Nora heard the clink of bottles hitting each other as her husband walked up the drive having done the grocery shopping. He would first go into the garage before coming into the house, and then when the grocery bags were emptied there wasn’t a bottle in sight.
Nora’s husband had a room at the back of the garage where he kept his model railway. He would spend hours there. He could afford the time once he had retired. Occasionally he would come into the house to use the bathroom, smelling of the breath-disguising odour of peppermint.
He’d always had trouble with drink but now he’d “dried out”. He had given up by sheer will-power, he told everyone. “Just said NO and that was it.” No one other than Nora heard the clink of bottles on the driveway.
In a strange way Nora didn’t mind. The more her husband stayed out of the house the better. That way she could get stuck into her own stash of liquor hidden behind the pots at the back of the kitchen cupboard.