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 fiancĂ©. 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.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So funny story...

For those of you that know me, know I'm accident prone.

Long story short, got home from work, walked into the garage, woke up in the back seat of my dad's truck heading to the hospital. Hit my head pretty hard, and this would be concussion number 4 if memory serves me right. So I hate, hate, hate, HATE to do this but everything for me is on hold. I'm absolutely delusional because as I was sitting in the waiting room, the ESPN magazine with the Hawks on it was starring me down, and I somehow, in the short time between the neuro tests and CT scan, fell in love with Tazer. This I blame on two people, Zigh and Jay. Zigh knows why... Jay because of well... A Sharp Contrast. HA!

Anyways, since I'm on hold because I'm a freakin idiot and hurt myself.... I'm sharing my addictions with you. I'm sure most of you already read these, but if you don't, seriously check them out...

A Sharp Contrast

Paper Perfect


A Case Of You

The Dumbing Down Of Love

Feels Like Home


On Thin Ice

And well you know... if you have any eye candy you want to send my way... feel free. My brain is already rattled, Sidney's thighs won't do much more harm... well maybe. I wish that's what I was munching on my Thanksgiving... oh dear.

Thanks my loves!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


2nd post in the same night... hot damn!! =P Make sure to read 63 before 64 in case you haven't yet. And once again, thanks you guys for reading and commenting. The feedback really boosts me to write more. I'm happy to have this story up and running again! You guys truly are the best!!!


I stared at her in disbelief. She called a cab and she was gone? GONE?! I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and typed up a text message and sent it out to a few dozen guys. I know it was a day off, a day to regroup after the end of the season, and I knew a bunch of guys were settling in to watch the Flyers, but I needed them. I was about to turn this in to a search and rescue mission. She couldn’t have gone far. She has no car, not a whole lot of cash, there’s only so far a cab can take you. Immediately I begin to receive messages back from the guys I had texted, all asking what they could do. I called Marc, hoping he could somehow run this mission. “What do you mean she’s gone?” He answered after the first ring. “I showed up and she told them I wouldn’t be able to come, and she left by cab. I have to find her Flower, why the fuck would she do this?” I stormed out the front door of he facility, knowing sticking around wasn’t going to do me any good. I climb back into my car and toss the flowers into the passenger seat. “I need you to go to the airport,see if she shows up there, I’m gonna race home see if she’s there. Send the other guys to Alicia’s, Diesel, Starbucks, the train station, just wherever. I have to find her.” “We’ll find her Max. Drive safe okay, don’t do anything stupid.”

I didn’t know where to go. I was a hour outside of Pittsburgh, and Lillianah had a 15 minute jump on me wherever she was going. I turn the radio on to a low rumble as I speed on the highway back towards town. I passed a few cabs on my way, and each time I would slow down next to them and look in, none of which were transporting Lillianah. Why the hell did she do this? Why wouldn’t she have waited a few more minutes? Hopefully she’s just going back home, hopefully she was just impatient . . . hopefully. I couldn’t think about what’s going on in her head though. Two weeks in rehab now she’s out on the loose. I could only imagine the absolute worst, and that was two options. She was either in search of drugs, or she was in search of her way out of western Pennsylvania. “Fuck Talbot, think positively!” Why wouldn’t she wait? Why did she rush out? “WHAT THE FUCK LIL?!” I slammed my hand down on the steering wheel and kicked up my speed a tad bit more.

When I got home, I didn’t even bother pulling the car into the garage, I left it part way in the driveway and part way in the street. I ran through the front door and yelled out for her, no response. King appeared at the top of the stairs and I walked up to him. “Where is she King?” I looked around the living room before making me my way up to the bedroom. She wasn’t here, and it didn’t look like she had been here. I didn’t know what to do now. Where do I go next? Do I just sit and wait and see if any of the guys found her? I head back down to my car and decide to drive around the block a few times, just to feel like I’m at least looking. My phone rings from the passenger seat and I lean over and grab it. “Hello?” “Hey Max, I’m at Diesel, no one here has seen Lil, where are you at?” I sigh upon hearing Sidney’s news. I guess it’s good news, this probably means she’s not out searching for drugs. “I’m just driving around the block.” “Well come get me, we’ll go look elsewhere, alright?” I nod my head not caring that he can’t see me before hanging up my phone. I pull on to East Carson and head toward what used to be my favorite place in town. Now all it is, is my own personal hell. How could one establishment turn my life upside down. It was there that I met Lillianah, and it will be there that I lose her.

I pick up Sid and we decide to head up to Mount Washington. I remember her telling me once that when she really needs to think she’ll sit down on a bench overlooking the city. As soon as we reach the peak my phone rings again and I have Sid answer it. “Where at? . . . we’ll be right there!” He quickly hangs up my phone and looks at me. “She’s at the airport, Flower is trying to stop her from going through security.” I had a feeling she would be there, but I didn’t want to believe it was true. “In my phone, the text message I sent out, can you call those guys and tell them we found her?” I asked Sid with a shaky voice. I wasn’t expecting my words to come out so broken, and I definitely wasn’t expecting the tears to fall from my eyes. Why was she doing this to me?

Once I finally make it to the airport, I jump out at the departures and Sid takes over driving to go park. I run into the airport and look around trying to find them, I don’t see them anywhere so I head down to the security check point. “Wow mom! Look two Penguins in one day!” A little boy shouts as I looked around desperately. A smile finally appeared on my face as I approached the small boy. “Hey there buddy, did you see Marc-Andre Fleury earlier?” He nodded his head vigorously. “Where did he go?” “He went through there to get on a plane and go somewhere,” he pointed to the metal detectors and I nodded my head. I gave the little boy a high five and pulled my cell phone out, calling Flower. “Where are you?” He asked after answering. “I’m trying to figure out how you got into the airport.” “You owe me $100 for the ticket I had to buy to get in here. Where do you think she would be flying? That would help me track down which gate she could possible be at.” I headed back up the escalator and made my way to the nearest airline ticket agent. “Philadelphia, that’s where her family is.” “Alright, I’ll call you back in a few minutes.” I snapped my phone shut and looked up at the women smiling at me. “I need a ticket.” She laughed and fluttered her eyelashes at me a few times. “To where?” “Philadelphia.” She typed away on her computer, searching for the next flight. “Next flight out is 9:30 tonight.” “I’ll take it.” She smiled at me again and typed away some more. What was taking her so long. I tapped my credit card on the counter, waiting for her to take it. “Would you like to ride first class?” “Nope.” “Oh!” She finally took my credit card and ran it. Finally with a ticket in hand I made my way through security.

Once I got off the tram and headed up the escalators to the main area of the airport I pulled my cell phone out and called Flower. “Dude there’s 3 possible flights to Philadelphia and they are all in different areas of the airport.” I looked down at my ticket to see the gate, A14. She told me this was the next flight out, so it would only make sense that this would be the flight she would be on, right? “Where are you at now?” “In front of McDonalds.” I turned around and found Flower standing there, rubbing the back of his neck. I snapped my phone shut and approached him. “Thanks Flower, for doing this.” I tell him before dragging him down towards A14 with me. “Hundred bucks,” he laughed holding his hand out toward me. “What the hell kind of flight did you buy? Mine only cost eighty!” “How am I supposed to mentally know which flight is going to be the cheapest? I just asked for the next flight to Detroit. Thought it’d be funny, thought I could flip the plane off before it leaves.” I shook my head but smiled, “you are a dork.” As we approached A14, I would see Lillianah in the corner, trying to hide from the people around her. Her knees were pulled up to her chest, and she held a few tissues up in front of her face. I stopped in my tracks and watched her. What was I supposed to say? Was I supposed to be relieved to find her? Or pissed that she thought about leaving me?

She looks up from over her tissues and her eyes lock with mine. My breath gets caught in my throat as I realize for the first time all day how much I really missed her. She drops her head and covers her face with both of her hands. Her shoulders and moving and that only tells me she’s crying. I look at Flower and he nods his head toward her. I take a deep breath and make my way toward her. I stop when I’m two feet in front of her and she stands up and wraps herself around me. Now I’m confused. She’s running, but she’s hugging me. “Maxime,” she whispers so softly it nearly breaks my heart to hear her voice so sad. I bring my hand up and run it over the scarf covering her head. “It’s okay Lil. It’s okay, let’s go home.” She pulls her head away from me quickly and removes her body from mine. “Go home?” Now I’m confused all over again. “Yes, home, with me, where you belong. Why did you leave? Why didn’t you wait for me? Why are you trying to run?” I know that was a lot of questions to throw out at her, but I needed to know. “You don’t know what they were saying,” she whispered taking another step away from me. “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.” I shake my head and take a few steps toward her grabbing on to her hands to make sure she won’t leave. “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?” She begins to cry again and she collapses against my chest, apologizing over and over again.

