Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Max’s POV

This wasn’t how the series was supposed to go. I had exactly sixteen games left in me, four in, four out. That’s how it’s supposed to go. I sat on the bed starring at Lillianah tie a silk yellow scarf around her head as she got ready for the game. Some of the guys have strict rules during the playoffs, one being no sex. This made absolutely no sense to me. I shrug my shoulders at the thought and stand up. I walk behind her and kiss her bare shoulder. “I have to go meet the team in the lobby to head to the arena, I’ll see you afterwards?” She leans back into me and I can’t help but kiss her neck. She turns around and wraps her arms around my neck. “Nothing stupid, and yes I will see you afterwards.” I roll my eyes but kiss her anyways before leaving her hotel room. She acted like she didn’t like my current black eye, but I knew deep down inside it turned her on. Also considering we hadn’t had sex since before . . . since before what happened . . . it was pretty damn amazing. I finally have my old Lillianah back. She’s vibrant and healthy and the weight she’s put on was put on in all the right places. My dream woman.

I step onto the elevator and take a deep breath. Game six. We had to finish this series off tonight, the last thing I wanted to go was head home for a game seven. Game seven’s . . . the epitome of all evil. Once the elevator reaches the lobby level I step out to see the boys were all gathered, all with fake smiles on their faces. They were thinking the same thing I was. Do or die. Fuck the Flyers. Who are they anyways? A bunch of wash-ups seriously thinking their worthy of being in the same room as the cup? They got something else coming. Carcillo has something else coming. I wasn’t going to put up with this bullshit anymore. Tonight was it. Everyone around me knew that as well.

We all walked into Wachovia center in a spread out single file line. No one talked, no one made any eye contact with the people surrounding us, and we went straight to the locker room. As I stood in front of my makeshift locker, I discarded my jacket and hung it up, taking a few deep breaths in and out. I knew I’d be doing this four times. Four times for the cup. I pulled my iPod out of my front pocket and plugged it into the stereo. I selected the playlist Lillianah had made for me earlier in the series and as soon as the music filled the room it was business as usual. Flower was smiling, Sid was swaying, Scuds praying; the atmosphere felt like a regular season game in the middle of January but we were all well aware that this wasn’t. I went through the motions myself, dancing in place, humming to myself. I stripped out of my clothes and pulled on my gear, same way I always do. When it was time to take the ice for warm-ups, I shoved a ball of bubble gum in my mouth and took to the ice. This was it.

Knuble shoved the knife in our backs, and then Lupul stepped up and twisted it. I felt like I was skating through mud. It made no sense. Fuck, this was it. I can’t handle game seven’s. I refuse. I watch from the bench as Sid gets called for slashing. I hang my head for a moment before glancing up at the scoreboard. That big goose egg under our name was fucking annoying. Just thirty-one seconds into their power play Philadelphia takes their lead up to three. After the goal I see Carcillo take to the ice. I glance over my shoulder at Disco Dan. “Put me on the ice Dan!” He looks at me and we silently communicate through our eye contact. He knows what I have planned, and just like him I’m praying it will work too. He nods his head, his arms still crossed over his chest. I skate out to the right point, Carcillo in my shoulder. I glance over at him. This was it.

Lillianah’s POV

“I wanted to talk to you about what happened the other night,” my mom states to me as soon as I climb into her car outside of the hotel. “What about it?” I asked suddenly scared she’s going to tell me I’m too young to marry. “I wasn’t the greatest mother.” “Mom, stop right there,” I interject. “No, just listen. I treated you and Lizzy the same exact way. Tough love. It worked for her, but it didn’t with you. I wanted you to play piano, I pushed you to play piano, but I pushed you too hard. It took me a long time to realize my mistake. You’re not the same person as Lizzy, thank God for that. I don’t think I could have handled two cheerleaders in the house. But just know that the same parenting style obviously doesn’t work for all children involved. I know you’re going to be a wonderful mother though. You’re healthy now, you have that glow. I’m proud of you Lily.” I look over at her, tears in my eyes. I didn’t know what to say, there were no words that could express how much I appreciated what she just said. “Thanks mom,” I whisper with a smile. She flashes her smile back at we and we drive the rest of the way to the arena in silence.

