Book 5 in the Love Stories series (see below for books 1-4)
What do you do when the one you love fails you? An unlikely one-sided love story.
Jason, an alcoholic, having lost everything except his life, seeks support from AA. Staying sober is still a daily struggle. One day, however, is the beginning of a change from struggle to hope when, Emily, a richly dressed woman with a hostile attitude, walks into an AA meeting he is attending. Hope for himself and for someone else. A simple talk between the two about addiction and AA at coffee grows into friendship and, for Jason, into love which remains one-sided and unexpressed. But his care and concern for his love fails. After Emily does not show up for her AA meetings for four weeks, he goes looking for her and finds her dead body, mostly eaten by wild animals and birds, on her ranch property. Later autopsy reveals meth overdose as the cause of death. What is he going to do now?
They say that once you’ve admitted to your addiction half the battle is won. That was certainly not true for Jason. After being homeless for a year and tired of lying to the strangers at street intersections or supermarket parking lots that he needed money for a bus fare home or for food so that he could have means to quench his thirst for booze and get a temporary relief from that indescribable sense of pain, agony, and despair, he walked into an AA meeting and announced to the group, “My name is Jason and I am an alcoholic.”
Within a week he had a bunk in a dorm for addicts, food to nourish his body, and a sponsor to nourish his soul. He also had a job as a janitor so that he could pay for some of the services he received and not feel like a total charity case. It was a hard journey with many boulders to negotiate along the way, and he stumbled most of the time. He would still beg, steal, or rob to secure his poison and often end up in a gutter with all kinds of predators around, or, if he was lucky, in jail. Even his sponsor began to be disheartened after getting him out of the slammer only to find him in the sludge filled holes in the river banks or other such places. When this happened for the fifth time within a month, he sat down with Jason for a serious talk.
“Do you want to die a painful, miserable death? Do you?” he asked.
“What option do I have?” was a very honest answer.
“Life is an option. I was once where you are today. I made it, so can you. You just have to want to live.”
“I want to live. Who doesn’t? But, when the body’s demands start, everything else disappears. You know how it is?”
“I know how it is. I have been there. It’s a mind game. Your need to live has to be stronger than your need to drink.”
“I guess I’m losing the game.”
The talk did no good. Yet, there must have been some desire to live and some hope of a miracle which made Jason continue to attend the AA meetings. Good thing, because one day in one of those drab rooms with the overpowering smell of coffee, unwashed bodies, and cigarettes, where stories of degradation were narrated, he found salvation.
Salvation came with a name, Emily. Of course, no one knew that, not at the time.
When Emily walked into the group for the first time, all eyes riveted toward her. They exhibited surprise and incredulousness at finding someone among themselves who did not seem to belong there.