How is one supposed to feel when they realize the only person that seems to matter in your life does not want them? I’ve seen countless number of movies where boy dumps girl, girl cries, then life moves on. Nowhere in those movies though do they show the physical pain one goes through. I sit in the terminal, my legs shaking, my chest aching and my head pounding. I pull my legs tight to my chest to stop the shaking and to put some pressure on the pain in the middle of my body. It’s then I realize my life isn’t a movie. There is no fairy tale ending for me. This is it. What movie ends with a girl with no hair crying in an airport? None worth watching.
An older woman approaches me and hands me a few tissues. I mumble out a thank you and she keeps walking, giving me the privacy I so eagerly need, but can’t have. Where had things gone wrong? The drugs? The ring? The relationship? Where did this downhill slide begin? I never wanted to fall in love. I never even wanted a boyfriend. I was just a nightclub DJ, having fun with life, just my dog and I. Maxime Talbot is when things happened. This beautiful, egotistical, funny, caring . . . man. This man. This simple human being. One out of six-billion-something. How did we meet each other? I know the physical story, but the mental one. How did it happen? Is this our story? Is this where it ends?
I take a deep breath and wipe my nose with the tissues. My vision is blurred as I have scratched the hell out of my corneas, and now even my tears are painful. A million and one things are running through my mind and I can’t decipher one from the other. It’s one big jumbled mess, and the more I think, the more depressed and angry I become. I took everything I had for granted. Sitting here, in this airport terminal I finally realize Maxime wasn’t just a man. He wasn’t just my boyfriend, or my possible fiancé. He will never be just a man, or my husband, or a friend. He’s my life. We all ask ourselves, why are we here? What’s my purpose in life? Somehow, someway, he’s my purpose. I’m here . . . for him. It doesn’t make sense, but in my heart it hurts like hell thinking about it, so it must mean something. Nothing means anything, unless it hurts, than it means everything.
Squeezing my arms around my legs just a bit tighter I knew I had to accept what life was going to be like now. Back to the way it was, some five years ago. Alone, slightly neurotic, but safe. I dab the raw skin below my eyes again with the tissues and pull them away only to have my eyes land on him. Him, Maxime Talbot. The one source of all of my pain, pleasure, happiness and guilt. He came for me. My hands cover my face and I dig my face down between my knees as I cry. I can’t even bring myself to get up to see if that was really, truly him. I just cry, feeling stupid. Relieved, exhausted, but mostly stupid. I can sense him in front of me, so I stand up and fling myself into his arms. “Maxime,” I whisper against his neck. His scent alone is slowly feeding my life back into me. The pain slowly slipping away. “It’s okay Lil. It’s okay, let’s go home.” Yet, when I hear his voice, it’s all back. Everything I heard about Max quickly flooding my mind. The Max I didn’t know. I pull away from him and look up in those blue eyes. “Go home?” “Yes, home, with me, where you belong. Why did you leave? Why didn’t you wait for me? Why are you trying to run?” Trying to run. What was I trying to run? Because that’s what I do. “You don’t know what they were saying,” I whispered now scared as I take a step away from him. “Who? Who was saying what?” “They were all taking bets almost if you would show up or not. They were all watching to see if you would come. Why would you come for me though? I’m not worthy of you. All I would do is drag you down and you don’t need that.”
He didn’t need anything I caused. Sure he was my life, but was I his? I highly doubted it. There goes my mind again, can’t fucking decipher one thing from the other. He has me in knots, and he’s the only one that’s smart enough to untangle them. “Lillianah, I showed up. I was a few minutes late because I stopped and got you flowers, but I was there. You’re my life, and whatever you go through, I go through. You’re healthy now, and that’s all I was worried about. You didn’t, nor are you, dragging me down. Lil, I want to marry you and start a family with you. I want everything with you. Does that not mean anything to you?” My eyes begin to burn again as tears form, heavier and heavier with each word that leaves his mouth. How can he say all of the right things? I collapse into his arms once again, feeling at home. “I’m sorry Maxime, I am so sorry. I’m so sorry.”