I’m double fisting beers as we walk down the stairs to our seats. I look like a sunflower in the midst of orange gerberas. I see Vero sitting inconspicuously next to Avery, both dressed in black. I smile when I slide in the seat next to Vero. I slide my white jacket off to display my gold ‘Pittsburgh’ tank top and Vero smiles at me. “Thank goodness you wore that, we were a little scared,” she smiled as she pulled her jacket off to display a white Penguins t-shirt. Avery doing the same. I set one beer down between my feet as I sip on the other. “So this thing about being stupid, think it’ll happen tonight?” Charlie asked as he leaned forward from behind me. “No, I think he would have already done something by now. Besides, they want to close out the series tonight; he can’t afford any asshole moves.” Satisfied with my answer he leaned back in his chair and chatted up my dad.

My second beer was finished shortly after Phillie scored their second goal. This wasn’t exactly how things were supposed to go. I knew that if the boys lost tonight they had one more chance to close it out, but was that worth the stress? An all-or-nothing type of game? Hopefully I won’t have to witness any of those. The only thing that kept me smiling throughout the game those was whenever Max was close enough to us for me to see his black eye. It surely was a thing of beauty. I gave him crap for it, but deep down inside it was a huge turn on. During the intermission, Vero, Charlie and I faced the hoards to grab a few more beers. When we finally reached the counter after being harassed by every living human passing us I held up two fingers, Vero as well. It was going to be a long game.

I sank down in my seat and covered my face with my hand as the Flyers scored their third goal. This wasn’t good. Not at all. I felt my mom’s fragile hand squeeze my shoulder and I took another sip of my beer. Vero, Avery and I all shared knowing looks. We were scared. The crowd was loud, so loud I couldn’t even hear my own thoughts. I couldn’t help but think how the boys were communicating on the ice. They had to of been screaming. It was damn near impossible. I finished off my third beer, and as I bent over to pick up my next one I saw the gloves fall to the ice. The number on the back of the white jersey was clear as day as that asshole pounding into Max’s head a few good times, dropping him to the ice. I was stunned. Everyone in orange jumped up and cheered and I had to stand up to make sure he was getting up. I’ve seen him fight a few times, but never like this, never against a Neanderthal. The Flyer skates to the penalty box, throwing his arms in the air like he’s the damn Pope. My eyes flutter over to Max as he’s escorted as well. With one quick movement, all of our mouths fell open. “Did he just tell everyone to shut the fuck up?!”

Max’s POV

For the first time since I’d been in the NHL, I was swallowed alive by the media. Three or four reporters I could understand, but I couldn’t even count how many microphones and tape recorders were shoved in my face. Was what I did epic? Fuck yes it was, but I still had to play it cool. “I gave up their first goal, I owed it to my teammates to swing the momentum our way,” I explained to them over and over again. Didn’t matter how they worded their question that was the answer I was giving. Once the crowd disappeared in front of me, I headed for the showers. “Fuck me Talby, I don’t even know what to say after that,” Billy laughed as he threw a towel at me. I shrug my shoulders at him before submerging myself under the hot water.

Lillianah is standing with her hands on her hips, biting her bottom lip all while shaking her head. “What?” I laugh as I link my arms through hers and wrap them around her waist. “I don’t even... I….” “It’s okay babe, I’m just that damn awesome.” She punches me in my good shoulder as she laughs. “What was that for?” I ask looking down at my shoulder to act like I’m hurt. “That was to keep your ass down here on planet earth. I knew you said you were gonna do something stupid, but do you even know what that did? What it means?” I place my forehead on hers. “I do, and frankly, I’m scared as hell to talk about it. I did it, it’s done, we move on. I just had to do the right thing.” “Telling the whole city of Philadelphia to shove it up their asses was the right thing?” I’m getting turned on at how emotional she is about the topic. Her arms flailing around her, her voice is even different. It was then I knew that she was in this as much as I was. I wasn’t playing to win for me anymore, but for us. “Yes, yes it was. Come on, we have flights to catch.”

I receive high-fives from every guy on the team as I board the flight. Disco Dan looks at me and smiles, which I nod my head back. I was hoping my fight with Carcillo would give us enough momentum to at least tie the game and stay alive. The five unanswered goals were damn near overwhelming. Philadelphia just crumbled at our mercy from the five minute mark of the second till the final buzzer. A simple fight went from a push for momentum to a complete turn over. I was extremely happy with the outcome, but I felt like talking about it would be sacrilegious.

