New update time! After a rather stressful few days, I’m back online and
Love to know what you think, as always Loves!
The next morning as Eric and I strolled happily along the streets peppered with cafés and coffee shops, after a hearty and much needed breakfast, I realized that this was what happiness felt like. I was grinning like an idiot, and he noticed.
“Why not, I’m healthy, I’m loved, I love… we’re just ignoring the fact that neither of us have a job or secure source of income right for this second,” I grinned, “but I’m happy, here with you… that’s enough.” We’d been walking together, arms wrapped around each other and he squeezed me a little tighter, “well, darling, I’m glad you’re happy. It’s nice to hear.”
“Are you happy?”
“You need to ask?” he smiled as we took our seats outside; it was a crisp and clear day, the chill in the air welcome but not imposing.
“I know, but you did a huge thing, giving up your job to Sophie like that, even though we both know that’s not all she’d have liked you to have given up” she winked, playfully and then sobered, “I just worry that maybe it hasn’t set in yet what you’ve given up…”
He shook his head, “don’t worry about that, it has set in, and its fine. I mean I know I can’t stay like this forever, and neither can you. Not just financially, but mentally, we’d go nuts…” he smiled, “we need to work, it keeps things interesting… but for now, as you said… it’s enough. And when I think about it mathematically, it’s easy.”
“I keep my job, I lose you, I lose my job I keep you, us, this… no contest.”
I was still a worry wart, and had to ask.
“And when it stops being enough?”
“Then we take it as it comes, we’re still the main priority though, and we’ve enough saved to live off for a long while in a rent free house, so stop worrying! And please don’t start internalizing this.”
“I don’t internalize!”
“No, of course… you’d never do that,” he mocked. I just poked him in the arm.
“You’re not funny, Northman.”
“No, you’re right, I feel more hilarious than just funny…”
I rolled my eyes and ordered a massive breakfast, I had a lot to do that day and I’d need a good supply of energy to do it. We got a cab back to Grans, before I packed her a bag of clothes to wear to come home, that and some of her make up and perfume, in the hopes that I’d find her in a good mood and she’d want to doll herself up a little, she always did like that.
“Okay, you going to go collect her?”
“The doctor said they’d be letting her out at one, so I’ll be there for twelve to get her ready, you want to come with?” I said, folding her dress and cardigan into the bag.
“Nah, I think I’m gonna go to the store, and stock up on a few things.”
“I hate hospitals…” He admitted bashfully.
I nodded, I got that, they were creepy and they smelled awful, that clinical bleach smell that just got everywhere.
“Okay, well, have fun?”
He nodded grabbing the keys to his rental car, kissed me on the cheek and was out the door. A few minutes later there was a knock on the door.
“You forget your keys? Why are you knocking…?” I yelled as I made my way to the door, only to find Alcide on the other end of it.
“Oh, hi… You’re not who I was… hi.” I said, awkwardly, waving him inside.
“Hi, sorry to just drop by like this, Sookie, I just wasn’t sure where else to go.”
“Oh…um… no… its fine, what’s up?” I said, sitting at the table, beside him. He looked stressed and tired, like he hadn’t slept in a while, or eaten.
“I … someone sent my mother a letter, a letter detailing my previous …relationships.”
“Relation… oh… you mean with other men?”
He nodded, before putting his head in his hands.
“She left a message on my voicemail last night, and I … Jesus, Sookie I don’t know what to do. She sounded like she didn’t really fully believe it, but Sookie whoever wrote that, had it in for me, how they even knew about some of those guys… I don’t know. I never told anyway, I don’t think…” he sighed, “I don’t think so, I mean, I don’t know… I could have when I was drunk – and after you left I spent a LOT of time drunk, drinking or passed out.” He sighed again, standing up this time, pacing.
“What am I going to do, Sookie? I can’t tell them, I can’t admit to it, they’ll hate me!”
I petted his arm, and turned him to face me, “hey look here, so what if they find out? So what?”
“No! Think about it, Alcide, maybe this is what you needed… I mean granted it’s a terrible and awfully gross way for it to actually happen, but… you’d be free.”
“They’d hate me –“
“Then they’re hateful people, and they don’t deserve you –“
“I’d lose my job, I’d lose my family, my friends…”
“If they’re really your friends, they’ll understand…” I tried to comfort him as best I could but truth be told he was breaking down in front of my eyes.
