Colton woke up on January 1st with a slight hangover, but didn’t feel too bad, all things considered. Not bad at all.

It was a new day, and a new year. Colton had resolved to start fresh. The drinking – done. The fights with Amy – finished. The late nights – over. He knew he’d gotten out of control during the past year. And things were going to change, starting today. Amy had been really excited when he’d told her about his resolutions.

Amy was already up making coffee when Colton made it downstairs. He poured himself a cup. It tasted bitter. Colton was lactose intolerant, so milk wasn’t an option. Neither was sugar – Colton liked to think of himself as a health buff, and that stuff was just poison.

Colton looked at his phone. It WAS after noon. There WAS half a bottle of Irish Whiskey in the cupboard over the refrigerator. And the coffee WAS very bitter – undrinkable, really. It wasn’t like a shot of whiskey in your coffee counted as drinking, if it were only to take the edge off the bitterness.

Colton waited until Amy left the room before adding some whiskey to his cup, and he returned the bottle to the cupboard before she got back. It really did the trick. His coffee tasted great – hardly bitter at all with the whiskey in it. So great Colton drank four or five cups.

Before Colton knew it, some friends arrived to watch the game. The friends brought refreshments – an assortment of new local craft beers, most of which Colton hadn’t tried before. Colton thought he’d try a taste of a few of them, that certainly couldn’t be considered drinking if he only tasted. It was all above board, like going to a wine tasting, right? Colton tasted several, several times.

By eleven their friends had cleared out, and Colton and Amy were alone. He snuck up behind her and nuzzled her neck. A little romance on New Year’s Day was a good way to start off the new year. At least, Colton thought it would be. But Amy stiffened when he touched her. She said something about being tired. Colton put his arms around her, hugged her tightly and ground himself against her anyway. She only needed a bit of foreplay to get in the mood.

When Amy struggled against his embrace and moved away, Colton grabbed her arm and jerked it, just to pull her back to him. A tiny jerk, but of course Amy overreacted and let out a yelp, like it really hurt. He tried to diffuse the situation by hugging her again, but then Amy pushed him away with her hands on his chest. So, Colton pushed back in the same manner, slightly harder than she had. But only slightly. Again, Amy overreacted and started crying.

Colton stormed out of the house toward Sullivan’s Pub. He thought Sullivan’s would be open until at least two, and then he could hit an after-hours place if he still felt like it. There was no reasoning with Amy when she got like this. She was really acting badly. And after he’d made all those resolutions, just for her.

Colton nodded at the bartender at Sullivan’s and ordered a beer. It was after midnight, so technically he’d made it through one whole day without drinking. He hadn’t even raised his voice at Amy, so they hadn’t had an actual fight. And he decided he’d skip the after-hours place, so he’d be home by a few minutes after two. No more late nights for him. Check, check and check – all three resolutions in the bag.

Colton didn’t think that was too bad for his first day, all things considered.

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