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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Lillianah’s POV

I sat on the edge of the bed and watched Max shower in the bathroom. We had to leave within the next thirty minutes to make it for my check in time at noon. It was 10:45 AM. My time with him was dwindling away. It wasn’t the end of the world though, I had to keep reminding myself that. It was only two weeks. Fourteen days, and I’d be home. When the shower turned off, I got up off the bed and walked to the bathroom. I stood in the doorway and leaned up against the door jam. He stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around his waist, water dripping down his body, making me miss him already. “I have a stupid request,” I blurted out, running a hand over my stubbly head. “Nothing you request is stupid baby,” he smiled as he grabbed another towel and ran it over his hair, sending water drops everywhere. “Can I borrow it? Just until I get back.” He stopped moving and looked over at me. Confusion washed over his face. When the color of his eyes seemed to brighten, I knew right then that he knew what I was talking about. “Why?” I bit my bottom lip and looked down at my hands. “I’m taking some of your things with me, so I’ll have you with me in a way, but that . . . it’s us. It represents us, or at least it will, sometime in the future. It’s like hanging a bikini on your door in the winter time to get in shape for summer. It’s motivation.” He pinched his eyebrows together and walked up to me. I wish he wouldn’t stand so close in just a towel when we had to leave. “You need motivation to marry me?” He asked in a quiet, somewhat disappointed voice. I shook my head, and looked down at my hands. “It’s motivation to get better and come back to you. It’s strange I know, but it’s just . . . if I see it, I know what I’m doing and what I’m coming home to. I want to marry you Max, I realized that while I was in the hospital. I just have to wait, okay? I need to get my shit together.” A smile began to form on his face and he leaned down and kissed the corner of my mouth. “You can wear it on a necklace.”

I sat in the passenger seat of his car in silence, holding his hand. My parents, in the back seat, were chatting with Max, but I couldn’t exactly understand them. Actually, I didn’t have the energy to understand them. I just rested my forehead against the window and watched as the city turned in to country. My right hand reached up to play with the engagement ring hanging from Max’s silver chain. I wanted to smile when I looked at it, it really was beautiful, but again, I didn’t have the energy. I was extremely irritable and growing more and more angry with Max with each mile marker we passed by. I didn’t need rehab. I didn’t need detox. I was angry, mad as hell. Not at him though, I can’t be mad at him. I needed to be mad with myself. I put myself in this situation. I bit back a scream, not wanting to frighten my parents. ‘Think rationally,’ I mumbled to myself. Think? I can’t think. My brain was shutting down, I could almost feel it slowly start to shutdown. Just go to sleep. That’s all I needed to do. I felt my eyelids grow extremely heavy, and within seconds I was out.

All of my boxes were packed and sitting in the driveway. King was attached to his leash, that was then tied around the tree in the front yard. Attached to his collar was a note in Max’s handwriting. Have a good life. Fuck off. I inhaled sharply and fell to the ground on my knees. He’s kicking me out. After everything I went through. Clean and sober and he’s tossing me aside?! I felt a thumb brush over my cheek and I opened my eyes to see we were sitting at a red light. It was just a nightmare. “You okay? You’re crying,” Max asked concerned. I looked over at him and sucked my lips in, feeling my nose flare out as I fought back the tears. I shook my head side to side and looked away from him. I didn’t want to look at him. Was he really going to be there for me when I got out? Was I really worth it? I felt a tear roll down my right cheek and land between my lips. I tucked my chin to my chest and pinched my eyes shut tight. He’ll be there, right? When I’m released from this prison, he’ll be standing there waiting for me. “You’re picking me up in two weeks right?” I nearly shouted, interrupting their conversation. “Of course, is that why you’re crying? You don’t think I’ll come back for you?” He asked with a low voice. I nodded my head and took slow steady breaths. I suddenly had this image of Max bringing girls home from the club. That’s how he was before me right? I obviously proved we could all turn back to our old habits. “Why am I worth it?” I shouted, water now obscuring my vision as I turned to look at Max. “Lil, calm down, okay?” He asked with a soothing voice as he pulled through large gates. Prison. I really was going to prison. When the car came to a stop, I ripped my seatbelt off and jumped out of the car. Almost looking to run away. That’s what I did best anyways, run away from responsibility.

Max’s POV

I did enough research online to know that what she was going through was the symptoms of the withdrawal. One minute she’s crying, the next she’s yelling and then back to crying. This wasn’t her typical mood, this was her four days in without any drugs. I was scared. I really was. I didn’t know what to expect at this place. I felt like I was on the verge of breaking down just watching how Lillianah was, but I had to be strong. I had to be strong for her as well as for her parents. I climbed out of my car along with Steve and Molly, and I got Lillianah’s suitcase out of the trunk. She stood by the passenger door playing with the ring on the necklace. I was hesitant about giving it to her, but she had a good point. I can only hope that she keeps it close to her heart while she’s here to know that I’ll be her backbone if needed. Right now I’m just acting as the crutch, something for her to lean on, but if she needs the full support, I’m there. I always will be. I walked up to her and linked my hand with hers, feeling the sweat pouring out of her pores. We followed behind Steve and Molly up to the front doors and stepped inside. The walls were painted a bright yellow, and I noticed a few of the hallways looked like a lime green. “I can’t do this,” she whispered to me grasping on to my hand hard. “Yes you can Lil, you have to.” The four of us stepped up to the counter and were greeted by a skinny man with glasses and white hair. “Checking in?” “Yes, Lillianah Jenkins,” I answered and he typed away at his computer and glanced up and looked at Lil quickly before looking back down at his computer. “Alright, we have a room all ready for you. Um, visiting hours are on Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 10 AM til 3 PM. So if you want to say your goodbye’s, I’ll give you a few moments than I’ll take you back,” he smiled at her and I felt a twinge in my stomach. “I’m not going to be able to visit you,” I mumbled to her and she shook her head. “We’ll talk? We’ll talk. It’s okay,” she said and with each word her tears fell faster.

I dug my face in to her neck, tightening my grip around her. I didn’t want to let her go. I never wanted to let her go. I was scared of what was going to happen. In two weeks time. Will she be the same? Will she change? For the better? Or for the worst? I pressed my lips in to the crook of her neck and felt her fingers thread through my hair. “Don’t forget about me,” she whispered in my ear. “There’s no way. I love you, okay?” I felt her nod her head and I pulled away from her. “I love you too.” I kissed her hard on the lips one last time before I turned and walked away from her. When I reached the door, I looked over my shoulder to see the old man dragging her away. She looked over her shoulder and gave me a weak smile before turning back around. I headed outside and met Steve and Molly by my car. Steve was standing by the driver’s side, holding his hand out. “Why don’t you sleep on the way to the airport Max? You look exhausted.” I hung my head and fished my keys out of my front pocket and handed them over. I walked behind him and opened the back door, throwing myself in to the backseat, laying down like I did as a kid on the way to 5 AM hockey practice. I felt like a kid. One that just had the candy jar taken away from him. The door shut behind me and I flipped on to my back. “Tell me she’ll be alright. I just need to know she’ll be alright.” Molly twisted in the passenger seat and took my hand in hers. “She’ll be better Max. She’s going to get healthy.” I felt her squeeze my hand and I closed my eyes, fighting back the worst of ideas in my mind. She’ll be better.

“Thank you Max, for everything. You already are a son to us in our eyes,” Steve smiled as he pulled me in to a hug. I swallowed hard and nodded my head as I pulled Molly in to a hug. “Thank you, that . . . that means a lot to me,” I managed to smile as I choked up. “Take care of yourself okay? Two weeks will fly by.” I looked down at Molly and smiled. “I will.” I waved goodbye to them as they disappeared in to the airport. I hopped in the drivers seat and left the airport, only to pull in to the parking lot of a Holiday Inn. I sat there, my eyes going in and out of focus. My head was spinning, I felt my breathing pitch. I pulled my cellphone out and called Flower. “I need you to pick me up. I’m at the Holiday Inn by the airport.” “Alright, we’ll be right there.” I hung up the phone and threw my head down on the steering wheel losing all control of the emotions I had manage to keep inside all day. Twenty minutes later there was a tap on my window and I looked up to see Sid. I climbed out of my car and he pulled me in to a hug, shocking me at first, but I wrapped my arms around him and he patted me hard on the back. “You up for a beer?” He asked as he moved past me and climbed in to my car. I looked over my shoulder to see Flower in his SUV waiting for me. “Or two, yeah. Thanks Sid. I appreciate this. A lot.” “Hey, don’t sweat it.” I turned around and took the seat in Flower’s car that Sid was once occupying and shut the door behind me. “You gonna be okay?” Flower asked carefully and I sucked my lips in as I nodded my head. “Yeah, she was tripping out this morning Flower, you should have seen her. Scared the crap out of me.” We hit the highway and headed in to downtown toward the brewery. “She has the ring.” When he pulled up to a red light he turned and looked at me. “I’m sorry, did you just say she has the ring?” “Yeah, she said it would be motivation to get better. Knowing that I’ll be what she comes home to. She’s wearing it on my silver chain around her neck.” The light turned green and we parked right in front of the brewery with Sid right behind us. “What you two have is really good Max. Don’t lose her.”

