One month ago I was miserably pregnant and ready to do just about anything to get the Little Miss out of me! And one month ago tomorrow, she actually came through for me…or out of me as the case may be. And our family is complete!
We now have our 3 kids-2 boys and a girl-and my wonderful Mike is getting his junk snipped Wednesday. So no more for us! (And contrary to what one startled acquaintance thought, HE offered to do it…I didn’t pressure or even suggest.)
So, I’ve been gradually getting into a sort of routine with the kids and Ryan’s school and attempting to balance housework on top of everything. Yeah, the housework is a major work in progress-simply because I never liked doing it to begin with. And of course now I have a toddler AND a newborn attached to my chest 70% of the day. Anyways, this has just made me appreciate the versatility of my iPod touch all the more since I can attempt to write at least a little while Little Miss naps on my chest and the boys run amok in their room. So I have-for your reading pleasure today-the beginning of a fanfic for you!
I haven’t seriously written anything-other than this blog-in…years I think. So your opinions would be great. And I would be interested in whether Y’ALL are interested… because if you’re not then I’ll abandon this and possibly write one of the other stories that’s been banging around in my skull.
As of now, it has no title, no beta (so therefore no editing except my own, which is abysmal at best), and it’s been written on an iPod. So-without further ado….here it is.
I rubbed my jaw and caressed her hand. Jason had every right to punch me. I deserved it and so much more. I couldn’t get the image of her sprawled across the living room out of my head.
3 Days Ago
“Sookie, are you still at work? I would have thought you’d be home by now. We have our celebration to get to,” I made sure to inject a little extra smolder to my words.
“Eric, why are you calling me?” she sounded so tired. That’s odd. Though I guess she’s been working longer hours lately. I don’t remember seeing her much.
“It’s the 21st. Winter solstice. Longest night of the year and our yearly star gazing adventure. I know you didn’t forget. What’s up?” Now I was confused. She had started this tradition years ago, when we were teenagers. As we grew closer and became a couple, the tradition had only gotten more sacred.
“Eric, I assume you’re in the house. Go into the living room and look around.”
I followed her instructions and gave the living room a cursory once over. My eyes slid across the plush grey sofa, the black plush ottoman acting as a coffee table, the IKEA bookshelves and the slate grey fireplace. Then I looked closer. The hideous afghan that Sookie had dragged from her Gran’s house and was usually draped over the couch was gone. The pictures that usually dotted the bookshelves weren’t in their spot. Come to think of it, there weren’t that many books on the shelves either.
“Sookie? Where’s all your stuff?”
All I heard was a sigh. “Do I really need to spell it out for you Eric? I moved out. Actually I moved out at the end of October.”
Dumbstruck. That’s the only way to describe how I felt at that particular moment.
“Why?” I managed to choke that out at least.
“Why not? You’ve been so busy that we never see each other. This isn’t a relationship. There isn’t even a THIS anymore. Hell, we aren’t even roommates at this point. That much is clear from the fact that it took you two months to even realize that I’ve been gone. Just-don’t call me Eric.”
I blinked as the phone disconnected in my ear.
She’s gone. She’s gone? And I didn’t notice? That can’t be right. She has to be lying. I threw myself onto the sofa and pressed another familiar number.
“Hello, Snarky Sidekicks at your service. This is Pam. What do you want?”
“Pam, where’s Sookie?” I cringed when I heard how pathetic and weak my voice sounded.
She sighed. What is with everyone sighing at me today?
“You finally noticed?”
What?!? Finally noticed? She knew?
“You knew? You knew she was gone and you didn’t tell me? What the fuck, Pam!” my shock was morphing quickly into anger.
“Why would I? She’s my best friend and she just wanted to forget. And honestly after what she’s been going through, it didn’t seem like the time to disregard her wishes. We’re all just trying to get her better.”
Shock to anger and now rapidly approaching panic.
“Better? What’s wrong with her? Pam!”
She paused and I swear I heard her teeth gnashing. “See. THIS is why I’m not telling you anything. You haven’t even seen her in months. Lafayette and Preston are taking care of her. Hell, even Jason has spent almost every other night with her. And you, the man who supposedly loves her more than life itself, have no idea what the fuck I’m talking about. Fuck you Eric!”
