In Vino Veritas
/in veeno verritaas/
• exclamation under the influence of alcohol, a person tells the truth.
— ORIGIN Latin, 'truth in wine'.
Truth in wine, huh? I wonder...
The phone rang in the middle of the night. The voice on the other end was barely audible over the music and voices. As I tried to read the number on the caller i.d., he started to speak.
"Did I wake you?" His accent is as thick as ever and instantly recognizable to my barely coherent brain.
"Um, yeah but that's ok."
"I love when I wake you up…I like hearing you shake the sleep from your voice. And I know you've got some great bed head right now."
I giggled, shook the sleep from my voice and replied, "What do you know about it? It's not like you've ever woken up next to me."
"All in good time, sweetheart, all in good time."
She's a mean drunk. She has said and done awful things when intoxicated. One night in particular stays with me. Her breath reeked and her eyes were glossy as she yelled. I don't have any clue what set her off, but then again I never do. Though clearly drunk, she is well aware of words that will cut me to the core and she doesn't hesitate to use them.
My eyes sting but I refuse to blink because blinking means I'll start crying. And I swore the last time she did this that I wouldn't cry again. So I don't cry but I do walk out. I can't help but wonder if she means everything she says.
Then comes the period of uncomfortable tension. Days, weeks, months? One can never tell. I am given the silent treatment during this time until she decides to act like nothing happened and everything is fine.
She has never apologized for any of it and every time it happens I lose more respect for her. Soon, there will be nothing left.
I am 21 and a month out of the two year relationship with my first real love. He had decided to cheat. I had decided to get even. The guy holding my hand is new and exciting. He is sweet, funny and clearly interested. The fact that he's tall and has green eyes doesn't hurt either. We're sitting at a table in his fraternity house doing shots of Jager.
I know the ex will hear about my new found friend so I play it up a bit. Lots of laughing. Lots of shameless flirting. Lots of kissing.
Later, he asks for my number.
"I want to take you out sometime," he says as he walks me home.
I smile and nod, "Yeah, we should do that sometime..."
I know he meants it. He doesn't know that I don't.
He calls and I dodge. This happens four or five times before he gives up.
It was his 28th birthday and we had been out all night. We stumble into my house and I sit him on the stairs as I take off my coat, hat and gloves. He stands up to help with my coat but the scotch has taken its toll on his equilibrium and he falls backwards, taking me with him. We laugh until we can't breathe and as I stand to put my coat on the hook he grabs my hand.
"I love you."
It's the first time he's ever said it and to be honest, I'm not sure I heard him correctly. He soon eliminates any doubt.
"I know I don't say it but I am in love with you." He kisses my hand then pulls himself up off the stairs and hugs me tightly. He whispers it again into my ear… I love you.
"I love you, too."
A few months later, he'll be gone. And I'll be left wondering if he ever meant it or if it was just the scotch talking.