Wright Back Where We Started


barb_icon.gif gregory_icon.gif marthe_icon.gif wright_icon.gif

Scene Title Wright Back Where We Started
Synopsis Wright's parents commandeer her birthday, though she does the honors of ruining it herself.
Date March 13, 2021

Other than hating her parents, Wright couldn’t think of a reason to turn down their invitation to dinner that wouldn’t make the next invitation exponentially worse. She did manage to refuse the initial setting, Merlot Joe’s, a small victory. Her parent’s second choice, Chez Roux, was accepted partially because she feels like making them regret offering to pay.

And because it’s her fucking birthday.

Chez Roux
Red Hook

March 13, 2021
7:25 PM

Wright and Marthe are being directed to the table, her parents already having been seated. “It’s not too late,” she says sotto voce to Marthe, “You could pull the gun out of my pants and kill me.”

“No, no no,” her wife in a sing-song cadence, “Today we’re learning about compulsively agreeing to do things that you don’t want to do.” She gives Wright’s hand a gentle squeeze for morale.

She looks radiant in her sleek black gown, accented with only a gold pendant on a fine golden chain. Wright liked to joke that this variant of the engagement ring was taken off a fallen enemy. The truth was that it was the only thing she could find in a jewelry store already heavily raided during the war, her heart pounding more at the thought of giving it to her future wife than because of the active conflict in that town.

“And to see how much damage we can do to my parent’s finances in one meal,” Wright reminds her wife of the primary goal. In fiery opposition to her parents tastes, Wright is wearing the fine black suit only ever worn for last year’s Halloween gala. The dry cleaners had worked wonders to remove the smell of tear gas.

As ever, it's Barb who rises to greet them first. She wears a sleeveless red dress of a modest box cut, a white cardigan knotted by the arms about her neck to cover her shoulders. The smile she bears is warm as ever, picture-perfect in a way that already carries with it needles of warning. Playing the part of the gracious host often comes with signing Wright up for something she didn't volunteer for.

"Wright, Marthe, it's so good to see you both!" She goes for the lightest of hugs, accompanied by a peck to the cheek that's more of a brief press of her own. "We were so disappointed we couldn't get together last time." It's Wright whose forearms Barb holds onto just a little longer, stressing that disappointment.

But all's well now, right? Together again.

"Ames isn't with you, girls?" Gregory wonders from his seat at the table, dressed in a dark suit that rivals Wright's own, a darker red tie than Barb's dress splitting his torso.

Wright endures her mother’s greeting amiably, going through the motions. Her father gets a short nod in greeting. “It’s good to see you too. I’m sorry about the last-minute cancellation,” Wright tells her mother, mostly sorry that the operation in Cleveland caused her parents to instead commandeer her birthday.

“Ames is with a sitter,” Marthe explains regretfully, “We’re still working on her restaurant etiquette.”

Wright uses the time it takes to pull out a chair for her wife to hide the way her eyes lose focus as she checks on Ames. Elliot stalks across the upper floor of his home with the silent grace of a predatory cat. He looks around his room, then turns to his closet, whipping open the doors to unleash the shrill screams and laughter of Ames, clutching a… “Where the hell did you find a banana you little weirdo?”

Wright’s chuckle can be written of to, “Since the soup incident.” Her eyes widen in a way that communicates I don’t even know as she sits beside Marthe.

Gregory's brow lifts in a telegraph of some curiosity, the rest of his reaction mild. "That's a… surprise to hear. She seemed like such a well-behaved girl."

By the time that Barb is smoothing her dress down to sit, one of the waiters is approaching with a bottle of wine. Her line of sight is drawn up and with a smile, she affirms, "Yes, that'll do wonderfully." Her smile draws up more on one side as she look to Marthe and Wright both. "What's a celebration to drink to without a good bottle of wine to do it with?"

The cork's already been pulled. It's Wright whose glass is filled first, and then the others begin to be poured in a circle around the intimately small table.

"So how have the two of you been? It's been a while now. Any exciting developments to share?" Barb goes right on into asking, her expression particularly emotive on the word exciting.

Wright misses her opportunity to refuse a drink as it’s already being poured in front of her. God damn it. By the time Marthe has settled herself her wine has also been poured, and she gives a subtle glance to Wright. Too late to unfill the glasses. Wright is sure her mother will do the honors herself if need be.