Once I have her calmed down, and I finally kiss her after two long weeks, she grabs my hand and we walk away from the terminal. “What about my bag? I checked it.” I look up to see Flower smiling at us, still holding out his hand. “Don’t worry, we’ll get it back. Come on, let’s get home.” We headed out of the airport and I sighed in relief when we met back up with Sidney and headed for the car. I almost lost the best thing that’s ever happened to me, again. I wasn’t going to allow her to do this to my heart anymore. I wanted to marry her, and I wanted to do it soon. I just wanted to make it official. I want her to have my name. Once she has my name, I know she’ll have my everything. I can’t lose her again. Flower takes Sidney home, and I thank them a dozen or so times for helping me. I open the passenger side door for Lillianah to climb in, and she’s hesitant at first. I give her a quick kiss and she smiles before climbing in. I head over to the driver’s side and jump in, starting up the car. I look over at her and smile, but she’s holding the engagement ring in between her fingers. I feel my heart drop at the thought of her giving it back to me. She’s already put me through so much in just over two hours, how could she give me the ring back now. I take the ring from her and clutch it tightly in my hand. But the next thing she does startles me. She holds out her left hand, palm down, with her fingers spread apart. “You’re supposed to put it on me.” I blink my eyes numerous times to see if she’s serious. “You, you want to get married?” She blinked back a few tears and whispered out a ‘yes’. I tried to hide the grin that wanted to make an appearance as I slid the ring on to her left ring finger. I leaned over to her and captured her lips with mine. Holding the kiss longer than usual. “I love you Lil.” “I love you too Maxime.” I headed out on to the road, excited to get her home, and excited for her to see my gift to her. That ring sure was going to sparkle against the piano keys. Life was finally on the right track.

Saturday, November 21, 2009



I took a deep breath before stepping into Mark’s office. It was my official last visit with him, and it was up to him if I would be released the following day or not. I’d come a long way from two weeks before. Sure I still had urges for the drugs while being locked up, but today, I couldn’t even imagine snorting, smoking or injecting anything. It was a waste of a good life. It was just the fine wires I had to tighten up now. Mainly my relationship with Max. I had to stop knit picking everything wrong in our relationship. In truth, aside from the minor drug kickback, there was nothing wrong with our relationship. I was just looking for something wrong.

“Hello Miss Jenkins, how are you this morning?” Mark asks with a hint of excitement in his voice. Maybe he’s excited to see me leave, so he doesn’t have to deal with me anymore. “Ready to go home,” I laugh as I plop down on the big leather couch that I had become so accustomed to. “I think you are too,” he smiled and I perked up. That was exactly what I wanted to hear. “We have to go over some things though. Your transition back in to the real world.” I nodded my head as he pulled a few sheets out of my chart and approached me handing them to me. “There’s a list of psychologists I recommend in your area. I highly recommend you continue to receive counseling once you leave. Once a week is enough, but you can go more if you want. Now, when it comes to Max, and you have this sudden urge to run or do something, you need to talk to him first. You won’t want to, but do you want to end up back here?” I shake my head side to side, drifting my eyes down to the papers on my lap. “You need to develop healthy communication skills with him. If you want to be with him forever and have a family with him, you need to be able to tell him what’s going on in your head.” He was right, and I knew it.

“Who is picking you up tomorrow? Max?” Mark asked once my sixty minutes was up. “Yeah, he’ll be here at noon, but knowing Max, he’ll be here before then.” “Okay, good. Well Lillianah, best of luck to you. I never want to see you again, okay?” I chuckled and smiled at him as he offered me his hand. We embraced each other and I sighed in relaxation for the first time since this whole mess began. I was going home to a man that I’m in love with, and I was going to start my life the minute I place my hand in his. I had a wedding to plan after all.

My brain wouldn’t let me fall asleep. The wheels were turning and I was thinking about everything one could think about. How life was going to be like now, if I was going to wear wigs, if things will change between Max and I, finding a new job. The questions wouldn’t stop, and the more I pondered different scenarios they all ended the same. Max wouldn’t be there. Why would he put up with me after what I’ve done? He probably put me through rehab because he felt like he needed to so that he wouldn’t feel guilty leaving me. Or something along those lines. My mind wouldn’t stop working, and all of my thoughts were becoming jumbled, I was confusing myself.

At some point in the night, I fall asleep, but when I wake up I feel like absolute crap. All of my thinking caused a monster migraine, and I couldn’t even see straight as I climbed out of bed. My bags were already packed, so all I had to do was shower, say bye to Clarissa then head home with Max. I grab my things I had set out the night before and walked down the hall toward the bathroom. “Do you think he’ll show up?” I heard a girl ask another as I walked by. “I hope so. She needs him, but then again, two weeks without a girlfriend is long enough for him to stray.” I didn’t even have to question who they were talking about. I simply put my head down and continued to walk to the bathroom. I had to learn to block out the people around me. They don’t know Max, they don’t know me and they definitely don’t know our relationship.

Everywhere I went that was all I heard. Whispers in the hallways if Max was going to show up. So much so, I was beginning to doubt him myself. I sat in the lobby on top of my suitcase patiently waiting for him. I had a feeling it was going to show up early. I was hoping he was going to show up early, but as the minute hand got closer and closer to the ‘12’, I was starting to believe those who said he wasn’t going to show up. “Hey Lil? Where’s Max?” Clarissa asked after I stood up from my suitcase and peered out the front windows. I turned around to face her and stumbled over the words in my mind. She, no doubt, was here to be the spy, to see if he showed up. “Oh, he’s not coming because of his schedule, I have to take a cab.” I turn to the lady at the front desk and politely ask her to call me a cab. She gives me a sad smile and I glance back up at the clock. 12:01 PM. I sign my name and write down the time before grabbing my suitcase and carrying it with me out front.

Five minutes later a cab pulls up and he jumps out to throw my suitcase in the trunk. I turn back to look up at the rehab facility and see a dozen or so eyes starring back at me. They obviously proved me wrong. They obviously know Max better than I do. I couldn’t believe that I actually thought he would come get me. Who the hell was I kidding? I should have known when I called him, then he never returned my call. He moved on, just like that, two weeks, he moved on. I climb into the back of the cab and grab my wallet out of my purse. I look through my cash, then try and remember how much money I had in my account. “Where to miss?” Quickly calculating in my head I look up at him and smile, “the airport.”

Once I arrive at the airport I hand over enough cash to cover my fare and a small tip. The cab drive scoffed at me, but I didn’t care. I had to work with what I had. He didn’t even bother getting my suitcase out for me, he just popped the trunk. I grabbed my suitcase and hurried inside. I was well aware that US Airways is the only airline that has nonstop flights to Philadelphia so I headed there and walked straight up to the counter in the somewhat bare airport. “I need the next flight out to Philadelphia.” The lady dressed in her blues behind the counter smiled at me and typed away on her computer. “The next flight isn’t until 9:30 tonight.” I glance at the clock behind her head, it was just after 1 PM. “Alright, fine. I’ll take it.” I handed over my debit card and it was returned along with a one-way ticket to Philadelphia. I headed over to the escalator to head down to the security check point and stopped. I stepped to the side and watched as people headed down, excited for their vacations or dreading meetings. Whatever it was, and wherever they were heading. I stood there for quite some time just watching people. What was my reason for being at the airport? Well it was simple, I was running because I was too scared to face the fact that Max had left me. He did leave me right? I mean he didn’t show up, he never called back. He is Maxime Talbot, superstar of the Pittsburgh Penguins after all. Why would he stick with a washed up ex-drug addict? Did the ring around my neck hold any meaning anymore? Probably not.

I headed back to the escalator and headed down. I got in line for security and numerous time I looked back up to the platform where I was just standing. A small part of me just hoping that he would be there, and that I would be able to see him one last time. I inched my way forward in the line, to where I wouldn’t be able to see up top anymore. I glanced back one last time, and I squinted my eyes upon seeing Marc. I shook my head and stepped forward, almost trying to make the line go faster. This wasn’t happening. Why was he here? “LIL!!” Marc screamed through the airport and everyone’s head turned, but I kept mine down. How did he find me? Why did he find me? Did he want to shove in my face that Max had moved on? I thought Marc was a nicer guy than that, obviously I was wrong about him too. That’s all hockey players are, assholes. I pleaded silently with myself as I adjusted the scarf on my head, “just let me leave in peace”.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Lillianah’s POV

“It does make sense. Do you feel like because of this new lifestyle with Max, you’ve let yourself go and that’s why you went back to the drugs?” I shake my head and feel tears slide down into my ears. I know what he’s getting at, but I don’t think it’s true. I don’t want it to be true. Max isn’t at fault for my stupidity. No one is at fault for my stupidity other than me. They say love makes you stupid, and it did for me, I just acted on my stupidity. “I don’t know anymore. Max has nothing to do with the drugs, it was the situation surrounding us. I was running from the fear of growing up, and I turned to drugs. Right? That’s what we determined?” I asked as I wiped my eyes and tilted my head to the left to look at him. “Is that the reason you believe as to why you went back to the drugs?” I rolled my head back to stare at the ceiling once again. “I am completely in love with Maxime, and I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that, but I did. For some idiotic reason, I did. I overdosed twelve hours after he asked me to marry him. I mean look at me,” I shout as I sat up on the couch and placed my hands over my fuzzy head. “I look like a drug addict. Why is he with me?” Mark folded his hands over his desk and starred at me intently. “He sees something in you that you can’t see. He sees the good, and even through the drugs, and your overdose, he’s waiting for you to return home. I’m going to be straight up with you Lillianah, because we’ve talked about your relationship with Max everyday since you’ve been here. You said yourself that neither of you have been in a relationship and neither of you were looking for love. So if you weren’t looking for love, and he wasn’t either, why are you together?” I run my hand over my head again and the wheels in my head instantly start turning. “When I first met him, I didn’t want anything to do with him. He was just another random guy. Then we started talking, and we spent Christmas Eve together, and hung out here and there, and I found myself thinking about him constantly. Wanting to know what he was doing, where he was, who he was with, how he was doing, if he was thinking of me. He became an addiction.” He nodded his head as he wrote a few things down. Probably assessing just how crazy I really am. “You have an addictive personality, so you think you went to the drugs because your connection with Max wasn’t as strong as it used to be?” Suddenly things were clicking in my mind. That made sense. I don’t know how, or even why, but it did.