“Aw honey, come ‘ere.” I said hugging him tightly, “Sweetie, come on, you know this could be the best thing that ever happened to you…”
“You were the best thing that ever happened to me…” he whispered, and I just sighed. When I opened my eyes a hurt looking Eric was standing watching us. I broke away from Alcide quickly, confusing him, and Eric both.
“Hi, Eric… you’re back?”
“Uh… yeah I forgot my phone and I figured you’d be calling me when you collected Adele…” he said looking from me, to Alcide.
“Alcide just called by to talk…”
“I see that.” He said looking from me, to Alcide.
“Sook, I should go,” Alcide said looking more and more awkward by the minute. Neither her, nor Eric acknowledged each other.
“Don’t let me interrupt…” Eric said grabbing his phone, and it made Alcide smirk bitterly.
“Isn’t that what you do best? Interrupt Sookie and I?”
They both just glared at each other, Eric was simmering silently, and I had no idea where Alcide’s gall came from when it came to all three of us.
He just shrugged, “I shouldn’t have come here, and I’m just going to go… Sorry…” he said to me before strolling out of the house, closing the door silently behind him. Eric and I didn’t speak until we heard his truck take off.
“He just stopped by to talk, he’s going through some shit right now –“
“And his first thought is to turn to you? Has he no other friends to do that with?”
Yep, still pissed.
“I… don’t know? I guess it’s just a difficult thing and I’m the only one that –“
“That gets him? The best thing that ever happened to him?” He rolled his eyes. “Which of course is why deserves a hug…”
“Wow, you’re seriously doing this?”
“Being a petulant fool, you’re jealous!”
He didn’t confirm or deny, but it was written all over his face.
“I can’t believe you right now, seriously, over Alcide hugging me?”
He shrugged, “I don’t see why he needs hugged. He’s a lying jackass.”
“And I wasn’t the same to him?”
“You didn’t hide you liked to fuck men, he did.”
“No, you’re right I just hid that I had fucked another man when I was with him, totally makes me better than him, right?” I answered back, bitterly.
He didn’t answer, and I grabbed the bag from the floor.
“I don’t have time to deal with your tempter tantrum right now, I have to see Gran. I’ll see you when I get back, when hopefully the Eric I know and love with come back and this green eyed monster will take a run and jump!” I said, before I grabbed my keys and stormed out. Hating all men as I did so.
Walking through the door where I’d left my happy girlfriend, in a happy mood, to find her wrapped in the arms of her ex husband, well, it felt like a punch to the gut. It’s not like I wanted it to feel like that, I had thought I was over it all, after all – she loved me now.
But then, then she chose him, she chose him over me, she loved him, over me, and she married him, over me. And that was the fact that hit me in the heart, seeing them together again just reminded me of that last day I saw him – with her.
I was pissed, at him and more so at my damn self. Sookie was right, I knew I was over-reacting, but I couldn’t help it. It dragged up all those old memories, all those unresolved feelings, and I hated it. I drove like a lunatic into town, and decided to take my time, I picked up food for dinner, breakfast and lunch for the next week – and then I zoned out and just ended up buying a load shit we’d probably never even need, I was that distracted. I knew Alcide was of no threat to the relationship that Sookie and I had now, I knew that, and yet it still poked at me. I knew I needed to talk to him, I had been wanting to, I knew he was going through shit in his life, I mean who wouldn’t realizing you are gay when you marry this beautiful woman. It can’t have been easy, and I did sympathize with him, that was until he cracked the shitty and extremely unfunny joke about me interrupting him and Sookie. That jackass was fucking guys up the ass at the time, and he had the nerve to pick on what Sookie and I did? I was so mad that I got back into the car, and drove, ending up outside Alcide’s place.
Shit, I had ice-cream in the trunk.
I thought it over for a second before I went to the trunk, and reached in for the two tubs of chocolate ice-cream and walked to his door.
He opened it, in his underwear. I guess he still got naked and curled up on his couch when he was upset.
“What do you want?”
“To talk to you, and also it’s kinda hot and I bought ice-cream and I kinda don’t want it to melt…but I have to do this before I got back…and it would be a waste….chocolate nut and caramel chocolate bomb, choose. You like chocolate nuts?” I smirked. He just glared.
