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December 16, 2017

The Tuggles

Episode 20: The Couple

December 16, 2017

Austin changed into a new shirt and grabbed his cap. Heading out of the house, he hurried through the pouring summer rain and climbed into his truck, wiping a few drops from his knuckles. With Rachel still at work for two more hours he decided to make her a nice meal for the evening and have it ready when she got home. The thought of a stiff drink entered his mind, and he did nothing to push it out. Backing out of the gravel driveway, he hit the gas a little hard and his book tumbled off the dashboard into the passenger seat. The Last American Man by Eustace Conway—the story of a man who had ridden a horse across the United States. He reached over to fix the smashed pages.

The book had been the highlight of his last month. The courage and grit of a man to take such a risky journey had given him a mental escape from his own mundane drudgery and feelings of failure. After filling the grocery basket with the few items needed to grill out, he remembered the drink. Turning down the alcohol aisle, he grabbed a six-pack of beer off the shelf. As he made it to the end, nearing the bread, he turned back towards the shelf and placed the beers down. Staring at it for a moment, he wrestled with the disappointment Rachel would feel for him to have a drink again after going this long without it. It was too easy to choose it over her. Then the personal disappointment in himself rose up. He didn’t want to be that man anymore.

He left it sitting there and walked to the check-out.

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