For the second time in twenty minutes, the sound of a phone disconnecting sounded in my ear. I stared at the phone for a moment before mashing the appropriate buttons to call Lafayette.
“Laf! Let me talk to Sookie!” I demand before he even has a chance to talk.
“Uh-hello?” a timid male voice sounded on the other end of the phone. And it definitely wasn’t Lafayette.
“Who is this?”
“Uh-who is this? You’re the one who called us.”
I pinched the bridge of my nose and clenched my cell phone tightly. “Who is this? I’m looking for Lafayette because Pam said that Sookie was staying with him.”
“Oh.” There was a moment of silence. “You must be Eric.”
My name sounded like the filthiest of swears spilling from his lips.
“Yes I am. And I have no idea who you are. Let me speak to Lafayette or Sookie,” I demand. “Please.”
“At least you’re trying to be polite, which is more than I expected. Listen, Sookie doesn’t want to talk to you. We’re taking care of her,” the voice patiently informed me, which only served to make my anger rise again.
“Who is ‘we’? Why does she need to be taken care of?” I tried to keep the growl out of my voice but I don’t think I succeeded.
“There are a lot of people taking care of her. Please respect her decision and refrain from contacting her,” his voice was still as level and polite as if we were discussing the weather. It pissed me off. Then I heard a muted sob.
“She’s right there?!? Let me talk to her! Please, God I’ll do anything, just let me talk to her,” I was fully aware of my sharp descent into abject desperation, but at this point I didn’t care. I was so close.
He sighed. Again, I wondered what all the sighing was about. But then I heard a shuffle.
“Eric? Why can’t you just leave me alone?” Sookie sniffled noisily into the phone.
“Sookie, I have no idea what is going on. Please, just come over and talk, baby. That’s all I ask. Please! I’ll get some food and we can talk. Please?” I begged. I’m man enough to admit that I begged.
“Eric,” I could hear the hesitation in her voice. I had to capitalize.
“Sookie, please! I love you! I need to know what’s going on.”
“Fine. I’ll be over in an hour. Is that alright?” She sounded defeated. I hated it, but I had to figure this out.
“That’s perfect. I’ll see you then. I love you, baby!” I caught another sigh as I started to press the end button.
I was frozen on the couch for a moment or two before I leapt up and raced upstairs. I tore through the bedroom and into the en suite. Rushing through my shower, I made sure to primp a little extra when I was done. I dashed into the huge walk in closet that Sookie had specially designed for all of our things when we moved in. I realized that her half was empty. It also didn’t escape my notice that my available clean clothes supply was rapidly dwindling. Did I really never do laundry? Sighing (now I was even doing it!), I pulled on jeans and a worn tee. I rushed down the stairs while ordering a pizza. I grabbed my wallet and keys, slipped my feet into my flip flops and rushed out to the car. Even with all the drama and uncertainty, I had to smile at the purr my baby let out. I took a moment to appreciate my ’69 Camaro. It was fully restored and had a fresh new bright blue paint job with white stripes on the hood. I loved it. I tore down the driveway and sped to the pizza place, conscious of my rapidly dwindling time.
I raced in and out of the tiny pizzeria and jetted back towards home. I grimaced when I noticed Sookie’s craptastic old Beetle. I was puzzled since I remembered her talking about getting a new car. I wanted to make it back before her, but apparently she still had her key because she wasn’t sitting on the porch. I balanced the pizzas on one hand and shouldered the front door open.
“Sookie? I got Westshore spinach pizza for you!” I’ll never know how she ate that shit. Pepperoni all the way. Weird, she hadn’t answered yet.
I traipsed into the kitchen and set the pizzas on the counter. Then I rounded the corner into the living room. My heart leapt into my throat at the sight that greeted me.
My Sookie was sprawled face down on the hardwood floor. A small puddle of crimson ringed her head and her limbs were splayed at awkward angles.