Lillianah’s POV

Dragging my suitcase behind me I glanced over my shoulder one last time at Max as the old man had a firm grip on my upper arm pulling me away. I smiled to him one last time before turning my attention back to the long hallway in front of me. I ripped my arm out of the old man’s grip and walked side by side with him. We stopped in front of a room and I looked in to see a girl about my age painting her toe nails on a bed. Janis Joplin was playing quietly in the background and my eyes fell on the empty bed on the other side of the room. “This is all you. So I will let you get settled, and then Mark will be by shortly to take you to the sauna.” I nodded my head and stepped inside the room. “Hi, I’m Clarissa, what’s your name?” she asked in a very high pitched, nearly cartoonish voice. “I’m Lillianah,” I smiled to her as I lifted up my suitcase and threw it on my bed. I unzipped it and threw the top open, smiling when I saw the framed photo of Max and I laying on top. I picked it up and ran my finger over his face, mainly over his Fu Man Chu mustache. The best thing about the photo? I was sober in it. “Who’s that?” Clarissa behind me asked as she jumped up from her bed and walked over to me on the heels of her feet. “Oh my boyfriend, Max,” I smiled handing her the frame. “You’re dating a Penguin?” “You . . . you know who he is?” I don’t know why I was shocked but she didn’t have that vibe of sports fan about her. “Well my brother is a huge fan, and actually has a Talbot jersey. Max is his favorite player.” “Oh,” I nodded my head as she handed the frame back to me and I placed it on the table next to the bed.

Once most of my stuff was unpacked and Clarissa told me all about her heroin addiction and how she had been in rehab for three weeks now, there was a knock on the door. I looked up to see a rather handsome, tall, well-built, Frank look-a-like. I had to do a double take thinking that it was in fact Max’s brother, just a little taller and jacked up on steroids. “Are you Lillianah?” He asked me and I nodded my head. “Hi, I’m Mark, I’ll be your best friend and sponsor while you’re here. We’re gonna start with a few sessions in the sauna, so if you wanted to change in to something comfortable, we can head on out. I’ll wait right outside.” I nodded my head and turned to Clarissa. “So what’s with this sauna business?” I asked her as I pulled some shorts and a tank top out of the drawer. “Detox. The sauna helps get the toxins out of your skin. The first time I went, I balled my eyes out, so just do what you need to do.” She nodded her head enthusiastically and I quickly changed and stepped out to meet Mark. “So Lillianah, tell me what you do,” he smiled as we began our walk. “Well, I use to be a DJ, but my boyfriend put an end to that after I overdosed at work.” A smile came over his face as he looked over at me. “Sounds like a good guy.” “Great guy, I just hope he’ll be there when I get out.” We stopped in front of a door and he placed his hand on the handle but before opening he turned to look at me, “you’re a beautiful girl, and you’re getting help, any man would be stupid not to be there when you get out.”

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Max’s POV

Hot water ran down the back of my neck, curling around and dripping down my chest. I was taking deep breaths, water slowly filling my lungs. She was coming home today, but was I ready? Was I ready to tackle what we still had ahead of us? This was no question if she was worth it or not, she was. It was a question if I was mentally and physically prepared to go where my life was taking me. I could only hope that rehab would work, and that she would go with no questions asked. She didn’t exactly have a choice. I had to be tough. Tough love is what everyone told me I needed to give her. I was still very much pissed off that she did this, and even brought it in to my home. It wasn’t until I raided the whole house, and found her ‘stash’ in her makeup bag that I pounded my hand to bone particles. The media was going crazy, wondering why I had missed two games now, and word that I had a meltdown in the hospital got out. Media stuff was for Sidney, not for me. I was suppose to be the happy-go-lucky Penguin. Now with all of the questions and inquires about what happened, I’m about ready to lose it. My agent, Pat, would talk in one ear, but it would go straight out the other. I couldn’t exactly talk to anyone about what happened, that was anyone except for my teammates. My family still didn’t know, and I’m sure I was making my mother worried sick with all of the missed calls I have from her. It was just so easy dealing with my teammates because they know, they know not to bring it up. I just wanted to erase everything. “Hey Max! We gotta get going buddy! She was released five minutes ago!” Sid shouted in to the bathroom and I groaned, shutting the water off. All I did for the last twenty minutes was stand under the water, my hair still a dirty mess, still unshaven, smelling like crap I’m sure. How could one care for themselves when all of their energy was put in to someone else?

When we pulled up to the hospital, she was sitting in a wheel chair outside with a nurse by her side. I jumped out and walked up to her. I don’t know why, but I wasn’t excited about her coming home. I was numb. I leaned down and kissed her as the nurse gave discharge papers and such to Sid. “Ready to go home?” I asked and she eagerly nodded her head. She stood up from the wheelchair and climbed in to the back seat of Sid’s SUV. I shut the door behind her and climbed in to the passenger’s seat. “Are my parents still in town?” She asked once we pulled back out in to traffic. “Yeah, they go back home tomorrow.” After you leave for rehab. I didn’t know how I was going to bring it up. How I was going to tell her. How she was going to react. I had to be prepared to put my foot down if needed. she was going, she had no choice. I made that decision earlier. I had already called and set it up. She’d be gone through the end of the season. Two weeks without her. Before I knew it, we were back at the house. I looked over at Sid and thanked him for coming with me to get her. Sure I could have done it on my own, but the guys have prevented me from driving since Tuesday morning. I held her hand tight as we walked in to the house and we were immediately greeted by King, it was as if he knew she would be home today.

When we walked up to the bedroom she stopped upon seeing her suitcase packed. “You leave for a two week rehab stay tomorrow,” I answered the millions of question I’m sure were floating through her head. “I don’t need rehab though, I sobered up the first time by myself,” she stated as she turned and looked at me. “And look where you ended up. You’re going Lil, you either go and come home to me, or I can book you on the same flight to Philadelphia tomorrow with your parents.” It hurt my heart, a lot, to say those words. I had to find all the strength inside of me to continue standing. I was feeling lightheaded, hoping and praying she would go to rehab and not give up on this life of ours so easily. She sat down on the bed and unzipped the suitcase. “Do I have enough clothes in here for two weeks?” She asked not bringing her eyes up to mine. Relief washed over me and I sat down next to her. “There should be, but if not they have a washer and dryer there. I plan on visiting you every chance I get.” She turned her head and forced her best smile on her face. “What about work?” She asked and I inhaled sharply, dropping my chin to my chest. “You don’t work there anymore.” “WHAT?” I took her hand in mine and looked in her eyes. “You honestly think I would allow you to keep working in that environment?” She bit her bottom lip and slowly nodded her head. “I guess you’re right. I just really loved that job.” “I know,” I smiled sadly and got up from the bed and headed downstairs. I figured she needed a few moments to take everything in.

I was in the kitchen making some sandwiches when I heard Lillianah yelling for me. I headed up to the bedroom and found her in the bathroom, starring at herself in the mirror. Without moving her eyes she picked up my electric razor and handed it to me. “Are you sure?” I asked with a shaky voice and she only nodded her head. She pulled the stool out from under the vanity and sat down, closed her eyes and took a deep breath in. It was just hair right? It grows back. Yet when I went to turn the razor on, my hands shook. She was already missing half a head of hair, shaving the rest shouldn’t be a big deal. It was a big deal though. It was the cleansing of a past life. Shaving her hair was like her way of becoming pure again. In my eyes this was her first step back to a healthy life. I turned the razor on, and ran it over her head, watching her hair fall to the ground. When I looked at her face in the mirror, her eyes were still closed, but tears were creeping out from under her lashes.

Lillianah’s POV

Maxime Talbot. Five foot eleven, dark brown hair, blue eyes that can often be fooled to be brown. Two hundred pounds of pure sunshine, love and above all hope.

Hope. That’s all I had left to cling on to in this minuscule life of mine. And Max was my hope. He believed in me when even I didn’t. I sob just thinking about where my life would be if it wasn’t for him. If it wasn’t for Max.

