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.
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.
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.
"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.