“You’re not funny.”
“I know.” I said shoving him his chocolate nut ice-cream and walking inside. The house was so different since Sookie had lived there, in place of her lovingly placed female touches, was now a full blown bachelor pad, and a really kick ass massive TV.
“Oh, just walk on in…” he said, still glaring as I sat down.
“We need to talk, I’m gonna be in town a while and I don’t want to have to worry about this,” I motioned between both of us, “anymore, and I don’t want it effecting Sookie.”
He rolled his eyes, “right, I forgot you’re all about Sookie now.”
“I always was all about Sookie, I just never admitted it.” I said steely.
He nodded, sitting down on the chair to my left.
“So, you’re gay…” I said, not smirking, not teasing, I needed to address it.
“I guess so…”
“You guess? You like fucking dudes up the ass? You like them fucking you up the ass? Then you don’t guess you’re gay, Alcide, you’re gay. Believe me I lived with the gayest man on earth, I know these things.” I smiled as I got up to the kitchen for spoons.
“What, we spooning now?” He said when I handed him the spoon, making me laugh out loud.
“Well, at least we’re not forking. I think Sookie would take real issue with that…”
He smiled, “yeah, she would. Shit man…she’s been great you know? She really coulda fucked me over, but she didn’t…Sarah divorced Steve and dragged him through the mud, and back again, I just keep thinking that Sookie could have done that to me –“
“She’s not like that…”
“No, she’s not, I mean she wasn’t Miss Honesty…” he raised a brow at me, “but in the scheme of things…”
“You were doing dudes behind her back so you’re over it?”
He smirked, and then nodded.
“I want her to be happy, when I got over my selfish stage, I realized that it mattered that she be happy, because I wanted to be happy, and I wasn’t with her, not like I should have been, and we both know she wasn’t happy with me, at least not like she should have been…” he mused. “Do you make her happy?” he asked taking a bit bite of his ice-cream. I thought back to the days before, the months before and I smiled.
“I think I do, yeah. I hope I do.”
“She seemed… I don’t know… lighter than the last time I saw her when she first came back, she told me that neither of you have tried to find each other… that it just happened… I guess it was meant to be, huh?”
“She just showed up one day, and I knew I owed it to whatever we were going to be, to give it a solid try, and luckily she thought the same thing… I still got jealous though, seeing you with her.”
“I know, you like dick, so does she… clash of desires an all that… But it just stung, brought back a lot of unresolved shit for me.”
“Which is why you’re here?”
“Yeah, I don’t want to feel insecure about something I have no need feeling insecure about….you know?”
“So, you’re here to warn me then? No more touching your woman?” He smiled.
“I don’t own her, she’s her own woman, and she’ll tell you that very clearly…” I smiled, “I just want to know what’s going on…”
“Why not ask her?”
“I’m asking you.” I said, taking another bite.
He looked stressed again, “someone is tryin’ to out me. They sent a fuckin’ letter to my Mom. She doesn’t really believe it so far, but it’s only a matter of time until she puts two and two together and comes up with Ostracise-Alcide.” He sighed.
“And my guess is Sookie said it would be good for you?”
He smirked, and it looked painful, he looked that forlorn, “yeah, she’s full of sunshine that one, always looking on the bright side.”
“Maybe she’s right?”
“And if she’s wrong? I lose my family, I lose my job, I lose my friends.”
I didn’t know what to do for him, I didn’t know there was anything to do, but I offered my support where I could.
“Look man, I want things …not to go back to how they were with us, but I’d like to re-build something here, if it’s possible. You really were my best friend, and for a long time we could rely on each other for support no matter what, and I’d like, if now you need someone, if this comes out and shit hits the fan? If I … can help, then I’ll help.”
He looked stunned at me, “really?”
“Yeah, I mean, shit with us went down dirty and I’ll be forever sorry about how it happened, but I’m not sorry it happened. I wouldn’t give her up for anything.”
There I was honest, the chips would fall were they were meant to now.
He looked at me for a long time before answering, and then when he did, he smiled.
“I’d like that…I think.”
I stood up, leaving down my half finished ice-cream.
“Cool… and maybe you know… less hugging?”
