Lucas' problems with Lexie lead him to wonder if he should just leave her until he gets an unexpected phone call from his past.
“Text”= Japanese People Speaking
“/Text/”= English People Speaking
“+Text+”= American People Speaking
“#Text#”= Australian People Speaking
It’s been difficult. Lucas is still trying to adjust. Lexie started her new therapy last week. On top of that, she’s on new medication. So far, it had been quiet. A little too quiet. Almost to the point it made the man nervous. Lexie just sits at the window and stares out of it all day. Doesn’t say a word, just stares in a daze. This morning, he got on the phone to the shrink.
“Kanno-sensei’s office,” the receptionist said. Lucas took in a breath.
“+Uh yes,+” he began. “+Is the doctor in?+”
“One moment please,” she replied. Lucas sat at the table waiting as koto music filled the other line. He looked over at the clock on the wall. The man bit his lower lip.
“Kanno-sensei speaking,” the therapist said on the other line. Lucas sat up in his chair.
“+Yes ma’am, I’m Lucas Reed,+” he said. “+My girlfriend is your patient, I believe.+”
“What can I help you with?” the doctor asked.
“+It’s about the new pills you gave her,+” he said. “+There seems to be a problem…+”
“How do you mean?”
“+Well…+” Lucas looked over into the living room. “+She’s not quite herself at the moment.+”
“This is normal for the first few days of the medication.”
Lucas made a face at that statement. “+Are you sure about that?+”
“Why, yes. Just keep her on the meds for the first eight weeks and she’ll start to become stable.”
“+Even if she’s out in daze like this?+”
“Yes. She will be fine in eight weeks time.”
Lucas bit his lower lip again. “+Okay…+”
“Is there anything else?”
Lucas shook his head. “+No…+”
“Call me and we’ll schedule an appointment at the end of the eight weeks.”
The man nodded. “+Okay, goodbye.+”
They both hung up. Lucas smiled for a nervous moment before turning back to his girlfriend and frowning. Lexie still stared out the window in silence.
“/How long has she been like this?/” Shawn asked.
“+Three days,+” Lucas said.
“/Three days and nothing?/” the Goth man asked. Luke nodded.
“+Try to talk to her,+” he said. “+She won’t respond.+”
“/Okay,/” he said. The punk artist walked over to the dazed-out woman. He leaned down to her ear.
“/Lexie,/” he whispered. No reply.
“/Lexie,/” he said again. Still no answer. Shawn drew in a deep breath.
“/Lexie!/” he shouted. “/I’m going to steal your drink now!/” She didn’t move as his hand inched forward to the tall glass of orange juice.
“/Okay,/” he said. “/Here I go!/” Shawn slid the glass away from her as he glanced up. Lexie didn’t even look up at him. Her friend put back the glass.
“/Oh shite…/” he mumbled. Lucas pressed his lips together as he nodded.
“+Yeah,+” he said. Shuichi turned to him.
“And she hasn’t moved at all since she started the pills?” he asked. Lucas shook his head.
“+Nope,+” he said.
“And… long do these pills last?” the singer asked.
“+Twelve hours,+” Luke said. Shawn and Shuichi turned to him.
“Whoa!” the singer said at the same time Shawn said, “/F**k!/” Luke nodded at them.
“+There is one perk to this, however,+” he said. His friends looked at him uneasily.
“/What?/” Shawn asked. Lucas got up from the table and pulled out the radio. He turned it to CD function and bit play. The Beatles filled the room. He turned to the guys.
“+Music will help her brain adjust,+” he said. The guys looked at him uneasily on that. They did the smart thing and kept their thoughts to themselves. The rest of the day went on without incident.
The next morning, Lucas awoke to find Lexie in the kitchen about to take her meds. He wants to say something to her. He really needs to say something. He really should say something.
“+Hey Lexie,+” he spoke up. His girlfriend glanced over at him.
“+Yeah?+” she asked. Lucas paced himself to talk.
“+It’s about your pills,+” he said.
“+What about them?+” she asked. Luke swallowed a bit.
“+Are you sure you should taking them?+”
“+I have to.+”
Lexie gave him a little smile. “+Luke, I’ll be fine. Trust me.+” Her boyfriend drew his mouth closed. He couldn’t reach her now.
“+What song would you like to hear later?+” the man asked.
“+Beatles, please,+” he said.
“+Alright,+” he said. Lexie took her pills. Her boyfriend knew what was coming next. Suddenly, the door bell rang.
“+Could you get that for me?+” she asked. Luke nodded.
