Okay so maybe I could do this. Maybe all of us could find a way for me to juggle everyone at once.
Lisa and I were finally back to being on the same page, Ben was coming home today and when I had dropped in to check on Sammy in the morning he was looking a little better.
He was genuinely happy for me when I assured him Lisa and I had talked and worked things out. Even when I told him she had invited him and Bobby over for dinner he had nodded and smiled. Yeah, okay sure, his back straightened and he stopped breathing for a split second but I swore he was open to it. With a little bit more of a push he would be sitting at my dining room table socializing with my girlfriend and her son...and I was pumped. I couldn't wait to bring them all together. That was a dream come true for me.
I decided it was going to happen in two days from now. That would give Ben some time to settle back in at home with his new lifestyle plan and give me a chance to get Sammy feeling okay about leaving his room and being out with other people.
It would also give me a chance to get his hair cut.
Contrary to what he believed, that wasn't for mine or Lisa's or even Ben's benefit; it was for his own. I had seen his embarrassment and shame due to his appearance and it was not doing him any good. In fact it was holding him back and God knows he needed to feel better about himself before I could even get him in the car to take him around to my place.
Only he didn't agree, he told me he wasn't ready and he told me once again that if I was so desperate to get his hair cut then Bobby could do it. Bobby recoiled before I could even put a stop to that thought, bless him. Sam didn't get it. His hair style wasn't one you could just buzz cut.
'Then let's make it one.' He suggested with enthusiasm, like it was the greatest idea of all time.
I pulled a face. 'Dude, that wouldn't suit you at all.' Not at all.
'I don't need it to suit me; I just need it shorter right?'
'Sammy, for your sake, you need both.'
'Dean for my sake, I need you or Bobby to do it. Please?'
'No buddy. It will be fine. You'll see.' I checked my watch, I had promised Lisa I would meet her at the hospital in twenty minutes time to pick up Ben and I still had to get there and find a parking spot which sometimes took freaking ages in that place. To put it simply; I was in a hurry. 'We'll get you in and before you know it, it'll will be done. Over - and you'll wonder what all the stress was about.' He didn't look all that convinced. 'Bobby and I will be right there with you.' When his face further turned into pre-complete-panic mode I put up a hand, 'Sammy, you will be fine. There's nothing to worry about. It's just a haircut.'
'But listen to me. I'm telling you I can't do it Dean.'
'You can. I'll pick you up at eleven tomorrow morning okay? Be ready. See ya Bobby.'
When I took another look at my brother I saw nothing but a deer caught in the headlights. 'Try to get out of the room today. Go for a walk or something. It might help.'
He didn't get it. He just did not get it. Neither did Bobby. No one did.
First of all I had no idea how I was going to be able to get through dinner with Lisa and Ben. I didn't even know how I was going to walk through the front door of that house. It wasn't because I was too scared to leave my motel room. It was because of those feelings I would feel when I saw the place again. Not only did it symbolize my brother's life without me for a year but it also symbolized something more. For those two weeks when we had been separated, I had always been on the outside looking in. It was a house where Dean belonged but where I never did and the emotions that stirred in me because of that were nothing good. It just reminded me of how completely lost and alone I had felt during that time and made me think of all the torturous minutes I had looked in at my brother who I didn't feel like I could get to - who I never thought I could get to - living his new life without me.
Yes I know only a few days ago it was somewhere I couldn't keep away from but now it was somewhere I couldn't face. I wanted to meet Lisa probably as much as she wanted to meet me, but right then it was too hard and too soon and I don't think Dean realized that.
Something else Dean didn't realize; there was no way in the world I could go into town and get my frickin hair cut! Was he insane? Had he lost his freaking mind? How did he expect me to sit in a salon with someone smothering me like that? I had a hard enough time walking into a store with three people in it let alone somewhere thousands of people and kids would be stepping in and out of, surrounding me, crowding me, enveloping me. Uggh! No way. As if some loud and over-confident stranger in my face making stupid small talk that I couldn't respond too while getting up close and personal with a pair of scissors around my head wasn't bad enough, he wanted me to do it around all those other people as well?
I couldn't do it. I already knew I couldn't do it and I didn't understand why no one was listening to me.
I just wished they would listen to me.
'Bobby please?' I begged him as soon as he shut and locked the door.
'Please what? And don't go asking me to cut your hair Sam. If I so much as took a step towards you with a pair of scissors, your brother would have my head.'
'No he wouldn't.'
The expression on his face made it clear to me that he was questioning my sanity.
'Bobby – '
'Come on.' He was already changing the subject again with a clap of his hands. 'Let's get you out of this room. Get your jacket; we're going for a walk.'
