"What time do you plan to leave to go to the apartment?" Maggie asked standing in the doorway with two cups of coffee in her hand. Lara walked over to her and took one of the cups, throwing it down as if it was the last thing she would ever do. Lara looked at her watch, it was 8:12.
"I think I may go now. I have to get everything and be back here and ready by 12," Lara walked out and down to the kitchen where she put the cup in the sink.
"I asked someone to go with you. I didn't want you to go back by yourself," Maggie said as she also put her cup in the sink. Lara stared at her just as someone beeped the horn outside.
"You cant say no because he is already here," she said running to the door. In came Ray and a little girl, who looked about 3 or 4. He smiled at the sight of Lara and walked over to her and hugged her then hugged Maggie. Frank walked down the hall and said hi to Ray. The little girl was holding onto Ray's hand and hiding behind him.
"Guys this is Serena. She is my brother's little girl," he said motioning towards the little girl. He picked her up and she sort of hid behind his hair. Lara smiled at her and called for Jack to come out.
"Jack this is Serena. Why don't you go and play with her outside, but play nice and don't be rough," Lara said. Jack smiled and took Serena's hand. Together they ran outside and began to play.
"Maggie I could have done this alone," Lara spoke up.
"No you couldn't. Do you not remember what happened last time you guys saw each other," Frank said. Ray and Maggie nodded in agreement. She sighed and made her way to the door. Ray followed and they both left got in the car.
"Which way do I have to go?" Ray asked. Lara told him the way and they drove in silence except for the sounds of Metallica. It took around 10 minutes before they reached the apartment. Ray parked the car and went to take his seatbelt off.
"Why don't you wait here? I don't think Toby will take too kindly if you come into his apartment," Ray was staring at her and shook his head.
"Look, the apartment is right there and I can scream pretty loud, if I need you I will yell out. But I think it will make it worse if you come with me, so just wait here. I will be five minutes," Lara said as she got out of the car and ran up the front steps. She moved a few pebbles in the flowerpot and got the spare key. She put it in keyhole and unlocked the door. Toby was obviously at work so Lara went into the apartment. As soon as she walked in she saw 4 big boxes and 1 little ones of stuff near the lounge. Walking over to them, Lara saw a note taped to the box.
Here is your shit.
Lara ripped the note and started to open the boxes; clothes, make-up and toys. There was one thing missing. Lara ran down the hall to the bathroom and opened the cabinet above the sink. She took what she needed and then went back and threw it in the make-up box.
She pilled the little box on top of a bigger one and carried it down. She put it in the trunk.
"There are a few more up stairs," and then the two of them walked back up the stairs. Ray got two big boxes on top of each other as did Lara. Pretty soon they were both back in the car on their way back to Frank's place. There was an awkward silence in the car.
"Just ask me Ray," Lara said half smiling half serious.
"Ask you what?" he asked innocently.
"You want to know what the thing yesterday afternoon was all about," Ray stayed silent at this. Lara quickly explained about how it reminded her of her dead grandmother.
"Actually Gerard wrote that song about his dead grandmother. It was a really rough time for all of us. Oh hey, do you mind if I drop you off and then come back for our lunch date. Frank and I have to go to Gerard's place to talk about some band stuff," Ray asked. Lara shook her head as they pulled into the driveway. Ray beeped the horn and as Lara was getting out Frank raced out of the house and helped bringing the boxes in with Ray. Together they left leaving Maggie and Lara to bring the boxes upstairs.
"I will take up a few boxes unpack and then come back for the rest," Lara said. Maggie asked if she needed any help but Lara said she would be fine. Maggie left the room to go check on Serena and Jack in the backyard. Lara pilled the small box on the bigger one and took them into the room she was staying in. She opened the box with her make up and tipped everything out onto the bed. She started to put everything away and when it came to the smaller bottles with her name on them, she put them at the back of the drawer, out of reach for Jack. This was not something she wanted people to know about.
"Ray where are you taking me? How do I know if I have dressed right? And why do I feel like we are walking on grass?" Lara asked. Ray had her blindfolded and was taking her to their date he had planned. They had decided to move the date to that night so Lara could unpack during the day.
"Alright on the count of three I am going to take the blindfold off. 1, 2, 3," he swiftly took off the blindfold and was overwhelmed by what she was seeing. They were in someone's backyard and Ray had got a small table and two chairs set for dinner. There were candles on the table and fairy lights hanging by the trees.
