FanStory.com - Mending a Broken Heartby S. Pumpkin
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Lost without Hugo, Valerie starts drinking.
A Leaf on the Wind
: Mending a Broken Heart by S. Pumpkin

Background
Sexually abused as a child forced to live with a family in complete denial, Valerie leaves home to live with a friend. Brokenhearted over Hugo, she starts to drink to make the pain go away. This only


I have been heartbroken once and it has affected all my relationships from there on. But now I look at it as a occupational hazard. If you are in the meat market at some point you are gonna get mad cows disease.

Dominic Monaghan


 
Adjusting to life without Hugo was difficult and painful. I missed him terribly. I woke every day wanting to call him, but the shame I felt over what Daddy and I had done, prevented me from doing what my heart begged me to do.   When Mom asked me why I wouldn't speak to Hugo, I refused to answer.  It became one more secret for me to keep.

The day daddy returned, the migraine headaches, nightmares, and rage arrived with him. Just being in the same room with him, made me feel cheap and dirty. To get away from him and the constant anger that raged inside me, I moved back in with Jackie and her husband.

But the headaches and nightmares only got worse. I couldn't sleep, and during the day my mind was constantly filled with a jumbled mixture of anxiety and terror from the previous night's nightmare and all too vivid memories of the past.

Tired of watching me sit in a chair all day, staring out the window, Jackie finally said, "Enough is enough. You need to get out of this apartment and mingle."

Holding my purse in one hand, my coat draped over the other, she stomped her foot and pointed to the door.  

 I wasn't in the mood to go anywhere but I didn't have the energy to argue. Showing little enthusiasm, I put on my coat and with my purse stuck under my arm,  feigned a weak smile, and followed her out the door.

The local cocktail lounge was a few blocks away. Other than its convenient location, I didn't particularly like the place. It was a sleazy bar, filled with drunken rednecks. 

After a few drinks, I felt better. Jackie winked, leaned over the table, and whispered, "I think that cute guy at the counter is flirting with you."

I wasn't interested but sneaked a quick glance to see who she was talking about. As soon as our eyes met, the chubby, unattractive man wearing, God forbid, a red and black checkered wool shirt, got up and walked over to where we were sitting. He then proceeded to blurt out the most unoriginal pick up line I had ever heard.

 "Why are two gorgeous girls like you, sitting in a corner all alone?"

To my shock, Jackie immediately invited the stranger to sit with us. I rolled my eyes, signaling I was not pleased, but Jackie ignored me.

"Hi my name is Jackie, and this is my friend ,Valerie."

"Howdy, my name is Chuck."

Hearing him say "howdy" was enough to make me want to get up and leave, but I didn't want to be rude, and I knew Jackie was just trying to cheer me up.

I smiled and said, "Hi."

After a few more drinks, I found Chuck less repulsive and didn't protest when he put his arm around my shoulder. I woke the following morning, beside Chuck, in his bed. I had no memory of how I got there or, where I was. Without waking him, I got dressed, sneaked out of the apartment, found a pay phone, and called Jackie to come pick me up.

A few nights later, Jackie and I went back to the lounge. When I ordered my first drink, I silently told myself I was only going to have one more. The night ended exactly as the previous one.

I soon gained a reputation with the regulars as a fun girl. I pretended to like the attention and seldom said no when asked to have sex. Often, I woke the next morning with no recollection of what I had done the night before. I felt ashamed, but that didn't keep me from going back to the bar night after night. When I drank, I didn't think about Hugo,  after a few drinks, the shame disappeared along with my inhibitions.
* * *
I went to work as a clerk at the Boeing Aircraft Company and  I continued to drink. Every night after work, a few co-workers and I stopped for drinks. Long after everyone had gone home, I would still be sitting in a dark corner making friends with someone I had just met, and like so many times before, I woke the next morning with no memory of the night before. 

Alcohol had become both, my friend and enemy. A few drinks relaxed me, but I could never stop after a couple of drinks.  Either I woke up the next day, with no memory of what had happened, or in bed beside a stranger.


* * *


It was Saturday, and my day off. Jackie and her two-year-old son, Timmy, were at the dentist, leaving me alone to mull over the pathetic life I was leading. No one had to tell me I was drinking too much, making a fool out of myself, or that I was still brokenhearted over walking away from the only man I ever loved. Feeling my eyes well up with tears, I reached for a napkin. As I dabbed the corners of my eyes, I hear a soft knock at the door. I quickly blew my nose and tossed the napkin into the trash.

I opened the door and before I had a chance to speak, a tall, very handsome young man, with shoulder length black, wavy hair, smiled and said, "Hi. I'm Richard Hernandez, I just moved into the apartment down the hall."

I smiled and said, "Hello. I'm Valerie."

Richard gently took my hand and shook it several times. Still holding my hand, he said, "Jackie told me to come by today and pick up the spare key to the apartment."

"I'm sorry. Jackie's not here right now. She'll be back in an hour and I can bring it over then, if that's okay."

Richard smiled and said, "That'll be fine."

Still holding my hand, he said, "I look forward to seeing you again."

Reluctantly, I let go of his hand.  Richard smiled,  turned, and walked away.

That was the first time I met my future husband.

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Author Notes
Walking away from her first real love adds to the already chaotic situation of her life. She is still a child in an adult body, unable to make ratioal, intelligent decisions. She turns to alcohol to ease the pain but this only adds one more brick to the chaos.

     

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