I starred at my near lifeless body in the mirror and couldn’t recognize myself. Sure I had gained a few pounds in the hospital from the amount of food they were feeding me, but I looked lifeless. There was no color in my face. Stitches graced the shaved side of my head. Heavy bags laid under my eyes. My green eyes looked a dull grey. My nose was bright red. What did I do to myself? What the hell was I thinking? Now I had two weeks to sit in a room and think about all the times I fucked up in my life, and find it somewhere deep within to forgive myself. Was it that easy though? Would it take only two weeks? Fourteen days, and with the snap of some fingers I’d be ‘healed’? “Max!” I screamed a little more urgently than I meant to. I didn’t even look at him when he walked in. I picked up his electric razor in front of me and handed it to him. “Are you sure?” he asked and all I could do was nod my head and close my eyes. This was something I had to do. I couldn’t think about what I would look like, I could care less, I just had to free myself. The images of my hair falling in my face as I leaned over to take a line. I was angry as hell at my hair, for no reason whatsoever, I just wanted it gone. When I heard it power on, I felt a few tears fall but gathered myself when I felt air hit my skull.

I locked myself in the bathroom. It was my last night with Max for two weeks and I locked myself away from him. I pushed him out before he finished shaving my head. I didn’t want him to see me so naked, so pure. I finished shaving my head myself and then crawled in to the bathtub where I pulled my knees up to my chest. I knew he was sitting on the other side of the door. I could see his shadow and I could hear King’s heavy breathing under the door. “Lil, let me in.” I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I couldn’t hide anymore. Even though I never considered my hair a shield, it was, and it was no longer there for me to hide under. All of my emotions were now right there on top for everyone to see. I heard a click and a moment later the door slowly opened. Maxime Talbot. I shook in the tub as our eyes met. What was Maxime Talbot to me? I studied his eyes as he walked in to the bathroom and closed the door behind him. He was my soul. My big deep in the south type of soul. Powerful and vibrant. When he was around I wanted to stand on church pews and shout and sing how truly wonderful life is. Maxime Talbot.

Our legs wrapped around each other’s as he sat across from me in the dry tub. He held my hand and rubbed small circles with his thumb on my wrist. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t need to. He allowed me to sit there and cry. I wanted to say something to him, just anything, to show him how grateful I was for having him. But I couldn’t find the right words. He knows I love him. He knows I’m sorry. What else could I say? What else was left to say? “I’m doing this for you,” I sobbed out and wiped my eyes on my sleeve of my free arm. “No, you’re doing this for yourself,” he corrected me, squeezing my hand just a tiny bit. “But if it wasn’t for you, I’d be dead.” He hung his head, and this was the first time I had ever seen Max become emotional. Sure I’ve seen him angry, but I’ve never seen him cry. “You can’t talk like that Lil. Please, don’t talk like that.” He scooted forward in the tub and wrapped his arms around me, as if he was never going to let me go. “Don’t talk like that,” he whispered as I felt his tears fall on my neck. I threaded my fingers through his hair and cried with him. He abruptly pulled away from me and looked in to my eyes. I reached up and wiped away his tears with the pads of my thumbs and lost it all together. I never wanted to make him cry. The last thing I wanted to do was make my baby cry. He pressed his forehead to mine and tried to steady his breathing. “I hope I die before you, because I won’t be able to handle a day without you in my life,” he cried, having to take a few deep breaths between words.

Maxime Talbot. The soul reason worth living this life.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Lillianah’s POV

I rolled over in bed and opened my eyes to see a folded piece of paper leaning against something on the table. I reached over, carefully, and picked it up.

Mon cherie,
I went home for the night, but I will be by first thing in the morning. Whatever this is that is going through your head, we are going to fight it. You and me. We’re a team now, and whatever obstacle we come across, we are going to jump the hurtles together. I love you, and I always will, regardless of the decisions we make in our lives. I will see you in the morning.
Love, Maxime

I wiped my eyes clear of my tears and set the note down on my lap. “Good morning Lillianah, how are you feeling this morning?” A nurse asked as she walked in and wrote some things down on a clipboard. “Like I got ran over by a bus.” “Do you remember why you’re here?” I looked down at the note and unfortunately could remember nearly everything. “I do,” I cried out, gripping harder on the note Max left me. “You had a lot of people here yesterday, kind of caused a frenzy in the waiting room. Your parents and your fiancé should be coming in soon though. Max was very adamant that he would be here at 9AM,” she smiled to me and my eyes immediately went to my left hand. Fiancé? “What day is it today?” I asked still not bringing my eyes up from my hand. “Wednesday.” Monday, I overdosed on Monday. A flash of an image of Max down on one knee went through my eyes. He asked me to marry him. I threw my head back on the pillow and allowed myself to cry. He asked me to marry him and I went out and did this. Why is he still with me?

I heard a light knock on the door and wiped my eyes clear before I looked over and saw Max. ‘Be strong,’ I kept telling myself but with every step he took toward me I broke down just a little bit more. By the time he pulled the flowers out from behind his back, I was in hysterics. He didn’t say anything, which I was thankful for, he just kissed me on the forehead and placed the flowers on the table next to me. “Why are you here?” I cried out and he stopped dead in his tracks and looked over his shoulder at me. “Where else would I be Lil?” “Don’t you have a game?!” He handed me a few tissues and I cleared my eyes so I could see him somewhat clearly. “I’m not playing tonight, because I want to be here with you.” “I’m such a fuckup Max, why are you wasting your time with me?” There it was out, now I just needed to wait for him to realize I was right, and I would be left alone in my own shattered life to put the pieces back together. He sat down on the bed next to me and grabbed my hand. “Did you read my note?” I nodded my head. “You might not like it, but I’m apart of you now Lil. It’s like we’re one person and whatever you go through I’m going to go through as well. I’m not leaving just because you made a bad decision. You’re stuck with me,” he smiled down at me and I felt the corner of my mouth twitch up. “What did I say?” “Say when?” I looked back down at my hand, “when you asked me to marry you. What did I say? I can’t remember.” He took a deep breath in and pinned his chin to his chest. That right there answered the question for me, and with that the events of the day came rushing back to me. The awkwardness all the way up to work. “You said no.” “Max, I am so sor-“ He silenced me with a finger over my mouth. “Don’t. When the time is right, you’ll let me know. Until then, it’s business as usual.” He smiled weakly at me and I smiled back.

Max fell asleep in the chair next to me and as I looked over him I could tell he didn’t get much sleep the night before. There were dark bags under his eyes and his Fu Man Chu mustache was almost overpowered by his beard. I heard the door creak open and my parents walked in. “Hey mom, dad.” “Lily, how are you feeling?” My mom asked as they stood on the side opposite of Max. “Like crap,” I muttered as I looked at all the cords connected to me. “Well I guess that should be expected. Lily, what were you thinking?” My mother scolded and I exhaled deeply finally thankful someone was going to yell at me. “Molly, not now,” my dad warned placing a hand on my mother’s shoulder. “No dad, I need to hear this right now. Everyone is just acting like this was an accident when clearly it wasn’t. I just, I don’t even know where to start. Things were just too perfect in my life. I’ve never been use to being so happy, I had to fuck up somewhere. So I don’t know what I was thinking, I was pretty fucking stupid, I know that.” My mom hung her head and cringed at my language. “This life of yours isn’t just you anymore Lily. You need to think about him,” she pointed over at Max’s sleeping body. “He was a mess Lily. He thought he lost you. Nobody knew what to do because he completely lost it Lily. If you love him as much as you say you do, you’ll get help.” I bit on my bottom lip and allowed my tears to escape my eyes.