“Ames likes to alternate between suspiciously innocent and disconcertingly quiet,” Wright tells her father. “Somewhere between those two is the third personality trait, loud and running very fast.”

Her mom will almost certainly not let her go without explaining what happened to the Christmas wine. What’s a nice way to say Tiny Mrs. Hon used it to cook something?

Marthe answers Barb’s questions. “We’ve been doing well, keeping busy. Ames is doing very well at school, she’s excited about all of her art programs. She sent some of her most recent works as a gift,” she says, reaching into her hand bag for a cardboard tube capped on one end. She reaches to set the offering at the center of the table where it can be easily accepted.

Dinosaur Who Likes Eggs Too Much is some of her best work,” Wright jokes. “How has your house hunting been going?”

It's Barb who takes the artwork off the table without even looking at it before Gregory has the chance to complete his reach. Still smiling, she tucks it away into the bag hanging off the side of her chair. For later, clearly.

"It's been going well," she chimes, pleasantly ignoring the glance her husband is giving her. "It's definitely forcing a bit of changed perspective. City living is a change of pace."

"Yes," Gregory inputs evenly, looking back to Wright. "Most places with a yard appear to already be either taken, or in some yet-unclaimed part of town. But your mother's insistent on having space for a garden."

The small pleasure Barb takes at forcing Gregory to participate in the conversation rather than become side-tracked in Ames' art comes in the form of resting her elbows on the table, chin atop her knuckles. "Which is why I just can't fathom why you gave up your townhome and moved to that apartment," she muses. Sympathetically, she wonders, "Was it too much to keep up with?" Rather than leave a polite out, she presses on to ask, "Financially speaking? Along with Ames' school?"

Wright bites off a malicious smile at her mother’s move, simultaneously not wanting Gregory to think she’s happy that he’s unhappy (she is) and not wanting Barb to think she thinks the move was funny (a bad precedent to set).

“The townhouse was a duplex, a small garden apartment below a larger home,” Wright says, dancing around several pieces of information as she tries not to actively lie while keeping her parents in the dark. “We decided it was time for our own place. Being closer to Winslow Crawford, if only by a few miles, was a big factor.” Marthe not wanting to see or speak to Elliot for a year was another.

Marthe seems comfortable with the avoidance. There was indeed a small apartment in the garden floor of Elliot’s townhouse. Elliot stayed there for that last year while she, Wright, and Ames used the rest of the house. “Our apartment feels more like a home,” she says, also not actively lying. “A lot of the apartment buildings around the area, like ours, have a community garden on the roof,” she offers. “I like to spend time there with Ames. She gets to make herself filthy while also contributing to caring for the vegetables.”

"After all the food shortages, I suppose it makes sense to hear that," Barb notes without particular affection for the idea of a communal garden. "I can't imagine anyone wants to be in a position where they go without food again…"

"There's that… Raytech initiative, now, isn't there?" Gregory wonders aloud, reaching for his glass. "Run with the Japs, right?"

Barb levels a moment of side eye at her husband before inserting a softly corrective, "Yes, with Yamagato, as I recall. Just another company. Not the government."

Gregory lets out an indifferent tone. If he sees a difference between them, it's only that one's worse than the other, and it's a toss-up which. He sips his wine to theoretically shave off any further fouling of his mood before he looks back to Wright. "That school of Ames' is run by them, too, isn't it?"

Wright barely covers an eye twitch as her father openly displays his moral failings. “The school’s privately owned,” Marthe says. “Though Yamagato did provide assistance with the build and a lot of top of the line education equipment.”

“The greenhouse is a Raytech-Yamagato partnership though,” Wright adds. “It’s lent a lot of stability to the food infrastructure.”

“Are you looking for housing in any specific borough?” she asks, fussing with the dinnerware and napkin on the table in front of her. Not touching the wine.

Barb settles back in her seat, legs crossing underneath the table as she lifts her wineglass, cradling it protectively in the curve of her hand. "We've been looking all over. Bay Ridge is such a nice area, in particular. We've looked at other new growth in Jackson Heights, too." Taking a sip to punctuate her thought, she goes on after, "But there's this promising place in Bay Ridge about to go to auction. You wouldn't believe it— the previous owner passed away at that Expressive terrorist attack last year and it's taken this long to sort out the paperwork."

"Lucky for us, isn't it?" she opines lightly. "We could pull our name out of the lottery if that all works out."

