Sitting on the kitchen floor, slumped against the counter, I stared at the bottle lying on the floor, right in front of me. The pretty lights from the balcony seemed to bounce off the bottle, making the bottle look so much prettier. I felt transfixed, staring at it, couldn't take my eyes off it. I started seeing images, moving images on the surface of the bottle. At first, these images, looked like me. Avoiding the paparazzi, shielding my face from the camera flashes, and then flashing a reluctant smile, just before getting into the car. The big beautiful posters with my face all over those. The magazine articles, talking about how I maintained to stay fit, and stay so beautiful. The numerous photo shoots. Then the images changed. And it was now all about my movies. What was that bottle trying to do? It seemed to have a hidden agenda.
I wanted to bring my hands to my eyes, rub them vigorously, and wake myself up. I wanted to pinch myself, and tell myself, that bottles don't tell stories. But I was too exhausted to lift up my hands. My hands felt so heavy, as if made of lead. The images continued their game. Showing me my movies, my fans, my awards. It was as if, I was watching the story of someone else's life. Then came the men. That one particular director, who saw the star in me. That actor, who thought I was the most beautiful girl in the world. That businessman, who wanted to marry me. Just fleeting images, as if the bottle was taunting me and laughing at me, making a mockery of the relationships that had lasted just as long, fleeting images. Then the bottle seemed to lose it's sense of humour. And the story took a dark turn. The days of loneliness, the days of no men, no friends, no movies. The days of drug addiction, the days of rehab, then the days of drinking, all flashing past my eyes. I could no longer make out, whether the images were still flashing on the bottle, or elsewhere, or in my mind. I tried to see clearly, but everything was a blur.
I felt exhausted. I wanted to close my eyes, and go to a deep sleep. And never wake up. I felt that sometimes, when I had a bottle too many. I felt that so many times, these days. I was no longer concentrating on the flashing images, and I was losing consciousness. But as I closed my eyes, I saw that image. Then, she saw that little angel, walking on her own, for the first time, holding on to the couch, looking wide eyed at her. Her first bicycle ride, her first school dance. Her prom. These were the last thoughts, and I think I closed my eyes, with a smile on my face. Probably the only thing, that had made me smile, during the entire day and in a long, long time.
Moments later, I felt as if something was bothering me, pricking my closed eyes, and I opened them to see sunlight filtering through the balcony, right into my kitchen. Hours had passed, and I had spent my night, lying drunk on the floor of my penthouse apartment, lonely. I saw the bottle, lying right in front of me. Turning around, I saw my phone lying on the floor. I sat upright, and grabbed it,frantically dialling a number.
After a few rings, I heard a groggy voice on the other end saying 'Hello! Who is this?'. Reluctantly, and with a little fear, I responded, 'Hi! Honey'. And then, there was silence. She responded, uninterested and with contempt 'Hey mum! What is it this time? Rehab? Hit and run? Anything else you might want to add to that list?'. I swallowed hard, and said, 'It's nothing this time, darling. I am at home. I just woke up, on the kitchen floor.' 'You are at home? And you are not in any trouble?'. She seemed so surprised and a little shocked, and didn't want to believe me. 'No.' I couldn't think of anything else to say. After another brief silence, she said 'I will come see you in a while. Will grab some coffee on the way.' After a small pause, she added, 'I have not seen you in ages, mum.' She sighed. 'It's been good to hear your voice.' And she put down the phone.
Getting up from where I lay, I started tidying the kitchen. Empty takeout containers, and the bottles went to trash. I picked up that last empty bottle lying on the floor. Deep down, I felt, this would be my last bottle, after all. I stared at the bottle now. Just another bottle. It looked plain now, no colourful images danced on it, no light reflected on it. I lovingly took it to the sink, and washed it, rinsing it, and then I put it out in the sun to dry. I did not want to throw the bottle, that had told me a story, and then showed me the only thing that mattered, that should have mattered all along. My angel was coming home.