“Mommmm….look out the window! You can see the beach!” Lucy exclaimed as they neared the airport in Hawaii.
“I know, Lu-lu. And we’re going to hang out on the beach all day today and tomorrow.” Evie answered.
“And I’m going to get my hair fixed!” she said to her mother.
“Yes. And we’ll get your hair fixed.” Evie laughed.
About 30 minutes later, Evie, Lucy, Bruno, Dre and Ryan got off the plane seeing one of Bruno’s sisters waiting for them. They all embraced each other and got extra excited about being there.
“Eve! We’ have to talk about the wedding!” Tahiti told her.
“Oh god. No. That’s going to stress me out even more than the bar.” She laughed.
“Okay…okay…only a little.” Tahiti answered.
“Please.” Evie pleaded squeezing Bruno’s hand. He still didn’t completely understand why she didn’t want to talk about all of it, but he supported her decision to just wait until September, which was really close to when he would be getting ready to leave again.
“So, we need to get the little one her hair fixed?” Tahiti asked taking Lucy’s hand. “What do you want to do with your pretty hair, missy?”
“I want braids and flowers.” Lucy said smiling.
“Okay. Then we’ll go get that while your mom and dad go out for dinner…okay?” Tahiti asked.
“Yeah. Let my mom and dad go on a date. They haven’t gone on a date in a long time.” Lucy answered.
Bruno looked at Lucy a little confused then glancing at Evie who was helping Tahiti get their bags in the car. He leaned over to Ryan. “Did she really just say that?”
“I think so…..isn’t that weird?” Ryan asked.
“I….ummm….I…..wow. No. No, it’s not.” He said grabbing Lucy lifting her into the Jeep kissing her on the head. “We’ll be back soon, okay?”
“Okay!” Lucy hugged her mother who reassured her that she would be home soon.
Bruno and Evie went to the beach near where McKenzie and Caleb were married nearly 2 years ago. “Eve….” He paused sitting down in a chair.
“What?” she asked him.
“I’m going to get really cheesy so just hold it together for a second…please…” he looked down waiting for her start to laugh.
“I’m going to try, Bru. I am….” She told him.
“Okay…okay…” she said looking at him.
“Geneva…..I ran into you two years ago today…” he told her with a smile.
“What?” she asked him.
“Yeah. If they got married on the 20th and today is the 17th…..yeah.” he told her.
“Oh…my…god. Bruno! You are cheesy!” she exclaimed. “I still don’t understand how you remember me of all people from that day.”
“Eve, you looked like you were really stressed out. But you looked so gorgeous. And I think you blushed a little when you looked up at me and walked away.” He smiled touching her cheek. “I love you.”
“Oh, Bruno….that went from cheesy to one of the most romantic things you’ve ever done.” She told him. He raised his eyebrow at her trying to decide if she was serious. She punched him playfully. I was serious!
“Oh..okay.” he told her leaning in to kiss her then lifting her hand up to lead her somewhere else.
“Bruno….” She asked as they started to walk away.
“Yeah?” he replied.
“Did that freak you out when she called you dad earlier today?” she responded.
“Umm…I don’t know. Not really.” He answered.
“Because she’s been calling you that for a while. When you’re gone and she asks where you are. And at school. She calls you her dad.” Evie told him.
“She does?” he looked at Evie a little shocked.
“Bruno…she liked you from day one. That was one of the most important things to me. I don’t know what you do to her. But she’s like this perfect little girl. Before she got really bratty and didn’t listen….” Evie told him.
“I don’t think all of that has to do with me, Eve. You’re an amazing mother.” He told her sittinf down in the sand with her.
“Well, I couldn’t have done it without you.” She smiled.
“Okay, Geneva. We’ll agree to disagree about that.” He said leaning in to kiss her.
Leaning into his kiss she whispered into his ear, “I can’t wait to be Mrs. Mars.”
