Next day I felt myself as if someone’d hit me in the head and no matter what I did, I remained woozy. No coffee or shower could help. I knew I had to go for a walk, maybe the fresh air’ll fix me. Besides I wanted to throw snowballs at Dave in the park. But he was sleeping so sweetly that I had no heart to wake him up. He had a tiring day yesterday. And it’s concert tonight again. I was waiting for the end of the tour. The travelling tired me too.
I put on my jacket and slid my cell into my pocket then I hit the road. Suddenly I didn’t even know in which city we were now. I felt that the crisp air was good for my mind. Slowly my head started to clear. I don’t know why, but I was sadly thinking about my family. Now Dave and Martin was my family. Just these two human beings were taking care of me. And I’m a stupid jerk doing such things to worry them. All of a sudden I had an unquenchable desire to try and make things right with my sister Cornelia for the last time. I pulled my cell out of my pocket and despite the cold air I put it to my ear. I hoped that she picks it up and she won’t hang up right away seeing my name on the screen. Finally I took over. But it wasn’t Cornelia who answered my call – it was my mother.
It floored me even more when she told me in a not too kind way – avoiding my incomprehension – that I’m trying to call Cornelia in vein, I can see her just on her funeral, if I want. This kick was too much now. I felt my hands shaking and my mouth went dry. I didn’t expect too much from my mother – Cornelia was her all time favourite – but it would have been nice to skip these new painful kicks. But she was merciless. I hung up stunned. I have to go. I have to be there on the funeral. My mind was like a blank page in a book. I didn’t hear or saw anything, just this information was circulating in me and not paying any attention I sat down on a bench in the park near to the hotel.
I was just staring in front of me. Then it had happened, I thought. Cornelia is no more. I can’t speak to her ever again and we can’t make it up. I couldn’t remember clearly how our feud has started, what the cause was. Maybe just the jealousy of the firstborn, fraternal rivalry. Then the surprise – finding me with her husband. I knew I had to go home. Surprisingly I wasn’t crying. I was too stunned. Or just emotionless and tired. I was sitting there staring into nothing for quite a while. I didn’t belong there in my black coat between the big white snowflakes falling down from the grey sky. I haven’t noticed that after a while a familiar figure appeared in one of the hotel’s windows, who spotted me. He picked up his cell from the nightstand and dialled my number. I hung up on David automatically. I didn’t want to speak with anyone. But after a few minutes I slowly realised that he was standing next to me, his hands in his pockets, watching me.
“Why did you hung up? Are you still mad?”
“I go home.”
You should have seen his expression – he reacted as if I scared the shit out of him.
“Please, Mia, don’t go! Don’t leave me! You can’t do this to me! I love you! I’ll try not to be jealous, just don’t go!”
I looked up at him with a serious face. I couldn’t even smile from this misunderstanding.
“I have no intentions of leaving you.”
“But then…” he looked at me clueless and waited for the explanation.
“I have to go home for my sister’s funeral” I looked away with a colourless expression.
“Oh, I’m sorry for your loss” he said and hugged me tightly “When’ll you leave?”
“Tomorrow with the first flight I can catch.”
“Come. Let’s go back to our room” he put his arm around me “I help you. Do you want me to go with you?”
“You want to be there?”
“I want to be on your side in sorrow and joy as well. I love you Mia.”
I just nodded without a word and took his hand. I let him lead me towards the hotel. It was strange, but I was empty. It was a strange day. Poor Kessler won’t be too happy that Dave’ll leave this circus behind between two concerts… But it was his choice. I was glad he wanted to come, cuz I knew that it’ll be very hard for me. And I doubted that my mother’d be too kind to him. At least she’ll see that it wasn’t just about having sex with him, but about loving him.
I haven’t slept too much that night. Principally I was just trying to convince myself that there was no need to go to the bathroom to search for some pills. I was just staring at the ceiling. Martin commiserated too, but I could barely hear him. I was doing everything automatically. I was like a robot. Voiceless.
On the plane I was watching the clouds and asked myself what good it were in those few nights and in that day when Cornelia caught us with her husband. Although my family never loved me, they tolerated me, cuz I was still a member of our family. They always told me that our dad’d left us because of me. He never wanted another child and he expressed this on his own strange way. He’d disappeared for good. Maybe he was dead already – for us on every account. I never wanted to find him and neither did my mom or sister, but they were blaming me. I was a shadow between the two of them. A tolerated and not thrown-out shadow. In some degree they cared for me sometimes. I’ve got everything from second hand since my early childhood, they spent very few money on me, just if it was totally necessary. But at least this helped me to learn that I can count just on myself. I’ve never complained, I locked all the pain inside of me. I still have this habit sometimes. This is why I haven’t told the boys about my med-addiction after my illness.