Monday, April 12, 2010



Max’s POV

“So when ya tellin’ the parents?” Flower asked as we boarded the flight to Philadelphia together. “My parents? I don’t know. We’re telling her parents tonight,” I cringed at the thought but Flower flashed me his smile letting me know everything was going to be okay. I glance down at my watch quickly and see that Lillianah’s flight to Philadelphia would be taking off any moment. I could only imagine what she and Vero could be talking about. Flowers, lace and alcohol I’m sure. I take my seat next to Duppers and pull my iPod out for the short hop across Pennsylvania. We’re already up two games to none against those Flyer bastards, and it’d be nice to sweep them on their home turf. The games haven’t exactly been a cakewalk, but we have them figured out. We know where they are weakest and it’s only a matter of time before they crumble.

Once we are safely in the air, I tighten my earphones over my head and turn my iPod to the playlist Lillianah had created for me the night before. All instrumental, no singing just beats. Something I can nod my head to, get lost in if needed. I lean my head back and close my eyes. The song I’m currently listening to quiets down to an upbeat piano solo, and I try and imagine Lillianah in a white dress, but I can’t picture it. I see her in red. Something spunky, something unoriginal, something that screams ‘this is who I am, love it or fucking walk away’. That’s my Lillianah. She won’t wear white on our wedding day, but I don’t care. She can wear what she wants, how she wants. Her head could be bald, or she could be wearing a wig. It’s taken me a long time to find out the inner human being to a woman is by far more beautiful than their exterior; and Lillianah is fucking gorgeous.

I feel a nudge on my shoulder and looked up to see Duppers is holding my bag out to me. We landed. Fuck. I was hoping to prepare my ‘I’m marrying your daughter’ speech while on the flight, but instead I was completely lost in thought of other things. “Focus Talby, big game tomorrow,” he grins at me and I nod my head. I don’t know what’s more nerve-racking now, being in the playoffs or announcing my engagement to my future in-laws. “Yeah, I know,” I grumble feeling the sweat in my palms begin to cumulate around the handle of my bag. We all file out like ants, from the plane to the bus. As soon as I step off the plane though, I can smell him. Carcillo, that fucking goon. No one throws the butt end of their stick at my head without retaliation. I just had to wait for the right moment to take him down.

The bus pulls up to the hotel and I see Lillianah waiting just on the other side of the line of fans. A red scarf wrapped around her head, a flowing yellow dressing swirling around her knees. I pull my phone out and send her a text message to meet me inside as it will be impossible to connect outside the building. I watch her pull her phone out of her purse, read the text than head inside the hotel’s front doors. I toss my bag over my good shoulder and walk off the bus and head straight into the hotel. I’m never one to walk away from fans, but today, my nerves wouldn’t be able to handle it. My eyes catch hers, and I bypass my teammates to take her in my arms. Sure we had only been apart some two hours, but even that was too long. “We better hurry, dinner is in an hour,” I whisper into her ear before pulling away and kissing her gently on the lips. “You sure about this? You know how my mom is.” “Telling your parents will only make it feel more real, so yes,” I laugh as I take her bag from her and follow her toward the elevator.

We stand outside a small café just down the road from the hotel waiting patiently for her family. I find it rude and impolite to be wearing a hat in her families presence, but in Philadelphia, I couldn’t be careful enough. I pull the bill down just a tad bit lower when I see two blond heads waving at us erratically. I pull my hat off and push my glasses up on the bridge of my nose to see Molly and Liz making their way towards us, with Steve and Charlie close behind. The girls pull Lillianah into a long, tight hug before turning their attention to me. I kiss their cheeks, and then shake the hand of my to-be father-in-law. He can read me so easily as he smiles and nods. He already knows there is more to this dinner than just a small get-together. I hold the door open for everyone to enter the café but Steve stops short, and I close the door stepping away to join him near the curb of the street. “I have a feeling there is going to be an announcement, and I want to tell you right now Max that you’re already apart of this family. Molly and I have been so thankful for what you have done for Lillianah in this trying time. We don’t know how we will ever thank you.” I smile genuinely up at the man that could easily break me in two. “Well not objecting at the wedding would be good enough for me,” I laugh and shake his hand again before we proceed to enter the café.