After my session with Mark, I headed straight for the sauna. I had a lot to soak in still and my stint in rehab was almost over. Soon I’d be going home, with hopefully a new outlook on life and a healthier lifestyle. I opened the door to the sauna and stepped in to see a man already inside, dressed in sweats, completely soaked. “I’m sorry, did you want to be left alone?” I asked as I stood in the doorway. “No, come on it, it’s alright.” I nodded my head and sat in the corner opposite of him. I pulled my shirt off and pressed my back up against the wood paneling. Luckily I was wearing a black bra, so nothing would become visible to the man across from me. “You’re that chick dating Talbot aren’t you?” He asked catching me completely off guard. “Yeah, that’s me.” “Why are you with him?” He spat out and I instantly frowned. Why was this always the topic of conversation? “I’m in love with him.” “Everyone in western Pennsylvania knows his reputation. Do you honestly think he’s faithful to you?” Who the hell was this guy? Why did he feel like it was okay to attack me like this? My hand flew up to the diamond ring hanging from my neck. My fingers began to play with it as I starred this man down. “He asked me to marry him. The Maxime Talbot you’re talking about doesn’t propose. The Maxime Talbot I know is a one woman man, and he’ll be here to pick me up on Sunday.” His laughter filled the room and it took every muscle in my body to hold myself back from beating the crap out of him. “You might have him whipped, but without you there, it’s easy for dogs to stray back to their normal ways. I’ll be completely shocked if he’s here to pick you up. He probably already forgot about you.” I had enough, I couldn’t listen to a complete stranger talk about Max that way to me. Especially after the therapy session I had. I pulled my shirt back on over my head and left the sauna.

“Excuse me, are we allowed to use the phone?” I asked the nice old lady at the front counter. “It depends on who it is, and all phone calls are monitored.” I could care less about that, I just wanted to hear his voice, and I knew he’d be free. No game, practice would be out by now, he’s probably settling in for a mid-afternoon snack by now. “Maxime Talbot, he’s my boyfriend, he’s also my emergency contact. You should have all of his information on file.” She typed away at her computer before nodding her head and placing a telephone on the counter for me to use. “Just dial nine to get out.” I smiled weakly at her, and my fingers scanned over the numbers on memory. I could feel the excitement grow in my body with the though of hearing his voice at any moment. It rang, and rang, and rang. “You’ve reached Max, you know what to do.” Then the phone beeped at me and I felt my whole stomach drop to the floor. Why did he not answer? What was he doing? Who was he with? Is he with a woman? I hung the phone up and pushed it back toward the receptionist. She gave me a sad smile like she knew. She knew exactly what Max was doing and why he didn’t answer my phone call. I smiled weakly back at her and headed to my room. Now all I wanted to do was just be alone. Try and avoid my thoughts, and wake up on Sunday morning.

Max’s POV

“Slow down there Talbo, she doesn’t get released until tomorrow at noon,” Flower chuckled as I sped through my post game routine in Montreal. We had just finished up our regular season with a beautiful three to one win, and tomorrow Lillianah was coming home. So not only was I on an energy high, but I was extremely anxious to get home. “I’m excited, leave me alone,” I shot back at Flower as my whole stall was now packed up, my tie resting around my neck. I looked around the room to see I was the only one shower and dressed, ready to go. “Come on assholes!” I jumped like a little boy who was ready to throw a tantrum. “Calm down son, Flower’s right. She won’t be there when you get home, no need to get your panties in a bunch tonight,” Billy laughed as he clapped a hand down on my shoulder. I winced at the pain but covered it up enough for him not to notice. I couldn’t help that I was excited. I missed her, and I couldn’t wait for her to see the piano in our downstairs. It was beautiful, classic, just like her. It was a perfect fit. I couldn’t wait for her to play me songs, for her to get back into playing. Soft key strokes filling the house. I just couldn’t wait. I knew it was late, but I figured I’d try calling Lillianah back again. I was in the shower when she had called earlier in the week, and I returned the call numerous times, only to be told she was occupied and couldn’t come to the phone. Yet again I was shot down, this time it was after curfew.

By the time we got back to Pittsburgh, I was still wide awake. I headed into the bedroom and unpacked my bag before grabbing my pillow and heading back to the living room. I needed to find a way to fall asleep. The sooner I fell asleep the quicker Lillianah would be back in my arms. It was my version of Christmas Eve. I laid down on the couch and got comfy, pulling the fleece blanket over my body. I had tried on several attempts to sleep in our bed, but I just couldn’t without her in it. It felt too big and cold for one body. My alarm was set, the TV was on a 30 minute sleep mode and I closed my eyes hoping sleep would instantly hit me. Long after the TV had shut off, I was still wide awake, starring at the ceiling. Lost in my thoughts, I couldn’t stop thinking about what she’ll look like, how she’ll sound, how her attitude will be. Has her hair grown out at all? Will she still have that raspy, sexy voice I love waking up to? Most of all, will she be cured of this deadly addiction? I just wanted her back so we could get on with our lives.

Sun beating through the front windows brought me out of my sleep. I looked out to see it was going to be a beautiful day in the city. It was as if Mother Nature knew Lillianah was coming home and she was smiling down on me. I grabbed my cell phone off the coffee table to shut off my alarm, but my eyes grew wide when I looked at the time. 10:45 AM. I had fifteen minutes to get off my ass and out the door. I skipped shaving, skipped the shower, skipped putting contacts in. I looked like a mess. I brushed my teeth as I pulled clothes out of my closet and tossed them on the bed. I glanced at the clock on the wall, 10:49 AM. Fuck, I needed to hurry up. I finished brushing my teeth, and quickly got dressed before heading back downstairs. I wanted to stop by a grocery store on my way to pick her up flowers, so I quickly locked up the house and left. I never felt so rushed before in my life.

Once I was on the road, I was able to calm down a bit. Excitement still ran through my veins, but at least now I was breathing steadily. Once I got off the highway, I pulled into a Giant Eagle and picked up a dozen roses. I knew they wouldn’t last long, but I didn’t want to show up empty handed. This was a big accomplishment for her. What women wouldn’t want to receive roses at the end? I pulled through the gates of the establishment and quickly parked my car and jogged up to the front door. I was ten minutes late, but as they say, better late than never. With roses in hand, I walked through the front doors and was greeted by the same woman at the front desk as the one I met the day I dropped Lillianah off. “Hi, I’m here to take Lillianah Jenkins home,” I smiled at her, bouncing on my heels. Where were they hiding her from me? I just wanted to wrap my arms around her, kiss her and take her home. “Mr. Talbot!” She said my name in shock and with wide eyes. I look at her with my eyebrows raised. “Lillianah left ten minutes ago.” “WHAT?!” “She said you wouldn’t be able to pick her up, so a cab came and got her.” I looked around frantically, this was a joke, right? Someone was playing a sick sad joke on me. “Okay, very funny. Where is she?” The woman tilted her head and pinched her eyebrows together. “I’m sorry Mr. Talbot, but she left. Here, she signed herself out.” She placed a folder on the counter for me to look at and there was her signature with the time next to it, 12:01 PM. “Did she say where she was going?” She shook her head sadly at me and I froze. She left? She was gone?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's been a month...

Hello my loyal, lovely readers. I am very, very sad that this story has been on the back burner for a month now. A MONTH! I can't believe it! I could probably whip up a chapter for this real quick, but this story is my baby, and it deserves to be treated like a baby, it needs lots of time and absolutely no disturbances.

I'm whipping out chapters for my other story, Troubled Comfort, left and right though, because that's the inspiration I have right now. So if you haven't checked that out... that's what I have going on right now.

So thank you all for being patient, and I love getting the emails you send me letting me know you're still interested in this story. I haven't forgotten, I'm just waiting for life to calm down a bit so I can put my complete attention on this.

Much love,

Go Pens! Go Kings!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

So in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to step away from the fiction and jump into real life. I feel from my own experience, it has motivated me to reach out to other young women much like myself. Any way one can bring upon awareness is an excellent way of spreading the word about how important self exams are. So, I have met many amazing people through this little blog of mine, and decided what better way to spread the word then to begin here. So this is my own personal story.

