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"You want to get a drink?"

Six words. Six little words casually spoken by an innocent man without any idea of their implications.

"You want to get a drink?"

It was only a reunion with an old friend; it was not supposed to become a battlefield. One moment I'm strolling down the street chatting light-heartedly with a mate from school, the next my world is threatening to crash down around me.

"You want to get a drink?"

To him it may mean nothing but a simple boy's night out, but to me it means much, much more.

"You want to get a drink?"

Anxiety, depression, obsession, not caring what I did, who I hurt, how much I lost as long it got me a pint. Bystanders attacked and robbed when cash ran low, barmen beaten and stabbed after refusing to give any more, and every last cent, possession, and shred of dignity sacrificed.

"You want to get a drink?"

Often I woke in pain, sometimes in strange places with no memory of how I got there, sometimes in ER. It was terrifying, horrifying, and killing me, but I couldn't stop.

"You want to get a drink?"

And even when I finally did, it never quite left me.

"You want to get a drink?"

They say half the battle is lost with the first sip. That the taste can never be forgotten, that the thirst and the craving never disappear. Those six words, and I am suddenly very aware of the dryness of my throat, the longing in my belly, the need in my body.

"You want to get a drink?"

But I also remember what I've gained. The steady job I finally attained after years of unreliability, the spacious house I only just finished paying off the previous month, the wonderful son who admires me and looks up to me, and the beautiful wife who loves me despite everything I'd done and was the one to first help me stop.

                                        "No thanks, I don't drink."

Half may be lost, but half is still being fought. There will be no end, no final battle; I'll never stop wanting just one more drink.

But I have too much to lose now, and if I have to fight for the rest of my life, I will do it.
For the first round of :iconwriters--club:'s Winter Contest. Prompt: The Final Battle.

This is a bit of an experiment and is nothing like anything I've written before. Comments letting me know what you think I can improve will be much appreciated.
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AutumnPocky Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Student General Artist
I'm such a blubber I cried reading this. >_<

Well done. :meow:
roballen2 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Professional Artist
I like it.
Magic-fan Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2011   Writer
This is such a powerful, inspiring piece. :heart: The emotion really hits home and I'm sure a lot of people can relate to it.
dying-divinity Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
This is great :)
randomite93 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011
A BEAUTIFUL poem, with an excellent moral, awesome work, I loved it ;)
alyth3cat Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010
I liked the paragraph "they say half the battle is lost with the first sip..." it made it more real and there was more emotion and understanding. I think a bit more detail should be added to the beginning. But overall this piece meant something to me. :)

Good job.
uberchick Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I quite like this, especially that the details regarding the addiction and its aftermath seem accurate; you really give the impression that you've been through alcoholism before (I know you haven't, though, 'cause I read the comments). As far as critiques go, I can give a little, but not that much. The section beginning with "anxiety, depression..." seems tacked-on; I get that impression because it has more detail than story progression, whereas the other sections are all fairly balanced in that aspect.

Another thing that bothers me is the ellipsis at the end of "but I also remember..." Generally, ellipses imply some sort of omission, and with that idea applied to the context of the statement it's in, it seems like you left out some sort of downside to all the good things you listed, which, in turn, makes the statement seem incomplete.

Those are the only two issues that I think need to be brought to your attention; the story in general is very good, and the idea behind it beautiful and motivational.
Treo-LeGigeo Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010   Writer
Good point about the ellipsis, I deleted it. I'll think over that section you said seems tacked on, see what I can fix. Thanks very much for the tip.

Thank you for your thorough comment :-) and I'm glad you liked it.
uberchick Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
You're very welcome.
SamalaKatal Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful :)
Labbtillverkad Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I don't know how it is to drink, but I know how it is to get addicted to something that's destroying you. And you totally captured it.
TheDEATHCARNATION Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
beautiful powerful words if its based on a true story then good luck :)
Treo-LeGigeo Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2010   Writer
Thank you. No, it's not a true story, but glad to know I wrote it realistic enough to give that impression.
Eowulia-MornElda Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2010  Student Writer
I really like the style you used here and you managed to do something really great with such a perilous theme.
Indeed it's not the happiest thing I read (but still it ends well, isn't it? :) ) but I really enjoyed reading it.
Congratulations on it!
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Submitted on
December 24, 2010
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