A movie...some old sitcom...a comedian...another sitcom...and still another movie, my evenings have fallen into a predictable routine since Sam and Alex moved out. I stop at some random take-out restaurant on the way home, or have dinner delivered by another equally forgettable. I wonder some nights why I bother, I rarely have an appetite anymore, and generally waste more then half of whatever I've decided on.
A DIY program...another on cooking...a show on house hunting...ghost hunters...a football match...I flip through the channels before I finally settle on an older western I know I've seen far too many times before. I had forgotten how lonely it could be, how comfortable I had become having a sense of family around me again.
I'm determined not to fall back into those habits that had caused me so many problems before I went to the Congo, and though Valerie's number is tempting me, I'm resisting the urge to pick up the phone and call her. No, I can't go back to that dark place, and instead I find myself reaching for cigarettes and first one beer, then another, chain smoking, and drinking as the movie plays in the background.
In the early stages of the night my mind is too active and it replays over and over all of the mistakes I've made, taunts me with all of the things I should have done to make things work between Sam and I. As the alcohol works it's way through my system though, that eventually changes, and instead of blame comes the longing for what could have been, and the sense of loss. Oh, how I hate that stage of the night, and it only prompts me to drink even more, carrying me closer to the final stage. It's then that the fatigue slowly wraps itself around me like a blanket, bringing me the comfort I can't seem to find anywhere else, and not long after comes sleep.
I awake with the morning light, stiff from having spent yet another night sleeping on the couch, and I wonder how long will it take me to find my way out this time? Even as I ask myself the question I know the answer isn't readily there, and if the chance arose I would welcome Sam and Alex back without any hesitation at all. From the moment Jasna was born I knew I was meant to be a father, and even though Alex wasn't mine, it feels like I've lost a part of myself now that he's gone. I just hope, that despite whatever differences might have existed between Sam and I that made her decide that we couldn't remain together, they don't force an end to the relationship that Alex and I have built. I'm just not sure I could handle that loss, and I know I don't want to take it away from him. I don't want to hurt him.