I’m a week into this shit and realizing my body doesn’t know what to do with itself. The first couple days I was sick as shit. My stomach hurt and I was sweating like a motherfucker. I didn’t think I would be so affected. Not to mention my mood. I took asshole to a whole new level when dealing with these jokers.
Today we get doled out our new chores. They aren’t letting us sit around idle, which is probably a smart move. What blows is I’m given janitorial duty. I get to clean all the common areas. Patients clean their own rooms, which is good, but there are about forty people here and they’re all messy motherfuckers. Not to mention, I’ve grown up with maids my entire life. I don’t know how to clean shit.
I don’t start my new tasks until tomorrow, so at toward the end of the night I’m sitting out back with Sookie. She’s still a complete twat and in total denial about her addiction. Group is interesting with her cunty ass.
“Are you done with your Russian book?” I try to be nice to her.
“Yes. I’m on to War and Peace,” she answers.
“Have you read that before?” I ask. I don’t do much, but I’ve gone through periods when I just read.
“In high school.”
“Me too,” I nod. Most people don’t know about the reading thing and I highly doubt if Stan, Debbie, or Felicia was out here I’d be admitting to it. “I actually read quite a bit, or used to anyway.”
“Good for you.”
“Are you this terrible to everyone?” I ask. She’s been a complete cunt to everyone she’s come in contact with.
“Yep,” she answers.
“And you claim you have friends and a boyfriend. I fuckin’ doubt that.” I haven’t even flirted in four days.
“I don’t really give a fuck what you think.”
Jesus, she’s a terrible fucking person.
“You know, this stint in hell might be a little easier if you don’t treat everyone around you like trash.”
“I don’t think I need tips on how to make friends from you, thanks,” she says. “You’re not, exactly here because you’re fulfilling merit badge requirements.”
“No, but at least people here like me and at least I can admit I’m here for a good fuckin’ reason. I’ve been fuckin’ nice to you and you’re being a cunt, to everybody. You should deal with the fact that you have a fucking problem, Ice Queen, not just with your fuckin’ pill poppin’ either. I bet your fuckin’ “friends” are glad you’re sequestered for two months so they don’t have to fuckin’ deal with you,” I growl as I get up from the bench. I didn’t mean for all that to come out, but she’s fuckin’ frustrating as shit.
She starts to clap.
“Congratulations, you just told me off. Check this out, Stretch, how about you work your program your way and I’ll work mine my way? Maybe, and I’m sure this is hard for a guy like you to understand, I’m just not interested in making friends here. Ever think of that? You know fuck all about me, so run along,” she shoos me away.
I want to put my cigarette out on her forehead right now. Fuck.
“Good luck,” I grumble as I head back to my room. I don’t know if my brain and body still hate me from coming down off the shit or if she’s really making me this fucking miserable. I try to make friendly conversation and her snippy ass remarks are un-fucking called for. Jesus, I might quit smoking just to avoid running into her.
When I get to my room I go into the bathroom to take a shower. Sober me doesn’t like going to bed smelling like smoke. As it turns out, sober doesn’t like a lot of stuff, but that’s not a bad thing. I’m getting to know what kind of person I am and trying to figure out what I want to do with myself when I get out of here.
I know it’s going to be a slow process, but I think I actually want to learn to love myself. Hopefully. I have a lot of other shit to deal with, like forgiving my parents for a lot of the shit I dealt with growing up in the public eye. There are paparazzi pictures of me published from the time I was an infant till the night before I was shipped off to this godforsaken place. I didn’t ask for that and it wasn’t fair of them to let the world watch me grow up. It sounds whiny, but that shit has caused a lot more fucking harm than good. I was always the outcast in school. I was bullied because I was a smaller child and different because the whole fucking world knew I when I’d go to Goddamn McDonald’s or something. Bottom line, they should’ve worked harder on trying to protect me. Maybe I wouldn’t be in rehab if I didn’t have twenty-five years of bullshit leading up to this point.