"Ray," she said jumping to hug him. He led her over and sat her down then himself sitting down. Frank came out dressed as a waiter and a bread basket. He placed in on the table before backing away into the house.
"Every where was booked for tonight after we changed the time. So my backyard was the best I could do," he said, slightly embarrassed. Lara was still in awe when she looked at him.
"Its perfect Ray," she smiled. Frank came back out and turned on the CD player. The song Ballroom Blitz began to play and Ray smiled while thoughts flooded Lara's mind from a time she wished to never remember.
5 years ago
Lara was lying on her bed listening to the Misfits. The song Monster Mash had just started when someone walked into her room. She almost screamed to see who it was but he covered her mouth.
"Look I know we haven't really spoken since that night but I have been trying to. I have but you brother wont even let me look in your direction. I just want to talk," Rob said slowly taking his hand away from her mouth. She stared at him and a feeling of anger and anxiety rose into the pit of her stomach.
"I just want to know why. Why the hell did you give a 15 year old girl hard liquor, cocaine and then take advantage of her?" Lara spat out, saying it stronger than she felt. He looked to the ground and then back into her eyes.
"Because I was young and stupid and really wasted. I really did like you but I knew you would never give me the time of day. Plus I couldn't go out with a 15 year old. But now your 18 and I think we could make this work," Lara stared at him, not knowing whether to believe it or not.
"What do you mean you liked me? Why did you never say anything?"
"Because I was afraid," Rob said scooting over to her. By this stage the song had changed and it now was Ballroom Blitz. He held her in his arms, Lara still not knowing what to do. She just remained blank. Rob tilted her chin and kissed her with a lot of passion. That night little Emma was conceived. But who is Emma? You ask.
Back to present
"Lara are you alright," Ray said. She opened her eyes slowly and noticed she was on the floor in Ray's arms. Frank was also crouched down next them. He was staring at her straight in the eye; Lara couldn't help but look away.
"I think we should get you to a doctor," Ray said unaware of the tension between Frank and Lara. Lara immediately shook her head and stood up.
"I am fine Ray. I don't need a doctor," she said. He shook his head still not looking convinced.
"Lara, this isn't the first time you have blacked out unexpectedly. I am worried, we all are,"
"Well I don't need you to worry about me. I am fine," she snapped. Ray looked hurt and nodded understandingly. Lara regretted saying it straight away after looking at the pain on Ray's face.
"I didn't mean to snap. I have been abit edgy lately but really I am fine. No big deal," she said placing a hand on his arm. Frank was still not speaking but looking directly at her. Ray looked back at Lara and kissed her cheek gently.
"I would feel a lot better if you went to the doctor," Lara sighed and dropped her arm. Ray sighed and turned around.
"Fine I will go. But I am telling you, there is nothing wrong," she said. He smiled as he got the keys from his pocket.
"I will get the car started, meet you in a minute," Ray said running off. Lara turned to Frank and felt his eyes pierce her skin.
"Why do you keep blacking out?"
"Frank, I don't know. I am fine,"
"Don't lie to me. I know you better than that. What the hell are you on?" Ray beeped the horn and Lara shook her head, giving Frank her best dirty. How the hell was Lara Rowe going to get herself out of this one?
Lara was sitting in the doctor's office waiting for the doctor to return with her paper work. She was looking at the small black spot on the wall, listening to the clock tick with Ray's hand on hers. She could feel herself getting dizzy and her eyes getting heavy. She couldn't do it, not now.
5 years ago
Lara was sitting in the doctor's office with Maggie, who was clutching her hand just as tight as Lara was clutching the chair. The doctor pushed open the door and walked in smiling. He sat down and cleared his throat.
"Look I am going to cut to the chase. This may be good or bad news, however you wish to take it. Lara, you're pregnant. About 7 weeks along," Lara felt her head get heavy and Maggie thank the doctor. Next thing she knew, she was being taken to the car and driven home. Lara didn't remember anything about the drive; just that it got her home.
Once she had arrived at the one bedroom apartment she shared with Rob, she found him sitting on the couch, beer in one hand, and remote in the other. Maggie said goodbye and good luck.
"Rob can we talk?" he grunted and patted the cushion next to him. She sat down he took the remote, switching off the TV. He looked at her a tad grumpy but still waiting.
"Honey, I am pr-preg-pregnant," she waited to see if he made any expression at all. He just shrugged and took the remote back.