I play with the ring hanging from my neck as Marc, Max and I head out of the airport. I smile weakly, almost embarrassed to Marc and Sidney as Max thanks them for helping him. As he’s distracted I take the ring off of my necklace. This is what I want, and it’s what he wants to. Why wait for forever, when we can start forever now? I sit in the passenger side of his BMW and smile at him as he crawls in and stares at the ring I’m holding between my fingers. He slowly takes the ring from me and pure fear is cascading over his face. I put out my left hand, “you’re supposed to put it on me.” He stares at me, trying to understand what I’m telling him to do. “You . . . you want to get married?” My nose flares and I bite the inside of my top lip as tears well up in my eyes again, this time they don’t hurt though. “Yes.” He places the ring on my finger then quickly captures my lips with his. It feels so good to kiss him again, but what feels even more amazing is the small weight on my left hand. A symbol of love, trust, hope and future. It’s the symbol of our life together. “I love you Lil.” “I love you too Maxime.”
He can barely keep his eyes on the road as we head back into Pittsburgh. Every so often his eyes wander over to me and he smiles. He plays with the ring on my finger as he thumps his thumb on the steering wheel. It’s a hour long drive back to our lives. Hopefully back to the way things were when everything felt good. When everything felt so normal.
I’m not too sure how I feel as we drive down East Carson. The same road my life revolved around just a few months ago. We drove past Diesel and I didn’t even bother to look. I knew what it looked like, I didn’t need to be reminded. The club will always be apart of me, but I am no longer apart of it. Everything started and ended there. My eyes are pulled away from the street as he pulls off and heads toward our home. Will this be the home where we start our family? Is the South Side a good place to start a family? Will we move into a new home, a bigger home? Maybe out by Marc’s? There are so many questions, but I need to remind myself to live in the now. The future will come when it’s here and ready. Until then, I’m going to enjoy now and not fuck it up again.
“I got you a welcome home gift,” Max’s glows as he pulls the car into the garage. “Why am I scared?” I laughed as I unbuckle my seat belt and climb out of the car. “You’ll love it, I promise.” I have to trust him. His eyes are glowing and he couldn’t take that smile off of his face if he tried his damn hardest. I nodded my head and followed him into the house. He stopped me at the den door and covered my eyes. “Max,” I groaned. His laughter tickled my ear and I felt the door in front of me swing away. “Okay, you have to promise me that you’ll use this multiply times a week okay?” “Well I want to know what it is first.” I feel the scarf on my head disappear and his lips land within centimeters of my scar. He pulls his hand away and I open my eyes. A piano. I freeze in place. I don’t know what to do or even think. I open my mouth to say something but nothing comes out. How did he know? “How-“ I walk up to the beautiful white keys on display and I’m scared to touch them. Why does it feel like life is taking a full circle? “Why did you do this?” I ask not taking my eyes away from the black and white masterpiece standing in front of me. “Mark said it will help.” “Fuck Mark. Max, why did you do this?” I didn’t want to be angry with Max, but I was. I couldn’t bring myself to look at him, my eyes stayed trained on the keys. I so badly wanted to touch them, but I knew that if I did, I’d get sucked back in. I would hear the same thing from Max as I did my mother. Why was he bringing back my past? “Why don’t you play something?” “No!” I shake my head and step away, turning to look at him for the first time. “I’m not your mother, Lillianah.” I shake my head at his words. “I was never good enough for her, no matter what I did. I perfected the piano and it wasn’t good enough. Why would I continue to play something that wasn’t good enough for her?” I scream at Max as he wraps his arms around me. He doesn’t say anything. He probably doesn’t know what to say. I don’t blame him. “I want you to play it for me though. I want you to play it for our children. I want you to teach our children, and then I want you to teach our grandchildren. I want every Christmas spent singing carols while you play the piano. Singing ‘Happy Birthday’ by the piano. I want you to teach me how to play piano.” I blink the tears free from my eyes and look over my shoulder at he beautiful instrument before returning my eyes back to Max. “Okay,” I whisper. He makes everything seem so easy and carefree. He makes everything seem amazing. He is amazing.