“Shhhhh…Bruno…don’t walk that hard….” Evie drug Bruno into the house a few hours after they had a romantic moment at the beach.
“I’m not! You have to take off your chanclas, Evie….” He responded pointing to her sandals.
“Oh…damn.. they do make a lot of noise.” She answered bending down throwing them toward the door. “There….” She took his hand leading him to the large bedroom past his mother’s bedroom and where Lucy was sleeping. “Wait..I wanna check on Luc…” she walked into the bedroom laying down kissing her on the head. “Good night mi amor.” She turned around seeing Bruno laying his head on the wall watching her. Evie slightly smiled walking back to Bruno who wrapped his arms around her leading her to the bedroom. “Wait…I need to put on my pajamas….” She bent down wiggling out of his arms getting into her suitcase. Bruno sat down on the bed watching her dig through the meticulously packed clothing seeing her pull out one of his shirts and a pair of cotton shorts. “I gotta peee…” she ran into the bathroom lightly closing the door. He waited for her to leave to look in her bag like he always did. She still amazed him. He lifted up a few dresses deciding to put away some of her clothes in the empty dresser on the wall. As he placed a dress in the drawer he saw something fall at his feet.
“What is that?” he asked himself looking down seeing two small pill bottles sitting at his feet. “Eve…..” he said to himself sitting on the bed with the bottles in his hand. He read the perscriptions, one for Xanax and one the painkillers from when Sean knocked her out. He opened one of the bottles seeing more than the prescribed pills. He held onto them hearing the door open and her smiling face. “Geneva….” He held up the bottles.
“Oh…..umm….I….Bruno…..oh my gosh….” She looked at him shocked.
“Eve….you have to stop. This is going to hurt you….” He said motioning her to sit down next to him.
“It takes everything away and then I can sleep…and study…” she said reaching over for the pills.
“Eve….how many doctors have you been to for the Vicodin?” he asked her giving her a stern look.
“That ones the third one.” She admitted.
“What do you tell them?” he asked her,
“That I still get mind numbing headaches and that nothing helps. “ she told him looking down.
“Do you?” he asked lifting her chin up seeing tears in her eyes. “Eve….please…I’m not judging you, I’m not yelling, I just want to be there for you…..”
“B….I don’t know.” She told him. “I just don’t even know why I’m still doing it.”
“What can I do to help you?” he asked her confused.
“Just forget you saw them.” She answered getting up from the bed. He held onto her hand as she started to walk away.
“That’s not an option, Geneva. It’s just not going to happen.” He told her pulling her down back to the bed. She sat next to him not saying anything for a few minutes. “I’m never going to understand why you do these things, Evie and I’m not going to stop trying to figure you out.” He told her.
“Why do you do this to yourself, Bruno?” she asked him with her head still down.
“Do what, Eve?” he wasn’t sure what she was talking about.
“Deal with my shit. There has to be someone out there that doesn’t have nearly as much shit as I do.” She replied.
“You are the most amazing person in the world, Geneva. You have survived so much and I want to be there to see you do even more amazing things.” He answered squeezing her hand.
“Please….just stop. Can we forget this happened? I’ll throw them out.” She held out her hand to take the pills.
“No. I’ll hold onto them.” He said placing them on the table at the end of the bed. She stared at them for a few seconds before starting to talk again.
“I can do it on my own.” She told him. “I can. I’ve done everything on my own.”
“Evie…no. I’m going to help you. You’re not doing this on your own. You’ve done enough on your own.”
She sighed heavily laying her head on the pillow covering her head with the comforter. She felt him pull the blanket down. “No.” she said flatly. He kissed her head laying down next to her.
“I’m here, Eve. When you’re ready.” Bruno told her turning off the light.
Evie woke up feeling a small body neck to her. She leaned over to push Bruno. “B….when did she end up in here?”
He looked at her half-awake not sure how to answer. “I thought you would have known.” He smiled seeing Lucy grab his arm still asleep.
