Fall Apart - Chapter 8

Izzie hadn't slept at all that night. Worried for Chlo and feeling absolutely worthless; she'd found solace in a bottle of wine and a secret packet of cigarattes she kept stashed under the sink.

It has started with her fight with Chlo. The bowl of crisps was smashed, then her glass of wine and the vase on the table - it took no time at all before she was on the floor in hysterics and Mika and Chloe had made a quick escape upstairs. It wasn't long after that she had that same intrusive thought that had been plaguing her mind since Jimmy left her for Shelly - maybe it would be better if i wasn't here.

It was a thought she had discussed with her GP, before being almost immediately dismissed. She had went for a follow up appointment (she hadn't been sleeping very well after Jimmy left her) and mentioned it in passing.

"Do you think it's normal to not want to be here?"

He had looked at her over his glasses, testing, asked, "Are you suicidal, Miss Redpath?"

She shook her head quickly, "God no, I just don't want to be alive sometimes."

He only nodded and continued typing on his computer. There was no more talk of not wanting to be alive - but he did stop her course of sleeping pills.

When she snapped out of her daydream, Chlo was standing by the door in her uniform, concern washed over her face. Presumably, she was worried by the thick smell of smoke in the kitchen or the empty bottle of wine on the table - but Izzie could never be sure. Perhaps she was concerned that Izzie wouldn't be able to take her to school and she'd have to, God forbid, walk?

"Mum, what you doing?"

Izzie acknowledged her with a nod, "Chlo, hi. I'm drinking. Probably won't make it into school this morning."

She was aware of Chlo joining her at the table, but made no move to check. Who cares?

"Mum, you need to get dressed. Look, I'm sorry for what I said last night. I shouldn't have said it, I was well out of order."

"Yeah, you were," she replied, draining the last of her glass of wine. "Doesn't really matter does it?"

"Why not?"

"You were right."

Chlo rested her shoulder on her mum's shoulder, "I'm sorry, mum."

"Yeah, you've said," she said, more quietly this time. "You should get going to school. Where's Mika?"

"She headed in early, she's got a French mock, remember?"

Izzie didn't remember; if she had she would have woken up early and made sure she got breakfast, drove her in early so she could revise - she really wasn't always so useless! She wasn't always such a shit mum, but she had been preoccupied with Tom and she just hadn't given the girls the time they deserved. She was, at the very least, selfish.

"Look, will I cover for you today? I need to hand in an essay to Mr Clarkson so I can't really skive, but I can say to Mr Rimmer you're not well."

Izzie contemplated it for a moment. Maybe a day at home would be exactly what she needed? She was obviously tired and wasn't thinking straight enough to speak more than a few words, never mind teach a class. Then there was the issue of getting to school - she was definitely over the limit and didn't fancy a drink-driving conviction after 15 years of a clean license. What she did need, however, was to go to bed and sleep this off.

"Would you mind saying to Mr Rimmer for me?"

Chlo shook her head, "It's fine, least I can do, isn't it?"

The minute Chlo left, the tears began to fall. Not quiet ones either, no, loud, noisy sobs that would have echoed around the whole house.

maybe it would be better if I wasn't here.

This time, she believed it. And she cried and cried until finally she was too tired to cry anymore and finally lit the last cigarette in the packet. Darn, she'd have to remember to buy another pack when she was out next.

She took up smoking at university after Tom encouraged her to take up smoking on a night out. She'd been dumped by her then boyfriend, Chris, and was just too depressed to even drown her sorrows in her then drink of choice, rum and coke. They'd went outside because Izzie was feeling too claustrophobic in the club and because Tom was madly in love with Lorna but she currently had her tongue down a medical student's throat and he was gutted.

He'd only had two drags of the cigarette before he handed her an unsmoked cigarette.

"One won't kill you."

No, maybe not. But if the smoking didn't kill her, heartache would catch up on her eventually.

Back in the present day, she opened another bottle of wine as a cascade of tears slid down her cheeks and the damage was done. Maybe it would be better if she wasn't here.