Max’s POV

"Let's take you home," Flower whispered in my ear and I nodded my head as I pulled away from him. I followed him and Vero out of the hospital and almost fell a few times in the parking lot. I felt so weak. Two bodies appeared on either side of me, helping me walk. I looked to my right and saw Sidney, and then to my left where Tyler was helping. They were talking around me but I couldn’t understand them. “I don’t think we should leave him alone tonight,” I heard someone say as the backdoor to Flower’s SUV opened and I was nearly tossed inside. I was in a daze. I was emotionally drained. My brain was fried. After a few moments people were crawling in to Flower’s car and I looked around to see it was the boys. “We need to go to Diesel, right now,” I demanded and Flower could only nod his head as he started the car. My car door was open before Flower could even come to a full stop outside of the club. I jumped out with Sid hot on my trail as we walked in. A few heads turned to look at us, but I ignored them all, walking down the hallway Lillianah had once taken me down. I swung the door open and there he sat, behind his desk, with white powder covering his desk. He looked like a zombie. “Oh fuck, please tell me she’s not dead,” he groaned as he stood up and stumbled over toward me, collapsing on one of the leather chairs in his office. “You’re fucking kidding me right now right? She’s missing part of her skull because of you, you asshole! You knew she sobered up, yet you held the drugs in front of her face like a treat in front of a puppy. Where do you get off?” I shouted at him, standing over him. “She use to be amazing. Best fucking thing that ever happened to me, then she meets you. She’s different since she met you, I didn’t like it. Just so you know, she didn’t always come to me for the drugs, she has other connections.” I could feel my skin burning and the desire to beat the shit out of him was held back by two strong hands on my shoulders from behind me. I made a quick note in my head to thank Sid later, I didn’t need to be thrown in jail on top of everything else. “She no longer works for you.”

Once we were back at my house, Geno and Staalsy were standing outside waiting. I felt bad for not even acknowledging them, but I had a lot on my mind and I quickly unlocked my door and walked in. “Shit!” I shouted as I took the first step up toward the living room. “What?” Flower asked from behind me. “Molly and Steve, where are they staying? Are they staying here?” “No, they are staying with Mario,” he answered and I proceeded up the stairs. Adding another name to the list of people I needed to thank. I went up to my bedroom and grabbed my laptop before heading back down to the living room. I heard Sid on the phone ordering pizza, Tyler was on the phone with someone else, and Flower was in the kitchen going through the fridge shouting to Sid about soda. Geno and Staalsy gave me looks, secretly asking if I wanted to talk about it and I shook my head abruptly. I opened my laptop and waited for it to boot up. Once it was, I opened internet explorer and Google was starring back at me. What do I type in? Slowly I typed in ‘drug rehab’ and hit enter. A little map of Pittsburgh came up with all the drug rehab facilities in the area. I had no idea what I was looking for though. I clicked on one site and looked through it for awhile. “What’s the difference between inpatient and outpatient?” I asked out loud. I knew it was probably a silly question, but my mind wasn’t working right, and I needed to figure out what I was looking at. “Inpatient means she stays there for a certain amount of time, and outpatient is like appointments and shit,” Staalsy explained and I glanced up at him momentarily before looking back down at my laptop. “What would be best for her?” “Inpatient,” Sid, Flower and Tyler answered at the same time. I found a rehab facility about thirty miles southwest of Pittsburgh. When I read patients should come prepared for a fourteen day stay my stomach cramped up, but I knew it was something she needed to do.

When the pizza arrived, I grabbed a slice and headed out to the back deck. “Did you find a place?” Flower asked from behind me and I nodded my head as I looked down at the tiny garden Lillianah had fallen in love with. “It’s down in Washington, on the other side of Canonsburg, it’s a two week plan. Then of course NA meetings when she gets out.” “So look, Sid and I are going to stay here tonight, and then one of us will be here throughout the day tomorrow, except for the morning skate and the game,” he explained and I rolled my eyes. “I don’t need to have babysitters,” I groaned as I bit down on to my pizza and ripped a piece off. “We’re just worried about you Max. I could never imagine going through what you’re going through right now, and I’m sure your mind is all fucked up.” I felt my eyes watered up, but silently cursed to myself to hold it together. “I just need time to stop, to rewind it, or erase it or something. Things were so good. So fucking good. And I’m mad as hell because she brought that shit in to my house. That must have been what I got in my eye. Fuck Flower.” We stood there in silence, both admiring the tiny garden below us. The sun was starting to set in front of us, and I shielded my eyes as I was being blinded by the sun. “You can sleep in my bed if you want, I can’t sleep in there tonight,” I told Flower as I walked back in to the house. “Um, thanks for the offer, but I’m sure you haven’t cleaned the sheets, so I’ll pass. I’ll take a guest bedroom,” he laughed as he pulled a few beers out of the fridge and we settled in to the living room with the rest of the boys who were playing NHL09.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Lillianah’s POV

My head was pounding and I reached up to put pressure on where the pain was, but I stopped when I felt a bandage. I ran my hand down my face and felt something coming out of my mouth, a hard tube of some sort. I went to cough, but nothing happened. Slowly I opened my eyes only to pinch them shut quickly when the light sent daggers through my eyes. This was the worst migraine I have had hands down. I felt the tube come out of my mouth, scrapping my throat in the process. I leaned to my left and threw up. What the hell was wrong with me? “Lillianah, can you hear me?” I slowly nodded my head and opened one eye at a time. I wiped my hand over my mouth, then shielded my eyes from the light. I looked at the person standing over me. Who was she? “We are going to give you some pain killers.” Before I could even respond I felt light headed and was quickly back asleep.

Max’s POV

"Mr. Talbot, Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins, she's awake but we just gave her some pain killers so she will probably sleep for the next few hours. You can go in and see her now," the doctor told us and I immediately jumped up from my seat and followed Steve and Molly down the hall in to a room. I allowed them to walk around the curtain first, I couldn’t bring myself to take the four extra steps to look at her. I didn’t know what I was going to see. When I heard Molly gasp I knew it was bad. I ran my hand through my hair and sat down in a chair, trying to compose myself before I stepped to the other side of the curtain to look at her. I felt a hand on my shoulder and I looked up to see Steve nod his head as him and Molly walked out, giving me time alone with her. I took a deep breath as I stood up and took three steps, now just inches from the curtain. I looked down at my feet as I took that final step and I slowly brought my eyes up to her bed. My eyes rolled over her body covered in a white blanket, the noises from the machines filled my ears and I looked at all the wires connected to her. Finally I brought my eyes up to her face, tears instantly appearing in my eyes. The whole right side of her face was bruised, like they told me it would be. What I wasn’t ready for though was that the right side of her head was shaved as well. A bandaged wrapped around her head, some blood seeking through the white gauze. I reached out and grabbed her hand and said a little prayer, thanking God that she was alive and that she was going to be okay. I noticed the blood on the side of her mouth once I brought my eyes back up to her and suddenly panicked. I forced myself to steady my breathing though, it was dried blood and they told me she would have a breathing tube. I took long deep breaths as I got up and headed to the sink in the room, grabbing some paper towels and wetting them. I went back over to her and wiped her mouth clean, then running the cold rag over her forehead. “Why baby? Why did you do this? I can’t lose you.” I suddenly became very angry and clenched my hands in to fists, dropping my head, watching my tears fall to the floor.

“Max, you need to eat,” I brought my head up off of her stomach and looked over my shoulder to see Flower and Danny holding bags of food. “Yeah, I’ll be right there, I’m gonna use the restroom,” I told them as I stood up and walked out of the room. I walked right past them and down the hall to the men’s bathroom. Once inside I broke down. All of the emotions I had been holding in were coming out, and I needed to be alone. I cursed, I yelled, I screamed, I cried. I looked at myself in the mirror through tear soaked eyes and became angry with myself. Why didn’t I see this? It was all making sense now. The weight loss, the paranoia, everything! I should have seen it and I should have intervened. She wouldn’t be in that bed if I knew what was going on. All I had to do was open my fucking eyes, but I didn’t. I was in the dark. I thought things were so good, yet she was self-destructing. Why did she turn back to the drugs? What did I do to make her go down that path? I walked over to the door and punched the tiled wall as hard as I could. Blood dripped down my fingers, but I couldn’t feel a thing. I was numb. I walked to the sink and ran water over my hand before walking out of the bathroom. “Excuse me, can you wrap this for me?” I asked a nurse passing by, having trouble talking, feeling like I couldn’t breath. “Sir, are you okay? We should probably get an x-ray of that.” “No, I’m fine. I just want it wrapped.” She gave me a sad smile and ushered me over to the nurses station where she quickly wrapped it up. I thanked her and headed back out to the waiting room to find Flower. “They’re outside Max,” Steve said to me, his eyes not leaving my hand. I didn’t want to talk about it, so I headed straight outside. I found them sitting on the same benches Flower and I were on earlier in the day. “How are you holding up?” Danny asked as he handed me a sandwich from Subway. “I feel weak and useless and stupid. I should have-“ “Max, stop,” Danny interrupted as he looked from my eyes down to my hand. “This is not your fault.”