My thoughts were swirling in my head during the flight and when we were about to land my mind went blank again. I didn’t care that Dave looked at me and stroked me worried from time to time. He was holding my hand and this felt undeniable good despite that I felt myself like a zombie. Will I burst out? Is it just a question of time? And how will it be seeing my mother again? I excited the plane on Dave’s side with worries in my heart and I gave the address to the driver. We arrived soon. Too soon. My heart was beating like mad, I felt dizzy and I was just sitting there – I didn’t dare to leave the car. Dave was worried and asked what my problem was. After a long silence I asked him whether it was okay for me to take a tranquilizer.
“Why? Do you have some by you?”
I nodded ‘yes’. I saw that he didn’t like that, but finally he nodded reluctantly considering my nervousness. My previous insensible emptiness had disappeared and now just the nervous feelings were swirling inside of me. My chest ached so I swallowed the pill greedily, although it was just tranquilizer and not painkiller. I was in fever but in the bad way. For a few minutes I closed my eyes then I took Dave’s offered hand and putting on my black sunglasses I got out of the car, buttoning my coat up.
He pushed the bell. My mother opened the door. She grew old and seemed like a little bitter old lady, who was standing there in an incongruously expensive new black dress. Her eyes were red from crying. We greeted each other guardedly and she invited us in. A few old acquaintances greeted me and said a few consoling words, but the majority was just eying me and sometimes Dave, who was standing next to me in one of his black suits. I knew that most of the people were surprised that I was there at all. They haven’t seen me for years. In my mother’s dark eyes I saw the disapproval – she could barely stop herself from asking what the hell I was doing there. I took Dave’s hand as I bent my head. But I still couldn’t cry. I wanted to break free from the choking atmosphere. Quietly I asked my mother when will we go. She told me that in about an hour the clerk’ll start the send-off. It surprised me cuz our family was never too religious, but I didn’t say a word just nodded. I wondered what my mother’d have said, if I told her that I was dead too and came back and now I’m standing on that man’s side, who lived through this experience too. I’m sure she’d curse me and ask me why I was still alive instead of Cornelia.
Dave pulled me closer and put his arm around my waist – knowing the relationship between my family and me – to show to whom I really belong. He left his other hand in his pocket and he stood the barely hidden glimpses confidently. He looked back firmly into those eyes, whose gazes disturbed him and they looked away immediately. He didn’t say a word and haven’t done anything, but still he protected me from everyone. I nuzzled to him and my tears started to flow, but these were the tears of thankfulness – I was so grateful for this. He bent down and he pulled out a white hanky from his vest’s pocket and wiped away my tears with it, like the illusionist in the hall. I saw my mother’s quick grimace from the corner of my eye before she went out into the kitchen for something. Then it was time to go. I was sitting close to Dave, who was holding my hand. He didn’t hug me, he felt that I didn’t want it. I was just looking straight forward and let the clerk’s words pass me by. This whole thing made me sad beyond words! And I felt it in my bones that something’ll happen. My mother… I knew this side of her well – she won’t stop herself from saying something, which’ll be another kick into my self-respect. The mass was going on and in thought I apologised again to my sister. I hoped that she’d hear it, wherever she was. My remorse was working. Finally it was over and it was terrible to hear the clods hitting the coffin.
After getting back to my mother’s house we drank to my sister. It was time for us to leave for the airport and I wanted to say goodbye to a few people, but my mom was nowhere to be seen. I was thinking whether it was a good idea to go after her. Finally I’ve left Dave behind and knocked on my mother’s door. I’ve got no response, but I knew that she was in there, cuz I’ve checked every room earlier.
“Mom… mom, I know that you’re in. I just want to say goodbye” I said quietly. I couldn’t hide the sadness in my voice.
No answer. I waited for a few minutes and tried again. I’ve got a ‘leave me alone’. She didn’t want to say goodbye, I understood it. So she was still refusing me. It didn’t matter that she was my mother. Somewhere this hurt like hell, but I couldn’t do anything against it. Without a word I went back to Dave and asked him to go. I waved goodbye to the others and holding his hand firmly I fled from the house, which made me remember so much bad memories and suffering. My feelings stirred up uncontrollably, but I tried to lock them inside of me again. I tried to hold myself together. I didn’t want to freak out in front of Dave, although I knew that he’d have understood that.
