Turning Point - Jack (Spoiler)

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Turning Point - Jack (Spoiler)

Post  digger481 on Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:46 am

Very interior to Jack's life, very much spoilery. Don't read if you want to FOIP.

It was late when Jack got home that night. The kids were already in bed. Jack would never get used to not being able to say goodnight to his kids, he supposed. But such was life as this new man he’d set out to become.

Sally was on the sofa in the living room, nodding off to something on TV. As Jack walked in, he noted the half empty bottle of scotch on the coffee table. It’d been a few days since Sally had hit the bottle hard. Jack was caught somewhere between frustration and sadness, with neither taking full hold in time for Sally to round and throw an empty glass at him, narrowly missing his head and smashing on the wall behind. Without a word she sat back down, grabbed the bottle and took a swig. Jack turned to leave, but caught the sound of Sally beginning to sob into her hands. He stopped in his tracks. They hadn’t been speaking these past days. He knew he could do as much harm as good by going to her while she was like this. He took another step to leave and stopped again. He never could just walk away.

Without saying anything, he sat down next to her. The next move was hers. Jack braced for what was coming. A few more “bruises” of the more traditional kind, he thought wryly. Immediately he felt guilty at the thought. He was startled out of his self-correction. Sally was looking down; he could barely see her eyes now. But her hand was resting softly on his. With two simple words she cut through the silence.

“I’m sorry…”

Jack blinked out a watery tear as he gathered her up. She should never see him weak. He didn’t let her go until he’d regained his own composure. He whispered soft reassuring words to her as she sobbed into his chest. Sobered in emotion if not in wit, she said the words Jack had been hoping in vain to hear for some time now. Ever since that night…

Two weeks previously…

It was early evening. Sally should be home by now. The kids had had their dinner and were now abed, and Jack was finishing off some paperwork. The sound of Sally fumbling at the lock with her key along with the lateness of the hour foretold of the trouble to come. The door swung carelessly open and she stumbled into the house. She marched into the kitchen. Jack stood and dared a few words.

“Your dinner just needs heating, give me a few…”

He was cut off by the sound of the plate bearing Sally’s now-cold dinner smashing on the hard kitchen floor. Sally stormed past him, knocking him hard against a cupboard corner, bottle of Jack Daniels in hand. The sound of the bottle opening and being poured into the glass was Jack’s soundtrack as he touched the back of his head. Blood. He’d have to clean that up. He took a towel from the side and wet it with cold water. It dripped into the sink, but Jack remained still. His eyes glazed.

Jack sees a car. Sally is driving. A bottle in her hand. Her head nods. The car swerves. A flash of pure white turns to red and blue. A face he doesn’t recognise. An unfamiliar room. White. Sadness. A shake of the head.

“We did all we could. I’m sorry.”

Jack dropped the towel and was jolted out of his vision by the wet sound of it splashing into the sink. He hears Sally pouring again. He can feel a trickle of blood running down his neck, but pays it no heed. Filled with purpose, he turns and marches into the living room. He wrenches the glass from Sally’s hand and puts it on the table, spilling some on the floor on the way. Sally looks at him for a moment, aghast, and then slaps him hard on the cheek. She reaches for the glass, but Jack grabs her wrist and stops her.

“This has to stop! You’re going to kill yourself with this drinking! Please love, no more!”

The extra JD Sally has imbibed in the short time preceding Jack’s entrance does nothing for her state. She goes wild, flailing at Jack with hands and feet alike. Punches and kicks rain down on him, powerless to do anything in return except try to stop her. His unwillingness to risk injury to her gives her ample opportunity to do him injury. It ends when he is pushed back over the coffee table, hitting his head on the floor. Jack passes out. Sally doesn’t notice, and doesn’t wait to see if he gets back up – she takes her bottle and goes upstairs to drink herself into a forced slumber.

Two weeks later…

“Jack… Please. I think I need help. Please help me, Jack.”

Jack’s heart threatened to beat right out of his chest. He hoped to God this wouldn’t be forgotten in the morning. He had to make this work. Maybe he could get outside help for Sally, some professional advice, therapy, God, even hypnosis. He had to make sure she would be ok, whatever the price, it didn’t matter. All that mattered was that the first step had been taken, and now it was up to him to make everything alright. He wouldn’t let her down.

He held her until she stopped sobbing, then gently lifted her up. He took her upstairs and set her in bed, where he sat and kept vigil over her sleeping form until birdsong marked the morning hours.

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