“I will pick you up after practice. It’s going to be your first day home and I want to be with you.”
“But then you need to leave practice early again Brandon, and the coach is not happy with you as it is, at the moment. I can just take the bus home and then get my car and come to you. It’s no big deal!” We had been arguing like this for the past ten minutes.
Since my accident we hadn’t been apart for more than a few hours every day. He made sure of it even though I had hundreds of other people milling around me and checking up on me 24/7. He still showed up each day after school and spent hours with me until it was time for dinner.
“Sam, stop arguing with me. I will pick you up after your dance class and take you home, and then we are coming back to my place for dinner. My mom insisted, so there is no backing out!”
“Fine! I will see you at two. But if the coach kicks you off the team it’s not my fault. So don’t blame me. Dinner at your house sounds nice but please make very sure your mom and dad haven’t planned another reunion with my mom and her husband. I am not in the mood and not interested in seeing them. If they are there when we get there, I’m leaving. Even if I have to walk home!”
I emphasized the last part because his mom and dad had been trying to get me to see my mom ever since I was released from the hospital.
They talked to me about seeing her every chance they got when came to see me; they spoke to my therapist about it and asked him to work it into our sessions every day. They even went as far as telling my mom where I was and she showed up one day to visit me.
I heard him sigh on the other end of the line before he answered. “I will make sure of it Sam, I promise.”
“Thanks Brandon. I have to go. I’ll see you at two.”
“Bye. I love you!” He always ended our conversations like that, even though we’re just friends.
“Bye.” I ended the conversation the same way I always did.
I hung up the phone and popped into the bathroom before my dance lesson, dropped my bag in the corner and took a good look at myself in the mirror. I had a double lesson as my therapist thought that tiring me out would be good before I went home, something about my mind being too tired to drive me into panic mode.
I hadn’t been home since the day I took all those pills. Brandon got to me just in time and the paramedics were able to keep my heart going till we got the hospital and they could pump my stomach. Since then he’s been at my side every waking moment, and my aunt even stayed for the first two weeks I was at the centre.
It took a lot of convincing from me, and Brandon’s parents as well, for her to go back to Iceland and her job. She finally agreed to go after Mrs. Gillen promised her she would come to see me every day to make sure I was all right. I also had to phone my aunt everyday so she could hear my voice for herself. My therapist also sent her progress reports each week so she was always kept up to date.
The big day dawned for me to be released with a clean bill of health. But I suspected there was a surprise waiting forme. All the people I spoke to hinted that the centre never releases you into your own care. For the first month or so, you need to be looked after constantly to ensure you don’t do anything stupid again. So I was not so sure who that person would be.
I only had Brandon and his family and I was so not going to live with them. My mom was not an option as I was still not willing to see her. The day she pitched up at the centre I refused to see her, the same way I did while in the hospital. I quickly blocked all visitors except for Brandon and his parents. My therapist says I will never heal completely unless I forgive my mom.
But my argument right back at him was that I had forgiven her but I just didn’twant to see or speak with her. And I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for her and my dad, so I was not interested.
I had come a long way since that fateful day two months ago. I had been to hell and back trying to get my life back on track. You see, the thing with committing suicide, or trying to, is that everyone from that moment on believes that should anything in my life not be perfect I may try again. It took weeks of explaining to Brandon that it wouldn’t happen again. I was in the right therapy with the correct meds, and dancing again, which was doing wonders for me. Which, by the way, was a big part of me not falling off the wagon again. The centre had a dance team as one of their therapy programs that I had instantly joined, but it took me a really long time to find my feet again. I was not big on group class but it was a good place to start.
The school was great throughout this entire mess that was my life. They sent my homework with Brandon, and during our exam time they sent a teacher with the tests to the centre. So I basically hadn’t lost much work or fallen behind. I didn’t know if I’d be ready to go back to school, though, to finish the year. I was sure the rumors of what happened to me would have spread by now, with the jokes continuing, or else the fake sympathies would start and I just couldn’t handle that yet. But other than that I was doing well.
Brandon and I were better than ever, even though I’m not sure where we stood with each other, as we hadn’t yet talked about the letter I left. I knew he had it, and knew what was in it. He hinted about it a few times and I would then change the subject. I wanted to bring it up but lacked the courage to do so. My therapist was also pushing me to bring it up.
But we were in such a good place then that I didn’t want to mess it up. He told me he loved me every time we talked, or whenever he saw me. I just took it that he meant as a friend and wanted to make sure I knew he cared about me and was there for me.
I splashed some cold water on my face, picked up my bag and departed for the studio.
“Hey Samantha, are you excited about going home today?” Louis asked me as I came through the door.
“Hey Louis, yeah, I’m really looking forward to my own bed again. The hard mattresses at this place will be the death of me!” I winked at him. Louis was one of the teachers in the group dance class.
We had clicked instantly and I ended up having private lessons with him, and not so many group lessons. My dancing had improved a lot over the last two months and the discipline of it helped me deal with everything.
Laughing, he turned on the radio and motioned for me to start warming up. We began with my favorite dance, the tango. The stories you can tell with this dance move both of us. We normally ran through all my dances but today we stayed with the tango for the entire two hours. We were so focused on the dance and our movements that we didn’t hear the studio door opening.
The music must have stopped some time before, but Louis and I kept on moving, expressing and feeling the dance, so we didn’t notice. We ended the routine with him lifting me up over his shoulders and dropping me, but catching my feet just before I hit the ground, with me spreading my arms out, pulling up my middle and facing the audience.
A gasp broke the spell we were under. As Louis set me back on my feet I looked over to where the noise had come from. Brandon was standing in the doorway, his eyes as huge as the day he figured out who I was. He had never seen me dance before, as I was always finished with my lesson long before he arrived to fetch me. We must have run over our time and didn’t notice, or he was early today.
I could see the amusement in Louis’eyes. “Are we done for today, Louis?” I asked him.
“Yeah, we are done. I think we ran over our time anyway. We will do a run through of the other dances next week. If you like, we could do a double again if you need it.”
“Let’s put me up for a double. It will be my first week home so I might need a stress reliever. If not, we can just do the tango again for an hour, I really don’t mind.” I said with a smile in my voice.
Louis gave a short laugh and nodded his head. Drying off his face with a towel, he walked back to me and pulled me into a hug.
“Good luck Sam. You are going to be great. Remember, should you need an extra lesson I’m a call away.”
“Thanks Louis. I’ll see you next week,” I said over my shoulder, fetching my bag and heading over to where Brandon was waiting. Bumping his shoulder I said, “Close your mouth, you are going to catch flies,” while laughing at his expression.