Around the time I was 17, I began asking my mom questions about my family's health history. I don't know what brought it up, but I never really knew what my grandparents had died of. Both of my grandmothers had passed on long before I was born. So my mom and I had a lengthy discussion on how both her mother and grandmother passed away from breast cancer, and then my father's mother passed away from ovarian cancer. So I asked both my mother and primary care physician if I should worry about my family history. "No, you're too young to worry about breast cancer." I didn't know anything about self exams, and so I went online and looked up how to do a self exam. So I began to do self exams around that time. It only took a minute or so, and I just felt better mentally about everything doing them myself. A doctor doesn't have to tell you to do self exams, you can do them freely.

A month before my 22nd birthday, I was doing a self exam, and discovered a lump. I felt it for probably ten minutes straight, trying to self-diagnose myself. "What can it be?" So I called my OB/GYN, told her what was up, and was in her office a few days later. I went to the doctor and she did an examination, and sure enough she felt a lump and was concerned because it was stationary, it wasn't rolling around. So she did an ultrasound to determine if it was a cyst that was filled with fluid, or if it was solid. It was solid. So I had scheduled to have an excisional biopsy. They wanted the whole thing out. So three days before my 22nd birthday I went in for a minor surgery to have a lump removed from my breast. Three days before my 22nd birthday! I can't stress that enough! My doctor told me I wouldn't have anything to worry about considering how young I was. A few days later I got the results back, benign. A pseudolump, pretty much just a collection of dead fat and scar tissue.

WHEW! I was in the clear!

Fast forward to the middle of September. I hadn't done a self exam since the one I did back in March when I found the lump. So I figured, hey why the hell not. I found another lump, except this time in my other breast. I nearly collapsed, I didn't think I could go through the stress again, and I was leaving for vacation to Pittsburgh in only a week. I did the only thing I could think to do, and that was push it to the back of my mind. I scheduled myself an appointment for when I got back from Pittsburgh and my mom told me not to worry about it, it was probably just another fatty mass, and try and enjoy myself on vacation. So that's what I did. I went to vacation, came back relaxed and then Monday morning it felt like dejavu all over again. Another solid lump, another one she wanted to surgically remove. So last Wednesday I went in and had it removed, this one much larger than the last. My OB/GYN sat down with me and we had an indepth conversation on my family history, so much so I called my mother and put her on speaker phone so I wouldn't miss out on any details I might not know. My doctor highly suggested for not only me, but my mother and sister as well, to have a test done to check and see if we carry the breast cancer gene. So last Wednesday when I went in to have my lump removed my sister and mother came with me and we had a blood draw for the test, simple as that.

Another pseudolump. WHEW! But now I need a drink. The stress all of this has put on my heart is nearly overbearing, but I can only cry tears of joy knowing that I'm one of the lucky ones. So my doctor called me today, which I found very strange for a Saturday, but she is a sweet, sweet woman and I have formed a very close bond with her. So it turns out my sister nor mother carry the breast cancer gene, but I do. So what does that mean for me? Other than the frightening statistics (women without the gene have a 12% risk of developing breast cancer, while those with the gene have a 60% risk) there's really not much. Just knowing that I have the gene is terrifying, but my doctor told me, if I do develop breast cancer I will more than likely find it early because of how well informed I am.

How well informed I am. I had to repeat that sentence in my head a few times. No one told me to do self exams, I didn't even know how, I just went on the internet and figured it out on my own. So that's where I come out and stress to women of any age, how important it is to be informed. To do self exams, no matter how old you are. To know your family history as well is very important. So this is my story, and I hope I can encourage you and all of the women you know to be aware and to feel yourself up every once and awhile.

Here are some awesome websites about Breast Cancer Awareness:

Much Love,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


It's short, I know, my apologies. My trip to Pittsburgh was amazing though, and it gave me so much inspiration for this! So yay on that!! Unfortunately I have the flu, so this update might have been influenced by DayQuil. I hope not too much. =P Thank you for your continued support!!

Max's POV

"So let me get this straight, this helps with the acoustics?" Flower asked as we watched two guys install wood paneling on what was supposed to be our man cave. I nodded my head as I continued to supervise the installation. "And what the fuck is acoustics again?" "It helps with the sound . . . I guess. I don't know!" I felt nearly offended by my choices for this room. "Where are we going to hang out now?" I looked over at him and was half tempted to laugh. "Real life begins now buddy, you have Vero and I have Lil. This is what they call 'adulthood'." Flower groaned next to me as he turned around and made his way for the door. "I'm going to the brewery; meet me there when this stupidity is over with." I nodded my head and chuckled as I watched him leave. I knew deep down, that if anything was going to help keep Lillianah sober, that this would be it. It was only a week until she was back, and I wanted everything installed and perfected before she got back. The piano was on its way from New York, I only wanted the best for my girl. I wouldn't settle for anything less.

After everything at the house was installed, I jumped in my car and headed for the Strip District. It was a sunny day in Pittsburgh, with a slight breeze, and people crowded the streets more than usual on my drive. They were all going about their lives without a worry in the world. I would be doing the same, but I couldn't. Not until Lillianah was home. I parked around the corner from the brewery and made my way inside. I headed upstairs and Flower and Sid were sitting at the bar chatting up Avery. "Hey Superstar, how are you?" She asked as I sat down next to Flower and she poured me a beer. "I'm hanging in there, how are you sweet cheeks?" I only called her that because she hated it. I could see her roll her eyes as she walked back down the bar and leaned on in it in front of Sid. I knew never to label a relationship as perfect, but theirs came pretty damn close. I could only hope mine was as well.

Lillianah's POV

"I normally wouldn't do this, but I think you should see this," Mark announced once we were settled in his office for my daily therapy session. I got up from the couch and took the newspaper he was offering me. I ran my finger over that familiar face printed on the back page. He looked so . . . distant. Just like he had looked at the game two nights before. The words were staring up at me, but I couldn't bring myself to read them. Why was he in the newspaper? A picture of him in a suit, with almost a full beard? I finally glanced over the title. Talbot back in action after mysterious emergency. He explained to the press why he's missed those games. I looked up at Mark, and he was studying me closely, motioning me to just go ahead and read it.

Maxime Talbot barely managed to keep his emotions in check while explaining to the press yesterday why he has missed two games. After a very public, dismissal of a marriage proposal, Talbot's girlfriend, Lillianah Jenkins was admitted to the hospital. He would not give the cause of her admittance, but because of this Talbot had to step away from the game.

"There comes a time in every man's life when we realize there are more important things in life than a game," Talbot stated before a few dozen reporters at Mellon Arena. Talbot is known for making quick recoveries, from whatever it could be that's dragging him down. It seems as though the young Talbot we welcomed to Pittsburgh a few short years ago is becoming a man.

I wiped the tears from my eyes and got up and set the newspaper down on Mark's desk. "How does that make you feel? Reading that?" I pursed my lips together and tried to pin point an emotion I was feeling. “Angry as hell.” He looked at me shocked, obviously not the response he was expected. “Angry? Why?” I looked down at my cuticles that had taken a beating from me over the past couple of days. They were an easy target to pick at when I had to come up with words to express how I was feeling. I always thought I was good with words, Mark obviously proved me wrong. “None of this would have happened if I wasn’t such a fucking idiot.” He cleared his throat, causing me to look up at him. “You’ve realized you have made mistakes in your life, now it is time to get over them and move on. Now without thinking about what happened, and why Max is in the newspaper, how do his words make you feel?” I didn’t need to ask for the newspaper back to remember what Max had said. There comes a time in every man’s life when we realize there are more important things in life than a game. Was he saying I was more important than hockey? I felt the first sob escape the more I thought about it. Mark got up from his desk and handed me a box of tissues before returning to his chair. “Happy? Sad? Relieved? In love?” I shook my head as I cleared my mind, allowing the main emotions to float forward. “I don’t know how to deal.” “How to deal?” I nodded my head before lying down on the couch. “With this fire I’d fallen in. I don’t know what to do anymore. My life has completely changed since meeting Max.” “For better or for worse?” I held my hands up in front of my face and proceeded to pick at my cuticles. “I don’t know. That’s what I need to figure out. Before him, I was living a simple life; I only had myself to care about. Then all of a sudden we throw ourselves into this relationship, the first I have ever had, and now I worry about him constantly. I know he hurt his shoulder, I just know it, but he won’t say anything. Then his concussion on top of it, what if he gets another one? I’m putting him before I put myself. Does that make sense?” I looked over at Mark to him scribbling down notes like always. “It does make sense. Do you feel like because of this new lifestyle with Max, you’ve let yourself go and that’s why you went back to the drugs?”

Max’s POV

“She comes home on Sunday, eh?” Sid asked after Avery brought us another round of beers. “She does, I can’t wait. You have no idea what this week has been like for me. Only six more days.” “Did you tell him?” Flower asked pointing to Sid. “About what was supposed to be your man cave?” I asked laughing and Flower rolled his eyes, nodding his head. “What did you do to the man cave?” Sid asked a little frightening. I didn’t realize these guys were counting on me so much for their ‘escape’. “It’s not happening anymore. Lil plays piano, I bought a piano. So it’s going in that room.” I could see the idea floating around in the Kid’s head. “Alright, I guess I can be okay with that.” “What?!” Flower shrieked looking at Sid like he had grown a second head. “It’s alright Flower, we can turn my basement into a man cave. Right baby, you wouldn’t mind?” Sid turned to ask Avery who just shook her head and laughed.

