Read Mending Hearts Online

Authors: Brenda Kennedy

Tags: #romance, #love, #military, #abuse of prescription drugs, #recovery addictions

Mending Hearts (5 page)

BOOK: Mending Hearts
11.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Thank you, I will. I have
been on drugs since I found out my daughter died. I survived that,
I think I can survive the detox.” He looks up at Molly and smiles.
“If it gets too bad, I’ll take some Motrin to help me through it.
Then once everything is out of my system, I’ll probably never take
aspirin, Tylenol, or Motrin again.” Bobby laughs and says, “Well,
Doll, it looks like the end of
road for us.”

Yes, Bobby, it does.
Promise me I’ll see you again.” I can see the tears in Molly’s

Leah stands up and Bobby walks over to stand
near Molly. “Doll, I swear to you, when we both beat this, we’ll
have a cookout to celebrate.” He bends down to hug her.

I’m going to hold you to
it,” Molly cries.

I’m going to miss you,
Doll. You stay and fight for your sobriety, like you have never
fought for anything before.” 

I watch as Bobby looks at her. She nods and
a tear slides down her cheek. “I will and you, too.” 

Leah, your husband saved me
one night in a dark alley from some thugs. I am so thankful he was
there that night,” Molly says. 

It wasn’t a big deal.”
Bobby dismisses it as nothing. 

Yes, it was; they were
going to rape me, but you stopped them. Then you took me to that
diner and bought me dinner. We have been hanging out ever since.”
Molly is trying to explain their relationship to

I’m glad my husband was
able to help you. He always did hate bullies

and rapists.” 

Bobby, please call us if we
can help you, or if you need any help,” Mason says.

Don’t worry about me, I
have a wife who has been waiting for me.” Bobby looks over at


I wipe the stray tear from Molly’s cheek.
“I’m leaving, but I’ll see you in 45 days, Doll. I’ll leave my
contact info for you. When you get home after 45 days and not a day
sooner, we’ll get together.” 

All right, I’m going to
hold you to it. Thank you for saving me that night in the

No thanks needed.” I kiss
her on her cheek and sit back down in the wheelchair. Leah hands me
a pen and paper from her purse. I write my address and Leah’s cell
phone number down and Leah lays it on the bedside table. “I’ll talk
to you in 45 days

or earlier if you call me.”

I look over at Mason and Alec and say,
“Thank you both and maybe I’ll see you again sometime. Take care of
Molly; she isn’t like all the others.”

Will do,” Mason

Come on, Sweets. We have a
life we need to get back on track.” I look up at Leah and wonder
what I did to deserve her.

Come on, Robert, we have to
get you better first.” Leah slowly backs me up in the wheelchair.
“Thank you all for bringing my Robert back to me.” 

Alec says, “I’ll bring your things to you in
the morning.” 

Thank you, I would
appreciate that. I’m in room 707.” 

When Leah and I return to my
hospital room and I get situated in bed, Leah lies down beside me.
I hold her close and wonder why I left her in the first place. Did
I really think she would blame me for Jamie’s death? How could I
have had such little faith in her? How could I have left her to
grieve our daughter alone?
True, I thought
she was in an irreversible coma, but because I left her she had to
deal with the grief of losing Jamie, and my absence, all while she
was recovering. 

Robert, stop thinking about
it. It’s in the past and you can’t change it,” Leah says without
even looking at me. 

I kiss her soft black hair. Leah, my parents
and her parents are the only people who call me Robert. “I’m not
thinking about anything.” 

Don’t lie to me.” She tilts
her head back and smiles.

How did you know?” I

I always know when you lie
to me, but your fast heartbeat is a sure sign.” 

I’m sorry, Sweets. I never
should have left you after Jamie’s death. I just

Robert, let’s not think
about the past. Let’s just get you better so we can begin to heal
and work on us.” 

Us. I like the way that
sounds,” I say honestly. 

Me, too. Robert, I was
wondering how you plan to detox. Do you need to speak to those
doctors for help?” 

No, Leah, I don’t. I
survived the loss of our daughter. If I can survive that, I can
suffer through detox.” 

What if it proves to be too
much for you?” 

Then I plan to use my
boxing training to help get through it. If I can last 12 rounds in
a boxing match, I think I can detox. Some of the boxing training
was strength training, but it was also mind training. It’ll be mind
over matter. I don’t want you to worry. If it is too much, I’ll
call the doctors for help.” 

Or, if I think it’s too
much, I’ll also call the doctors for help,” Leah

Fair enough.
But, Leah, everyone talks about how hard it is to
detox, to quit smoking, to lose or gain weight. They make those
things sound impossible. For some people they may be difficult,
maybe even impossible, but not for everyone. As a boxer, if I
decided to lose ten pounds of fat, I lost it. If I decided to gain
ten pounds of muscle, I gained it. When I decided to quit smoking
cigars, I broke my cigars in half and stopped smoking cigars. I can
do this. I have Motrin for detox symptoms and I have you. I also
have willpower. But I will need one more thing to help me get
through quitting drugs cold turkey.” 

What is

Peanut butter and jelly
sandwiches. When I am released from the hospital, let’s swing by a
grocery store and pick up some whole-wheat bread, strawberry jelly,
and crunchy peanut butter.”

Did one of your doctors say
this is necessary?” 

No, I just like peanut
butter and jelly sandwiches. Besides, I need to gain ten pounds,
not necessarily of muscle. I am way too thin. Humans need some fat
on their bodies to be healthy.” 

I have one more thing that
may help you quit cold turkey: a subscription to Netflix.
Breaking Bad
A Game of
may take your mind off other kinds
of binging.” 