"I'm still not sold on living in a place like that," Gregory mutters from his seat. "It's just a little…" His eyes squint briefly at a thought, and then he looks to Wright, seeking consensus on a thought he's not actually fully-articulated. "You know?"

“It was an anti-Expressive terrorist attack, actually,” Wright says to her mother, an edge in her voice. “Pure Earth terrorists.”

She turns to look at her father, finishing his thought for him. “A place like what? Somewhere an Expressive person lived? Are you worried that it’s haunted, or that somehow the victim of terrorism’s blood is all over the place? I know it’s hard to get out, I spent half an hour trying to scrub it off of myself in the shower when I was finally done assisting with triage.”

Marthe doesn’t try to stop Wright from escalating tensions so early in the evening. Wright doesn’t think to wonder if it’s because of how she herself handled things following the event. About the fight that ended up reopening old wounds.

Barb blinks, appearing unaffected by Wright's sharpness safe for how she pauses, hiding her reaction behind another drink.

Gregory has no problem meeting his daughter's look directly, though. His brow lifts. "You mean to say you…?" Well, somehow she was there, deeply involved. He begins to frown. "What were you doing out there?"

It sounds like such an innocent question.

“I was contracted to provide assistance to SESA for the apprehension of a person of interest in a case of theirs from a year ago,” she says, also not looking away from her father. “The assignment was unrelated to the terrorist attack, though I was the one who called that in.”

She takes a moment to look to Marthe, whose expression isn’t too hard to read even without Elliot’s analytical ability. She half nods in acknowledgement, hoping to be able from disengaging from this before it turns into an absolute nightmare conversation. She relaxes a bit, trying to take off some of the irritation being communicated through her posture.

"Good God, Wright," Barb murmurs with a furrow of her brow. "Jesus." Distressed, she sets aside her glass. "I can't believe that. I'm so glad you came out all right from that— that whole situation was just a…" She shakes her head. "A— tinderbox waiting to explode." Afterward she turns her gaze to Marthe with a clear sympathy to it.

The waiter's return couldn't come at a more convenient time as he asks if they're all ready to order. Gregory's jaw shifts as he cuts off whatever he was about to say. Very quickly, Barb is put back together, flipping open her menu to a spot she'd been reviewing before Wright and Marthe arrived. "I'd like to try the lobster special, if you don't mind."

Gregory only affords the waiter a glance long enough to indicate, "I'll take a strip steak, medium well, with a loaded potato." His look to Wright and her wife indicate his attention isn't off of where they left the conversation as much as it is to encourage them to make their order.

Wright looks away from her father to keep from laughing at the order he could have been placing at the local Chili’s. She doesn’t touch her menu, looking to the server with her mind already made up. “I’ll start with the kampachi-flying fish roe sashimi, then the baked red snapper with acorn squash ceviche.” An appetizer and an entree doesn’t feel too exorbitant, she could have ordered the full, four-course prix fixe.

Marthe has only given her menu a cursory glance for appearance’s sake. She and Wright had their meals picked out as soon as they found the menu online. “Mesclun salad and the pan-roasted monkfish with wild mushroom stuffed cabbage,” she says. Hoping to forestall an immediate return to their previous topic, she addresses Barb. “I had considered the grilled lobster with sea urchin sauce Américaine, that did sound wonderful. You’ll have to tell me how it is.”

Barb meets the look her way with a thin smile. Dinner had been their treat, of course, but there was something in the specificity of each dish's mention that she saw, even if she wouldn't draw attention to it. "I can only hope it'll taste half as flavorful as a dish back home would," she notes with a touch of wistfulness. "We're still right on the seaboard here in New York, but…"

She dithers on that before finally shrugging.

It's enough of a gap in the conversation that Gregory seizes on it. "Speaking of things before the war," he says, because he's invited that's what Barb was getting at, "I've been thinking back recently. You ever find out what happened to that weird little kid you got in fights over back before you transferred out of public?" He makes a small tsk. "War uprooted a lot of people. Found myself wondering how that one would have made out."

There's an air of disapproval in his knowing tone. After all, without Wright to fight that weird little kid's fights for him, who's to say he survived at all?

Oh for fuck’s sake. Wright reaches for a glass of water if only to give herself time to think of how to get into this inevitability. She promised Marthe beforehand that she’d try, very hard, not to fistfight her father. To keep that promise, she does not say that sending her away to Oak Ridge led to an escalation of the bullying Elliot experienced and his eventual dropping out of high school.