"Simple. Just get rid off it," he said turning the TV back on. Lara was amazed at what he just said. She shook her head and gulped. He looked at her with that evil look he always got when he was drunk.
"Well, look at it this way. You are going to get rid of this baby Lara. Otherwise, you and the kid go out on the streets,” he said in an evil tone. Lara nodded, and walked back outside with the car keys. She got in the car and took the 6-minute drive to the doctor's office. Once she had arrived, parked her car and went inside, the receptionist said the doctor was free for 5 minutes and 5 minutes only. She walked back into the doctor's office and he looked up at her. He smiled and waved his hand for her to sit down.
"I need an abortion," she said.
Back to present
"You see what I mean. She just blacks out unexpectedly. Is this norm-, Lara, how are you feeling?" Ray asked as she tried to sit up. She looked around and saw that she was in a hospital bed. Ray slowly pushed her shoulders back so she was lying back down.
"How are you feeling Miss Rowe?" the doctor asked not looking up from his papers. He was frowning every so often and Lara didn't like it. Ray was holding her hand and smiling, making her feel safer. Finally the doctor looked at her in question.
"I am fine. I haven't had much sleep that's all," she said smiling.
"I don't think that is the case Miss Rowe. Can I ask, what anti-depressants are you on?" Lara looked at Ray who was looking back at her with wide eyes. She shook her head.
"I am not on any,"
"Miss Rowe, it will make my job a lot easier if you tell me what you are taking," Ray let go of her hand and walked over to the doctor.
"She said she wasn't on any so stop pushing it," he spoke rather angrily. The doctor went to ask one more time but Ray grabbed his arm.
"NO! Ray don't. I am taking a few," she muttered the last bit. Ray walked back over to her and took her hand in his.
"Which ones?" the doctor asked. Lara bit her lip before answering his question.
"Prozac, Efexor, Zoloft and on occasion Lovan," Ray gasped as she counted them off on her fingers. He let her hand fall and she looked over to see his head in his hands. The doctor ticked something and got Lara to sign the bottom.
"Excuse but I am not trying to kill myself," she spoke. Ray's head shot up and he looked over the form.
"Sorry Miss Rowe but I beg to differ. For you to be taking enough anti-depressants to make you pass out shows me you do not really care about yourself," he said taking away the form. He left the room with nothing else to say leaving Lara alone to face Ray.
"I am sorry. I have been on them ever since I was 18 and this is just a small side effect. Please don't be mad at me," Lara pleaded with him. He shook his head and held her hand.
"I am not mad. I just want to know why. I mean you have a son and great friends," Lara stared at the door in front of her not wanting to answer the question.
"I am not really ready to talk about my past. Lets just say, it wasn't pretty. Do you know when they will let me out?" she asked, trying to change the subject. Ray smiled and held her hand. It was then Lara realised she was still in her own clothes not hooked up to anything.
"You just signed yourself out. Come on," he said helping her out of the bed and picking her up bridal style.
"What are you doing?"
"You don’t think I would let you walk after you just collapsed twice in one night do you?" he said smartly. He managed to open the door with one hand while leaning Lara against the car. Ray buckled her seat belt and went over to the driver's side and started the engine.
"Considering the events of tonight, I think we should get you home," Ray said as he pulled out of the parking lot. Lara closed her eyes and let the sound of the rain outside fill her head.
"Are you taking Serena home?" Lara asked. Ray told her that his brother had already came by and picked her up. They were standing at the front door and Lara was searching for her keys in her purse when Ray lifted her chin and gently kissed her. He pulled away before Lara could kiss back and smiled.
"I don't want you to feel uncomfortable. I mean it is only the first date. Sleep well and I will call you tomorrow," he said. He left Lara standing outside the house smiling. That was until someone flung the door open and pulled her inside.
"Please tell me the reason you black out is not because you are still on the meds," Frank spoke rather harshly. Maggie came from behind him smiling until she saw Franks face.
"What is going on? Shut the bloody door, it is raining," Maggie said. Lara closed the door and walked past Frank and Maggie.
"Not now Frank. Stop being such a dickhead," Lara continued to walk up the stairs and checked on Jack who was sound asleep. She walked across the hall and into her own bedroom where she slipped into some flannel pants and a tank top. She looked at her phone realizing it was 1:34 in the morning. Lara closed her eyes and let the thoughts of tonight put her to sleep.