Flumes Vol. 5: Issue 1, Summer 2020 - Page 73

The sun peeked up over the crack in the blinds. Savana had tacked a sheet over the windows, that dipped in the middle and made a half-moon smile of sunlight on the floor. Jamie’s phone died hours ago from checking and rechecking her text messages. She hadn’t gone to charge it because midway through the night, Savana slung her arm over Jamie’s stomach. The room had become hot and stuffy and Savana kept snoring, but Jamie didn't move. The contact, though not intimate, felt good for some reason. It was contact; that was a reason why some people came to the club. Jamie shrank at the thought of becoming one of the lonely people—the ones that came just to feel another human take up the space next to them. The sun-filled the room, little by little. Jamie slid out of the bed, setting Savana’s arm down as carefully as possible, plugged in her phone, and hopped in the shower.

Al’s legal pad, mostly written in shorthand, made almost no sense, minus the last page. He had taken care to write her instructions down very clearly.

1. NO DRINKING.

2. NO DRIVING.

3. Attend an AA meeting. Get the court documents signed by the group leader.

4. Attend a MADD panel. Get the court documents signed by the group leader.

5. Pay all court fees and fines within 30 days of sentencing.

a. State — Aggravated DWI fine. Can be paid at court.

b. Court fees — Can be paid at court.

c. Ankle monitor maintenance and calibration.

d. No Atty fees.

She stared at the "No Atty fees" line. At least there was that. She couldn't look at the rest of the list anymore. Not only had she failed to make her goal the previous night, but she was also $50 behind because she paid the evening shift house fee. She looked back at the first part of the list. The paperwork that needed signing seemed doable. MADD—Mothers Against Drunk Driving, would be the scarier of the two meetings. Images of mothers crying over their dead children swam through her brain. She looked up AA meetings, instead.

***

The group called itself “The Wellness Friends” and met at a church. It looked just as pathetic as she had imagined. The room smelled like industrial-grade carpet that never really vacuumed well, and there were no windows. The one clock on the wall ticked far too loud and ran fifteen minutes fast. Maybe they set it that way on purpose, just to punish the people that wanted to get their hour of AA over with. The attendees, in various states of disarray, gathered around a coffee machine, or each other. They hunched, almost like they had been beaten down, and spoke quietly. She took a seat in the back, row, close to the door.

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