I was frozen and ice-cold, just his burning love kept me alive when we’ve finally arrived to the second last gig – there was just one day delay and I was in automatic mode, but I knew that sooner or later I won’t be able to avoid the collapse of my soul. I was in dread of not knowing when that’ll happen.
I wasn’t jittering anymore before the concert. I risk saying that I didn’t care about the big finale at all. Of course I showed my painted grin from the first moment we stepped onto the stage. I didn’t want to disappoint the crowd or the guys. I was swallowing my pain and tears. Sometimes I was dangerously close to lose this ‘automatic mode’. Of course the guys knew that I wasn’t okay. But they had no idea how big the problem was.
It was that bad that I’ve started taking pills again, although my love was taking care of me. Then from compunction I’ve confessed everything to him. Dave closed his eyes and shook his head in disbelief. Martin blinked at me sympathetically, but he was careful not to let Dave see it. I hated to see that my love felt disappointed because of me again. Lately everything piled up again. I couldn’t watch him as he was shaking his head resignedly. I took my coat and stormed out crying. I’ve started breaking through that wall in my soul. My emotions were weeling up dangerously and I was just running on the icy streets with hot tears on my face, gasping wildly for the cold air.
David didn’t know what to do with me.
“Mia, I take you to rehab!”
“Dave, I won’t go.”
“Sure you will. I’ll force you!”
“How?” I asked darkly.
“I’ll leave you, if you don’t go. I don’t need this. You kill me with this! Mia, you’ll stop it for once and for all, or you can give me your goodbye kiss.”
“You give me an ultimate?” I hissed at him angrily and my hands fisted.
“Yep” he looked at me sternly “I won’t watch the one I love slowly ruining herself! And don’t say that you’ve been taking pills just in occasions! The main point is that you were using them and you lied to me again! I remember that you swore that you won’t do it again” he folded his arms in front of his chest.
“David, I don’t need you to kick into me too. I’m already at the brink of a crack-up!” I jelled as pain hit me hard “My sister…”
“You didn’t even love her!” it slipped out of his mouth “Don’t cover yourself with her death!”
My eyes narrowed “Don’t you dare to talk about it like this! You have no clue!” I hissed again.
“Think about this, I go down to the bar now. I’ll come back after half an hour. I want your decision by that time. Think about it carefully! I hate being this mean Mia, but you can be left alone!” he said, turned around and walked out of the room.
Now I just wanted to choke him with my own to hands! I was running and crawling in the room nervously and angrily, not finding my place. A few times I even kicked the couch, but apart from hurting my leg it was useless. I knew that he was right, but this wasn’t that easy for me! I didn’t want to go to rehab! Like a junkie! Am I one? I bent my head down as I put my hands onto the back of the couch. I’ve heard the door opening.
“It isn’t time yet, is it?” I asked on a flat tone.
“Time for what?” I heard another familiar voice. Martin. I sighed.
“My dear boyfriend just announced that he’ll leave me, if I don’t go to rehab.”
“Why? Who else?”
“Uh, he can be very hard, if he bristles up!”
“Yeah, I see it. What should I do now, Martin?” I sighed.
“Do as he says if he is… if we are important to you.”
“Sure you are important to me, it’s just that…” I went silent then stepped to the window “It isn’t easy. I’m so confused now. I don’t know what I want or what I should do. I’m just at the brink of collapse.”
“I think it’ll be very good that the tour’ll end soon” he noted with a big sigh and kindly stroked my arm.
“Yes, it’ll be great” I agreed “I’m sorry Martin, but could you leave me alone now?”
“Sure. No problem. Just think about it” he squeezed my hand reassuringly and left the room. And my brain started working hard.
“Am I a junkie?” I mused on the question quietly.
Even if not in the depths of it, I was surely one somewhere. Maybe I’ll have to do what he’d asked from me. Dave wants it because she cares for me and loves me, I know and if he leaves me, he’ll break from that too. I’ll have to accept his will. I nodded as if agreeing with him. It won’t be easy. But somehow I calmed down. I played with the thought of living healthy again. I think too much things had happened in a too short time. This was my problem. I should fix things in my life and body. The new life-style, the concerts, the singing, the boys, the sex, my nearly-death, the meds, the losing of the baby and now Cornelia had overused me. I hope I’ll be able to wash the filth and the pain out of my system. I’ll be scared, yes, but I’ll be clean again as much as it’s possible. I’ll choose them. A new life. I want a clean start on their sides. I’ll have to take care of Rosie too now. I can’t be selfish always.