Lillianah’s POV

My palms are swearing, my legs bouncing as I spin my ring around my finger under the table. I hear Max chuckle as he places his hand on my knee to steady my nerves. I place my left hand on top of his and I smile at my parents. “Lil is playing piano again,” Max announces and I squeeze his hand in horror. I can only imagine the words that are about to come out of my mom’s mouth. As if this dinner wasn’t nerve-racking enough. “Really Lily? That’s fantastic! I still have all your old sheet music, would you like them?” My mouth drops open and I look at my mom astonished. “You hated the piano,” I state just above a whisper and she pinches her eyes together as if she’s trying to understand me. Like I just spoke in a foreign language. “I loved listening to you play, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I look over at my dad and he’s looking back and forth between my mother and me. “You never listened to me play. Never came to recitals or even in the house you wouldn’t come listen.” She takes a sip from her coffee and sets it down on the ceramic table in front of us. “I was at every recital, and I listened to you in the house. Whenever I was near you while you were playing you would clam up and freeze. I didn’t want your talent going to waste. I hated myself for a very long time knowing I was the reason why you stopped playing.” Once again I look at her in complete shock. “Why didn’t you tell me to keep playing?” “Because you left.”

“Lily, you okay?” My sister asks as she walks into the bathroom. I look at myself in the mirror, my furry head free for all to see. “I feel like there’s this whole chuck of my life I wasn’t even aware of. It makes no sense to me. Just as I’m moving forward I feel like I’m being jolted back,” I explain not taking my eyes away from the blond sprouts that are appearing all over my head. It’s quiet for awhile and I look in the mirror at Liz. Her mouth opens to say something but her eyes travel down to my hand that’s resting on the counter. Her mouth opens once again before she closes it. She steps up to me and takes my hand in her own. “Is this what I think it is? You said yes?” I nod my head as tears brim my eyelashes. The whole piano ordeal is thrown out the window when she says this. It does feel real now, so much more real than before. Max was right. I nod my head and my sister pulls me into a hug. She pulls away suddenly and holds me at arm’s length. “Promise me you’ll have a wedding and not just elope.” “Of course we’re going to have a wedding, why would we not?” I ask laughing as I reach behind me for tissues to wipe both her eyes and my own. “Cause that’s just your style sis. Untraditional,” she winks at me and we ready ourselves to join the table once again.

My mom and I share that knowing look. That everything is okay and everything is going to be okay. I pick up my spoon and dig into the hot fudge sundae in front of me. I can see Max starring at it, and I know how badly he wants to take a bite, but he can’t. Strict diet, playoffs, rules, all that fun stuff I don’t exactly listen to. Instead I give him the next best thing. I take a big bite, the taste of chocolate still lingering in mouth as I reach over and give him a big kiss. He smiles into the kiss knowing what I’m doing. “Tastes good,” he whispers against me and I giggle. “Ahem!” My sister shouts from across the table and I pull away from Max. She lifts her eyebrows at me and looks down at the check waiting to be paid on the table. Dinner was almost over we needed to announce our engagement now or I’m sure we never will. I open my mouth to start out with the traditional ‘mom, dad, we want to tell you something’ but Max beats me to the punch line. “So looks like we’re getting married.” He wraps his arm around my shoulders and smiles down on me. True Max fashion, just blurting things out.

My mom squeezes around my body harder outside of the café, I’m almost sure I’m not breathing. She pulls away and looks at my ring one more time. “You couldn’t have found a better man Lily,” she gushes pulling me, as well as Max into another hug. She wasn’t shocked when we told her, she just smiled, glowing almost. Her baby girl was growing up in front of her eyes thanks to a rambunctious French-Canadian. “I want to throw your engagement party, can I do that? After the playoffs of course,” she gushes pulling away from us. “Sure mom, I think I would like that,” I smile to her. “Excellent!! I’ll start planning, just let me know when!” My father finally drags her away and I look at Max and I can’t help but just smile. “You good?” He asks me as he intertwines his fingers with mine. “Better than good,” I smile and kiss him gentle before we both turn to head back to the hotel. Now that my family knew it felt like a huge weight was taken off my shoulders but Max still looked a little tense. “You okay?” I ask in return as we cross the street. “I’m warning you now Lil. I’m happy tonight was perfect, I can stop sweating bullets now, but playoffs. This is everything I have ever dreamed of, and we came so fucking close last year. I just don’t think you fully understand the history between us and the Flyers.” He stops walking and turns me around so we’re looking eye to eye. “You have to promise me you won’t get mad if I do anything stupid.”

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Lillianah’s POV

My fingers rolled over the black keys, Max’s hands resting on my shoulders. It’s a beautiful piano, like nothing I had ever seen before. He squeezes his fingers on my flesh and instantly it all came rushing back to me. My fingers roll over the keys with such ease, sounds filling the room, I couldn’t stop my fingers even if I wanted to. Max released his hands from my shoulders but I continued to play. I felt his presence next to me, glancing over quickly to see he had taken a seat next to me on the bench. Without even realizing it I began to play Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”. A song I used to play by myself whenever I needed a good cry. A song so deep and powerful that upon hearing it your heart clenches.

