The first few days were quiet – so quiet, in fact, that I began to think Blue Scrubs was putting the fear in me to teach me a lesson about the effects of drug use. He slept, he ate…he said “please” and “thank you”. We didn’t talk about how five minutes after she arrived, Mrs. Hawthorne turned on her Stiletto with such force I was stunned the heel was still intact. We didn’t talk about how long he had been using meth. We didn’t talk about what was going to happen next.
In fact, aside from pleasantries, we didn’t…talk.
The only person I really spoke to was Lyla.
“When are you coming back to work?” she asks, panicked.
“I don’t know.” I say nervously, closing the door to what used to be “our” bedroom, “Why? Is Joe…”
“Look, don’t worry about Joe. He gets it. He wants you here as much as I do. We just want to make sure you’re okay.”
“I…I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to start this – there are things I need to know, you know?”
“Yeah, yeah!” she agrees, “I mean, I know you love him and all but this is some serious shit.”
I hear a knock on the door and make my way down the hallway quickly before the knocking has a chance to wake Will from his slumber. “Yeah, I know – I just want him to know that through all this I still love him. I mean, people make mistakes, right? He’s allowed a mistake isn’t he?”
Lyla goes on about how this could be more than a mistake as I open the door to reveal our landlord, “Luke,” I mouth, tucking the phone against my face, “what’s up?”
“Lauren,” he sighs, “I’m going to need you guys out of the apartment by Friday.”
“WHAT?!” I gasp.
“Lauren? Lauren what happened?”
“Lyla, I gotta go.” I say, hanging up. “I’m sorry, Luke – what do you mean we have to be out of here by Friday?”
He can barely look at me as he takes a deep breath and says what I already know to be true, “Look, Lauren, you’re nice kids. That’s why I never shook you down for being behind – I mean, this is a tough city and I know you guys are young…”
I swallow my tears along with my pride and ask, “Luke, tell me…how behind are we?”