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A Short Story by Bryan Costales
Genre: Literary Fiction Originally Published 8/29/2009 on bcx.org
Damn Rehab © 2009 Bryan Costales Page 1
Damn Rehab by Bryan Costales
Jake Butteruth lay sprawled on their old sofa, a can of cheap beer in one hand and a lit, unﬁltered camel cigarette in the other. “Day ﬁve,” he said to his live-in girlfriend who stood in the doorway and glared at him. “Good morning to you too,” she said with a forced smile. Lady Day was her name. She believed she had been born with the worst name ever. She was still dressed in her brown ﬂannel robe and asked, “Can you make me some coffee?” Jake sat up straight and plunked the can of beer on the table. “You’ve been sober ﬁve days now,” he said and took a drag on his smoke. He was still dressed in the same boxers and sleeveless t-shirt he had slept in. He exhaled and said, “Sure babe.” Lady crossed her arms and stared at Jake. “You promised,” she said. “You promised you wouldn’t drink booze around me.” “What this?” Jake picked up the can. “It’s just a beer.” “It has alcohol in it doesn’t it?” “Yeah, but just four percent, or maybe two.” Lady tapped her foot impatiently. Jake heard the loud tap and looked at her feet. She was wearing her slippers. When Lady put on her slippers that meant she was up for good. No going back to bed. “Okay,” he said. He snubbed out his cigarette and stood. He looked at Lady and shrugged. Then he turned away from her and walked toward the kitchen. “Fresh brewed,” Lady called after him. “Not yesterday’s coffee microwaved.” Jake pushed open the swinging kitchen door with his foot and eased in using his back to hold the door open. Once inside he let the door swing shut. He listened to the ﬂap, ﬂap, ﬂap as the door swung back and forth through the doorway. “Damn,” he said. “This rehab is a bitch.”
© 2009 Bryan Costales
“That should do it.” she said. It felt cold and inviting. He grunted and reached for another can beer.” Jake pushed the button and listened.” He guzzled the beer and set the empty can on the counter. That meant he had to face Lady in the bedroom. that didn’t sound like a good idea. He popped it open and took a sip. He grabbed his empty beer can and took it to the sink. Jake wandered over to the fridge and opened it. Just yogurts and leftovers. No.” Jake heard the kitchen door swing open but didn’t hear it swing shut. “She’ll never know.” “So you remembered to buy more coffee yesterday?” Jake hesitated. “Yeah. “Yeah. “That’s the ticket.” Lady turned and walked away out of the kitchen. If Lady hadn’t been in rehab he’d normally have a beer for breakfast.” Jake said. Jake watched the door swing to a stop. Lady stood there arms folded. He shook it and it didn’t seem full enough. “Coffee. “Just like you wanted. Perhaps a teaspoon’s worth of coffee remained. He opened the cupboard door above the coffee maker and pulled out the big red plastic jug of coffee grounds. The kitchen door ﬂap.” he said and looked at the beer in his hand.” he said.” Jake rummaged but didn’t ﬁnd anything appetizing. ﬂapped. He carried the water back to the coffee maker and poured in just enough to ﬁll the water reservoir up to half way. He smiled. She didn’t smile. Yeah.” Damn Rehab © 2009 Bryan Costales Page 3 . “Well no. Jake didn’t drink coffee. Jake set down the jug and looked at the coffee maker. ﬂap. “Maybe something to eat.” he said. “Nice. He popped open the lid and looked inside. That will help me think.The coffee pot was still half full from the day before. The jug was almost empty.” Jake looked around the kitchen. He knew he had better go get fresh coffee but he wasn’t dressed yet. “I see you’re brewing coffee. “Breakfast. He rinsed out the can twice then ﬁlled it with water.” “Damn Jake! I can’t drink booze anymore and all I want is fresh coffee. He said. “Damn rehab.” he muttered. “Hey. The water heated and yesterday’s grounds started to drip new coffee into the old. He looked.
Jake carried the beer to the sink and leaned there. in the Banyan Review. also called the “bat book” because of the picture of a bat on the cover. and future novels.bcx.” About the Author Bryan Costales is author of several technical books. He took another sip of breakfast beer. and Peridot Books.org/ blogs/saturday/ Also see http://www.bcx. The light from the window ﬁlled the kitchen with a warm glow. past. and on his own web site at http://www. he has been writing a bi-weekly short story for almost two years. He has written short ﬁction for over thirty years and has been published in Cantaraville Six. belched and said. Micro Horror. as a kindle download.com/novels/ for his current. the smell of coffee ﬁlled the air and calmed him. Those short stories are available here. “Damn rehab. In order to hone his craft. Damn Rehab © 2009 Bryan Costales Page 4 . chief of which is the O’Reilly “sendmail” book.