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“Good God, man!” I whispered to him harshly, “What are we doing?” I expected Ryan to laugh at me, to make some sort of joke out of this. When we were younger, his job was to humiliate me, but now he was crying. “Oh… oh Jesus, Ryan,” I mumbled, “we shouldn’t be doing this here.” “I-I’m so, s-sorry.” He babbled. “Dad… Mum… Everybody… You.” “That’s good!” The counselor said, “That’s it, let it out.” I flared up at the intrusion. For a moment, I’d forgotten about the room full of people, and this guy made the whole situation seem childish and overly public. “Jesus fuckin’— Ryan, let’s go, we shouldn’t do this here,” I growled, gathering our coats, “This is a personal thing, man, Christ!” How embarrassing! Huggings, feelings, grown men crying. It seemed like the door was pulling me too it. I had a hold of Ryan’s arm and was leading him out with me. I reached forward to grab the doorknob when the stringy man in the grey suit swept in front of me, holding his long arms out and staring me down. “C’mon man,” I barked, “This was fun, but we can handle this on—“ “You can handle yourself,” He interjected, “But you can’t handle him.” I looked back at Ryan, who looked back at me. “I need this.” Ryan said with tears in his eyes. I stood there a moment longer, looking at my brother. A short moment passed, and I sighed as I let my brother’s arm go and returned to my seat. The room returned to its quiet awkwardness, grown men sitting in a circle just talking. “Francis,” The instructor continued, “Could you please tell us about yourself ?” “Uh, ahem. Hello, I’m Francis, and I’m an alcoholic. The first time I let myself down was a few years ago when…”


Centripetal Volume 12 Issue 1  

Volume 12 Issue 1--Fall 2010