He smiled again.
“Yeah, okay, asshole.”
“Hey,” I reasoned, “you like assholes now, so I’ll take that as a compliment.” I laughed, as did he. It felt almost like old times.
“This should be weirder, right?” he commented as I walked to the door and I nodded.
“It should actually, I expected it to be….a hell of a lot worse, but let’s just take one for the team and deal with the lack of weirdness, okay?”
“What will we tell Sookie?” He asked.
“I find that with Sookie, the truth wins out, so let’s just live and learn and maybe be honest?”
“Who knew?” He asked with pseudo incredulity.
“I’ll see ya, alright?”
“Yeah, sure, thanks….Eric. It means… well… it means a lot.”
I nodded, not really sure where we went from there, but I felt more like a grown up because of it, and I took that as a really good thing.
“But I don’t know who she is, why do you wanna be takin’ me away? That girl, I don’t know that girl, is she here to rob me? I hidden a safe you know, she’ll never steal my money, she’ll not rob me dry!” Gran had been fine when I’d arrived, smiling, waving, telling me of how the staff had been so nice to her, and she’d even met Maxine’s niece who was a nurse now, and then she just flipped a switch and lost her shit. I got a tray in the mouth for my troubles, and split lip as a result. The nurses had to restrain her, and honestly it was one of the worse sights I remembered seeing in my whole life.
“Yes?” I said as an older woman, a doctor approached me.
“I’m Doctor Ludwig, we spoke on the phone? I’m the –“
“You’ve been looking after her?”
“Yes, Miss Stackhouse –“
“Sookie, please.” I insisted.
“Well, Sookie, we got the test results back, and it is as we feared, Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s somewhat advanced I’m sorry to say.”
I inhaled but I couldn’t tell you if I exhaled.
“I see…so…I mean what does that mean for her, for us, what do we do from here?”
“I would suggest full time care, as you can see,” she nodded to my hand as I held the ice-pack to my lips, “her behaviour is quite erratic, and it’s hard to say what she’ll be experiencing from one mood to the next, full time care allows us to monitor her and take care of her in a safe environment.”
“You mean a home.”
“No, a medically equipped residential living space.”
“Different words, same place, Doc.”
She nodded, “Sookie, I really do feel it would be for the best, for all concerned. If you have any other family, perhaps they can aid in your decision making process. I know it’s not an easy choice to make –“
“No, it’s not; it’s not a choice at all. I promised her that she wouldn’t be stuck in some home, with strangers taking care of her, she’d be in her own home taken care of by her family.”
“What are my options?”
“Full time carer, we can recommend you some names, it’s expensive, but …”
“its fine, thank you. Is there anything else?”
“Anything….else?” the doctor looked a tad confused.
“Well, I still want to take her home with me today, is there anything else I need to know or have in order to do that…”
“Sookie! For goodness sakes, I’m being straight with you, be straight with me!” I lashed at her verbally causing her to purse her lips.
“There is a list of medications she’ll have to be administrated, specific times, doses, in order. That teamed with her heart medication, it can get complicated.”
“I’m a quick study, give me a how-to guide and I’ll be fine, anything else?”
“The carer, it should be organized as soon as possible, a live-in one if possible.”
“Why is that?”
“Mrs Stackhouse had to be restrained three times in the last twenty four hours –“my heart sank, the thought of her here in restraints while I was off enjoying myself. I felt so guilty I thought it was going to consume me.
“She’s a bit of a wanderer, at night specifically it can be dangerous without the proper supervision, which is why my first choice for her is residential –“
“It’s not my first choice, but thank you.”
I looked from the doctor down the hall to the room where I heard my Gran still shouting.
“Sookie, we can keep her here tonight, to give you some time to … get things in order at home. If you still wish to go ahead with Plan B, that is.”
I sniffled back my tears; I didn’t want to cry, not again.
“Um, yes, thank you that would be…helpful.”
I had no idea where to start.
I walked back to her room again after signing all the necessary paperwork, receiving the package of information I’d need from here on out, and I crossed the door to see Gran, strapped by blue straps to her bed.
She looked at me, but she didn’t speak, “Gran it’s Sookie, remember me?”
She looked blank, I guess Gran wasn’t home at the moment; it was gut wrenching to realize.