“She’s handsy when she sleeps.” Evie smiled getting out of bed looking at the bottle of pills on the table walking right past them.
“Eve…” Bruno said quietly watching her walk past him.
“What?” she asked.
“I’m sorry about last night. “ he said looking at her concerned.
“No, it’s my fault.” She said closing the bathroom door looking at her make-up bag glancing at the “vitamins” she had in the bag. No. Don’t take it. Don’t do it. Don’t…she thought to herself. She picked up the bag throwing it across the bathroom hearing all her make-up shatter and glass break. “No!” she yelled.
“Mom?” Lucy knocked on the door. “Mommy..are you okay?” she asked again.
“I’m fine, Lu-lu. I’m fine.” She said trying not to cry sitting on the floor next to the pile of make-up trying to find the Xanax. “Oh…there you are….” She said picking it up in her hand feeling the door open falling backwards onto Bruno’s feet. He bent down picking the medicine up from her hand.
“This is mine.” He said to her taking it from her throwing it in the trash can. He sat down next to her away from the mess. “I’ll clean this up, Eve. Go downstairs with everyone. My mom is making breakfast.”
She looked down running her fingers through the eye shadows that had exploded on the ground. “I need help, Bruno.”
He moved over to her wrapping his arms around her as she started to cry. “I’m here baby. I’m here…..”
“I need to go home. I need to figure this out….before I can take the bar…..” she told him starting to breath quickly. “I have to figure it out so I can take the bar and pass and get a job and save the world and have enough money to pay for Lucy…and.”
“Eve….shhhh……” he said quietly humming something he had recently recorded.
“I like that.” She told him closing her eyes listening to him.
“I like it to.” He said laying his head against the wall falling asleep with her in his arms.
“Guys? Bruno? Evie?” Tiara walked into the room a few minutes later seeing the mess. “Oh…was it that rough last night?” she joked.
“No.” Evie said plainly jumping up pushing Bruno to wake up. Evie walked past Tiara not saying anything.
“Did she forget to take her happy pills this morning?” Tiara asked her brother who was still half awake.
“Shut up, Tiara.” He snapped walking into the linen closet grabbing a broom and cleaning things to clean up Evie’s mess.
“Brunito….what is going on? She’s not pregnant is she? Or sick or….what’s going on?” Tiara asked him.
“Just don’t tell anyone this happened.” Bruno told her running into the bedroom putting on clothes. “Geneva!” he started yelling walking down the stairs.
“What?” she asked him turning around from the kitchen table with a piece of Pineapple in her hand.
“Come with me….” He said taking a piece of mango with one hand and Evie with his other hand. He sat her down on patio. “Eve….we have to tell someone about this.” He took her shaking hand trying to calm her down feeling it still shaking.
“Who?” she asked.
“We’ll find someone, Eve.” He told her.
“Just not Celebrity Rehab, Bruno. I can’t handle Dr. Drew. He’s too mean.” She told him making him laugh.
“Okay, Eve. No Doctor Drew.” He said kissing her head.
Someone yell at me if I get too clinical or I drag this out too long.
Evie sat next to Bruno flipping through a magazine a few days later in a sun lit office. She looked over at him texting Phil moving his head to something in his head.
“Eve?” he leaned over asking her. “You’re going to be okay.” He told her seeing a skinny red headed counselor walk toward the door holding a manila folder smiling at her.
“Geneva Wilson?” she smiled at them holding out her hand to introduce herself. “My name is Stephanie. I’ll be working with you.” She smiled at her. Evie looked over at Bruno. “He can come if it makes you feel comfortable.” She told them.
“It would make me feel better.” She said following the therapist into another small brightly lit room with a cushy couch and photos of her family. Bruno sat a little ways away from Evie letting them talk.
“So, tell me what brought you to me?” Stephanie asked.
“Umm…I have a problem with pills.” Evie answered.