David came back and looked at me and I just nuzzled into his arms and started crying. I looked up into his eyes and they were red, which could mean just one thing. His eyes found mine and held them gently there.
“I love you very much, you know it, don’t you?”
“I know. And this is why I’ll do anything you want” I looked back at him “If you want, I go to the rehab. I’m scared, but I’ll go. For you, for our future” I whispered hoarsely “Please, don’t be mad at me! It was too much for me… I feel so weak. But I’m sure that I love you and I’d die without you” I hugged him even tighter.
“You’d die without me and I should send you away, huh? Never, baby. I know what’d strengthen our relationship, but we have to wait for that. Mart, come here. Group hug! I love you both” Dave sniffed and pretended as if we haven’t heard it.
The tour had ended. We were after the last concert. But after it we three came up to our room and we were just laying on the bed, planning our common future. In spirit I was preparing myself for the rehab. I didn’t know how long it’ll last, how long I won’t be able to see Dave, or how often he’ll come to visit me. I suspected that as often as it’ll be possible and Rosie’s programmes will allow it.
“When’ll we move into the new house?” I asked Dave stroking his chest. He was lying between Mart and me. I didn’t expect them to wait for me until I get back from the rehab.
“Dunno, it’ll take some time. The lawyers are still debating over Rosie’s custody, but I have to give in a bit, cuz I want to see Jimmy too. You know I have no rights in his case, but I’m his father too and they are siblings, they love each other. The rehabilitation can last from four to eight weeks. I’ll try to arrange these things during that, okay?”
“Alright. It’s enough to deal first with one problem. Concentrate on the children, I’ll be OK” I nodded. This was more important now.
“Don’t be scared, kitty, I’ll visit you, if you need my company” Martin smiled faintly.
“It’d be great, Marty” I took his hand “Thank you.”
“And meanwhile we start the renovating on the neighbouring estate. I’ve got its papers from David as a pre-Christmas present” he smiled wider onto his other love “Well, what do you say? I’ll bring some catalogues for you and you can help us decide how to furnish the rooms, okay?”
“Superb! I love shopping. Marty, dear Marty! Don’t be so shy! You know that I love you very much too! You’re important to me, Maaaartyyy!” I jumped into his neck and kissed him all over. I was really happy that he’ll be with me.
“Alright, alright!” he laughed and we didn’t care about Dave’s whining when during jumping into Marty’s neck I elbowed into his side.
“Huh, now I’m in the middle” I stated the obvious after a few minutes “When do I have to start the rehab?”
“I’ve already called the institution where I had been back in those days. You’ll start in 10 days time, so I suggest we should have a quick vacation. A week, just the three of us. I take Rosie to her grandma.”
“Okay” I nodded “I think it’d be great. It’ll distract me.”
“And where do you want to go?” Martin asked stroking my tummy lazily, resting his chin on my shoulder like a lazy cat.
“What do you two want?”
“Dave, can we go back to the place where we had been with Martin? It’s a beautiful place and we can be totally alone. No one is there.”
“Spain?” he asked.
“Why not?” he smiled at his lovers.
“Then I’ll give them a call tomorrow” Marty offered “We can go there right away after you said goodbye to Rosie. But will she be okay? Doesn’t she want to be with you now?”
“She likes being by her grandma, don’t worry. And I love her very much, but I’m overused because of the tour and I’m soooo tired and I was worrying myself to sick because of my love” he added “It’s possible that I’ll sleep for a whole week. Don’t you mind it?”
“Nope, you frontman from the hell, you god!” Martin grinned.
“Rest my love. And I’m sorry” I caressed his face “I’ll change. I’ll be clean for you.”
“I don’t want you to be someone else, I just want you to live at all – this is why I’m doing this. Do you understand this, kitty?”
“Yes. But I’ll change some things in me, in my way of thinking. I’ll be a new person after the rehab. You were one too. Or at any rate it seemed to me” I sighed and smiled faintly “You two will get back that perky girl, whom you’ve fallen in love. I promise. I’ll rest and I’ll be yours again.”
“It’ll be great, sweetie” he pulled me closer and I melted again. Deep inside it hit me hard again how much I love this man next to me – or I should say these two men. But Dave is Dave – the love of my life, I smiled and buried my head under his arm. My hair tickled him and he was laughing loudly. I loved the sound of it.