Chapter 5: The Change
I’m stirred from my buzzed zoning my mom and dad talking with someone. Who is that? I know that voice.
“I’m glad you came over. We’re sorry for how we’ve treated you. We don’t know what to do. You saw this way before we did and you haven’t even been around.” Mom says sincerely.
“I’m glad you got a hold of me.” The woman said.
“It was actually Jack who got through to us. He made us realize she needs you. She loves you. Although, we don’t understand why she would need you, we just want her better.” Dad explains.
“I’m glad you have made a slight change. All I want is what is best for Ileana. I truly love her and wouldn’t do anything to hurt her.”
That’s Samantha! She’s talking with my parents. And they’re being friendly!
It doesn’t matter. You don’t need her anymore. You are good on your own. You feel this? You can’t feel like this with her. I start to zone out again.
I zoned for only a minute or so before I grasp that Samantha is actually here.
She is here. Why is she here? I don’t need anyone else. She’s talking to my parents.
“If you’ll allow it, there is a great outpatient program that I believe will help her immensely. I will be able to watch and help her 24/7.” Samantha’s caring voice gets through to my brain.
She wants to care for me. I need that.
No you don’t. You don’t need her.
“I don’t know about that. That is so far away. Are we sure it will even help?” Dad reasons.
“I’ll ask you three questions. How was Ileana before she left for college? How did Ileana look when we visited you during the holidays? And how was she when she returned home?”
“Well, she was normal when she left. She was excited and finally chasing her dreams. And when you guys visit we couldn’t be happier for her... She was truly happy and full of life… But we can’t have our daughter with you. It’s not right.” Dad explains.
“How has she been since she’s returned?”
“She’s been heartbroken.” Mom finally spoke up. “She doesn’t even see us. She barely makes it through. All she does is zone out now. You must have meant something to her. She was so happy. What happened? You made her like this.” Mom started getting angry.
“It was a misunderstanding. She saw me at the cafe with my realtor. I was extremely happy because my surprise for her finally was complete. She saw my happiness and misinterpreted it. She left me and completely ignored me ever since.”
What did she say? It was her realtor? She had a surprise for me? Why did I react so harshly? Why couldn’t I have just talked with her? I wouldn’t have gone through much pain at all.
The pain made you stronger. The pain made you independent. I don’t need anyone but me. I’m the only one truly looking out for myself.
“Ah...she must have loved you. How do we know she still does and you’ll make her better?” Dad questions.
“True love doesn’t diminish. It may get hidden sometimes by pain and other things. Right now, her anorexia is overwhelming what she truly wants. It’s like an addiction. She needs to have something to fight for. She needs to have the determination to get well all on her own. I can provide that.”
Anorexia? I don’t have that. I’m fine. I eat. I take care of myself.
“We’ll allow you to take her. Please keep us updated.”
“Thank you so much. I know once she sees what you’ve done, she will be grateful.” Samantha replies.
“Don’t think we are okay with you just yet. We are doing this for Ileana.” Mom says to Samantha.
“What my wife really means is that this is a difficult thing to grasp. We will continue to work on broadening our views if it will help our daughter.”
“I appreciate that. I swear to you. All I want is what is best for Ileana. Even if that’s not with me.” Samantha sounded sincere and a little hurt.
“Thank you. I guess we should probably wake her up. I have no clue how she will react. From what I’m catching onto, she still thinks everything is terrible.”
It is terrible. Is it not? I’m terrible. How could I just shut everyone out.
You did what you had to, to survive. I can help you survive. You will be good and never be heartbroken again. Yes, that’s right. Only I can help myself.
“Give me an hour. I have to pick something up.” Samantha says and leaves.
I zone out again.
“Ileana...Ileana, wake up. You have a visitor.” Mom’s voice stirs me.
I don’t want a visitor. I’m fine all by myself.
“Ileana, it’s Samantha. I know you don’t want to talk with me, but you need to. Please hear me out.”
I sit up on the couch. I don’t want to talk with her. She will change everything. She will make me vulnerable again. You haven’t spoken in half a year.
You’ve been just fine on your own. Who does she think she is coming around after all this time?
I turn away from her and wipe a tear from my eye. She’s here. My Queen came back for me.
“Ileana, I’m sorry for what happened between us. I wanted to surprise you. Jack told me everything you were thinking I did.” She touched my shoulder and I shrug it off.
“Please Doll, listen to me.” My heart skips a beat at her public name for me. She needs me to listen to her.
I can’t. I don’t need anything from anyone. I can do this alone.
She leans into my ear and whispers, “My Pet, please come back to me. Listen and hear me out.”
The inner demon inside me subsides. Another tear falls down my cheek. I turn to face My Queen.
I can’t give in too easy. I need to know everything.
“Okay.” I respond.
“You saw the emergency meeting I had with my realtor. I was so happy because I closed on the condo I bought for us to share. I no longer wanted to live in my penthouse. That was built for the old me. I wanted to start new and fresh with you. I was so excited and I wanted to sign the documents immediately. You’ve changed me.” Samantha was starting to tear up. “I’m sorry to have caused you so much pain.”
She bought a house for us. She wanted to start fresh with me.
I am so overwhelmed with joy. I smile. From this new feeling my demon reappears.
It doesn’t matter. She caused you so much pain. That’s gone now. You took care of it yourself. You can continue caring for yourself.
I turn away from her.
“I know you’re there, Ileana. Come back with me. I won’t ever leave you again. I need you. I know you need me too.”
Yes, I need you.
“How did you know to come back?” I whisper wondering how she even knew in the first place.
“I’ve always been keeping tabs on you. I wanted to make sure you were okay. I sent Bev to the hotel here and keep an eye on you. She would give me an update every couple days. One day she said you looked ghostly. There was a noticeable difference and you were miserable.” She touches my hand.
I look into her eyes and I see the pain I’ve caused her. I’m such a bad person. She doesn’t deserve me. She was doing something good and instead of talking to her about it, I ran away.
Yes, you ran away. You dealt with it on your own. You don’t need to cause her more pain.
“I knew then, that you were just as miserable as I was. I finished my work affairs and rescheduled all my appointments. When I saw you at the dance, I knew I made the right choice in coming back. I should have never let you close me out. I should have tried sooner. There is so much I should have done. I’m sorry it took so long, Ileana.”
Why is she sorry? She didn’t do anything wrong.
“What about the kiss, I saw you going in to kiss him!” The anger for myself built in my voice, and by the end of the sentence I was yelling. Wow, I did not mean to be that loud.
“He’s French, so it was ‘faire la bise’ or the cheek kisses.” She sounded so cute speaking French. What am I thinking? That makes sense. I mean, I didn’t actually see them kiss...
“I’m sorry…” I say defeated. I realize it was all my fault. I caused her just as much pain as I was in.
“Don’t be. There were errors on both of our parts.” She pulls me into a hug. For the first time since I can remember, my worries and fears vanished. I felt at peace.
“Will you come home with me? There is no commitment or strings attached. I want you to be yourself again. Please let me help you.”