I don’t even realize I’m crying until I taste the salt hit my tongue. Just like I was when I was a little girl, I was playing with my tongue sticking out and my heart on my sleeve. I pause momentarily to compose myself, I glance up at Max, he's starring into my soul, and he’s seeing something of me for the first time. I’m not completely sure on how he’s reacting. His face is blank, his glasses form a small barrier for his eyes and he’s hunched over . . . just starring. “What?” I whisper suddenly self conscious. He doesn’t like piano, this is painful to his ears. “Keep playing,” he urges on and I take a deep breath refocusing my eyes back on the keys. I play louder, harder than before. I have trapped anger and sadness that I’m letting out through my fingers.

My breathing is heavy and it takes me a moment to realize my hands are now resting on top of my thighs. I bring my head up and look over at Max. He still looks the same. No expression, no answers, no questions. “Don’t look at me like that if you’re not going to say something,” I whisper as I stand up and take a few steps away from the piano. I’m not exactly sure how I feel after playing. Part of me wants to scream while the other part of me feels as though I just washed off ten years worth of mud on my body. “I still don’t fully understand why you never told me you played piano. That was beautiful Lil, I’ve never heard anything like that before.” I glance over my shoulder at him to see he’s still sitting on the bench, shoulders still hunched forward, but now his left hand is running over the keys. “We all hide secrets Max, can we move on now?” I sigh feeling exhausted from the roller coaster I had been on all day. He turns around on the bench and smiles at me before nodding his head. “Let’s go to bed.”

Max’s POV

I can hear the music she’s playing but all of my senses are centered in on the ring bouncing from key to key. The engagement ring I bought for her so long ago. In reality though, it hadn’t been that long, a month or so, but it was burning a hole in my pocket. Now it was in its right place. Things were falling into place for me. It was like I got knocked right in the face, straight down on my ass. Every time she knocked me down though, I would get back up and beg for her to do it again. I was in love with this woman, I couldn’t remind myself enough.

At some point I became lost in the music. She began to cry and as much as I wanted to reach up and wipe away her tears, I couldn’t move. The music paralyzed me. This talent I never knew she had, so wonderful, so powerful, coming out of her small body. She amazes me every day. I can see from the expression on her face that she is no longer mentally here. She’s off somewhere else, her fingers giving me the only proof that she’s here physically. This could possibly be the best therapy I can give her. I can only hope that wherever she is in her head, it’s a pleasant place, and that maybe I’m in there too. Her fingers stop and she slowly places her hands on her thighs. Life comes back to her face and she looks over at me. I don’t know how to respond, how does one say something after what just happened? “Don’t look at me like that if you’re not going to say something,” she whispers before getting up from the bench and walks away. I look down at the keys trying to think of something to say. If I don’t say anything at all, she will probably never play again. “I still don’t fully understand why you never told me you played piano. That was beautiful Lil, I’ve never heard anything like that before.” I run my hand over the keys waiting for her come down from the evident freak out that she so badly wants to have. “We all hide secrets Max, can we move on now?” I smile to myself as I spin around on the bench and smile at her. “Let’s go to bed,” I nod before standing up and taking her hand in mine.

Sure it’s only four in the afternoon but we’re both exhausted from the long, emotional day we had. As soon as her head hits the pillow her eyes close and her breathing steadies out. I step out of my pants and pull my shirt off before crawling into bed next to her. I’m tired, on the verge of going delusional but I don’t want to close my eyes. I stare at her, never wanting her to leave my eye sight ever again. Two weeks was far too long. I never want to be away from her for that long ever again. I run my hand over her head, her hair is starting to grow back ever so slowly, and within minutes I feel myself fall asleep as well.