Once I’m out of the shower I dry off, rubbing my hair dry, and then pull on some shorts. They have televisions in the rooms, but basic local channels only. I stretch out on my bed and try to fall asleep. I’m just about to doze off when I hear a light knock on my door. Huh. The only person to knock on my door since I arrived has been Quinn.
I roll out of bed with a groan and walk over to the door. I’m in a secure facility so I’m not worried that it’s someone here to attack me. I pull the door open and I’m shocked to see the doorway completely empty… oookay. I look out and swivel my head in both directions and don’t see anyone. I don’t even hear footsteps retreating. As I pull my head back in my eyes catch something on the ground.
Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.
I know immediately that it’s from Sookie. Especially since she’s the only person that suddenly knows I read. Plus, when I lift it up I can smell her on it. Even through the cloud of smoke she smells pretty good.
Huh… I think this is the first nice thing Sookie has done since she’s showed up.
I go to my bed and flip on the reading lamp. The last time I tried reading this I was sidetracked with the promise of pussy.
I get about two chapters in before I pass out from just being tired, not high…
The next morning I’m up with the sun. I grab my Marlboro’s and go out to the smoking area in just my shorts. In the last week I’ve put on close to ten pounds I’ve been eating so much. It’s not good weight either. There’s a gym on campus so I should start using that.
Surprise, surprise, Miss Sookie is out smoking too without her book.
“Morning,” I greet her in a sleepy voice.
“Morning,” she says. She stretches, arching her back with her arms up over her head.
Her headlights are on. I want to nibble on them… Mmm.
“Thanks for the book,” I say, trying to look away from her tits poking out and her belly flashing me. I don’t think this girl owns a bra.
“You’re welcome. I have a suitcase full of them if you need to borrow another. You know, if you can stand being around an icy cunt like me.”
“I was in rare form last night,” I tell her and then chuckle softly, “Maybe I was in high form last night. I’m a dick when I’m coked out. Sorry about snapping like that.”
“You were high last night?” Sookie arches a brow.
“No,” I reply, shaking my head. “That came out wrong. I’m just sorry about the things I said to you.”
Sookie nods and says, “Apology accepted.”
“Thanks.” I take a long drag off my cigarette. “What job were you assigned?” I ask her.
“I’ll be cleaning up around here,” I inform her. “I’ve never cleaned a day in my life.”
“That’s not surprising,” she snorts.
“I’ve seen you in magazines,” Sookie shrugs. “People in your income bracket rarely clean up after themselves.”
I shrug and say, “This will most likely be the only time in my life that I will.”
Sookie and I go quiet after that comment and finish our cigarettes. We go our separate ways and I go to my room to shower again so I can get day one of my new hell started.
Eric going off on me last night got me thinking. I wasn’t always so mean, spiteful and in some cases, downright hurtful to people. Before my accident I was always smiling, even if I missed a jump or my footwork wasn’t as perfect as it could be. I was diplomatic and a gracious loser. If I lost a competition it just motivated me to try harder.
I haven’t put on a pair of skates since the day I got hurt. At first it was because I wasn’t strong enough to do it, but over time my anger got the better of me. Rather than getting back on the horse, I listened to Dr. Madden when he said I wouldn’t be able to skate like I used to. The strain would be too much for my knees to take. I listened because I was nineteen and scared I was never even going to walk without a cane or someone’s help. The idea of setting myself back by trying to skate scared the shit out of me.
So while I’m washing dishes after breakfast, something occurs to me. The pills numbed the physical pain, but they also numbed me emotionally. I didn’t have to think about my anger toward the cow that hit me or how my entire life was thrown off kilter by that split second when the planets aligned and tragedy struck. There’s no way to know how I would have done in those Olympic games, but I was the favorite to win the gold medal. I could have been the second female skater to win gold back to back, but that opportunity was stolen from me.
As long as I took the pills, nothing hurt. I could keep moving forward. Ice skating ceased to be a priority and instead, I started to make different goals. Everything was to keep me as far away from ice as I could get. I even moved out here to California where I knew there were no chances of snow or local lakes freezing over enough to skate on. Claudette Crane might be at fault for my accident, but I got in my own way of seeing if it’s possible for me to get back to where I was.