Back at the house, I relaxed on the couch with King’s head resting on my lap. Now that a week had passed since she entered rehab, I was able to come home and just be myself. No more tears, no more doubts. Just King and I. Two guys and a remote control. We would survive. At least King would, there were a few times when I didn’t think I could. I scratched behind his ear and he lifted his head and smiled up at me with his snaggle tooth appearing outside of his jowls. “Oh, I hope our kids are more attractive than you King, sorry,” I smiled down on him and leaned back against the couch. Six more days till this picture was complete and I would have Lillianah sitting on the other side of me. Our small little family, reunited. I couldn’t wait.

Monday, September 28, 2009

On Vacation

So I thought "hey, while I'm on a 5 hour flight, I'm gonna write, because I know what I want to write, it's just the writing it part." Well I was wrong. I was too freakin' excited to be going on my first vacation for more than two days minus the parents. A huge step into adulthood I like to think, I know... I'm lagging. haha. So today I went here...

and you have no idea the emotions I went through walking around this place. Growing up watching Mario Lemieux face off against Gretzky. I had to sit down on a bench outside and compose myself. It was overwhelming, in such a good way.

So walking around downtown today gave me new eyes into what I write. Now I can picture and understand most things about Pittsburgh. So tomorrow, when I hit up the South Side, hopefully inspiration will smack me across the forehead and I'll get an update for this bad boy. It's on the tip of my tongue, it is, but I'm thinking I should wait, spend a few more days here, and then write it.

Cheers from Pittsburgh.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Lillianah's POV

I walked into the lounge where everyone gathered to watch the game and felt all eyes on me. Word must have traveled fast that I was Max’s girlfriend, thanks to Clarissa. I spotted her sitting on the couch directly in front of the TV and she patted the spot next to her, prompting me to sit down. “Is it true? Are you really Talbot’s girlfriend?” The guy in the chair next to me asked and I looked over at him and slowly nodded my head. “So he hasn’t played because of what happened to you?” I sighed deeply and looked down at my hands. “Yeah, I was in the hospital for a few days, and he wouldn’t exactly leave my side,” I explained even though I felt like he didn’t need an explanation. No one needs an explanation for what I do, or what Max does for that matter. I turned my attention back to the TV and drowned out the whispers that were occurring around me. “Well Dan, Maxime Talbot is expected to be back in the lineup tonight, no one knows why he’s missed the last two games.” I wanted to scream it was because of me. Just get it out there already. I didn’t know it was such a big deal that he had missed two games.

Watching him skate out on the ice, I wasn’t exactly feeling those things I hoped I would. Sure I got a few butterflies when they showed him up close, but he didn’t look like my Max. He didn’t look like any man I knew. All of the emotions in his eyes were gone, It looked like he hadn’t taken a shower in days. Who was this man? On top of it all, every time they showed him, he looked frustrated, like he could rip someone's head off. After the second period finished, I excused myself. I didn't want to see Max like that. I never wanted to see him like that. This was all my fault, of course it was. Why can't Max just come out and say that he has an irresponsible girlfriend that has caused him to miss two games and then barely play in the next?

Laying in bed, starring at the ceiling, all I could think about was how good things were, and how I royally fucked them up. Then my mind began to wander back to the drugs, and how much easier it would be on me if I just had a single line. Just one. Stupid? Yeah, drugs are what put me in this hell. Yet it seemed like drugs were the only thing that could get me out. I felt my legs begin to twitch, and I was in that state of mind where I would do anything to get my hands on some coke. I shot up from the bed and ran out my room, straight for the sauna. Sweat it out, that’s all I needed to do. That’s what Mark told me to do anyways. Drugs or Max, those were my options. I wasn’t stupid enough to go back to the drugs, but I couldn’t keep my body from craving them. I cranked the heat up and discarded my shirt, sitting on the wood bench in my bra and sweat pants. All I wanted to do was cry, but I couldn’t. No matter what I thought about, I couldn’t lure the tears to fall out.

“Lillianah?” I looked up from picking at my hands to see Mark step into the sauna. “Are you okay?” He asked cautiously as he sat down on the bench across from me. “No, I’m not okay. And I don’t think I ever will be. Why did I do this? Why do I still want to do drugs? Why is he still with me?” “Woah, slow down. Take a deep breath for me okay?” My deep breath in was shaky, and as I let it out, my tears began to fall. Finally, a release of some sort. “What brought this on? Was it seeing Max on TV?” I looked back down at my torn up hands and thought deeply about his question. “Just everything. That wasn’t the Max I know. He looked so angry, he’s not an angry person. I want to be there for him, I want to find out what’s wrong, but how I am suppose to be there for someone when I can’t even be there for myself? How am I suppose to love someone, when I can’t even love myself? How can I take care of him for the rest of my life when I can’t take care of myself? It makes no fucking sense.” He got up from the bench and walked the small distance toward me and sat down next to me. “You currently have this mind set where you tell yourself you are in the wrong all the time, but I want you to try something else. Instead of always saying ‘I’m stupid’ or ‘I can’t do anything right’, try saying ‘we learn from our mistakes’ and ‘I’ll be smarter next time’.” I tossed my head back taking his words in as sweat poured from my skull. “Once you get into a place where you’re happy and can do things without the need of drugs, you’ll fall into a grove that just fits your life perfectly. I think if you start to play the piano again-“ ”I’ll never play the piano again.” I heard him sigh faintly and he leaned forward, placing his elbows on his knees. “Why not?” I didn’t feel like talking about. Not tonight anyways. I looked over at Mark, and looked straight into his eyes. I wish he had some power that he could just look in my eyes and understand. I knew he wouldn’t though, so I gave him a sad smile and left the sauna. The itch for the drugs somewhere in the far distance. Tonight, I could only hope, I'll sleep a full eight hours.

Max’s POV

My legs bounced nervously as I sat in an uncomfortable chair off to the side of the stage. The stage that was set up for me to give my ‘statement’. It was all typed up, nice and pretty for me to read off of. A dozen or so reporters were waiting for me, waiting for my excuse. I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket and my first instinct was to ignore it, but some greater power told me to answer it. When I looked down to see it was the rehab facility calling I couldn’t help but smile. “Allo mon cheri!” The voice on the other end cleared their throat. “Max?” It was some guy, it wasn’t Lillianah, I instantly went into panic mode. “Yes, this is Max. Is everything okay?” “Yes, everything is fine. My name is Mark and I’m Lillianah’s counselor out here and I was just wondering if you had a moment to discuss something.” I looked around me and noticed I still had about ten minutes before I was to go on stage. “Yes, of course, how is she?” When I heard him take a deep breath I knew it was as bad as I thought it would be. Lillianah has this way about her, and I’m sure she was being stubborn as hell in there. “We’re slowly but surely getting her to where she needs to be. Now this is why I called. Legally I can’t discuss our sessions together with you, but I have a suggestion for you when she transitions back into her sober life at home.” “Okay?” I scratched the back of my head and looked over to see Mario sit down next to me. He held up his hand to signal to me that I had five minutes. “Do you or anyone you know own a piano?” “A piano? What?” “Lillianah use to play piano, and I like to believe she was very, very good at it. I think if she started to play again, it would keep her mind and hands busy. It could be very good for her.” Lillianah played piano? How come she never told me? “Mario, do you own a piano?” He gave me a confused look before nodding his head. “Yeah, my boss owns a piano. So you really think her playing will help her?” “I do, but the hard part is getting her to play. She said she’ll never play again, but she didn’t tell me why.”

“Max, it’s time,” Mario whispered to me and I finished up my conversation with Mark. He sounded like a good guy, I knew she was in good hands. I still couldn’t believe the fact that she played piano and I didn’t know. I guess there are still a lot of things about her that I didn’t know. I almost felt like I was blind when it came to her life. What else was there that I didn’t know about? That I was too blind to see? I stopped at the base of the two steps on to stage and took a deep breath. With my speech in hand I prepared myself the best I could and walked up on stage. There were a hell of a lot more reporters than I originally thought. The small conference room was packed wall to wall. Camera’s, video camera’s, tape recorders, the whole works. I set my statement down on the podium and took another deep breath. Why was I doing this again? I looked out and all the reporters were looking at me impatiently. Waiting for the words to leave my mouth. What could possibly be going through their minds right now? I knew word on the street was that Lillianah and I broke up, causing my foul mood, thanks to the dozen or so spectators who were lucky enough to see her denial of my marriage proposal. I looked down at the words on the white piece of paper and shook my head. Pat was right, I always do things my way, this was going to be no different. I folded the paper in half and took one last deep breath before setting my eyes on the crowd in front of me.

