Welcome home

Gina paid the cabbie with a fifty. Her mom was unable to pick her up at the airport again.

Stiff lip trembling visibly, she walked the brick path through the manicured lawn to the porch. Thank God for the gardener. The front door was not locked, not even closed all the way. She walked into the house, and was blasted with the putrid stench of spoiled milk.

The radio played classical way too loud. Gina gagged from the odor. All the lights were on despite the afternoon sun.

In the kitchen were bags and bags of groceries, none unpacked. Except for the bottles. Gallon bottles of gin and vodka, jugs of red wine, some open, some spilled, many empty.

Post-it notes lined the counter and the fridge. Phone numbers without names, names without numbers, lists for shopping, things to do, mostly undone.

Her mother was prone on the floor, breathing but retched.

In the bathroom there were more notes: brush teeth, brush hair, light bulbs.

Gina threw the rotten groceries into the garbage and helped her mother to bed.

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