“He made it out,” she says, as though it’s old news. “Came to New York to volunteer after the bomb went off.” She takes a sip of her water finally.

It's the taking up the water that finally draws Barb's attention back, a flicker of confusion on her own face. "Dear, don't feel like you have to save your wine for when the meal's here," she tells her kindly.

Meanwhile Gregory frowns. "Really?" he wonders to news of Elliot's altruism. "That's a surprise."

And has nothing else to say, no other topic to segue to while he mulls on that.

Leaving his wife to clear her throat and to look to Marthe. "You know, I would just love to hear the story of you two," she gushes suddenly.

Her parents move the conversation fast enough to steamroll most resistance, but that’s a mixed blessing. Wright can split her attention between her mother’s suggestion she drink with her father’s surprise that the weird little kid somehow survived. From there it’s an easy enough pivot to Marthe taking control of the conversation.

“Well,” Marthe says, looking around as though she doesn’t know where to begin with the story of their relationship. “I know we told you we met when Wright was injured and I was a nurse. It wasn’t life-threatening, in fact it wasn’t even very serious. She thought she was going to die, but as you can see she turned out fine.”

“It hurt a lot,” Wright interjects with mock seriousness, “And you were cute. I wasn’t thinking clearly.” She thinks to herself, And I would have in fact died if Elliot hadn’t shot that guy in the cheekbone—one—and anoth

She winces, too close to that memory. It’s still broken around the edges. Damaged composites are the worst.

Marthe takes the playfulness in stride. “Thankfully after things began to settle we could focus on being a family. Moved into the city. Took some time to raise the Baby Ames, and eventually I started brushing up on my RN cert so one of us could pay the bills.” Wright jumps on the chance to clear her head by chuckling at that.

Barb's would-be innocent question spurns another moment of discomfort and disapproval from Gregory, silent and fleeting more he looks off while listening to the story, and so the cycle of finding the flow of conversation to be barely tolerable passes from one party to the next. Whether or not it becomes more bearable or results in an escalation or an early end to the evening is something that, as ever, remains to be seen.

It's easier once the banter about Marthe's appearance is past. Gregory drinks from his glass, Barb smiles pleasantly. Before she can jump back in, though, her husband beats her to the punch again.

"Really, Wright— you should find more stable work. Safer work. For Ames' sake if not for Marthe's," he interjects in a way that almost sounds well-meaning. Nevermind he couldn't stand to hear about the two's closeness not half a minute prior.

Wright watches her parents discomfort with a smile that could be written off as merely a continuation of her flirting with her wife, who is another woman. “I have stable work,” she tells her father. “While it may not always be safe, it’s what I’m very good at. Also it pays well, even accounting for atrocious inflation. Plenty for saving for Ames’s future, as well as our own. I plan on retiring early again someday.”

“What about you two,” she asks, sounding more curious than she actually is. “How do you two earn a living?” Now that she thinks about it, Gregory is pushing retirement age, and Barb almost definitely paid her own bills somehow while the old man was in prison.

"I can sympathize with doing what you're good at," Gregory allows. "Hell, I did it for over twenty five years. The difference is that rarely was I in a situation where I might never come home again. The shit you're in now?" He frowns. "Younger kids can take a crack at it. They don't have the same kind of life you've built up."

Look at him, being mostly-civil, even given the line of work he knows she occupied. Occupies.

Barb smiles at the question posed, beginning to inject her answer, but Gregory holds up a hand to cut her off. He looks back to Wright, brows raised. "I'm serious. Consider it, at least. It's high time you put all that past you." After that he seems content to rest, leaning back into his seat to let the thought stew while Barb swiftly picks up the conversational thread to keep it from fraying.

"As for what we're up to, your father made pension. There was a good deal of backpay that came through after things settled and Washington nodded to start paying benefits to everyone again." And that certainly had a story behind it. Likely that after his capture, retirement benefits came as a part of his package. Barb only smiles, her thoughts on the matter opaque. "And on my part, I got into distribution. When things fell apart across the country, that didn't stop people from needing this and that. I helped with a good deal of coordination, getting this and that here and there."

