“Your memory feels like home to me.
So whenever my mind wanders, it always finds it’s way back to you.”― Ranata Suzuki
Windenburg Lake House
Vivien closed her eyes, shaking her head to herself, wondering how to deal with this. The past 24+ hours had been hell for everyone involved.
She had rushed Liam and Lana to the hospital breaking speed limits, but it had been too late. By the time they got there the fetus already had no heartbeat and Lana’s body was trying to expel, she had made it almost to her 12th week of pregnancy. Many heart wrenching hours later, Lana was kept overnight at the hospital due to blood loss, Liam was at the Lake House, sedated and sleeping and Vivien was at her hotel, trying to give him space.
Liam didn’t answer the phone the next morning, but she knew he was okay as he continued to click her following calls away. Then finally at some point he finally picked up, but she could hardly understand him, he was beyond drunk. She had her driver take her over right away.
From what Vivien had been able to puzzle together from his incoherent slurred outbursts had Liam gone to comfort Lana, but she was blinded by pain, they ended up in a terrible fight, she told him she never wanted to see him again. Already in pain from the loss of their unborn child, and now deeply wounded by Lana’s resentment and their fight, Liam bought enough whiskey to numb his mind. Once home he started drinking and was still drinking when Vivien showed up. He was barely intelligible and completely out of it.
The moment he had opened the door for her she should smell the whiskey enveloping him like an aura, along with the stench of stale sweat and throw up, he had to hold himself up by the wall with both hands or he would have fallen over.
She had dragged him into the shower, stripping the practically willingness man down to his birthday suit, while pushing his large, strong frame into the shower wall with her delicate one, while she washed him best she could like an overgrown toddler. The shower had sobered him up a little, so his sentences began to be more coherent, yet he categorically refused to go to bed. So she half-carried him back to his living room, only a towel wrapped around his hips, exposing his chest, making it hard for Vivien to focus.
“I am a murderer … of my own unborn child .. or might as well have …”
“Liam. No. Don’t do this to yourself. Stop. Please! There is always a risk that something like this could happen, especially so early in a pregnancy and at her age. Not even that rare, sadly, as statistics show. This wasn’t you. It’s nobody’s fault. You heard the doctor assure you both that a fight and stress cannot cause this, but something was wrong with the baby, and it wasn’t viable. What happened was going to happen regardless, at least we were there to help her, or it could have been much worse. Imagine she had been driving.” Vivien could almost physically feel the pain of the man next to her.
” …I am a fucking loser.” he mumbled, wiping his face with both of his hands.
“Are you insulting my taste in men now?” at a loss about how to calm him, Vivien tried her father Blaine’s usual approach to adversity, by trying to make light of a bad situation with jokes.
“Well … you did hook up with that Montgomery …” Liam retorted.
“AGAIN?! Can you PLEASE finally let that go? It was nothing. The press didn’t even pick up on that. It was the briefest affair, nothing more.”
“The press didn’t pick up on it, because I bought people off, took legal steps and got rid of your sex tape with HIM. I had to watch you have sex with another man on video! Then you divorce me for stepping out with Lana. And now I don’t even have her. She basically told me to go fuck off and die … maybe I should. Fucking roll over and die. Better for everyone.” Liam yelled out.
Vivien wanted to burst out in anger, but remembered he was still drunk, hurting and vulnerable, so she swallowed it all and said as calmly and softly as she could.
“Don’t be ridiculous. That is stupid, you have a son, who needs you, thinking that is selfish! Besides, Lana would bite her tongue off before using gutter talk.”
His anger and pain dissipated, and his lips curled up ever so slightly for only a moment.
“You haven’t seen her angry at me. I have that effect on women. She blamed me for the pregnancy, I am sure she blames me for losing it now too. I blame me! She hates me. I hate me. And you already hated me.”
“Liam STOP! That is the alcohol talking. You need to sober up. I’ll make us coffee. The Cameron patch for everything, so why not this too? I’d offer to cook something, but I think that would only make things worse.”
“You had become a pretty decent cook once upon a time … back at the penthouse. Guess you forgot it all. We had some great times together, the best, you and me in that penthouse. And then with Nick, God he was so little and the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. We were such a happy little family, remember our walks in Myshuno Meadows park … Maybe we should have never moved … There is whisky in the top cabinet on the right. I need about half:half with the coffee.” he slurred.