'Just a walk Sam. Just like you did before me or your brother even got here. You can go for a walk can't you.' It wasn't really a question. It was more of a statement.
'Fine. Just let me go to the bathroom first.'
'Okay. Meet me at my room. Just going to get my other phone.'
Once I had done it and realized I couldn't do anything to undo it, instead of feeling any kind of relief, all I felt was deep regret. Jesus, I had really screwed up this time and there was not a damn thing I could do about it.
'Sam!' Bobby called from the other side of the door about half an hour later. 'You alright in there?' What's taking you?' I didn't answer because I couldn't answer. All I could do was lean against the bathroom wall and close my eyes. Bobby was going to kill me and then once he had finished, Dean was going to kill me.
Well, either that or they were going to do something worse; they were going to worry about me even more. This was going to freak them out as much as it was freaking me out, I had no doubt - and that sucked. So very badly.
Bobby tried the door but I had locked it as soon as I stepped in back when I thought this was a good idea, my only idea; my only out. 'Sam!' The bang he thumped made me jump and shocked me back to reality. I had to answer him or he would think something was physically wrong with me. He was already starting to panic.
'Sam, open the door. Now.'
When I outstretched my hand to turn the handle, I noticed it was shaking. 'Just don't freak out okay?' I said to both of us.
Then he got it. 'Oh no Sam, tell me you didn't.'
Even though I well and truly heard the dread in his voice, not having to say the words made me feel a little lighter. I let him mentally prepare for a few seconds before opening the door. It gave me a chance to do the same thing. God knows I needed to.
When he laid eyes on my freshly cut hair, he didn't gasp, all he did was take a small breath in and then let it out. 'Give me the scissors.' He surprised me by saying. It wasn't said in an angry tone, it was just an order, so I obliged without question and then waited for his next command. 'Come and sit down.'
He stepped around me while I sat dead still on my seat at the table, lifting up chunks of my hair, snipping bits here and there and not saying a single word. I appreciated him for not yelling. He was just helping me, just doing his best to fix my mess all over again.
'How bad is it?' I asked when I built up the nerve to speak and also the nerve to hear the answer.
'Honestly, it's not too bad at all. You did a good job as far as I can tell.' I felt him lift up another chunk, heard the next snip and wondered if he was lying to me to make me feel better.
'I couldn't do it Bobby. I'm sorry. I just couldn't go to a hairdresser.'
'I can see that.'
'You're pissed at me.'
'Worried about me?'
I heard him sigh from his position behind me. He placed down the scissors and pulled out the chair next to me. Once he had sat down he put his hand on my shoulder and smiled which caused my eyes to water. I was so messed up and I didn't know how I was going to come through it. I had just taken another ten thousand steps back.
'You're going to be okay. I promise you.'
'You can't promise me that.' I kind of laughed. After what all of us had been through he should have known all too well that he couldn't promise me that.
'As long as you have Dean and me here, you are going to be okay. I promise you.'
I would have loved to believe him - more than anything - and he was saying the words with so much passion and surety. Thing was though there was no way I could depend on that. Not that I didn't believe they wouldn't try because I knew they would, but just because I believed one of us was going to be taken from the other two again. I didn't know who it was going to be this time or why but I just knew it was going to be one of us.
It was just a matter of time.
Man it was great to have the little guy out of that hospital bed and back with us...and he was doing okay too. Once the doctors had reiterated to him that with some preparation he was all cool to keep on playing sports and probably as cool to play as hard as he had been - if he kept aware and on top of any warning signs - he was eager to get out and back into it.
Instead of actually playing on the day of his release though, Lisa and I took him to a baseball game. He loved spectating as much as he did playing and it had been awhile since Lisa had come along with us. She had little to no interest in it unless her son was actually playing but after his health scare she vowed she would come to watch more if that meant she could spend time with him and be there to see him smile.
If only Sammy could have been with us too. Man, for me, that would have been perfect, having my brother here with us.
It was going to happen one day too, I would make sure of it. Looking around I knew it was going to be awhile off though; the crowd that surrounded us was huge. There was no way he could deal with all these people just yet. I truly wished I could convince him that he needed to get out and do things like this. I wanted to see him have a bit of fun for once, really let loose and relax – escape –free himself from all the crap he was carrying and just breathe. It would do him the world of good.
Just the thought made me smile. I couldn't wait for the day when I could take him to a game and see him cheering and laughing and enjoying himself with me by his side doing exactly the same thing.
I just could not wait and it would happen. It would. He was already getting better.
It was just a matter of time.
(to be continued…)