I took a deep breath before stepping into Mark’s office. It was my official last visit with him, and it was up to him if I would be released the following day or not. I’d come a long way from two weeks before. Sure I still had urges for the drugs while being locked up, but today, I couldn’t even imagine snorting, smoking or injecting anything. It was a waste of a good life. It was just the fine wires I had to tighten up now. Mainly my relationship with Max. I had to stop knit picking everything wrong in our relationship. In truth, aside from the minor drug kickback, there was nothing wrong with our relationship. I was just looking for something wrong.
“Hello Miss Jenkins, how are you this morning?” Mark asks with a hint of excitement in his voice. Maybe he’s excited to see me leave, so he doesn’t have to deal with me anymore. “Ready to go home,” I laugh as I plop down on the big leather couch that I had become so accustomed to. “I think you are too,” he smiled and I perked up. That was exactly what I wanted to hear. “We have to go over some things though. Your transition back in to the real world.” I nodded my head as he pulled a few sheets out of my chart and approached me handing them to me. “There’s a list of psychologists I recommend in your area. I highly recommend you continue to receive counseling once you leave. Once a week is enough, but you can go more if you want. Now, when it comes to Max, and you have this sudden urge to run or do something, you need to talk to him first. You won’t want to, but do you want to end up back here?” I shake my head side to side, drifting my eyes down to the papers on my lap. “You need to develop healthy communication skills with him. If you want to be with him forever and have a family with him, you need to be able to tell him what’s going on in your head.” He was right, and I knew it.
“Who is picking you up tomorrow? Max?” Mark asked once my sixty minutes was up. “Yeah, he’ll be here at noon, but knowing Max, he’ll be here before then.” “Okay, good. Well Lillianah, best of luck to you. I never want to see you again, okay?” I chuckled and smiled at him as he offered me his hand. We embraced each other and I sighed in relaxation for the first time since this whole mess began. I was going home to a man that I’m in love with, and I was going to start my life the minute I place my hand in his. I had a wedding to plan after all.
My brain wouldn’t let me fall asleep. The wheels were turning and I was thinking about everything one could think about. How life was going to be like now, if I was going to wear wigs, if things will change between Max and I, finding a new job. The questions wouldn’t stop, and the more I pondered different scenarios they all ended the same. Max wouldn’t be there. Why would he put up with me after what I’ve done? He probably put me through rehab because he felt like he needed to so that he wouldn’t feel guilty leaving me. Or something along those lines. My mind wouldn’t stop working, and all of my thoughts were becoming jumbled, I was confusing myself.
At some point in the night, I fall asleep, but when I wake up I feel like absolute crap. All of my thinking caused a monster migraine, and I couldn’t even see straight as I climbed out of bed. My bags were already packed, so all I had to do was shower, say bye to Clarissa then head home with Max. I grab my things I had set out the night before and walked down the hall toward the bathroom. “Do you think he’ll show up?” I heard a girl ask another as I walked by. “I hope so. She needs him, but then again, two weeks without a girlfriend is long enough for him to stray.” I didn’t even have to question who they were talking about. I simply put my head down and continued to walk to the bathroom. I had to learn to block out the people around me. They don’t know Max, they don’t know me and they definitely don’t know our relationship.
Everywhere I went that was all I heard. Whispers in the hallways if Max was going to show up. So much so, I was beginning to doubt him myself. I sat in the lobby on top of my suitcase patiently waiting for him. I had a feeling it was going to show up early. I was hoping he was going to show up early, but as the minute hand got closer and closer to the ‘12’, I was starting to believe those who said he wasn’t going to show up. “Hey Lil? Where’s Max?” Clarissa asked after I stood up from my suitcase and peered out the front windows. I turned around to face her and stumbled over the words in my mind. She, no doubt, was here to be the spy, to see if he showed up. “Oh, he’s not coming because of his schedule, I have to take a cab.” I turn to the lady at the front desk and politely ask her to call me a cab. She gives me a sad smile and I glance back up at the clock. 12:01 PM. I sign my name and write down the time before grabbing my suitcase and carrying it with me out front.
Five minutes later a cab pulls up and he jumps out to throw my suitcase in the trunk. I turn back to look up at the rehab facility and see a dozen or so eyes starring back at me. They obviously proved me wrong. They obviously know Max better than I do. I couldn’t believe that I actually thought he would come get me. Who the hell was I kidding? I should have known when I called him, then he never returned my call. He moved on, just like that, two weeks, he moved on. I climb into the back of the cab and grab my wallet out of my purse. I look through my cash, then try and remember how much money I had in my account. “Where to miss?” Quickly calculating in my head I look up at him and smile, “the airport.”
Once I arrive at the airport I hand over enough cash to cover my fare and a small tip. The cab drive scoffed at me, but I didn’t care. I had to work with what I had. He didn’t even bother getting my suitcase out for me, he just popped the trunk. I grabbed my suitcase and hurried inside. I was well aware that US Airways is the only airline that has nonstop flights to Philadelphia so I headed there and walked straight up to the counter in the somewhat bare airport. “I need the next flight out to Philadelphia.” The lady dressed in her blues behind the counter smiled at me and typed away on her computer. “The next flight isn’t until 9:30 tonight.” I glance at the clock behind her head, it was just after 1 PM. “Alright, fine. I’ll take it.” I handed over my debit card and it was returned along with a one-way ticket to Philadelphia. I headed over to the escalator to head down to the security check point and stopped. I stepped to the side and watched as people headed down, excited for their vacations or dreading meetings. Whatever it was, and wherever they were heading. I stood there for quite some time just watching people. What was my reason for being at the airport? Well it was simple, I was running because I was too scared to face the fact that Max had left me. He did leave me right? I mean he didn’t show up, he never called back. He is Maxime Talbot, superstar of the Pittsburgh Penguins after all. Why would he stick with a washed up ex-drug addict? Did the ring around my neck hold any meaning anymore? Probably not.
I headed back to the escalator and headed down. I got in line for security and numerous time I looked back up to the platform where I was just standing. A small part of me just hoping that he would be there, and that I would be able to see him one last time. I inched my way forward in the line, to where I wouldn’t be able to see up top anymore. I glanced back one last time, and I squinted my eyes upon seeing Marc. I shook my head and stepped forward, almost trying to make the line go faster. This wasn’t happening. Why was he here? “LIL!!” Marc screamed through the airport and everyone’s head turned, but I kept mine down. How did he find me? Why did he find me? Did he want to shove in my face that Max had moved on? I thought Marc was a nicer guy than that, obviously I was wrong about him too. That’s all hockey players are, assholes. I pleaded silently with myself as I adjusted the scarf on my head, “just let me leave in peace”.