Gerard has night time troubles and tries to drown them the only way he knows how.
Finally, after tossing and turning for a while, Gerard got out of bed as quietly as possible, trying not to wake up his wife. He crept to the far corner of the room and lifted the corner of a carpet off of the hardwood floor. The carpet covered a loose wooden board. Gerard lifted the board carefully and reveals bottle of different kinds of alcohol. He carefully chose a bottle of Scotch and pulled up from beneath the floor, mindful of the fact that the bottle clinked against the others as he took it. He slunk out of the bedroom and into their bathroom. He took a swig of the alcohol and sat down on the linoleum floor. If he couldn’t control his own feelings, he would let the bottle control them. He drank more and more until he was half through with the 1 liter bottle. His vision became blurred. He looked at the white clock above the medicine cabinet. When his vision finally cleared, the hands on the clock indicated that it was 4:23 AM. He needed to go back to bed. Just as he was about to get up, he heard footsteps coming down the hallway. He tried to stand, but his vision and balance were compromised from the alcohol. Bandit walked into the bathroom, rubbing her tired eyes.
“Daddy?” Bandit said softly, confused as to what her father was doing. Gerard filled with panic. No. He didn’t want to found like this. He closed the bottle of scotch and held onto the side of the bathtub to assist him with getting up. He slurred,
“B-Bandit. Let’s go back to bed.” He grasped the little girl’s shoulder.
“Ow! Daddy! Ow!” Bandit squealed, trying to free from her drunken father’s grip. Bandit got away from Gerard, scared and hurt. She looked genuinely confused. Gerard soon heard Lindsey’s footsteps coming hurriedly down the hall. She stopped at the bathroom door, eyes spreading wide open when she saw Bandit on the verge of tears and Gerard leaning on the bathroom wall for support, a bottle of alcohol in his hand.
“What did you do to her?!” Lindsey cried, her voice pouring with ferocity, holding her daughter close to her. Gerard couldn’t speak.
“No, Mommy, he didn’t hurt me,” Bandit piped up, her voice scratchy, trying to swallow her tears. Lindsey’s face softened for just a moment, but she grabbed the bottle away from Gerard. Seemingly eternal seconds passed before Gerard pulled himself across the bathroom floor and held his arms out to Bandit, asking for forgiveness. Bandit hesitated slightly, but hugged her father.
“I’m sorry, Daddy,” Bandit said. Gerard’s chest felt heavy with remorse and tears poured out of his already blurred eyes. All this time he had wanted to protect her, when the only thing she needed to be protected from was himself.
“No. No, no, Bandit. You did nothing wrong. I’m sorry. Daddy’s sorry,” Gerard sobbed out apologies.
“Don’t cry, daddy…”