Once silence overtook us, I looked from Sid to Flower, then to Danny, hoping someone would start the conversation to take my mind off of this situation. “My sister had another shutout last night,” Sid finally stated and I looked up at him with a smile. “Oh yeah? How many so far this season?” “That was her sixth,” he smiled proudly. “You’ll have to tell her congratulations for me.” Sid nodded his head and we were back in the thick silence. “Want to head back inside?” Flower asked and I got up without saying anything, leaving the other three behind. I sat in my chair and waited. It was the first time all morning people were starring at us, but then again who wouldn’t? They were probably wondering why three Penguins and their coach were in the emergency room waiting room. I could only imagine the rumors that could be swirling. At least they all had the decency to stay away, the last thing I needed was a complete stranger asking me what was wrong, when clearly I couldn’t even answer that question when a friend asked. I looked down both hallways and saw Alicia running toward me. "I got here as fast as I could." I stood up and pulled her in to a hug. "How is she?" She mumbled in to my shoulder. "She should be okay, she's sleeping right now. They had to take out a piece of her skull to take down the swelling in her brain, but she's alive that's all that matters." I heard Alicia sniffled and felt her nod her head against my chest. "Can I go see her?" "Yeah she's in the third room past those doors on the right." I let Alicia go and watched her walk away. I sat back down between Sid and Flower and looked over at Steve and Molly who were talking to Dan. "You know you guys don't have to be here, you can leave." “Are you kidding? First off, you need our support right now, second off, we’re here to make sure you don’t break your other hand,” Sid stated as he patted my back with his hand. I nodded my head and felt more people surround us. I looked up and saw Vero, Avery and Tyler. "Hey how is she?" I felt tears sting ay my eyes again as Vero squatted down in front of me to hug me. I couldn't bring myself to talk about it again. I was thankful when Flower filled them in on what was going on. "Do you need anything?" Vero whispered in my ear. "I just... I just want to talk to her. I want to apologize. I want to make this all go away." I felt her hands rub up and down my back as I cried in to her shoulder. I knew it would still be a few hours before I could actually talk to her, but I was growing rather impatient. "Max," I pulled away from Vero and looked up at Danny. "I have to go but I already talked to Mario and Ray, we are going to healthy scratch you for tomorrow nights game. This is more important." I nodded my head and shook his hand, silently thanking him for everything he had done today.

I thought about what life was going to be like now. Would she have to go to rehab? Will she eventually relapse again? Why did this happen? Why? I looked around at everybody that was there, they weren't here for me they were here for her, and that made me smile. In just the short time she's known my friends they have become her friend as well. I saw Alicia walk back out and I looked at her anxiously. "She's starting to wake up," she announced and my eyes immediately went to Steve and Molly. "You guys go first," I nodded to them. Steve gave me a questioning look but I pointed down the hall and they went. I still needed to gather my words. Twenty minutes later Steve and Molly reappeared, "she's asking for you Max." I slowly stood up and felt Flower pat my back. The walk down the hallway felt like a very long one when in reality it wasn't. I took a deep breath as I walked through the doors. I pushed back the curtain and a weak smile appeared on her face as she saw me. "Max I am so sorry." I shook my head and took her hand in mine as I sat down next to her on the bed. "Baby don't, I'm sorry I shouldn't have pushed things on you when you're not ready." "This isn't your fault Max, it’s mine, I was stupid." I shook my head but I didn't want to argue with her, not now. "I don't have any hair do I?" She asked and I looked over the side of her head that was now bald. "You do just not as much as you use to." She nodded her head as her eyes watered up. As the first tears fell she dropped her chin to her chest. "I'm so sorry Max, I am so sorry." "Shh, Lil please, stop apologizing." She continued to cry and I laid down next to her, running my fingers through the hair she had left. She turned on to her side so she was facing me, I leaned forward and gently kissed her on the side of her mouth. I brought my hand down from her hair and wiped away her tears. "I relapsed three weeks ago at . . . at work, I . . . I just, I don't know." I was shocked, three weeks ago? I figured it might have been a week or so, but not three weeks. "We don't have to talk about it right now okay, we will get you help, we will fight this. You have me for support, I'm not going anywhere." She dug her face in to my shoulder and cried herself to sleep. "I love you mon cherie," I whispered to her as I climbed out of the bed. I looked down at her sleeping body and tried to collect myself. It was tearing me apart thinking that I almost lost the most important thing in my life. I always thought hockey was my first love, but I realized there were more important things in life than a game. I knew right then I would give up anything, anything to be with this woman. Now we had a long road ahead of us to get back on the right track, and the first thing I had to do was tell her boss that she no longer works for him.

I left a note on the side table for her just letting her know I was going home and that I would be back first thing in the morning. The nurses told me they needed to keep her on a 72 hour suicide watch which is protocol for drug overdose patients. I insisted she wasn't suicidal, but it was still their policy. I stumbled out in to the waiting room and fell in to the first arms that were offered to me. "Let's take you home," Flower whispered in my ear and I nodded my head as I pulled away from him.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Post #2 for tonight, I couldn't wait. This has been written for a month now, I want to RELEASE IT already.


When I felt the bed move, I opened my eyes and looked around the room. Lillianah was no where to be found. I looked down at the ground next to me and saw King hitting his head against the bed. I moved around on the bed so I could bend over and pick him up. I grabbed him by his upper body and dragged him up on to the bed with me. I looked over at the clock and was shocked to see it shinning a very bright 4:03 AM at me. I climbed out of bed and headed in to the bathroom. Where could she be? I grabbed my cellphone off the nightstand and called her number. Straight to voicemail. I shook my head of all the negative thoughts I was having. Dead in an alley, sleeping with some strange guy, running away. I felt my phone vibrate in my hand and looked down to see it was Molly. My stomach contracted and I felt like I was going to have an anxiety attack. “Hello?” I trembled. “Max, she’s in the hospital. We’re going to get the next flight out. You need to tell the hospital you’re her fiancé so you can see her.” My mouth went dry and my hands began to tremble. “Wh-what happened?” I could hear Molly on the other end of the line take a deep, shaky breath. “She relapsed, she overdosed.” I couldn't breath. What did she mean Lil overdosed? She hasn't touched drugs in over a year? She relapsed? I got the hospital information from Molly and ran around my room throwing clothes on. I raced down to my car and ran almost every red light on my way to the hospital. I ran inside the emergency room and shoved my way to the front desk. "I'm looking for Lillianah Jenkins, I'm her fiancé her mother called me to tell me she's here." The nurse gave me a skeptical look then started typing away at the computer. "You can't see her yet but you can wait in the waiting room down the hall to your right, just let the nurses know who you are." I nodded my head and headed down the hall. That meant she was alive at least right? I made it to the waiting room and sat down, then it hit me. This is my fault. I should have never asked her to marry me so soon. She ran away when I brought up the word 'girlfriend', marriage is a whole different ball game. I drove her to do drugs. More than likely to forget the events that had happened. I held my head in my hands and cried. I did this to her. I put her in the hospital.

"Mr. Talbot?" I wiped my eyes and jumped up making my way toward the nurse. "Yes, that's me, how is she?" "Well we just need to ask you some questions first. Does she have a history with drug abuse?" I slowly nodded my head. "She's been clean for over a year though." I watched as she jotted down on the clipboard she was holding. "She was convulsing when she came in, we gave her a large dose of diazepam and things seem to be getting under control now. She also came in with a temperature of 105, so we are cooling her temp right now. Once she is completely under control we’re going to check for any brain damage or heart damage. Now when you’re allowed to see her don’t be frightened, she has some bruising around the face from the convulsions and she does have a breathing tube in to help her breath. Do you have any questions?” I grabbed on to the counter next to me as I took in all of this information. “Wh-what did she . . . what did she overdose on?” She flipped a sheet on the clipboard up and read a few lines. “Cocaine.” “When can I see her?” A tight frown formed on her lips. “We’re still trying to stabilize her so it could be a few hours, if you want to head home and sleep you can leave your number and we can call you.” I shook my head, “no I’m not leaving.” I walked back to the seat I once occupied. I hung my head and allowed the tears to fall.

