IT'S ALL IN HERE.

When you wake up and you realize you're a totally new person, something inside of you starts questioning everything. Is this really my life? Is it exactly the way I wanted it to be? Or is it more? Or, and this is quite disturbing, is it nothing like I wanted it to be? Do I have regrets? Should I have regrets?

It was just me tonight. Just me and this bottle of beer at Joe's Bar. And the blue file that lay on the counter in front of my eyes.

"Is it gonna be just you tonight, champ?" Joe the bartender asked me with a big smile on his face.

"Yep, just me tonight, Joe."

"So, like old times."

And then he says something before disappearing to the other end of the bar. It didn't matter, what he said anyway, because my head was still fixating on "like old times".

I looked around, and it's weird. How I used to come here very often, alone, at night. A family man shouldn't be drinking at bars alone during the week instead of taking care of his family and making love to his wife. But maybe I wasn't as reckless with my family as I keep trying to pin over my head.

And with that thought, my eyes meet with the shiny, blue layer that the files were looking at me with.

It's all in here.

I take a gulp of my beer and let out a sigh afterwards. And with that, I open the folder.

Drum-roll, please.

Because what am I expecting to find?

Or, worse, what am I not expecting?

I finally have the balls to stare straight into the first paper that lay in front of me. "Cliff Thompson—First Session".

I flip the page.

There are scribbles all over the papers. Simple notes and phrases and little drawings. But still, underneath all those scribbles and notes and junk, I could tell that it was about me. The names on the papers felt like they were crawling out of the files and floating in thin air around my head. Too many words, too many names.

John. Gloria. John. Gloria. John. Gloria.

It's all in here.

And then there were stupid things. Simpler things that were easier to comprehend and yet confusing at the same time. Cooper. Car. Freedom. 20. Jessica. Wallet. Independence.

I felt like I had to try and link all these words together to form a meaningful sentence. To form a meaningful explanation of my life.

It's all in here.

And then the words kept spluttering out of nowhere. Hilton Hotel. Phone call. 20. Infidelity. Anger. Resentment. Dad.

John. Gloria. John. Gloria.

I get it. These are the two most important people in my life, other than my children. But why isn't there more in here?

And I flip to the next page, and the other, and the other. And I realize, there is a lot more in there.

It's all in here.

Hand. Abuse. Drunk. Yelling. Inconsistent.

With those words, the corner of my eye meets the empty beer bottle I just drank. Then I let the thoughts disappear from my mind because John would've told me if I had a drinking problem. Or, better yet, Gloria.

John or Gloria. John or Gloria.

There's a weird sentiment to that phrase. John or Gloria.

John and Gloria.

It sounds so familiar.

Then I go back to infidelity. Dr. Manning has it underlined three times in bold, black letters. And then there was cancer, bottled up, secrecy, unhealthy marriage, couples' counseling, John, Gloria.

Infidelity.

John. Gloria.

Unhealthy marriage. Couples' counseling.

Hilton Hotel.

John. Gloria.

It all comes back to this. It's all in here.

It didn't take long for me to ask for the check and pay Joe the bartender, who repeatedly asked me "You ok, bro? You look a little reddish and upset or something." You're damn right, I'm upset. I get into my car and drive straight to my home. It is 11:17 PM when I park outside my house.

As I get out of the car, I realize there are two people, a man and a woman, in the living-room yelling at each other.

And as I walk in, I can hear them talking.

"He's gonna read them."

"You should've stopped him, John."

"He's gonna find out."

I finally make it to my living-room, and they're staring at me. She is crying.

"What the hell is going on here?" I scream.

Because the man she is talking to is not John at all. "Who is this guy?"

"Cliff, there's something we have to tell you," he says.

He tries to grab my shoulders but I lift his fingers off of me. "Who the hell are you?!"

"Cliff…"

"Gloria, what the f*ck is going on here? Who the hell is this man? And where is John? You were calling after him."

The man tries again. "It's me, Cliff. I'm John."

I stare at him, totally confused.

"Please sit down."


Tell me what you think! Sorry it took me a while to update (and this was a short chapter)! I actually had this finished like a week ago but my internet went down and stuff… Hope you're enjoying this! Leave me a review please!