I shook my head to clear the ghastly image. No matter how many times I tried to forget, it assaulted me every single time my eyes closed. Every blink, every time I rubbed my eyes, every time I tried to sleep…her lifeless body was all I could see. I could still smell the coppery tang of her blood. My mind refused to process the other oddities that Pam had since cleared off of the floor. I was in denial, and I knew it. Now, ask me if I cared?
A nurse came in and started doing whatever medical nonsense she needed to do. I was so strung out at that point that I barely even noticed when she started talking to me.
“Sir? Visiting hours are almost over and-“ she seemed so timid, but I still cut her off curtly.
“I’m not leaving.”
I sighed. This was becoming a habit with everyone it seemed. “Look, talk to Doctor Kaplan. We have some extenuating circumstances. I’m not leaving her.”
She nodded her head and scampered out of the room. I ducked my head and rested it on the edge of the bed. That god forsaken bed where the love of my life wouldn’t wake up. She had to wake up. She just had to.
3 Days Ago- Hospital Emergency Room
Jason raced into the ER and by passed me completely on his way to the desk.
“Jason!” I rushed over to him without even thinking. He ignored me for a moment while the supremely unhelpful woman made bedroom eyes at him and he barked at her in annoyance. Then he turned to me.
“What happened?” he glowered at me and I took a step back. Jason had always been one of my best friends and now I was definitely on the receiving end of his ire.
“She came over to talk. I promised her pizza and she was already there when I got home. So I took the pizza in the kitchen. Then I found her unconscious in the living room,” I managed not to stutter, which I think is an accomplishment.
“What was she doing at your place anyways?” his crossed arms and defensive stance were starting to make me nervous.
I fidgeted. “I asked her to talk. I have no idea what’s going on and I needed to know.”
“You don’t deserve an explanation, dickhead. I’m going to go find out where she is. Why don’t you make yourself useful and call everyone else?” Jason turned back to the woman who now held out a post it with Sookie’s room number on it. He strode quickly through the automatic doors and disappeared while I sank heavily into the waiting room chairs.
Resignedly, I decided to do as Jason asked. I figured he was pissed at me enough for whatever was going on. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and hit Pam’s speed dial.
“Snarky Sidekicks, what’s your pleasure?”
“Pam?” my voice was nearly a whisper.
“Eric. I told you to leave her alone. I’m not helping you get to her,” she sounded bored. I could just picture her filing her perfectly manicured nails.
“Pam, she’s in the hospital. She-“
“WHAT? You mother…” I held the phone away from my ear until the noise died down.
“Are you done so I can tell you what happened?” the waver in my voice must have stunned her for a moment, so I took my chance. “She came over to talk. I was getting the pizza I promised her. Then I found her in the living room unconscious and bleeding. She’s in the ER now and Jason’s back there. They won’t let me be with her. What if…what if she…” the tears finally started and I tried to mute the sob that escaped my mouth.
Pam was silent for a few moments. “Eric, I’ll be right there. Want me to call everyone else?”
I nodded, but then remembered that she couldn’t see me, “Yes. Thank you Pam. I don’t know what’s been going on, but I know I can’t lose her.”
“I’ll be there soon Eric.”
A click sounded in my ear, but the ominous absence of reassurance from her was what really shook me.
I sat in those chairs that I’m sure were deliberately designed to make you as uncomfortable as possible and waited. I felt like I was in some sort of weird suspended animation where nothing was real.
People came and went, bled and cried. And none of it reached me. I was numb and I was almost grateful for it. Pam rushed into the automatic doors and immediately found me.
“Eric! How is she? What did they say?” I took a moment to take in her appearance. My normally immaculately dressed and groomed sister was wearing jeans. Jeans with holes no less. And a ratty old Rush shirt that I recognized as one of our Dad’s. She was even wearing flip flops. I didn’t even think she OWNED flip flops.
“They won’t tell me anything! They rushed her back and Jason’s back there, but since I’m not family, they won’t tell me anything. Something about privacy laws or something,” I grabbed onto her and buried my face in her neck to muffle the sobs that had started again.