I felt my phone vibrating in my hand and opened my eyes to see Flower calling me. “Hello?” I asked with a raspy voice. I cleared my throat a few times, and wiped my eyes with the back of my hand. I looked around the waiting room and saw that it was 8:30 in the morning. “Where are you? You were suppose to be here thirty minutes ago.” I inhaled sharply as I quickly remembered why I was in a hospital waiting room and that I was suppose to be at practice. “Lil overdosed on cocaine last night, I’ve been at the hospital since 4:30 this morning. I know her parents are on their way here, they were getting on the next flight.” I choked back some tears I felt stinging at my eyes. “I’ll be right there.” I went to protest and tell Flower to stay at practice but before I could the line went dead. I got up from the chair and stretched out my body, cracking my neck in a few places from falling asleep in an odd angle. I headed up to the nurses station and waited patiently for one of them to acknowledge me. “Do you have any news on Lillianah Jenkins?” I asked once one flashed a smile at me. “Are you family?” “Fiancé.” She nodded her head and headed for a stack of charts. She pulled one out and flipped it open. “She started convulsing again about two hours ago, so we issued more diazepam and we’re back on track at getting her 100% stabilized. Once she is, we’re going to send her in for a CT scan.” I nodded my head and headed back to my seat. I could almost see my butt print in the cushion. I heard my stomach grumbled and pulled my phone out, sending a quick text message to Flower asking if he could pick up food on his way. I felt my phone vibrate and I looked down at Flower’s response. Of course, what hospital are you at? I replied back with where we were and slid down in the seat, crossing my arms over my chest. Watching every nurse hoping to hear my name called out letting me know I can go see her.

“Hey.” I looked up in front of me to see Flower handing me a McDonalds bag. “Thanks man,” I mumbled as I pulled a hashbrown out of the bag, nearly shoving the whole thing in my mouth. “Have you heard any news?” He took the seat next to me and pulled a breakfast sandwich out of his own bag. “She started convulsing again, around 6, so they’re trying to stabilize her again.” He slowly nodded his head and I pulled my sandwich out of the bag. We ate in silence and the waiting game once again began. I heard heavy footsteps to my left and saw Molly and Steve jogging toward us. I jumped up from my seat, tears once again threatening to fall and I pulled Molly in to a hug. “How is she?” “They’re trying to stabilize her right now. They said she was convulsing when she arrived, and she started convulsing again after they almost had her stabilized the first time. I’m guessing they brought her temperature down since they haven’t said anything else about that, it was 105 when she showed up. She has some bruising around her face, and a breathing tube in right now. I am so sorry Molly, I am so sorry.” She grabbed my face in hers hands and forced my eyes to look in to hers. “This isn’t your fault Max. You weren’t with her.” I shook my head, they obviously didn’t know. “I asked her to marry me yesterday. I thought it was the right moment, I pulled the ring out and asked her and she said no. She said not yet. Things didn’t seem off between us at all, it was just a question I needed to ask, and as soon as it was over, we moved on. I didn’t think she would go out and do this though. I scared her away, I drove her to do this.” Steve reached out and placed his hand on my shoulder. “Max she loves you, this isn’t your fault. Please don’t blame yourself okay?” I slowly nodded my head and wiped away the remaining tears as we headed for the chairs and waited.

I stretched out in my seat, hearing every joint crack in relief. I looked up at the clock to see it was just before 10 AM. I looked to my right and saw Lillianah's parents sleeping and Flower reading a magazine on the other side of them. I stood up and headed to the nurses station. "Do you have any new information on Lillianah Jenkins?" I asked as I rubbed the back of my hand over my eyes. I watched as she pulled out a chart and shifted through some papers. "Nothing since this morning, I can go check for you if you'd like." I nodded my head, "please, I would appreciate that." She walked away and I stood there tapping my fingers on the desk waiting patiently. I looked up to see the nurse approaching me with a doctor. "Are you family to Lillianah Jenkins?" "Fiancé," I answered as I motioned for Flower to wake her parents up and join me. Once Molly and Steve were by my side the doctor continued. "She just got out of a CT scan and there is severe swelling of her brain and some bleeding, so we are going to have to perform surgery right away, they are taking her to prep right now. Once we have the swelling under control the bleeding should stop, but there is always that slight chance it won't. If it doesn't there is a high risk she may suffer a stroke. These are all very common with cocaine overdose cases, but she is in good hands. Dr. Heathman is our top neurosurgeon here and he will be performing the surgery. We will come let you know how she is doing once it is done." I continued to nod my head is disbelief. "How do you control the swelling with surgery?" "We extract a small part of her skull." It sounded barbaric to me, but whatever they had to do to bring my Lillianah back to me they would have to do. Steve thanked the doctor and we headed back to the chairs. "Steve, will she be okay?" Molly asked and Steve placed his hand on her thigh shaking his head. "Of course she will. She’s the strongest kid I have ever known, and we taught her to never give up." I wrapped my arm around Molly’s shoulders and I quietly cried along with her.

I kept my head down, resting in my hands, with my elbows on my knees. I swear I could hear the ticking of the minute hand on the clock a dozen feet away from me, and it was going very, very slow. I felt a small crowd gather around me and looked up in hope to see a doctor or a nurse, but I was met by Sid and Dan. I stood up and Danny placed a hand on my shoulder. “Sorry I missed practice coach, I-“ “Max, don’t apologize. How is she?” I took a deep, shaky breath and looked over at Steve and Molly, they were trying their damn hardest to stay awake. I went on to tell them about the surgery she went in for nearly two hours before and that we were still waiting to hear something, anything. “Do you need anything? Anything at the house, food?” I gave Danny a weak smile, this guy was a saint in my eyes. “Lil’s dog probably needs to get walked and fed. I’ve been here since 4:30. Food would be nice too, I don’t think Steve and Molly have eaten yet this morning.” He nodded his head and held out his hand. My hand went to my back pocket and I pulled out my wallet, grabbing some cash inside. “No Max, your keys. Put your money away, just give me your keys.” I slowly shoved my money back in my wallet and placed it back in my pocket, then pulled my keys out and handed them to him. He gave me a weak smile and headed out. “Does he know where I live?” I asked Sidney once Danny was out of sight. “Yeah, he asked me to take him by there on the way here, just in case you needed anything, then he could just go and get it.” I flashed him a weak smile and turned around to face the nurses station, I made eye contact with one of the nurses that has been here since I showed up and she looked through some papers. “Nothing yet Max,” she shouted to me and I gave her a small smile and turned back to Sid. “I can’t lose her,” I whispered as I swayed on my feet a little. Sid placed his hands on my shoulders, keeping me steady. Flower appeared next to me. “Come on Max, let’s go get some fresh air, if anything happens Sid will call me and we will come back in.” I looked between the two and Sid nodded to me. “You’ll call?” “Any news at all, I will call.” “Okay.”

We found a bench outside of the hospital in a quiet garden that was starting to bloom for spring. I kept my eyes on my feet though, not enjoying anything at that moment surrounding me. It was hard for me to think that somewhere within the building, Lillianah was lying on a table with part of her skull missing. Just the thought brought tears to my eyes again, just when I thought my tear ducts had run dry. “Remember when we played against each other our last year in juniors?” Flower asked and I brought my head up and wiped away my tears. “When you slashed me between the legs?” I laughed thinking back to our days in junior. “Only because you scored on me twice, and had two assists on top of that.” For the first time all day I smiled. “I was amazing back then.” “We use to be on top of the world. This is our year Max, we’re going to win the cup. We’re going to be on top of the world once again.” I nodded my head, everyone in the locker room had a good feeling about the playoffs. Ever since Danny came in, we became a tighter crew. In the seventeen games we’ve played with him as our coach, we’ve only lost five, three of those coming in overtime. All of my doubts, wiped clean. This is our year. Wait. What was I doing thinking about hockey? “I don’t know what I’m going to do if I lose her Marc.” “You’re not going to lose her. Lil is the strongest person I know, I mean she puts up with you doesn’t she? She’ll pull through this, and when she does she’ll have you to help her go through this rough patch.” I felt a twinge in my neck from the amount of nodding I had been doing as I nodded my head to Flower’s words. “Do you think she’ll need to go to rehab?” he asked after awhile. “I don’t know. I just want- need to see her.”


Max’s POV

When I woke up Lillianah was gone, but she left a note letting me know she was going to the doctor’s office and to meet her at Starbucks at 10 AM. I was relieved to hear she was going to the doctor’s office. I didn’t think she would go so soon. I took a quick shower and looked around in my closet, when my eyes fell on the safe I knew today was the day. I had to do it today, or I would regret it. Live in today, right? That’s what we’re suppose to do. There was no way she would tell me no. Absolutely no way, she was giving me all the signs to yes. At least I thought she was. I couldn’t be that stupid. I shoved the ring in my pocket like I did every other day and headed out the front door. I peaked out the front door and noticed the nice weather, I bypassed the garage and headed out front. It was too beautiful of a day in the end of March to drive four blocks. The minute I hit the sidewalk though, I turned right back around. I needed King. He was going to be my support. Our little family. I clipped his leash on him, and continued outside. I took long deep breaths on my walk, trying to boost my confidence. When I arrived at Starbucks, Lillianah was sitting outside patiently waiting for me. “Hey Kingster!” She smiled as she bent over to scratch his head. I tied the leash on to my chair and sat down, happy to see my coffee sitting in front of me. “How was the doctor’s office?” I asked after taking a sip, nearly burning the roof of my mouth. “It was alright, he just figured it was from the stress and put me on a new diet. Looks like I’ll be eating like you for awhile,” she laughed and a smile appeared on her face. “Good.”