Lillianah’s POV

The sun was poking through the open blinds and I groaned at the thought of how early it could be. The clock confirmed my nightmare to see it was just past 6 AM. I groaned throwing the blanket over my head but then I heard laughter from outside of the bedroom. I brought my head back up and saw Max was still passed out asleep next to me. Did he have practice today? Should he be awake? I heard the laughter again and crawled out of bed, stumbling into the bathroom. I brushed my teeth quickly, threw my robe on over my mangled clothing and headed downstairs. Upon turning around the corner I spotted the backsides of Sidney, Geno and Marc. “Are you guys trying to burn this place down?” I asked laughing as I leaned against the wall. They were all trying to physically gain control of the stove, and I knew this could only end in disaster. They all spun around shocked and somewhat frightened. “You’re supposed to be sleeping!” Marc squeaked out as he took a step towards me, pulling me into a hug. “Not when I can hear Crosby’s giggle upstairs,” I laughed pulling away from Marc to hug the other two. “Well we were just gonna make you guys breakfast than leave. Max should be waking up soon anyways, practice in a few hours,” Sidney explained and I smiled at them. “That’s really sweet of you guys.” “HOLY SHIT!” Geno yelled pointing to my hand. I looked down and smiled upon seeing the ring. “You said yes?” Marc asked quietly as he grabbed my hand and looked at the ring. The scene in front of me was something I would expect the girlfriends to do, but not the guys. “Yeah, I did. Look, he’ll probably want to tell you himself, so act surprised okay?” I smiled and they all pulled me into a big hug whispering their congratulations.

“What’s going on?” Max grumbled and I sighed in relief as the big Russian let go of me, allowing me to breath once again. “Just cooking up some breakfast and welcoming Lil back home,” Sidney smiled before throwing a wink at me. “Yeah okay,” Max stammered out, not fully trusting the guys. I smiled as he walked up to me and kissed me before his nose took him into the kitchen. Marc finished up cooking breakfast and the three boys were getting ready to leave, but I stopped them. “You cooked enough food for an army, there’s no way we will finish this all, please stay,” I pleaded looking at them. “No! I can eat this! Thanks guys! See ya later!” Max mumbled as he shoved his mouth full of French toast. I rolled my eyes and dragged the guys toward the food handing them plates.

Max’s POV

I strolled into the locker room with a smile on my face and a skip in my step. I was a new man. Things were right in the world again. I got my girl, we’re going to win the cup, and my shoulder this particular day wasn’t hurting. I tossed my keys and wallet into my locker stall and looked around the room to see Geno, Sid and Flower starring at me. “What?” I asked laughing as I sat down to take my shoes off. “Nothing,” they all grunted moving their eyes elsewhere in the room. “She told you, didn’t she?” I asked boring my eyes into Flowers head. “Told me what?” He asked back, eyes wide. He was lying through his teeth. She told him. “That we’re getting married?” I didn’t even think before the words left my mouth. I should have worded it differently, now the whole locker room was looking at me in complete shock. Billy’s jaw a few inches from the floor. “Usually when you use the word ‘we’ it means you and someone else, and then the word married means the union of two people for life. You just used both words in the same sentence. I’m confused,” Billy stated as he walked up to me and threw his arm around my shoulders. “Lil and I are getting married,” I announced to make it clear as day. Now I had to prepare myself for the jibs I’d be receiving for the rest of the day.

Somehow, someway I made it through practice with only one puck ricocheting off the back of my knee for daydreaming. “Brewery?” Sid asked as he pulled his shoes on in the locker room. “What for?” I asked as I mimicked his movements. “Celebration? We’re in the playoffs, we’re gonna win, Maxime fucking Talbot is getting married.” “Sid just cussed. Someone get the soap!” Staalsy laughed and Sid rolled his eyes. “Yeah sure, I’ll call Lil.” I finished getting dressed and walked out to my car all while dialing Lilianah’s number into my phone. She picked up after the second ring and I could almost sense the smile in her voice. “Get ready, the boys are taking us out to celebrate.” “It’s only noon though,” she giggled and I couldn’t hold back my smile. “I know, but they insist. So I’m picking you up, then we’re going to the brewery. Love you.” I didn’t give her time to respond as I shut my phone.

She held my hand tightly, scarf wrapped around her head, as we walked inside the brewery. It seemed as though the whole team and a few of the girlfriends and wives were in attendance. Lillianah was handed from one person to the next in hugs. Both welcoming her back and congratulating her on our engagement. She was taking it like a champ. A smile on her face, proudly showing off her ring to the girls crowding around her. This wasn’t the way I expected Lillianah to respond, but I couldn’t stop smiling myself. Billy nudge my shoulder with his own and handed me a beer. “Don’t lose her Talbot, she’s good for you.” I laughed as I brought my eyes back to Lillianah, “she’s the angel that’s been missing off my shoulder.”