Her stiffened form gradually relaxed and she began stroking my back. “Eric, she’ll be ok. Sookie’s a fighter. Let me see if I can get an update from Jason.”
I leaned back in my seat while she fiddled with her phone and sent a text. I took one shuddering breath after another and tried to imagine that everything was how it used to be.
“You son of a bitch!” was the only warning I got before my jaw was on fire and the chair I was sitting in was on its side. Meanwhile, I had been thrown back and was sprawled across the floor.
“What the-?” I looked up through slightly starry eyes to see Jason. Jason with the ugliest look on his face that I’ve ever seen.
“Are you happy now? As if it wasn’t enough to completely break her, now you’ve got her on the verge of death! You stupid mother fucker!” he reeled his fist back in preparation for another blow, but thankfully I was saved by hospital security. He may be a head shorter and wiry, but that fucker packed a wallop.
“Sir! This isn’t the place. Can you calm down or do we need to escort you out?” the hulking man who had a firm grip on Jason’s fist pulled him slightly away from my still sprawled out form.
“Nah, I’m good,” he shrugged off the guard and rolled his shoulders. Then he noticed Pam, who’d conveniently sat silently by while he pummeled my face. “Pam! Why did she do it? She was doing so good!”
She gripped him tightly in a hug as he sobbed into her shoulder. I guess she was the go-to for comfort.
“We all knew she’d slip. It was bound to happen one way or another. Let’s find a private place to fill Eric in-“ she glared at Jason as he let out a small growl “look, he deserves to know. You can obviously see how upset he is and he has no idea what’s been going on. That way you can tell us what the doctor said. Is that okay?”
“Well, I guess it has to be, now doesn’t it? Just tell me you’re not siding with him just cause he’s your brother. You owe Sookie more than that and you know it.”
“Jason, you know where I stand. On everything. Let’s just find somewhere to talk,” Pam stood and slowly moved to the reception desk and quietly made her inquiries. Jason staunchly refused to look my way, which just left me more baffled than before.
“Come on guys, this way. I already texted Lafayette to tell him where to find us,” she motioned for us to follow and led us down the hall.
I jolted awake with the vision of Sookie’s lifeless body flashing through my brain. I tried to shake the cobwebs from my brain as I scanned the room. My iPod was still playing quietly on the table by the bed. The doctor had said that it might help. The TV was off and the monitors were still beeping their incessant cadence. The only difference were the beautiful blue eyes staring back into mine.
3 Days Ago
“How did this happen?” I was stunned. I had been silent for the past ten minutes trying to process what Pam and Jason had just told me. But somehow, the information still wasn’t sinking into the recesses of my brain.
“You got busy. It’s not an excuse and I still can’t believe you have been so stupid, but I can see how you honestly really weren’t even aware. I guess that just makes the whole damn mess even more depressing,” Pam sighed as she leaned back in the marginally more comfortable chair.
“How much does she weigh again?”
“When she came in tonight, the doc said 76. She was up to 89, but he said she’d probably been weighting her pockets. And of course, having her stomach pumped didn’t help matters,” Jason ran his hand through his already messy hair and closed his eyes, as if in silent prayer.
My Sookie. My beautiful, voluptuous, perfect Sookie. 76 pounds? How the hell did that happen? I just saw her…no wait. That was-oh. The last time I remember spending any time with her was March. It’s December. Oh shit. I really am a fucktard.
“And, apparently, Laf and Preston have some explaining to do as well,” Jason said cryptically. Pam groaned and I just looked between the two.
“Huh? The anorexia’s not the worst?” That was a major issue, in my opinion.
“No. She started to abuse diet pills and laxatives. She also started drinking…heavily. And apparently she was taking whatever pills she could get her hands on,” Pam turned to Jason. “But I thought we got rid of everything. She doesn’t have any money to get anymore. What the hell happened?”
“She’s a sneaky little shit who was scared to death to talk to him,” the voice coming from the doorway was just as derogatory as it had been on the phone.
“Preston, I presume?” I clenched my fist to keep from hitting him.
