addict, addiction, creative writing., Doctor Monroe, drama, Human roleplay, Jordan, Lipstick Lies!, Max Maxwell, Maxwell, Recreation Room Maxwell, Rehab, Seattle, Seattle Substance Abuse, sober, story
Maxwell’s case is one of many in the Seattle Substance Abuse clinic. Time to meet the other patients. Welcome to Lipstick Lies!
“Door’s open. I’d offer you a drink but I think the bar is closed.” Max stated, trying to make a joke. Ansel could hear the underlying resentment and pain in Max’s voice and knew he was the person that Max needed to get through this. He stepped into the room and pulled up the chair near Max’s bed, turning it backwards. He draped his arms over the back and looked at Max.
“Max.” Ansel began, “I know right now you’re feeling a bit let down. Your sister had you brought here against your wishes and that’s got to hurt on some level. Betrayal, no matter how good someone’s intentions are, is a bitter pill to swallow.” There was complete honesty in Ansel’s words. He had never once lied to a patient and he wasn’t about to start now. “But she didn’t do this to hurt you. She did this because she loves you very much and doesn’t want to see you fall into a hole that you would never be able to dig yourself out of. She wants her brother back, the one who followed her around like a little lost puppy, getting into mischief, pranking their other brothers and sisters and not getting caught, taking long walks in the woods behind their home, the brother she confided her deepest, darkest secrets to. She misses that brother. I would like to help you find that person again.” Ansel stated, his words powerful. “If you’ll let me.” he added.
Max hadn’t said a word or looked up from his hands clasped in his lap the whole time Ansel began to speak, but Ansel wasn’t worried. It was only the first day.
“Ernie tells me that you requested to make a phone call. I’m going to allow you to do so, from the phone in my office, on one condition…that you come out of your room and get to know the other residents. Some of them are like you. It wouldn’t hurt to find common ground with them, or you’re in for a lonely time. Lunch will be in a couple of hours and some of the residents like to hang out in the recreation room until then.”
Ansel got to his feet and replaced the chair at the desk before moving to the door. He waited to see what Max would do.
Maxwell noticed the underlying tone of the administrator as he gave a bit of a speech while sitting directly across from him on a backwards turned chair. Ansel trying to put forth that he knew what Max was feeling right at this point. Feeling betrayed by a loved one does hurt even more than had it been say a business associate. He never considered that his sister would do such a bold move and actually have him dragged off in a public place. That was what stung all the more. A man has some pride, even if he didn’t realize what he was doing to himself.
Listening with a raised brow, Maxwell asked; “You speak as though you know her.” It was fair to say that Felicity had spoken at length with Ansel about her brother. The way that Ansel put it however made Maxwell wistful in a sense, but also annoyed. He actually pushed himself up and off the bed and walked over towards the window – his hands resting on the window sill as he stared out at the grounds.
“The things you speak of…the way I was as a young boy. Yes, I followed her around. Idolized her. it was like I could never keep up. Jokes and pranks, silly games. That was my childhood.”
Maxwell glanced back at Ansel and spoke with a small voice.
“That child is long since dead inside of me. The man I became…the one you see now, is the result of trying to forget…”His voice broke off and he felt that he had said way more than he ever wanted to admit. His right hand, his fingers curled into a fist. A tight ball. “Try if you want, Doctor…but I doubt you will find him.”
Looking back outside, he did hear something that did pique his interest. The phone call he had requested. The one he wanted to make the moment he had been locked up. The condition however was that he had to leave his room and mingle with the other patients. Socialize and try to get to know others that were like him. He had a few hours to kill before lunch.
Glancing around the room, which he now knew like the back of his hand, Maxwell came to the conclusion that this deal was one he could settle on. “Alright. I’ll come out of my hidey hole. Just…don’t expect a miracle in a day.” It was a start. Racking his fingers back through his hair, he walked over to the Doctor and offered his hand as though shaking on a business deal. “It’s been…interesting.” Leaving it at that, he wandered outside his room; stopping at first as he reached the doorway, almost unsure of which way to turn. Finally he chose right and headed down to the recreation room.
As Max was making his way to the rec room and Ansel was returning to his office, other residents were taking advantage of the nice day Seattle was having and were sitting outside the rec room doors on the terrace, soaking up the sun.
All except one.
“Jordan, why aren’t you outside with the others?” A nurse who was making her rounds spotted the lone woman curled up on the couch near one of the large windows. There was an open sketchbook in her lap, a pencil loosely clasped within her fingers. At the mention of her name, the woman looked up, chocolate brown eyes coming back into focus.
“Didn’t feel like being out there.” Jordan shrugged.
“Why not?” The nurse wondered, sitting across from her. Jordan didn’t answer, gave another half-shrug.
“Jordan, you do know that Doctor Monroe wants you to interact more with the others as part of your treatment.”
