Horror Story

The black cocktail dress was cliché but appropriate.  Dena thumbed the pearls fastened around her neck as she sighed, and looked towards the full length mirror.  She didn’t want to go but forced herself to oblige her husband.  She met him at the venue since he was coming directly from the hospital.

Words the doctor slung around with his colleagues buzzed around her like irritating flies.  She hoped her face didn’t give away annoyance.  Instead she worked hard to fall right in step with rising laugher, topic shifts, and serious tone highlights.  She tried not to yawn.  The wine that sloshed around her third Bordeaux glass slightly numbed her exasperation.

It was time to go home.  In five short blocks Dena could slip into her favorite baby doll nightie, and dive head first between king sized 1500 thread count cotton sheets.  Driving home she yawned and closed her eyes a little.  She was definitely buzzed but not drunk.  She didn’t recognize the impact for a few moments.  She hadn’t hit a car.  Maybe it was a deer.  That would be strange since she was surrounded by industrial buildings.

Dena had been riding too close to the bike lane.  The biker Dena hit, a college student at Notre Dame, died instantly.  After the police arrived on the scene a breathalyzer confirmed the illegal amount of wine in Dena’s system.  She was eventually convicted of involuntary manslaughter, and is currently serving twenty years in prison.   Intermittently, Dena is visited by her three daughters and husband.


3 thoughts on “Horror Story

  1. Tragic. Could have been me as the driver. I was blessed to get into recovery not in a jail cell. Just so sad, destroying two families at once. I pray nightly that I didn’t hurt or kill someone with my drinking and driving.

    I have court in a few months for my arrest on a DUI-like charge.

    I am lucky.

    Thanks for sharing.


    • The (not so) funny part about this story is that I learned about it from my friend Martin. I had been dreading contacting Martin. After updating him about being an admitted alcoholic, how inebriated Anna almost barreled into oncoming traffic, and my AA meetings, he responded in the dreaded way I was hoping to avoid. He laughed. The idea of me starting off testimonies with: “Hi, I’m Anna and I’m an alcoholic…” was a hilarious joke. To him, happy hours and Anna go together like peanut butter and jelly. He then went on to suggest drinking in moderation. Duh! Like I haven’t tried that before. Just when I thought I had enough he told me this story about his wife’s best friend. She literally ruined her life for three glasses of wine. This could have easily been my story. I made drunk driving a sadistic art. Despite Martin’s disrespect towards my sober lifestyle, he shared a story that I cling to during my weakest moments. Go figure.

      I wish you all the best with your upcoming trial.

      • “I made drunk driving a sadistic art” Wonderfully said…and very true of me too. Thanks for the luck…probably will get (rightfully) convicted. A fine and licence suspension at worst. Again, lucky no one got hurt. Always a reminder out there for us, eh?

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