“Yeah dickwad. Apparently, little Miss Sunshine broke into our medicine cabinet. And then pick pocketed me. Took my cash and my pain meds. I didn’t even realize until after we got the call,” the new guy dropped into a seat and Lafayette followed. He at least held out a hand to shake mine.
“Oh, and the doc found fresh cuts. Thinks she’s been doing it for about a week somehow. Unless she really fucked herself up this time, cause there’s a lot of them,” Jason threw in.
“So. She drinks, she abuses pills, she cuts and she’s anorexic? How the hell did this happen?” I was dumbfounded. Completely.
“Gee, since she will barely talk about it, we don’t exactly know. All we know is that you’re the cause. Maybe she’ll tell you,” Preston said sarcastically. Lafayette glared at him.
“Okay yall. Eric may not be the poster boy for innocence in this whole situation, but Sookie ain’t no saint either. She could have found a way to talk to him. She could have not picked up the pills or the booze or the razor. She could have not put her finger down her throat OR could have chosen to actually eat. Eric’s not the only one to blame. He’s just a clueless male,” Lafayette chided.
I bristled a bit, but then my ruffled feathers calmed down. I was clueless. I had no idea how this had happened to the only woman who’d ever had a place in my heart.
“I’ll get the doc to let you back Eric. I’m sorry for the…you know,” Jason mimed punching me, which admittedly still made me flinch.
“It’s fine man. I’d have done the same,” I assured him. I was more than eager for him to find a way to get me back with Sookie. I needed to see her. I hadn’t taken notice of her body when I’d found her. I just needed to see for myself that she was alright.
Twenty minutes later, I was sitting in the recliner in her private room while Pam paced at the foot of the bed.
“Pam. Did she say anything to you?”
“She said something…back in April. You’d been busy with the bar. She got that. But she hadn’t seen you in over a month and she wanted to surprise you at the bar. So, she got all prettied up and drove over to see you,” she snorted slightly, “She admitted she was more than a little horny. So, she shows up and asks whatever tramp you had on the door if you were busy. She gave her the high eyebrow and said that you were more than busy with the new girl, Faith. She told Sookie that if she was another of your groupies to just get in line cause you’d be busy for awhile. Sookie didn’t believe her.”
Well, that gave me warm and fuzzies.
“She went in and saw Sam at the bar. He ran away like the scared little puppy he is. Then she started to worry. Then she saw you, coming out of the back with that skinny little ho. Faith? And she said Faith looked—a little worse for wear. So, she left. She said she waited up for you that night to confront you. But you never came home. So she opened the bistro the next morning, with no sleep. And after that, you only saw her in passing.”
I looked retarded. I know I did. Because I had absolutely no clue what Pam was talking about. I hadn’t cheated on Sookie. THAT I was positive about.
“That’s nice and all Pam, but you must be mistaken. I never cheated on Sookie. Why would I? I love her!”
“Eric. You’re highly sexed. You hadn’t seen her in over a month for any real amount of time. And then she sees you emerging with a just fucked looking Barbie clone? What the hell was she supposed to think? I’ll bet you even money you haven’t slept with her since before Muses opened,” Pam said scathingly.
I opened my mouth, but shut it immediately. She was right. God, how had the time gotten away from me?
“I’m going to get going. I’ll swing by your place and clean up. I’m sure that’s the last thing on your mind,” Pam leaned over and kissed my forehead before quietly leaving me to my thoughts.
“Sookie!” I leapt to my feet and leaned over to hug her. But she shied away from me.
“Eric,” her voice sounded dead. “Where am I? Well-that might be a stupid question. Why am I here?”
“Do you remember coming over to talk to me?”
“Yes. You weren’t there. Just like always. So I let myself in to wait. Then…then I don’t remember,” she squinted, as if trying to read fine print written on the wall just over my shoulder.
“I got back with the pizza and found you unconscious,” I felt like a broken record having to repeat myself yet again. “I called an ambulance. And here we are. What happened Sook? Jason and Pam told me about the past few months. Why? Why would you do that to yourself?”
She scoffed. “Like you care! All you care about is your bar and fucking any goddamned barfly who looks your way. You didn’t even notice that I moved out for Christ sakes!”