Lillianah’s POV

I woke up around 8 AM and wrote Max a bogus note about going to the doctor’s office. I really wasn’t going, but I needed him to think I was. I just needed a few hours to sit and think about what the hell I was doing. I grabbed one of his sweatshirts and headed out the front door. I called for a cab and within minutes I found myself at the Point. I took a seat on the water’s edge and wrapped my arms around myself. What I was doing was sure suicide. I was on track to lose everything I had worked for over the past four months. A reconciliation with my family, love, comfort and support. The lifestyle I was leading was taking me down the wrong road. I got wrapped up in my emotions and instead of dealing with them, I turned to the drugs. I was abusing myself. After looking out over the rivers for a hour and began to shiver from the cold spring air, I stood up and decided a nice long walk would do me good. I pulled the bandanna out of my back pocket and wrapped my hair up in it. I began my trek back to the south side, and if I didn’t become distracted I would make it there in time to meet Max at Starbucks.

I walked inside of Starbucks and ordered my coffee as well as his. Once they were ready, I headed outside and took a seat at my usual table outside. I was going to need fresh air to come up with some bullshit lies about the doctors office. When I saw him walking down the street with King in tow, I smiled. I made the right decision. I was going to clean myself up and get healthy again. I wanted a life with Max. A long, happy, healthy life. I was happy he brought King along, he was going to be my support. I got King shortly after I sobered up the first time, and the little brute of a guy could make me smile on the crappiest of days. “How was the doctor’s office?” Max asked after he obviously burned himself from the coffee. I felt bad for not warning him that it would still be hot. “It was alright, he just figured it was from the stress and put me on a new diet. Looks like I’ll be eating like you for awhile,” I laughed nervously and placed a smile on my face for reassurance. He smiled back and nodded his head, “good.” “I’m sorry for being such a pain in the ass lately,” I suddenly blurted out. “You haven’t been a pain in the ass, I’ve just been worried about you.” I sucked in the left side of my mouth and looked down at King. I didn’t want Max to worry. It wasn’t fair for him to worry over my stupid decisions in life.

Max’s POV

After a few minutes of silence, I looked back up at her and now was the time. We just had a great weekend with my parents and she was on the right track to getting healthy. “Hey, I wanted to ask you something,” I stuttered out and grabbed her hand across the table. She swallowed hard and looked in my eyes, urging me to continue. “I wasn’t lying when I said I can’t live without you Lil. And I know this is suppose to be extravagant and romantic, but you still make me a nervous mess sometimes.” I stood up from the table and went down on one knee in front of her. Her chin fell to her chest and her leg began to bounce nervously. I pulled the ring box out of my pocket and flipped it open with my free hand. “Lil, I want you to be my wife. I want you to spend the rest of your life with me. Will you marry me?” I looked at her, secretly urging her to lift her head and to look at me. She choked back a sob and finally lifted her eyes to mine. “No.” My mouth fell open and my whole body tensed up. I released her hand and slowly closed the box. “Max, wait.” I stayed at my spot on the ground and was trying not to notice the people who had stopped to watch. “I want to marry you. I do. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, but not now, okay? It’s just bad timing and I think it might be too soon. I have some personal issues I need to work out first, but when the time is right, I’ll let you know.” I nodded my head and finally stood up, reclaiming my seat across from her. “Please don’t be mad, I love you, okay?” “I love you too, I just thought we could work through this together. Maybe I’m just being impatient.” I bit my bottom lip scared of how she would reply. Would she agree with me? I was jumping the gun too soon? “I need to work through this myself, I can’t depend on you for everything. We’ll get married, we will, just not now.” For the first time in a very, very long time, things were awkward.

I sat on my bed, later in the day still feeling very much rejected and watched Lillianah get ready for work. “Do you have to go to work tonight?” I asked just wanting her to stay so we could continue being awkward around each other. At least we would be around each other. “I always work on Monday’s you know that. It’s usually very low key, and prep for the rest of the week,” she smiled weakly at me and I nodded my head. She pulled on baggy jeans and a cut off t-shirt before leaning over and kissing me forcefully. “I love you Maxime. I do. Don’t ever question that.” “I love you too.” I stayed on my bed and watched her walk out. I fell back on the bed and thought of things I could do to pass time before she was back in my arms. I sent a text message off to Flower telling him I finally asked, and I was shot down. He replied that he would be over in a half hour, along with Sidney. Maybe that’s all I needed was some friends. King was a lot of support, but just not enough to get the bad thoughts out of my head.

Lillianah’s POV

Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Should I have just said yes, just to make things less awkward between us, or should I have stuck with my answer? I did want to marry him . . . in the future. I wasn’t ready for marriage. There were some times when I didn’t even think I was ready for a relationship. I walked in to the club and snatched a bottle of tequila from behind the bar before heading up stairs. I set all of my stuff up and unscrewed the bottle, taking a nice hard pull. I needed to forget today, all of today. I was a fuck up. A complete fuck up. If I could make it through the night without taking a hit of coke, I think I could be alright. Kind of. I just wanted to get the image of him down on one knee out of my head. It wasn’t suppose to happen like this, none of this was suppose to happen like this. I took another long, hard pull and could feel my whole body heat up from the alcohol.

The more I drank, sang and danced, the more I thought of him. I pulled out some songs that reminded me of him and played them for the small crowd down on the dance floor. “I never thought I’d be in love like this, when I look at you my mind goes on a trip. When you came in and knocked me on my face, feels like I’m in a race, but I already won first place. I never thought I’d fall for you as hard as I did. You got me thinking about our life, a house and kids.” I swayed my hips to the music and a message from Andrew popped up on my computer. What’s wrong with you? Come down here. I quickly threw on a play list and headed down the stairs. When I walked in to his office, there it was, all over his desk. He must have been having a rough day too. “What’s wrong?” He asked after taking a line up his nose. “Max asked me to marry him and I told him no.” He held his hand out to tell me I could have a line and I was hesitant at first. How much did I really want to forget today? “That’s rough Lil. You probably broke his heart.” As much as I wanted to yell at him to shut the fuck up, I took three steps forward and picked up his credit card. “Fuck.” I swiped out a line and picked up the twenty dollar bill. “You love him?” I nodded my head up and down. “Marriage isn’t for everyone.” He wasn’t helping my case, one bit. I leaned over and snorted the line. I made my decision. It was obvious with the itching in my nose. I was fucking stupid. I sat down in the big leather chair and began to cry. I needed to forget today. I needed to forget the past four months. I needed to forget everything.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I went on a pretty crazy adventure tonight with 7 fellow bloggers. Who would have thought making fun of Patrick Kane could exhaust you so bad?! Anyways, I didn't edit this... it's more of a filler, big things to happen very very soon. So I apologize if I have some major grammar issues going on. =D Enjoy.

Lillianah’s POV

Max kept his arm wrapped around my shoulders as we finished up our dinner and chatted amongst ourselves over anything we could talk about. My mother was talking to Vero about her wedding. Marc, Serge and my dad were talking about golfing, while Max and Lucie mumbled back and forth to each other in French. I looked around the table and felt my side twitch. I was suppose to be happy, yet I felt like something was missing. Something was off. It wasn’t right. I placed my hand on Max’s thigh and leaned up and kissed his jaw. He turned and kissed me quickly before turning back to his mother. “Lil, you have to make sure he goes in for a tux fitting within the next two weeks,” Marc shouted over to me and I smiled, nodding my head. I looked back over at my mom and Vero, and they were now discussing where the wedding was going to be held in Montreal. “I don’t know where Lily would get married, here, Philly or Montreal,” my mom chimed in. “Oh there’s no way Max would get married in Philly, if word got out, people would show up with eggs calling for his head,” Vero laughed. I glanced back over my at my dad and Serge. “No, that was with my five iron!” Marc laughed and the two dad’s laughed along with him. I turned back to Max. “Ne vous inquiétez pas, maman, je vais vous donner plus de petits-enfants,” he laughed and she gently placed her hand on his cheek giving him a proud smile. This right here, at this table, was my family. Yet things still seemed off.