“Then why don’t you?” the nurse wondered. Jordan let out a small huff that belied her age.
“I have nothing in common with these people. I feel like an outsider to them. I just want to do my time, get better and get back to work.”
“I’ve told you before that this isn’t a prison.”
“Then if this isn’t a prison, I should be allowed to leave when I want.” Jordan retorted.
“Hmm.” the nurse nodded. “Well…if that’s how you feel about it…” the nurse got to her feet and turned to leave.
“Where you going?” Jordan demanded.
“I’m going to have a chat with Doctor Monroe about you. You might be here a while longer then you originally thought.” The nurse smirked before walking away.
“Bitch.” Jordan grumbled, turning her gaze back to her sketchbook. There was the beginnings of a sketch started and seeing the finished product in her mind, she began to work. Sketching was theraputic for her. It allowed her to see hidden truths of the world around her. As she was sketching, she didn’t see one particular resident come into the room. “The New Guy” as Max was dubbed had caught her attention when she had seen Ernie giving him a tour earlier in the day. It was the look on Max’s face that had caught her attention and she had been itching to draw ever since. Her hand moved rapidly over the paper as she took up some colored pencils to do some fill-ins.
It was probably going to be one of her better drawings.
Maxwell took his time in the long walk from his room down to what was known as the Recreation room. He didn’t walk with a pronounced swagger, like you would normally expect from someone that was a high flyer. Not now. Maxwell sort of dawdled along. Peeking in various doors as he passed down the corridor. Even into the staff room, though he didn’t stop and stare like some lost tourist. More of a fleeting glance for any familiar faces. Course he had only really met three people, well four if you counted Charlie Sheen, since he had been brought into the facility. He wrung his hands as he continued. No watch on his wrist, no cellphone to fiddle with. Perhaps he was suffering from a nervous type of anxiety. Sobriety tended to bring with it a horrible sensation, one that he was starting to hate with all his being. Naked…that is how he felt. Stripped of the very things that masked his inner self. Being dressed in the same tracksuit that he was issued with after his shower, he felt drab and colorless. If he blended much more into the walls, maybe he would disappear. He already felt forgotten. Did no one care? How he would give anything to hear the sound of Lucy’s voice. Fleeting images of her kept coming into her mind, but always somber ones. When would it finally dawn on him just how much he had let her down. All the promises he made when he head hunted her from her New York home, and left her more or less running the Light box on her own.
On reaching the doorway to the Recreation room, he noticed that there were large sliding doors that offered the patients access to the outer courtyards. By the sounds of the many voices outside, this is where the bulk of the patients were. A charming day for those that wished to enjoy the warm rays of the sun, whilst set in a tranquil surround of trees and lush gardens. If he were a pensioner he might enjoy such a thing, or an avid gardener. Sadly he was neither of these things. Not really paying attention to whomever might be left in the recreation room, he made his way across past many gaming tables and craft areas till reaching the large open doors. The light filtered through and he was almost about to step outside, when he felt that warmth upon his skin. A creature of habit, he took a step back. A night owl normally it was very rare for him to even be outside during the day. The glare of light made him squint, and he padded his track suit only to realize that he didn’t have his sun glasses. He didn’t have his normal glasses either. Maxwell realized he had nothing, no wallet…nothing.
Turning away from the opened door, was when he finally spotted her. A young girl with delightfully dark skin who was seated on one of the lounge like couches. All around her was pencils, the tools of an artist. A large sketch pad on her knees – head down and busily coloring what would be her latest creation. ~She must be a patient~ Maxwell’s immediate thoughts. Course, he didn’t recognize her. Not one for television or films, he had no idea that the girl was a starlet of the small screen. All he could see was a girl that would rather be inside, being creative than being outside soaking up the sun.
A quick glance about for any of the large ape like wardens, and then Maxwell made the decision to be social. A nervous hand went up and raked his fingers through his hair before he started to walk over. It was as he approached the girl, that the image that the girl was sketching was none other than….him. At first, Maxwell was a bit taken aback. No one had ever drawn him before. He was more used to having his picture taken for the tabloids and social pages. What truly struck him however, was how the image she had created made him look. Maxwell’s brows creased and then he reached up to touch his own frown lines on his forehead. Rigid lines that had come from years of drinking. Was this how he looked to the world? So old. What had happened to him? This..was what the drink had done. Maxwell was once a handsome young man about town. Now he looked like someone’s grand dad.
If Jordan had bothered to notice, she would see him standing there. A lover of art, he was feeling the sadness of seeing how another human being viewed him.
“You’re very talented.” Words seemed to come out almost without thought. He was humbled by her work. Normally, with the help of the drink he was the life of the party, a chatty man. Now he searched for something to say that wouldn’t sound condescending. “I was told…if I came out of my room that they might grant me a phone call.”
Maxwell then just stood there, realizing how much he missed Lucy. You would think the poor man was going to cry.