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ADELAIDE Independent Monthly Literary Magazine / Revista Literária Independente Mensal, New York / Lisboa, Online Edition  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIRD TIME’S A CHARM
by Nikki Petrie

 

 

 

He made himself promise never to come home again three years ago. It was the fifth time he promised himself that but it was the first time he meant it. He was done with the anger, the apologies, the forgiveness, and the betrayal. He stopped hoping—stopped wishing for another life. He had accepted she was an alcoholic first and a mother second.

It didn’t hurt like it used to; it was more of a dull ache from a wound healed over but not forgotten. He tried as best he could to separate himself from his history, to try and break free of a cycle that had haunted his mother’s childhood just as much as his own. He moved to the suburbs, where he could walk through grass fields and watch children play in the streets. He liked to imagine having his own children playing in the street outside his house while he and his wife watched from the front porch—one day. He believed there was life out there for him which didn’t consist of empty beer bottles and disappointment.

Some days were hard. Some days his fingers itched to dial his mother’s number and then when she inevitably didn’t answer, he’d dial the landlord of her building who normally brought her inside when she passed out in the hallway—too drunk to find the right apartment. He didn’t know what he hoped to accomplish by talking with her. Their relationship only ever consisted of him picking up the pieces of everything she broke: vases, relationships, herself. He felt no need to sweep her up into something resembling a person anymore. If anything he wanted her to know he would never do it again. He wanted her to know he had moved on. He was no longer a victim stuck in her cycle of abuse.

He wondered if some part of her would be proud of him, not that she’d every admit it because that would mean admitting she was a problem in the first place and denial ran through her veins as much as liquor. She had a tendency to wallow in the tragedy of the past, clinging to a drink while claiming she was better than the people who hurt her. Sometimes he thinks it’s true what people say, ‘third times a charm’. It took his grandfather drinking away the pain of his wife leaving him and taking that betrayal out on his daughter for his daughter to believe she led a different life while falling into the exact same narrative for her son to see through the dangerous nature of pain. Instead of drinking, he saw a therapist. Instead of anger, he mourned. He let sadness consume him for a time—feeling the heartbreak, the betrayal, all the pain that had accumulated throughout his life—and then he saw all the hope, all the happiness that was still out there.

He’s had a complicated past, one with more tragedy than triumph, but he’s learned not to dwell on things that can’t be changed. He only has control over himself and the path he takes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

Nikki Petrie

Nikki Petrie is an up-and-coming writer and photographer. Switching between mediums of expression, she tries to connect readers to intimate moments, feelings, and relationships experienced throughout life. She has her own website at www.nikkipetrie.com where she posts photos regularly and a piece of writing about every couple of weeks. You can also find her work on Tumblr at www.nikkipetrie.tumblr.com and Instagram @_nikkipetrie_.

 

 

 

 

     
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