“Max, I have to run to work real quick, Brian needs some of my files for tonight,” I whispered to Max once we were all back at the house, sipping on wine. “Do you want me to drive you?” “No, I think I should walk, the fresh air will do me good.” He glanced down at his watch then sighed heavily. “It worries me when you walk, okay, I love you.” He bent over and kissed me and it was the first time in a few days I had heard him tell me he loves me. It made me rethink the whole reason why I was going to the club, but when my side twitched again, I gave in and walked away. “I love you too,” I called back to him before I headed down the stairs and walked out the front door. I pulled my pea coat tight around me, as the night air had turned cold. I had a headache from the amount of tequila I had consumed earlier in the day, but I knew in a few short minutes my headache would be gone. I hummed some random song to myself as I made the short trip to the club. Once I got to the club, I walked around the back and went through the back door. I went straight to Andrew’s office where I knocked before I walked in. “Hey Lil, you sounded desperate on the phone, everything alright?” I shook my head and sat down on the oversized black leather chair in front of his desk. “I was forced to try on a wedding dress today,” I smiled weakly at him, which he just laughed. “Alright well here’s my early wedding gift,” he smiled as he tossed me a small bag filled with cocaine. I quickly dumped half of it on the table and made a line with his credit card that was lying on top of the desk. I snatched the rolled up twenty out of Andrew’s hand and quickly sniffed up the line through the bill. “Fell better?” He asked still laughing. “Yeah, I’m getting there. It’s just fucked up you know! We’ve only been together for like, fuck four months. Why all this wedding business? Why are we rushing ourselves? You know I’m doing pretty fucking, damn good for this being my first relationship. I’ve managed to fuck up once, and he just blew it off. This though, if he knew I was doing this, he’d kick me out of the house.” I sniffed my nose before I bent over and snorted some more. “I’m throwing my life away by doing this. This is my death wish Andrew, if I keep going down this road, I won’t live to see thirty.” I looked up at him with pained eyes. “Just shut the fuck up and enjoy yourself,” he snapped at me and I nodded my head realizing he was right. I needed to stop complaining and just live in the now. Enjoy myself.

Max’s POV

My mother began whispering to me in French at the dinner table and I asked her to speak in English, but she refused. She wanted answers, and she wanted them now. “When are you going to ask her to marry you?” “I don’t know mom.” She shook her head and I looked over at Lillianah to make sure she didn’t learn French overnight. It seemed like she wasn’t even paying attention to me, just enjoying everyone’s company around the table. “Are you going to give me grandchildren?” I chuckled a little at the seriousness of my mother’s voice. “Don’t worry mom, I’ll give you more grandchildren,” I smiled to her and she reached out and placed her hand on my cheek with a wide smile. I looked back at Lillianah and saw her looking at us. I lowered my face and kissed her on the lips. “You doing alright? You’re just zoning out,” I smiled. “Yeah, no, I’m fine. I’m perfect actually.” Even though she said she was okay, I knew she wasn’t. She was pre-occupied with something on her mind, just like she was when I woke up to see her crying. There was something deeper that was bothering her and she was hiding it from me. Do I push her about it? Do I let her work it out on her own, or can I offer my help. I looked down at her one more time to see her snuggled in to my shoulder with a large grin on her face. I’ll let it slide, just this once.

“No! No! I call bullshit! That’s complete bullshit! Roenick didn’t score a goal that game!” I argued with Flower as I felt someone smack me upside the back of my head. “Maxime! Watch your language!” I turned around and silently apologized to my mom. “Max, I have to run to work real quick, Brian needs some of my files for tonight,” Lillianah whispered in my ear and I jumped up at the chance of slipping outside of the house for a moment. Yet when she insisted on walking I felt defeated and reclaimed my seat. “I love you,” she shouted back at me, and I could only sit and smile, a very proud, sucker in love, smile. As soon as the door clicked shut everyone shut up and looked at me. “DETAILS!” Vero nearly shrieked and I gave her an odd look. “What?” “How are you going to do it?” I looked around and they all seemed truly curious. “Do what?” I asked slowly and my mom laughed before shouting, “propose!” “Umm, well I was thinking about getting down on one knee and asking if she wants to marry me.” Vero, Molly and my mother’s mouths dropped open and I looked at Flower for support but he just shook his head. “Maxime Talbot, the most eccentric guy I know doesn’t have something special planned?” Vero asked. “Should I? Did you?” I directed toward Flower and he slowly shook his head up and down. Damn.

Lillianah’s POV

“Baby, your nose is bleeding,” Max stated as I walked in to our bedroom. “Fuck,” I grumbled as I walked in to the bathroom and wiped my nose clean. “Do you normally get nose bleeds?” He asked from behind me. I looked at him in the mirror and could see him studying my body, instantly becoming self-conscious about my recent weight loss. “It’s spring time, the allergies get me really bad. Must be from being out and about all day,” I smiled to him and quickly leave the bathroom before he could look at me anymore. “Are you sure you’re alright?” I nod my head before changing in to a pair of his baggy sweatpants and one of his tshirt to hide my body in. “Lil, look at me, stop moving. I’m going to ask you something and I don’t want you to get mad alright?” I stopped and looked up and him, nodding my head. “Are you sure you’re okay? You look like you’re losing weight.” Fuck. I wrapped my arms around my torso, but quickly dropped them when I noticed my elbows sticking out. “I guess just with the move and work, I’ve been neglecting myself lately. I feel fine, I promise. Let’s go to bed.” “No, not yet,” he placed a hand over mind, stopping me from pulling the comforter down. “You need to start taking better care of yourself Lil. Being this skinny can’t be healthy. Tomorrow, I’ll make you a nice big breakfast, pack you up on protein then we’ll go to the game, alright?” I nodded my head and felt him kiss my forehead before I climbed in to bed.

When I woke up, the bed was empty and the door was left open ajar. I heard voices downstairs and knew everyone was awake. I quickly climbed out of bed and made a mad dash to the bathroom to discard the contents of my stomach in to the toilet. “Lillianah, damnit, you’re sick! You need to go to the doctor!” Max shouted as he walked in to the bathroom. “No Max, I’m fine! I just have a really bad headache! I get sick when I get headaches, go back down stairs! I’ll be right there,” I shouted back before tucking my head in to the toilet once again. Once I was presentable I made my way downstairs and greeted our parents before digging in to a big breakfast. Max kept a watchful eye on me the whole time and at a few points, I made it obvious to him that I was eating. Eating a lot. I was becoming annoyed. He didn’t need to breath down my neck to make sure I was eating. Once I cleaned the tables and made plans about the game that day I headed back up to the room with Max hot on my trail. Once we were inside he slammed the door and I quickly turned around to look at him. “You’re going to the doctor Lil! You look like you’re going to break in half!” I rolled my eyes at him and pulled some clothes out of the dresser. “I’m fine Max! I’ve been stressed out! Back the fuck off will you, okay? You’re just making things worse!” “Worse? I’m making things worse? I’m worried about you Lil. I want to get you help, this isn’t healthy! I love you okay, I can’t live without you. I need you healthy. Please? Okay?” I felt the tears sting at my eyes from his words and nodded my head. I felt his arms wrap around my frail body and I cried in to his shoulder.

Max’s POV

“Don’t. Alright, just don’t. I already know,” I warned Flower once he approached me in the locker room. “Is she going to get help?” I nodded my head and turned away from him. I had a game to get focused for, which was already hard enough in itself. I didn’t need my friend poking at the subject as well. The game was uneventful in my mind. I was off somewhere else mentally, which was a damn shame. We lost the game, our first in regulation in a while. I was sad on two counts, we lost the game and our parents were leaving in a matter of hours. The locker room was somber, no press was allowed inside to give us a break, just this once. “What the fuck are those?” I pointed at Staalsy as he stepped in to black leather pants. “What? They’re awesome! And they were damn expensive too,” he smiled as he turned around in them, showing them off. “I’m sorry, I wouldn’t pay twenty cents for those!” I laughed at him as I shook my head and turned my attention back to my locker.

I walked out in to the lounge and greeted my parents as well as Lillianah and hers. She grabbed on to my hand and gave it a squeeze. She stood on her tip toes and placed her mouth right next to my ear. “I can’t live without you either. I’ll go see a doctor.” I smiled at her words and swooped her up in my arms and kissed her. “Thank you,” I smiled once I set her back down. “Well I guess we have to get you guys off to the airport,” I smiled to my parents as well as Steve and Molly. They all sadly nodded their heads before turning their attention to each other. “We’ve created a four headed monster,” I laughed squeezing Lillianah’s side. I continued to laugh at the thought of how our parents would take to each other. They’re so different, yet it looks like they’re best friends, and have been for years.