himself. We’re trying to help him.” A.J. glared at him as Brian sat back down.
The quiet on the other side of the door was interrupted by a gut wrenching sob.
Kevin lay on the bathroom floor his face pressed to the tile. He wrapped his arms around himself in a cradling manner. He wanted to be like the tile, cold and hard but he couldn’t. The sobbing just began, rolling out of him in waves of torment. The pain welled from deep within. All those years, fifteen years gone, shot, down the tubes. He loved her and he hated her. He never thought they would end up this way. All he wanted were some kids of his own, was that so terrible?
Kevin kept hanging on, hoping and hoping. They had gone through six trial separations just trying to keep their marriage together. Hell they were apart just after their first anniversary. She had called him home though. When they were in Montana she had called and said let’s try. Kevin left the next day, his marriage was the most important thing to him. Not the music, the business or anything else, just each other. As the years drifted by he came to see that she didn’t feel that way.
Losing track of time he checked his watch. He had now been locked in his own bathroom for the last five hours.
“Yeah Kev,” A.J. answered as he sat on the chair by himself taking a drag on his cigarette. Once Kevin had settled down the others went and waited, but not far.
“It hurts Alex. Make it go away.” Kevin spoke as he sat up against the back of the door.
“I know Kev, I know,” A.J. exhaled along with a stream of smoke.
“I hate her A.J.,” Kevin sighed as he crossed his arms across his chest.
“No ya don’t Kev... You love her, that’s why it hurts... You have to let her go Kev... It’s time.” A.J. shook his head at Leighanne as she stood there. They both understood and knew that Kevin was finally going to deal with the pain and let it go.
Hearing the shower turn on A.J. looked at Leighanne and she left to let the boys know.
A.J. sat and listened to Kevin crying and voicing his pain in the shower.
A.J. heard the water turn off and Kevin knocked on the door. “Can I come out now?”
“No more drinkin’. You’re not a drunk.” A.J. stamped out his cigarette in the ashtray as he sat there.
“Okay,” he heard Kevin sight.
“Can’t hurt me either,” A.J. grinned.
“Promise,” A.J. chuckled enjoying the advantage a little even though he shouldn’t have.
“Open the fucking door or I will knock you right on your skinny little ass.”
Standing up A.J. laughed. He removed the chair and opened the door. “Hey bro, where ya been?” he grinned.
Kevin stood there with a towel wrapped around his hips, “May I get dressed?”
“Sure,” A.J. grinned as he stepped aside and then followed behind Kevin.
“I can dress myself,” he spoke as he entered the bedroom and dropped the towel.
“The shock value of that wore off years ago Kev.”
“Wasn’t the point I don’t think I have anything to wear. I don’t remember the last time I even did the wash.” Kevin cautiously looked around the room. Things were different in here, it was clean. Mementos and pictures of her were gone. The room had been rearranged.
“Yeah ya do,” A.J. answered him as he closed the bedroom door.
Kevin went to the dresser and found nothing but clean clothes. Walking to the closet all of his clothes had been hung up in an orderly fashion like he normally did. Everything was lined up and squared off. The bedroom now smelled good, it smelled clean and like his cologne. All the remnants of his marriage were gone. As he dressed he understood that he could get rid of everything but the memories.
Quietly he left the bedroom, shutting the door behind him. Something smelled very good to him in the air as it permeated his house. He was finally hungry and not for booze. As he made his way to the kitchen he was face to face with his brothers and Leighanne.
“Are you hungry Kevin?” she asked as she dropped her eyes to the floor.
“Very Leigh and thank you,” he smiled.
It was understood by all that the thank you was not just for the meal.
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is a work of fiction.
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