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Once upon a time a girl met a boy in a whimsical place called Canada. Said boy took up all of said girl's time. Girl had no time to do anything other than fall in love with boy. Three months later boy and girl break up. Girl says "I'm gonna live life now! Join cooking classes! Tour brewerys!" Now she's ready to dive head first back into what she loves the most. Writing.

So now that I'm getting gentle pushes about what's happened to my stories, I think it's about damn time I jump back on the horse and produce something! Haha. Not only write... but start reading again!!

Sorry I just fell off the face of the planet, but boys can do that to you sometimes, haha. So I'm determined more than ever right now to find the inspiration I need to wrap these stories up (minus Adams) because I have a Ben Eager story just sitting in my documents.

So if I don't have anything posted in the next month, please shoot me a "kick in the ass" email. It helps!


P.S. If you don't have my email and would like it... it is aknarab@gmail.com
I'm open to any talk at all!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009



How is one supposed to feel when they realize the only person that seems to matter in your life does not want them? I’ve seen countless number of movies where boy dumps girl, girl cries, then life moves on. Nowhere in those movies though do they show the physical pain one goes through. I sit in the terminal, my legs shaking, my chest aching and my head pounding. I pull my legs tight to my chest to stop the shaking and to put some pressure on the pain in the middle of my body. It’s then I realize my life isn’t a movie. There is no fairy tale ending for me. This is it. What movie ends with a girl with no hair crying in an airport? None worth watching.

An older woman approaches me and hands me a few tissues. I mumble out a thank you and she keeps walking, giving me the privacy I so eagerly need, but can’t have. Where had things gone wrong? The drugs? The ring? The relationship? Where did this downhill slide begin? I never wanted to fall in love. I never even wanted a boyfriend. I was just a nightclub DJ, having fun with life, just my dog and I. Maxime Talbot is when things happened. This beautiful, egotistical, funny, caring . . . man. This man. This simple human being. One out of six-billion-something. How did we meet each other? I know the physical story, but the mental one. How did it happen? Is this our story? Is this where it ends?

I take a deep breath and wipe my nose with the tissues. My vision is blurred as I have scratched the hell out of my corneas, and now even my tears are painful. A million and one things are running through my mind and I can’t decipher one from the other. It’s one big jumbled mess, and the more I think, the more depressed and angry I become. I took everything I had for granted. Sitting here, in this airport terminal I finally realize Maxime wasn’t just a man. He wasn’t just my boyfriend, or my possible fiancé. He will never be just a man, or my husband, or a friend. He’s my life. We all ask ourselves, why are we here? What’s my purpose in life? Somehow, someway, he’s my purpose. I’m here . . . for him. It doesn’t make sense, but in my heart it hurts like hell thinking about it, so it must mean something. Nothing means anything, unless it hurts, than it means everything.

Squeezing my arms around my legs just a bit tighter I knew I had to accept what life was going to be like now. Back to the way it was, some five years ago. Alone, slightly neurotic, but safe. I dab the raw skin below my eyes again with the tissues and pull them away only to have my eyes land on him. Him, Maxime Talbot. The one source of all of my pain, pleasure, happiness and guilt. He came for me. My hands cover my face and I dig my face down between my knees as I cry. I can’t even bring myself to get up to see if that was really, truly him. I just cry, feeling stupid. Relieved, exhausted, but mostly stupid. I can sense him in front of me, so I stand up and fling myself into his arms. “Maxime,” I whisper against his neck. His scent alone is slowly feeding my life back into me. The pain slowly slipping away. “It’s okay Lil. It’s okay, let’s go home.” Yet, when I hear his voice, it’s all back. Everything I heard about Max quickly flooding my mind. The Max I didn’t know. I pull away from him and look up in those blue eyes. “Go home?” “Yes, home, with me, where you belong. Why did you leave? Why didn’t you wait for me? Why are you trying to run?” Trying to run. What was I trying to run? Because that’s what I do. “You don’t know what they were saying,” I whispered now scared as I take a step away from him. “Who? Who was saying what?” “They were all taking bets almost if you would show up or not. They were all watching to see if you would come. Why would you come for me though? I’m not worthy of you. All I would do is drag you down and you don’t need that.”

He didn’t need anything I caused. Sure he was my life, but was I his? I highly doubted it. There goes my mind again, can’t fucking decipher one thing from the other. He has me in knots, and he’s the only one that’s smart enough to untangle them. “Lillianah, I showed up. I was a few minutes late because I stopped and got you flowers, but I was there. You’re my life, and whatever you go through, I go through. You’re healthy now, and that’s all I was worried about. You didn’t, nor are you, dragging me down. Lil, I want to marry you and start a family with you. I want everything with you. Does that not mean anything to you?” My eyes begin to burn again as tears form, heavier and heavier with each word that leaves his mouth. How can he say all of the right things? I collapse into his arms once again, feeling at home. “I’m sorry Maxime, I am so sorry. I’m so sorry.”