“Gran, I need to go now, but I’ll be back tomorrow and I’ll be taking you home, okay? Everything will be okay tomorrow, I promise. I promise, okay?”
Still nothing but a blank stare, and then I didn’t hold back my tears.
“God I wish this wasn’t happening to you….”
I walked over to the bed and I loosened the restraints a little, how dare they, I thought, do this to her. I understood why, rationally, but emotionally, I hated them all for it.
“You just try and get some rest okay, just rest and I’ll be back with everything organized for you before you know it!” I tried to sound upbeat, failing miserably of course as I did so. I walked out of that hospital in a daze, only to get to my car, to find Eric standing there. Leaning against my car, his long sleeved grey t-shirt and dark jeans hugging him just right, the sunshine making his dirty blond hair seem even lighter, he smiled when he saw me, and then his expression changed.
“Where is she?”
“You… hate hospitals…you’re here?”
“I… well yeah, about before … I was an ass but I have good news about that in a minute –“
“You’re no longer an ass?” I asked, confused.
“No, never mind that for a second, Sook. Where’s Adele?”
“She’s still inside, Eric there’s so much that needs to be done and I don’t know how to do it all. I don’t know if I can do it all!” I sobbed, accepting his open and always present cuddle in an instant.
“It’s everything we didn’t want it to be…” I said simply.
“I have a list as long as my arm and we need a carer, and we need medications, and locks and restraints and …” I inhaled, “I don’t know if I can do this… I can’t do this it’s too much, I’m too scared.”
“Okay, okay, Shh, its okay…”
“It’s really not…” I hiccupped, “this isn’t how are lives are meant to be right now, this isn’t how HER life is meant to be right now, its all so fucking un fucking fair.”
“I know, it is, but Sook, we’ll weather this, like we do everything else.”
“I don’t remember signing up for a damn hurricane hunt!”
“No, we didn’t but we’ll deal with it just like we dealt with the shitty timing of everything else where we’re concerned, I promise, we’ll just do it one step at a time.”
“I don’t –“
“Your dad is at the house, Jason is on his way over, they’re cooking dinner so we might want to get take out before hand,” he smiled, kissing me on the forehead, “you’re going to come home with me, eat, bathe, and sleep.”
“But no I have to start calling –“
“No, that is what her son, and her Grandson are for right now, they’ll do their share, because if they object, I’ll make them do it if they like it or not… I think Jason is kinda scared of me now.”
“Why’s he scared?”
“Oh, I don’t know, I might have read him the riot act about leaving you to do this alone….maybe. Your Dad was fine though, he’s willing to step up. He’s a good man, just a very…busy man.”
I nodded, wiping my eyes.
“Thank you, Love. Really, I don’t know where I’d be if you –“
“You’d be just fine, we both know you’re as hard as nails, but yes, this is what we have to do now, we can hold each other up when we need it, right?”
“Right…Yeah, I guess so.”
“And they’ll be plenty of people to help out, I promise. You, me, your Dad, Jason, his wife who I don’t know but damn well going to bet, I’ll be making her help too,” I smiled at his words, “and you know, her friends who know and love her, and our friends.”
“Our friends? Honey, I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not but I lost most of my friends through a drunker tirade of honesty a while back, and you… lost your best friend because of me, and us, and our actions I don’t really think-“
“That was the semi good news…”
“Oh?” I had no idea what he was on about, I was so emotionally drained I wasn’t really sure about anything we were talking about.
“I talked to Alcide….” He admitted bashfully.
“Talked to? Now, my talk to do you mean with your mouth or your fists because if its –“
“We just talked, and maybe ate your ice-cream while we did it. But, we just aired some laundry as they say around here, and we cleaned a few things up.”
I looked at him for a second, stunned.
“Don’t look so suspicious, it went well, a lot better than I think either of us was expecting.”
“Yeah, so we’ve got one more in the allies’ box, at least a little bit.”
I was sceptical and I knew he could see it in my face, but I didn’t care. I’d worry about that tomorrow, tomorrow was another day and right now I had enough on my plate just for this day. A day I wished harder than anything would just be over.
But then I’d just do it all over the next day too. We didn’t sign up for Hurricane hunting, but we’d damn well just found ourselves in the middle of a enormous one!