Good idea. And I need
chewing gum — lots of chewing gum.” 

The nurse comes into the
room and I ask her if I can get tested for every disease possible.
The past few months I have done many things that I am ashamed of. I
know I am at risk of contracting many things through sharing of
needles. I have always been a goal setter and achiever. My goals
recently were to get high every day and to die soon of a drug
overdose. My goals have now changed.
If I
ever gave something to Leah, because of my selfish acts, I would
never forgive myself. I don’t ask in private and I don’t expect
Leah to question me. She is a smart woman and she already
Molly was my partner and friend the
last several months, but this is one part of my life that I never
want to revisit. The relationship with Molly wasn’t love or lust,
it was just about being with the person you are with. But I think
Leah will be OK if I am friends — and just friends — with

When the nurse leaves, Leah and I discuss me
coming home. She tells me the house is as it was when I left. She
tells me that so I have time to prepare myself to see Jamie’s room
as she left it. She cries and tells me with losing her and then me,
it was just too much. She also tells me she knew I would return,
she just didn’t know when.


I remember that when I woke up from my coma
it took me awhile before I remembered who I was. It also took me a
while for me to learn where I was. Robert’s parents and my parents
were in the room with me. The chaplain of the hospital came in my
room while my family told me about losing Jamie in the car
accident. Robert’s parents shamelessly hung their heads as they
told me that their son walked out of my life. I knew Robert did
that because he couldn’t face me. It didn’t make it any easier, but
I knew the reason. I would have never blamed him for the accident
as I would never blame his parents for him leaving me. He loved
Jamie as much as I did.

The day I went home from the
hospital someone stayed with me every day and every night. I walked
into the house and everything that belonged to Jamie was put away.
Her shoes, her toys, and even her drawings on the refrigerator were
no longer in sight. The only things left were the family pictures
and portraits hanging on the wall or scattered around the house in
various picture frames. I walked up the stairs and Jamie’s bedroom
door was closed. I remember walking past it, with tears in my eyes,
as I ran my fingers gently across the door. I couldn’t go in; I
didn’t want to. Although she has been gone for several
it has only been a few days for me.
I mourned the loss of my daughter and I mourned the loss of my
Life isn’t fair,
I thought. 

Robert and I did everything we were supposed
to as parents. Jamie had the safest baby bed, stroller, and car
seat that money could buy, she went to the doctor’s as she was
supposed to, and she never missed her vaccinations. Polio has been
mostly eradicated because of vaccines. In my opinion, parents can
love their children but still kill their children by not
vaccinating them. Vaccines are an easy way to help ensure your
child’s long-term health and Robert and I did our part to make sure
our Jamie was healthy. The accident that claimed Jamie’s life had
nothing to do with Robert’s and my parenting skills.

The first time I went to the cemetery, I
made my parents wait for me in the car. I walked up to the
tombstone that both sets of Jamie’s grandparents chose for her,
carrying a bouquet of wildflowers. I chose wildflowers because I
felt like my life was nothing but a wild ride. Jamie was too young
to have a favorite flower, so I got her a variety. The tombstone
was beautiful, made of black granite with gold lettering. I stayed
there for I have no idea how long. I prayed to Jamie or to God and
asked them to bring my Robert home to me. I had no idea how to move
on without either of them. 

I very seldom left the house and I took my
anti-depressants as prescribed. I have no idea how I functioned
every day. After a couple months, I insisted everyone leave. The
anti-depressants were working, and I came to terms that this is the
best that it will get. Time will have to heal the rest of me. I
went to church as often as I could and believed that my Robert
would come back to me.

When Robert started making a
substantial amount of money from boxing, we bought a house and
invested in an annuity that started paying out right away so that
we would have a monthly income for the rest of our lives. I was
surprised when Robert left that he didn’t take anything with him.
No money and no personal property except for Jack Rabbit.
The annuity was in my name. I was always better
with finances than Robert was. 

When he came back, I accepted that he wasn’t
the same Robert he once was. He made bad choices and I chose to
accept them and him. I know he wasn’t in his right mind and his
judgment was clouded by grief. I also know Molly tried to help him
in many ways just as he tried to help Molly. The world he lived in
the past several months — I don’t pretend to try to understand it.
I’m just glad to have my Robert home with me.


I bathe the kids and get them settled in bed
before Alec gets home. I am sitting in our bed reading when he
finally walks into the room.

He says, “I’m sorry I’m late.” 

I was waiting up for you.
Is everything all right?” I lay the book I am reading down and wait
for him to answer. 

It’s fine. I learned that
you and Mason got Molly in one of the best treatment centers in
South Florida.”

Did Mason tell you

Molly told me that. She is
very appreciative that you went to Mason for help and that she is
on her way to recovery.” Alec bends down and kisses me before
sitting beside me on the bed. 

All of a sudden I feel like
I was sneaking around behind your back. I didn’t mean to make it
seem like that.” 

I’m a little confused as to
why you would go to Mason for help and not me.” 

I sit up straighter in bed and prop a pillow
behind me. “Mason told me once if I ever needed anything he would
do his best to help me.” I clear my throat and add, “I know you
would have tried to help Molly, but I also knew Mason would go
above that.” 

Why do you think

Because Molly has never
stuck with any programs before and I know you have tried everything
you can to help her. I know this sounds bad and it isn’t coming out

No, Emma, I know what you
are saying.”

I watch as he cracks his knuckles. 

He adds, “I’m not sure I
would have looked for help outside of the county. Sadly, I didn’t
think to place her far enough away that she
come home.” 

BOOK: Mending Hearts
11.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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