Instead of checking with another doctor for a second opinion, I accepted what Dr. Madden said. I had no reason to think he was lying to me or that he had given me an unlikely prognosis. Getting the medication was easy and I quickly figured out that Dr. Madden played it fast and loose with his prescriptions. It wasn’t hard to get more refills from him. When Sophie-Anne asked if I manipulated my doctor, the honest to God truth is that I didn’t. I didn’t have to. All I had to tell him was that I was out of refills and he prescribed more for me.
When I finish my kitchen chores I head straight for Sophie-Anne’s office. I still don’t like her, but I have to deal with her. There’s a sign on her door telling me that she’s with a patient. I’ll have to wait until their session is over. The clock in the hall says it’s a few minutes to ten.
A door down the hall opens and Eric steps out of an office. He’s put on a few pounds since he got here, which makes me wonder if he was eating at all prior to coming here. His face, particularly his eyes, are a bit red. Must have been a rough session. He pulls his hat down when he spots me.
I give him a wave as he approaches, but if he wants to be alone I’m okay with that.
He waves back and stops when he gets to me. “Hey,” he says quietly. “Good luck in there.”
“I’m here voluntarily, believe it or not,” I tell him. “I had one of those self-actualization moments.”
He gives me a little smile and says, “That’s really good, Sookie.”
“I guess,” I shrug. “It would have been better if I had it three years ago.”
“Nah, then you wouldn’t have met me,” he flirts for the first time in almost a week.
I laugh and roll my eyes. “Yeah, that would have been a crime,” I chuckle.
“It really, really would’ve been,” he says as seriously as he can. “You have a beautiful smile, Sookie. You should do it more often.”
“Thanks, but I’m not making any promises. I’m pretty good at being a crabby bitch. My brother calls me Oscar most of the time.”
“I’m not going to lie, I’ve called you Cruella a few times,” he admits. “I do hope you loosen up some. When you talk, you’re actually good to talk to. A lot of these people have been so doped up for so long it’s hard to hold a conversation with them.”
“Oh you mean like Calvin?” This guy in our group has pretty much fried every brain cell he ever had. My understanding is that his last overdose is what got him here and it put him in a coma for eight days, leaving him with some significant brain damage.
“Definitely,” he chuckles. “There are a few other winners too.”
“Debbie told me Freyda has her eye on you,” I smile.
Eric cringes and says, “Freyda is… ewww. She gives me the fuckin’ creeps and keeps telling me I’m going to be her vampire consort. She needs to be in a fuckin’ mental hospital, not a rehab facility.”
“Her vampire consort? What the purple sparkly fuck?” That’s just insane.
“I don’t know if she was crazy before she did drugs, but I heard she got ahold of some Bath Salts, just once, and now… she thinks she’s a vampire queen. Did you notice she’s always wrapped up head to toe during the daylight?”
It’s not funny, really. If she really believes she’s a vampire she needs much more than drug counseling. Mental health issues aren’t something to laugh at. Yet, I don’t know what else to do because it’s such bizarre behavior.
“So, Dark Prince–”
Eric laughs and throws a wadded up Kleenex at me. The fact that it just falls to the ground makes him laugh a little harder.
“I’d make a sexy fuckin’ beast of a vampire, but I’m not looking to get turned, especially not by her,” he chuckles when his laughter dies out some.
“Too bad. I bet you’d sparkle like a disco ball.”
He snorts and says, “And you would be the first person I brought over to the Dark Side with me, Ice Queen.”
“I don’t think so, Pretty Boy. I might not look like much, but my legs are strong.”
“Mine are still longer and I’d definitely be able to catch you if you tried to run, on or off the ice,” he says confidently.
“You can skate?” I quirk an eyebrow.
“Yeah,” he nods, “Privileged childhood and all that shit. I learned when I was a kid in Canada on one of my Mom’s movie shoots.”
For the first time in years the competitor in me gets fired up.
“Those long legs might be helpful in chasing unwilling females, but I’d kick your ass on the ice,” I tell him.