I play with the ring hanging from my neck as Marc, Max and I head out of the airport. I smile weakly, almost embarrassed to Marc and Sidney as Max thanks them for helping him. As he’s distracted I take the ring off of my necklace. This is what I want, and it’s what he wants to. Why wait for forever, when we can start forever now? I sit in the passenger side of his BMW and smile at him as he crawls in and stares at the ring I’m holding between my fingers. He slowly takes the ring from me and pure fear is cascading over his face. I put out my left hand, “you’re supposed to put it on me.” He stares at me, trying to understand what I’m telling him to do. “You . . . you want to get married?” My nose flares and I bite the inside of my top lip as tears well up in my eyes again, this time they don’t hurt though. “Yes.” He places the ring on my finger then quickly captures my lips with his. It feels so good to kiss him again, but what feels even more amazing is the small weight on my left hand. A symbol of love, trust, hope and future. It’s the symbol of our life together. “I love you Lil.” “I love you too Maxime.”

He can barely keep his eyes on the road as we head back into Pittsburgh. Every so often his eyes wander over to me and he smiles. He plays with the ring on my finger as he thumps his thumb on the steering wheel. It’s a hour long drive back to our lives. Hopefully back to the way things were when everything felt good. When everything felt so normal.

I’m not too sure how I feel as we drive down East Carson. The same road my life revolved around just a few months ago. We drove past Diesel and I didn’t even bother to look. I knew what it looked like, I didn’t need to be reminded. The club will always be apart of me, but I am no longer apart of it. Everything started and ended there. My eyes are pulled away from the street as he pulls off and heads toward our home. Will this be the home where we start our family? Is the South Side a good place to start a family? Will we move into a new home, a bigger home? Maybe out by Marc’s? There are so many questions, but I need to remind myself to live in the now. The future will come when it’s here and ready. Until then, I’m going to enjoy now and not fuck it up again.

“I got you a welcome home gift,” Max’s glows as he pulls the car into the garage. “Why am I scared?” I laughed as I unbuckle my seat belt and climb out of the car. “You’ll love it, I promise.” I have to trust him. His eyes are glowing and he couldn’t take that smile off of his face if he tried his damn hardest. I nodded my head and followed him into the house. He stopped me at the den door and covered my eyes. “Max,” I groaned. His laughter tickled my ear and I felt the door in front of me swing away. “Okay, you have to promise me that you’ll use this multiply times a week okay?” “Well I want to know what it is first.” I feel the scarf on my head disappear and his lips land within centimeters of my scar. He pulls his hand away and I open my eyes. A piano. I freeze in place. I don’t know what to do or even think. I open my mouth to say something but nothing comes out. How did he know? “How-“ I walk up to the beautiful white keys on display and I’m scared to touch them. Why does it feel like life is taking a full circle? “Why did you do this?” I ask not taking my eyes away from the black and white masterpiece standing in front of me. “Mark said it will help.” “Fuck Mark. Max, why did you do this?” I didn’t want to be angry with Max, but I was. I couldn’t bring myself to look at him, my eyes stayed trained on the keys. I so badly wanted to touch them, but I knew that if I did, I’d get sucked back in. I would hear the same thing from Max as I did my mother. Why was he bringing back my past? “Why don’t you play something?” “No!” I shake my head and step away, turning to look at him for the first time. “I’m not your mother, Lillianah.” I shake my head at his words. “I was never good enough for her, no matter what I did. I perfected the piano and it wasn’t good enough. Why would I continue to play something that wasn’t good enough for her?” I scream at Max as he wraps his arms around me. He doesn’t say anything. He probably doesn’t know what to say. I don’t blame him. “I want you to play it for me though. I want you to play it for our children. I want you to teach our children, and then I want you to teach our grandchildren. I want every Christmas spent singing carols while you play the piano. Singing ‘Happy Birthday’ by the piano. I want you to teach me how to play piano.” I blink the tears free from my eyes and look over my shoulder at he beautiful instrument before returning my eyes back to Max. “Okay,” I whisper. He makes everything seem so easy and carefree. He makes everything seem amazing. He is amazing.