“You are not getting alcohol from me in this condition. You need to get sober, not even more drunk!”
“We’re not married anymore, and this is my home! You don’t get to make the rules anymore!”
Vivien grimaced, but swallowed all she wanted to retort, instead she went into his kitchen to make the coffee.
While waiting, she pulled the bottle from the cabinet, unscrewed the top, but instead emptied it down the drain, when suddenly she felt Liam close behind her. She turned around and there he was, standing upright, not even swaying much, watching her empty his whisky down the drain, but said nothing, instead he was nearly choking on a question that clearly wanted out.
“Are you seeing anyone?” he asked, his voice raspy, she could still smell the alcohol, mixed with his shower gel and minty toothpaste.
“Strange question in a moment like this.”
“At least it gets my mind off things. So, are you? You owe me at least an honest answer since you dumped out my booze. Why did you do that, anyway?”
“Because I care about you, a lot, and I am taking care of you. You do NOT need more alcohol; you need to get sober. No, I am not seeing anybody. I am trying hard to figure out who I even am without you.”
“Who are you without me?”
“I’ll let you know if I ever figure that out.”
Liam stared at Vivien with sad eyes.
“I don’t know who I am without you either, Vivien. Every time I think I figured it out, I realize I was wrong. Like a nameless character in a book that makes no sense. Just realized something … the last time you took care of me like this was many years ago at the cabin, I had a bad fever … and you wouldn’t leave my side …. oh, but you ended up dating that Dr. Abuse moron. Please don’t hook up with anyone now … don’t leave me. I need you now.” Liam’s clouded mind trailed, as he ranted partially incoherent thoughts out loud.
“Liam – I am not leaving. Not until you’re better. I’ll stay for as long as you need me to. My parents got Nick. He’s in good hands. I am not gonna hook up with anyone, including you. And the guy’s name was Dr. Geruse, but you got the moron part right. Guess we saved each other back then.”
“You really have terrible taste in men. Matt, Malik, Dr. Douche, Alex Montgomery … me … But our Nick’s a good boy, he turned out good. I love him so much. Lana hates me. I didn’t want her to hate me. She didn’t deserve that. She really is a very good person with a kind heart. But now she hates me … I hate that she hates me …” Liam ranted, once more not all that coherent.
“She doesn’t hate you. She’s traumatized and hurting. Give her time.”
“I don’t love her, Vivien. It was all a mistake. I care about her, a lot. And I mean the sex was good …”
“Argh – TMI, Liam. Come on now!” Vivien protested.
“Sorry, I don’t know why I blurted that out. I swear I wasn’t trying to hurt you. Even though you hurt me with that Montgomery sex tape thing. I mean, not like I would assume it would hurt you anymore if I slept around … I mean … you know. I’ll just shut up now.” Liam slurred, getting frustrated with himself, realizing the alcohol still clouded his brain and blocked his filters.
“Look, I don’t know what to tell you here, except we need to get you sobered up, clearly getting drunk isn’t working as you probably intended to get your mind off the pain. As for Lana, you both need to heal, and maybe then everything becomes clearer again. Rash decisions in your current condition are pointless.”
The coffeemaker beeped, Vivien dragged Liam back over to the couch and made him drink a big cup along with water, when she returned with a refill, he had drifted off to sleep, despite the coffee and the fact that it was still bright daylight out. She set aside the coffee, instead lifted his feet up on the couch, found a blanket and covered him up, then wedged herself in next to him, snuggled up to him.
Holding the man she still loved, and had loved for so long, listening to his heartbeat and even, shallow breathing as he slept off his intoxication and pain, while gently drawing fantasy patterns on his chest, Vivien wondered what all this would mean for them now as she mumbled quietly, barely loud enough for herself to hear.
“I lied to you, baby. I already figured out who I am without you. Who I am without you, Liam, is a miserable and broken soul. Only half a person, drowning in a million regrets that I can never undo, with no land in sight. You used to be my rock, the one to keep me grounded and in a way, you still are and maybe I am yours, too. Lana was right to be mad at me, I know I am around way too much, but I really don’t know how to do all this without you, Liam. I have so many things to say to you, but I can’t tell you what I really want to tell you, because you are broken too and need to heal first. Hopefully we both make it out of this in one piece. Nothing and nobody, lost and all alone in a crowd of a million people, that’s who I am without you.”