“Challenge accepted. When we’re out of this shithole I’ll meet you at the nearest ice rink and skate circles around your triple axles.”
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” I snort as Sophie-Anne’s door opens.
“I think we should make a wager,” he smiles.
“Oh this should be precious.”
“I still have to think of a good one,” he laughs.
“Well you know where to find me,” I shrug. “I’m gonna go talk to my counselor.”
“Good luck in there,” he tells me again.
“Thanks. Have fun cleaning toilets,” I grin.
He shakes his head with a small smile and flips me off as he turns to walk away.
“In your dreams, Sparkles,” I chuckle.
“Every night, Ice Queen,” he says over his shoulder.
I snicker and go into Sophie-Anne’s office. She’s sitting at her desk, typing away on her laptop.
“Do you have a minute?” I ask her.
“Of course,” she says, looking up at me.
I close the door behind me and take my usual seat in the gray chair by her desk.
“What can I do for you today?” she asks with a smile.
“I did a lot of thinking and I came to the reluctant conclusion that you were right. I’m an addict,” I admit. “It wasn’t intentional and I thought because the doctor was giving me the pills they were okay. In my mind an addict is someone going to some shady crack house to score or making deals on a street corner or in a park. I’ve never illegally obtained my drugs so I thought that meant I didn’t have a problem because I was just following my doctor’s orders.”
“I’m proud of you, Sookie,” Sophie-Anne smiles. “That’s a huge step.”
“It is,” I nod and blow out a breath. “Eric also just challenged me to a skating competition. I haven’t skated since the day of my accident.”
“How do you feel about that?” she asks me.
“Nervous,” I admit. “The old Sookie would beat him with just one skate, but that Sookie was much more confident and in way better shape.”
“Maybe you can use this challenge to learn to be a new Sookie altogether? You’ll never be old Sookie again and addict Sookie didn’t seem very positive about skating.”
“My doctor said I would never skate again and with all the work I had to do just to walk on my own again, I didn’t want to risk it,” I explain.
“I understand,” she nods, “A lot of people in your position would easily fall into that trap. Now you have the option to prove him wrong.”
“But what if he’s right? What if I just set myself back or it’s too much and I end up needing another surgery? It was so much work just to be able to stand all by myself.” It took months and months of physical therapy in order to be able to do that.
“Get a second opinion, Sookie. You learned to walk again, I’m sure you can learn to skate again. Go in with a physical therapist,” she smiles, “Baby steps, Sookie.”
“Okay,” I nod.
“Good,” she nods too.
“That’s all I really needed to talk to you about. The bet thing just happened in the hallway while I was waiting.”
“I think that’s a really good thing. I’m proud of you for accepting the challenge.”
“I didn’t even think about it. There was this flare that I haven’t felt in years and before I could think about it, I accepted,” I admit. “I haven’t felt competitive about anything since before the accident.”
She smiles and says, “That’s an awesome feeling, isn’t it?”
“It feels like the old me,” I smile.
“I know the feeling. I used to play softball and I tore a ligament in my shoulder. It took a long time for me to get back on the field.”
I haven’t really thought about using the gym they have set up here but maybe I should start. I know I won’t ever be in the same shape I was in when I was fifteen, but maybe I can get rid of the extra thirty or so pounds I’ve packed on. I don’t expect to do it in seven weeks but I can at least get started. It’ll give me something to focus on, at any rate, somewhere to put my attention for the rest of my time here. Thank God I packed sneakers and a few sports bras. Generally speaking, I hate wearing bras. I’m young enough that even though I have enough boobs for two women, they’re still pretty… perky.
“I think I’m gonna go for a walk,” I tell Sophie-Anne as I stand up.
“Okay,” she smiles, “Thank you for stopping by.”
“Thanks for listening,” I reply and then turn to leave the office.
I head back to my room and dig out the workout clothes I brought with me. For the first time in God knows how long, I put on a bra, albeit a sports bra, and then squeeze into some capri yoga pants. I slip on my sneakers and then leave my room to go for a long walk.