“Okay. Can you tell me more about the problems, Ms. Wilson?” Stephanie asked.
“Ummm….I…..well. I had this problem when I was a sophomore in high school too. But it went away. I got better. And then my ex. I fell and hit my head and he broke my nose. I got the pills then, And it made it better. I kept taking them just because it made the stress go away. And then I went to my doctor and asked for something to keep me from freaking out about the Bar…. And it just kept going and going and going.” She told Stephanie.
“What happened the last time? When you were in high school?” Stephanie asked.
“I…. my older sister had Vicodin because she got her wisdom teeth out. One of my friends told me that it was fun to take them. It made her feel crazy. And I thought that it would be fun. So I tried it. And then my brother had his appendix taken out and he had some a few weeks later. And I liked the way it felt. It just made all the stress so go away. I was trying to do everything that Cici did…”
“Wait…who is Cici?” Stephanie stopped her. “I feel as though your family is a source of stress for you. Let’s draw out your family right quick…” Stephanie said pulling out a piece of paper.
Bruno watched her candidly talk about her family and the problems they caused her. Laura and Mark were always perfect. They always had a spot in her parents’ hearts. They push her to do the things she does. She feels like she has to be better than them. Carly is pretty. She always had a boyfriend. Sammie may not be the brightest, but she always had friends and was an amazing dancer and artist. And Harry may have fucked up a lot but he never let it get to him. She, on the other hand, feels like she is everything her mother was. A drug addict, bipolar, up and down, stupid, a fuck up. “Evie…..” Bruno interrupted what she was saying about herself. “Do you remember the day that you told me about yourself? The one where you showed me all the pictures?”
“Yeah….” She stopped turning to him the same time Stephanie did taking out her pen.
“You said a lot of good things about your mom that day too. You said she was smart. You said she was caring and that even when she was at her worst you felt safe around her. You said that you miss her every single day and still hope that she had made it. But, Geneva. You have. You beat whatever she had. No one is perfect, Evie. And you know that. But even with flaws, you are the most amazing person I have ever met.”
“Bruno….how is that supposed to help me? What does that do? It’s not going to help me stop wanting these things and wanting to just quit. Just give up.” She sighed. “Stephanie. How does that help?”
“Do you want it to help you, Geneva?” Stephanie asked.
“I just want something to work. I just want it all to stop.” Evie told the therapist.
“Then listen to him. He was headed in the right direction.” Stephanie paused writing something on her paper. “Yes, you may have some negative traits. You may have an addictive thrill seeking personality that can get you in trouble. But it also led you to law school and to your daughter and to your fiancé. If you didn’t have those things to guide you, you could be where your mother was. But you have been pushed in a different direction, one of those things could have led you to so much trouble. What does that say about you?” Stephanie stated.
“It just means that I’ll be able to afford the drugs.” Evie answered.
“Ugh. Eveeeeee….” Bruno whined making both Stephanie and Evie shoot him a dirty look making him look down.
“Is it that resilience stuff?” Evie asked Stephanie.
“Partly.” Stephanie answered. “You have done amazing things with the life you have. And we’re going to try to get you back on track, okay?”
“Okay.” Evie said flatly.
“Okay. I want to see you in a week, without Bruno. I know he makes things all warm and fuzzy, but the things we are doing won’t always be warm and fuzzy.” Stephanie told her. “And are you withdrawing any?”
“Umm..a little. I’m obviously being a bitch to everyone.” She told her therapist.
Stephanie handed her a business card. “You call me the second you start getting shaky. And Bruno, just keep an eye on her, okay?”
They both nodded their heads walking out the door. After she set up her next appointment they walked to the car. Evie stopped at the car door looking across the car at him. “Bruno….” She caught his eyes as he started opening the door. “You have no idea how much your words mean to me. I don’t know what I would do without you by my side.” She smiled at him getting in the car. He smiled at her kissing her cheek pulling out of the parking space.
“I love you so much, Geneva.”