She settles her hands into her lap, speaking evenly. As much as she downplays her pride, her posture is straight, her chin held high even if she keeps glancing down. Doing something like that on her own had to be empowering in ways most of her life had only feigned at. It was one thing to organize a nice party, even a sizable one. It was an entire other to coordinate a supply chain.

"Things being better than they were, I don't need as strong a physical presence these days," Barb remarks. "It's why it seemed like as good a time as any to relocate."

Wright gives her father a noncommittal nod. She begins to open her mouth to speak but decides to cut it off with a courteous cough. To not say ‘You’ve been ratting out your superior officers for twenty-five years? I thought that was just since the war ended.’ She’ll hang onto that one though.

There are a lot more reasons she went back to work, most of them never spoken aloud in company other than herself and Elliot. Those reasons are vast and labyrinthine in their moral complexity. But they can’t leave the matter unresolved, and not just for their own sakes.

Plus she’s thirty two. They have a stable foundation, Ames is in school, both Wright and Marthe are well-paid professionals. Even discounting the fact that Ames is also the heir to Elliot’s savings, their daughter is in the best place she could possibly be in this country.

“Logistics,” Wright says to her mother, both impressed and amused that she should get into the job market the same way Elliot did. Well, minus the Linderman Group part of Elliot’s logistics job. “I’m impressed. I saw firsthand how vital that service was during the bad years. Good for you.” She’s sincere, and doesn’t show any of her unrelated amusement. Her mother can have this win. Her father’s army pension can fuck itself though.

Barb's posture lifts, basking in the pride for what she's built for herself. "Thank you," she says warmly, lifting her glass and tipping it out to Wright's. "I was just happy to land on my feet with the way everything went."

Wright wasn’t sure how long this part of dinner could have possibly been pushed off, but she was hoping for at least longer than this. “Fun fact,” she says, managing to hide a bone-deep grimace, “We don’t drink.”

“Sorry about this,” she gestures to her and Marthe’s glasses, “Kind of missed our opportunity to say no thank you.” She wonders if she could maybe die suddenly before her mother follows up on this conversation point.

"That's…" Barb blinks, her glass still held up. Inconceivable? Maybe that's the word she's looking for. She tries to shrug it off, figuring there must be a good reason. She tries to be understanding. With a light laugh, she smiles, trying to prove she's unflapped. "Are you pregnant?"

“No, I’m not pregnant, Mom,” Wright says, adding, “Neither of us are pregnant.” She looks to Marthe as though she might be able to talk them out of this topic before realizing that it isn’t going to happen.

Telling her parents that she’s been telepathically linked to that weird little kid Elliot for over nine years probably wouldn’t be well received. Then, feeling defensive, she decides a slightly more biting explanation that will probably fly right over Barb’s head. “We decided that we wanted to set a good example for our daughter by not drinking around her all the time,” she lies. It’s not all a lie, there’s knots of related truths in the statement, but it barely passes muster as a half truth.

That earns her a look from Marthe, along with the faintest hitch of one eyebrow, Is that so? This is starting to go badly. Where’s that waiter?

Gregory arches an eyebrow, too, where he sits. It doesn't fly over his head, or sit well with him, for that matter. And as much as he and Barb trade papercuts, he'll still go to bat for her. "So, instead it's good for her to be in an environment where she's got one parent lying to her, and the other covering for them?"

He doesn't know the truth. He couldn't possibly. But what he does know is how to read people, and ten different good ways to jab a knife into someone.

Not always physically, either.

Barb turns to her husband, eyes widening, lips parting in shock— but she says nothing. She doesn't want to cause a scene.

I’m not the one who lies to Ames. Wright manages to keep her hands from making fists, though she doesn’t get ahead of her mouth in time. “You don’t know shit about my life.” I’m not the one who lies to Ames. She seethes, but her words are delivered coldly. “And the fact that you think you can take the moral highground in any conversation is a fucking riot.”

Wright,” Marthe chastises. She’s using her angry nurse voice, her fucking do not, end sentence voice.

"Gregory." With Wright covered, that leaves Barb to speak a quiet warning to her own partner. He doesn't look at her, his hand coming up to rest silently on the table, tightened into a fist.

He speaks quiet but firm. "Not so much taking any high ground as letting you think you've somehow still got it taking fucking potshots left and right like this." By the end, after he swears, his lip curls back. Gregory ignores Barb reaching a hand for him to try and quiet him down before they somehow reach the next phase of things— raised voices— but he carries on.