“+Alright,+” he said. Then, he walked to the door. To his odd surprise, Cherry stood on the other side, looking inside. Lucas blinked at her.
“+Cherry?+” he asked. “+Why are you here?+” The woman gave him a big smile.
“/Hey there,/” she said. “/How are you?/”
“+Fine, I guess…+” he said. Cherry gave him a little smile.
“/Come with me today!/” she said. Luke blinked at her again.
“+Why?+?” he asked. The woman leaned in close to his face.
“/Just come on!/” she said in a whisper. Cherry dragged the American man out of the apartment. Lucas looked behind him.
“+Lexie!+” he called. “+I’m going out now!+”
“+Okay,+” she said. They, Cherry and Lucas disappeared out the door.
Lucas tried to look for an escape. He suspected that Cherry was up to something. His eyes turned to her.
“+Cherry,+” he said. They came to a crosswalk light. She didn’t even turn to her.
“+Cherry,+” Lucas said again. “+What are you doing?+”
“/We’re playing a little game,/” she said. The man blinked at her.
“+What?+” he asked. She turned to him, grinning.
“/Play along with me,/” the woman said. Lucas nodded uneasily. The light changed to walk. Cherry dragged the man across the street. Right then, Luke plotted for his escape. Help… me… He reached into his pocket and made the text.
Twenty minutes into the “game,” Lucas looked around for anyone to help him. His eyes turned to the woman dragging him around.
“+Uh… Cherry,+” he said.
“/Hm?/” she asked.
“+What is this game that we are playing?+” the man asked. Cherry stopped in the middle of the street.
“/Game, you say?/” she asked. Lucas nodded. The woman didn’t speak before she smirked to herself. She whipped around to him.
“/A spy game!/” she announced. Lucas’ face went blank. Please help me!, he thought.
“+But why?+” he asked. Cherry gave him an innocent look.
“/I’m bored,/” she said.
“+You’re bored…+” he muttered. Cherry nodded.
“/And you’re going to help me out,/” she said.
“+Why?+” Lucas asked. The woman only grinned and dragged him further with her. Lucas again looked around for help.
First stop? The mall, of course! Cherry looked around at all of the pretty clothes on display. Lucas looked around, nervously. He still wanted to escape. This is awkward, he thought. The man still couldn’t get away from her.
“+Uh… can I go?+” Luke asked.
“/Not yet,/” she said. The man sighed to himself. His eyes turned to the ceiling.
“/Tell me something, Luke,/” Cherry spoke up. The man paused.
“+Yeah?+” he asked. The woman paused over the cute tube tops she was browsing.
“/How long do you think you can keep this up?/” she asked. Lucas paused with a puzzled look on his face.
“+Huh?+” he asked.
“/With taking care of Lexie./”
Lucas looked at his feet for a bit. “+Oh…+”
Cherry turned around to him. “/I have always thought that she fakes her illness to get attention, but look at you. Can you see yourself doing this for five years from now? Ten years?/”
“+She’s getting better.+”
“/But how long will that last?/”
Lucas went quiet there for a moment. “+Uh…+” Cherry walked up to him.
“/Don’t you see?/” she asked. “/If you keep this up, she’s eventually going to run you down./” Lucas rolled his eyes at her.
“+I don’t have time for this,+” he muttered. Then, the man turned and walked off.
“/Wait!/” Cherry cried out. Too late, Luke had already went out the door.
She’s wrong!, he thought. He needed to be there for his girlfriend. He had to…
Lucas froze in place. Somehow, Cherry’s words hit something deep inside of him. She did speak the truth in a way. Taking care of Lexie did wear him out. Lately, he had come to notice a few things about the past few years. He spent most of his time worrying about where his girlfriend was or she was with. Never a moment of peace to himself. Just once he wished he could be alone without a single worry about Lexie. The man contemplated leaving Lexie just to be free.
Suddenly, his phone rang. He reached into his pocket and pulled it out.
“+Hello?+” he asked.
“You okay, man?” someone asked him on the other line. Lucas nearly jumped at the sound.
“+Hiro?+” he asked.
“I just got your text,” his friend said. “Where are you now?” It took Lucas a moment to remember what his friend was talking about.
“+Oh!+” he said. “+I’m fine now. I got away from her.+”
“What were you doing with Shawn’s ex anyway?” Hiro asked.
“+Honestly, I have no idea,+” he said.
“How’s Lexie doing?”
Lucas paused at that question. “+Fine…+”
“Is she with you right now?”
Lucas hesitated at first. “+Well…+”
“+She’s fine. She’s back at the apartment.+”
“+She’s okay. I left her taking her medication.+”
“This isn’t like you,” Hiro said.