“Thank you everyone for being here today. As you know I have missed the last two games, and managed to play below par in my return to the game last night. I have heard the rumors that are floating around town, and I must say, they are partially true. The love of my life, Lillianah Jenkins, turned down my marriage proposal a week and a half ago. The part where you are wrong though, is that we are still together, and I still love her just as much as I always have. She made a few poor decisions that night and ultimately ended up in the hospital. I’m not going to stand up here and apologize for what happened. I am not going to apologize for my poor playing nor my missed attendance of two home games late in the season. There comes a time in every man’s life when we realize there are more important things in life than a game. As grateful as I am to be playing for the Penguins, in this amazing town, I had to take a step back and look at my life. Lillianah is my everything, and she needed me more than my team did at that moment in time. I can only hope that the fans, my teammates and the Penguins organization can understand my need to step away from the game for a moment. Lillianah is on the long road to recovery, but she will be okay, and having that on my conscience is allowing me to focus one-hundred percent on hockey once again. I just ask for not only my privacy but as well as Lillianah’s and her family’s in this trying time. Thank you.”

I rushed off the stage before I could hear any of their questions. It was out there, and I hoped to never talk of it again. "You did good," Mario smiled at me as we walked through the hallways out toward the parking lot. I smiled weakly at him and continued through the hallways, trying to keep up with his long strides. "So tell me about this piano thing." I was still confused, why didn't she tell me? "I guess Lil plays piano, and I guess she's really good at it. Or at least use to be. That was her counselor I was talking to, he said it might be good for her to start playing again." He nodded his head, slowing down his pace. "Well our door is always open for you, feel free to bring her by and allow her to play on our piano." That's when the idea popped in to my head. That spare room downstairs in the house, the one I was going to turn into a man cave. "I think I should go buy one. I have the room for it. It'll be a welcome home gift." He stopped walking and placed his hand on my shoulder. "Whatever you need to do Max, you should do. Nathalie knows a bit about pianos, if you want I can give her a call and you two can meet somewhere to go look at some?" I smiled up to him, "really?" "Of course." I pondered for a big what I had to do for the rest of the day. Oh that's right, nothing. "Yeah, that'd be awesome. Thanks Mario." He simply nodded his head and pulled out his phone to put in a call to his wife.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Max’x POV

I walked in to Mellon arena, only to turn on my heal and walk back out. “Max!” Pat yelled after me. I stopped once the door shut behind me and squinted my eyes in the bright spring sun. The door opened behind me, and I soon felt his presence standing next to me. “Can’t ignore me Max, we have to settle this.” I turned to him and looked in him the eye. “Write this down, you’re going to tell them that I am a fucking wreck and I don’t want to talk about it. We have a Stanley Cup to win and I have a fucked up shoulder, and-“ ”Wait. What’s this about your shoulder?” My eyes went wide and I quickly looked away. I grabbed on to the handle of the door and walked back in to the Mellon, Pat hot on my trail. “Max?” “My shoulder’s fucked up alright? But I’m good. It’s no biggie, I have bigger problems on my plate right now. It feels fine . . . most of the time.” I stopped walking and tossed my arm about, showing him it was nothing and that I should have just kept my mouth shut. My shoulder was just something else I pushed in to the back of my mind. With everything that has happened this season, meeting Lillianah, her breaking her ankle, my concussion, moving in to a house, and then well . . . now, my shoulder was nothing. “You’re getting it checked out.” “IT’S FINE!” I cried out to him as I began my trek back to the locker room. I walked in, only to be greeted by Disco Dan. “Hey Danny,” I smiled to him as I went to walk past him, but he stopped me. “Trainer’s room, now. What were you thinking Max? That I wouldn’t hear you yelling in the hallway?” I sighed deeply and walked into the trainers room.

“It looks like a torn labrum, but I won’t know for sure without x-rays,” Doc stated as he rested my arm at my side. I don’t think he meant to pull my shoulder out of its socket, but that’s exactly what he did. I put up my best act, trying to make it look like it didn’t hurt, when really I wanted to scream and kick him. “Damnit guys! I have too much shit going on right now to worry about a small tear! I’m playing fine and you know that. It’s two fucking weeks! Two weeks until playoffs!” I argued as Danny, Pat, Chris and Doc gathered around me, mumbling back and forth with each other. “X-rays first thing tomorrow. This isn’t a joke, if it’s really bad you can’t play. We can’t let you risk the rest of your career because of it.” I gave a curt nod and jumped off the table and headed in to the locker room. “After the game Max, we’re talking,” Pat pointed to me as he walked out of the room. I rubbed my hands over my face a few times and took a deep breath. I was defiantly going out for a beer after the game, win or lose.

The game was a beautiful win for us, and I knew I was going to be swamped by the media after the game considering I returned from my mysterious disappearance. I needed to calm down first though, the last thing I wanted to do was talk crap about my coach in to a camera. I was pissed. All of a sudden he finds out about a possible tear in my shoulder, and he feels like he can cut down my ice time in half. I averaged twelve to thirteen minutes a night, now all of a sudden I’m only getting six. “I’m not talking to the media,” I groaned to Pat as I passed by him and headed to the showers. I couldn’t talk to them. There was no way I wouldn’t say something I would regret later. I stood under the steaming hot water and shut my eyes. I was on the verge of a complete meltdown. The pressure was just too much. Shoulder. Stanley Cup. Ice time. Media. Girlfriend. Rumors. What the fuck was I supposed to do? I’m the guy that’s suppose to tell life to fuck off and get drunk off of whiskey, not the guy with problems. “Hey Talbo, wanna come with us to the bre-“ ”Yes.” I answered Tyler before he could even finish asking me. After a long shower, I headed back into the locker room and avoided all microphones in my face. They could speculate just a little bit longer, I just wanted to get out of there. I got dressed quickly and slipped out the door where Pat was standing. “I’ll be at the Thunderbird Public House, if you don’t know where it’s at ask Sid,” I told him as I walked past him and straight out to the parking lot. I felt bad ignoring the fans, but I just needed to get away before I did something stupid. I jumped into my BMW and sped off toward the Strip District. I needed a few beers before the boys got there. I needed to get out of this funk, I needed to put a smile on my face and act like absolutely nothing was fucking wrong. Yet it was tearing me apart. Everything was wrong. Everything in my life was wrong as this certain point in time.

I played a game of billiards by myself as the guys began to file up the stairs of the brewery. Another beer came my way and I sipped on it, not wanting to get drunk quite yet. I knew I still needed to talk to Pat and I wanted to be mostly sober when I did so. It was hard though, and I was almost tired of waiting on him. As I bent over to hit the cue ball and hopefully sink the eight ball, someone picked the ball up. I stayed in my stance and my eyes wandered up to Pat. “That’s fucked up Pat, and even you know that,” I groaned as I tossed my stick on the table, grabbed my beer and headed to the corner of the room. I sat down in the booth and Pat took the seat across from me. “So, how do you want to do this?” He asked as he pulled some files out of his briefcase. I shrugged my shoulders, sipping on my beer. “The organization is going crazy with this right now, you have to release something soon.” “Why can’t they just write something for me and I can stand in front of a few people and just read it?” He went through a few papers and handed one over to me, obviously they already had something written up. “Mario wanted you to do this your way, but if you don’t have a way, then we can just go with the statement.” “What do you mean my way?” I looked around the bar, before making eye contact with the bartender and signaled for another beer. “You’re Maxime Talbot, you usually always have your own way with something.” “Yeah, but I’m not going to tell people that my girlfriend overdosed on cocaine and is now in treatment for drug abuse. I couldn’t even tell my own mother for a week, how do you expect me to tell complete strangers? Why does my absence from the rink have to have a reason? Am I not allowed to take a few days off without being under a microscope?” When my beer arrived, I quickly downed half of it and looked at Pat for answers. “When your team makes one of the greatest comebacks this late in the season under a rookie coach, and you’re considered the heart of this team, everyone wants to know everything about you. This city needs you as much as the team does. They don’t call you ‘clutch’ because it’s a cute nickname. Just read the statement.”

Lillianah’s POV

I woke up in a thick sweat, taking deep breaths trying to keep myself from screaming. This was one thing that I was not looking forward to, and that was the nightmares. I couldn’t even begin to describe what was happening, but the pounding in my chest was what eventually woke me from my dreaded dream. I crawled out of bed and slipped on some flip flops, making my way toward the bathroom. I stood in front of the mirror and looked at myself. Who was I anymore? I plashed some water on my face and just allowed myself to cry into the sink. I thought I heard someone walk into the bathroom and quickly looked over at the door to see it was still shut. I shook my head and stood up straight, running a hand over my prickly head. “You can do this Lil. Do it for Max.” By the time I made it back to my room, it was already 8 AM, and I had thirty minutes to get ready and be in Mark's office. After a quick change and brush of my teeth I walked down the windy hallways and stood outside of his office. His door was open so I knocked on the door fame and he looked up and motioned for me to come in. I took a seat on the big leather couch and curled up my left leg underneath me. “You look tired,” he commented as he pulled out what I assumed was my chart. “Didn’t get much sleep. Had a nightmare,” I answered him picking at my cuticles. “About what?” “I don’t remember. I just woke up sweating and breathing hard. I hate nightmares.”

