red wine

I feel like I’m drowning, she’d said. Melodramatic bitch, he’d said.

It was not, by some margin, his first bottle of wine of the evening. The solitary glass stood forgotten on the side table as the bottle made its happy glug-glug-glug. This was a Malbec 2000, or at least he thought it had said 2000 on the label; he was finding it hard to read the labels now. This was one they’d been saving for a special occasion. Well he’d be damned if she’d take this bottle from him along with the car, the house and the kitchen sink.

Damned if she could have any of the other bottles either. One by one he’d sunk them. The Beaujolais from their anniversary in Paris, the Domaine du Grande Maine found at the back of a dusty old wine warehouse in Southwark, even that Rioja they’d picked up in Barcelona. One by one the empty bottles had been flung out of the window into the garden. Their garden. Soon to be her garden. Well let her clear up the broken glass then, he thought. He tipped the bottle up again. A thin red stream flowed from the corner of his mouth as he smiled at the glug-glug-glug.

He flung the bottle away, let out a cheer as it hit something solid in the garden and exploded into a million fragments. He reached for the next bottle. Cabernet Sauvignon. 2003. He’d always hated Cabernet Sauvignon. This was one of hers, one he’d bought to please her. Like the beige sofa. Like the taupe rug. Like the oatmeal lampshade. All to please her.

He grinned as the idea formed. He laughed as he staggered into the living room. He capered as he poured the Cabernet Sauvignon over the beige sofa, over the taupe rug, over the oatmeal lampshade. It wasn’t much revenge, not for what she’d done to him, but it felt good.

He grabbed another bottle, then another. A Merlot they had brought back from a vinyard trip to Bordeaux, a Shiraz her father had given them as a present. The red liquid sloshed out over the carpet, over the furniture, over the walls. Bottle by bottle the pools grew. Wine lapped at his shoes and still he poured. Wine lapped at his knees and still he poured. Wine lapped at his chest and still he poured. He reached for the last bottle, the 1995 Pinot Noir, the one bottle that predated even her. He uncorked and poured their relationship away.

She found him in the morning. The doctors said he’d drunk until he’d drowned.