“+But she’s fine,+” Lucas argued.
“You usually leave her with someone,” the guitarist said. “What’s going on?” Luke lowered the phone away from his ear.
“Luke?” Hiro asked. “Luke?” The American man hung up the phone. A bad feeling filled his stomach.
Lexie…, he thought. Then, the man’s phone rang again. Despite the guilt close behind, Luke answered the phone.
“+Hello?+” he asked.
“/Are you okay?/” another voice asked. Lucas almost jumped back shocked.
“+Simon?+” he asked.
“/Who’s Cherry?/” his English friend asked. Luke shook his head.
“+Nobody important,+” he said. “+And I’m fine, thank you.+”
“/And how is Lexie?/” his friend asked. Luke nodded to himself.
“+Fine,+” he said, quickly. “+Just fine.+”
“/That’s good,/” his friend said. Lucas felt his fake smile slowly dropping.
“+And how are you?+” he asked.
“/Good,/” Simon replied.
“+Have you talked to Casper lately?+” Luke asked.
“/No,/” the English boy said.
“+Oh…+” Lucas said quietly. “+Is there anything else?+”
“/No, I guess…/” Simon replied.
“+Okay, bye,+” Lucas said. He hung up before his friend could speak. Lucas cussed himself in his head.
Damn it, Cherry!, he thought. You made my friends worry for no reason. He swore to himself if his phone rang again…
And speak of the devil! Lucas’ phone rang once again. He clenched his teeth as he answered it.
“+What is it?!?+” he snapped. “+I’m just fine, thank you!+” Only, the other person on the phone was a woman that he didn’t recognize at first. The call only lasted for fifteen minutes. Lucas’ tone became serious. He nodded when the other person was finished talking.
“+I understand,+” was all he said. Lucas hung up the phone and held it by his side. He only had one thing left to do. The man made his way back home.
As usual, he found Lexie by the window. Lucas gave himself a little smile.
“+I’m home,+” he whispered. Only the sound the Beatles greeted him. The man took off his shoes and shook his head to himself. He couldn’t tell her like this. She needed to be all there for him to break the news to her. Gave him plenty of time to try and drop it to her.
“+Night Lexie,+” he whispered to her. Then, the man disappeared down the hall to their bedroom.
The next morning, Lucas found Lexie at the kitchen table getting ready to take her medication. He couldn’t hesitate with this. Luke drew in a breath and walked over to the table.
“+Lexie,+” he spoke up. His girlfriend didn’t even look up.
“+Uh-hm?+” she asked. Her boyfriend walked over to the table and took a seat.
“+You remember Dr. Yorke, right?+” he asked.
“+Yes, why?+” Lexie asked. Lucas swallowed for a bit before delivering the bad news.
“+He passed away yesterday,+” he said. “+He had a heart attack. His daughter called me.+” Lexie paused with the bottle of pills in her hand.
“+What?+” she asked. “+Passed… away…+” Lucas patted Lexie on the wrist.
“+I’m so sorry,+” he whispered. “+I can just leave you alone if you want…+”
“+No!+” she blurted out as she turned to him. “+Please… stay…+” Lucas looked her straight in the eye.
“+Are you sure about that?+” he asked.
“+Yes!+” she pleaded. He held her to his chest.
“+I’m so sorry,+” he whispered again. In that moment he began to think about how much they both had went through since they were fifteen. Despite the crazy rough patches, Lucas still wouldn’t leave her side. Sure, he had his headaches and worries with her, but in her saner moments, she gave him the best of times. He realized that he didn’t want to give them up at all. He needed… No, had to be by her side to see this whole thing through. Even if wore him down, so what? He just wanted to see Lexie better and smiling again.
“+Lucas,+” his girlfriend said in a small voice. He looked down at her.
“+Yes?+” he asked. Her big, brown eyes stayed fixed on his.
“+Can when is the funeral?+ she asked. Her boyfriend looked at her in surprise.
“+Wait, you mean…+” he began to ask. “+Are you sure about this?+”
“+We have to,+” she insisted in a soft voice. “+He was the only doctor in the hospital that was ever nice to me. I just have to pay my respects one more time. Please!+” All of this threw her boyfriend for a loop. She had never been so outspoken about this before. Maybe the pills are actually doing something to help her function for a change. Lucas patted Lexie on the head.
“+Of course,+” he said. “+Whatever you like.+” Lexie leaned her head against his chest.
“+Thanks Luke,+” she murmured. Her boyfriend kept holding her.