Not yelling yet, but demanding:

"You got something to say, then say it."

Marthe’s sudden grip on Wright’s arm is barely felt as she says something she will absolutely regret later. “The only potshots I ever took were at your army buddies while Elliot and I spent four years hunting them down to put them in the dirt.” She regrets it immediately.

The gasp from Barb isn't nearly as sharp as the shift in Gregory's expression. If a tenuous bridge existed between them, it's as though Wright's taken a machete to the supports of it. Whether or not it's snapped or simply frayed can't be read in the split second before the waiter arrives with appetizer and entrees both.

He sits back to allow his plate to be set before him, daggers in his eyes for words unspoken.

For disappointment. Disapproval. Perhaps worse.

Barb's gaze only lifts again in flits, and she drains what remains of her glass, then reaches for Wright's, since her daughter clearly won't be needing it, and she does. Before the waiter leaves, though, she lifts a hand to gesture to him, her head turning to the side.

"If you don't mind, it's my daughter's birthday tonight," she tells him softly. "Do you have something for that?"

Gregory doesn't lift his head from the steak he's cutting into, knife to china with more clang to it than is surely necessary.

Happy birthday, Wright. Tonight, she gets the gift of her disgraced father's tight-jawed silence for the remainder of the meal. That, and the sparkler-and-mint adorned freshly-fried ice cream from the kitchen.

What she does not get is another look from him once, not even when they say goodbye.

Later that evening

Ames, tuckered out and snoozing gently in the back seat, is not nearly as tired as Wright feels. The weight of the dinner, what she’d said, has been hovering over her all evening. Marthe got most of her frustration out on the way to Elliot’s house, and Wright had no defense against any of it.

Yes, she knows her parents know how to push her buttons. Yes, they’d talked extensively about not letting it happen in the days leading up to the dinner. Yes, her mother is a terrible influence and a raging alcoholic. Yes, she should have just told her mother that she doesn’t drink beforehand. Yes, lying about why didn’t help anything. Yes, she had taken her father’s bait and let out something that had been stewing in her since the start of the war. Yes, her parents bring out all of her worst traits; all of the old behaviors she’s worked so hard to pry loose in the years since she last talked to them.

Now, more so than any other time in her life, she desperately wants a finger of whiskey. Wishes she’d just picked up that glass of wine and downed it before her mother could claim it for herself.

When the car stops quietly, she doesn’t look up. She sighs, sadly, and pinches the bridge of her nose against tears that still find a way past. Marthe’s frustration doesn’t stray into anger, and she unbuckles herself so she can reach across the center console to hug her wife. Wright leans into her, letting out a soft whimper, “I’m so sorry.”

“I know,” Marthe whispers, planting a kiss against the side of her head. “We’ll get through it. Do you want me to pick you up?”

“No,” Wright says, wiping her face as she disengages. “I’ll just crash at Elliot’s tonight.”

Marthe nods, understanding. Not jealous of Wright’s relationship with her partner, just in denial. “Call me when you’re in for the night.”

Wright nods, sniffles, nods again. “I love you,” she whispers hoarsely. She’s immensely grateful to hear it returned. She opens the car door quietly, stands into the cold night air of Red Hook. She shuts the door delicately, watching Ames slumber in the back seat. The Civis rolls back onto the road, headed for Phoenix Heights.

She clears her throat, wipes away the last of the tears and looks around for anyone who might be watching her. She turns from the street and heads inside, barely seeing the receptionist other than to mumble something about where she’s headed. She doesn’t register whatever the woman says in response.

Her boots click softly in the halls, and she walks to her destination with a familiarity born of repeated walks to the same place, though it feels like ages since the last time. The door is ajar, but she pushes it open delicately, as though her arrival might be a burden on the small group gathered here. Nobody she recognizes.

She unbuttons her dinner jacket and slumps into an empty chair. She’d been doing so well. She’s doing well. She’s here.

“A newcomer,” somebody says, though she doesn’t look up to see who. Doesn’t have the energy to correct them. “You look like you’ve been through it, do you want to say something?”

She sighs, fights, strangles the urge to shed more tears. Swallows dryly, delays, nods. Elliot’s here in her perspective, lending her strength that she desperately needs.

“My name is Wright,” she says, “And I’m an alcoholic.”

The Benchmark Recovery and Counseling Center

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