Rebecca put down her trowel, knelt back on her feet and admired her herb garden. By the sky, she could tell it was close to lunchtime. Reluctantly she moved away and walked back to the kitchen to start lunch.
She put on the radio to block out the silence of the house. She hated the way her movements echoed in the pristine kitchen. The smug middle class self-recriminations of Radio Four comforted her. She started to reheat the pre prepared meal and decided to find Julian. He had been up before her, in his office working. He loved working as much as she loved her garden. She had tried to get him to stop at times, but he became listless. She had fallen in love with him because of his drive. She loved the way he wanted to look after her and everyone else.
Julian was just having a bad time. She had been here before. He had got better on his own. She prayed a little as she plated up their simple meal of cottage pie and vegetables. Julian liked plain food at home.
Her house slippers squeaked against the parquet floor towards his office. The stale sweet stench hit her ten feet before the door.
Julian was slumped at his desk. She could not understand how he had found more booze. She had locked it away. He had not been out all day, she was sure of it. Yumi had the day off and was under strict instructions not to buy him anything.
Her mask dropped. She hissed in his ear, ”Where is it, you fucking bastard?”
Without lifting his head from his arm, Julian motioned to his desk draw, “Have one darling, you look tense. It makes you look old. Old and boring.”
She pulled open the draw. There were four empty bottles of vodka all in socks to stop the tell-tale clink of shame and one bottle with a dribble left.
“Why?” she choked.
“Why not? You lazy old cow. You, all of you, just care about money. I do all this for you,” Julian managed to lift his head slightly to sneer. “I am allowed to relax.”
“This isn’t relaxing, you prick, it is drowning.”
“Why do you care? Just worried about the houses aren’t you? Don’t worry darling you are looked after. You own most of them, not that you have done a fucking thing to deserve it.”
Rebecca was not going to let him see her cry. He had pissed himself again. She was not going to help him clean himself up this time. “I am going. I can’t talk to you. I can’t look at you.”
Julian reached into his desk and pulled out a credit card, “Take this my sweet, get some botox while you are out.”
The credit card rebounded off the office door as Rebecca slammed it. “Ungrateful bitch,” muttered Julian as he delved into another recess in the desk for a fresh top up.
Rebecca called her friend Max from the driveway. He agreed to meet her at Harvey Nics. They chewed on their salt beef salads and covered her tears with champagne.
Max knew what to do. His husband had been to this place. It had good results. Pricey but Toby had been clean for years. They can even work with people who are resistant to change.
Max called the number. Of course they had a place for Julian. He would be booked in and tucked up in Re-Hab by tomorrow evening. The service even came with a discreet car service, so as not to disturb your neighbours. They could even sedate him through the DTs. Rebecca thought it would be best to text Yumi as she would be back soon. Yumi could pack for him. Much pleased with their positive action, Max and Rebecca decided now the best course of action was to shop this crisis out.