The 10 o'clock Appointment- Part 2

“That's a lot to unpack, Henry. Quite a few crosses to bear. Why don't we focus on one at a time, shall we? Let's talk about the alcohol.” I said. It took every ounce of effort to keep my composure. Henry seemed deflated when I directed the conversation down this avenue. Reluctantly he adhered. “What do you want me to say? I drink. I need it. Can't live without. Don't want to. It helps me ease the pain.” “And you don't think that's contributing to your current problem of being lost?” “Contributing? It's the only thing that's helping. If it weren't for the liquor, I'd have absolutely nothing left!” I felt my teeth grinding at his omission. “But you don't think the liquor played a part in that?” I said. My tone was much more aggressive then I'd have liked it to be. I was sitting up, straight as an arrow, staring transfixed on Henry Price. “No! The drink has nothing to do with it, okay? My wife passed and now my daughter won't even speak a word to me. That's the root of my problems!” “Well what about before your wife passed? Did you or did you not already have issue with drinking?” Henry sat up so that he could turn and look my way. We were staring at each other, no longer hiding behind pretense. “So I like to have a drink every now and then,” he said ruefully. “So what? Everyone does. It's normal, ain't it?” “Normal,” I said my teeth clenched. “Is not consuming a bottle of whiskey a day. Normal is drinking one bottle of beer, not an entire case every single day.” He was shouting now. “You don't get to say what's what! You think you know so much! But you don't! You don't know what it's like to lose a wife and have your own daughter cut you out of their life!” I couldn't take it anymore. “No, but I know what it's like to lose a mom!” I gave him a seething gaze. “And you know what? I also know what it feels like to lose a dad.” “I'm. Right. Here!” He bellowed. “You're not!” I was yelling now, nearly at the top of my lungs. “Don't you dare try to pretend you're you. We both know what you've become and I won't have it! I told you- I told you! You either kick your drinking habit to the curb or never speak to me again.” “I lost your mother! Don't you know how hard this is for me?” “No! You were drinking long before she died. Don't give me that crap! You did this! You did this with your drinking! She's gone because of it!” The shouting match had reached such a crescendo that Ivy had to interrupt our session. She crashed through the door, a mortified look on her face. “W-what is going on here!? I can hear you from outside the building! The next client has excused herself!” We both turned to her and felt her ire cast upon us. Our heads hung low and we both offered a sheepish apology of sorts. “I knew this was a bad idea,” Ivy said. “Your open door policy should not have extended towards family. You should have known better! If you two can't continue this conversation peacefully, then I'm going to have to end this meeting immediately.” Henry-my father-apologized as best he could. “I won't be a bother anymore, I just need to get some stuff off my chest.” “Then keep your voices down.” She said. Before she left, she shot me a withering gaze that told me her message went doubly so for me.


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