“So tell me about the ring around your neck.” My hand gravitated up to my necklace and I began to play with the ring. “This is what will be my engagement ring some day. I asked Max if I could bring it with me, and he told me I had to wear it on a necklace.” “Has he asked you to marry him?” I dropped my chin down to my chest and let go of the ring. “The day I overdosed, he asked me, and I told him no.” He nods his head as he writes on his clipboard. “Is that where the responsibility comes in to play? You said marriage screams responsibility. Why are you so scared of it?” I rolled the question around in my mind a few times trying to think of an answer. Why am I so scared of it? “I guess I don’t want to disappoint anyone, but I think it’s too late for that.” He nodded his head as he studied me. “Do you believe with responsibility comes failure?” I slowly began to nod my head the more I thought about it, “I do.” He wrote a little bit more. “Aside from the drugs what have you failed at?” I linked my hands together in my lap, and looked down at them, trying my damn hardest to think of something to say. “I failed as a daughter.” “How?” How did I fail as a daughter? Where do I begin? “I’m not my sister.” I knew the next question before he even had to ask it so I took a deep breath and cut him off. "She's blond hair, blue eyes, married with two kids, has a beautiful home. She's the white picket fence. Me? Black dyed hair, green eyes, I'm everything my sister didn't screw up on." As he wrote, he nodded his head, as if he was understanding. But I doubted he did. No one can exactly understand the way I think. "So you went against what you thought was their image of the perfect daughter?" I nodded my head. "And now you feel like you've failed them because of it?" I nod again.

"Failure. An act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success. Nonperformance of something due, required or expected. A subnormal quantity or quality." He closed the dictionary on his lap and looked up at me. "Is that it? A subnormal quality? You don't think you're as good as your sister?" I held my hand out for the dictionary, and he freely handed it over. I flipped through some pages before landing upon the word I was looking for. “An idle, worthless person; a person who is ineffectual, unsuccessful, or completely lacking in merit. Good. For. Nothing. That’s me. In my family, I’m the ‘ne’er-do-well’. I got no attention at home, and even less when I moved away. Why did they even bother having another daughter?” I asked becoming angry, tears forming along my bottom eyelid. “I fell in love with music at a very young age. I preferred to listen to music than go to cheer practice. They enrolled me in soccer, softball, basketball. I was miserable growing up. All I wanted to do was listen to music. Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson. All of the albums my father played in the house while I was growing up. I fell in love with it, but because I wouldn’t lace up damn soccer cleats, I wasn’t worth the attention they put into my sister and her cheer routines.” He nodded his head, writing a few things down, a hint of a faint smile on his face. “What else?” My mind was racing now, all of these feelings I had been holding in about my childhood were coming out and I didn’t know if it was a good thing or not. I would never accuse my mother of doing a terrible job raising me, but I guess she could have done a little bit better. “I felt isolated. No one wants to celebrate the fact that Lily learned how to play the piano, everyone wants to celebrate the fact that Lizzy just became cheer captain. It wasn’t right growing up seeing my sister being rewarded for the same level of accomplishment I was achieving. I was able to play Beethoven’s 5th symphony by my 10th birthday. Did anyone turn their neck? Of course not. I just didn’t fit in.”

“Do you still play piano?” I looked down at my fingers, picking at my cuticles once again. “No.” “Why not?” I moved around on the couch, switching my legs, pulling my right one up underneath me. I was almost tempted to lay down on the black couch. Isn’t that what you’re suppose to do in ‘therapy’ anyways? “What’s the point in playing for yourself?” “You have Max though.” I shook my head, it’d been years since I laid my fingers on the ivory keys of a classic piano. It was a secret of mine I was hoping to take with me to my grave. Those memories of being alone needed to be left in the past, why was he bringing them to the surface? “Max doesn’t have the attention span to sit and listen to me play something on the piano.” “Does he know you use to play?” I shook my head from side to side quickly, looking back down at my shredded fingers. “Lillianah, I highly suggest you start playing again. For yourself more than anything. Even if you don’t receive the attention you hope it would, playing might be very good for you. It’s something you can do with your hands and occupy your mind while you’re recovering from your addiction. Please take it into consideration?” I nodded my head, allowing all of his words to sink in. “So I think that’s enough for today. We’ll be watching the game tonight in the main lounge if you want to come.” “The Penguins game?” I asked suddenly very alert, and very excited. He nodded his head and stashed some papers away in my chart. “Yup, the Penguins game.”

Sunday, September 6, 2009


If you want a good laugh, I highly recommend you check out this story. I can't even say anything about it, it's just THAT amazing.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Story

Hello my lovelies. This story, How To Deal, is my baby. I cry over it. I tend to it. I dedicate my spare time to it. I have a lot planned for it still, it's just the getting there part. I've hit a slight brick wall, but am half way over. I have a chapter written, but it's not where I want it to be at yet. Thank you all so much for the comments. They really do excite me and want me to write more and more and more. I've met some pretty awesome people along the way as well. You girls ROCK, seriously. You know who you are. =D

So I'm writing a new story, it's just something that I feel like I need to write, for myself. I'm taking a different style than what I'm use to, but the story itself is very personal to me, and I'm going to go ahead and share it with you. It took me a long time and a pretty lengthy internal battle on who to write it about. Wanting to venture away from the Penguins (I still love them very much though, Talbot in his cardigans and all!) I settled on Brooks Laich and Mike Green. So  here we go...

Troubled Comfort         (<-- that's the link, kinda tricky, eh? ha)


Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Lillianah’s POV

“So what do you do here? Are you just a support system somehow?” I asked Mark once we sat down in the scorching hot sauna. “I’m actually a counselor. But I don’t like to call myself that, because when people think of a counselor they think ‘shrink’ automatically thinking they’re crazy. People here aren’t crazy, they just have addictions and we’re here to help you cease those addictions.” I leaned back on the hot wood and closed my eyes, allowing my body to do what it needed to do. “So tell me about yourself. I know you have a supportive boyfriend, looks like you’re in to tattoos. What else is there behind Lillianah?” I opened my eyes and looked over at him, he wasn’t even sweating, and I could feel my head begin to perspire. “I have a dog. I got him the first time I sobered up. He use to be the only man in my life. The only man I thought I would ever have, but he’s great. He’s eighty pounds of lazy dog.” “What kind of dog is he?” I smiled just thinking about King. My baby boy. “English Bulldog, his name is King.”

We sat in silence for a moment and I could feel the sweat begin to drip down my face. “So you said you’ve sobered up before. How did you do it the first time?” I bit my lip thinking back to the two months of hell I went through. “Cold turkey. I hit a point in my life where I actually wanted to start enjoying my life, and you can’t exactly do that when you’re high 24/7. So I removed the people who did drugs around me out of my life, and suffered some of the worst nightmares ever, but in the end it was worth it.” “Why did you go back?” I could feel myself start to tear up. I just met this guy, yeah sure he was my ‘shrink’ but did I really want to jump in head first right off the bat? I looked over at him and he was looking at me expectantly, looks like he was waiting for me to jump in. “I heard voices,” I whispered as the first tears fell. “They’re like demons in my head. When I first got into drugs they basically told me I was a fuck up and that if I couldn’t be good at anything in life, I might as well enjoy it with what the drugs brought me. I remember walking in on my boss with a few of his friends, doing a few lines. My boyfriend and his two brothers were waiting for me in the VIP area of the club. He offered some coke to me, and I heard the voices for the first time in over a year. All I heard was ‘it’s just one hit, no harm, no foul’. That couldn’t be the furthest from the truth.” There was no point in wiping my tears away as they were now mixed in with all of the sweat. “Where has your family been in all of this?” I took a deep breath and collected myself. “I grew up in Philadelphia with a white-collar family. Very prim and proper and I was just the exact opposite. I didn’t want to go to college, I didn’t want to get married, so when I was out of high school I moved to Pittsburgh. I didn’t want to be that black cloud over my family anymore. They’re only back in my life because of Max.” “And he’s your boyfriend?” I nodded my head and smiled thinking about Max. My savior.

Once twenty minutes had past, my whole body was covered in sweat, but it felt good. It actually felt really good. All of the stress and tension that was building up was being released. “So tell me about Max.” What exactly do I tell him? Do I just come out and say he plays for the Penguins? “He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me that’s for sure.” “What does he do?” I wiped the sweat off of my neck and bit the inside of my cheek. “He plays hockey.” “Oh yeah? Like in an adult league?” I couldn’t help but laugh, I felt rude doing so though. It was a legitimate question, and who would think that a professional athlete would date a drug addict? “No actually, he plays for the Penguins.” “Max . . . Max Talbot?” “That’d be him.” I could see the wheels in his head turning as he nodded his head. “I always thought he was an ass, obviously I was wrong.” I laughed at this and looked over at him. “On the ice he does have a certain way about him, but he’s just amazing off the ice. One of the nicest guy’s I’ve ever met.” “That’s really good that you have that, and that you will have that when you get out of here.” I looked over at him and sucked in my bottom lip. “I’m worried he won’t be there. I’m worried that he might find another girl without any problems and just leave me.” “I don’t know him at all as a person, but from what you’ve told me, he’ll be there. I know you don’t want to hear this, but a common side effect of cocaine withdrawal is paranoia. I have a feeling you might just be paranoid, it’s okay though. Let’s sweat it all out.”

