I really couldn’t believe it as we stood out on the curb waiting for the valet. It couldn’t be possible that everything had been so perfect just the night before could it? When the Valet opened the passenger door for me, Jack handed him a few dollars, and I started to open the backdoor to get in, when Jack stopped me and told me to sit up front. I slid into the front seat without an argument even though Rachel and I’d ridden up in the back seat and Liz had been in the passenger seat up front.
Jack didn’t say anything at all as we were waiting. It was hard to know that to do or say. He’d shared stories about times like these but now I’d seen it all for myself. I just reached over and held his hand and he let me. Even with a coat on, I shivered. And I prayed! I wasn’t sure what to expect. Finally after what seemed like over an hour, Liz and Rachel appeared. Poor Rachel looked as if she was practically carrying her mother. Before they reached the car, Jack quickly said to me, “We will go up long enough to get our things and then leave.” Liz never said a word when she saw me in the front seat. I think she was a little relieved to not have to sit up there with Jack.
Even though the drive was only about twenty minutes, it seemed like it took hours. Finally we all piled into the elevator up to Liz’s apartment. No one said a word the whole drive home. But as soon as the elevator doors closed Liz went crazy asking Jack who he thought he was and then she literally jumped on him and knocked his glasses off his face and scratched his nose. Jack just held his mother off. When the doors opened. Rachel got out. I thought she was going to open the apartment door but when we got to the door, Jack took his key and unlocked it. I looked around, but there was no Rachel. I was so mad!
I took off the coat that Liz gave me and told Jack I didn’t want anything but what he’d given me. As he was gathering everything up, I could barely believe my eyes. Liz picked up a wine bottle and held it over her head ready to send it crashing down onto Jack. Without thinking, I almost tackled her as I ran and grabbed it out of her hands She held on so tight, but something happened to me at that moment and I caught her and myself (for that matter) by complete surprise, and found strength that I never knew I had, yanking her arms back, I told her “Oh no you don’t, you wicked old witch!” as she hit the half empty bottle against the table shattering the glass. Just barely missing Jack as his head jerked up. He hadn’t even seen it coming.
Liz was in the middle of cussing us both out when we heard a thundering knock on the door and someone shouting “Police, open up!” I ran to the door but Jack got there first and opened it and there stood Robin behind two police officers. I was confused and then relieved when I saw all three of them.
They each took turns listening to our stories and immediately realized who was drunk and belligerent and who was devastated and embarrassed. The officer that spoke to us was very kind and allowed us to get our things and escorted us to our car explaining that they get more calls like this during the holidays than they can count and to just let it blow over and that everything would be okay. I wondered if he knew for sure that everything would really ever be okay again.
I thanked him for being so nice and Jack shook his hand. When he dropped me off that night, I started to get out of the car and then turned around to say Merry Christmas. And thought “Seriously?” How could I let him go home alone after everything we’d been through? I told him to come in. He looked so grateful he didn’t even try to argue. I just couldn’t picture him going home to an empty house. My parents had already gone to bed. There were still gifts under the tree that I still hadn’t taken up to my room yet. As I surveyed my home and the scene before me, I felt very grateful. I started a fire and got some pillows and blankets and we fell asleep in each other’s arms. That night I thanked God for giving me the parents that I had and I think I may have even loved them just a little bit more than I had the day before.