We spent the rest of our time in the sauna in silence and I would feel myself cry occasionally, but for the most part, I just allowed my body to sweat out all of the toxins my skin was holding. A timer went off and Mark stood up from the bench and opened the door. I followed him out and he handed me a towel. “So we go in the sauna every day while you’re here. Tonight you’ll meet with a group, and then tomorrow morning you’ll have a more conventional appointment with me in my office. Sound good?” I nodded my head and wiped myself down with the towel. “All right, see you in an hour, Clarissa comes to, so you can just come with her.” “Okay see you then.” I saw a hamper in the corner of the room and tossed my towel into it before leaving the room all together. I tried my best to remember the way back to my room, and after only getting lost once, I found it. I grabbed a change of clothes and asked Clarissa where the showers were. She pointed me in the direction and I headed down the hall, already feeling better by just sweating everything out.

I took a seat in the large circle next to Clarissa and it felt like all eyes were on me. “Hey everyone, I want to welcome Lillianah, today is her first day,” Mark smiled as he stepped in to the circle and I gave out a small wave. “Hi Lillianah,” everyone said at once, and for a moment I thought they might all be robots. Is that how I will be in a few days time? A robot? “So how about we start with you,” Mark smiled before sending a wink my way. On our walk over Clarissa gave me the simple script everyone says in the group. I stood up and cleared my throat, “hi, I’m Lillianah and I’m an addict. I’ve been sober for six days now.” Everyone clapped and congratulated me. I looked around the circle like a scared sheep and my eyes settled on Mark’s. ‘Tell them’ he mouthed to me and I nodded my head. “I overdosed on cocaine six days ago, and had a chunk of my skull extracted due to severe swelling. I was in the hospital up until yesterday, and now I’m here,” I slowly smiled all while pointing to the bandage on my head. Everyone clapped once again and Mark continued to smile at me. I slowly sat back down and Clarissa jumped up next to me. “Hi, I’m Clarissa and I’m also an addict. I’ve been sober for twenty-four days.” This continued all the way around the circle until it was back at me. I looked at Mark not knowing what to do now, but he took over the circle. “Let’s talk about our biggest obstacle to overcome on our road to recovery,” he started and I listen intently to everyone around me. They’ve been through what I’ve gone through. They know. Suddenly I wasn’t so scared, I was relieved. I actually wanted to speak. I held my hand up and Mark pointed to me. “My biggest obstacle is the acceptance of responsibility. Sure I have the typical bills, and job, or at least had a job, but it was the full blown growing up part I was running away from. My boyfriend wants to get married. In my mind marriage screams responsibility and it scares the crap out of me.” Hearing the words come out of my mouth lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders. This wasn’t something I could talk to Max about, and I felt like I was in a place where I can share these things, and the people around me would understand.

Max’s POV

I didn’t want to be bothered by anyone, so Sidney, Flower and I sat upstairs at the brewery sharing a pitcher. My phone began vibrating on the table and I saw ‘Maman’ appear on the screen. I knew I needed to answer it, I had been ignoring her calls all week. “Hello?” I answered looking over at Flower, he just gave me an amused look. “You are alive! Maxime Talbot! What the hell is your problem!?” She basically screamed and I was shocked to hear her curse like that. “Sorry mom, it’s been a rough week, I’m okay though, physically that is.” I took a deep breath and waited for the conversation that was about to take place. I just didn’t want to talk about it, but I knew it was something I had to do. It was my mother after all. I could always hand the phone over to Flower and have him explain, but I know my mom would want to hear it from me. “What happened Maxime? You haven’t played, you’re not answering our calls, we’re worried sick.” I took a deep breath and just jumped right in. I told her the whole story, from proposing to getting the call from Molly to earlier in the day dropping her off at the rehab facility. “You had no idea she had a problem?” She asked after a few moments of silence. “No, I had no idea. I knew she had a problem in the past, but I didn’t think she did now. She’s getting help though, that’s all that matters.” I could hear my mom sniffle her nose and I bit my lip hard, not wanting to start crying again myself.

“Flower!” I yelled from the couch I was currently laying on. I had spent the last twenty minutes starring up at the ceiling, sipping on my beer through a straw. “Yeah Talbo?” He asked as he walked up to me, pool stick in hand. “I need to get fitted for a tuxedo. My best friend is getting married, I have to look excellent.” He began to laugh and I brought my eyes away from the ceiling to look at him. “We’ll go tomorrow after practice yeah? You are coming to practice right?” I nodded my head before shoving the straw back in to my mouth. I sucked some beer down and held it above me to see how much I had left. My glass was half empty. “Yeah, gotta go back at some point. Got a cup to win. Got goals to score.” “Fuck Max, you sound like Geno when you talk like that,” he laughed as he walked away. “I score goal! We win! I happy!” I yelled back as I laughed to myself. The poor Russian, he hated giving interviews, yet he was media gold. Everyone wanted to know what three word sentence he would come up with next.

I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket and pulled it out, flipping it open and shoving it to my ear. “Maxime Talbot, how many I pleasure you today?” “What if it was your mother calling Max? Are you drunk? It’s 3 PM!” I pulled my cell phone away from my ear and checked the called ID. “Hey Patty, just a few beers, what’s up?” I’d been lecture hundreds upon thousands of times from my agent about drinking, but this beer, these beers were needed. I wanted to laugh and let loose. I needed to be with my boys and just release all of the stress and tension the week had put upon me. “The media is getting restless, we have got to issue a statement. Mario has been handling most of it himself, but he doesn’t even know what to say anymore.” I pinched my eyes shut nice and tight, hoping when I opened them my cell phone was back in my pocket and this conversation never took place. “I’ll do it myself, I’ll just say I had a family crisis and for people to respect my privacy, isn’t that what everyone else does?” I asked hoping he would agree and it would be clean cut and simple. “It could, but what happens when playoffs roll around and Lil is at the games . . . bald?” “No one knows about Lil and I,” I countered as I sat up and pulled the straw in to my mouth with my tongue. “People that don’t read newspapers or blogs, like you, don’t know about Lillianah and you. It’s out there Max. Everyone knows you’re off the market and they know her name, what she looks like and what she does.” I was shocked by this piece of information. I knew we weren’t quiet about our relationship, there was no need to be, but I didn’t know it was newsworthy that I had a girlfriend. “Can we lie?” I whispered before biting on my straw and pulling it out of my glass. “You lie, the truth will come out, you’ll be the most hated man in Pittsburgh. No one likes a liar.” I downed the rest of my beer and set the empty glass on the ground next to the couch. “I’m drunk Pat, can we discuss this later when I can think with a straight mind?” “Yeah sure, I'll be in town on Wednesday, we'll talk then.”

The next day, I stood in front of a mirror in a tuxedo and did my best James Bond pose, failing miserably at it. “I look fucking amazing. When I get married, I want this tux, but with a ruffled white shirt.” Flower raised an eyebrow at me before shaking his head all together. “Hey come sit down real quick, I wanted to talk to you about something.” I jumped down from the stand I was on and took the seat next to Flower, automatically crossing my legs, because that’s what you do when you’re wearing a tux. “You okay?” He asked with concern washed over his face. “Yeah of course, why do you ask?” He took a deep breath and leaned forward, placing his elbows on his knees. “Your girlfriend is in rehab, for a drug problem, and you’re acting like nothing happened. You’re holding it all inside Max.” He was right, he was absolutely right. But what was the problem with acting like nothing was wrong? I was sick of the questions and the media, the only thing I could think of was just acting like nothing happened at all, and just go on with my life for these next two weeks in my usual chipper mood. I took a deep breath before leaning forward myself and looking over at him. “For a few days, just for a few, can I please put on this act? I break down in bed every night, I miss her like hell and it’s only been 24 hours. Let me act like nothing is wrong okay?” “Alright, as long as you know it’s not healthy to keep emotions bottled up, we’ll be okay. I’m just looking out for your Max.” I bit my bottom lip and nodded my head. “And I appreciate that, thanks Flower. Okay, so back to how amazing I look in this tux. I can’t look better than you though. Can I wear a fedora?” He rolled his eyes at me and laughed as I walked back in to the dressing room.

When I got home that night, I did exactly what I told Flower I do. I sprayed her perfume on her pillow and crawled in, holding it close to me. I thought hard about what he said, hiding my emotions. If I did let my emotions show, I don’t know which ones would come out the strongest. The fact that I was pissed, devastated, numb . . .. I was confused. How was I suppose to feel? I wish someone could just tell me. ‘Maxime, you’re girlfriend overdosed on cocaine, you should feel disappointment. Of all the girls in all of the world, you chose the one with a defect.’ I shook my head back and forth trying to get the thought out of my mind. I picked the right girl! I know I did! She just has a glitch, right? Fuck she’s not a computer! I pulled the pillow closer to me inhaled deeply. Strawberries. The smell of strawberries took me back to our first date. She’s the right girl, the one that makes me nervous as hell and makes me stutter over my words. I’d rather stutter for the rest of my life with her, than not with someone else.